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General Plan
Bible and State
Preterism and Revelation
Physical Reign of Christ
Space Prophecy
Democratic Theonomy

The Space Puritan Vision

Copyright 2022 by Raul E. Lopez, MD


The purpose of this website is to stimulate the creation of a Christian nation in space which uses as its philosophical starting point the historical puritan colonies of New England in North America and the city of Geneva under Calvin. In other words, we want to stimulate the creation of a modern puritan nation in space. I am starting as a lone individual, but, Plymouth, the first New England colony, was the effort of one or two men who were the principal leaders of a single medium sized church in Old England. This small beginning was the origin of that which made the United States a unique country.


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We are living in both dangerous and exciting times. As I write this, a world pandemic, the result of the first accidentally released artificially modified virus, is in the last stages of wreaking havoc on the planet. Millions of people have died. Most of us know people who lost their lives or suffered physical or psychological disability because of the virus. The response was chaotic and characterized by the jostling of various powerful interest groups. Coverups occurred and responses were imposed, many times without proper scientific information nor with regard to fundamental human rights, such as the right to informed consent and to determine what I put into my own body. True informed consent was not possible because debate about the subject was squashed. Big tech social media banned and censored those who disagreed with them and traditional corporate media ignored or ridiculed opposing views. Vaccines which were based on never before tried, novel technology were rushed to market and imposed on the populations of the world. Of course, the corporations which made these vaccines stood to make billions of dollars in profits. These are corporations which spend hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising on the same media which suppressed debated about the products produced by these giant corporations. Consequently, spirited debate was suppressed and those who refused to comply were ridiculed and those who protested had their bank accounts frozen and their livelihoods destroyed. No one could buy or sell unless they took the jab. These vaccines were not without their own risks. My own father suffered a hemorrhagic brain stroke three days after receiving a booster for one of the mRNA vaccines and became completely incapacitated. By that time the omicron wave was almost over and there was little need for a booster. However, the health establishment kept pushing. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but in medical school they teach us that rare things hardly ever happen together unless they are related.

Someone recommended to revolutionaries and people in power to never let a crisis go wasted so the forces of globalization and power concentration have taken this opportunity to consolidate power in the hands of fewer and fewer people. As a reaction, socialism and secularism has strengthened as a bad alternative to oligopolistic capitalism. Global socialism has been challenged by nationalistic socialism and these forces have gone to war leading to devastation in Ukraine. The church has been caught in the cross fire and the threat of open persecution and civil war in developed western nations looms as a possibility in the not too distant future.

However, we are also in the early stages of mankind’s ascent into interplanetary space. This gives us access to the vast resources of the rest of the solar system. These resources are like an inheritance in a trust account which becomes available when the child reaches an age where s/he can use it responsibly. It seems as if God knew that this is the time when the kingdom of God needed these new resources to continue its spread. A similar argument could be made of the discovery of the Americas by the Europeans right before the advent of the protestant reformation. Some have tried to minimize the impact of this discovery, since the native Americans had already discovered America. However, in the same way that the Europeans, Asians and Africans did not know that the American and Australian continents existed, so too, the native Americans did not know that the rest of the world existed. On that day, for the first time, people from the old world first met people who had already arrived at the new world and both began to understand that the world was bigger than they realized. That mutual discovery, initiated by Christopher Columbus, transformed the world and fueled the processes, both good and bad, which have created the modern world.

However, like the Israelites when they were about to enter the land of Canaan, we are ordered to fight and conquer. The kingdom of God does not spread automatically, it involves arduous, coordinated effort and sacrifice. The new world, in the form of the Americas, was both a land of the free and the land of the oppressed. Freedom took root in Puritan New England, but Catholic South America still had the same oppressive system found in Europe and the Anglican colonies of the North American South, starting with Jamestown, helped create an even worse form of slavery than that which already existed in Europe. In both continents slavery took hold and native peoples were displaced, sometimes slaughtered, sometimes absorbed. It was a land of the good, the bad, and the ugly. What made some difference in the United States was the influence of the Puritans, the Presbyterians, the Baptists and the Methodists. Most of these were Reformed Calvinists. Otherwise the United States would be as poorly developed as Argentina is now, a country with a similar geography and a similar ethnic demographic, but a different majority religion.

The Americas still have their problems. Leftist protesters emphasize the existence of unresolved racial tensions and criticize efforts to build walls at the border of the United States as an exercise in racism. However, unlike the case in Berlin, where the wall was built to keep people in, these walls are designed to keep people from pouring into this country, a country which some claim to be an oppressive, racist country. Why then aren’t people fleeing into Venezuela, Egypt or Iran? Argentina has almost completely open borders, but few people immigrate, except those fleeing the leftist paradise of Venezuela. For all the problems still found in the nation created by the Puritans, when people have to flee their own country, it is that country which they pick as the first choice for their destination.

Going into space does not automatically mean that mankind will be better off. If the Chinese communist party gets there first, then mankind might actually be worse off. Bible believing Moderate Reconstructionist Theonomist Christians, who are modern day Puritans, need to get there first. Let us create a society of united, committed Christians from many nations, that are willing to take on the social, political and technological task of spreading the kingdom of heaven throughout our solar system. Daniel said “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). Jesus said that a city set upon a hill cannot be hidden. There is no higher hill than one which everybody can see when they gaze up at the stars at night.

The General Plan

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Our goal is to establish a viable human colony in space as quickly and as cheaply as possible. There are technological, economic and political obstacles which must be solved and theological question to be answered. In this section we will address the technological challenges and present a plan to overcome those obstacles.

We believe that the greatest obstacle to the profitable exploitation of extraterrestrial resources is the return trip to Earth. The reason for this is that the means for returning, the return rocket, must be brought up from the surface of the Earth, down to the surface of the planet or moon and used to get back to Earth. This is true of both the Moon and of Mars. The main obstacle to the colonization of Mars is the cost of the return trip from Mars back to Earth. Mars lies at the bottom of a significant gravity well and getting back takes a lot of energy. The most feasible plan to colonize Mars quickly is the concept promoted by Mars One, which promotes a one way ticket to Mars. However, as the plan now stands, those who go would be committing themselves to spending the rest of their life on a strange world surrounded by very few people and would have to forego ever having children and a family. Even if a surgeon was a member of the team, he would not be able to maintain the skills needed for complex surgery as the population ages and needs more medical care. Not only are very few people willing to make such a sacrifice, this does not really produce a viable settlement. Even though the gravity well of the moon is less than that of Mars, which makes the return trip less difficult, the moon lacks an atmosphere which could be used to slow down approaching space craft. This means that rocket propulsion needs to be used to slow down a landing spacecraft, a process which consumes precious fuel. This is in addition to the fuel needed to take off.

In contrast, the moons of Mars, Phobos and Diemos, are among the most accessible bodies in the solar system. The return trip is cheaper than even from the moon. Because of the low gravity, the round trip takes less energy than going to the moon and returning. This means that people could go live there for some time and return to Earth when they wish. Even though micro gravity is a problem for human physiology, it makes the construction of spinning habitats easier because their low weight means that support structures could be light. It would also be easy to bury the spinning habitats under regolith, which would provide shielding from harmful solar radiation. The micro gravity also means that the lunar material could be mined all the way through to the center which makes large quantities of material available for processing. The deepest mines on Earth are only about 4 km under the surface. Phobos has a mean radius of 11 km and could easily be mined all the way through.

Therefore, we believe that the first goal in the colonization of space should be the establishment of settlements on the moons of Mars. We explain the reasons for this in more detail in a separate article. However, if we assume that to be the goal, then we can create a plan to achieve this goal. The path towards that goal needs to take advantage of the main benefits of that goal, the relatively inexpensive return trip. This means that the first goal should be to design and build a sample return mission from the moons of Mars to Earth orbit. This has several advantages. First of all, it has the potential to produce a profitable revenue stream even on the first mission. Material can be brought to Earth orbit more cheaply than from the Earth, the Moon or Mars. This material can be processed into useful products. These products can grow the infrastructure located in Earth orbit and can also be used to grow the infrastructure necessary to develop the resources of solar system. If we are to have hotels and greenhouses in Earth orbit, it is cheapest to bring that material from the moons of Mars. It would be relatively straightforward to extract glass, aluminum and steel from the material brought from these moons. If the moons do not contain much carbon, stainless steel could be made by alloying steal with other metals, like chromium.

One of the most important economic and political obstacles to the development of extraterrestrial resources is that no one owns those resources and no one can even establish a claim on them that is recognized by Earth governments because of the Outer Space Treaty which most nations have signed. However, one can always claim ownership of a vehicle. This is similar to the way we use the open oceans. The parts of the oceans which are beyond the territorial limits of sovereign nations are open to navigation by vehicles which are under the flag of recognized sovereign nations. Something similar has been agreed for Antarctica. Fifty five nations have signed the Antarctic Treaty which opens up antarctica for exploration and establishment of non military bases. This includes two quasi civilian towns, the Chilean town Villa las Estrellas and the Argentinian town Base Esperanza. It is interesting that Costa Rica has not signed the Outer Space Treaty and Honduras, Belize, Haiti and Panama have signed it but not ratified it. Puerto Rico, which has a somewhat undefined relationship with the United States as an unincorporated territory in free association with the United States has technically also not signed it.

The Bible and the State

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One of the most important questions which one must ask and answer if one wants to establish a Christian nation in space is whether it is legitimate to even create a Christian nation. A nation that claims to be Christian but isn’t would do a disservice to the cause of Christ. So, is this something which is in line with the teachings of the Bible? If the answer is ‘yes’, then one must describe what a Christian country consists of. In other words, what is a Christian country? The history of the Church is full of many examples of nations where an officially sanctioned state church existed. Most European countries had state churches at some point. The technical term for a state supported church is an established church. Established churches in Europe included the Russian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and various protestant churches. The Puritans in North America established the congregational church as the official church. In the Puritan colonies Baptists were persecuted and women accused of practicing witchcraft were burned. However, is the existence of an established church enough to turn a nation into a Christian nation? Or, is there something distinctive about a Christian nation apart from its church? For example, did the Roman Empire become Christian when Constantine made Christianity the official religion or was it still a pagan state but one with a Christian church?

Most evangelical Christians hold to the idea that even though the church is built upon the teachings of the Bible, the state must be built on natural law, natural law being those truths which are self evident, as stated in the declaration of independence of the United States. This is the premise which lies at the heart of the currently accepted interpretation of the first amendment to the constitution of the United States, what is called the bill of rights. It is called the doctrine of the separation of church and state. However, even from a legal or historical point of view, there are some problems with this interpretation. The first amendment to the United States constitution, the first right, is actually a prohibition placed on the federal government from creating or establishing a federal church. This did not prohibit individual states from having a state church. The states simply did not want the federal government to make any changes to the existing official churches in the early states. The power of creating official churches was to reside with the state government. The congregationalist church was the official church of Massachusetts until 1833. With time the prohibition was extended by the supreme court to the states also. Of course, no supreme court ruling is infallible and history argues that this was not the intention of those who wrote that amendment.

Furthermore, and this is more important. Most Christians would probably agree to a separation of the institution of the state and the institution of the church. We do not want the state interfering in our religious practice and we do not want any particular religious sect to impose their rites and practices on the whole population. I admire the Puritans, but, as a Baptist, I would have been persecuted in the original Puritan colonies. In fact, it is likely that the best way to minimize religious error is to allow different churches to approach the truth from different angles. This competition should create churches that, on the average tend towards the truth. However, the state has a purpose which is different than the church. The purpose of the state is to impose the law by force. However, laws are systems of rules and regulations founded upon some overriding ethic or principle. The fundamental question then is whose ethic will form the foundation of the state.

Democracy is based on the idea that if representatives are elected by many people and these people are each making well thought out decisions, then, the representatives thus selected will arrive at the best system of laws based on the general ethics of the population. However, for the Christian view point to be represented, we must chose people to lead and represent us which come closest to holding our own ethical system of law. Therefore, as Christians, we must decide what should be the foundation for the vision of our country’s laws which we wish to promote, whether the Bible or simply natural law. Modern western society tells us that only natural law should form the basis for the laws of a successful country and that scriptures should not be used to help decide the ethical system which forms the basis for the laws of the country. This produces secular states.

Ideally, natural law and Biblical law should produce the same result, since God created nature and thus, the natural world also reveals the nature of God. However, if we believe in the total depravity of man, the revelation found in natural law may not be clear enough for sinful men to derive an exact, precise and balanced legal system. For that we would need the more clearly revealed truth found in revealed scripture. Natural law still plays a role, because, as a parallel revelation of God, it would help confirm that scripture is true and that our interpretation of these scriptures is correct. Another way of looking at the relationship between natural and revealed law is that revealed law is the light that allows us to see natural law accurately. Ultimately, both should be in agreement.

The problem of relying on natural law alone can be seen in the circumstances surrounding the Declaration of Independence of the United States. The Declaration of Independence supports natural law as a foundation when it says “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In theory, a self evident truth is a truth that the majority of humans would extract from nature as they interact with it in the normal course of their lives. However, this statement was written by a white man who owned over 600 black slaves during his lifetime. Apparently, he learned from natural law that all men are created equal, but he was not able to extract from natural law what the definition of a man was. The Bible defines a man as all those who descend from Adam, all men and all women of all races. However, Jefferson is infamous for cutting up the Bible and selecting only the texts with which he agreed. The Jefferson Bible, also called The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, was an edited collection of verses from the gospels that represent what Jefferson believed to be the genuine sayings of Jesus. He did not believe in the supernatural or in miracles, so he would not have believed the Old Testament teaching that all humans descend from a single, supernaturally created man who was created in the image of God. It seems that natural law was not clear enough to replace the truth that Jefferson excised from his Bible.

Many Christians would argue that the Bible does not teach an ethical foundation which can be used as a basis for national laws because Jesus Christ came to abolish the Old Testament law and replace it with a better system. The New Testament itself does not present a coherent system of laws that can form the basis for a national legal system. The reason for this is that, even though the New Testament elaborates the Old Testament moral law by adding detail and precision to it, thereby raising it to a higher standard, it does not address penalties, other than that of excommunication. The penal code in the Bible is found exclusively in the Old Testament. Therefore, if the Old Testament is no longer in force, then the Bible cannot be used to support any particular legal system based on penalties.

As support, many Christians argue that we are to follow the example of Jesus and the apostles and that none of them were involved in politics. On the contrary, they affirm, Jesus specifically told Pilate that His kingdom was not of this world. By saying this He recognized that Satan is the king of this world and that the time for Jesus to rule has not yet come. However, the New Testament world was not a democracy. The world in which Jesus and the apostles lived was a hierarchical military dictatorship called the Roman Empire. In theory, this military dictatorship ruled in the name of the representatives of a small group of super wealthy Italian families which deliberated in a body called the Roman Senate. In reality, the hierarchy had little accountability to anyone, not even the Senate. In Israel there were no elections and nobody could run for office. However, Jesus did, in fact, run for office. He presented Himself as the rightful king of the Jews. Many people accepted Him and He entered Jerusalem in triumph on Palm Sunday, sitting on a donkey. His first official act as rightful claimant to the throne was to get rid of the international banking cabal by forcefully, even violently, expelling the money lenders and animal merchants out of the temple. This threatened the income of the super wealthy. It was this action which placed Jesus on the cross.

Most Christians do not understand the scope of this action. The area where this activity took place was called in Jewish writings the mountain of the house, and later, the court of the gentiles. It was the area outside of the more sacred part of the temple where gentiles could approach to worship. The external dimensions of this area would have been about 750 feet square. The central third was the area reserved for Jews in various courts, with the temple itself in the center. The outer two thirds were open to all. This outside area had become something of a bazaar and it has been estimated to have covered an area of about 30 acres. Jesus forcefully expelled two groups of people, the animal merchants and the bankers. The bankers provided three types of services, they exchanged foreign currency for locally approved currency, they exchanged large coins for smaller coins and they borrowed and lent money on interest. Except for the latter, all of this activity was legitimate if done outside the temple in a way that was fair. However, the court of the gentiles was the location where non-Jews were supposed to be allowed to pray to the God of Israel. It was supposed to have an evangelistic purpose of introducing the worship of Jehovah to foreigners.

Instead, this space was taken up by commerce. Furthermore, having a business on the temple grounds commanded a premium and gave these merchants the opportunity to charge exorbitant prices. Finally, the Jewish temple, following the custom of pagan temples, had become a depository of money. People would deposit gold and silver for safe keeping at the temple. This money would then be lent out at high interest and the profit would be split between the bankers and the depositors. All this was under the control of the high priest and his extended family and friends, and they used their privileged position to amass incredible wealth. This group of people were called the Saducees after the name of David’s loyal priest, Zadok. They did not believe in an afterlife. For them, the reward for obedience to the law was material prosperity in this life. Up to four million people came to Jerusalem on the feast days and they had become prey for this class of super rich. The temple had become a bait that the wealthy ruling class used to rob the working class and to maintain their own wealth.

Even though it it true that the Jews expected the Messiah to free them from the Roman oppressors, by His actions, Jesus was saying that the Jewish oppressor was a bigger problem for the common Jew than the Romans. In other words, as king, Jesus began to confront the most important political problems facing Israel at that time. The biggest problem was not the Roman overrule. It was the existence of a super wealthy, corrupt, local ruling class. The same class to which belonged the rich young ruler who came asking Jesus how to inherit eternal life. As king, Jesus confronted this rebellious aristocracy and took away their ability to despoil the commoners. For a few days He freed the common Jew from this oppression by prohibiting anyone from carrying merchandise onto temple grounds. If He had simply freed the Jews from the Romans, it would have created worse oppression because the Romans put a break on the ambitions of the local ruling class.

When the Jews rebelled against the Romans forty years later, factions within this ruling class went to war against each other and it was the destruction caused by the resulting civil war inside Jerusalem which made it possible for the Romans to recapture the city. A prosperous, united Judea could have defeated the Romans and Jesus was setting the stage for a successful liberation of Judea. He was crucified for this, but forty years later, Jesus came back figuratively and utterly destroyed the temple which these families controlled and had desecrated.

Not only was Jesus involved in politics, the Apostles also sought to influence government. One of the first converts of Saul of Tarsus was the governor of Cyprus, Sergius Paulus. His conversion made him the first Christian ruler ever. If the thinking of some modern day Christians were correct, one would have expected Saul to recommend to Sergius to stop working for the evil Roman Empire. However, on the contrary, it is interesting that almost the opposite happened. After the conversion of Sergius Paulus, The apostle Saul is never again called Saul, but he changed his name to Paulus, the very name of that ruler. Therefore, Saul, a Greek Jew, and one of the most important apostles, took on the Latin name of the first Christian ruler in order to honor his memory. After leaving Cyprus he goes directly to Antioch in Pisidia after passing through the coastal city of Perga. Historical records suggest that Antioch was the ancestral city of Sergius Paulus. Sergius surely would have wanted his extended family to hear the good news of salvation. This points to a close relationship between Paulus the apostle and Paulus the Roman governor. People would often take on the name of their sponsors or of their conquests. For example the general Publius Cornelius Scipio, who defeated Hanibal and conquered the African city of Carthage, took the name Scipio Africanus. For the apostle Paul (Paulus in Latin), Sergius Paulus was likely both a sponsor and a conquest.

We see that Jesus and the apostles addressed all aspects of society. Sin is sin no matter who does it. Sin is sin even when it is legal. The Lord’s prayer commands us to pray “hallowed be thy name.” More than anything else, God is holy. He will not overlook sin. When sin is legal, when the state does not punish sin, forces build up in the society, like a Christian karma, which then attracts judgment upon that society. It is similar to an object that accumulates an electrical charge. At some point that object will attract an electrical spark or lightning bolt. That is what happened to the ruling class in Jerusalem. They turned the temple into a symbol of oppression so God destroyed both the temple, the city and the ruling classes. Those who heeded the warnings of Jesus and fled the city, survived. Those who did not believe in Jesus were slaughtered by the Romans.

Western civilization is entering a stage in it’s history when it is challenging the holiness of God and turning itself into a lightning rod for God’s judgment. We may not be able to turn western civilization around in our lifetime, but like the pilgrims and puritans of old, we may be able to escape and start anew. The success of such a truly Christian country in space may then, cause the nations of Earth to change and imitate that example just like the example of New England and the United States changed old England and Europe.


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Many Christians believe that our job is to save a small remnant of the population of the world and that the majority of the world population at any given time and in any given place will be composed primarily of unsaved people. They point to the warning of Jesus towards the end of the Sermon on the Mount where He says:

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:12-14)

Yet, in the very next chapter Jesus says:

10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:10-12)

Few Jews were to find the narrow road and the rest were to be cast out, but Jesus predicted that many gentiles would enter the kingdom.

Another example often mentioned is the parable of the soils where only one out of the four soils bears fruit. However, this parable uses real imagery, and in most real agricultural country, the majority of the soil is fertile. The paths, the weedy soil and the rocky soil are in the minority, likely in the borders or close to the paths. Weedy soil, especially, can be easily plowed under and turned into fertile soil. Furthermore, it is not clear that the seed that fell on rocky or weedy soil represents those who are not saved. They may be fruitless Christians who possibly have a somewhat transformed life in themselves, but one that does not directly lead to the salvation of anyone else. If that is the case, then only the seed that was eaten by the birds on the compacted soil of the paths is the one that represents the unsaved. These paths represent a minority of the soil in typical farm country.

There are verses in the New Testament which seem to paint the expectation of a victorious future for the church, while others seem to paint a dark picture of constant struggle within a world that, in general rejects the gospel and persecutes the church. However, the Bible also clearly presents a future golden age, both in the Old Testament, in the Psalms and the Prophets, as well as in the parables of the New Testament and in the millennial passages of the book of Revelation. This has led to the formulation of three views about the timing and nature of this golden age.

Amillennialism, which, in a way is the easiest view, and probably the most common view throughout the history of the church, teaches that Christ is reigning in heaven over the church accompanied by the saints which have died and that the prophetic Earthly blessings of this golden age are symbols which represent the spiritual blessings of salvation and of the new birth. They have a neutral or pessimistic view of the success of the church in transforming the world and hold that the saved believers will generally be in the minority throughout time. They deny that a literal Earthly golden age will ever occur, which is why it is called a-(not)-millennialism because they do not believe there will be a physical millennium. At some point in the future Jesus will return to judge mankind and all the dead will be resurrected and the living will be transformed to enter the eternal state either in the new heavens and new earth or in hell. The way the eternal state is visualized tends to be the same in all three views.

There is another view which is called premillennialism which is currently the predominant view in evangelical churches. Similar to amillennialism it teaches that the church will generally be a persecuted minority and that evil will wax worse and worse. The current age is like a cold war. Even though the church may shine brighter and brighter, evil in the world will wax darker and darker so that they are always relatively well matched. It is probably the most pessimistic of the three when it comes to the ability of the church to transform society in general. They point to verses such as the following for support.

12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (II Timothy 3:12-13)

This evil will reach a final nadir with the total takeover of the world by the antichrist who will reign as an absolute dictator for seven years before the second coming of Jesus Christ back to Earth. There are two main versions of this view. By far the most common version teaches that the church will escape this final seven year period of utter chaos called the tribulation period by means of the rapture of the church some time before the start of the seven years. A minority believe that the church may have to endure through it and that the rapture occurs at the same time as the second coming of Jesus Christ towards the end of the seven years. During the seven years, especially towards the end, God pours out judgements upon the Earth and at the end of seven years Jesus returns bodily to set up a literal earthly reign upon the Earth. Satan will then be bound and Jesus will reign literally from Jerusalem for one thousand years and, at that time, the golden age promised in the Bible will take place in a literal, physical way. At the end of the thousand years Satan is loosed and there is somewhat of a shorter repeat of the tribulation. After that final attack the final judgment occurs which ushers in the eternal state. This view is called premillennialism because it teaches that Jesus returns before the millennium.

The final view, which is held by the smallest number of evangelicals, is more optimistic. This is the view held by the Puritan founders of the American nation. This view teaches that the church will, in general, and gradually, be victorious because Jesus bound Satan at the cross and gave us the power of the Holy Spirit which resides inside of us. Not all people will ever be saved, but, perhaps, a mayority will be saved, enough that they will have a transformative effect on the world in general. The golden age promised in the Bible will not appear overnight, but, as a greater percentage of the world’s population is saved, the world in general will gradually become better and better and we will be ever closer to seeing the fulfilment of the petition in the Lord’s prayer that asks for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Before the coming of Christ most of the nations of the world will be so thoroughly evangelized that they could be considered to be Christian nations. Jesus comes to receive that kingdom which He establishes through His body, the church and to hand it over to God, His Father. However, before the second coming of Jesus, Satan is loosed for a short while so that the remaining tares will be manifested. Jesus then puts down this final rebellion and judges the world, after which the eternal state commences. This view is called postmillennialism because Jesus comes after the millennium has been established.

The first two views are problematic for the idea of a Christian nation because there will never be enough Christians in any given place for the whole of society to be Christianized. However, the Puritans were postmillennialists and they were, indeed able to establish at least a rudimentary, decent approximation to a Christian country. At least one that was more Christian than anything that went before. Their impact was great enough that their New England formed the foundation for the uniqueness of the United States. The idea of American exceptionalism is based on the Biblical principles which were incorporated into American culture and government. Consequently, which of the three views is correct has implications on whether the work of the Puritans should be replicated and developed or whether such an endeavor is bound to failure. The problem is that all three views have ample Biblical support. Consequently I propose that in a certain way, all three views are correct. I will attempt to support this thesis in the following pages.

Another way to organize the views of the millennium is to organize them by the timing of the millennium and by the character of the church age. Two views have Jesus coming back after the millennium, these are amillennialism and postmillennialism. Two views have a pessimistic view of the church age, these are amillennialism and premillennialism. However, only one view is optimistic about the church age, postmillennialism and only one view sees Jesus as coming before the millennium. If one were to position them on a table with two rows and two columns, there would be four squares, but one square is missing. We propose that it is that square which best represents the teaching of the Bible. We call that view bimillennialism.

Timing of 2nd coming After Before
Nature of the church age Pessimistic Amillennialism Premillennialism
Optimistic Postmillennialism MISSING (Bimillennialism)

Foundations of Postmillennialism

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Before elaborating the Bimillennial view, it is important to understand the features which are unique to postimillennialism and premillennialism. We will examine postmillennialism first becuase it is the view with which evangelical Christians are least familiar. The essence of the postmillennial view is that the gospels do, indeed, seem to paint a victorious future for the church. We see that in several of the parables of Jesus. Jesus said

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Matthew 13:31-33)

Unlike trees with big seeds like acorns, mangos and avocados, mustard plants sprout from tiny seeds but they grow quickly to the size of a small tree. The mustard seed is not the smallest seed that exists, but it was the smallest cultivated grain in that part of the world, that is, the smallest edible seed. At the time I am writing this I have an elevated herb garden which I tend for my wife. The first time I planted broccoli, which belongs to the same family as mustard, I was shocked at how huge and how fast the plants grew. They took over the garden and even became a source of significant friction with my wife because their huge size shaded all the other herbs and caused them to die. I ended up having to pull up most of them leaving only one to see what it would do. The emphasis of this parable is on the small beginnings and on the relative growth in relation to that small beginning. On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and started the Christian church, it consisted of only 120 ordinary people. By the end of the day it had grown into thousands and now, two thousand years later, billions of people claim to be Christian. The church has not only grown in absolute numbers, the percentage of the world population which claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ has also increased dramatically.

Some interpreters, such as C. I. Scoffield, take the parable as a warning, not a promise. According to this view, mustard is an aberration, a plant that does not behave like others in it’s category. So too, the kingdom of heaven is not supposed to grow so big and should stay small like a normal herb. However, ungodly Christians caused the church to grow big by making it worldly, so much so that the birds, which represent evil persons, will make their nest within the church. However, mustard is not an aberration, neither is broccoli, cabbage, turnip, cauliflower, or other similar plants in the same family. These plants form part of a healthful diet and are high in vitamin C, soluble fibre, nutrients and healthy phytochemicals, including some which might have anti-cancer properties. Also, birds are not generally associated with evil, only birds of prey, such as hawks, eagles and falcons which were categorized as unclean for food.

This parable has imagery similar to Nebucadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 4 and Jesus likely had this passage in mind when he spoke this parable. The king dreamed of a large, healthy, leafy tree which provided food and shade for the land animals and the birds. If such a tree was featured in a wildlife documentary it would be seen in a very positive light. If the documentary wanted to make a sensational point about the importance of the tree to the surrounding ecosystem it might end by showing greedy loggers sawing the tree down and all the sad baby animals losing their home and food supply. Well, that is exactly what Nebucadnezzar saw. The tree was cut down and the animals scattered. The tree represented Necucadnezzar under whose reign the inhabitants of Babylon and the surrounding area prospered greatly. These people are the ones represented by the animals and the birds. However, this king had to be taught a lesson, the tree needed a radical pruning so it could grow back humanized. The description of the dream seems to place the birds in a positive light as one category of the creatures created by God. If one associates Nebucadnezzar’s dream with this parable, one could conclude that it is speaking of the external positive effect which the kingdom of God will have upon the whole world, both among the saved and the unsaved. This is the external common grace aspect of the kingdom.

The parable of the mustard seed is paired with the parable of the leaven. Paired parables often have similar teachings illustrated in two different ways. However, many Christians teachers also interpret this parable in a negative way. They teach that the leaven represents sin, which contaminates the church, the church being represented by the meal. However, the parable actually presents it the other way around. It is the leaven which represents the kingdom of heaven, not the meal. “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven.” The meal, in turn, represents the world. This debate, whether the leaven represents the growth of the kingdom in the world or the growth of sin in the kingdom has been going on since the days of the early church. However, throughout history the majority view has understood leaven to represent the transforming power of the gospel, of love, of the Holy Spirit or of the church. Leaven is something that grows slowly, infiltrates everything and transforms. Even though this is true of sin, it is also true of the influence of the Holy Spirit, which is the anti-sin. It is interesting that the leaven produces tiny gas bubbles which is one thing that turns dough into bread. The word for air is ‘pneuma,’ which is the same word translated spirit. Therefore, one could say that the kingdom of heaven transforms the world by filling it with the Holy Spirit. This is the internal aspect of the kingdom, what could be called particular or saving grace. It is interesting that even though unleavened bread was used during the feast of Passover, leavened bread was to be used on the feast of Pentecost. This shows that leaven can have both a good and a bad connotation. It simply represents something which grows. Whether that growth is good or bad depends on the context.

Both of the views which interpret the parables in a negative light seem forced. It seems that the main justification for both views is that they are consistent with a dispensational premillennial interpretation of the parables. It is the only way to make these passages support a stalemated church like the one which dispensationalism teaches. Otherwise the staightforward reading of the parables seems to require a postmillennial interpretation with a church that continues to grow and exerts a powerful influence in the world. However, it is important to take the plain natural meaning of a passage and not twist its interpretation to fit it into a preconceived point of view.

It is curious that Jesus specifies three measures of meal. First of all, the word used for measure is the Greek word sata which is about two to three gallons each for a total of about 10 gallons. This is a very large amount of flour, enough to make about 50 loaves of bread. This is the amount of bread that one would expect a large successful bakery to make. Therefore, this woman was making commercial quantities of bread to be sold to the community. Again, the leaven illustrates something small which spreads and grows to become vast in size. However, one wonders if the fact that it was three measures has any significance. Since the time of the early centuries of the church there has been much speculation about the meaning of the three. Just about anything that comes in three has been suggested as that whichi is represented by the three measures. This includes the body, soul and spirit, the three sons of Noah, the law, prophets and gospel, etc. However, it is interesting that the only other time that the term three measures of meal is used in the Bible is in the story of Jehovah appearing to Abraham. Here the English word measure is used to translate the Hebrew word se’ah which is the Hebrew form of the same unit of measure as the sata. This is a key story of the Old Testament. Jehovah appears to Abraham in the form of an angel and tells Abraham that He is about to destroy Sodom, where Abraham’s nephew Lot lives and he also tells Abraham that he is about to have a son. When the three angels first appear, Abraham invites them home for dinner and orders a banquet to be prepared. In the process he tells his wife, Sarah, to prepare three measure of meal and to bake them as bread. Abraham seems to have been preparing a large feast and probably invited key servants and friends to meet the angels. It takes as little as an hour for bread to rise on a warm day and they had to slaughter and prepare a calf so they would have had plenty of time to leaven the meal.

In the first chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus says that no one has seen the father at any time, this means that the Jehovah which Abraham saw was not the father but the Son, the pre-incarnate Jesus. Perhaps, when Jesus was telling this parable He was thinking of that day so many years ago, the day when He announced the impending conception of the child of promise, who was His biological ancestor, Isaac. As he was making this announcement He saw Sarah, which would become His ancestral grandmother, preparing three measures of flour to make bread for Him and His companions. From that child, Isaac, grew a great nation, the nation of Israel, which also began as something small, a human baby. This nation would now serve as the birth place of an even greater nation, the Christian church. Jehovah had now come to Israel as the new Isaac, having been Himself born as a human baby and was announcing to His disciples the birth of a new holy nation. Just as the announcement of the beginning of the nation of Israel was accompanied by the destruction of Sodom, the birth of the New Israel would be followed shortly by the destruction of spiritual Sodom, the corrupt Jerusalem of the time of Jesus which was destroyed 40 years later in 70AD.

“And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” (Revelation 11:7-8)

By harking back to the announcement of the birth of Isaac and of destruction of Sodom this parable ties together two key postmillennial ideas, the victorious growth of the kingdom and the fulfilment of the profecies about the great tribulation in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. It also connects the different phases of the kingdom of God. It hearkens back to the conception of Isaac, the first child of promise, and projects forward to the victorious and constantly growing future church and then to the full expression of the kingdom in the literal millennium.

Other key passages which seem to point towards a victorious church include the Lord’s model prayer and the great commission.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray the following requests:

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. (Matthew 6:10)

Ever since I heard this verse as a child I found the typical interpretation to be weak. If this referred to the future premillennial kingdom of Jesus Christ, why do I even need to pray for it at all? It will happen at God’s perfect timing and nothing I do or pray will change that. However, I submit to the reader’s consideration the idea that whatever we are actually supposed to pray for are those things that we are also supposed to be doing. If we are to pray for God’s kingdom to come and for His will to be done on Earth to the same extent that it is done in heaven, then we are also supposed to be working towards that very goal. The goal of our life should be to do our part to bring in the kingdom of God. This idea is supported by Jesus’ comments later in the sermon. He said:

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

Jesus is saying that the overarching goal of our Earthy life is to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness. That is parallel to the petition in the Lord’s prayer that God’s kingdom come and His will be done. Righteousness is to do God’s will. This goal is to subsume our search for food, drink and clothing. This implies that this is addressing what people do most of the day, five or six days a week in their places of work, does not just address our church attendance on the Lord’s day. The focus of our lives should be to be salt and light, as Jesus stated earlier in the message. If the purpose of our labor is to bring in the kingdom by our good works and by our good words, then God will take care of providing for us all the food, drink and clothing that we need.

29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. 31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first. (Mark 10:28-31)

Many of these hearers of these words of Jesus were among those people who sold their lands a few years later when the early Jewish Christians sold their worldly possessions to go to the Apostles’ Bible college in Jerusalem. Many of these people were still alive forty years later when the Jewish Christians escaped Jerusalem shortly before the city was destroyed and 90% of the population of the city was killed. These people later returned and were able to buy lands for almost nothing since the majority of the non-Christian population had been eradicated or sold into slavery so that land was cheap. The meek truly inherited the land surrounding Jerusalem. They built churches and thrived in the wasteland left behind by the Jewish civil war and the war with the Romans. As the centuries passed they developed a distinctive culture and became the modern Palestinians. Even though the majority of their descendants converted to Islam, in the late 1800's around 10% of the population was still Christian. Most of those remaining Christian Palestinians have now immigrated to the New World, the Americas, North and South and inherited land there. A second key passage is the great commission, especially the way it is recorded at the end of Matthew’s gospel.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:17-20)

A more literal translation of the first part would be:

All authority is given unto me in heaven and on Earth. Having gone, therefore, disciple (teach or instruct) the nations (the gentiles).

Think of what happens in a corporate takeover. Let’s imagine that Western Computing buys Electronic Disk Drive Technology. EDDT gets a new management team and they will hire people to instruct the employees of that company how Western likes to do things and what their priorities are. Some people in EDDT might be upset because they may loose their positions. They may even try to sabotage the takeover. However, after some time the two corporations will merge and EDDT will be absorbed by Western.

Jesus told His disciples that He is now in charge and things are going to be different. There is a different set of standards now. The changes will take time because much of this is based on knowing how to do things, and some of this takes education (discipling and teaching). There will also be resistance because the old management does not want to be kicked out and they do not want to change the corrupt way they do things. They want to keep stealing from the company. With time, the merger of heaven and Earth will be complete and the will of the supreme Owner will be done on Earth also. Sometimes God will have to step in and destroy the old management, like He did with Jerusalem and the temple priesthood. The authority of Jesus on Earth is complete in every way. It is both intensive and extensive. Not only is the goal to turn the Earth into heaven (intensive). It includes every type of authority on Earth (extensive). There are four main authority structures mentioned in the Bible, family, ecclesiastical, civil and economic (family, church, government and business). We are told to obey or honor our parents, submit to our spouses, submit to the elders of the church, submit to the civil magistrates and to our masters at work. All of these authority structures have been given to Jesus. He is the head of the family, the pastor of the church, the king of all kings and the Lord of all resources. The Bible has instructions which instruct us on how each of these four spheres of authority is supposed to operate. Some of these instructions are found in the Old Testament while the New testament focuses on the church.

There are verses which suggest that most of the world will be saved.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I John 2:2)

The second Psalm is often used in this context. The nations have been promised to Jesus if He only asks. Can one assume that Jesus forgot to ask? Indeed He did not because we just saw that Jesus told the disciples that He had received all authority in heaven and on Earth.

7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2:7-12)

This view answers the nagging question which is one of the greatest objection to Calvinism. If God can save a person by electing him, why does he not elect more people? If postmillennialism is correct, then, indeed, at some point, most people will be saved. Since the population continues to grow, in the overall scheme of things, most humans who ever live will be saved even though, at times, it seemed that only a minority in a particular time or place were saved.

A second cardinal point of postmillennial interpretation is called the preterist view of fulfilled prophecy. It holds that the prophecies of the New Testament were fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. As western gentile Christians living in the 21st century we miss the impact and importance of that event. However, the destruction of the temple of Jehovah God was a traumatic and cataclysmic event for all those who believed in the Old Testament, both Jews and Christians. It almost completely destroyed Judaism and seemed to undermine the authority of the God of the Bible. Most Jews living in Israel died in the famine which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem or were killed or sold into slavery during and after the Roman conquest. Wealthy Jerusalem and its spectacular temple was burned and razed to the ground, and most survivors of the famine were slaughtered so that blood ran through the streets. The roar of the flames was deafening and the smoke darkened the sun, the moon and the stars.

The saddest part of the event was that the Jews could have held out almost indefinitely and, perhaps, even been victorious. They had food for almost a decade and springs of running water inside the city. They could have worn out the Romans. Jerusalem was one of the most heavily fortified cities in the world, so much so that Titus, the victorious Roman general, acknowledge that the only way they were victorious was because they were a tool in the hand of God. Titus, who was also the son of the current emperor and would later become emperor himself refused to accept a crown of victory because he recognized God’s role in his victory. However, even as the Roman army surrounded Jerusalem and conquered the countryside, Jewish faction after Jewish faction sought to control the rebellion and these factions constantly warred against each other inside the city. Finally, one of the more radical factions destroyed the food supply in order to force the people to leave the city to fight the Romans. However, the resulting famine was so horrific that bands of marauding gangs ransacked people’s homes and took whatever they needed. A prominent woman was so distraught that she killed her son and cooked him and offered him to the gangs who were, in turn, so appalled that they left her alone. The internal civil war and resulting famine killed more people than the slaughter perpetrated later by the Romans. It is estimated that 600,000 bodies were thrown over the walls of the citiy as a result of famine and pestilence. This is out a total of about one million total who died and another 100,000 who were later captured alive.

It was truly a horrific event, one of the worst in recorded history. Those events were recorded by one of history’s finest historians, Titus Flavius Josephus, also known asYosef ben Matityahu, a Jewish leader of the revolt against Rome who came to realize the hopelessness of their position and tried to end the war by diplomacy. The Jews rejected his advances but the Romans authorized him to write down the history of the Jews. In a detailed, multi-volume work, his purpose was to explain that God was just in punishing the Jews for their sins and that this would result in a purification of the Jewish nation and a future rebuilding of the temple.

In fact, a literal interpretation of the warnings of the gospels require that the great tribulation which Jesus had predicted should occur during the lifetime of the people who heard Jesus speak. When the disciples asked Jesus when the great tribulation would happen He said that their generation would not pass away till all be fulfilled.

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:33-35)

Jesus stakes His credentials as a true prophet of God on this claim. If Jesus cannot even be considered a true prophet He most certainly cannot be considered to be God in the flesh.

John the Baptist spoke of the nearness of the judgment of God.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:7-12)

Notice the terms which imply immediacy, “the axe is laid unto to the root,” “the fan is in his hand”. As mentioned above, forty years later, the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. The city was burned with fire and the temple was completely razed down to the foundation. He truly baptized many of those Jews with fire. Those who had been baptized with the Holy Ghost heeded the warnings of Jesus and escaped to Pella. When Jesus told the women who cried for Him as he carried the cross to instead weep for themselves He was giving them a literal warning, knowing the horrendous devastation they and their children would suffer only a few decades later.

27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? (Luke 23:27-31)

When Jesus told these women to weep for themselves and their children He meant what he said, they and their actual sons and daughters would experience this horrible calamity. They were not supposed to mourn for something which might befall foreigners living on the other side of the planet more than twenty centuries later. Notice the imagery of asking the mountains to fall on them. This is similar to imagery used in the book of Revelation.

Jesus wept when he exited the temple for the last time. In the same way that the glory of Jehovah departed the temple and went to the mount of olives before leaving for heaven during the time of Ezequiel, so too Jesus exits the temple and goes to preach the famous Mount of Olives sermon where He describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the first covenant (the end of the age).

34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. 36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:34-39)

The rejection of the Messiah, the Son of God, by the Jews and His execution at their insistence is a truly horrific crime that cannot be passed over. It reflects a profound flaw in Jewish society and the Jewish religion. Not a flaw in the revealed religion of the Old Testament, but a flaw in their misinterpretation of that religion, what they called the traditions of the elders, what is today Rabbinical Judaism. The same flaws that moved the Jews to crucify the Messiah were the same flaws that bore their putrid fruit in the events that led up to the destruction of Jerusalem. It is the same flaw that has led wicked, greedy, self righteous people of all ages to destroy the righteous, from the time of Abel to Zacharias.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:16-20)

Earlier in the week, when He first arrived at Jerusalem Jesus wept over it saying:

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; (Luke 19:41-45)

All of these prophecies were literally fulfilled to the exact detail in 70 AD. The Christians who actually heard Jesus say these words believed that these warning applied to the siege of Jerusalem which occurred before 70AD. So much so that the Christians obeyed the prophecies and fled to a city in transjordan called Pella. If the initial hearers of these words staked their lives on the belief that the words of Jesus would come to pass during that generation then it behooves us to seriously consider that interpretation to be correct. After the initial Jewish rebellion in 66AD Nero commissioned the general Vespasian to reestablish law and order in Judea. Vespasian entered Galillee the next year. He was able to put down the rebellion in Galillee and in the north which was under the direction of the faction of the Zealots. These victories drove the Zaelots into Jerusalem where they competed with the Saducees and the priestly families which controlled the rebellion in the south. This led to infighting and civil war.

However, on June 8, 68 AD Emperor Nero committed suicide, which led to a pause in the Roman campaign against Jerusalem. As a result of Nero’s incompetent and oppressive rule and then his suicide, for the first time in one hundred years, Rome was thrown into a period of civil war as three successive generals fought to become emperor. The timing could not have been better. There was a belief in the east that the future ruler of the world would come from Judea. Vespasian became convinced that this prophecy applied to himself and he used diplomacy to create support for his own claim to the imperial throne. He was later proclaimed emperor by his troops and his allies and he soon left for Egypt and then to Rome to successfully secure his claim. He left the troops in Judea under the command of his son, Titus. We do not know for sure when the Jewish Christians escaped Jerusalem, but this nearly miraculous interlude in the fighting would have provided an opportune time to do so. After his father’s departure Titus resumed the march towards Jerusalem and arrived April 14, 70 AD. By September 8 of that year the temple and the city had been destroyed and burned, the population slaughtered and enslaved and what was left of the city was again under Roman control.

It is beyond the scope and purpose of this essay to make a detailed analysis of how the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD fulfilled the Olivet Discourse. However, it is important to understand the question of the disciples.

1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:1-3)

The disciples were making certain assumptions. It is important to understand these assumptions because in general they are correct. Most importantly, they were concerned about the destruction of the temple. They understood that the Old Testament religion was centered around temple worship because that is where Jehovah dwelt among them.

And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)

And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD. 12 Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. 13 I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever. (I Kings 8:10-13)

That was what made Judaism unique, the fact that the true God dwelt among them.

45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God. (Exodus 29:45-46)

Secondly, this means that if the temple was going to be destroyed then that signaled the end of that age of God’s dealings with them, at least in that way. Therefore, they assumed that the Mosaic age was coming to an end to be replaced by the new covenant which Jeremiah had predicted

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.(Jeremiah 31:31-33).

The disciples understood that the new covenant was based on the abiding presence of the Messiah, Jehovah in the flesh, in the heart of believers. The word translated coming in their question is parousia which is better translated as presence. Presence is the result of a coming but is not the coming itself. These three things were related. The destruction of the temple signified the end of the unique part of the Mosaic age, the Shekinah presence of God. This was to be replaced by the indwelling presence of Christ, Jehovah incarnate, in His living temple, the Church. The destruction of God’s temple in Jerusalem is the sign that the Messiah had come. Old testament prophecy is clear that the Messiah would come to the temple

1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

If there is no temple, then the Messiah must have already come, the Messianic age must have started and the abiding presence of the Messiah through the Holy Spirit must already be a reality. Therefore, the destruction of the temple was not the sign that the Messiah was going to come, but that the Messiah was already here.

Preterism and the Book of Revelation

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The gospel narrative are very consistent with the postmillennialist preterist view. All of the predictions made by Jesus were fulfilled in 70AD. Even the book of Revelation seems to refer to the events of 70AD and can be interpreted from a preterist point of view. However, postmillennialists do not just promote postmillennialism, they also deny premillennialism. In order to do this they must also apply the preterist view to the book of Revelation because it is that book that best lays out the case for premillennialism. This means that the book of Revelation had to have been written before 70AD. However, there is overwhelming evidence that the book of Revelation was written around the year 95AD, well after the destruction of Jerusalem. This book of the Bible, even if it references the destruction of Jerusalem, is the Achilles heal of postmillennialism. There are many detailed explanations and analyses online of the evidence for the late date of the book of Revelation so I will not repeat what is readily available.

One consideration that has not been mentioned frequently is the following. The ending to the gospel of John has a curious interaction between Jesus and Peter about John.

19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. 23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? 24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. 25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (John 21:19-24)

This is a very curious exchange and a very odd way to end this gospel. Especially so, considering that John then says that there was not enough room to write everything that Jesus said and did. Why then take up space recording this event? Why not just leave off with the prediction about Peter? Why include the comment about John which is not even a prediction? Perhaps, in an oblique way God was calling attention to John’s great age. John wrote at the end of his life, well after the other apostles had died. He was likely the youngest apostle and also the one who lived the longest, the only one who died of old age. Why would God allow the youngest apostle to live the longest if there was not a purpose? Perhaps God wanted to make sure that there was no doubt throughout history that the writings of this apostle, including the book of Revelation, were written well after the events of 70 AD. Therefore, John was writing well after the last vestiges of the Old Covenant were destroyed and the New Covenant had been bearing fruit for many years. This not only gives his writings a different perspective, but, it becomes clear that they were written at a much later date, after the temple was destroyed.

In addition to the late date of the book of Revelation, it seems that many of the prophecies of the book of Revelation that seemed symbolic in the past now appear to have a literal fulfillment based on modern understanding and modern technology. For example, the trumpet judgments appear to be a description of the destructive impact of a large comet or asteroid followed by a huge volcanic eruption. Nothing like this happened in 70AD. The number 666 in both Hebrew and Greek is www. This seems to point to the role of the internet and the resulting electronic commerce, electronic currency and electronic communications.

However, I believe that both points of views can be correct, that the destruction of 70AD fulfills most of the prophecies of the gospels but that the writings of Paul and the book of Revelation take those events and make them point to an even greater climactic fulfilment in the distant future. It seems that the church is destined to produce a semi utopia on Earth, but that the literal coming of Christ will produce a true utopia. That each one is a stage in the kingdom of God just like Israel’s golden age under the kingship of Solomon was a type of utopia for that time. Judah was a glorious nation then and throughout its history, especially when one compares it to the other nations on Earth at that time. However, it was vastly inferior to what we experience today both spiritually and materially. Ask most people what period in human history they would like to live in and most will choose the present. All of these are steps in the manifestation of the kingdom of God which culminate in the perfect eternal state after the millennium and the great judgment where the rule of God will be expressed in its greatest perfection. I believe that the kingdom of God, as presented in the Bible is like a ladder. Like those ladders that the angels ascended and descended upon.

12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. (Genesis 28:12)

I am not saying that this passage teaches that the kingdom of God is a ladder, but it offers a dramatic illustration of the concept. In distinction to this, dispensationalism sees the church age as a parenthesis, as a gap in God’s plan, not as a continuation. This is different to all the other steps in God’s plan where each stage builds upon the previous one, possibly with a short judgmental interlude. We see this even in the history of Israel. First they were in the wilderness, then they were in the promised land, then they were given a king, then they were given a temple, then they were given prophets. The Babylonian captivity was a judmental interlude, but when they were restored they continued with the completed Old Testament revelation until the coming of Jesus Christ. There was no drastic change after they returned from Babylon. They were simply cured of their idolatry. Following the church age the millennium is then followed by the eternal state. These are also progressions. The only parenthesis or gap in the plan of God would be this church age as described by the dispensational system. That does not seem to follow the pattern of God’s usual working. I think it is more natural to see the church age as a more advanced stage of the same plan which began with the nation of Israel.

Because the kingdom is manifested in stages or steps, there are cycles which repeat themselves. Therefore, each cycle has the introduction of some special presence of God. This then manifests itself for a period of time, and then those who receive the revelation are given a test. The cycles can have subcycles. Therefore, one major cycle began with the covenant at Sinai. This was followed by the period of the Judges which resulted in the destruction of Shiloe, the city where the tabernacle was located. This was a great devastation as described by Jeremiah.

10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. 12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; 14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. (Jeremiah 7:10-15)

The destruction of Shiloh was a preview of the destruction of the temple by the Babylonians, which was, in turn a preview for the destruction of the temple by the Romans in 70AD. Each one has its own great tribulation associated with it and they point to the great tribulation after the church age and, finally, point to the last great test, the one which culminates with the final attack by Satan against the holy city at the end of the millennium. They all have similarities, they are like themes which are explored and repeated in a slightly modified form in a great symphony or like the figures repeated in the Mandelbrodt set which differ by the number of projections coming out of each mathematical figure or the atoms in the periodic table which differ in a regular manner by the number of protons and the number of electrons in each shell.

Triple Fulfillment of Prophecy

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In a way, the challenge which this assay faces is a complex one because it is necessary to convince premillenniallists to accept that character of the church age which forms the essence of postmillennialism and to convince postmillennialists to accept the literal coming of Christ to establish a kingdom as taught by premillennialism. In order to understand how all three views might be correct we need to better understand the essence of prophetic literature. In order to do so it is instructive to analyze an Old Testament passage which the New Testament says was fulfilled by the birth of Jesus Christ. We are all familiar with the following Christmas passage. Matthew quotes Isaiah when he writes.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:21-23)

Matthew is quoting the prophet Isaiah.

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, And shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

One time, when I was younger and more ignorant, I showed this passage to a Jewish Rabbi who was the Rabbi of a synagogue geared toward students at the University of Illinois. In my ignorance I imagined that he had never seen this passage the way we see it. However, his interpretation of the passage left me without a good rebutal at the time. He claimed that I was taking that verse out of context and challenged me to look at the entire passage. If one does so, it becomes clear that the prophecy referred to a young virgin who was likely present in the audience. Maybe it was the fiancee of the king or maybe a notable young woman. The prophet was predicting that the enemy armies who were at that moment attacking Jerusalem would soon abandon their attack. In order to confirm this prophecy he made another prophecy which would come to pass earlier than the other one. This was the prophecy that this young virgin, someone of importance, would get married, get pregnant and give birth to a boy. If she did not get married, did not get pregnant or gave birth to a girl, then the prophet would be considered a false prophet and his prophecies would be invalid. If the prophecy about the son was fulfilled it would give assurance to the king that the prophecy of the defeat of Israel’s enemies would also come true. With this explanation the rabbi concluded that the prophecy had been fulfilled many years before the birth of Jesus and had nothing to do with the Messiah.

This interaction left me feeling very foolish because I had just graduated from seminary with a Master’s of Divinity and I had taken almost all the classes for a PhD in theology and I was shocked to realize that I had no answer to this simple argument. I had never looked at one of the most important prophecies in the Bible in a literal way. After thinking about this for many years and reading and having many discussions about prophecy with people of different viewpoints, I came to realize that most Bible prophecies have three types of fulfilment. There is, first of all, an immediate or short term fulfillment which validates the prophecy and gives us a preview of how the prophecy will be fulfilled in the future. This short term fulfillment confirms that the prophecy is, indeed true. God was very clear in stating that the way to know if someone was a true prophet is whether or not his predictions are fulfilled.

21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22 When a prophet speaketh i the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronly 18:21-22)

However, there also exists a distant climactic fulfillment. The two fulfillements are connected in that the immediate fulfilment points to, and illustrates the final fulfillment. Usually the climactic fulfilment has to do with one of the two comings of Jesus Christ to Earth in bodily form. That is what Matthew was doing with the passage about the virgin. He saw in the miraculous birth of Jesus a fulfilment of a prophecy which had its immediate fulfilment many years earlier, but whose ultimate purpose was to predict the miraculous birth of Messiah.

In addition to these two types of fulfillment there is another, third type of fulfillment. I am going to describe it starting with a story. Before medical school I took a year to take classes and do research in neuroscience. During that time I had a university professor during a year who was Roman Catholic and who decided that he wanted to read the Bible from beginning to end that year. As he read through the Bible he would share with me his impressions. I found it interesting that when he got to the prophetic books that he saw those prophecies to be like formulas that would predict the results of particular preconditions. In other words, every time a given set of conditions occur, such as the disobedience of God’s people, a given result would occur. I have come to agree with such an assessment. Prophetic events are the manifestation, fruition or climax of forces which are constantly battling each other. We see this in the biological sciences, there is a constant battle between growth and reproduction and death, disease and decay; between prey and predator. As we understand those climactic events we also understand the interplay between those forces at the present. That is why we can apply the principles behind future and past prophecies to our lives in the present. That is why the study of prophecy has a practical use.

For example, John said:

18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (I John 2:18)

There is a coming final Antichrist, The Antichrist. However, there is a constant supply of lesser antichrists. There are antichrists even now. If we understand the final antichrist we will also understand the current lesser antichrists and know how to battle them.

So, let us see how we can apply the prophecy about the conception of the virgin mentioned in Isaiah to our time. We all know virgin girls. I have two university age virgin daughters at the time I am writing this. Most of these virgins will some day get married and have children. Half of those children will be boys. The name Emanuel means God with us. The way God is found among us today is through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in His people. Each of us who is saved has been born again by this indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. That presence used to be found only over the mercy seat of ark of the covenant in the temple but now resides in the living temple called the church. The most important duty which a believing mother faces is to make sure that all of her children come to have that indwelling presence and to try to train her children to manifest that presence to its fullest. As a mother, she has a task which is unique to her as mother in relation to her children, one which the father can only supplement but cannot replace. She has the task of raising her daughters to be mothers who will raise Spirit filled children and to raise her sons to allow the light of the Spirit to shine as brightly as possible through them and to emulate Jesus Christ to the maximum.

Therefore, I find that the majority of prophetic passages in the Bible have these three types of fulfillment. We could call them past, present and future. One which occurs soon after the prophecy is given and serves to confirm it, one which occurs in the future at one of the coming of Jesus Christ, where we see the forces at play in that prophecy expressing themselves in their most climactic form. Finally there is an intermediate fulfillment where the principles at play in these prophecies work in similar situations in the present. It is this fulfillment which allows us to profit at the present in a practical way from the study of past and future prophecy. I believe that it is because of these three ways in which prophecy is fulfilled that there are three views of the millennium and three main views of the interpretation of the book of Revelation. Each view focuses on one of these three ways in which prophecy is fulfilled. That is why, when viewed correctly, without denying the truths of the other views, each view is, in essence, correct.

The Need for a Physical Reign of Jesus Christ

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The system which I present here, which I call bimillennialism, differs from dispensationalism in seeing the church age as a progressive step, stage or development in the plan of God for mankind, while dispensational premillennialim sees it as a break, gap, discontinuity or parenthesis. However, it also differs from postmillennialism in that it sees another final step between the church age and eternity, this step is the true final millennium. One of the questions which such a view needs to answer is why this final step before eternity should even exist. What is its purpose and how does it differ from the church age?

We will answer the last question first. Postmillennialism emphasizes the great power which the indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives the church. Jesus said,

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

It is the same power which fueled Jesus’ ministry.

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. (Luke 4:14)

This power is probably best manifested by the powerful, positive emotions which the Holy Spirit creates in us. These emotions empower us to make correct decisions, because our decisions are based on a fundamental premise which we basically accept based on emotions. Fundamental premises rely on inductive logic which can never produce absolute certainty. Ultimately we decide whether or not the weight of the evidence is enough to accept the premise based on emotion.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25)

This positive emotional energy counteracts our sinful, negative lusts. This energy is like a light.

The power of the Spirit allows us to obey God and reach a level of righteousness not possible under the Old Covenant. It is like the difference between the first part of the industrial revolution which used steam power and the last hundred years where internal combustion and electricity came to predominate. We can do things with the concentrated energy in electricity that are impossible with steam power. If that is the case, what could possibly be added to that power? Well, the apostle Paul says that we have this gift in earthen vessels.

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (II Corinthians 4:5-7)

A way to illustrate what this verse says is that we are an electric LED light but it is contained in bulbs made of barely translucent clay which only allow a small part of that light to shine through. The Power of the Holy Spirit is like electricity but we are using that electricity to heat up steam to run an inefficient steam engine. Our sinful nature still interferes with the full expression of the power of the Holy Spirit. The installation of a government headed by Jesus Christ and represented locally by perfect, resurrected saints in glorified bodies will create the most auspicious environment for the development of the full potential of humanity both spiritually and physically. This is a hybrid state where glorified humanity will rule as priestly kings over biologically reproducing fallen humanity. We see this idea presented in the parable of the pounds or minas where those who had multiplied their pounds received authority over various cities.

28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. (Luke 19:16-17)

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

The passage in Matthew seems to say quite clearly that after the resurrection, the apostles will sit as judges over the rest of Israel. It is hard to imagine that this refers to the final great white throne judgment. That judgment seems reserved to Christ alone. This seems to be something akin to the way judges ruled Israel in the time of the book of Judges. It seems to refer to people who need judgment. It is hard to imagine that this refers to the eternal state. It is also difficult to see how this could refer to any reign of the saints now in heaven since it speaks of a time after the regeneration. That is another term for the resurrection. The easiest explanation is a time when resurrected saints rule over sinful biological humans.

This reigning of the resurrected saints of all time over the rest of humanity seems to be an essential feature which distinguishes the millennial reign from the current church age. Some may think that this seems like an odd state of affairs. However, Jesus, after His resurrection, intermingled normally with biologically active sinful humans. He even ate food with them. He was able to appear suddenly in different places, but that may have been unique to Him as God in the flesh. It is possible that we will be sprinkled throughout the worldin a way not too different from ordinary humans and left to reach our maximum potential in the kingdom. We will be salt and light not too different from what we are supposed to do now but with the power of a sinless, glorified immortal body. We would not have the ability to reproduce nor would live in family units but might be more like monks and nuns. Or, we may form the government of the millennium as a separate aristocratic class, not too different from Europe several centuries ago but with an aristocracy that is sinless and unmarried.

Another key feature of this millennium is the binding of Satan. Even though Satan has been defeated at the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit can keep Satan at bay, the believer of the current age is still commanded to pray “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13) The word translated evil is tou poneirou which has an article and can mean the evil or the evil one. Either way, it seems to imply that Satan and his minions are still at work during the church age. Satan is described by Peter as a roaring lion.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (I Peter 5:8-9)

Even though it is possible to resist him with the power of the Holy Spirit, he is still loose. This means he is not bound. Classic postmillennialists speak of Satan being bound at the cross. However, only one passage in the Bible refers to Satan being bound, and that is the passage in Revelation, which may or may not refer to the church age. The New Testament seems to emphasize that the difference between the old and the new covenant is the power of the Holy Spirit to oppose Satan, but not the binding of Satan, that seems to occur later. As we shall now see.

The description of the binding of Satan in the book of Revelation follows the coming of Jesus Christ and the destruction of the beast and the false prophet who were cast alive, not into hell, but into the lake of fire. It is difficult to imagine that this refers to any of the leaders involved in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD or even in the crucifixion. The Roman general Titus who destroyed Jerusalem did not die until much later, after he became emperor. If it refers to Jewish leaders, who is the beast and who is the false prophet? Israel had any number of wicked leaders around that time. Is one of them Pilate, or one of the Herods, or one of the high priests, or are they the leaders of the zealots? What makes these two stand out? They all seem equally bad. Are any of these worse than Hitler or Stalin? It is hard to believe that they would be the first to populate the lake of fire. The only plausible way to interpret the binding of Satan is not to place it around the time of the first coming of Jesus Christ, but to place it after His second coming.

Finally, it seems likely that the millennium will see a restoration of a new sacrificial system based on a new temple.

20But Jehovah is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakik 2:20 ASV)

3 Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts. 2But who can abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: 3and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness. (Malachi 3:1-3 ASV)

7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. (Ezequiel 43:7)

Even though some of these verses were fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus Christ to the temple renovated by Herod, these verses seem to imply that this millennial temple will be the location where Messiah, Jehovah in the flesh, will sit to rule the world. A new sacrificial system seems to be inaugurated where the sacrifices are presented to Jesus as a memorial of His perfect sacrifice at the cross. One may wonder why a restored sacrificial system would be necessary, especially when it seemed enough at odds with the truth of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that God allowed the temple to be destroyed. However, on must remember that the temple was destroyed, not because it was obsolete but because it was in the hands of a corrupt unbelieving leadership in the form of the Sadducee priests who did not even believe in the a bodily resurrection and their Pharisee accomplices who taught a salvation based on superficial rites. God could not allow His temple to become a den of thieves, as Jesus said.

Furthermore, this is the most debatable of the features of the literal millennium and does not seem to be either as clear or as important as the two mentioned before. However, it is possible that the temple and its sacrificial system serves as a potent witness to unbelievers, of the truths of the gospel, especially if it is associated with the presence of Jesus, Jehovah in the flesh.

Therefore, bimillennialism affirms a future utopian physical reign of Jesus on the Earth while presenting a victorious and optimistic view of the church age. However, one must then explain the intervening seven year period during which the great tribulation occurs. It may be that the key is found in the seven epistles to the seven churches in Asia Minor contained at the beginning of the book of Revelation. It is possible that most of the world is Christianized but different places are Christianized to a different extent because some Christian churches hold to erroneous doctrine or tolerate various forms of sin. It is also possible that there remain pockets of unchristianized regions, those containing the Smyrna, persecuted church.

The war of Gog and Magog does not seem to have a revealed location in the prophetic calender. The war with the same name mentioned in the book of Revelation seems to be a later attempt by Satan to accomplish the same goal. It is possible that the war of Gog and Magog described by Ezekiel occurs at towards the end of the church age. It may place different parts of the church in conflict with one another. It was a similar internecine conflict which doomed the Jewish rebellion to defeat in 70AD. Zechariah 11 describes this as the breaking of the staffs of beauty and bonds. The worldwide prosperity brought about by global Christianization may cause the last generation to forget God, as happened during the period of the Judges. This may create the setting for the coming of a false Christ, a false prophet and a great apostacy. For there to be a great falling away, there must be something to fall from. Univaersal prosperity causes the last generation falls away from the faith of their fathers.

So, the point of this analysis is to determine whether it is legitimate to propose the creation of a Christian country, let alone, one in space. As we saw, the New Testament and the rest of the Bible seem to support the possibility of comprehensive victory of the church, at least in some localized areas. Therefore, we can say that a Christian country is, indeed, possible. Furthermore, we can look to the book of Revelation and to other prophetic passages for information about the future because it does, indeed predict our future, it is not just an analysis or prediction of things in our past. So, in the next section we will look at some of these passages to determine whether the Bible predicts the colonization of space. Later we will look at what a Christian country would look like, and, finally, we will tackle the rapture question.

Prophecy About Space Colonization

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The book of Revelation predicts a period of persecution and judgement which will precede the second coming of Jesus Christ when he returns to establish the millennial kingdom. I will present a possible scenario of what could happen during those seven years. I base it on my understanding of the book, but I am well aware that it is likely just an educated guess and at best simply one man’s prediction. In no way would I consider it a prophecy of any kind and I am probably underestimating many of the details.

I believe that a world war, possibly the war of Gog and Magog, is a catalyst for a strengthened world government. This government will likely attempt to install a technologically enforced socialistic world government, perhaps something similar to what China now has and is attempting to develop further. However, civil wars, economic collapse and pandemics brought about through genetic engineering worse than what created covid19, and the use of bio-weapons, create a three and a half year period of chaos which Jesus call the beginning of sorrows.

At this point it is possible that the world president is assassinated with a bullet to the base of the head or midbrain. High tech medicine preserves his life and cures his otherwise fatal wound but leaves him in a pseudocomatose state of complete, global paralysis called the locked in syndrome. This is a horrifying condition because the person is completely awake but can only communicate by vertical eye movements and blinking and cannot even breath on his own. A mechanical avatar is then created called the image of the beast in the book of Revelation. An avatar is a robot through which a person is able to access a remote location using high bandwidth information transfer. It would be like controlling a robot in a virtual reality video game except that it is instead connected to a real robot in the real world using heightened sensorial connections straight to the midbrain. This high tech robotic body is then connected to the brain of the world leader and the first cybernetic man-machine hybrid is created. Notice that it takes the resources of all the nations of the world to create this image. Even though it evokes images of Nabucadnezer’s golden image, this is a super expensive technological marvel which is as close to being truly alive as any artificially manufactured object could be. His brain is also connected to the internet and to a distributed supercomputer network with suprahuman computing power which gives him instant access to all of the world’s information. This would be what many futurists and computer scientists call the technological singularity, when machine intelligence surpasses that of a human brain.

In order to bring the world rebellion under control, he then does two things. First of all, his avatar enters the most holy place and demands to be worshiped as the first person to achieve immortality, unlimited power, growing hyper-intelligence and a distributed presence. This makes him seem to posses the divine attributes of eternity, omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. Secondly, he seeks to control the world’s population. He would not want anyone else to achieve semi-godhood and challenge his preeminence. The problem with the kingdom of Satan is that, just like he is trying to dethrone God, all his subordinates are angling to dethrone him and become Satan themselves. Therefore, the antichrist seeks to achieve this control by placing brain implants which connect people to the internet using high bandwidth connections. This is called the mark of the beast. Without this mark no one will be able to buy or sell, at least legally. Those who do not take the mark would die of hunger and if found they would be beheaded. The word mark refers to something which is carved. It is not just a simple tattoo. The word is used to describe statues used as idols. This seems to be a graven object which is inserted through the skin and protrudes through it. This object could be the external connection of a brain implant.

The implants are able to detect rudimentary thoughts and to stimulate or discourage certain categories of thinking. This is something we are in the earliest stages of being able to do at the present. For example, when a person thinks about committing a violent act against another person, certain areas of the brain are activated. If the detection of such thoughts is coupled to the stimulation of pain areas in the brain, then these thoughts could be discouraged. Perhaps something similar could be done if the person thinks about God or about the future. Such thoughts could be essentially cancelled. This means that whoever receives such implants would be giving up the essential part of their free will to such an extent that they become, in essence spiritual or volitional zombies who can no longer be saved. They would be committing volitional suicide. It might be possible that they could become connected in a way that creates a collective higher intelligence in a way similar to what is called the Borg in Star Trek.

The mark of the beast is unlikely to be simply a tattoo because people throughout history have worshiped false gods and taken marks upon themselves to identify with their religion. Forgiveness is open to such people. However, the book of Revelation seems emphatic that those who take this mark are now doomed to eternal damnation. It is a form of unforgivable sin. The only way to do something like this is to reject God and then commit suicide. This has to be something which cedes such a high level of control to the beast that it puts them into a quasi zombie state. They become what could be called volitional zombies.

In addition to the threat associated with refusal to take the mark, the implant probably offers access to high levels of information, intelligence and entertainment. However, this access has to be carefully regulated and controlled in order to avoid the rise of another hyperintelligent person.

In spite of all this, various groups escape the control of the Beast. First of all, the antichrist is given power over the Earth but he does not have time to consolidate that power because God intervenes and sends an asteroid on its way to destroy the Earth. This near extinction event comet is the sign of the Son of Man because it calls attention to the soon return of Jesus Christ to Earth. It also threatens the apparent inmortality and divinity of the Antichrist. This is a god who will be destroyed if the planet’s technological infrastructure is destroyed. When the world discovers what is coming they seem to decrease their persecution of believers to focus on trying to destroy or deflect the approaching comet or asteroid. There is civil war and chaos everywhere and various groups seem able to resist the world government until the end. This might include small pockets of survivalists hidden in underground bunkers.

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:21-22, 29-30)

One of the most important groups to escape the grip of the antichrist is a large group of Jews which rebels against the Beast when he declares himself to be god. They wake up to the realization that they have been deceived. This may happen as a group when they understand what is involved in taking the mark of the beast.

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:12-17)

The woman here is the nation that gave birth to Jesus Christ. The dragon is the serpent. He is cast out of heaven by the archangel Michael who is the restrainer who keeps the man of sin from being revealed.

6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (II Thessalonians 2:6-9)

Notice the antichrist comes with the power of Satan who is cast out of heaven by the archangel Michael. The identity of the restrainer was so well known to the church at Thesalonica that Paul did not need to repeat who he is. This means that the identity of the restrainer must be found in the Old Testament. It so happens that Daniel was one of the first to speak about the great tribulation.

1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)

He also says that Michael will be involved with the beginning of the great tribulation. The phrase “stand up” can also be translated stand still or even wait or stop. Michael name means “who like God”. Some commentators believe that Michael is Jesus Himself. However, Jude calls him an archangel. His subordination to Jesus is seen in the words of Michael quoted by Jude where he says “the Lord rebuke thee.” This is the same sentence found in Zecharia 3:2 where the word Lord is Jehovah, the preincarnate Jesus. Many references to Jehovah in the Old Testament are applied to Jesus in the new. Therefore, Michael is the chief or a chief among the angels, not a reference to Jesus. Michael could be considered to be Israel’s guardian angel. He might also serve as the guardian angel of the church because the church is now the people of God, the true Israel. However, that is not certain. Either way, it does seem clear that it is Michael who keeps the antichrist from being revealed, not the church or the Holy Spirit.

Now, we can look back in time to see that the imagery of the woman giving birth and fleeing to a desert has already been fulfilled several time. It was fulfilled when Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt, in which case the woman is Mary. It was also fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. In ths latter case the woman is the Jewish church in Jerusalem which fled to Pella and was there for about three and one half years. However, if we take this passage more literally, it says that the woman was given great wings and that she flew to the desert to be protected. When that happened the dragon ceased looking for her and went on to take out his vengeance on the Christians. That is the beginning of the second half of this final period and is called the great tribulation because it is a period of intense persecution of Christians.

So, one would wonder where such a large mass of people would go to hide from a super-intelligent cyborg which has access to all the cameras and all the drones and satellites on the globe. We were able to catch Osama bin Laden, one man who spent years hiding in a cave and Saddam Husein who was hiding in a hole in the ground. How is it possible that such a large group of people can hide at a time when super advanced future technology will exist? The only way such a scenario were possible is if the desert being described is not on Earth. Mars would fit the description since it is basically a huge desert the size of all the continents of Earth put together. Note that they have to fly there using the wings of a huge eagle. This likely describes some sort of rocket plane.

If this large group of Jews escapes to Mars, what then of the people already living on Mars? Are they described in the book of Revelation? Well, I think they are represented by the church of Philadelphia.

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. (Revelation 3:7-10)

These are people who have escaped Earth through an open door. They escape the time of testing which will come upon the whole inhabited world to try them that dwell upon the Earth. The word translated Earth here is not cosmos. It is the land where people dwell upon the planet we call Earth. Therefore, if there were to be Christians on Mars they would escape this testing because they no longer dwell upon the Earth. They, instead, have come to dwell upon Mars.

Many evangelical Christians believe that this church achieved protection by means of the rapture of the church before the great tribulation. However, we will see later that the idea of a pre-trib rapture is based on very weak assumptions. Furthermore, it is untenable that this protection is offered to only one of the churches while the others are only warned of persecution. How is it possible that all the reptured people are in one church while the other churches are composed completely of unbelievers.

It is interesting that the passage says that the non-believing Jews will come and worship before their feet and understand that God loves them. This church is located in the city of Philadelphia which means brotherly love. What better way for Christians to show love to unrepentant Israel than to plan and execute a rocket lift of persecuted Jews from Earth to Mars. For them to receive the love of God through believers in Jesus Christ would go a long way for preparing them to accept the true Messiah when He returns.

Notice that there is a condition to this protection. They had kept the word of His patience. This is somewhat cryptic since the passage does not define what that term means. If one looks for the phrase later in the book, it is found two times.

10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Revelations 13:10)

9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelations 14:9-12)

This second one is probably more enlightening. The patience of the saints has to do with the refusal to take the mark of the beast. Patience means to remain or dwell under a burden. Therefore, the word of the patience of Jesus is his command to remain loyal to Him and to refuse the mark of the beast and to refuse to worship the beast. There would be no better place to do that than to be on a different planet altogether than the planet where the beast is. These are people who were awake and saw what was coming and prepared by going to a place where they and their children would never have to take the mark of the beast.

There is an interesting passage in Isaiah that could possibly describe the return of the Jews from their sojourn on Mars.

1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? 9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. (Isaiah 60:1-2, 8-9)

This passage is describing the return of the children of Israel after the second coming of Jesus Christ. Jesus returns the day a large asteroid hits the earth. That day is followed by a period of darkness which is the result of the atmospheric debris from the asteroidal impact and the enormous volcanic eruption described in the book of Revelation. After the dust settles, literally, the Messiah calls the Jews home and they return on clouds and in a way which is similar to the way doves land when they alight on a window ledge. This could describe a descent by rocket or rocket plane. The ships of Tarshish were known as the largest ships, those which could traverse the longest distance. Tarshish is supposed to have been located in southern Spain and the Spanish have been known throughout the millennia for transporting gold and silver from distant regions. Think of the Spanish galleons of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. It is interesting that the Jews bring their silver and gold. Right before the second coming of Jesus these Jews have been able to amass considerable wealth. This means that they were not suffering persecution. They were actually prospering while the Earth and its people were being destroyed in every way imaginable. This is only possible if they lived far away from the disasters befalling Earth.

There is a popular idea that the Jews hide out in the city of Petra. As explained above, it defies logic to think that a group of thousands of people could hide in plain sight from a crazed world leader in command of futuristic high tech weapons like drones, satellites, nuclear weapons and possibly, things like robotic soldiers. However, the idea seems to come from the following passage;

12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. 13 The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them. (Micah 2:12-13).

However, Bozrah was the capital of Edom in what is now southern Jordan and is not particularly close to Petra which is quite farther north. Secondly, Bozrah means sheepfold The word translated "fold" in the next phrase actually means "thing", so the passage could easily be translated "I will put them together as the sheep of a sheepfold, as the flock in the midst of their thing (or place)." In that case the location is undefined.

However, this passage is interesting because the remnant of Israel, including the king (likely with other members of government) flees to the enclosure and they make a great noise or clamor because of men. The phrase multitude is not in the Hebrew. “Because of men” translates the consonants MADM, where the A represents aleph. The first M is a preposition which means something similar to, from, or because. ADM, is the word for man and also the name of our first father, Adam. The word means reddish because Adam was formed from red clay and has red blood which colors his skin. Well, interestingly enough, Mars is also reddish. It appears in the sky as a reddish star and the modern Hebrew word for Mars is MADIM which has the same consonants as the word translated men in this passage. However, the I, actually a Y, is used to indicate that the vowel ‘i’ should be inserted. Vowels are usually not included in the Hebrew text although they are sometimes indicated by a consonant. Therefore, MADM can be pronounced meh-adam (because of men) or madim (Mars).

The passage continues by saying that a breaker comes up in front of them. The word breaker means to break through a barrier or pierce through. A word using the same consonants is used to describe the action of God striking Uzza with death when he accidentally touched the ark. The word used in Micah is PaRaTZ while the word used concerning Uzza is PeReTZ. However, the vowels are not part of the original text so the words are actually written identically, PRTZ. A possible translation for the passage in Micah could be piercer.

The word translated “comes up” is the word GHaLaH which means to come up, arise or burn like a flame. The word translated “to burn” in the following passage is the same word.

20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. (Exodus 27:20)

This means that a possible translation is “the piercer fires up in front of them.” They then go through a gate or port and then depart. Could the piercer be a vehicle which breaks through the gravity of the Earth and departs? Is this some type of nuclear rocket that allows them to pass into Earth orbit and then out into deep space? Perhaps Bozrah is, indeed, the location where they board the rockets, but the passage does not imply that they stay there. With this in view, a possible translation could be as follows.

12 I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of you; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as sheep in an enclosure, as the flock in the midst of their place: they shall make great noise because of Mars. 13 The piercer (rocket) fires up in front of them,: they have pierced through having passed through the port, and have departed: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD at their head. (Micah 2:12-13).

Admittedly, this is a somewhat cryptic interpretation, but it seems to be a possibility, while the idea that they will hide in Petra is nowhere to be found in this passage. Democratic Theonomy So, now one gets to the important question of what, exactly, is a Christian nation. Is it a nation full of Christians, or is there a specific, independent goal towards which a nation should be moving to be considered a Christian nation? In other words, could a nation full of Christians operate as a non Christian nation and could a nation with few Christians operate like a Christian nation? If the answer to the latter question is in the affirmative, then is it really a Christian nation? Well, there are likely many ways to define a Christian nation. Some might even say that a Christian nation is a Mosaic nation with Christians, one that follows the Old Testament law. In that case, there is a Biblical goal towards which we strive, but it is not exactly a Christian nation. What the New Testament then gives us is the power to create a successful Old Testament or Mosaic nation. That is the view held by some theonomist reconstructionists. However, I think that a Christian nation is more than just one that follows the law of Moses. What I propose here is that there are two things which create a Christian nation. First of all, a Christian nation is one whose structure and legal system is one which is based on the philosophy of civil government taught in the Bible as a whole, both in the Old and the New Testaments. Secondly, it is a nation where a significant portion of its population is Christian. This assumes that in order to maintain a Christian nation there has to be a significantly strong influence of the Holy Spirit. It is that power which makes a Christian nation possible and which makes it somewhat different from an Old Testament based nation. The structure of the Christian nation is a high energy system which cannot survive without the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, a Christian nation is one whose structure and content is both Christian. This does not mean that everyone has to be a Christian, but it does means that many are and that much of the population generally accedes to a Christian world view. Furthermore, a truly Christian nation would allow at least a moderate amount of freedom of religion since one of the purposes of a Christian nation would be to allow evangelism by immigration. However, extremes forms of paganism could be prohibited as they are to a certain extent even in modern secular nations. To use an extreme example all nations prohibit things like cannibalism which some pagans think gives them special Satanic powers. When people think of a Christian nation they often think of European medieval society where the national governments were controlled by an international hierarchical church whose ultimate power was in the hands of the human head of the church. This head is the representative of God on the Earth. This is the definition of a theocracy and is what existed, to a certain extent, during the middle ages in Europe. There are modern countries which are non-Christian theocracies, such as Iran and, in its secular communist form, in countries such as North Korea. The head of North Korea is sort of an atheistic quasi-god. However, what we propose is different. We propose a theonomy, not a theocracy. A theocracy is when God rules directly through a representative or mediator. Israel under Moses was a theocracy. God ruled Israel directly through Moses. At times God continued to rule Israel as a theocracy because the leaders could consult God directly through the Urim and Thummin. David often did this. However, Jesus set up the Christian Church to run as a theonomy after the death of the apostles. Many branches of Christianity have operated as a theocracy but one of the basic premises of this essay is that the Christian church was not intended to operate as a theocracy. It cannot be a theocracy because all Christians have the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within them. Peter calls the church a royal priesthood. The reformers taught that all believers are priests. What rules the Christian Church is not a hierarchy with a head who represents God. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (I Timothy 2:4-5) No archbishop, pope, modern day apostle or prophet can claim to be a mediator between God and man, to be the principal representative between God and man. That was one of the fundamental teachings of reformed Christianity, the type of Christianity promoted by John Calvin in Geneva and the Puritans in North America. Instead, the Christian church is ruled by two things. First of all, it is ruled by a text of scripture which contains the law of God. Not only does this text contain a path towards reconciliation with God, it also contains the formula for a successful civilization. Secondly, the Holy Spirit energizes that scripture and gives it life in the collective body of Christians acting together. The Bible is like our DNA, the Holy Spirit is like ATP, and the church is the cell where it all comes together. The authority of the reformed churches rested either in the congregation or in a board of elders (presbyters) approved by the congregation. They rejected hierarchy. The scriptures contain God’s law primarily in the form of specific examples, what is called case law. General principles which are true across time need to be extracted from these specific cases using inductive logic and then these general principles need to be applied to specific situations in the present using deductive logic. Inductive logic is the only way to analyze evidence. It argues from the specific to the general. Deductive logic takes those general principles and applies them back to specific situations. For example, a classic deductive syllogism is as follows: All men die, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates will die. How do we know that all men die? Inductive logic tells us. How do we know that Socrates is a man? Another form of inductive logic call abduction tells us. However, logic, specially inductive logic, has its limitation. Hume called this the problem of induction. For reasons beyond the scope of this text, induction can never provide proof but only probability. This means that in order to make the best and most accurate interpretations and applications it is necessary that this inductive process be carried out by a collective group of spirit filled minds. When one looks at the brain, the human mind does not arise as the decisions of one large arch-neuron. It is an emergent property of the individual decisions of billions of neurons acting in concert on the information they are receiving. Each neuron only has one small part of the whole picture but when they work together in concert and harmony with other neurons, a human mind arises. In the same way, theonomy is inherently democratic. The mind of Christ manifests itself as the result of the collective function of the minds of the leaders and the members of the church acting in unison. Evidence of this is that Jesus sent the apostles and the disciples by twos, and Paul appointed groups of elders in every church. We see this in the fact that truth had to be determined by several witnesses and that Jesus walked in the midst of the candlesticks. 15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (Deuteronomy 19:15) Most churches have the same pastor witnessing every Lord’s day to the truth of scripture. This is possibly a fundamental inherent weakness of the Christian church. The New Testament church had a plurality of pastors which presents a much more robust witness. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:19-20) There is power in collective action. Prayer is more powerful and the presence of Christ more evident. This was true even of the apostles and of the seventy. 7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; (Mark 6:7) 10 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. (Luke 10:10) 2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. (Acts 13:2-3) 39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. (Acts 15:39-40) Even after Barnabas and Paul parted company they each took on another partner and went ministering two by two. The churches were always lead by a group of elders. The church does not follow the pattern of the synagogue which has one teacher, one Rabbi. The synagogue is a human invention which does not appear in the Bible. Rather, it follows the pattern of the Old Testament town with its board of elders. 12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. (Deuteronomy 19:12) 4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley: (Deuteronomy 21:4) 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. 3 And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s: (Ruth 4:2-3) In the following passages notice that in the following passages the elders are plural while the church is always mentioned in the singular. Each church had several elders. 23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. (Acts 14:23) 17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. 18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, (Acts 20:17) 5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; (Titus 1:5-7) In this passage Paul corrects a deficiency, the lack of proper elders in each city. The total population of Crete in Paul’s day has been estimated to be around 300,000, about half of the current population. There were about 30 coastal cities, which means that the average coastal citiy had about 10,000 inhabitants. Paul had started a church in many of these cities. It is unlikely that he stayed in one city long enough to establish several congregation but, rather, went off to the next city once a small congregation had been formed in any given city. Starting a church in 30 cities takes time. Even if Paul could found one church every month, it would take several years to plant a church in every city. Therefore, it is more probable that there was one congregation in every city and each congregation was ruled by several elders once Titus had selected them. 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (James 5:14) 5 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, (I Peter 5:1-2) This is an interesting passage because it instructs the elders (plural) to feed the flock (singular) which is (shared) among you (plural). Several elders share one flock which they are supposed to feed together. Finally, in the book of Revelation we see that Jesus is revealed among the seven lamp stands. This is likely an image created by the light of the lamps and the reflection of the golden lamp stands. This image is an emergent property of all the lamps shining together. 12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, (Revelation 1:12-13) Therefore, a Christian nation should also be based on something similar to an elder run government. A group of elders is called a Presbytery if one prefers to base the term on a Greek root or a Senate if one prefers to use a Latin root. The purpose of a church is to teach the word of God, to disciple the nations. Therefore, the president of the board of elders will be the principle teacher or preacher, usually called the head pastor. In a Christian nation, a senate or deliberative body, like a parliament, needs to be the chief legal authority. However, in a nation, there also needs to be a chief enforcer of the laws of the state. We will look later at possible structures for an executive branch. Puritan Law The purpose of the national legislature is, obviously, to legislate, to create laws which the chief executive will impose on the land. However, it is first important to look at the Biblical foundation for these laws. The Westminster confession, which the Puritans wrote when they were in power in England, with the help of their Presbyterian brethren in Scotland, is the definitive document of Puritan thought. It was approved by the British pariliament in 1648. In Chapter 19 it talks about the law of God. The second London confession of the Baptists and the Savoy confession of the Congregationalists are almost identical at this point. 1. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it. 2. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai in ten commandments, and written in two tables; the first four commandments containing our duty toward God, and the other six our duty to man. 3. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament. 4. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other, now, further than the general equity thereof may require. 5. The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. Neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen, this obligation. This chapter of the confession divides the law into three parts, the moral law which lasts as long as living biological human beings exist, the ceremonial law, which has been abolished, at least for gentiles, because the temple no longer exists, and the civil or judicial laws which are applied using the principle of general equity. General equity means two things. Equity means that the laws are applied based on similarity. This means that only the general principle applies, not the details which were particular to the context where they were given. For example, the death penalty for murder was to be carried out by stoning. However, this does not prohibit the modern use of lethal injection. The term general, means that only those aspects related to the moral law are valid, not those related to the ceremonial law, which was given particularly to Israel and was often associated with worship at the temple. The purpose of the civil law was to place a fence around the moral or ceremonial law by providing penalties for breaking those laws. Since the ceremonial law has been abolished, the judicial laws associated with those laws has also been abolished, such as those dealing with the priests and Levites. The systematic application of these principles to modern society is considered to be one of the foundations of British common law. Many laws had both a moral and ceremonial aspect to them. This makes the distinction between general and equity somewhat subtle and it takes wisdom to determine what applies and how to apply it. This is where a legislative body becomes necessary. The role of a Christian legislature is to decide which Old Testament laws apply to particular modern situations and how to apply it, what penalties to use in a modern context. This process of constant refinement in the understanding and application of the principles of Biblical jurisprudence by means of legislative deliberation is a difference between theonomy and theocracy. All decisions of a theonomic legislature are considered tentative and subject to review, refinement, improvement and adaptation to changing circumstances. However, the theocratic leader claims to speak the word of God and there is no room for challenge or change. Theocracies are, by nature, absolute dictatorships while, in contrast, theonomies are representative democracies. There are some considerations to take into account when it comes to the application of the Old Testament law to gentile societies. There are some penalties, such as capital punishment for murder which predate Moses and were given to mankind in general. God ordained capital punishment at the time of Noah, after the flood, in order to prevent a return to the unfettered and rampant violence of prediluvian society. A societies whose laws were based on the Bible would have death penalty for at least some types of murder, for example, repeat murders. However, at Sinai, God applied the death penalty to other crimes, such as adultery and blasphemy. Nevertheless, the penalty was not always carried out. A classic example is David and Bathsheba. The narrative implies that several of his sons died as an indirect consequence of his sin, so the principle that adultery causes death still applies. However, one of the primary purposes of such punishment is to act as a deterrent to adultery with the goal of keeping families intact. Nonetheless, one must weigh that benefit against the trauma which capital punishment for adultery would cause to the immediate families involved. It is likely that one group of children will loose their mother and another their father. In the particular situation of ancient Israel the idea is that the crime would be rare enough that the rare application of such a penalty would help maintain the stability of the Hebrew family in general. On the other hand, if a crime such as adultery is widespread, subjecting a severe penalty on a large part of the population would destroy that society. This is a surgery which the patient will not tolerate, it will kill the patient. That was the case with David. Putting David to death would have likely created a power vacuum so great that the death of that single persona would have caused the death of thousands of people in the resulting civil war. Furthermore, you also cannot turn something which was previously legal into a capital offence overnight. I had a distant family member who almost lost his life in a foreign country for selling communist newspapers when that activity became a jailable offence overnight. Laws need to be implemented gradually, uniformly and equitably. If it is applied in some cases and not others then that can be worse than not applying it because it can be used for blackmailing those who are less guilty. It is of foundational importance to maintain the stability of the family unit. A society full of broken, incomplete families cannot prosper. Studies have shown that children raised by both of their biological parents together do better in every measurable statistic. Because of this, sexual practices which threaten the family unit need to be kept in check. However, to what extent and what the penalties should be is the task of a duly elected legislature. It must be applied to the particular society at that particular time and place. Sexual irresponsibility creates a death force in the society that is transmitted to the subsequent generations. If it becomes strong enough, this death force will destroy that society and allow it to be overrun by a better society where the family unit is more intact. That is the point of the death penalty for sexual perversion in the Mosaic law and the apostle Paul’s statement that those who commit such actions, along with a whole list of other actions, are worthy of death. Between 70% to almost 90% of prison inmates are men who did not grow up with both of their biological parents. https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/12/the-real-complex-connection-between-single-parent-families-and-crime/265860/ The violent crimes and murders committed by these individuals are the result of some weak, out of control man’s desire to have sex without being man enough to take responsibility for the human life which would be the product of that union. This creates more irresponsible, violent men who, in turn, create even more irresponsible violent men in a literal vicious cycle. I remember sitting at a barber shop near my home town when a man came in exclaiming excitedly “he’s mine!” I asked the barber what this man was celebrating and the barber said that he was celebrating his twelfth child. I asked if these were all by the same woman and the barber said this was his fourth woman, but none of them were his wife. I asked the man, “wow, how are you going to pay for twelve college tuitions?” He laughed. The man was in his late thirties and worked as a part time security guard driving a beat up car. There is no shame in that if that is all you are capable of doing. However, the responsible thing would be to focus your energies on one or two children and try to give them a shot at a happy, productive life. A person like this man is raising angry criminals and, at the very least, should be imprisoned or castrated. A question which frequently comes up in discussions about the Bible’s influence on the legal system is whether allowing the Mosaic law to influence modern legal systems will result in the death penalty being prescribed for adultery or homosexuality. Most of us know people and even have friends, family and coworkers who have cheated on their spouses or who practice homosexuality. Most people would be opposed to seeing harsh punishments be imposed on our friends or relatives. However, it is instructive to note that even in the strict puritan colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, only one person was ever put to death for a sexual crime and that was for having sex with multiple animals. http://www.histarch.illinois.edu/plymouth/Lauria1.html#XI Sexual misconduct was considered a crime in Plymouth but it was usually punished by lashes, banishment or the infamous scarlet letter which was to be sewed onto the person’s clothing. Can we then say that the Old Testament was wrong in prescribing death for such acts? Well, the New Covenant introduces a greater power for transformation than that found in the old covenant. This power is the indwelling, abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in the sentient heart of those who acknowledge their sin and accept the pardon purchased by the infinite Son of God by taking on at the cross the punishment which we were supposed to pay by an eternity in hell. This transforming power was not available to those who participated in the Old Covenant. They could only approach that power at a distance at the Temple as it manifested itself in the form of the Shekinah glory which resided over an inanimate object called the Ark of the Covenant. So, this suggests a counterpart question, should any penalty at all be put in place? Should we simply forgive all crimes and only intervene to separate from society those who are dangerous, by means of imprisonment, and, instead trust on the Holy Spirit to do its job? Well, the apostle Paul says that the magistrate is a minister of God to avenge the righteous against the wicked. The first step in accepting God’s salvation is understanding that we need salvation, that evil has a great cost. Furthermore, sin, by its very nature is predatory. It turns sinners of all types into predators. This means that Christians have a duty to help reign in these predators in order to protect the innocent, especially innocent children. Jesus said about those who harmed children in any way that it would be better that a millstone be placed around their neck and cast into the sea. We cannot be accomplices to such actions by refraining from doing our part to protect the young and help give them the best shot at a productive life. How then do we determine what should be done about sexual sins, if anything at all? Well, we vote to elect a legislature composed of qualified men and women with understanding of Biblical ethics and law and who have the personal experience and historical understanding necessary to determine how to best apply these principles to current problems. However, one then asks how this is different from what exists now in democratic country with a high proportion of Christians. This brings us to the next section. Deficit of Modern Christianized Countries If one could implement a theonomic democracy by the simple participation of Christians in the electoral process then countries such as the United States should approximate a Christian country. However, even though the USA has exemplified many of the virtues which one would expect of such a country, in many ways it has also fallen short, and one would expect there to be great room for improvement. Therefore, it is necessary to determine what is preventing the Christian population of the country founded partly by the puritans from reaching its full potential. It seems to me that there are a combination of reasons, three being the most significant. I believe that one of the principle problems is that the constitution of the United States has been misapplied, and it has been misapplied by the Supreme Court. The United States constitution is, foundationally, a description of the structure of government and of the rules of the game which would be used to create the laws of the land. It did not, in essence, lay a foundation for those laws. Such a constitution is the type which seems reasonable compatible with the creation of a theonomist democracy. Part of the fundamental structure of the government created by that constitution is the division of legislative authority into two basic levels, that of the states which already existed when the constitution was written, and a new level consisting of the new federal government which was to have limited authority over those states. In order to set the boundaries between the authority of the states and the authority of the central government, a bill of rights was added to the original constitution as amendments in order to clearly limit the power of the central state, that is, the federal government. The first amendment is the most important one and it actually affirms various related rights. These include preventing the federal government from creating a national church and from limiting the right to assemble peaceably and to express oneself. As explained earlier, this amendment did not prevent the individual states from establishing an official church. However, not only has it been interpreted to mean that individual states are prohibited from establishing an official church, it has been further interpreted to mean that no law can be passed whatsoever that appears to favor one religious philosophy over another or that favors religion in general against non religion. It basically has been interpreted in a way that establishes atheism as the official religion at both the federal and state level. This has lead to ridiculous extremes like the display of an image of Satan next to a nativity scene in the state capital in Illinois set up by people who do not actually believe in a real Satan but just hate the idea promoted by the nativity scene. This may strike us as equitable, because Jesus is getting the same exposure as Satan. However, if there really is a God and Jesus is His incarnation and Satan is actually a rebellious created being, then we are courting the wrath of the Creator upon our country. These interpretations of the constitution have been handed down by an unelected and unaccountable supreme court. This court has handed down most of the decisions which have removed Christianity and Christian ethics from the public sphere. This includes the unfettered right to abortion and the redefinition of marriage. It seems to me that the right of the supreme court to determine the legality of a law and their power to overturn the determinations of congress and of the state legislatures without further recourse is a fundamental flaw in the design of the government of the United States. The people, congress, the states and the executive branch can disagree with a Supreme Court ruling and there is nothing they can do. The justices serve for life so they are rarely replaced. This, in a sense, creates a secular theocracy because these rulings become the law of the land and there is little that can be done to overturn them. Their power, when they choose to exert it, is as absolute as any Ayatola, Pope or Communist dictator. So, as just discussed, the first problem facing many western governments is that they are not democratic enough and have at the top an unelected group which has ultimate power. The second problem is exactly the opposite. Democracy has a fundamental flaw. The flaw is reflected in a proverb that has been attributed to various ancient statesmen but that has been circulating in print since the 1950's. It can be summarized as follows, “democracy will last until people realize that they can vote themselves money.” This is actually based on several laws of economics, the Pareto principle and Price’s law. The first is an observation that in nature and society 20% of causes tend to produce 80% of the effect. This is also called the 20/80 law. 20% of software is used 80% of the time, 80% of land is owned by 20% of the population, 80% of complaints are produced by 20% of the customers, 20% ef sales people produce 80% of the sales, etc. What is important for democracy is that approximately 80% of a country’s productivity is produced by 20% of the population. This means that the most productive part of the population is always in the minority so politics is controlled by the least productive part of the population. http://www.lorencollins.net/tytler.html This is probably one reason aristocracies tend to survive. Putting the control of the government in the hands of the productive members of society might not be so bad. The downfall of hereditary aristocracies is that there tends to be a dilution of the capability of the heirs, both from a genetic and cultural aspect. The intelligence, creativity and willingness to work hard tends to be diluted and the heirs become nonproductive people with a lot of money. The third problem in creating a democratic, Christian theonomy is that Christians need to participate both as electors and as candidates. There are two important reasons why Christians do not tend to participate in government. First of all, many Christians believe that they cannot make a difference. Voting involves choosing between two bad candidates and it is impossible for a Christian to participate without sacrificing all of his Christian principles. There is an element of truth to this belief, and it lies in what we discussed above. At the pinnacle of the United States government is an absolute dictatorship in the form of the supreme court. The only way to change the ruling of the court is to wait until enough justices die natural deaths and then have enough power to replace them with qualified justices who have a different interpretative philosophy. A second reason for this has to do with the mathematics of the system of voting currently used in most democracies. When the electorate gets to vote for only one candidate for a given position and the candidate with the most votes wins even if he does not get a majority of the votes, then people tend to vote for the candidate who is most likely to beat the candidate they most dislike. This creates a two party system where people vote against a candidate instead of in favor of a candidate. They vote for the lesser of two evils rather than for the best candidate. There are alternative voting systems, such as giving stars or thumbs up thumbs down, which is the system of voting that many for-profit websites use. This form of voting is more accurate from a mathematical and theoretical point of view but must be tabulated electronically, which is probably why it has not been widely implemented. This will be discussed more, later. The second reason Christians do not participate in elections or government is that many of them believe that the Bible does not have a philosophy of government and does not encourage Christians to concern themselves with the affairs of the state. As discussed previously, this is based on a system of Biblical interpretation called dispensationalism which relegates the Old Testament, which comprises the majority of the Bible, to a different time and a different people. It teaches that this is to be implemented only by Israelites and only during the future millennium. Therefore, one set of the problems is civil in nature, where the structure of government needs to be changed, but the other is doctrinal in nature. Christians need to believe that government based on Christian ethics is possible and generally desirable, and that it is good, not only for Christians, but for society as a whole. Size of government (empire), banking cabal, imigration If Christians were informed and they were the majority in the population, then a country with a fair democratic system of government would naturally be a Christian country. Even if they are a minority, Christians could swing a country in the direction of being a Christian country if the population is divided between two extremes. The truth tends towards a fine balance. God told Moses not to deviate towards the right nor towards the left. Many times, a population will randomly scatter all over the political spectrum and Christians can help anchor the center. However, in countries where there is a strong philosophy or religion which has its own center which is significantly different from the Biblical truth, this will not work. This is true in countries where a non-Christian religion, like Islam or Hinduism, is the majority. This non-Christian religion could also be a secular religion, such as Marxism. This seems to be happening in the United States and many western countries where there is a competition between Christianity and a version of Marxism, such as post modernism and where Christianity is becoming the minority view. Obviously, the solution is for Christianity to gain more adherents. However, one reason it might not have more adherents is because it does not present a comprehensive world view which includes a plan for government. If the Christian population is too small, even if it does have a comprehensive plan, it may seem impossible to implement and having a plan which cannot be implemented is as good as not having a plan at all which creates a vicious cycle. One solution to this problem is to do what the puritans did, create a small Christian city state which will serve as a test of this comprehensive world view. A City of Refuge Another obstacle to democratic theonomy is empire. Countries which are very large become unresponsive to leaders who are trying to make a marked difference. This is because the sheer size of the country means that a person who comes to lead the country needs vast quantities of money to win and needs to have a large network backing him. If the church were united it could provide such a network, but the fragmented nature of the evangelical church does not lend itself to this task. For the most part, in order for a person to win he must become a servant to the status quo and to the super rich who create that status quo. It is significant that the Bible opposes empire from the time of the tower of Babel. In fact, the reason God created languages was to keep the size of nations relatively small. Such nations are more responsive to the individual citizen and to leaders who come from the middle class. Paul says that God set boundaries to people groups in order for them to seek God. 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: (Acts 17:26-17) There is an interesting set of passages in the books of Moses which develop the concept of the city of refuge. This is a topic which is rarely the subject of a sermon in evangelical churches. However, significant parts of five chapters of the Bible are devoted to this subject (Numb 35, Deut 4, Deut 19, Josh 20, Josh 21). These cities belonged to the priests of Israel and they were supposed to serve as a refuge for those who unintentionally, but perhaps negligently, caused someone’s death. This fault would probably correspond to what we call involuntary manslaughter. There is an interesting extrapolation of this to the New Testament. Believers are guilty for the death of Jesus Christ because it was for us that he died. However, because we believe, we did not intentionally cause His death in the same way that the Romans and the Jews were instrumental in His death. Unbelievers will someday pay for their sin of unbelief after the judgment. However, believers are similar to the person guilty of negligent manslaughter. Jesus has provided a city of refuge for us which is the church. When we congregate with fellow believers we are protected from the world which in many ways wants to eliminate us, just like the avenger of blood wanted to avenge the blood of the victim of manslaughter in the Old Testament. The idea of a place of refuge is found in other passages of the Bible, such as Noahs Ark and the ark of bulrushes where baby Moses was placed. In a similar way, the concept of refuge can be extrapolated to other applications. For example, many Christian Universities promote the idea that they are a type of refuge or greenhouse for young Christians to grow more quickly to a point of spiritual maturity. I believe that it is interesting to consider the idea of a fully Christian city as a place of refuge for Christians. Jesus said that a city set on a hill cannot be hid. He spoke those words in the context of Christians being the light of the world. The best light is the collective light of a brilliant city. Just as Dubai has as its goal that of displaying for the world Islamic Arab civilization in the best light, a Christian Dubai could do the same for Christianity. The Puritans had this as their goal when they arrived on the shores of North America. John Winthrop, who was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the founder of the city of Boston, called on the first puritan settlers to create a city set on a hill. He made this call in a famous sermon called “A Model of Christian Charity” either on or shortly before embarking on the ship called Arbella on their way to create a new settlement in North America. An independent city state can be organized in a way that is different from a large country. A city state is subject to competition. It is not a great burden to leave one city and move to another. However, that is different for a large continental nation. If one does not like the United States, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, China, India or Russia, emigrating to a different location places that person in a very different environment and culture. Several political thinkers have been promoting the idea of for profit city states which try to attract productive, Structure of govenrmnet and who should vote.

The purpose of this website is to stimulate the creation of a Christian nation in space which uses as its philosophical starting point the historical puritan colonies of New England in North America and the city of Geneva under Calvin. In other words, we want to stimulate the creation of a modern puritan nation in space. I am starting as a lone individual, but, Plymouth, the first New England colony, was the effort of one or two men who were the principal leaders of a single medium sized church in Old England.

We are living in both dangerous and exciting times. As I write this, a world pandemic, the result of the first accidentally released artificially modified virus, is in the last stages of wreaking havoc on the planet and the forces of globalization and power concentration have taken this opportunity to consolidate power in the hands of fewer and fewer people. As a reaction, socialism and secularism has strengthened as a bad alternative to oligopolistic capitalism.

Global socialism has been challenged by nationalistic socialism and these forces have gone to war leading to devastation in Ukraine. The church has been caught in the cross fire and the threat of open persecution and civil war in developed western nations looms as a possibility in the not too distant future.

However, we are also in the early stages of mankind’s ascent into interplanetary space. This gives us access to the vast resources of the rest of the solar system. These resources are like an inheritance in a trust account which becomes available when the child reaches an age where s/he can use it responsibly. It seems as if God knew that this is the time when the kingdom of God needed these new resources to continue its spread. A similar argument could be made of the discovery of the Americas by the Europeans right before the advent of the protestant reformation. Some have tried to minimize the impact of this discovery, since the native Americans had already discovered America. However, in the same way that the Europeans, Asians and Africans did not know that the American and Australian continents existed, so too, the native Americans did not know that the rest of the world existed. On that day, for the first time, people from the old world first met people who had already arrived at the new world and both began to understand that the world was bigger than they realized. That mutual discovery, initiated by Christopher Columbus, transformed the world and fueled the processes, both good and bad, which have created the modern world.

However, like the Israelites when they were about to enter the land of Canaan, we are ordered to fight and conquer. The kingdom of God does not spread automatically, it involves arduous, coordinated effort and sacrifice. The new world, in the form of the Americas, was both a land of the free and the land of the oppressed. Freedom took root in Puritan New England, but Catholic South America still had the same oppressive system found in Europe and the Anglican colonies of the North American South, starting with Jamestown, helped create an even worse form of slavery than that which already existed in Europe. In both continents slavery took hold and native peoples were displaced, sometimes slaughtered, sometimes absorbed. It was a land of the good, the bad, and the ugly. What made some difference in the United States was the influence of the Puritans, the Presbyterians, the Baptists and the Methodists. Most of these were Reformed Calvinists. Otherwise the United States would be as poorly developed as Argentina is now, a country with a similar geography and a similar ethnic demographic, but a different majority religion.

The Americas still have their problems. Leftist protesters emphasize the existence of unresolved racial tensions and criticize efforts to build walls at the border of the United States as an exercise in racism. However, unlike the case in Berlin, where the wall was built to keep people in, these walls are designed to keep people from pouring into this country, a country which some claim to be an oppressive, racist country. Why then aren’t people fleeing into Venezuela, Egypt or Iran? Argentina has almost completely open borders, but few people immigrate, except those fleeing the leftist paradise of Venezuela. For all the problems still found in the nation created by the Puritans, when people have to flee their own country, it is that country which they pick as the first choice for their destination. Going into space does not automatically mean that mankind will be better off. If the Chinese communist party gets there first, then mankind might actually be worse off. Bible believing Moderate Reconstructionist Theonomist Christians, who are modern day Puritans, need to get there first. Let us create a society of united, committed Christians from many nations, that are willing to take on the social, political and technological task of spreading the kingdom of heaven throughout our solar system. Daniel said “they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). Jesus said that a city set upon a hill cannot be hidden. There is no higher hill than one which everybody can see when they gaze up at the stars at night. OUR GOAL
Our goal is to raise money to send a prospecting probe to the Moons of Mars as a first step towards resource extraction and, later, colonization. We plan to raise money two ways. Phobos Deimos Inc. will look for large investors and The Martian Federation will allow small donors to participate in the adventure with a chance of receiving a monetary reward upon success. For that purpose the Martian Federation will partner with Phobos Deimos Inc.

Our long term plan is to colonize and settle Mars, its moons, Mars orbit and the asteroids. Colonization is not simply conducting scientific experiments. It means expanding humans civilization by creating self supporting cities with families, farms, factories, mines, houses of worship, and schools, and which serve as places where people are born, live and spend their life. To achieve this goal soon, it needs to be done in the correct stages. In the first four stages we will focus on Phobos and Deimos (PhD), the moons of Mars. The reason for this is that from a cost and energy point of view these are the most accessible objects in the solar system, even more accessible than our own moon and they probably contain ice below the surface. Therefore, our plan has the following stages (1) a robotic prospecting mission to PhD (2) robotic mining missions (3) missions to establish a manned mining base (4) missions to permanently settle the moons (5) then missions to Mars surface.

Consequently, the first step is to land exploratory scientific spacecraft on the moons of Mars to determine whether they contain water, organic compounds, and precious metals. Our landers would have plaques claiming the moons of Mars for the Martian Federation Society and the landers would begin the task of exploring the moons in preparation for resource utilization and settlement. No one has yet placed a lander on these objects so they are worthy goals for exploration. They would also test preliminary mining techniques. If we discover ice, or precious metals, then they become worthy objects for mining. We would then use that information to try to finance a mining mission which would bring back useful material back to Earth orbit where it would be sold. The mining missions would use reusable vehicles, some would stay on Mars and some would act as shuttles, cycling between Earth orbit and PhD. They would, in turn, finance the manned missions.

We are looking for crowd funding and promise to distribute any profits generated by long term success in an equitable manner to our members. We estimate that sending landers to both moons of Mars should cost less than $100 million USD. That is $20 per year from one million persons over five years. Be part of this exciting future and take a chance to make a significant profit!

The goal of the Martian Federation Society is to establish a viable human settlement on or near Mars. In order to fund the establishment of this colony we will accept private donations. In exchange we will offer membership in the society and the commitment that any future revenues will be distributed proportional to an established formula based on the amount of donations and date of donations.

The Martian Federation was one of the first web sites on the internet promoting the colonization of mars using private funds. The brain child of Raúl E. López, MD (ophthalmologist) it first came on line November 14, 2001. After getting tens of thousands of hits over many years it became less active as Dr. López pursued other life goals. However, as the world population grows and economies become more globally connected the need for a new frontier and a new beginning are greater and more urgent than ever. We are now in the process of revamping the site with the goal of establishing a viable organization based on a similar but updated business model to try to start the first permanent settlement in space in the next 20 years. Come join us in this great adventure!