I recently ordered two books from a friend on the Puritan Board by Robert Caringola. Based on the review below, The Present Reign of Jesus Christ, it should be an interesting read.
It’s difficult to go into a Christian bookstore and not be exposed to prominently displayed books on the End Times. They are top sellers that have launched the careers of traveling speakers who appear at big conferences and on prominent religious television networks. The Christian public is plagued with short-term memory, unaware of important beliefs of revivalists of even two hundred years ago. Many of us who are trying to manifest the Kingdom of God in our daily lives and spread it around our world, feel an uneasiness with the traditional view of Revelation. The problem with the traditional view is it doesn’t go back far enough. This is where The Present Reign of Jesus Christ offers a well-documented alternative.
There is nothing like fulfilled prophecy to encourage an awe for the Word of God. Robert Caringola dishes this out in heaping helpings. He argues the vast majority of Revelation has already been fulfilled. Caringola quotes a well-respected non-Christian historian, who certainly had no motive to glorify God by providing details of exact fulfillments. Perhaps like a modern day Cyrus the Persian, the scholar was an instrument in God’s hand, nevertheless.
There is nothing new about Caringola’s approach. His extensive use of footnotes shows this take on Revelation has been around at least since the Protestant Reformation. Caringola’s main contribution is gathering all the information into one place, shrink-wrapping it from thousands of pages into just a few hundred, and putting it into language everyday readers can understand. It is mystifying how Christians could have abandoned such an airtight system of prophecies and fulfillments for the muddy waters of sinking dispensationalism.
One of the services Caringola provides is the interpretation of the picture language of Revelation by the picture language of Old Testament prophecies that are generally considered to be fulfilled. There is no doubt the apostle John saw the pictures, but many today confuse the pictures with what they represent.
Caringola teaches Revelation covers the same historical periods several times from different perspectives. The first view is presented by the letters to the seven churches in chapters two and three. These churches in Asia Minor were real, but they also seem to represent characteristics of successive ages.
Believers in the Historicist system that Caringola explains have been able to predict events before they happened almost to the day, such as when Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg chapel door. Readers will also be surprised to learn the identities of the original human sources of today’s popular eschatology. Prophecy teachers would be surprised as well.
I consider The Present Reign of Jesus Christ to be one of the most life-changing books I have ever read. It takes the focus away from twisting the latest headlines into another excuse to look for the rapture. As Caringola loves to point out, Jesus will remain seated at the right hand of the Father, until His enemies are made His footstool. We’ve been left behind to grow the Kingdom here on earth. [end of review]
Revelation Chapter 1
The Vision of the Son of Man
Revelation Chapter 2
The Seven Churches
Revelation Chapter 4
The Heavenly Vision
Revelation Chapter 5
The Scroll Sealed Seven Times
Revelation Chapter 6
The First Six Seals, Pagan Rome’s Demise
Revelation Chapter 7
144,000, The Symbolic Bride of Christ (The Number of Government)
Revelation Chapter 8
The Seventh Seal: Revealing the First Six Trumpets (The Destruction of the Western Empire by the Goths and the Destruction of the Eastern Empire by the Saracens and Turks)
Revelation Chapter 9
Seven Trumpets Continued
Revelation Chapter 10
The Eve of the Reformation (“Christ” Revealed in the “Little Book”)
Revelation Chapter 11
The Two Witnesses
An Analysis of Part I
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SCROLL
Beginning Again the Christian Era
Revelation Chapter 12
The Woman and the Dragon
Revelation Chapter 13
The Antichrist and the Papacy (The Unifying Doctrine of the Reformation)
Revelation Chapter 14
The Triumph of Christ
Revelation Chapter 15
Another Great and Marvelous Sign in Heaven
Revelation Chapter 16
“Pour Out the Vials” The Unfolding of the Third “Woe”
Revelation Chapter 17
The Judgment of the Great Whore (God has not forgotten!)
Revelation Chapter 18
Babylon the Great is Fallen “Rejoice over her”
Revelation Chapter 19
The Kingdom of Christ conquers that of the Beast by God’s Word
Revelation Chapter 20
The Symbolic Millennium
Revelation Chapter 21
The New Jerusalem
Revelation Chapter 22
New Jerusalem (Continued ) Epilogue
The Absurdity of Modern “Pathetic” Interpretations
(A sampling of learned responses to the deceptions of Ribera and Alcazar)
301 pages, paper
Back of book.