Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hunting & Reflecting on Creation, Redemption, & Eschatology

This past week was a blast. I got some much needed rest and also got to spend some great time with the family.
Dakota & Caleb: Ready for the Hunt
The boys were really excited. We went hunting every morning I was off. Unfortunately we didn't actually get to shoot anything. However, we did pick off an old peanut butter can with the 30.06. We had a great time sitting out in the woods before sunrise and watching the forest come alive with light and sounds of nature. It was then that I remembered the words of the Psalmist from Psalm 46:10:
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Can you see them in the doghouse?
Often in our society many, including myself don't take time just to be still and reflect on the majesty and power of the Creator. We don't stop to look around and revel in the glory of His handiwork. Though the Creation has been subjected to the effects of the curse of sin, it still bears the imprint of the Lord Jesus Christ upon it.

I reminded the boys of this. We pointed to the fact that God shows us even in creation that there is a time to die. The Fall and Winter comes and we see the once green leaves of the trees turn colors and fall to the earth. We see the bark of the trees become dry and crack and appear grey. We watch the flowers fade and die along with many other plants. We feel the stinging cold when we go outside and if we are paying attention it may seem that all is going to die and pass away.

However, when Spring comes and then Summer we see in the Creation a "resurrection to life". As the trees begin to put forth their buds and the plants begin to spring forth with life and color we are amazed at how they are able to do so.

We should marvel, for the One who brings them forth from the death of Fall and Winter also has called us, His people, forth from death unto life. We were without hope and helpless before God. Our future, to us, appeared desperate and hopeless, but Jesus spoke forth and called us from the grave of sin and death. In fact, He died in our place and we died with Him and He rose and we rose with Him. Our identity is not in the Church we attend, but is in the One who has placed us into His church: His body. We are united with Him in marriage and are His and He is ours. We are His bride and He is our husband.

The powerful God who made all things, brought us forth from death in sin to life and that more abundant in Jesus Christ. All praise be to His name for His unspeakable love and mercy!

I also took time to think in regards to the things I've been studying. I was hoping to hear more from some others concerning Daniel chapter 9. I believe if you believe that has been accomplished then there is no longer a need to discuss pre, post, mid, or pre-wrath rapture scenarios, for they are all based on the fact that the 70th week of Daniel is yet future, but I am still looking for the argument that it is future from the text itself. I believe now that the rapture will be that which occurs on the last day, the day of Christ's return. The more I meditate on these things the clearer it becomes that we are indeed in the kingdom just as the Scriptures say and that Jesus is King now and is ruling and reigning and that when He returns, He will indeed deliver the kingdom up to His Father. Most would not question the idea that Christ is indeed reigning as King of kings, however, some may ask are we living and reigning with Christ now. Fair question. Let me answer it by stating clearly that the ones living and reigning with Christ are those who have gone before us. Look at the text.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Notice it is the ones who have been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God along with those who have not worshipped the beast or his image and have not received his mark. Those are the ones specifically addressed in the passage. They reign during the millenium. I do believe the millenium defines this period since the ascension of our Lord till the time of His bodily return on the last day to judge all men.

Now, I have already gone longer in this particular post than I wanted to, but I want to call upon all my reformed brothers who take the "pan" millenial approach. I once called the ministry of a well known apologist, a man I have deeply respected and learned from over the years to hear that escahatology and these things were not important and they really didn't impact anything. They were those whose eschatology was "It'll all pan out in the end." To me, this should not be the attitude of those involved in defending the faith. I believe we should defend the gospel and brothers, the gospel contains aspects of eschatology. Did Jesus really bind the strongman(Matt. 12:29; Luke 11:21; Mark 3:27)? Did He really crush Satan's head (Gen. 3:15)? Did He really disarm principalities and make a spectacle of them and triumph over them(Col. 2:15)? I could go on and ask other questions, but these seem to be tied to the work of Christ at the "time of the end".
Jerusalem 70 AD
I think that going through Daniel has helped me to see that the time of the end is phrase dealing specifically with the people of the nation of Israel. The "last day" is the day when Christ brings an end to history as we know it. This is how He can speak in Matt. 24 of knowing when the end is near (vss. 32-33), clearly referring to his coming judgment that He has referenced in the whole chapter, and then telling His disciples that He would return when they did not expect Him to (vss. 36, 42-44).

Brothers, eschatology does matter!

I can see already how my former teachings gave me a vision of a darkened pitiful future. Now I am beginning to see the glory of the reigning King of kings. I see the crushing of the serpents head MORE clearly now and am gaining understanding in this area of theology. I am not one who thinks that these things are incomprehensible. I believe they are very much like the doctrines of grace. They need to be approached from Scriptures (in their contexts and the contexts of the books they are written in) and with a genuine interest to learn and understand. Let us not just disagree with a particular view because we don't understand it. Let us be willing to learn from those who have gone before us and understand the reasoning behind the eschatology and then we will be better equipped to hold fast the truth or discard the error concerning eschatology.

Remember we must not be silent on the issue of eschatology just be cause we don't understand it all. It is doctrines which we must understand and use to fight back the enemy of dispensationalism, which brings harm to true Christian doctrine, for in its purist form it presents different paths of salvation for different people at different times in history. The gospel is at the heart of eschatology. May God grant us understanding and perseverance to grasp these thruths from His word.

52 comments:

ajlin said...

I don't see how an acceptance of your comments concerning Daniel would lead to the idea that we are currently in the millenium.

Tim said...

Andrew,



I was meditating not only on Daniel, but on the other passages of the New Testament. Remember that Daniel does not teach anything concerning the rapture. However, I commented on the rapture. I'm sorry if I was not clear. The point I was attempting to make is this: If you believe that the conclusion I came to concerning Daniel 9 is correct, then we are not looking for the Great Tribulation, for the 70 weeks have been fulfilled. Therefore the discussions of pre, mid, post, pre-wrath are not even valid. How does this effect our view of the millenium, I believe is your question.



Well, this might actually take from Daniel and then into the New Testament. First we will note that in chapter 2 Daniel saw the vision of the stone cut out without hands smashing the image in the feet. This would tie to the time of the Roman Empire and we are told that the stone "became a great mountain and filled the whole earth"(NAS). Just as Jesus taught in the parables concerning what the kingdom would be like. Remember, He used the pictures of the mustard seed that was the smallest of seeds, but it produced a large plant. He said the kingdom would be like this. We recall from Matthew's gospel that Jesus is constantly repeating, "The kingdom is like...". Those references do not speak to another time other than this, but it references things done now.



The apostle Paul says that we have been translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13). All throughout the New Testament, it appears that there are two different references to kingdom: the kingdom that is now, and that which shall come. Are we in the kingdom? Yes. Which kingdom is that? Paul says the kingdom of Christ. When we look at the reference to the millenium in Rev. 20, what actually takes place there? There is the binding of Satan, the dragon. There is also the living and reigning with Christ of those who have died for their testimony and then there is a final rebellion, where Satan is loosed and comes against the saints. My questions referenced some of those things concerning what Christ did when He came. Did He not bind the strongman (Satan)? Did He not crush his head? This is no way implies that he is not alive and active, but it means he is severely disabled.

So in light of actually going beyond Daniel to other places and applying what was learned concerning Daniel chapter 9, then I begin to think that things are indeed clearer into the perspective of the "millenium" already having been instated. I welcome your comments if I am in error.

Let me make one more comment. The kingdom that is to come appears to be that which Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 15. There he says, "20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
24 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.
25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."

Christ is reigning now till all His enemies are put under His feet and that last enemy is death. Then at the end, Christ will deliver the kingdom up to His Father. So in fact, it appears that the kingdom that we will enter into in the future is the kingdom of the Father.

Does this help?:)

Nathan White said...

I’m not sure I really understand you position either, even after your comments to Andrew.

Tim said: “Did He not crush his head? This is no way implies that he is not alive and active, but it means he is severely disabled.”

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.” – Rev 20:1-3

Sounds pretty clear to me. Satan is bound and sealed as to not deceive anymore.

Acts 5:3 - But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

How can Satan fill a human heart if he is bound and sealed?

Acts 26:16 - I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Why did Jesus, after His resurrection and ascension, tell Paul that he was going to be used to deliver the nations from the power of Satan if Satan is incapable of deceiving the nations no more?

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” - 1 Peter 5:8

Is walking around like a lion possible when you are bound and sealed in a bottomless pit?

Also, the vast majority of historians point to the writing of Revelation as happening sometime around 90AD –oddly enough, this is even stated in RC Sproul and company’s ‘Reformation study Bible’ –pg 2004. How do you reconcile the destruction of 70AD with the fact that the historical church has almost always recognized the writing of Revelation as being after this point in history?

Tim said:“So in light of actually going beyond Daniel to other places and applying what was learned concerning Daniel chapter 9, then I begin to think that things are indeed clearer into the perspective of the "millenium" already having been instated.”

I realize you want to stay in Daniel, so I apologize for jumping around a little. I have not had an opportunity to dive into your comments on Daniel. However, anytime we look at the Millennium we must of course deal with Rev 20 –that’s why I jumped around.

Just a few thoughts I had…even though I’m not quite sure of your position. :)

SDG

Tim said...

Very good questions Nathan. As I posted when I first started the blog, I really didn't think anyone would ever read any of my writings. However, in God's providence I have made many good friends, including you and Andrew. These thoughts were posted as I was simply thinking about some of the things I have studied in Daniel and trying to understand how they fit into the big picture. With that in mind, let me try and address your questions.

First thing's first. The question of the dating of the book is important and a good question. For as you have pointed out, if Revelation is written by John after 70 AD then my understanding would collapse under that. However, let's note why a large part of the historical church has taken the 90-96 AD view. They hold to one quote by Irenaeus in which he said,"We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign."

Everyone after Irenaeus simply quotes him. However, I think Dr Gentry and others make a very good argument that Irenaeus is not speaking about the Revelation, but about John. For what difference would it make about the Revelation being seen almost in his day. That point he is making is concerning the identity of the Antichrist and he is saying that since John lived to almost their day (Irenaeus was writing around 175 AD) he could have told them if it was important to them. I won't give all the evidence away that Gentry puts on display, but if you want the free Adobe file (and it's in big letters), then I'd be happy to email it to you. It is worth your reading. However, there are numerous hermeneutical questions that should be understood. A couple that come to mind is how would the original audience have understood these words if they are all indeed to be future things happening 2000 years in the future? How can these all these things be way out in the future when the test itself says, " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Rev. 1:1-3)italics mine for emphasis

Also, the book closes with these words, "Rev. 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." How is this in line with a futurist view?

If the Revelation was written after 70 AD, you would think that the destruction of the Temple would have been a very curious thing to document, wouldn't you? Especially in light of the fact that John is told to rise and measure the Temple in chapter 11. We also note that the Temple is standing in chapter 11 and will be trodden down for 42 months (which by the way, the Romans did).

These things are close at hand, the time is near. The readers would have been expecting these things. I will also note that the Revelation is not a sealed book, but is open for the time is at hand, whereas Daniel is a sealed book for it refers to the time of the end (Dan 12:4), which I believe in Daniel's context is speaking of the coming of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem.

Now,let me see if we can begin with an analogy that I think is pretty close to the same argument as Satan being bound. The thinking behind saying that Satan is not bound is that the presence of Satanic activity on earth rules out the notion that Satan could be bound, right?

Now do we believe we are dead to sin? The Bible is clear that as believers in Jesus Christ we are dead to sin.

Romans 6:2 - How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Romans 6:6-7:

6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.


Galatians 5:24-25

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.

And yet, you and I still sin every day. There is plenty of evidence to me and anyone who looks around that we sin. And yet, the Bible says I am dead to sin. Paul writes in Romans 6 that he is dead to sin and in Romans 7 he writes about his ongoing struggle with sin.

The point is that if we say Satan cannot be bound because we see so much Satanic activity, then we need to argue just as strongly against these statements in Romans and Galatians which say that we have died to sin. But we don't do that. We affirm the truth of these verses - that we are dead to sin, while interpreting them in the light of other Scriptures that speak of our ongoing struggle with sin. However you or I exegete the Scriptures, we come out with something affirming that there is a sense in which we can be dead to sin, and yet still sin, right?

I am saying the same thing about Satan. There is a very real sense in which he is bound, yet active.

It seems clearer to me now than ever that Satan is bound from the New Testament accounts.

The passage I cited earlier was from Matthew's gospel. However, I didn't quote the preceeding verses.

Matthew 12:25-29:

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
26 "If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
27 "And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29 "Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.


Notice the parallel between vss. 25-28 and verse 29. The binding of the strong man in verse 29 is analogous to Jesus' casting out of Satan by the Spirit of God. There is a ton of eschatological meaning in this passage. It is a pattern for the coming of the kingdom of God. The fact that Jesus casts out demons by the Spirit of God is evidence that a) Satan has been bound, and more importantly b) the eschatological kingdom of God has come upon us.

So, the point is that the coming of the kingdom entails the binding of Satan. The timing of the coming of the kingdom is given here. It is not a time somewhere in the future - it is at the time that Jesus demonstrates His binding of Satan by casting out demons. This happened at His first coming.

This is seen more clearly in several other passages.

In John 12:31, predicting His death, Jesus says this:

31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Please notice that, and notice the parallel to Revelation 20:1-3. Jesus says "now the prince of this world will be driven out." Who is the prince of this world? Satan. Where is he being driven from? It has to be this world. In Revelation 20 the angel comes down out of heaven to seize Satan, so in Revelation 20 it appears that Satan is on the earth when he is bound. In John 12:31 Satan is driven out of this world. And, according to John 12:31, when is Satan to be driven out (bound?)?

Colossians 2:15 says:

15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

At the cross Christ disarmed the powers and authorities and triumphed over them.

I realize that "binding" and "disarming" are two different words, but they both have the same idea of defeat and subjection to Christ.

Hebrews 2:14-15 says:

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


As in Colossians 2:15, Hebrews 2:15 says that something happened to Satan at the cross. In Colossians Satan was disarmed, in Hebrews 2 we see that Satan was destroyed. Again, the word "destroy" is not the same word as "bind" but the idea is the same - Satan is defeated and subjected to Christ on the cross.

I John 3:8 says:

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Here we see that the Son of God "appeared". This appearance was at His first coming. What did He do at His first appearance? He destroyed the devil's work.

Again, as I said before, Satan being "bound" does not mean inactive. It means that his activity is restricted . It means that he can’t stop the Gospel from going forth, he is being restrained from exercising all that he is capable of exercising. But, we must remember that He will be released at the end.

I hope this helps. However, I am still working on things, but this seems to me to be a better understanding of these issues than I have previously heard. To me, this is much like Calvinism. When I discovered the doctrines of grace from the Scriptures, I never knew they existed. I knew I had read the passages correctly, but didn't have someone teaching me those things. Once I discovered them, I found out there were many people who held to that view. The same is true here for me in regards to the things I am learning now.

In conclusion, (wow this could be a post on its own), guys I think we need to harmonize
the passages that Nathan brought up with those which clearly teach the "binding", "destroying", "triumphing over", etc. Satan. I hope this helps.

Hank said...

Nathan
History of the church's dating of Revelation goes back to the words of Ireaneus whose comments are ambiguous at best. The text can read either way, either John was seen or the Revelation during Domitian's reign. That points me to the text itself for evidence rather than Ireaneus's statements.

John was told to measure the temple, implying it was still in existence. The Temple was so central to Jewish thought as the main blessing of the covenant that it is highly likely John would have mentioned its destruction if he wrote shortly after its conquest. Why would he talk of a 3rd Temple with out mentioning the destruction of the second? Would he not what to vindicate the very words of Him upon who he leaned?(not one stone upon another)
I think it not insignificant that John does not mention the Olivet Discourse in his Gospel. Mainly because he had already wrote his expounded version of it. The book of Revelation
Anyway, keep searching brother.........

Nathan White said...

Tim,

I thought the same thing when I started blogging! God is wonderful isn’t He? Although we sometimes disagree, you and I agree on the real essentials –and defending them at that. I am thankful for your fervor and I enjoy butting heads with you now and then –it is healthy to my faith!

Hank, thanks for your comments as well. However, I think that both of you rely heavily on the absence of things rather than the actual text of Rev 20 itself. Hear me out...

As far as the dating of Revelation goes, I am unconvinced by your arguments. However, there truly is no way to know for sure. But Ireaneus was not the only one who pointed to an early date. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Victorinus, Eusebius and Jerome all affirmed the early date. Furthermore, I don’t see the possibility of the serious spiritual decline of the 7 churches as happening in such a short time. For those churches were strong and healthy in the mid-60’s when Paul last ministered in Asia Minor.

In regards to Rev 20, I just cannot reconcile your view with the plain meaning of the text. I just can’t get there. Going to other passages that discuss deadness to sin in the Christian life really have no bearing on interpreting this text as a symbolic. How we are to know this stuff is symbolic isn’t explained, and it seems a hermeneutic is used here that is not used in other parts of scripture.

Butlet me get a few things straight:

Casting Satan in a bottomless pit still allows him to roam (1 Peter 5:8), fill someone’s heart (Acts 5:3), blind the minds of the unbelievers (2 Cor 4:4), and deceive the nations (Acts 26:16-18)? Is that how you are telling me to interpret this passage?

So when the scripture says we war against ‘principalities and powers…spiritual hosts of wickedness’ (Eph 6:12), and that the whole world still under the power of the wicked one (1 John 5:19), you want me to reconcile this with Rev 20 which says he is bound and sealed so he cant deceive the nations? Um, are you really serious? I know there are some great men who held to this traditional belief, but I certainly cannot see it reconciled with Rev 20. You have to read it into Rev 20, cause you certainly cant get that out of the text itself.

Also, when the text says 1000 years it really doesn’t mean 1 thousand years? You want me to get there as well? (I’ve certainly heard this argument from the Christian-Darwinists.)

SDG

ajlin said...

Nate,
I tend to agree with the view that revelation was completed prior to AD 70. The additional quotes that you mention supporting a late date may very well rely on Irenaeus, as Tim mentioned. I encourage you to study this further.

Tim,
I do not see, however, that the early dating of Revelation inevitably leads to the position that we are now in the millenium, primarily for the reasons that Nathan mentioned. I can't understand why the words "shortly come to pass" and "the time is at hand" should be interpreted literally, but a specific reference to a specific number of years should be taken figuratively. When God mentions a specific number of years for prophesies to be fulfilled in the Old Testament, then His people expect those prophesies to be fulfilled in exactly that time frame- how is this any different? Also, the hermeneutic that would equate Satan's being cast into a bottomless pit and shut up with a seal put on him so that he could deceive the nations no more (Rev. 20:3, which Nathan mentions) with Satan being "alive and active, but seriously disabled," does not seem to be true to the text.
I agree that "shortly come to pass" and "the time is at hand" were meant to be taken literally, and I agree that a good deal of the prophesies in the New Testament were fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem. I also agree with the statement that due to the work of Christ, Satan has been "seriously disabled." But from the text, it seems necessary to conclude that there are still aspects of biblical prophesy that await fulfillment. We would agree on this in terms of the second coming of our Lord. I must conclude from the plain sense of Revelation 20:3 and the surrounding verses that the thousand year reign, in which there will be absolute freedom from the deception of Satan, is another aspect of prophecy that will occur in the future.

Hank said...

Just a few quick comments before I go cut some wood, was about 7 last night:

10 "For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
Psalms 50:10 (NASB)

This does not say the Lord ceases to own the cattle on the 1001 hillside, rather it is a figure of speech.

8 He has remembered His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
Psalms 105:8 (NASB)

Forever is equated to 'a thousand' years here.

6 "Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things—do not all go to one place?"
Eccl 6:6 (NASB)

Hear the author shows 'a thousand years' as a really long time. Then he doubles it to make it render "a really really long time".

So as John's usage of the phrase "a really long time".

This chapter (20 Rev) can not stand alone. The pre-mill thinking has this chapter interpreting the rest of the book instead of the rest of the Bible interpreting it. (in my estimation anyway)

A cursory look at the NT shows an abundance of demonic activity. There is much more to say about this and the binding of Satan. I think of a couple instances; After Jesus sent out the 70 and those who come back to report of the Gospel's success, Jesus says, "I beheld Satan as lighting falling from Heaven" Satan had lost his grip and was defeat by the "Kingdom of God" and its message. Was Jesus hear looking 2000 years plus into the future?

Every day as the Lord calls someone to Himself, the Kingdom of Angels rejoice not over the sinner, but rather over the victory of Christ as King.

You are right about Irenaeus and the way he has been interrupted by history. But you must not loose sight of the fact that he very well could have meant "JOHN was seen, not so long ago, yea even in our day, during Domitian's reign." (forgiver me as that is a some what of a loose quote)As opposed to the Revelation was the object of discussion. Find his quote and analyze it and you will see what I mean, even if you do not agree. The point is, this should drive us to the text for clues.

You mentioned the Reformation Study Bible. Both mine (ESV) and my wife's (NKJ) both include the dating early and late. They end the statement with "most scholars hold to the late date" , to which is true, most in fact do.
Sproul wrot a great book critiquing J Stuart Russell’s book which is the main book of the hyper-preterist called "The Last Days According to Jesus". Also, check out www.americanvision.com for some good stuff, they arent to far form you, go and see DeMar he is great.

Anyway, Lord bless

Nathan White said...

Hank,

‘a thousand years’ is not the same as ONE thousand years. Can you point to another area of scripture where an actual number in reference to years is used as symbolic? Again, if we concede here than we have no defense of the creation account either.

"I beheld Satan as lighting falling from Heaven" was clearly referring to his original fall from heaven, for the context of the verse is Jesus warning against pride. Jesus’ words make no sense when the issue of Pride is taken out of this context. Besides, was Satan defeated before Christ died and rose again? Why do other passages explain that Satan was defeated after Jesus served as High Priest?

Also, I made a mistake earlier about the Reformation Study Bible. The quote I referred to is in the New Geneva Study Bible, edited by Sproul, and states that the majority of historians date Revelation in 96 AD (Page 2004). From the 2nd to the 18th century, nobody is on record as questioning the 96AD date.

SDG

ajlin said...

hank,
I looked back over mine and Tim's old correspondence on this issue and was reminded that he too had pointed out verses such as those you indicate from Psalms and Ecclesiastes. I can see, then, how the round number "a thousand" might be figurative for a long passage of time, rather than an exact number of years. However, I think the more important question is the nature of the millenium. If it is one in which Satan is truly shut up and sealed in an abyss so that his deceptive power over the nations is entirely negated as the plain meaning of the text requires, then this prophesy must await future fulfillment.

Nathan:
I'm not absolutely sure, but if Greek is like many other languages, then the terms "a thousand years" and "one thousand years" might be identical or interchangeable.

SDG

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Tim,

I love how you are teaching your boys. God bless.

Hank said...

Nathan
I understand your desire to let the Scripture interrupter the Scripture with your use of “ONE” instead of “A”. But the fact is similar language is just that and may or may not be a referral. In this case, I believe it is. A need for a literal usage of a term among a mired of symbolism within the same passage seems a bit demanding. Are there literal chains as well? I will agree however, that this is one of the most controversial chapters in the entire Bible but I feel an acceptance of ‘one (a) thousand’ as a really long time is much less of a strain to ones theology than that of excepting it as exactly 1000 years, with chains, keys, dragons and all. What I mean is, if you except it as 1,000 years there are many things that follow along with it that indeed strains the text. In the context of ‘a really long time’, this, I think is an after thought or a result of an indeed literal hermeneutic, of much of what else the New Testament has to say. Moreover, other areas of interpretation result in a amill position instead of chapter 20 alone. The number 10 in Scripture denote fullness of quantity as compared to 7 which would be fullness of quality. Anyway, 10 would more so be understood as manyness. 10 intensified and multiplied (10x10x10) to show a vastness over 10 alone.

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, Rev 5:11 (NASB)
Which one is it? Myriads or thousands? Both, because they are using Hebrew parallelism by saying the same thing (‘a bunch’, that is) in different ways.

Jesus uses the same concept when He says to forgive 70x7.

Milton Terry says in his “Biblical Apocalyptics: A study of the most Noteable Revelations of God and of Christ in the Canonical Scriptures”
“The ‘thousand years’ is to be understood as a symbolical number, denoting a long period. It is a round number, but stands for an indefinite period, an eon whose duration it would be a folly to attempt to compute. Its beginning dates from the great catastrophe of this book (Revelation), the fall of Mystic Babylon. It is the eon which opens with the going forth of the Great Conqueror of 19:11-16, and continues until He shall have put all His enemies under his feet……………”(Another of Milton Terry’s book “Biblical Hermeneutics” was used for years in many prominent schools including Dispensational ones)

As for not being able to defend the creation account, sure we can. Can you tell your wife “I built this cabinet for you and it only took 24 hours.” While also saying, and it still being the truth, “This cabinet will last one million years!” The defense of the creation account should not be an issue here.
As for Luke 10:18-20 and Jesus seeing Satan cast down and He was yet to rise from the grave I give the following explanation. As soon as His Earthly ministry began to be active His power over Satan exerted itself. But, even if it wasn’t accomplished perfectly until the resurrection, remember in John 17 when Jesus prays “I have finished the work you gave me to do”, yet He had not yet been to the cross even so, it was as good as done.

When do you think Satan was cast down from Heaven?

I appreciate your willingness to study history and the doctrines of our fore going Christian brothers’. Their works should indeed be studied and analyzed. You spoke of the late date, this is why many held a historicist/amill view of Revelation including the reformers. Yet these same men also held a partial preterist view to many other texts including Mat 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 all the time taking Revelation as an unfolding prophecy of the whole of church age.
Also, Augustine wrote of the symbolic nature of the millennium in his “City of God” and of Christ defeating Satan as did Irenaeus in his “Against Heresies”.

I suppose what I am saying is not to get hung up on Rev 20 without farther study else where.

I had several thoughts that have left me some where between work and home so I will quite with an example of a church sliding into decay in small time span, therefore making it possible that Revelation was infact talking about the literal churches of John day prior to AD70.

6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:6-7 (NASB)
I believe this will hold up even if you maintain a late (North) Galatians’ dating.
Have a good day, and Lord bless

OH, ajlin
That is right, the text says "over the nations" in context, lets not forget 'who' (nations) in the midst of the discussion of the what (binding of Satan). This brings up a whole new set of discussions.

Tim said...

Wow! You guys have been busy. Good questions and discussion. Let's see about a few more comments. Nathan, In regards to your comments concerning Luke 10:18, I don't think we can state that it is "clear" that this is specifically speaking concerning the issue of pride. While I think a good sermon on pride would definitely include Satan's fall, I don't know if it is specifically applicable here, although the argument can be made concerning the height of the cities that He spoke of concerning their judgment. However, I don't think pride was the issue, but unbelief.

If we note the context, it is conerning the kingdom of God "coming nigh unto them" (vs. 9). Is there indeed evidence of the kingdom? I would say there is. First the Son of God is in their midst. Second, the demons are made subject to him and to those He grants power over demons, as noted in the following verses. Jesus then speaks to them about Satan falling as lightning and then inserts in the following verses, " All things are delivered to me of my Father (vs. 22". What are these all things? I have to say that much of this sounds similar to Revelation 9, 12, and 20. I will also note that you will note the cross references (while not inspired), do show that these passages are referenced. Isn't it something that we don't find a lot of demonic activity, as far as what we see with demonic possession,in the Scripture, except at the time of Christ and shortly thereafter with the acts of the apostles? Surely, we must consider these things.

Andrew I believe you are correct. I checked the Greek in Rev 20 and found it to be the same terminology. Also, I think you are corect as to the nature of the millenium. I think I have already shown what that is.

You are also correct to state that even if we take an early date that does not inevitably lead to a completion of most of the things around 70 AD. However, I think that at least chapters 1-3 would clearly indicate those things beginning in the lifetime of the apostle and I will add that we should take chapters 1-3 as literal in a wooden sense except for the apparent vision John has of the Lord Jesus. Either one of two things are going on there, he actually sees Christ and uses descriptive language or he is actually seeing Jesus in a vision, mcuh like Daniel did in Daniel 10, which is almost parallel. I tend to think this was probably a visible appearance and not a vision, since Daniel is told that the vision is not for many days, obviously referring to Christ.

Also, note that Rev. 1:7 tells us that Christ is returning in the clouds and every eye will see Him. Also note that even "those who pierced him" will see him. Now fellows, or as we say down south, "fellas":), how can this be true if it does not fit into what Jesus said from Matthew 24 when He spoke of the generation not passing away till all was fulfilled?

I think there is a presupposition that you have when you state that
"Satan is truly shut up and sealed in an abyss so that his deceptive power over the nations is entirely negated". Actually the text simply says, "that he should deceive the nations no more". What is he to deceive them concerning? Is it everything or does this refer to the gospel itself? Remember that the Jewish nation was the only nation who knew the true God. They were the keepers of the oracles of God. Apart from a few gentiles here and there, they were God's people and were the "clay pots" entrusted with the treasure of the gospel. However, when the New Covenant is established and the dispersion takes place, the gospel goes out into all the nations and into all the world. The gospel truth then is that which is able to come and rescue men from the deception which Satan brought to mankind. Also, don't forget that men's hearts apart from the work of Satan are geared toward deception and sin (cf. James 1:13-15; Jeremiah 17:9).

Nathan I also made some comments in an earlier post with Andrew. In the following passage from Rev. 20 is Rev. 22. There we are told that the servants of God will reign with Him forever. Again, I think the argument from Scripture is very strong that the term "a thousand years" is used figuratively. As for the arugment about years in the past. I think that is valid. When Daniel gave prophecies in Daniel 9 it was clearly tied to Israel's complete fulfillment of their violation of sabbaths (ie 70x7). When Jeremiah prophesied their captivity for 70 years I would say that was tied to that as well. However, how is 1000 years tied to anything? What is the specific purpose?

I am curious Nathan and Andrew as to how you view the passage from Matt 12:17-29. Do you not see that Satan is bound? I guess I might want to understand exactly what your understanding of "bound" is? Surely, we are not looking for a millenium where sinners who are not glorified are living are we? If so, who would be the ones deceived when those thousand years are ending when Satan is unbound? Maybe your view of that would be helpful.



Hank, thanks for the comments. I tend to see those things too. I am trying to understand the real difference between the amil position and the post mil. It seems that one is generally optimistic and the other is generally pessimistic.

John thanks for your comment as well, please pray that God would be gracious to us for we are weak, but He is strong.

Ultimately this issue of the binding of Satan, in my opinion is much like the illustration I gave conerncing "dead to sin" and yet still sin, as well as the arguments concerning Calvinsim and Arminianism. Sometimes we can see one side, but not the other. We get glimpses of the other side, but somehow continue to mull over how they fit together. See the "Coin in the Middle of the Room" for how that works.

Nathan White said...

Wow, please take no offense at my bluntness in this comment, you know I hold you in the highest respect, but I just cant get anywhere close to what you’re concluding on any of the quoted passages. I guess if you consistently do bad exegesis than this all makes sense :) I’m in the middle of ‘finals week’ here at school so I will not respond to these things this week –if even at all, for we’re too far apart even on the interpretation of secondary passages. But what amazes me is the constant switching back and forth from symbolic and literal –seemingly at your own leisure. I will say it again: a hermeneutic is used here that wouldn’t dare be used in other parts of scripture, that much is very clear. Sure it’s tough to understand all the keys and horns and stuff, but that doesn’t mean we come to a conclusion which is the exact opposite of the plain meaning of the words –and that is exactly what you are doing (I have given examples above). If I can’t trust the plain meaning of the text, why in the world would I trust what you say it means? That is the prevailing issue in my mind right now.

SDG

Hank said...

Tim

I believe that all the mill positions indeed have problems but I see the lest amount with the a-mill side. I have some very good friends that are die hard post-mill and I see alot of appealing aspects to it. And who doesnt not love to read our great post-mill brothren of the past, the Puritians/Congregtionalsit of the colonial days. I think the problem of crossing over from pre-mill is our ingnorance of Covenant Theology as a whole. I recommend reading Meredith Kline. He is the most consistant A-mill expounder I have seen. His books are very technical but very much worth treading through as they are VERY devotional as well. "Kingdom Prologe" was recently republished and I have a friend involved with the publishing of it and can get copies.Kline NEVER (in this book) gets out of the Genesis for his main thesis of covenantal theology. Also, on the post-mill side, "Paridise restored" by David Chilton is the definative work to read. There is a new system gaining support called "New Covenant Theology" where dispensational and traditional covenantal theology are being meshed to form "NCT", I supose it accompanies the warmed over "progressive dispensationalism". Let me know if you want a Kline book, I will get one to you.
roundfender@yahoo.com

Nathan
You said
"But what amazes me is the constant switching back and forth from symbolic and literal –seemingly at your own leisure."

Are you prepared to say your system in fact does not do this?

If you are new to Covenant Theology (Calvinism is only half of it) than I aspect we have brought up to many different things without properly dealing with any of them. Please do not get disscouraged and accuse us of bad exegesis, rather do as you posted on your blog.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
(4) We must NOT close our minds to Scripture or new things. Just because some teaching doesn’t fit our upbringing or doctrinal position, we must NOT reject it on that basis alone. We all bring a lot of baggage to Scripture, having been raised in the “Bible Belt.” We assume certain things are true without studying them out. This we must constantly, continually be working on.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

May the Lord bless you and keep you and grant you wisdom through your studies and tests.
Amen


-semper reformanda-

Anonymous said...

Hank,

I wasn’t brought up to believe any one particular position. I can honestly say I have approached this with an open mind; but you cannot get your interpretation from the plain meaning of the text. You're going to have to do a lot more convincing for me to believe that you have the secret interpretation of Rev 20 that cannot be clearly deduced from the text itself. Using a literal/historical/grammatical principle of interpretation so as to determine the normal sense of language, your position falls completely off the table. And anything outside of a L/H/G principle leaves us one step away from liberalism. That is why I am so passionate about this discussion. I have realized that this discussion is NOT about the true nature of the Millennium, it is about hermeneutics as a whole! You cannot use the same hermeneutic to interpret Genesis as you use in Revelation and get an interpretation that is even close to your position. That is the issue! On the basis of WHAT do you change your hermeneutic? Because it’s all too hard to believe? Because its eschatology and not an historical event? There is no consistency to your position. Yeah I know eschatology is hard to understand and stuff, and we should lend a great deal of grace to those outside of our position, but this grammatical approach undermines scripture altogether -at every level. Revelation isn’t some secret coded letter where we must determine its meaning by jumping all around to justify our symbolic approach. We should be able to read Revelation alone and come away at least somewhere close to the true meaning.

But maybe your right, I have only been studying Covenant Theology in-depth for a little time now, and so far I am completely unconvinced (if the Bible says there's a covenant then there's a covenant; I am unconvinced beyond that). So that might be a bigger foundational issue between you and me.

I didn't mean to insult you by claiming bad exegesis; I only meant to convey that I disagree across the board with the interpretations and conclusions you guys are coming to. Please forgive me for coming across as condescending. I certainly have no hard feelings against you guys; we agree on too much surrounding the true nature of the gospel itself. I will use my words more wisely in the future.

(P.S. Andrew you are right about the 1000 years being 'a thousand years' in the original language. However, researching this issue more led to one commentator noting that "Never in scripture when 'year' is used with a number is its meaning not literal" - and this includes the Ecc passage Hank quoted. Nevertheless, the only reason I mentioned the year thing is to show one more place where they say that the text doesn’t actually mean what it clearly says.)

Nathan White said...

That 'anonymous' was me, don't know why it showed up like that -I was signed in.

Tim said...

Nathan,

Hey man, I've got a pretty tough hide and a tender heart. I took no offense at what you said. As I've said before, and I'll say it again, I have only done a study in Daniel fully. I have not taken Revelation on wholly. However, in my original post I was merely pointing out that in reflecting on Daniel and Matthew's gospel, which our other elder has been teaching from and with the knowledge of the texts of Revelation and other passages, it seems logical to me that these things seem to make much more sense in light of the things I see from Daniel. I in no way am claiming perfection in my knowledge of any sort and am grateful for your questions, for they challenge me to think and rethink my thinking.

However, I am curious about something. You have said before that you like to take the literal approach. I tend to do that myself, I really do. However, are we to really believe that symbolism is not largely used in Revelation? Really?? I'll give one example that stands out big time to me. Many speak of the New Jerusalem as a real city. But if we notice that John speaks of her as coming down from God out of heaven and John measures the city as well in chapter 21. However, we are also told that the new holy Jerusalem is the bride, the Lamb's wife. Is this literal or symbolic? I think we must conclude that there is symbolic language used to speak of the church, which is literal. Again, Revelation is apocalyptic and you do actually interpret it different than you do Genesis, a historical narrative. That's the difference. None of us would approach a poetry book, expecting a wooden literal interpretation would we? I sure wouldn't. However, sometimes poetry is literal.

I do wish you would comment on the section in Matthew, maybe it would help me understand what you are thinking. I am truly interested to see if maybe I have missed it. If I have I stand ready to repent and be corrected, but even the questions you raised didn't actually deal with that passage.

Tim said...

One last thing, I forgot.

Hebrews uses a lot of the symbolic language that points back to the Old Covenant and we must have an understanding of the Old Testament to understand the book of Hebrews. So, we must have some understanding of both the Old and New Testaments to begin to unravel Revelation and I must say that I am trying to understand how in the world if the bulk of Revelation was written for thousands of years in the future how that would impact the lives of the first readers of the book and I might add, I have heard no response to the parallel to Daniel, which was sealed up till the time of the end and Revelation which states not to seal it up for the time is at hand.

Hank said...

Nathan
No hard feelings. I do however think you are missing the whole point. If you can show me your system doesn’t use symbolism, than I will judge it upon its own merits. You cannot claim mine is strictly symbols. Let me ask you something. If a text, by its nature, is symbolic, than wouldn’t it be interpreting it as such also qualify it as literal?

As for your 'years' qualifying 'thousand' to make it a literal 1000 years. How many times does the word 'hills' follow the word thousand in the Scripture? ONE! Does this mean that the once usage of 'hills' qualifies thousand to mean exactly 1000? If so, what of the other hills and who owns the cattle upon them?

I am not doing this for any other reason but to try to get my point across to you that I have thus failed to do. Do you see my point? One system over another is no more literal than the other. Therefore calling mine a step from liberalism is absurd.

Again, if Revelation is not a vivid account of apocalyptic imagery, are we to expect Dragons being bound by huge chains?

Tim made an excellent point about the 'type' of literure it is we are reading. Some of the early 'anna-baptist' (Belthsar Hubemeir's radical spin-offs in Switzerland) did as you say and they were heretical in their eschatology and else where because of it.


Anyway, I better get to bed, we got (and are still getting) about 8 inches of snow to day so them kids are going to want to be in it pretty early!

-semper reformanda-

ajlin said...

Guys,
Can we get some simplified definitions of amillenial and postmillenial posted here? Because I'm not sure about the meaning of these terms that y'all're using.

Tim said...

Andrew,

I worked through the Richard Belcher book, "A journey in eschatology" and he taught me about so many different trib and mil positions that it made my head spin. As I said before, the one that I am most familiar with as a position is the premil. That's how I was raised. I am simply in the middle of the study of eschatalogical things. I have not tried to follow a particular system yet, because I wanted to see what the text said first and then see how do they fit together.

I believe the post-mil position sets the millenium as going on now and that the gospel will continue to go out into all the world with a final apostacy just before the return of Christ. They believe, I think, that Christianity will eventually become the rule more than the exception. The a-mil position, I think is similar, but most a-mils are not as optimistic and see the world getting worse. I am at least at a point to try and understand their positions, though not fully.

So, this can be broken down as follows:

Amillenialism - A doctrinal belief which posits that instead of a literal 1000 year period of the reign of Messiah on earth in peace, there was instead either a figurative period of Church rule in proxy of Christ, or no literal or figurative 1000 year millenial reign.

Post Millenialism - a doctrine appearing in some Christian denominations such as Presbyterianism, in which the thousand year reign of Christ, or Millennium, is believed to have already occurred, or like amillenialism in which the reign of the Church in proxy of Christ is said to satisfy definitions.

Maybe Hank could help us out and affirm or deny the particulars.

I don't believe Christ's reign is not literal at all. I believe He is reigning now. Don't we all? Am I missing something? What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 15?

1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

Is this a different reign? Was it going on at the time of Paul? Also, I think it is important to point out that Jesus in Daniel 9 was mentioned as Messiah the Prince, but in the New Testament He is presented as the King.

I might want to ask this as well. The disciple and most everyone missed the point of the first coming of Christ and they had the same Old Testament we do. Is it possible that we believe wrongly about the reign of Christ?

In either case, I am not trying to argue, but simply allow these things to be held up to you guys take your questions. However, I think Hank has made some good points. Nathan, brother, if you could would you affirm or deny that you intermix literal and symbolic exegesis in the book of Revelation. Personally I don't think there is a living soul who has ever used a pure wooden literal interpretation of the book, nor do I think there is a person who has used a total symbolic interpretation of the book. The thing I would point out is that the visions John had were visions and some of the things that come through we know from the Old Testament are symbolic while having some actual wooden literal stuff in the mix. Exhibit A would be the visions of Daniel (2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,12). No one would dare say that Daniel actually saw the nations looking like a image. In other words we are not looking for some clay toes to arise out of Rome. They already have, but they were not literal toes, but nations. We are not looking for a literal stone that smashed the image, but it is symbolic language describing Christ. However, in places such as Daniel 11 there is much wooden literal interpretation. Why do I say that? Again some of the things seem to be apparent to me since they allude to or clearly state that these things are like, or I saw in the vision. When those type of things are used should we not approach them carefully to see if they are symbolic, wooden literal, or both? I think we should. Jesus often wove symbolism in the midst of conversations that were to be taken literally.

I agree that many liberals have taken positions and "spiritualized" things and have broken from orthodoxy. However, they have always belittled Christ, His person and His work in the process. I don't even begin to see how that is going on here. Again, my question goes out for an interpretation of the passage from Matthew and maybe we could have some understanding of 1 Corinthians 15, which I quoted above. We are constantly told throughout the pages of the New Testatment that Christ has conquered. I do desire the interaction brothers.

Nathan White said...

Guys, how dare you drag me back into this when I should be studying for finals! J/K. I do have one side note though: Andrew, your use of the word *y'all're* is quite intriguing. Maybe I will learn the definition and usage of this word when I visit you in ‘Bama this weekend? I’m torn between ‘you all are’, ‘holler’, or ‘yellow’ – which is it :)

Andrew: Post-mil believes that the millennium could or could not be going on right now. A-Mil believes it is going on right now. Some post-mil hold to a literal 1000 year Mil, A-millers do not (the post-mil who believe that the thousand years are figurative usually believe it has already started). Post-mil teaches that Satan will gradually defeated over time, the gospel will continue to increase and increase, things on earth will get better and better until Christ returns at the end (and somewhere in that time –we don’t know when, but Satan is thrown into the pit and sealed). A-mil believe that we are in the Mil, (or there is no Mil at all), Christ is reigning from heaven, satan is ‘in the pit’, there will be no literal reign of Christ on earth, there will be no literal restoration of Israel etc.

Now, to address some of your comments:

Tim said: However, are we to really believe that symbolism is not largely used in Revelation?... Revelation is apocalyptic and you do actually interpret it different than you do Genesis, a historical narrative.

No I am not denying the symbolism at all. Certainly the book is loaded with symbolism. Symbolism is different than ‘spiritualizing’ the text or making things allegorical or figurative (there are no allegories in scripture –and that includes Galatians 4 in my opinion). We can’t pick and choose what is figurative and what isn’t, and we certainly cannot contradict the plain meaning of the text. You’re not using just symbolism, your using symbolism with a figurative interpretation as well. That is our basic point of disagreement: the hermeneutical approach. Just because Revelation is an apocalyptic book does not give us the right to interpret it any different than an historical narrative such as Genesis. The problem is, as soon as you say you don't have to interpret the Bible literally, then what in the Bible don't you have to interpret literally? I mean, how can you just say, "Well we don't interpret the apocalyptic stuff literally, but we interpret everything else literally." On the basis of what do you say this? We should maintain a literal, historical, grammatical, contextual hermeneutic of interpretation because that's the only way that we can understand the Bible: to take it at its historical, contextual, linguistic face value. Once you deny the literal—if you say a thousand years doesn't mean a thousand years—then what does it mean? And, well, you say it means this and you say it means that, and you say it means this, and somebody else says it means the other; and we have absolutely no way to tell. Once you have escaped the literal there is no way to confine it.

Tim said: So, we must have some understanding of both the Old and New Testaments to begin to unravel Revelation

Exactly. So can we go back to passages such as Isaiah 2; Isaiah 11, Isaiah 35 and Isaiah 40 to 48? What do we find if we approach those passages literally? We cannot spiritualize those too can we? (I guess if we're convinced that Israel and the church are 'one in the same' then we have to do something with the text to reject its plain meaning).

Tim said: I have heard no response to the parallel to Daniel, which was sealed up till the time of the end and Revelation which states not to seal it up for the time is at hand.

Hmm, don’t understand the question. Clarify if you don’t mind.

Hank said: As for your 'years' qualifying 'thousand' to make it a literal 1000 years

Let me just say this, your position crumbles if we take 1000 years literally. Right? However, you can point to nothing within the text to say that this is figurative. John uses this exact term 6 times in this passage. 6! Don’t you think that if it was figurative at least one of those six would say ‘a really long time’ or something? The exact phrase 6 times in a row is not written to be taken figuratively. If John had wanted to be literal, he could communicate in no clearer language.

Tim said: I don't believe Christ's reign is not literal at all. I believe He is reigning now. Don't we all? Am I missing something? What does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 15?

Were the disciples missing something? Why did they keep asking Jesus when He would set up His kingdom? Why did they see His reign as literal and over all the nations? Were they in gross error in their understanding of the OT? Why does the OT repeatedly prophesy that the Messiah would reign from David’s throne? Is that figurative as well? Let me explain further…Look at Luke chapter 1:

“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

So let me get this straight, in your interpretation, beginning in verse 31, the Prophetic fulfillment “conceive…bring forth a Son” –literally happened. “call His name Jesus” – Literally happened. “He will be great…called the Son of the Highest” – Literally happened. “God will give Him the throne of His father David…Reign over Jacob…etc” – FIGURATIVE? On the basis of what do you make that switch? Passages pointing to the fact that Christ is reigning from heaven? That’s not the same as David’s throne and the house of David. Your hermeneutic is all over the map.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but we’re getting into Dispensationalism a little and that is not something I want to do at this time (I have yet to come to a firm conclusion). The bottom line is that you can take the passage in Rev 20 and completely turn it on its head because the reformed tradition demands it? You cannot get your position from the text itself, you have to make up whatever figures fits into your position –and that’s not something I’m afraid to say. But I enjoy this conversation! I will continue to look into the Word and approach this subject as something I could be completely wrong on!

Nathan White said...

One more thing :)

After that long post I just wrote maybe my earlier poor choice of words makes more sense. When I said 'if you do bad exegesis it all makes sense', I meant to convey that in order to make the a-mil position line up from Gen to Rev we must take a decidedly figurative interpretational method on a plethora of passages. Figurative and symbolic isn’t just being used in Revelation (Tim you justified this as being a symbolic book), its used all across the board -especially in the OT.

So if I was to accept your figurative/exegetical pretzel you present in Rev 20, I must accept similar methods of interpretation in many other areas of scripture as well. There is no end to this liberal method of interpretation -especiallly in passages like Gen 1-3.


SDG

Tim said...

Nathan,

Now you're in it brother and we're gonna chain you here:) lol. I am enjoying it too. I have said over and over that I have not found completely firm footing here, but have been contemplating about how these things fit together and am able to see how the a-mils and post-mils come to their conclusion.

However, I would like to ask you this. Since Revelation chapter one is clear that these things "must shortly take place" (vs. 1), "for the time is near" and from Rev. 22:10 "for the time is at hand". Now, Nathan, can you consistently use the "wooden" literal meaning and come up with your interpretation of 2000 years into the future? I am not saying we shouldn't take it literal. I am saying we shouldn't take it in a wooden literal sense. That's my point. I think it is valid.

The question about the parallel with Daniel is that Daniel was a sealed book till the time of the end (Dan. 12:4). The things he spoke of occurred up until the time of Christ and the establishment of the kingdom. Revelation says, " And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand" (Rev. 22:10). How are we to accept the things which you are stating if we take what he is saying here just as he wrote it? That's really where I get stumped with what you are saying.

As for your comments concerning the disciples wanting to know when He would establish His kingdom, I must say that they were expecting something that they didn't quite understand. For instance, we will note that Jesus Himself clarified what His Kingdom is. I will let the Scripture speak here as He addressed Pilate.

John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

As for Him ruling over the house of Jacob, may we remind ourselves that Gentiles are a part of that. Those who were unbelieving Jews were cut off and Gentiles were grafted into the true Israel. We are part of the New covenant with the house of Jacob. Again, I don't see how that disrupts anything.

However, I do better understand what you are saying concerning Revelation 20 and you desiring to use a literal 1000 years. I guess in light of what "appears clear to me" (yes, those italics are mine:), that we would understand what is not so clear in light of that. I am hopeful that you could at least help me understand where you are at conerning this issue, rather than just asking me questions. Maybe that might help us understand one another better and allow us to see which of our conclusion best holds water.

Again, I am thankful that you will engage in the discussion for our mutual benefit.

Tim said...

One more thing:) Why do we stop posting when we're not done?:)

In the text of Rev. 20, who is actually reigning with Christ? Verse 4 tells us, "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." Now, if Revelation is written at an early date and these things in Revelation will shortly come to pass and if as many have noted that Rome and its leader Nero are considered the Beast, then doesn't it follow that these who rejected him and those martyred by him are participating in that thousand year reign now? Clearly the beast is Rome. I think that is clear from Daniel and the imagery is carried from Daniel into Revelation. I don't know of anyone who would dispute that. So, in light of that what are we to make of this being yet future?

Nathan White said...

Tim,

“the time is near” clearly has no limitations to it. It’s not like the exact term ‘one thousand years’, it’s a saying that the time is short and we must be prepared. The Holy Spirit wisely put no time frame on this term for the fulfillment of these prophecies so the church down through the ages would be watchful and prepared for these things to take place. It is not a contradiction that 2000 years have passed; it is a clear contradiction to say that 2000 years have passed and yet Rev 20 says the Mill would be 1000yrs.

The seal in Revelation 20 was directed at John so he would not delay in writing down these things. As far as Daniel 12:4 goes, here is what one commentator said:

“The Hebrew phrase translated "shut up the words" speaks of preservation. "Book" refers to written material. The angel was telling Daniel that he had received the final words of this last revelation, covering Israel's history from Daniel's time to that of the Antichrist. Since Daniel would receive no further revelation, it was time to roll up the scroll and close it. Sealing the book would ensure the security of its contents and could even apply to an authenticating stamp so that people might treat it with respect. The revelation was to be preserved until "the time of the end," referring to the time of the Great Tribulation.”

I see no correlation between the two; there’s certainly nothing in the text that says so.

I also see no correlation between John 18:36 and the many OT and NT prophecies that say Jesus will rule here on earth and from David’s throne. Jesus is just saying that He doesn’t care to fight because His kingdom gains nothing by military might.

Nero and Rome are the beast? Yeah I would dispute that entirely. But before we even get to Rev 20 we have to get to Rev 19. And in Rev 19 what happens? Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” So, in your view the Christ has already come to earth? When did this happen? Furthermore, in your interpretation of Rev 20, a Judgment must have happened (v4), saints must be resurrected to life, and the rest of the unbelievers stay dead until the end of the Mill. But again, I’m sure you can use figurative language to explain away all of these things –why not? There’s no rule telling you when and where you can use your imagination (excuse my candor).

My position? Ha, I’m still trying to figure it out! I’ve been reading up on eschatology for several weeks now, read some L berkof, some R Reymond, some Sproul, some MacArthur, some Grudem, a little here a little there. But right now I am holding to the plain reading of the text –I will certainly reject an interpretation that contradicts the text. But I believe that the 1000yrs are literal; there is a tribulation to come; the beast and the false prophet have yet to be revealed etc. I am a futurist because that’s what the plain reading of the text teaches (nobody disputes that).

Tim said...

Nathan,

I am sorry to keep you from finals, but I am having a great time interacting with you guys and am challenged I admit. Thanks for taking the time though.

You said, "“the time is near” clearly has no limitations to it. It’s not like the exact term ‘one thousand years’, it’s a saying that the time is short and we must be prepared. The Holy Spirit wisely put no time frame on this term for the fulfillment of these prophecies so the church down through the ages would be watchful and prepared for these things to take place. It is not a contradiction that 2000 years have passed; it is a clear contradiction to say that 2000 years have passed and yet Rev 20 says the Mill would be 1000yrs."

Are you serious? Come on Nathan. Now here is where I say that you tend to do the same thing. Who is John writing specifically to? The 7 churches in Asia Minor. Verse 3 of chapter 1 tells us the time is at hand. The word at hand (eggus) means, "imminent, soon to come to pass" or quite literally "at arms length". Now, while there is not a designated time frame, I understand, how can it be both "at arms length" and over 2000 years into the future? Is that not taking the text and applying figurative language?

As far as the commentator you quoted goes, I am wondering how he came to that conclusion in regards to his interpretation. If we are to parallel the use of the terms from Daniel 12 and Rev. 22 then we would discover in Daniel 12 that knowledge would increase at the time of the end when the book would be opened and understood. But they wouldn't understand until that time. By the way that is in the context of Daniel 12:4. John's book however is not that way.

Not only this, but maybe the commentator didn't actually take into account verse 9. There the messenger tells Daniel the words are closed up and sealed. Now the term for closed up is catham and the use of its stem gives the meaning, "to stop up; to shut up, keep close; secret". This in no way implies preservation, but rather implies that clear knowledge will be unveiled at the proper time. Also, "seal up" carries the meaning of "to seal, affix one's seal; to seal up, fasten up by sealing". In either case this becomes that which is documented ahead of time for those things taking place at the end. Consequently, those traditional wise men you mentioned in the Founder's blog don't show up for approximately 2 years. How did they know when Messiah would be born? Remember they came from the east and they came to Herod and asked, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?" These tidings troubled Herod (cf. Matt 2:3; Dan. 11:44). Daniel evidently led them into such knowledge, though that knowledge was evidently very small as we see from Matthew 2 where they are trying to identify where the King is to be born.


Also, I think there is a major problem with someone actually pointing to a specific person antichrist in Daniel. I went through and tried to find the reference to him, but have not seen this person. In all of Scripture there are only 4 times that the term anitchrist is used in the New Testament and it is by the apostle John in 1 John (2:18, 2:22, 4:3) and 2John 1:7. In each of the references above they speak to systems of belief that deny the deity of Christ and those who promote these doctrines. The only one that even comes close to being an actual person is 1Jn. 2:18. However, we will note that when beasts were used in Daniel and he specifically spoke of the beast with 10 horns it was who? Rome. The horns represented the beasts kings. That is how the angel interpreted the beast for Daniel as well as John. It's my fault that I included Nero in that comment earlier. Of course people dispute that, but they don't dispute Rome, they just take the "revived Rome" position, which I think is totally foreign to Daniel and Revelation.

There is nothing in Daniel or Revelation in and of itself that speaks directly to someone called Antichrist that I've seen. Remember that John was the only one to use the term and he did not say that the beast of revelation was the antichrist he taught of in his epistles did he? I'm not saying that is conclusive evidence. I am just not convinced by the argument from the commentator.

Again, the commentator you quoted speaks of "The revelation was to be preserved until "the time of the end," referring to the time of the Great Tribulation.”

Now I must say that I agree with that comment. However, from what I see when is the great tribulation to take place? Where do we find its description. I would grant that most people would point to Daniel 12:1 and even reference Matt. 24. However, unless we are using a strange hermeneutic, then Matthew 24, at least the bulk of it, refers to the tribulation of the seige of Jerusalem.

Again, here is a major problem with that interpretation being way off in the distant future. Notice chapter 12 begins by saying "at that time". Most commentators agree that the first few verses of Daniel 12 go with chapter 11. Here's the problem as I see it. Daniel, in chapter 11 is giving us the history of what will be taking place up until the time of the end (which I have already stated I do not believe is a reference to the end of history. If you have proof otherwise from Daniel, please let me see it). Daniel takes us from the rise of Greece through the death of Alexander the Great and the division of his empire, to focusing in on the king of the north and the king of the south. Most commentators agree about most of the chapter until verse 36. Then all of a sudden there is all this confusion. It seems to me that Daniel as in all his visions comes up to the time of Rome and the Messiah. I don't think this is any different. Verse 36 seems to throw people because now he is not talking about either the king of the north or the king of the south. Rather I believe he is referring to the line of Herods. I think there is ample evidence in history that would lead us to conclude that the king spoken of here throughout the end of chapter 11 is the Herod dynasty. This would also parallel the other visions Daniel had concerning the kingdoms arising and the timing of the coming of the Messiah. Therefore, if that interpretation is correct, then the "great tribulation" comes "at that time", when Michael stands up. Is this reference to Michael closely connected to Revelation 12? I think it is, since this happens at the time of Messiah, not 2000 years into the future.

You also said, "I also see no correlation between John 18:36 and the many OT and NT prophecies that say Jesus will rule here on earth and from David’s throne. Jesus is just saying that He doesn’t care to fight because His kingdom gains nothing by military might." Maybe you can identify David's throne for me then. Is it the literal throne of David, or does it speak to His kingly authority? And yes He is reigning over the house of David right now, which happens to include Gentiles. Is that a problem? I don't think it is.

You also said, "Furthermore, in your interpretation of Rev 20, a Judgment must have happened (v4), saints must be resurrected to life, and the rest of the unbelievers stay dead until the end of the Mill." Ok, finally we can deal with the baggage of what is brought to the text. You assume what type of judgment here? Final judgment?? I am tempted to say this may refer to the judgment Jesus promised His disciples concerning the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:30). However, I'll leave that up to you as to which judgment is being referenced there. It certainly is not final judgment. As far as resurrection goes. I'll admit that one might be tricky, but the text indicates that John saw the "souls of men", not resurrected bodies. Do we not believe that those who have died in the Lord are "living" in His presence? I think you do. I certainly hope you don't believe in "soul sleep". Rest of the unbelievers stay dead? What about the rest of the saints? I see that many point out that the great white throne judgment is only for unbelievers. It seems that the end of the chapter makes a distinction that all men will be judged. However, it is only those whose names are not written in the Book who are cast into the lake of fire. If you are going to make an argument that dead only refers to spiritually dead, then you fall into the same trap you say that we are engaging in.

One last thing. I will actually put the last thing in the post this time:) Where in Revelation 20 do we find Christ ruling and reigning from earth, or for that fact from the physical city of Jerusalem?

As far as Revelation 19 goes. You said, "But before we even get to Rev 20 we have to get to Rev 19. And in Rev 19 what happens? Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.” So, in your view the Christ has already come to earth? When did this happen?" Nathan, can you please show me in the text where Christ comes to earth in Revelation 19? It's not there. Furthermore, I would point you to Acts 1:11 as to the return of Christ. But you will find Him actually returning to the earth nowhere in Revelation 19. You are simply reading that into the text. I tend to see Him simply coming in judgment, if indeed Revelation is dealing with that short time span between John's writing and the seige of Jerusalem.

Hank said...

Nathan
You of all people should understand explaining doctrine to some one who consistently misrepresents and builds strawmen in order to tear down is anything but fruitful. I am not sure who your source is but would you learn the Doctrines of Grace from Dave Hunt? Would you study Calvinism from Geisler? Would you attend ‘Free will Baptist” to deepen your knowledge of God’s unending Grace?

Again, how is it if the text means ‘a really long time’ literally, using a figure of speech to say it, means you cannot believe anything else including Gen 3? And how is it spiritualizing to say, “This cabinet I built for you will last a million years”? And the wood from which it is made
You keep lumping anything but pre-mill as liberal. That seems to me to go against your own advice.


24 "My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them.
Ezek 37:24 (NASB)
Should we expect David literally to sit on the throne in the 1000 years? By your comments above, you make it sound as if David’s then kingdom is far superior to Christ’s current one.

You are right about the 1st century people not understanding the nature of Christ’s reign. They indeed were looking for a king to deliver them from the nations. He came not to deliver the Jews alone but rather the whole world. They did not understand how to enter this kingdom, nor who this kingdom was for.

Read John 3 without focusing on the soteriology, but rather on the eschatological aspect of the passage. We have the very same problem today, asking where is the kingdom and how do I enter it. Same as Nic, and the rest of Jesus’ audience.

You, like the first century Jews misunderstand the nature of the Kingdom of God. Christ is that very kingdom and in Him and for Him are all things. For Messiah to be expected from His people to come and deliver them from the oppression of the world is to say the very same thing the Pharisees said 2000 years ago. That is to say He is not ruling now, and His first advent was some how inadequate.

I am not sure if you ever got my point, but I think it was made so I will no longer strive to force you into admitting that you are exercising the very thing you accuse me of. This, my friend will do you, as a rhetorician-apologist, nor your arguments no favors, nor will it lend any credence to your theology. I suggest you read back over your posts and look for the areas in which you claim authority, then later reject those same sources to, as you say, ‘fit your system’.

You said,
“the time is near” clearly has no limitations to it. It’s not like the exact term ‘one thousand years’

So does this mean that Satan in Rev 20 may be loosed for a time period, "a short while", that is in fact longer than that which he was bound (THOUSAND years)?
Or is the usage of 'short' and 'near' somehow different?

Peter declared the 'last days' from Joel chapter 2. If we are still in the last days, which days are they (Jewish age, gentile age, what ever age)? It seems to me these days (of their day) was infact the end of the Jewish age. End of the guardianship of the Law, the full revelation of God to man, ect, ect. If this is so, and we are still in those days, how can the 'last days of an age be longer than the age itself?

Finally, you mentioned Galatians, which is the most concentrated book of covenant theology as a whole in Scripture. I am doing a exposition of it this semester under a SBC professor and interestingly enough, he is not pre-mill.

E-mail me and I will send you some things via USPS that I want you to look over. That way you at least will be informed by an advocate, advocating his own Biblical Theology instead of being mis-lead by some ones straw-man arguments. Then you can at least understand, even if you do not agree. Surly you see the merit of this.

ajlin said...

Exegetical Strong Points Thus Far

1. "Soon" means SOON!
Tim wrote:

"Who is John writing specifically to? The 7 churches in Asia Minor. Verse 3 of chapter 1 tells us the time is at hand. The word at hand (eggus) means, "imminent, soon to come to pass" or quite literally "at arms length". Now, while there is not a designated time frame, I understand, how can it be both "at arms length" and over 2000 years into the future? Is that not taking the text and applying figurative language?"

Anyone who tries to make phrases that mean that somthing will take place "soon" or that events are "coming quickly" compatable with the contradictory concept "over a couple of thousand years" will occur until these events take place is obviously not explaining the text- they are trying to explain the text AWAY.

2. "Bound" means BOUND!
Satan's power is the power of deception. Satan's goal is to hinder the right worship of God, deceiving people concerning the Gospel. When the Word speaks of Satan being bound and thrown into an abyss, which is shut up and sealed over him, I do not to have to imagine literal dragons being led around by chains to understand that what is being described is a situation in which Satan is rendered powerless in this world. And it is obvious from Scripture that Satan is not powerless at this time, as Nathan pointed out through a series of rhetorical questions:

"Casting Satan in a bottomless pit still allows him to roam (1 Peter 5:8), fill someone’s heart (Acts 5:3), blind the minds of the unbelievers (2 Cor 4:4), and deceive the nations (Acts 26:16-18)? Is that how you are telling me to interpret this passage?
So when the scripture says we war against ‘principalities and powers…spiritual hosts of wickedness’ (Eph 6:12), and that the whole world still under the power of the wicked one (1 John 5:19), you want me to reconcile this with Rev 20 which says he is bound and sealed so he cant deceive the nations?"

In a similar way as with the point above- anyone tries to assert that Satan is presently "bound" "thrown into the abyss" and "sealed" "so that he should not deceive the nations any longer" compatable with the biblical proclamation that currently "the whole world lies in the power of the evil one"- obviously contradictory concepts- is not trying to explain the text- they are trying to explain the text AWAY.

Any system of eschatology, then, that does not allow these passages to speak for themselves must be reformed.

semper reformanda

Tim said...

Andrew,

This will be short. You said, "Satan's power is the power of deception. Satan's goal is to hinder the right worship of God, deceiving people concerning the Gospel. When the Word speaks of Satan being bound and thrown into an abyss, which is shut up and sealed over him, I do not to have to imagine literal dragons being led around by chains to understand that what is being described is a situation in which Satan is rendered powerless in this world. And it is obvious from Scripture that Satan is not powerless at this time, as Nathan pointed out through a series of rhetorical questions."

I see. So you can believe in a wooden literal sense a literal binding, in how you define it, and you can believe, in a wooden literal sense, a real literal abyss, but you can choose to believe that the dragon, not in a wooden literal sense, is bound with chains, that are not taken in a wooden literal sense.

My point being is that in the midst of this it seems that you are still doing what you are saying that I am doing and that is you say you are being literal, but there is clearly some subtle changes you are making. I am not faulting you for this. I truly believe that we have been taught wrongly by men who were taught wrongly and failed to see what the Scritpures actually taught concerning the kingdom.

I am waiting with baited breath for Nathan's response to my last comments:) By the way, I am ready to discuss that restoration of Israel if you are ready. However, make sure that we at least deal with Revelation 21 if we go that direction.

Tim said...

I did think of some things to ask in order that you might understand why I would come to the conclusion regarding Rev. 20.

Could you guys please answer these. They are simple and might help you understand my thinking.

Did Christ come as prophesied?

Was He King over a kingdom?

Was His kingdom established?

What does the Bible say concerning the timing of the establishment of His kingdom (cf. Dan 2, esp. vs. 44)?

Did Christ crush the serpents head? (I might throw in, if I took that in the sense you take Rev. 20 that I might pose the same questions to you guys regarding the rhetorical question:)

Was there a binding of Satan and his forces (again I haven't heard a response to 12:18-32? I might add, notice that Jesus' refers in verse 32 to this age (which I believe is the age of the nation of physical Israel) and the age to come (the church age).

Now, sense I think those things are clearly described in the New Testament, when I start to look at Revelation and see that the time is at hand, I am compelled to believe the things written are shortly to take place and that John's readers are expecting them to come to pass very soon. If that is the case, and the beast, I think is clearly Rome and one of its leaders, and we see Jesus coming in judgment in chapter 19, then it seems to give insight into Revelation 20. For those who are living and reigning with Christ, "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".

I am much like you guys in the fact that Revelation is not so clear cut. I am struggling to understand as well. However, these are some questions that are brought up by the very clear explanation of the text of the New Testament. I think Hank brought up excellent points, which I was going to try to bring up, but since he is much more gifted in explanation than I am I will let his comments stand. The real issue here is in fact, the nature of the kingdom of God and the Scripture says we are in it. That is very literal and very clear.

Nathan White said...

This will be an abbreviated reply. First becaues of finals and second because we are not getting anywhere. We have two different approaches to interpreting scripture. I probably will not address very much at all, but I do have a few things to say. Ok, where oh where to begin…I will start with a few things Tim said, then a few things Hank said, and then back again to comment on what Tim/Andrew said:

Tim said: “Are you serious? Come on Nathan. Now here is where I say that you tend to do the same thing… Is that not taking the text and applying figurative language?

Of course it isn’t. There is no specific timeframe here. I am however, curious as to why you take issue with this since your position clearly rejects a specific timeframe. Besides the fact that you determine 1000years as whatever fits your tradition, on the basis of what do you put a specific timeframe on ‘the time is near’? Also, like you mentioned, this letter was written to 7 churches. And many of those things prophesied to those churches were very close to coming to pass, and did very soon after. Furthermore, and this is what I am really wondering: I am amazed to hear you use this logic because clearly all of Revelation has not been fulfilled. No matter which side you stand on you have to deal with the fact that there are things in Revelation that are still yet future. On the basis of WHAT do you get to decide which things ‘are near’ and which things are not?

Tim said: If we are to parallel the use of the terms from Daniel 12 and Rev. 22 then we would discover in Daniel 12 that knowledge would increase at the time of the end when the book would be opened and understood. But they wouldn't understand until that time. By the way that is in the context of Daniel 12:4. John's book however is not that way.

I don’t see how this supports your position at all; I don’t see how it hurts mine. But I also don’t see how you can parallel the two passages. Clearly one was spoken to Daniel and one was spoken to John. They are not linked by anything in the text itself, except the fact that the wording is similar. Daniel was commanded to seal it up for a time for whatever reason, John was commanded not to seal it up so that it would be read and obeyed. Again, basing your position on another obscure passage is weak. I am giving passages that say my position in black and white; you are giving passages where I cannot get your position from the text unless I come exactly from your point of view.

This is where I’m going to throw up the white flag with you Tim. I would love to spend the time commenting on your view of David’s throne (in which you reject the plain wording of like 50 passages in scripture in favor of 'figurative language'), the ‘souls’ that are spirits in your mind, the tribulation that supposedly already happened, the antichrist that is supposedly just a John thing, the heavens opening and Jesus coming on a white horse which you say really doesn’t mean He comes to earth etc. But I’m not going to waste my breath. Not because I cannot prove your position is wrong from the scriptures, but because no matter what text I show you it will get ‘spiritualized’ to fit your agenda. We have two different hermeneutics, and as I have shown from the passage in Luke, you reserve the right for yourself to jump from literal to figurative at your own leisure –at any place in scripture. That is the main issue. That is why I will not engage in many of your other arguments. (More on this below)

Hank:
I was sorry to see you lob the ‘strawman’ argument at me. Your attack on me personally (hinting that I learned the doctrines of grace from Dave Hunt) sure was condescending. I don’t know who you are but apparently you want to get across how much more you know than me. This is no place for ad-hominem (a Dave Hunt quality). I would appreciate it if you would deal with my words instead of the condescending tactic of trying to make me look stupid.

Please show me where I am spiritualizing verses, ignoring the plane meaning by inserting my tradition into the text, using figurative language when it contradicts the literal rendering etc like you accuse me of. Furthermore, I am again upset at your condescending tone by ‘giving me advice’ on how I can give ‘credence’ to my theology. If you cannot prove your position from the plain reading of the text then please do not sling mud onto me and my arguments. Please just deal with what I put down on paper. At this time, I have no desire to engage in the little real argumentation you put forth.

Andrew:

Your mention of ‘semper reformanda’ was very timely. For I have been studying the Reformers themselves on this subject, and many of them hold to this AMil position. Yes they are dead-on in their theology in a lot of areas, but this is one area where I disagree with them. Does this worry me? Not at all. Advocates on both the Pre-Mill and A-Mill position recognize that the eschatology debate had not engaged itself during the time of the Reformers and Puritans. The reason why the reformers were so good on soteriology was because it was being attacked from so many sides. They HAD to refine it to defend it! Eschatology however, was not a big issue and therefore could not be fine-tuned. Calvin didn’t even write a commentary on Revelation –the only book in which he didn’t. The doctrines of the Scripture have defined themselves through history. Church councils, and writers, and scholars, and authors have dealt with doctrinal issues; and they've moved through the various doctrines until coming, ultimately, to a study of eschatology (which has really been in the last couple hundred years). So yes, we must continue to reform our theology and our beliefs system. Sticking with what the Reformers taught even when it clearly does not line up with scripture is greatly to be feared.

Tim Said:So you can believe in a wooden literal sense a literal binding, in how you define it, and you can believe, in a wooden literal sense, a real literal abyss, but you can choose to believe that the dragon, not in a wooden literal sense

I have tried to make this point before. We recognize the use of symbolism in the book of Revelation. But NOT in reference to actual events. John is describing a sequence of events here in Rev 20, these are not some kind of mysterious events that happen over time. Satan is bound so that Christ can reign literally on earth. For example: We see that ‘the key’ to the pit is symbolic for the power given to that angel to open the pit. We do not however, use the actual event taking place and say that is symbolic as well. The specific wording surrounding actual events are not symbolic; there is no warrant in scripture for saying so.

Anyway, to sum things up here, we must ignore the plain teaching of scripture on Satan coupled with the testimony of what we see in the world around us to believe that the ‘kingdom has come’. In a sense Jesus is reigning from heaven, like He always has from the very beginning, but He has given the specific rule over to Satan. And Revelation 20 is very clear in showing that Satan will be removed completely and Jesus will then rule completely as well. This clearly is not the position of the world today, not according to me, but according to the NT. Furthermore, the millennium that you say we are in clearly has no resemblance to the age described in: 2 Samuel, chapter 7, Psalm 2, Isaiah 2, Isaiah 11, Isaiah 35, Isaiah 40 to 48, Jeremiah 23 and 33, Daniel 2, 7, Hosea 3, Joel 3, Zephaniah 3, Zechariah 14 etc. For example, let’s take one look at Isaiah chapter 11:

But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
6 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD


Anyway, to close I must say that this discussion is pointless if we do not agree on hermenuetics.

If I would love to respond to more arguments, but it would take me three hours to get through the pages of comments by you guys. Can we stick to one issue? How about prove to me that Jesus is ruling from heaven and I will counter as to why scripture says that this is not the same as will happen in the Millennium?

SDG

Hank said...

Nathan
You misunderstood my point. It was in no way an attack on you. I simply meant that if one is to truly understand a position, right or wrong, we should go to an advocate of the system. This is to say, I wouldnt, nor would you, learn the deep truths of the doctrines of grace from Dave Hunt. This was only an example and I am sorry I did not make that clear enough. Please forgive me as I seek not to repel any one whom I consider a brother.
My second point, again was to show that there is no system or theology that uses only literal interpratations, NONE. As I see symbols mixed with a narritive of literal events, so do you. That is all my friend, I meant nothing else by my comments but to show you not to condem me when you are doing the same just with different emphasis. And do not forget, these come on the heels or your many accusations and 'condensending remarks' toward my own understanding, but this would farther prove whats good for the goose may not be for the gander. Any way. I am done and I hope my apology is acepted and I will, from here on out, rephrase my thoughts as not to condensend upon anyone.
And the offer to e-mail me is still open. I have some great Puritian writings on how they viewed some of the subjects that we are disscussing.
Your comments to Andrew are right on about the Reformers. It is interesting to see the lack of information stated in early prodestant creeds about this very subject.

-semper reformanda-

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tim said...

Nathan,

Thanks for hanging in there. Since you didn't answer the questions I posed (I know you are limited by time), I really have trouble getting an understanding on what you are saying.

Let me say that I don't take from Hank that he was saying you were learning the doctrines of grace from Dave Hunt. Please, that is not at all what he meant. He meant that you wouldn't approach Dave Hunt if you wanted to learn the doctrines of grace. I think he was clear on that. If there was ad hominem, it may have been later regarding you as an apologist. I certainly don't think that of you. I have read your stuff and appreciate it greatly.

However, the reason I asked the questions was so that we could actually deal with the context of the book of Revelation and with conclusions of what I see can fit the interpretation of the text in light of what is clear.

Again, you bring into the text of Revelation 19 that Christ actually returns to earth in that passage and I guess you interpret that in light of Zechariah where he says that His feet shall stand on the Mt. of Olives. That is absolutely no where in Revelation 19. So that's eisegesis.

You also said, "I am amazed to hear you use this logic because clearly all of Revelation has not been fulfilled. No matter which side you stand on you have to deal with the fact that there are things in Revelation that are still yet future." Nathan I have not said that there are not things yet future. That is nowhere in my posts. As a matter of fact, I clearly laid out the fact that the last day and the resurrection on that last day is yet future.

You said, "I would love to spend the time commenting on your view of David’s throne (in which you reject the plain wording of like 50 passages in scripture in favor of 'figurative language'), the ‘souls’ that are spirits in your mind, the tribulation that supposedly already happened, the antichrist that is supposedly just a John thing, the heavens opening and Jesus coming on a white horse which you say really doesn’t mean He comes to earth etc." Uh.....what? Souls are spirits in my mind?? Are they to be interpreted in the same book in chapter 6:9 as the same ones mentioned in Rev. 20:4? Hmmm..... I don't know if that will fly since we are looking for consistency. As far as the tribulation, I still think that is traditional on your part, not exegetical. Study Daniel and Mattew 24 and the only way you can come up with some future great tribulation that only effects physical Jews is to read it into the text. That is past. The only point I was making concerning the term "antichrist" was that John was the only one who used the term and what I am saying is that the commentator you cited is simply importing that concept into Revelation 13 and that is a simple observation.

My comments here are by no means traditional. Believe you me. I have only begun to come to these conclusions after study, not after reading Calvin, or any other reformers. I haven't read any of those guys views that's why I can't easily categorize my understanding.

I think you also bring into the text of Revelation 20 concepts that you find in the Old Testament, which you have cited. However, you have failed to demonstrate that Jesus is on the earth in Revelation 20. You have failed to demonstrate that the things you actually cited are taking place in the text of Revelation 20. That is my point. You import the concept of a earthly kingdom into Revelation 20 and expect me to believe that happens in between the spaces. Brother, that is not there.

You know me well enough brother to know that I don't like ad hominem and I don't lower myself to name calling. That is disrespectful and unloving for a fellow brother. I will not do it. Christ gave Himself for us and any comments posted by me to any of you guys is not in the tone of condecension or meanness. Never! I am simply trying see if my position will hold and I think it has.

I take to "one issue" to heart here. However, once I give these things, remember that you have to demonstrate how the Scriptures you cite from the Old Testament are in fact speaking of the thousand years in Revelation 20 and it might be helpful to show the use of the term thousand years in those passages.

Here they come:

Daniel 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Daniel is told in the preceding passages that the stone cut out without hands (Jesus Christ) smites the image at the feet and and turns from a stone to a mountain which fills the earth. He is then told in verse 44 that this is the kingdom that God is establishing in the days of those kings. Where is a huge gap of time there and why should I believe that FROM THE TEXT?

Daniel 7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Now before you start with the "all people, nations, and languages", remember that is exactly how the Arminian argues against us. They argue for every single individual. When did this happen? If we are to believe what Daniel says it happens around the time of the fourth beast of Daniel (which was Rome). Later in the same passage in verse 18 it says, "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." Finally in verse 27, " And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."

Are we still waiting for that, or did it happen just as Daniel records for us (in the time of the fourth empire, Rome)?

1 Corinthians 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.


Is this the earthly reign that Paul mentions when he speaks here of or do we understand that He speaks of Jesus on the throne now. The context is that of resurrection and the power of it. What happened when Christ was resurrected and ascended? As we saw in Daniel, He was given a kingdom and dominion.

Psalm 2
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
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.


Now I would ask how you would reconcile this with the whole concept you mentioned in your quoting of Isaiah 11. If the millenium, as you say is occupied by resurrected believers, who are those who are deceived from Rev. 20 and who are those here who have to be ruled with a rod of iron and dashed in pieces? Why the need to rule with the rod of iron if every single person living is "beating their swords into plowshares and not learning war anymore"?

This is certainly one you are familiar with:

Mt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

How much authority Nathan? Does His authority supercede Satans? Of course I know you believe it does.
But specifically we recall that now Jesus is no longer the "suffering servant", but the risen Lord and King.

Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.


Peter makes clear by quoting King David from Psalm 110 and pointing to the fact that this has been accomplished in the resurrection and ascention of Christ.

Here is the passage so you can easily reference it. Because many would try and link this to something in the future, but the inspired apostle teaches us this is already going on.
Psalm 110
1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.


Ephesians 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


He is clearly above all of those things mentioned in the text and seated upon the throne with His Father.

Hebrews 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.


Here again, the Scripture is clear in reference to what Jesus is doing. Notice the kingdom is termed as for ever and ever. The writer indicates that this is going on now.

I might could provided some more. I think the New Testament confirms that Christ is indeed ruling and reigning now and I want to be clear so that we don't pass each other as ships in the night. Hear me well. Revelation 20 speaks of Christ reigning with those who have died, yet they live with and reign with Him. If you are going to counter with an argument, I think it is incumbent upon you to show from the passages you cite in the Old Testament that it indicates a period of 1000 years, since this is your literal interpretation.

Is that easier to deal with:)?

Tim said...

Nathan,

I'm sorry but there was one more thing I wanted to point out. You quoted me saying, "Tim said: If we are to parallel the use of the terms from Daniel 12 and Rev. 22 then we would discover in Daniel 12 that knowledge would increase at the time of the end when the book would be opened and understood. But they wouldn't understand until that time. By the way that is in the context of Daniel 12:4. John's book however is not that way."

You then followed with,"I don’t see how this supports your position at all; I don’t see how it hurts mine. But I also don’t see how you can parallel the two passages. Clearly one was spoken to Daniel and one was spoken to John. They are not linked by anything in the text itself, except the fact that the wording is similar. Daniel was commanded to seal it up for a time for whatever reason, John was commanded not to seal it up so that it would be read and obeyed. Again, basing your position on another obscure passage is weak."

Are you arguing that Daniel and the things found in it have nothing to do with Revelation? I don't know of one Bible teacher who would say that. I hope I am misunderstanding you. If indeed these things are linked, then I think my argument concerning sealing up and not sealing up is correct. I would also point out the commentators error for surely he would not import that idea of preservation into Rev. 22:10, since John would do the exact opposite and thus is why we have it today.

Nathan White said...

I would really love to respond to all of this, but I'm sorry I just don't have the time. If we stay on one specific topic and make our arguments short and concise I can participate.

Nevertheless, I will try to respond later this evening to both Hank and Tim; I will try to address each argument in one or two sentences. But for the next several days I'm just too strapped for time to addresses each individual passage.

SDG

Hank said...

Tim
I must make one more comment in my own defense as to my comments to Nathan, and then I will move on. In the classic sense and usage, the words apologist and rhetorician are synonymous. My comment was not meant as an attack. I have read Nathan’s blog for awhile now and I see he has an ability to ‘argue’ his position. In the history of the great defenders of the Faith, most of whom were trained as rhetoricians prior to becoming a Christian apologist. Justin Martyr, Tertutilian, Augustine, and many more. Even the Apostle Paul was in fact a rhetorician and the rhetorical way in which he provides his arguments was his own adaptations form his Roman-Jewish culture in which he was a product. No ad hominem I assure you. The use of the double word was to better describe the other word. Not to say or not say something on a personal level. I simply felt his argument of making an accusation against ones position, all the while practicing the very same thing, is going to have repercussions as he develops his methods of rhetoric (apology). That’s it, no personal attack. And again, if it was preceived that way, I am sorry and will watch my words or be more clear in my qualifing.


Now with my comments

I believe you made a valid proposition above and I would consider it as a valid representation of my own position as for the subjects you presented.
You have shown that Daniel’s prophecy is the key to Revelation and the extent of the prophecy of Jesus’ advent. I do not see from the text the possibility of a lapse between weeks. Further proof would be that the model that Daniel used was Jeremiah’s 70 years.
12 'Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,' declares the LORD, 'for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation
Jer 25:12 (NASB)
Prior to Daniel’s prayers of enquiry, was the contemplating and prayerful consideration of Jeremiah’s prophecy.
1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of Median descent, who was made king over the kingdom of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.
Dan 9:1-2 (NASB)
If anything, as we approach the text(s) of Daniel-Revelation, this should be our presupposition, that is, Jeremiah’s 70 years. Form the start, with this as our basis we find not, nor need not any gap of time. Also, you correlated the appearances between the messengers of both Daniel’s and John’s visions as well as the time to keep sealed and the time to seal not the words therein. The audience relevance of the first century Jew would include these passages. They in fact knew the time was nigh and were looking for the promised One. I think you have made a good case within your comments for an early date for John’s prophecy. A late date would indeed fall outside the bounds of the 70 weeks. I think the most over looked aspect is the fact that the Lord’s Covenant was with Israel and the book of Revelation is a covenantal document describing the curses from which was due apostate Israel for being covenant breakers. This document is not a look into the 20th century, nor is it a polemic against the Roman Empire, rather it is a binding lawsuit against the bride of YHWH which has become the harlot and is due the penalties of for breaking marriage bond. For this book to remain in continuity with the rest of Scripture, it has to be interpreted as such. It is not an appendix of things to come so to speak, rather it is the consequence’s that were laid out in the Decalogue (Deuteronomy) from the King (YHWH) to the vassal (Israel) . The structure of this book is no different than that of Hosea, Deuteronomy, parts of Joshua and others as well as other Ancient Near Documents between a King as ruling authority and a vassal subordinate to said King. This is the form in which YHWH revealed Himself as King to the nation Israel (this is why they were to have no king like the nations).
1) Preamble, describing the Lordship of said King
2) Historical Prologue; reviewing past dealings with vassal.
3) Ethical stipulations; describing vassal’s obligations within the covenant;
4) Sanctions; obedience=blessings, disobedience=cursing;
5) Successive Arrangements; covenant relationships beyond current vassal’s generation;
Israel declared, “we have no king but Caesar”, sealing their fate as the recipient of the consequences of breaking the covenant. Jesus declared their house desolate and condemned them with the martyred blood of the prophets, the New Testament saints and Himself, and sanctioned them and their covenant blessings (the Holy City and the Temple which stood for the very dwelling house-mountain of Almighty God) for judgment. They broke the covenant and paid the price with the revoking of the blessings. John’s harlot is the wayward bride of the covenant.(Matt 21:33-45; 23:29-38, I Thess 2:14-16) (Isa 1:21, Jer 2:20, Ezek 16:14-15, Hos 9:1)
It is imperative that we keep in mind the framework from which the rest of the Old Testament is written. The New Testament is a consummation of all things pertaining unto the Old.
31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished.
Luke 18:31 (NASB)

22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 "Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;
Luke 21:22-23 (NASB)
44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
Luke 24:44-45 (NASB)
It seems to me that these “all things” includes Daniel’s vision of the Son of Man as well?
DAN 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Hypothetically, if Revelation was a document about the 20th century, what would we do about the lack of YHWH keeping His end of the covenant? That is to say, Israel broke the stipulations and became apostate, Jesus declared judgment upon them, yet we see not the Lord carrying out indeed what He declared. He didn’t just declare this once, rather the Scriptures are laden with the judgment upon His covenant vassals. This indeed would do much harm to His faithfulness as Lord.
In closing, it is important to note that different aspects of judgment are described in Scripture, both in this world and the next, as we are in the world so is Christ’s Kingdom, we are ‘of’ another world, so is Christ’s Kingdom, men are judged in every aspect of this Kingdom.

Oh the hope and blessedness of our King. What comfort we find in Him, in all, through all, and over all!

Nathan White said...

Hank,
No hard feelings; thanks for clarifying your words. I mentioned ad-hominem because you seemingly attacked my method of argumentation with a condescending tone. I also find it odd that you accuse me of the condescending as well; I have certainly been condescending to your position, because it ignores such clear contradictory passages such as Rev 20, but I do not recall being condescending to you as a person (or condescending in your tactics for argumentation). So I’m not sure how the ‘good for the goose’ comment applies. Anyway, thanks for clearing it up; I will think over you words more carefully before I accuse you of attacking me.

Tim said: “bring into the text of Revelation 19 that Christ actually returns to earth in that passage and I guess you interpret that in light of Zechariah where he says that His feet shall stand on the Mt. of Olives. That is absolutely no where in Revelation 19. So that's eisegesis”

John is on earth; he sees the heaven open; Jesus is on a white horse and the armies of heaven ‘followed Him out’. John is on earth; he sees the heaven open. The beast and the false prophet (so this is directly after the tribulation) and the ‘kings of the earth’ gathered to make war against Him.

Tim said: “I have not said that there are not things yet future… I clearly laid out the fact that the last day and the resurrection on that last day is yet future.

If there are parts of Revelation that have NOT YET been fulfilled, then wouldn’t that contradict your interpretation of ‘the time is near’? Out of what in the text do you decide what the ‘time is near’ refers to?

Tim said: Uh.....what? Souls are spirits in my mind?? Are they to be interpreted in the same book in chapter 6:9 as the same ones mentioned in Rev. 20:4?

Excuse me, I didn’t mean it to come out that way. I was referring to the comment earlier when you stated that John saw souls coming to life instead of an actual bodily resurrection (which denies the plain reading once again). The word ‘live’ in verse 4 does not mean bodily resurrection? Then why does it say in verse 5 this is the ‘first resurrection’? The souls in 6:9 were certainly the redeemed, so why aren’t they referred to as ‘living’?

Tim Said: the only way you can come up with some future great tribulation that only effects physical Jews is to read it into the text. That is past.

What is described in Rev 6-18? The past? Did the plagues take place in 70AD? Has God poured out His wrath on all the nations already during that time?

Tim said: I think you also bring into the text of Revelation 20 concepts that you find in the Old Testament

I think we both can agree that I stay in the text of Revelation itself, while you must go to other passages in order to justify a very weak position on the ‘removal’ of Satan that really isn’t a removal, a reigning of Christ that really isn’t a reigning (does He reign in the Muslim community right now?), the first resurrection that really isn’t a resurrection at all, and a 1000 years that really isn’t a thousand years.

Tim said: However, you have failed to demonstrate that Jesus is on the earth in Revelation 20.

We agree that Rev 20 is happening on earth, so Jesus is obviously present during this event. Furthermore, it is clear that the souls are raised at this time, which implies that they are raised from the dead –their bodies on earth from the dead. And the ‘lived’ and reigned with Christ –the scene FROM THE TEXT has not switched from earth. Furthermore, in verse 9 Satan and his cohorts ‘went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city’ –Psalm 78:68 and 87:2 refer to the beloved city as Jerusalem. Isa 24:23 refer to Christ reigning in Jerusalem; as does Jer 3:17 –unless you can show what these passages are *really* referring to.

Tim said: You have failed to demonstrate that the things you actually cited are taking place in the text of Revelation 20.

Then what are they referring to Tim? What is Isaiah referring to? Heaven? Clearly not. What about Isaiah 65:20? What age is Isaiah referring to? Isaiah is littered with prophecies that range from Jerusalem rising to the worlds preeminence, to worldwide peace prevailing under a kingdom ruled by the ‘Prince of Peace’, to moral and spiritual conditions mimicking the garden of Eden, to sorrow and mourning not existing etc. What are all these prophesies referring to? Clearly they are taking place on earth, clearly sin and death are still present, and yet clearly they are not the present conditions.

Tim said: you have to demonstrate how the Scriptures you cite from the Old Testament are in fact speaking of the thousand years in Revelation 20 and it might be helpful to show the use of the term thousand years in those passages.

What good would it be to find something that refers to 1000years, you don’t take that as a literal term. I have provided passages that speak of the things above and yet do not refer to life as we now know it. Were they misguided prophecies? What else could they refer to? (Here is where we will see your faulty hermeneutic again).

Tim said: He is then told in verse 44 that this is the kingdom that God is establishing in the days of those kings. Where is a huge gap of time there and why should I believe that FROM THE TEXT?

I have by no means studied Daniel in detail, but from my feeble observation I see no indicator that these that all of these empires have been destroyed. Certainly v42 describes Daniel 7:24 which refers to 10 kings who potentially have not yet risen. I think it is more difficult for you to prove that they have risen or that ‘in those days’ really is a specific timeframe. Remember, if Rev 20 said ‘a large number of days’ or something there would be no argument. I find it funny however, that you are so quick to prescribe timeframes to different sayings such as ‘number of days’ and yet you refuse a specific timeframe noted in Rev 20. It seems as though your entire position stands on these unspecific ‘short’ timeframes that are littered in scripture.

Tim said: If we are to believe what Daniel says it happens around the time of the fourth beast of Daniel (which was Rome)… Are we still waiting for that, or did it happen just as Daniel records for us (in the time of the fourth empire, Rome)?

Again, you are basing your arguments on timeframes that are not in the text. It does not contradict my position for these time gaps; not like it does your in Revelation 20. Nevertheless, similar to my last statement, I am curious as to why you believe Jesus has conquered all Gentile lordship. Certainly that is not the case as this time. But similar to my last statement, Pre-Mill theology argues that the 10 kings in 7:24 is Rome again, who has been revived. This conclusion is reached by some mainly because we are clearly not in the age described by other prophets as being the time of peace and reign of Christ (the Millennium). I think it is more of a stretch to put a timeframe on this stuff when there is really no specific timeframe in the text (not like Rev 20); it also ignores the many passages in scripture that describe the Millennium as something we have never seen (see above).

Tim said: Is this the earthly reign that Paul mentions when he speaks here of or do we understand that He speaks of Jesus on the throne now. The context is that of resurrection and the power of it. What happened when Christ was resurrected and ascended? As we saw in Daniel, He was given a kingdom and dominion.

This is a heavenly reign right now. However, as we see from other passages in the NT, Satan has not yet been removed as he is still the ‘god of this age’, and so we understand that Jesus is reigning from heaven –as He always has in His sovereign power-, but that He will reign over the world completely and literally once Satan is removed. The NT clearly shows that Satan has yet to be removed. Furthermore, this is not the Millennium because of OT passages already referenced that describe an age to come which is completely different than what we live in now.
Tim said:If the millenium, as you say is occupied by resurrected believers, who are those who are deceived from Rev. 20 and who are those here who have to be ruled with a rod of iron and dashed in pieces? Why the need to rule with the rod of iron if every single person living is "beating their swords into plowshares and not learning war anymore"?

No, the Millennium will have both believes and unbelievers present. And of course there will be a rebellion in the end after Satan is let out to deceive again (Rev 20:8). The ‘rod of iron’ refers to Jesus’ reign here on earth over all the affairs of men. Your position, however, runs into the same question –if we’re in this kingdom right now. Jesus is ruling with a rod of iron right now? Wow, I wonder why the Muslims don’t know that. And nobody is learning of war? That doesn’t sound like this reality.

Tim said: How much authority Nathan? Does His authority supercede Satans? Of course I know you believe it does.
But specifically we recall that now Jesus is no longer the "suffering servant", but the risen Lord and King.

Scripture does not define how much authority He is choosing to have at this time. However, scripture does affirm that Satan has yet to be removed –something you have no answer for.


Tim said: He is clearly above all of those things mentioned in the text and seated upon the throne with His Father

I agree. However, like I said a hundred times, clearly Satan has not been removed –according to the testimony of the NT. ONE passage is all that is needed to show that truth; and that one passage you turn completely on its head. Christ does rule and reign, nobody disputes that, but He does not rule and reign this earth such as Satan now does, and Satan has yet to be removed.

Tim said: Here again, the Scripture is clear in reference to what Jesus is doing. Notice the kingdom is termed as for ever and ever. The writer indicates that this is going on now.

Where have I stated that Christ’s rule is not forever? Do I mention any stop to it? He is ruling from heaven –in the hearts of His elect-, He is not completely ruling every faucet of life (and from Jerusalem), He has given that rule to Satan for the time being.

Tim said: Revelation 20 speaks of Christ reigning with those who have died, yet they live with and reign with Him. If you are going to counter with an argument, I think it is incumbent upon you to show from the passages you cite in the Old Testament that it indicates a period of 1000 years, since this is your literal interpretation.

That is not necessary; the NT says 1000 years 6 times. One passage is all that is needed.


Tim said: Are you arguing that Daniel and the things found in it have nothing to do with Revelation? I don't know of one Bible teacher who would say that. I hope I am misunderstanding you. If indeed these things are linked, then I think my argument concerning sealing up and not sealing up is correct. I would also point out the commentators error for surely he would not import that idea of preservation into Rev. 22:10, since John would do the exact opposite and thus is why we have it today.

No, what I am saying is that there is no clear link between the specific passages themselves. Just because the words are similar does not mean they are somehow connected at the hip. And no, I do not buy your argument on ‘sealing and not sealing’, it is weak and is not based from the text itself.

Now, I have very quickly given you an answer to some of your questions. I would like to pose a few myself now. But I will be unable to do so until after the weekend. I am visiting Andrew and his wife down in Auburn this weekend, and will not have time to type out a response. Rest assured, it will come soon.

Have a good weekend.

SDG

ajlin said...

Tim said:

I see. So you can believe in a wooden literal sense a literal binding, in how you define it, and you can believe, in a wooden literal sense, a real literal abyss, but you can choose to believe that the dragon, not in a wooden literal sense, is bound with chains, that are not taken in a wooden literal sense.

You misunderstand. I do not necessarily believe that Satan has to be bound in a deep hole in the ground soemwhere in a wooden literal sense. I do, however, believe that the symbolic language used of Satan's binding has a corresponding reality. For the text to mean anything at all, the terms used must render Satan powerless for a time. The language of removal into an 'abyss', 'bound' with a 'seal' and the emphatic "so he should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years were completed," would indicate that Satan, who is the father of lies, and whose native language is deception- as declared by Jesus (John 8:44)- and who is currently in power over "the whole world" (I John 5:19) will be, again, rendered powerless. Because at that time he will not be doing what he is clearly portrayed as always doing right now- holding the nations under his control as "the prince of the power of the air.. the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

With all of this expressed, I do, however, take seriously your challenge, Tim, to study Matthew 12 and so I will will not be posting here again until I have had the chance to study it.

SDG

Tim said...

Nathan,

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the time you took. You make a good point concerning the first resurrection. However, it seems in your view that we have to take into account that you must have several resurrections in the first resurrection, if you follow a MacArthur type eschatology. Let me explain what I mean.

I know you stated in another discussion that you believe that the rapture occurs 7 years before the great tribulation and you have affirmed that obviously there are those resurrected after the rapture as the millenium starts. Therefore, there are at least 2 resurrections there, for Paul tells us that the dead in Christ rise first at the time of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians. My question is how do you reconcile this, along with possibly another resurrection at the end of the millenium with Jesus's words from John 6, which we all believe, "I will raise him up on the last day". How many of those last days are there? How can this be the last day when there are literally 1000 years of days left or in the case of those of the rapture 1007? This is one of the issues that I am thinking through when evaluating the millenium.

Nathan said, "John is on earth; he sees the heaven open; Jesus is on a white horse and the armies of heaven ‘followed Him out’. John is on earth; he sees the heaven open. The beast and the false prophet (so this is directly after the tribulation) and the ‘kings of the earth’ gathered to make war against Him."

This was in response to my asking you where Jesus actually came to earth to rule as you say. Your comments betray you. John is not on earth in this passage. He is in heaven (note the context vss. 1-10). I realize this is simply oversight, but the context makes plain that what he sees he sees from heaven. Does Jesus indeed come in the clouds and judge men on earth? Of course. I didn't say he didn't. This is precisely what Jesus said he would do in the generation He spoke to. He said they woudld see the Son of Man riding on the clouds of heaven. This is Old Testament language for God appearing in judgment. You know this.

I will post some more things later. I certainly don't want to bombard you, though I feel I have and you have taken up the challenge well. For that I am thankful. Have a great weekend.

Hank,

Could you email me? I'd like to get some of the material you offered Nathan. My email is on my profile.

Tim said...

Andrew,

Point well taken.

Nathan White said...

Tim,

There is ample evidence in scripture to the fact that there are two resurrections. Scripture speaks of two resurrections: the resurrection of life and the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:29; Dan 12:2; Acts 24:15). The last day simply refers to the time when judgment takes place.

Also, I don’t remember stating that I believe in a pre-trib rapture that occurs 7 years, or any # of year before the tribulation. I am undecided in that regard.

OK, I will give you that the context of Revelation 20 does not specifically state John is on earth; however, I do not see it explicitly saying he is in heaven either. Specifically because he sees the ‘heavens open’ and Jesus with an army ‘following Him’, which would make no sense if he was standing in heaven. Furthermore, in verse 19 the scene is obviously on earth, as it is in 20:1 as well, and I see no mention in the text of a change of location for John. I will admit however, it is kind of inconclusive.

After thinking over the passages you have given me, your position makes a whole lot more sense to me now. I can see how some of the passages in Daniel and such are worded similar as to lead us in confusing directions at times. However, as you know, I believe Rev 20 contradicts your position entirely, and that is the ‘trump card’ for me at this time (along with OT passages describing a Millennium-type peaceful age here on earth). Coupled with the contradiction of Rev 20 that I see, your position also crumbles if Revelation was indeed written in 96AD, as the vast majority of the church has always believed. My position, however, is more complicated and confusing if Rev was written prior to 70AD, but it does not stand or fall on this point. Yours does. I can still hold my position if Rev was written in the 60’s, although it would be more complicated, but you cannot hold your position if Rev was written in the 90’s (which the majority of the historic church believes). So that’s what I’m feeling right now, but I must say that I am enjoying this immensely!!

Hank, I would like to take you up on your offer as well. Although, I already have a lot of a-mill material, including the Sproul book you recommended earlier (funny to say, Andrew gave me that book!). (I must also note that Sproul believes that Jesus DID come again, as described in Rev 19, after the destruction of 70AD, and that He did destroy the beast and such at that time –except that nobody knows of it. Apparently this was a secret coming).

SDG

Tim said...

Nathan,

Thanks. I wouldn't necessarily say that nobody knows of the destruction of the beast. As you will see if you study Daniel, the beast and the ruler are often interchangable. However, most of the time the ruler is identified by a horn. This seems to be the case with Revelation. And as you have made reference to is his destruction. He is cast alive into the lake of fire. Quite possibly indicating the ruler of which Nero was.

Also, John does point out that one of the rulers at the time is indeed ruling (cf 17:10). I guess the reason I consider these type of things is that if the things surrounding the contents of the book indicate to us a relative present day type of events that John is writing about, is it not more indicative of an early date and that he is indeed writing of things shortly to come to pass? And yes I can say that the thousand years could be included in that.

I would say there is much more stronger internal evidence to help us understand an early date, rather than a late date. Again, I point to the fact that most of the ones through the history of the church simply quote Ireneaus and we know that Ireneaus did have some problems since he said that Jesus lived till about 50:) Anyway, I too am still thinking through these things.

In regards to your comments about the rapture being pre-trib, I referred to your comments in my very first post, where you were directing me to a discussion on another blogsite and you indicated that you tended to agree with him and his specific position was on a pre-trib rapture.

As to the Rev. 19 issue. Maybe there is validity to being on the earth. If there is, remember he is still seeing in vision form then. Therefore I think if that is correct, it can be identified as Christ's coming in judgment against Israel. My point being: I did not mean to express that Christ does not come "to earth" to judge, I am indicating that it does not reference Him coming and setting up the kingdom and performing what Matthew 25 says, which MacArthur says He does and establishing his kingdom.

I am glad that you can see at least where I am coming from in the previous quotes of Scripture. Again, I am not dogmatic about it...yet. However, it seems to me that clearly there is reference to these things in the New Testament and of their fulfillment by Christ. At least you can grasp some of my thinking in regards to trying to put these things together.

I will get back to you on internal evidence of Revelation.

Tim said...

Nathan,

One last thing. I am aware of those two types of resurrections. I am talking about believers. Pre-trib and then those that supposedly die after that in a great tribulation along with those who might die in a millenium.

Hank said...

Nathan
Going back a bit to our misunderstanding, suppose I see a “position” and “method of argumentation” closely linked enough to be synonymous. That’s why the goose and gander bit. To condemn a position you have to remember the person who holds it believes it is truth. Therefore to slander that position, especially when we talk of things theologically, things we through which we base our whole world view upon are deemed liberal and so far fetched as to be possible, it is in fact an attack and condescending. To say that post/a-mill is a liberal is plain false and I did take it personally. I would not be a student of the Word if things like that did not bother me.
1) brown dogs bite 2)all dogs are brown 3) all brown dogs bite.
This is the same thing and equally false. Just because a known denomination is very liberal and in fact not a true church, happens to be a-mill, doesn’t mean it is the a-mill that makes them liberal. For instance, I grew up a Mormon, and Mormonism basically started out as an ‘end times’ cult and are, by the way, also pre-mill. Would I claim because you are pre-mill that you would associate as a cult? Oh course not. This is similar to how a ‘method of argumentation’ that includes broad statements against ones position (being liberal) would indeed be perceived as condescending. I just grow weary of a position consistently accusing another of something that is indeed apart of their own. Make since? I hope you can see my reasoning behind my comments.
The very term liberal applied to theology is a view that Scripture IS NOT the Word of God except in instances and various circumstances but rather may become the word of God. Higher Biblical criticism and the Documentary Hypnosis are considered standard among liberal theologians. They destroy the Bible as trust worthy and true. I want you to understand that indeed, there are many a/post-mill advocates who are conservative evangelical protestant reformed Bible believing Christians. Myself included. This is not a lypnis test for conservativism. Just look what D James Kennedy has done, BB Warfield, Sproul, Gentry and a host of others. Most people who are on the forefront of reconstituting our American-Biblical heritage are in fact members of one of the two mentioned camps. But I suppose that’s enough about that.
Even so, like a said, I am sorry for coming across in a non-brotherly manner.
I was kind of hoping to get some responses to the model of covenant documentation I presented as a foundation for my Biblical worldview and its effect upon eschatology.
Mainly, that if Revelation is indeed about the 20th (or beyond) century, how can it still be in complete continuity with the rest of Scripture covenantly speaking?
And, if indeed it has a late date, was it not past the time to seal up prophesies? I see these as huge problems that need attention if a post ad70 authorship is advocated. Much more so than even Revelation chapter 20.
As well as what of the curses that accompany God’s promises within the covenant if John’s vision is not that document reflecting the harlotry of national Israel for declaring no king but Caesar, and asking His blood be on their heads and their children’s heads?
Also quickly, as for the binding of Satan. I know personally I do not need his help to be tempted with sin. Even now as a believer. On the flip side, as an unbeliever, if Satan had the power and in fact was the god of this world wouldn’t I still be deceived?
Tim
Even if we didn’t have problems with Ireaneus, we would still have them in his statement in question. It is in fact, non-conclusive and ambiguous at best. I will find it and post it to show you what I mean. Also, I have a interesting quote from Athanasius (sp) that may indeed challenge the late date position by all of history, I will look for that as well.

No one has brought in to the equation of the Sabbath-image of God and it eschatological fullfillment as rest in Christ. I believe this is enstrickly tied to the giving of the Spirit and the binding of Satan and our topics as a whole. But maybe we can explore that later.

My internet at home is having problems but I will return on Monday. Have a great Lord’s day today and tomorrow! As they are all His day!



-semper reformanda-

Tim said...

Guys,

I just wanted to point out one small thing, but becomes a huge thing when questions like Nathan posed come up concerning the chapters he cites. Remember that the word for "earth" is the same word that can be translated "land" (ie. "ge"). We might even ask why many would have translated this as such. It may have to do with a certain mindset that many of those translating in the early days saw antichrist as the papacy and took those things from Revelation as being worldwide, rather than specifically God dealing with His adulterous wife.

Tim said...

I will be posting, hopefully this afternoon, a brief article concerning literal and figurative language from the Old Testament and let's compare that with the New Testament and see if it might help our thinking in this matter.

Nathan White said...

Hank said: Therefore to slander that position, especially when we talk of things theologically, things we through which we base our whole world view upon are deemed liberal and so far fetched as to be possible, it is in fact an attack and condescending. To say that post/a-mill is a liberal is plain false and I did take it personally.

That’s a little ridiculous Hank. Attacking a position is not the same as attacking one’s method of argumentation, complete with ‘suggestions’ on how I can have a better effect on others. But I called the spiritualization of Revelation 20 as one step away from liberalism…which it is exactly. There is nothing in that statement to take personally or to get offended at.

Hank said: I grew up a Mormon, and Mormonism basically started out as an ‘end times’ cult and are, by the way, also pre-mill.

And Catholics are A-Mill.

Hank said: Would I claim because you are pre-mill that you would associate as a cult? Oh course not. This is similar to how a ‘method of argumentation’ that includes broad statements against ones position (being liberal) would indeed be perceived as condescending

Hank I have never implied such a thing. I have never even remotely spoken evil of you, your denomination (those who hold to A-Mill), your overall interpretation of scripture, etc. I will quote myself: “And anything outside of a L/H/G principle leaves us one step away from liberalism” – Why do you get so offended at that? Do I dare speculate that you might take such offense at this because it has some truth to it so it struck a nerve? Surely if it was completely false you wouldn’t make such a big deal out of that passing statement. My point is that you have refused to deal with the issue that your position completely changes the plain reading of Revelation 20. You have turned the passage on its head and in the process have undermined NT passages that warn of Satan’s deception in the world, and have skewed many other passages in scripture that deal with a specific timeframe. Changing the plain reading of the passage without using anything in the context to determine its meaning is a liberal hermeneutic. Not to say you do this with everything; not to say your not evangelical; not to say the rest of your interpretation of scripture isn’t sound; I am saying that your interpretation of THAT text leaves you no defense against the liberalism of other texts.

Hank saidI just grow weary of a position consistently accusing another of something that is indeed apart of their own.

I have asked you to show me where I have done this and have yet to get a response.

Hank saidThe very term liberal applied to theology is a view that Scripture IS NOT the Word of God except in instances and various circumstances but rather may become the word of God.

I did not call you a liberal. In no way do my words even hint that your position views scripture as anything but the absolute word of God. I said you position on Rev 20 alone leaves you open to liberalism in other areas, and it leaves you no real defense against liberal attacks in other areas of scripture.

Hank saidI want you to understand that indeed, there are many a/post-mill advocates who are conservative evangelical protestant reformed Bible believing Christians. Myself included. This is not a lypnis test for conservativism. Just look what D James Kennedy has done, BB Warfield, Sproul, Gentry and a host of others. Most people who are on the forefront of reconstituting our American-Biblical heritage are in fact members of one of the two mentioned camps

No doubt I agree with you. I have never implied that you are in anyway outside of this camp.

Hank saidMainly, that if Revelation is indeed about the 20th (or beyond) century, how can it still be in complete continuity with the rest of Scripture covenantly speaking?

Again, this is probably where our differences lie. My view on the Covenants is that if the bible says there’s a covenant there’s a covenant. And because of that we may never see this eye to eye.

Hank saidAs well as what of the curses that accompany God’s promises within the covenant if John’s vision is not that document reflecting the harlotry of national Israel for declaring no king but Caesar, and asking His blood be on their heads and their children’s heads?

If your referring to Deut 28 and such, all of those curses were literally fulfilled in 70AD. History shows us that. But I’m not sure I completely follow you here. But let me ask you this, you are saying that the curses the God declared to Israel are literal?

Hank saidAlso quickly, as for the binding of Satan. I know personally I do not need his help to be tempted with sin. Even now as a believer. On the flip side, as an unbeliever, if Satan had the power and in fact was the god of this world wouldn’t I still be deceived?

Yes you would still be deceived had your eyes not been opened. 2 Cor 4:4 says that Satan has blinded the minds of the unbelieving; this coupled with Col 1:13 which says Jesus has ‘delivered us’ from the power of darkness. God rules right now in the hearts of His elect by delivering us from the deception of Satan. However, Satan still rules in the hearts and minds of unbelievers. But let me get this straight, I affirm with you that we sin all the time without any help from Satan, but do you honestly believe that the Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists etc are NOT deceived? Muslims are just acting out of their own sinfulness when they blow themselves up because they think it will gain them paradise? I think not. There will come a time when Satan is completely removed and the Lord will rule the ideologies and philosophies of the world. Yes there will still be sin within to lead astray, but no there will not be the deception of false religion and such that currently rules this age. This clearly what Rev 20 reveals to us.

SDG

Hank said...

Nathan
You said you were sorry, as did I. I suppose we will just have to rest on that!
Lord Bless you as you finish up the semester.
Hank

Nathan White said...

Hank,
Yeah, let’s rest on that; we have too much in common to let this squabbling over words ruin things. Trust me brother, you are no liberal in my eyes. Although I admit that maybe I could have again used a better choice of words.

SDG