There are two significant views to end-times – the optimistic Victorious Eschatology view and the pessimistic Futurist view. Eschatology is the study of end times. Awakening Impact Ministries holds to the Victorious Eschatology worldview of the church entering heaven as a glorious bride, rather than a defeated minority having to be taken away from the future anti-Christ. There has never been as many Christians as in the world today, baptised in the Holy Spirit. The Bride of Christ is more glorious and powerful than at any stage in history, including the early church.
2. Victorious Eschatology
A. History of Victorious Eschatology:
The early church fathers taught Victorious Eschatology. The Schofield Reference Bible was published in 1909, changing the general education on end-times to Futurist Eschatology.
B. Victorious Eschatology and Father-Son Theology:
According to Father-Son Theology, the original intention of God was to have sons and daughters.
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.Ephesians 1:4-5
Our Father’s desire is for His children to be blessed and to succeed. Contrary to original Futurist teaching, it is not a remnant that will be “saved” at the end.
C. Victorious Eschatology and Glorious Sons & Daughters:
Further to this, God desires for his sons and daughters to be glorious:
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.Hebrews 2:10
Futurists will say that the sons to glory refer to when they are in heaven or the millennium. However, v11 clarifies that the writer to the Hebrews was referring to now, not in the future.
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,Hebrews 2:11
Victorious Eschatology believes that before the final return of Jesus Christ, the sons and daughters of God will become influential to the world through a significant thrust of power evangelism and the church ruling and reigning in the spirit realm as it should.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.Romans 8:18-19
D. Victorious Eschatology and Glory Fills the Earth:
It believes that before the final return of Jesus Christ, the glory of the Lord will fill the earth through the glorious sons and daughters of God ruling and reigning.
For the earth will be filledHabakkuk 2:14
With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
As the waters cover the sea.
E. Victorious Eschatology and the Millennium:
Victorious Eschatology believes that the millennial reign started sometime after the Great Tribulation of the first generation church. It believes that the kingdom began at the ascension of Jesus Christ and continues until Jesus returns the kingdom to the Father. We will look further into the Millennium in a separate study.
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.1 Corinthians 15:24
Scripture is unequivocal that His kingdom has come NOW!
If you believe in Victorious Eschatology that the kingdom is here now, you will have complete freedom for the sick to be healed because correct teaching will strengthen your heart. Proverbs teach us:
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.Proverbs 23:7
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
3. Futurist Eschatology
Where people are in a church teaching against speaking in tongues today, they generally have difficulty receiving their heavenly prayer language. The same with Futurist Eschatology – if you believe that things are getting worse rather than better, you will be focusing on the negative rather than building your faith, believing for the impossible.
Therefore, if your theology is of a remnant saved, your heart will not allow you to believe in great things, and your faith level will suffer. If your theology is the glory of the Lord will fill the earth, then your heart will allow you to believe in great things.
A. History of Futurist View:
John Nelson Darby was a member of the Plymouth Brethren. Leaving them, he founded the Exclusive Brethren. Neither of these denominations believed that miracles and healings happen today. Rather than changing himself, Darby decided to change his theology to suit his personal experience—a dangerous thing to do.
Darby had numerous false doctrines. Most seriously, he neither believed in righteousness being imputed or a gift; instead, Jesus kept the law for us! The Bible does not teach this; instead, Jesus fulfilled the law, and righteousness is a gift.
Futurist Eschatology purists must also hold to the Dispensational view. Dispensational View teaches that one day is a thousand years. Therefore there were six days of creation then one day of rest. John Nelson Darby considered that there were 4000 years from Adam to Jesus. Therefore there are 6000 years from Adam to now, then the millennium.
Dispensationalism states that after the death of the first 14 apostles (Paul being the last, Matthias replacing Judas Iscariot), there will be no more apostles or prophets, only teachers, evangelists, and pastors. Because only the apostles can do miracles (another false teaching) and because the New Testament had been completed, there are no more healings or miracles today (Cessationist View). However, Pentecostals and Charismatics who still hold to the Futurist View have chosen to remove some teaching (Cessationist View) but retain the remainder.
B. Futurist View and the Millennium:
To explain scriptures that teach healing and miracles as a sign of the kingdom of God, they then put the kingdom of God into a future millennial reign. In this natural kingdom, Jesus and the church reigning from Israel. Yet Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you.
Unfortunately for the Dispensational view, we now know that we have a further 270 years to go before the 6000 years is complete.
C. Futurist View and the AntiChrist:
Unlike Victorious Eschatology, the Futurist View believes that the AntiChrist is still to come. The devil will possess the AntiChrist. He will institute a one-world government, an economic system, and a one-world religious system. Some are holding this view believe that the devil (or God) always has an anti-Christ ready for Jesus’ return!
D. Futurist View and the Great Tribulation:
They will refer to the coming Great Tribulation or apostasy, discounting Jesus’ clear prophecy that the Great Tribulation will occur within one generation. Jesus linked the Great Tribulation to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 and AD130, and He prophesied it would be the Romans who brought the persecution. If I were blunt, adherents to Futurist Eschatology could only declare Jesus’ prophecy of Matthew 24 to be false.
E. Futurist View and the Rapture:
There will be a rapture at some time before, during, or after the Great Tribulation. John Nelson Darby taught there would be not one but two raptures! One for the elect (his wife and followers) and one for people like you and me. The Exclusive Brethren, the true church, still hold to this absolute separation from the world. This teaching, along with Futurist Eschatology, is a deception.
F. Futurist View and the Apostasy:
As opposed to Victorious Eschatology, they will refer to a great falling-away, and only a few will be saved at the end, resulting in a fear-based gospel. It isn’t very optimistic because it also believes that only a few will go to heaven.
This pessimistic view ties nicely with the Reformed Theology view of an angry God pouring His wrath on humanity.
4. Summary of Victorious Versus Futurist Eschatology
- Victorious Eschatology births out of teaching that a loving Father desires to have sons and daughters through Jesus Christ.
- Futurist Eschatology is birthed out of the view of a distant God, wrathful against sinners (the Greek mythology view).
- Victorious Eschatology believes that the last days finished in AD70 or AD130, in accordance with Jesus prophecy. It believes we are in a new age of grace. It separates the last days from the End of the Age.
- Futurist Eschatology believes that Jesus prophesy was delayed for some reason (and therefore Jesus made a mistake). It believes that the last days and the End of the Age is still to come.
- Victorious Eschatology says that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the whole earth.
- Futurist Eschatology believes that only a few will be saved.
- Victorious Eschatology believes that the sons of God will grow from glory to glory.
- Futurist Eschatology believes that there will be a great turning away from the gospel.
- Victorious Eschatology was the prime teaching for the first 1900 years of church history.
- Futurist Eschatology was popularised by a man who did not believe miracles were for today, nor that righteousness is imputed, or a free gift. Today, the church he founded believes that they cannot mix with the world!
5. Which View Sounds More Like our Abba Father?
Which one sounds like the heart of a mighty God and a loving Father to you? It was always God’s intention to have sons and daughters who would be holy and blameless. He would do this through Jesus Christ. God would then present this glorious bride to Jesus to be His wife. God always intended for the Holy Spirit to have one glorious Temple – the Church and millions of living temples – individual believers filled with the Spirit of God. Victorious Eschatology always has and will allow this; Futurist Eschatology must change regularly to allow this.
© Use by Permission Awakening Impact Ministries / Dr Neville van Eerten 2021