JerusalemSince we seem to be in a mood to discuss government, etc., I thought I might go ahead and cross-post an article from my personal blog w/ a serious/humorous counterpoint – one that particularly lays out the differece between a short-view of history and a long-view of history.  It’s something that struck me a bit while I was in Ireland, where something is “old” when you can at least date it back to the 16th century, and Americal, where “old” is maybe a hundred years, give or take.  And it’s in this vein that I think we often take the expedient/short view.
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From the desk of “all the news I need to know I learn on FARK” (NOTE: I’ve not watched cable news for 6+ months now, and all my news I get from FARK, music radio, or random discussion):

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has issued an unprecedented statement clarifying President Barack Obama’s demands for Israel to stop expanding Jewish communities in areas it acquired following the 1967 Six-Day War, including Jerusalem.

The statement, issued Wednesday, applies to the area known in Israel by their Biblical names, Judea and Samaria, and as the West Bank by the international community.

There are now 128 Jewish communities in these areas, with a population of almost 300,000 Jews.

Mrs. Clinton explained President Obama demands that there should be no expansion in these communities for the purpose of “natural growth.”

That would include an American demand to stop construction of kindergartens, schools and housing for young couples.

The Response?

Israeli Government Press Director Daniel Seamen reacted to this Obama administration statement by saying: “I have to admire the residents of Iroquois territory for assuming that they have a right to determine where Jews should live in Jerusalem.”

There are sometimes I just absolutely love the Israelis – and this is one of them.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2009 at 11:21 am and is filed under Linked Articles, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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377 Comments(+Add)

1   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 4th, 2009 at 11:48 am

Ouch. But the difference is we gave the Indians their own casinos, doesn’t that count for anything? :cool:

2   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 4th, 2009 at 11:48 am

Excellent point – what hypocrisy.

This moral highground stance that the US (and Canada) seem to take on matters such as this are hypocrisy in its highest form.

Hmmm… Israel is attacked. But they win. The aggressors go up-in-arms because Israel actually takes the land they wouldn’t have taken unless they were attacked in the first place.

3   Aaron    
June 4th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Remember when America used to govern only itself? There was a time it did that, right?

I swear, we’re turning into the ye old British Empire every day. Next thing you know, we’ll have a colonial revolt but we’ll nuke them so there won’t be a second America.

4   Sandman    
June 4th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

WAPISH! (Major-league pimp-slap)

5   amy    
June 5th, 2009 at 10:22 am

Chris,
Here’s a page to printout and put on your refrigerator:

http://www.drybonesproject.com:80/blog/pages/D09510_3600.html

6   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 5th, 2009 at 10:30 am

Nice, Amy – I love it!

7   nc    
June 5th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

It is a further hypocrisy to re-establish the modern state of Israel by colonial fiat and then blame Israel for the problems that decision created.

8   nc    
June 5th, 2009 at 2:42 pm

ooops.. hit submit too soon…

Another thing is that the U.S. needs 100% energy independence to be an honest broker in that region…regardless of where people stand on any particular issue to be found in the Middle East.

That way we can have a little objectivity about some things there…

Beside, if Brazil can go energy independent, I don’t know why the U.S. can’t…

9   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 5th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Beside, if Brazil can go energy independent, I don’t know why the U.S. can’t…

Can you say, politics????

10   nc    
June 6th, 2009 at 10:19 am

Yeah, the politics of massive infrastructure spending that now gets lambasted as being inherently “socialist”…

11   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 6th, 2009 at 11:28 am

Politics is antichrist. Obama makes a conciliatory speech toward the Muslim world and right wing Christians accuse him of “apologizing for America”. Nationalism makes a believer duplistic at best.

FYI – America has never had anything to apologize for. She is on God’s side. :cool:

12   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
June 6th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Except when they benefit ‘you.’

I think politics are more anti-christian in the church than they are ‘in the world.’

13   M.G.    
June 6th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

RE: #12

I think that’s well-said, Jerry.

To say that “politics is antichrist” full stop, is kind of like saying air is antichrist.

Air quality varies, but we can’t really live without it.

And important as it is, it shouldn’t be confused with where our hope really lies.

14   Neil    
June 6th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Nakba

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 6th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Neil – You make an excellent point. Even if we believe the rebirth of Israel is part of the end time unfolding, that does not relieve us as believers from addressing the sufferings of the Palestinians. As a matter of fact, it just may be a divine opportrunity to show Gods redemptive love instead of taking eschatalogical sides.

16   Neil    
June 6th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Rick,

The comments from Obama are kinda ironic in light of our own history… and the Israeli response is expected. Yet, if anything, our own history (and billions in aid) constrain us to address the repetitious errors of history – YIKES, how euphemistic of me… the displacement of native residents reduced to an error…

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 6th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I saw Obama’s word’s as conciliatory, and coming from a black man, ironic. But centuries of hatred have a lifespan of their own. There will not be peace anytime soon.

18   amy    
June 6th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Neil,

A more comprehensive look at “nakba” http://www.zionism-israel.com/his/Palestine_Nakba.htm.

Also interesting, “The Nakba of Arabic Jews” on YouTube.

No matter what the historical truths and falsehoods regarding Palestinian/Israeli land issues are, what is most important is that Palestinians and Jews need a Savior above all else.

19   Joe C    
June 7th, 2009 at 7:41 am

Technically speaking….”history” cannot be in error. It is what it is. Unless of course, someone told it incorrectly. But history can’t have ‘errors’, it’s a non-entity. =)~

20   Neil    
June 7th, 2009 at 9:55 am

Joe C.,

I suppose you are correct, of course what I was referring to were errors committed in history.

21   Neil    
June 7th, 2009 at 9:58 am

No matter what the historical truths and falsehoods regarding Palestinian/Israeli land issues are, what is most important is that Palestinians and Jews need a Savior above all else.

This is, or course true… though not relevant to the land issue anymore that the need for Christ among the Lakota is relevant to the reservation policies of 19th Century America.

22   Neil    
June 7th, 2009 at 10:00 am

RE:

A more comprehensive look at “nakba” http://www.zionism-israel.com/his/Palestine_Nakba.htm.

From the introductory paragrah: Instead, a war broke out, and at the end of the war, between 600,000 and 711,000 Arab Palestinians had left their homes and were refugees.

Talk about use of euphemistic journalism…

23   Neil    
June 7th, 2009 at 10:03 am

…As a matter of fact, it just may be a divine opportrunity to show Gods redemptive love instead of taking eschatalogical sides. – Rick

I agree, and I will be the first to admit that I take a more extreme view in response/apposition to the typical American Evangelical view that is willing to throw the Palestinians (about 10% of whom are our brothers and sisters in Christ) under the proverbial bus for the sake of some eschatological hope and misapplication on Genesis 12.

24   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 7th, 2009 at 10:12 am

No one but God can accurately and authoritatively know all the implications of the Middle East violence or the displacement of the Palestinians or even the rebirth of Israel as a nation. Those things must be left up to God or we add to our already deeply subjective eschatological prism through which we tend to view almost everything.

Anything that diverst or dilutes our gospel mission and kingdom endeavors is our enemy. God alone will do what pleases Him as it pertains to Israel, but as it stands now they are still a nation full of lost sinners who deserve no more preferencial treatment than do the poorest Palestianian teenage boy.

I espouse a general “left behind” eschatology but I reject the idea that it places the nation of Israel in any preferred status in today’s ecclesiastical treatment.

25   John Hughes    
June 7th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I espouse a general “left behind” eschatology but I reject the idea that it places the nation of Israel in any preferred status in today’s ecclesiastical treatment.

I seem to remember reading somewhwere “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you” and “eternal covenant” etc., etc. This is not to say that I believe Israel gets a blank check in all things temporal, but it does mean they have my unwavering support because they are God’s chosen people when viewed on the national level vs individuals which must come to God (i.e., via Christ) the same as the rest of us. I do not believe in Replacement Theology.

26   Neil    
June 7th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I seem to remember reading somewhwere “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”

I think applying this to geopolitical alliances of the 20th Century is one of the greatest abuses of Scripture I commonly hear.

…because they are God’s chosen people when viewed on the national level

The NT is clear that all who are in Christ are God’s chosen people, all who are in Christ are descendants of Abraham, the barrier has been removed, there is no Jew or Gentile – there is only believer and nonbeliever.

…vs individuals which must come to God (i.e., via Christ) the same as the rest of us.

Certainly you are not advocating salvation for Jews apart from a faith in Christ as the rest of us – are you?

I do not believe in Replacement Theology.

Nor do I. I’ve never heard the term used except disparagingly. I do not believe Israel was replaced, I believe she was expanded, from a local, racial, geopolitical people to a universal, spiritual, transcultural people.

27   Neil    
June 7th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

If we take the stand that America cannot speak to Israel’s occupation based on our own history… then we cannot speak our against slavery either. Nor should Christians speak out against Jihad, since we’ve had our own version of that as well.

28   Neil    
June 7th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

I espouse a general “left behind” eschatology but I reject the idea that it places the nation of Israel in any preferred status in today’s ecclesiastical treatment.

As a former dispensationalist I used to espouse a general “Left Behind” eschatology. But the key term there is “former.” Most of what I react to in thread like this is the ecclesiastical preference to Israel (which is expanded into a foreign policy) based on some supposed nationalistic application of a promise made to Abraham.

29   amy    
June 7th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

From the introductory paragrah: Instead, a war broke out, and at the end of the war, between 600,000 and 711,000 Arab Palestinians had left their homes and were refugees.

Talk about use of euphemistic journalism…

Neil,
If you read the article in its entirety, it references accounts of Jewish groups (such as Irgun’s) responsibilities in forcing Palestinians out.

I’m more inclined to trust information that presents “faults” of both sides.

The quote that you pulled out is not representative of the overall details and tone of the article.

the typical American Evangelical view that is willing to throw the Palestinians (about 10% of whom are our brothers and sisters in Christ) under the proverbial bus for the sake of some eschatological hope and misapplication on Genesis 12.

I would be very careful about describing “the typical American Evangelical view” as one of “throwing Palestinians under the proverbial bus . . . ” It should be possible for a person to have a different view of recent Israeli-Palestinian history than you do, based on many reports, as well as a different understanding of Scripture, and not be classified as “a typical American . . . throwing Palestinians under the proverbial bus . . . ”

There are people who believe firmly that there are still promises for Israel as a nation – who give their lives in loving and serving Palestinians.

(There are even Christian Palestinians who do not believe in Replacement Theology. Probably not many.)

This [need for salvation of Palestinians and Jews] is, or course true… though not relevant to the land issue

When the land issue becomes more important than the salvation issue to an individual ( so that it occupies their thinking and actions, and affects how they relate negatively to one group or another,) something is wrong.

In reality the salvation issue is extremely relevant to the land issue – I believe that if both Palestinians and Jewish Israelis were walking in Christ there would be no land issue. There would be brother taking care of brother.

30   amy    
June 7th, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Israel’s occupation

There has always been a remnant of Jews in Israel. And many who left left because they had to leave. And manyreturned because they were outcasts in their own lands.

How do these facts fit into your analyzing what has happened as “Israel’s occupation?” Why not “Israel’s return to their homeland?

31   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 10:20 am

If we take the stand that America cannot speak to Israel’s occupation based on our own history…

The problem is that America has done NOTHING to right the wrongs they’ve inflicted – thereby rendering their viewpoint impotent. If America had learnt a lesson from its history, sought to correct it – THEN it would have a voice. Otherwise it is Matthew 7 hypocrisy – fix your own problem, then you’ll see clearly to fix someone else’s.

Israel is still God’s chosen people. They are blind, but they will see again (perhaps not all, but many):

Acts 15: Simeon [Peter] has rehearsed how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people [to bear and honor] His name. And with this the predictions of the prophets agree, as it is written, After this I will come back, and will rebuild the house of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its [very] ruins, and I will set it up again,

The Jews have simply returned back to a homeland that was lost, but is their homeland. Are they in blindness? Of course, but God has His timing.

32   Joe C    
June 8th, 2009 at 11:13 am

So some of us believe all Christians of all nations are “Israel”, and some do not believe this, but that Christians are Christians and Israel is Israel?

I tend to keep in mind that Israel was once just one man, and not a nation at all.

And now it seems she is many nations and many peoples. Seems fitting to me.

Joe C

33   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 11:33 am

When the land issue becomes more important than the salvation issue to an individual ( so that it occupies their thinking and actions, and affects how they relate negatively to one group or another,) something is wrong.

In reality the salvation issue is extremely relevant to the land issue – I believe that if both Palestinians and Jewish Israelis were walking in Christ there would be no land issue. There would be brother taking care of brother. – Amy

Agreed!

34   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 11:39 am

There are people who believe firmly that there are still promises for Israel as a nation – who give their lives in loving and serving Palestinians.

Amy,

I understand. It’s possible I am just jaded by the racism I saw at http://www.rr-bb.com (until they kicked me out for espousing the unbiblical doctrine of a two state solution).

35   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 11:51 am

There has always been a remnant of Jews in Israel. And many who left left because they had to leave. And many returned because they were outcasts in their own lands.

How do these facts fit into your analyzing what has happened as “Israel’s occupation?” Why not “Israel’s return to their homeland? – Amy

When I speak of Israel’s occupation I am thinking of their possession of and settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. I am not referring to their existence.

Some of the Jews who settled in the new state of Israel were literally outcasts from their own countries… but many were not. They left, but were not forced out.

In the broad scheme of things I understand the romance of “Israel’s return to their homeland” – on the other hand it’s overly simplified (if not euphemistic) since the vast majority were immigrants from Europe…

36   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 11:59 am

RE #32:

Joe C.,

That’s a great point (agreeing helps me say that with enthusiasm). Israel was once a man, then a geopolitical nation and race, and now all believers.

37   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

#36: it is not that simple. There is something about the nation of Israel that God still holds dear. Though the middle wall separating us from the Lord has been broken down and we are now invited to be part of His family, the nation of Israel has not been cast off forever.

See the scripture above from Acts 15.

Also, Paul says this:

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.

It appears God will return to the Jews (remove the veil from their eyes) at His time.

38   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Israel is still God’s chosen people.

Paul tells the Colossians they are God’s chosen people. Peter tells believers that we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” The latter echos the Deuteronomy formula beyond coincidence. Coupling this with Paul’s statements that all believers are descendants of Abraham, that all believers are the true circumcision (beling to the covenants), and that all distinctions have been removed… sure maybe Jews in general still have a special place in God’s eye/heart, but this leaves no room for any expectation of land issues of a 20th Century geopolitical entity.

39   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

There is something about the nation of Israel that God still holds dear.

It appears God will return to the Jews (remove the veil from their eyes) at His time.

OK, Jews yes. But we (believers) are all the nation of Israel in God’s eyes… it’s us he holds dear, those bought through his Son.

40   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

RE: Acts 15,

I see no problem incorporating this… it may be a reference to a revival among the Jews. On the other hand, you broke the quote before James finished by saying: …that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things that have been known for ages. Here we see the inclusion on the Gentiles, we see it as a spiritual reference; not a promise to rebuild the nation of Israel.

41   Joe    http://joemartino.name
June 8th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

But we (believers) are all the nation of Israel in God’s eyes

Well, to be fair, that is debated. Pretty passionately. I’m not sure I’d agree with it (and I won’t have time to be back and defend myself as I’m off to class) but taking me out of the equation, there’s some pretty Godly men and women who would disagree.

42   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

…the nation of Israel has not been cast off forever.

I agree, the nation has not been cast off at all. it has been expanded to include not only those from a particular race and nation; but to include all who are chosen by God.

43   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Well, to be fair, that is debated. Pretty passionately. I’m not sure I’d agree with it (and I won’t have time to be back and defend myself as I’m off to class) but taking me out of the equation, there’s some pretty Godly men and women who would disagree.

No doubt about that. There are godly men and women on both sides of this statement… to be sure it is an in-house debate.

It becomes relevant when 1) our theology effect foreign policy and/or our view on the actions of Israel and 2) when we start judging believers by their stance on this issue (another reference to the hyper-dispensationalism as exemplified by rr-bb).

But to be clear; there are devout, serious, godly followers of Christ on both sides of this question!

44   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

Neil – I am not disqualifying that genuine believers are the Israel of God. What I am saying is that in Romans 11 (and Acts 15), these are references to the actual nation of Israel. Paul calls it a “mystery” because it is not something logical perhaps.

Something else: God has performed several miracles for Israel since 1948 which are simply astounding. Though they may not fully recognize this, it is amazing nonetheless and speaks something of God’s plan.

45   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Something else: God has performed several miracles for Israel since 1948 which are simply astounding. Though they may not fully recognize this, it is amazing nonetheless and speaks something of God’s plan.

This is debatable as well.

46   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Yeah, so is the fact that Jesus walked on water I guess. It depends who you are I guess.

Interestingly, there is not another nation in the history of the world that have borne the brunt of so much persecution, destruction and ire as the Jews. And yet, they still exist as a nation.

Yet Egypt has essentially gone down, Babylon is no longer, Greece has lost all prominence, Media-Persia no more, and we all know what happened to Rome.

To write it off as “debatable” is interesting indeed.

47   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Yeah, so is the fact that Jesus walked on water I guess. It depends who you are I guess.

C’mon Paul, this is rather insulting… questioning a Messianic miracle attested to in Scripture is hardly comparable to something as subjective as God’s active and direct intervention in the affairs of a secular geopolitical entity. A better parallel would be those who say hurricane Katrina is God’s judgment on America.

48   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Interestingly, there is not another nation in the history of the world that have borne the brunt of so much persecution, destruction and ire as the Jews. And yet, they still exist as a nation.

Here you switch from nation to religion to nation… I think this is the root of the problem.

Yet Egypt has essentially gone down, Babylon is no longer, Greece has lost all prominence, Media-Persia no more, and we all know what happened to Rome.

You offer these as examples of contrasting nation – yet two still exist.

To write it off as “debatable” is interesting indeed.

I’m not writing it off, I’m just say’n it’s debatable.

49   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

A better parallel would be those who say hurricane Katrina is God’s judgment on America.

Huh?

Neil – what I am saying is that Israel is a geopolitical miracle in my view.

I do not take the stance that “Israel can do no wrong”, but I simply believe that God has a specific plan for them that didn’t end with their rejection of Christ. I think the scripture bears this out for us. As a result, they don’t get ‘carte blanche’ but we should also be careful because of Who’s behind them.

50   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Here you switch from nation to religion to nation… I think this is the root of the problem.

No I’m not – I’m seeing them strictly as a nation here.

You offer these as examples of contrasting nation – yet two still exist.

Yes, but they have been pretty much neutered and are no longer significant on the world stage. They have fallen from their previous pomp to near invisibility. They are not really the same nations they were at all.

51   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 2:58 pm
A better parallel would be those who say hurricane Katrina is God’s judgment on America.

Huh?

Neil – what I am saying is that Israel is a geopolitical miracle in my view.

I understand, and all I am saying is that is subjective and debatable. You compared my doubting the miracle of the current state of Israel to doubting a biblical miracle and that’s not a fair comparison.

52   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Interestingly, there is not another nation in the history of the world that have borne the brunt of so much persecution, destruction and ire as the Jews. And yet, they still exist as a nation.

No I’m not – I’m seeing them strictly as a nation here.

So you are limiting this to attacks since 1948? You are contending that no nation has experienced as much opposition as Israel has since 1948. Therefore their existence is a miracle.

53   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Yes, but they have been pretty much neutered and are no longer significant on the world stage. They have fallen from their previous pomp to near invisibility. They are not really the same nations they were at all.

This could easily be said of Israel as well. It’s not like they are any more significant than Greece or Egypt.

54   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

No Neil…

I am seeing that throughout history no other nation has been the subject of hatred and animosity as much as the Jews – century by century – and yet they still endure, whereas other nations have altogether lost their identities, been completely engulfed and/or are no longer even recognizable.

I am not referring to after 1948 here, though even after 1948 they have been in the cross-hairs of many.

You compared my doubting the miracle of the current state of Israel to doubting a biblical miracle and that’s not a fair comparison.

Sure – I see where you’re coming from here, but when you look at the big picture (history), Israel is a miracle in every sense. As a nation they are ungodly and blind, but it would be wise to simply observe as Christians, as opposed to getting into the geopolitical debate as it does not apply to this nation as it does to others.

55   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

It’s not like they are any more significant than Greece or Egypt.

That’s not true at all. Just look at the headlines on any given day, any given month, any given year and you will see Israel in the Top 10 of countries being discussed. They have also played pretty important roles as the subjects of many countries’ foreign policies.

For a country less than 200 miles from top-to-bottom and less than 10 million people, that’s unheard of.

56   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

So again I say you are switching from religion to nation… you say “I am seeing that throughout history no other nation has been the subject of hatred and animosity as much as the Jews – century by century…

The was no nation, no Israel in the geopolitical sense from roughly AD 70 to AD 1948… so how could the non-existent nation be persecuted century by century?

Now, Jews were persecuted through the centuries – no doubt.

57   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

…but it would be wise to simply observe as Christians, as opposed to getting into the geopolitical debate as it does not apply to this nation as it does to others.

You can only say that geopolitical debates do not apply to Israel if you assign them a biblically spiritual status… and whether or not this is a correct biblical application is the very discussion we are having.

58   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

That’s not true at all. Just look at the headlines on any given day, any given month, any given year and you will see Israel in the Top 10 of countries being discussed. They have also played pretty important roles as the subjects of many countries’ foreign policies.

For a country less than 200 miles from top-to-bottom and less than 10 million people, that’s unheard of.

Garnering headlines is not the basis of the significance of a nation… And I would contend that the reason they garnish the headlines is because of the biblical significance people place on them… so the reasoning is circular.

They garner headlines because they are biblically significant… the proof that they are biblically significant is their status as a significant nation… which is shown by their garnering headlines… (repeat)

59   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Besides, even if I granted you your point, that the current State of Israel was as significant in God’s eyes as the historical Israel – then they are even more culpable given the OT mandates on how to treat the foreigners among you.

60   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

The was no nation, no Israel in the geopolitical sense from roughly AD 70 to AD 1948…

You are confusing the term ‘nation’ (a people) with a ’state’ (a physical nation with borders).

You can only say that geopolitical debates do not apply to Israel if you assign them a biblically spiritual status… and whether or not this is a correct biblical application is the very discussion we are having.

Well, doesn’t Romans 11 and Acts 15 elude to this? Blind though they are, God is ‘visiting’ us (the Gentiles) until a future date in which He seeks to redeem Israel (perhaps a remnant? I don’t know). This is the mystery Paul speaks of.

Garnering headlines is not the basis of the significance of a nation…

Hmmm… the media (largely agnostic/atheist) is usually antagonistic against them. When I say media, I am thinking of proper publications like Stratfor, Economist, etc (not Christian media).

They are highly significant as the role of Israel plays a role in the election of a US president (they seem to have to pander somewhat). What I mean is that over the years Israel has been – and is – a highly divisive issue in general right across the world. They are punching well above their weight.

61   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

First you say:

You are confusing the term ‘nation’ (a people) with a ’state’ (a physical nation with borders).

Then you say:

Well, doesn’t Romans 11 and Acts 15 elude to this? Blind though they are, God is ‘visiting’ us (the Gentiles) until a future date in which He seeks to redeem Israel (perhaps a remnant? I don’t know). This is the mystery Paul speaks of.

So, are you talking about Jews or are you talking about the physical nation with borders?

This was my point oh so long ago… I have no problem talking of God working among the Jews, but I see no reason to favor the physical nation with borders.

62   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

#59 – I am not advocating for Israel Neil. I am simply saying they are not just your typical nation. They sinned many times throughout their history during OT times and paid the price. They are in blindness because of their rejection of their Messiah. Today they are very pragmatic in their policies (as opposed to biblical).

And yes, God will judge them. The end-times will not be kind to them from what I can gather. He will also judge other nations that claim one thing and are in reality, another.

63   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

#61: I am repeating what Paul/Acts say in that God will return to the nation of Israel (that is the people, a large concentration of which live physically in state of Israel) to redeem them. How many will turn? God only knows.

There are several prophecies which also allude to the fact that physical Israel will be at the heart of matters during the end-times.

64   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

I am simply saying they are not just your typical nation.

Now you have confused me… didn’t you say you were talking about Jews as a nation (people) not physical nation with borders? How then is the nation with physical borders special… not typical?

65   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I am repeating what Paul/Acts say in that God will return to the nation of Israel (that is the people, a large concentration of which live physically in state of Israel) to redeem them. How many will turn? God only knows.

I have no argument with this.

66   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

There are several prophecies which also allude to the fact that physical Israel will be at the heart of matters during the end-times.

This I would argue with… it;s what I meant to be arguing with all along.

67   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

This I would argue with… it;s what I meant to be arguing with all along.

In what way?

68   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

If you go with a partial-preterist view, much of the physical Israel involvement was in the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the expulsion of Jews from Palestine after the Bar Kochba Revolt in 135 AD.

If you read Josephus’ descriptions of the fall of Jerusalem (see Antiquities and Wars), a good number of the descriptions from the Olivet discourse and the middle portions of Revelation to the events that took place are quite apparent (and seem to be some of the primary impetus behind the preservation of Josephus’ works by the early & medieval church). Dispensationalism is an incredibly ‘new’ doctrine (150 yrs old), and doesn’t square with much/most of the historical understanding of the future-prophetic texts of the minor prophets and the NT.

69   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I believe that much of Bible prophecy has yet to be fulfilled (maybe a minority here, I don’t know). Matthew 24 has a few elements that can be geared towards the 1st century, but I believe the bulk answers the question posed by the disciples: “the sign of your coming”.

I also believe the bulk of Revelation deals with the return of Christ. Zechariah and other prophets also speak quite a bit about the return of the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom on this earth.

70   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Zechariah and other prophets also speak quite a bit about the return of the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom on this earth.

And the kingdom was established here in 30-33 A.D., and it will reach completion at an unknown date in the future.

Matthew 24 has a few elements that can be geared towards the 1st century, but I believe the bulk answers the question posed by the disciples: “the sign of your coming”.

Which was to be within their generation, and “soon” (which, in the Greek, means “soon”).

Quiz question #1 – in Biblical terms, about how long is a generation?
Quiz question #2 – What year did Jerusalem fall?
Quiz question #3 – What year did Jesus give the Olivet Discourse?

In the past couple of centuries, we have conflated the final judgment with parousia, when they have been historically viewed as separate concepts.

71   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

And the kingdom was established here in 30-33 A.D.

I am referring to when Christ returns and a physical kingdom is established forever. As Jesus said, “Jerusalem… is the city of the great king.” This is a future establishment.

The prophets prophesied of the physical establishment and this is what the disciples meant when they asked Jesus, after His resurrection, “Will you establish the kingdom at this time?”

He didn’t say – “It’s already here.” Though spiritually it was planted, He knew what they meant.

I guess Jesus completely ignored the disciples’ question about the “sign of your coming.”

72   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I am referring to when Christ returns and a physical kingdom is established forever.

I guess some of us just keep repeating the same first-century mistakes over and over again.

Tell me – when will the kingdom he’s already established end?

I guess Jesus completely ignored the disciples’ question about the “sign of your coming.”

No – he answered it – “his coming” – 1) some of them would not taste death before his return, and 2) it would happen within the generation.

73   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Are you saying Jesus returned within the same generation he first visited?

1) some of them would not taste death before his return

Context Chris L. Looks what happens directly after this statement is made. They witness the transfiguration in the verse following:

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Again – see the context in all 3 references (Matt, Mark, Luke).

Are you arguing that Jesus won’t return to establish a kingdom upon the earth? Not sure what your position is on this.

74   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

RE # 67 and #69,

At this point I am still a futurist when it comes to Revelation… but I see no prophetic need for, or significance of the modern State of Israel.

75   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I am referring to when Christ returns and a physical kingdom is established forever. As Jesus said, “Jerusalem… is the city of the great king.” This is a future establishment.

Does the context of this verse demand a future fulfillment? ’cause the statement itself does not.

76   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

The prophetic physical return of our Lord to the earth is obvious from Scripture, the prophetic physical Kingdom less so… unless, by default, a New Heaven and a New Earth fulfill that reference.

77   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

#75: See Micah 4

Keeping mind that mountain usually signifies government:

In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
and peoples will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

We know this is the establishment of the kingdom because of the subsequent verses about swords/plowshares.

There are several other verses that talk about the restoration of Jerusalem as well.

78   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

RE #71

The only verse I found with “Jerusalem…city of the great king”is Matthew 5:35. And nothing in that context is remotely prophetic or future fulfillment.

79   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Also Chris L – in regards to Matthew 24, if you read down from the scripture referencing Noah all the way to the end of Matthew 25 (one long discourse), it quickly becomes apparent Christ is largely referring to His future/distant return.

Again, the disciples ask: “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He didn’t say, “What are talking about? It’s here.”

NO

He lightly rebukes them and tells them it’s not their business, they have work to do themselves.

80   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 7:54 pm

good discussion Neil. Also, regarding Jerusalem, see Zechariah 14.

81   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

In Micah 4 I see the new heaven and the new earth not some reestablished kingdom of Israel.

82   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

good discussion Neil. Also, regarding Jerusalem, see Zechariah 14.

I agree Paul C.,

Regarding Zechariah, a future millennial kingdom is but one interpretation. Some may ask, why look for a future fulfillment when the events of AD70 so neatly fit the description, plus all the apostles referred to the time of the Messiah as the end times.

Also, if you want to fulfill that literally, what of Zechariah 12 that also speaks of Jerusalem and her enemies – enemies mounted on horses. Do you suggest that armies of the future are going to attack Jerusalem on horseback?

83   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Do you suggest that armies of the future are going to attack Jerusalem on horseback?

No, but if you consider prophecy, God conveys His message in a way that people will understand. For example, in Revelation when it talks of gold and silver cankering/tarnishing, it probably represents economic collapse of the markets – but who would grasp that 2000 yrs ago?

Consider plowshares, pruninghooks and swords. These aren’t implements we necessarily use today, but the message is clear: peace is coming when the Prince of Peace finally comes. That’s the message of Micah 4.

what of Zechariah 12

I see this as future. It speaks of all nations gathered against Jerusalem. Then lok at verse 4 & 5. Were these promises reflected in AD 70? Look at v 8:

On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them.

Surely this wasn’t done in AD 70.

84   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

One of things that the preterist , be they partial or full, positions hangs on is when Revelation was penned. Was it before or after 70 A.D. I haven’t seen any jury come in on that yet. It also is debatable.

Most of the consensus, from what I have read, opts for after 70 A.D. I’m not saying that may be etched in stone.

We can debate til the cows come home but, only time will bear it out which is truly the case.

I think it’s wrong to equate views on the end times with salvation as I have seen many do……

As I’ve seen many say, I too am a pan- millennialist, it’s all going to pan out

85   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Do you suggest that armies of the future are going to attack Jerusalem on horseback?

The Army has the First Calvary and yet they no longer have horses……. ;)

86   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

They have the First Calavary too!!!

87   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

sighs……..Cavalry!

88   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

#84: good point Scotty. From what I understand, Revelation was penned well after AD 70.

89   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Another consideration:

Luke 19:11: While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

Notice the expectation of the people – a physical kingdom.

This goes in line with Acts 1:6. The answer to the disciples question was “Not yet.”

90   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 8th, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Are you saying Jesus returned within the same generation he first visited?

The city of Jerusalem was judged in 70 AD, and history records that 100,000+ Christians escaped (following Jesus’ instructions in the Olivet Discourse) across the Jordan to Pella (just before the siege of Jerusalem commenced). This was a sticking point between Christians and Jews (who saw the Jewish Christians as abandoning God when they abandoned Jerusalem) for years to come.

What happened to the 100,000+ Christians who escaped to Pella? We don’t know.

I think it is possible that the destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD) and/or the Jewish eviction following the Bar Kochba Revolt could have been a physical return of Christ in judgment of Jerusalem.

Re: the transfiguration -

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

And then next:

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Now, again – what Jesus say prior to the transfiguration?

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

From the context, it is fairly obvious that the transfiguration does not fit these prophetic words. In those six days, none of the disciples had died, so the conditional “some who are standing here will not face death” has not met fulfillment. Additionally, we have no account of the angels, nor the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

Are you arguing that Jesus won’t return to establish a kingdom upon the earth?

Not at all. Is his physical kingdom established before or after judgment, though?

I am still a futurist as it pertains to the final chapters of Revelation. I see most of the chapters (particularly up through 19) as already being fulfilled prior to 135 A.D.

One of things that the preterist , be they partial or full, positions hangs on is when Revelation was penned. Was it before or after 70 A.D. I haven’t seen any jury come in on that yet. It also is debatable.

Most of the consensus, from what I have read, opts for after 70 A.D. I’m not saying that may be etched in stone.

Actually, pre-95 is more in line with modern preterist/partial-preterist, as Domitian is seen as a primary figure in the chronology. Even so, a good number of the “post-70″ scholars base their dating on the principle that if it was written prior to 70, John’s prophecies concerning Jerusalem would have been predictive prophecy. We can’t have that, can we?

On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the LORD going before them.

Surely this wasn’t done in AD 70.

How did all of those Christians living in Jerusalem escape right under the noses of the Romans immediately before the siege around Jerusalem closed?

91   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Re 83, since I am not a preterist I have not the answer… but a future literal fulfillment is not what I believe either.

92   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Notice the expectation of the people – a physical kingdom.

This goes in line with Acts 1:6. The answer to the disciples question was “Not yet.”

I’ve never seen a translation where Jesus said “not yet.”

93   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

We have moved from the issue of the modern state of Israel and prophecy… even accepting Paul C.’s position one could still be an historic premillennialist and accept a future physical kingdom that does not have anything to do with the current nation-state of Israel.

94   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Another problem with Zechariah 14 being literal is the re institution of the festivals and the sacrifices (cf. 14:16-21).

95   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Another problem with Zechariah 14 being literal is the re institution of the festivals and the sacrifices (cf. 14:16-21).

Not really a problem as the feast of Tabernacles is the only one mentioned. The feast of Tabernacles is a type/shadow when the kingdom is finally established and the Lord actually resides with us. Rev 21:3 shows this:

The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them… (Amplified)

Interestingly, all of the feasts are really shadows of the plan of salvation. That’s another story though.

96   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

I think it is possible that the destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD) and/or the Jewish eviction following the Bar Kochba Revolt could have been a physical return of Christ in judgment of Jerusalem.

I’m glad you put the word ‘possible’ in quotations as this is one of the biggest stretches I’ve ever read regarding the physical return of Christ. No doubt they were being visited by judgment, but a physical return is far, far from the truth.

Regarding the transfiguration, the way I see it is that it was a ’sneak peak’ (I know, poor choice of words) or a ‘preview’ into the coming kingdom. This is probably one of the key factors that caused the question of Acts 1:6.

I’ve never seen a translation where Jesus said “not yet.”

Sorry – that was a paraphrase from the Aramaic: “It’s none of your business – you have work to do.” :)

97   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 10:34 pm

BTW, we know the transfiguration is a portent of things to come as Moses is dead and buried (just like David, Acts 2) awaiting the resurrection at Christ’s return. Hebrews 11 bears this out, concluding:

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

The promise is the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the establishment of God’s everlasting kingdom on the earth. That’s the promise the early church believed in – this is what Paul and the other apostles looked to.

98   Neil    
June 8th, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Zechariah 14:21 says “…and all who come to sacrifice will…” – sacrifices are mentioned.

99   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 8th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

So what does Zechariah 14 prophesy?

I’m speculating here, but in light of the whole chapter, could it be somewhat parabolic? (vs 21) – again, not sure… but the whole chapter seems to beautifully reflect a future date. One thing’s for sure – this chapter has yet to be fulfilled.

100   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 6:51 am

I am a Calvinist concerning prophecy. The events have already been sovereignly orchestrated including the nation of Israel. I am forced to trust God to do the right thing. :cool:

101   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 8:34 am

Notice the expectation of the people – a physical kingdom.

This goes in line with Acts 1:6. The answer to the disciples question was “Not yet.”

Actually, the answer to their question was that it was none of their business. I suspect in a way the disciples would have felt Jesus was dodging their question, but I also suspect it was because they were still operating out of a misunderstanding of what the Kingdom of God was/is.

The tension of the now/not yet aspect of the Kingdom is one of the major motifs of the NT. At Jesus’ birth, the Kingdom was indeed at hand, but it wasn’t fully consummated. You could make an argument that His death and resurrection marked the end of the prior age, and right now we are sort of living when the two ages overlap. The old is still dying and the new is still coming. So that’s why it’s accurate to say the Kingdom is here but it isn’t yet here.

102   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 8:51 am

Phil – see the end of my comment in #96 (re: none of their business). I think we agree that the Jesus didn’t feel it was needed for them to know.

But the hope of the gospel is the establishment of the physical kingdom of God, where eternal life reigns and they will “not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the Lord, for the knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.” It’s a marvellous hope held high and cherished by the early church.

The events have already been sovereignly orchestrated including the nation of Israel.

I believe the same.

103   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 8:58 am

But the hope of the gospel is the establishment of the physical kingdom of God, where eternal life reigns and they will “not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the Lord, for the knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.” It’s a marvellous hope held high and cherished by the early church.

I don’t disagree with this, per se. I just think that we shouldn’t limit the definition of the Kingdom to the physical manifestation of it as the eschaton. The Kingdom is just as real now even though it can’t necessarily be seen. The Kingdom is wherever God’s will is done, and in some sense the Church’s job is to act as a sign or a foretaste of the manifest Kingdom.

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 9:01 am

Whatever the kingdom is, the overarching question is how does a person enter God’s kingdom and what are the consequences of dying outside the kingdom. The prophecies are inspired events that are reporting what will happen, so deciphering them is subordinate to the ultimate question that must concern ever human.

As has been noted here, the views of the end time events and kingdom definitions have varied greatly over the centuries. The danger today is that the way into that kingdom has become varied.

105   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 9:11 am

But the hope of the gospel is the establishment of the physical kingdom of God, where eternal life reigns and they will “not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, says the Lord, for the knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.” It’s a marvellous hope held high and cherished by the early church. – Paul C.

I’ll go a bit farther than Phil and say I think I disagree… assuming I understand Paul C.

The hope of the gospel is (ultimately) resurrected life on a new heaven and new earth… for eternity. Under a millennial kingdom schematic, there is still death, rebellion, and by definition the millennial kingdom is not eternal.

The more I study this the more I like realized-millennialism.

106   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 9:12 am

RE 104 – way to bring a good theological discussion down to earth…

107   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 9:18 am

Whatever the kingdom is, the overarching question is how does a person enter God’s kingdom and what are the consequences of dying outside the kingdom.

Well, this is true. I think what some Christians do fall into the same thinking as the disciples. By getting wrapped up into the national politics of Israel and naming certain recent geopolitical as fulfillment of prophecy, they start acting as if God’s Kingdom will come in the same way as other earthly Kingdoms. If there’s anything that Jesus was clear about concerning the Kingdom of God, it was that it operated and came/was coming in a way that was unlike any other Kingdom.

That’s why I think it’s a bit dangerous when people start focusing too much on the geopolitical nation of Israel.

108   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 9:23 am

The danger today is that the way into that kingdom has become varied.

Great observation Rick.

The hope of the gospel is (ultimately) resurrected life on a new heaven and new earth… for eternity. Under a millennial kingdom schematic, there is still death, rebellion, and by definition the millennial kingdom is not eternal.

Yes, this is what I am advocating as well Neil. When the kingdom is established, there is a 1,000 year period of transition (between the first resurrection and final resurrection). So I agree, the millenial kingdom is not eternal.

During this period, when Christ reigns physically on earth, there is still death and rebellion (as per Rev 20). But after the Devil is destroyed and the 1000 yr period is up – the kingdom is established and only life reigns for eternity.

Why? Because DEATH actually dies.

109   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 9:31 am

Yes, this is what I am advocating as well Neil. When the kingdom is established, there is a 1,000 year period of transition (between the first resurrection and final resurrection). So I agree, the millenial kingdom is not eternal.

During this period, when Christ reigns physically on earth, there is still death and rebellion (as per Rev 20). But after the Devil is destroyed and the 1000 yr period is up – the kingdom is established and only life reigns for eternity.

Why? Because DEATH actually dies.

You should really read The Case for Amillennialism by Kim Riddlebarger. What you seem to be doing is trying to fit a historical amillennialist view into a modern, premillennial scheme. Dr. Riddlebarger’s book is really one of the clearest presentations I’ve found on the subject.

Amillennialism is perhaps a misnomer because it’s not really a denial of the Millennial Reign, but rather it just says the Millennial Reign is occurring now. The devil has been bound, and the Church is advancing. The resurrection of the dead will take place at Christ’s return, and the eternal kingdom will be established.

110   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 9:36 am

Amillennialism is perhaps a misnomer because it’s not really a denial of the Millennial Reign, but rather it just says the Millennial Reign is occurring now. The devil has been bound, and the Church is advancing. The resurrection of the dead will take place at Christ’s return, and the eternal kingdom will be established.

Is this what you believe Phil?

That the devil is presently bound?

What do you believe about the first resurrection and the final resurrection?

111   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 9:42 am

Is this what you believe Phil?

That the devil is presently bound?

What do you believe about the first resurrection and the final resurrection?

I do believe the devil is bound. He was bound and defeated at the cross. Now it seems he wasn’t totally incapacitated for whatever reason – perhaps it has something to do with the fact that humans still are believing the same lies over and over, but it seems that Revelation 20 does indicated he will be loosed for a short time prior to the return of Christ.

I believe the first resurrection is a description of our rebirth in Christ. The final resurrection will be the final resurrection of all believers at Christ’s return. This makes perfect sense when you compare it to what John says about the first and second death in Revelation. The first death is the natural death of the unbeliever. The second death is being thrown into the lake of fire.

112   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 9:44 am

Partial-Preterism is a subset of Amillenialism. I would agree with Phil’s comments.

What do you believe about the first resurrection and the final resurrection?

Jesus was the firstfruits of the resurrection (i.e. the first one, in faith that all of the rest will follow, per the Jewish Feast of Firstfruits (which, ‘coincidentally’, coincided with the day of Jesus’ resurrection).

The final resurrection will take place at some time in the future.

113   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 9:46 am

That’s why I think it’s a bit dangerous when people start focusing too much on the geopolitical nation of Israel.

Kind of like this nonsense that landed in my spambox this morning…

114   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 9:52 am

I do believe the devil is bound.

This simply is not true, though I’m sure the Devil would love for us to believe this. The Devil is as active as ever in the world, deceiving and leading people away from Christ all the time. He has sown the world with ‘tares’, Paul talks of him preaching a false gospel (2 Cor 11) – to say he’s bound is great deception.

I believe the first resurrection is a description of our rebirth in Christ.

See what Revelation 20 says:

They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection.

The first resurrection is precisely the promise that Christ gave us. It is eternal life – very clear in the above passage and everywhere else throughout.

115   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 9:56 am

I too would recommend The Case for Amillennialism by Kim Riddlebarger.

Even if you do not buy his case it shows the answers they have to common objections. During my theological training any time Amillennialism was discussed it was always dismissed based on them not taking the Bible seriously. This is not the case.

116   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 9:57 am

Jesus was the firstfruits of the resurrection (i.e. the first one, in faith that all of the rest will follow, per the Jewish Feast of Firstfruits (which, ‘coincidentally’, coincided with the day of Jesus’ resurrection).

Yes, Jesus was the firstfruits. That is true.

But to say that the first resurrection occured when Jesus resurrected is not true (and contradicts Phil as well, with whom I also disagree).

The first resurrection occurs at the return of Christ. This is what Paul understood:

1 Corinthians 15: But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep… But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

Also,

2 Timothy 4: Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

117   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 10:00 am

The OT shared the same belief:

Daniel 12: “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

Also, when Stephen was stoned, he fell ‘asleep’ because death is no longer permanent because of Christ. He didn’t ascend to heaven – he’s awaiting the first resurrection.

This is the same thing as Hebrews 11: they are waiting for the promise to be fulfilled at the return of Christ.

118   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 10:01 am

This simply is not true, though I’m sure the Devil would love for us to believe this. The Devil is as active as ever in the world, deceiving and leading people away from Christ all the time. He has sown the world with ‘tares’, Paul talks of him preaching a false gospel (2 Cor 11) – to say he’s bound is great deception.

As I said, he’s bound, but he’s not totally incapacitated. He is kept at bay by the Holy Spirit. He does not have free reign over the earth at this moment. The earth is still a spiritual war zone, to be sure. But the devil is a defeated enemy. The best analogy I can think of is that after a major battle where one side is defeated and the war in all sense and purposes won, there may be some enemy forces that try to cause trouble and refuse to give up. So, yes, we are still facing spiritual attacks, but they are from a defeated enemy.

The first resurrection is precisely the promise that Christ gave us. It is eternal life – very clear in the above passage and everywhere else throughout.

This is pretty much exactly what I said. The first resurrection is our rebirth in Christ. It’s the gift of eternal life given to us upon declaring Christ the Lord. So even though we may physically die, we will live. The second resurrection is the physical resurrection of the dead. I’ve heard some put it that the first resurrection is a spiritual resurrection and the second is the physical. That may not be a bad way of looking at it.

119   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 10:06 am

But Phil – the devil is as active as he has ever been. He was defeated at the cross, in that death was vanquished by Christ and those that believe in him will inherit eternal life, but until Christ’s return he is the ‘god of this world’ so to speak. Far, far from bound.

We don’t even need the bible to notice this: just look around.

The first resurrection is our rebirth in Christ.

That’s not what I am saying. The first resurrection is the physical resurrection from the dead as Rev 20 clearly, clearly shows.

The second resurrection is the physical resurrection of the dead.

No it’s not.

120   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 10:06 am

This simply is not true, though I’m sure the Devil would love for us to believe this…to say he’s bound is great deception.

Careful Paul C., to say a fellow believer’s interpretation is what Satan wants and is deception is pushing the envelope past our friendly discussion.

I’m not say’n I agree with Phil. But to say the Devil is bound does not mean he is not active in the world… it is not denying that he is “deceiving and leading people away from Christ all the time” or that “He has sown the world with ‘tares’.”

According to Rev 20:3 Satan is bound for a very specific reason – “…to keep him from deceiving the nations until the thousand years were ended…” – it does not deny all activity.

Although Satan remains a fierce foe, persecuting God’s people as he is allowed, he cannot triumph because he is bound until released at the end of the millennial age. – Riddlebarger

121   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 10:13 am

Also, when Stephen was stoned, he fell ‘asleep’ because death is no longer permanent because of Christ. He didn’t ascend to heaven – he’s awaiting the first resurrection.

This is the same thing as Hebrews 11: they are waiting for the promise to be fulfilled at the return of Christ.

We’ve had the discussion about “soul-sleep” several times before. You still haven’t convinced me of your position. I still don’t know how you can explain Paul’s statements in 2 Corinthians 5 and in Philipians 1 about being absent from the body and present with the Lord.

122   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 10:18 am

According to Rev 20:3 Satan is bound for a very specific reason – “…to keep him from deceiving the nations until the thousand years were ended…” – it does not deny all activity.

Although Satan remains a fierce foe, persecuting God’s people as he is allowed, he cannot triumph because he is bound until released at the end of the millennial age. – Riddlebarger

This is pretty much what I’m getting at. Saying Satan is bound isn’t the same as saying he’s ineffective or not real. If anything, I believe he’s working harder because he realizes he’s defeated.

123   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 10:46 am

I think it is significant that Rev specifically says he is/will be bound to prevent him from deceiving the nations. This follows the same picture as Rev 7 where members of every nation are worshiping, or that every nation will hear be fore the end…

124   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 11:03 am

Careful Paul C., to say a fellow believer’s interpretation is what Satan wants and is deception is pushing the envelope past our friendly discussion.

Not intended to be hurtful – I hope Phil didn’t take it this way – but it is a deception to think he is in any way bound right now. He is raging just as vehemently as ever, perhaps more than ever before.

He is defeated in that his future is assured – he will be destroyed, but that time is not yet. The sentence will be carried out at the return of Christ.

He WILL be bound after the first resurrection (at the time of Christ), then loosed for a short season before the second resurrection.

125   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 11:08 am

We’ve had the discussion about “soul-sleep” several times before. You still haven’t convinced me of your position.

Not trying to convince you Phil. But I think that the mass of scripture – whether OT or NT – is consistent. Even in 2 Cor 5, look what follows the text you refer to:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

When do we appear before Christ? At His return (not when we die).

It was the OT belief that when a man dies, he awaits the resurrection at the end of days (see Psalms, Job, Daniel, Isaiah, etc.). This does not change in the NT – in John 6, Jesus references a “last day” resurrection at least 4 times. When Lazarus died, what did his sister say,

“Lord, I know you will raise him up at the last day.”

He wasn’t in heaven – he was dead, hence the power of the resurrection.

126   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 11:20 am

…but it is a deception to think he is in any way bound right now.

So when the Holy Spirit is referred to as restraining it does not apply to Satan?

127   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 11:23 am

#126 – can you elaborate?

128   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 11:24 am

Soul sleep is moot since it only disagrees on the chronology of a soul’s entrance into heaven. It does not matter.

Let God deal with the “nation” of Israel, we have enough to deal with in our own personal and collective journey.

129   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 11:33 am

Rick – I would not say it is moot.

2 Tim 2: Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

To me it appears as though Chris L is advocating this very point. The resurrection has occurred. Now back in the days of Paul, this had a very negative affect on believers (as per the quote above).

Also, why not align our beliefs with those of the early church as opposed to resting in fables (ie: when we die, we go to heaven)? I would suggest it is important to believe the truth when it is shown to us. It will not save you necessarily, but it is good to understand our hope from a biblical perspective.

130   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 11:39 am

To me it appears as though Chris L is advocating this very point. The resurrection has occurred. Now back in the days of Paul, this had a very negative affect on believers (as per the quote above).

Also, why not align our beliefs with those of the early church as opposed to resting in fables (ie: when we die, we go to heaven)? I would suggest it is important to believe the truth when it is shown to us. It will not save you necessarily, but it is good to understand our hope from a biblical perspective.

No one is advocating that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred. What I am saying (I won’t speak for the others, but I think we’re on the same page for the most part) is that we are resurrected to eternal life when we begin a relationship with Christ. Eternal life begins at that moment. So while we may face a physical death yet, death itself has no power over us. To physically die is to spiritually be with Christ.

But that isn’t our final state. Our final state will be with our resurrected bodies when Christ returns and the dead are physically raised. We will be at home in our glorified/renewed bodies, and heaven and earth will be together at last.

131   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 11:45 am

I am a Pan-eschatologist.

It will all pan out.

132   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 11:48 am

No one is advocating that the resurrection of the dead has already occurred.

Phil – see Chris L’s comment #112 (resurrection of the dead coinciding with Christ’s resurrection). Matthew states that some people were resurrected, but that is not THE resurrection (that’s probably what Hymaneus and Philetus latched onto as well – overthrowing the faith of some).

If I’m misinterpreting Chris’s comments, let me know.

133   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 11:59 am

#126 – can you elaborate?

You said Satan is in no way bound, that he is as active as always (which begs the “How do you know this?” question). Does not Scripture refer to the Holy Spirit as retraining evil? If this is the case, and Satan has not been bound in any manner – the Spirit’s restraining does not have any effect on Satan.

134   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I believe Chris L. was making the same distinction as Phil.

135   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Phil – see Chris L’s comment #112 (resurrection of the dead coinciding with Christ’s resurrection). Matthew states that some people were resurrected, but that is not THE resurrection (that’s probably what Hymaneus and Philetus latched onto as well – overthrowing the faith of some).

If I’m misinterpreting Chris’s comments, let me know.

Well, like I said I won’t try to speak for Chris, but he also said this in comment #112:

The final resurrection will take place at some time in the future.

I don’t see how you interpreted what he wrote as a denial of the resurrection.

I think one thing to remember about Jewish apocalyptic writing is that it isn’t nearly as cut-and-dry as we are used to. So when a writer refers to what seems like an event, it may be something that is taking place over years, centuries, or even millennia. I believe that’s why many of the OT prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming blend together with descriptions of the eschaton. I think when the prophets talked about “the age to come” they were referring to the time that was instituted at Jesus’ birth. So that age was inaugurated, but it hasn’t yet reached fruition. It will when He returns and the dead are raised.

136   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Now here is where folks like Pastorboy, Chris P., et. al. could join us in a substantive discussion of theological issues… are they on holiday or just not interested in a discussion that does not trash anyone?

137   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

You said Satan is in no way bound, that he is as active as always (which begs the “How do you know this?” question).

God has always been in ultimate control (ie: the devil could only go so far with Job). The devil has always been subject to God. What I am saying is that the devil’s future was assured when Christ conquered sin and death, but he is continuing his work as always until the time of the end.

Anyone with eyes can see that the work of the adversary is continuing as strong as ever. Deception has never been greater than it is today, but not only deception – evil is increasing as well, the family unit is being almost completely eroded… the list goes on and on.

138   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I believe that’s why many of the OT prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming blend together with descriptions of the eschaton.

I believe this as well. Someone once described it nicely:

When you are looking at mountains in the distance, it appears as though the second row of mountains is directly behind the first, when in reality they are often separated by a large valley you can’t see from your standpoint miles away.

Does that make sense?

139   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Anyone with eyes can see that the work of the adversary is continuing as strong as ever. Deception has never been greater than it is today, but not only deception – evil is increasing as well, the family unit is being almost completely eroded… the list goes on and on.

How do you begin to quantify something like deception? I suppose you could say that there are simply more deceived people on the planet because there are simply a lot more people. You can’t deny that there are more Christians on the planet though, either. Despite Satan’s best efforts, he has not succeeded in destroying the Church.

You also have to remember that the Bible does not say that Satan is the sole source of evil. Certainly we have been given free will to choose things that are contrary to God’s will as well. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to determine what evil is truly from Satan and what is borne of our own rebellion. No one made Eve choose to listen to Satan.

140   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

When you are looking at mountains in the distance, it appears as though the second row of mountains is directly behind the first, when in reality they are often separated by a large valley you can’t see from your standpoint miles away.

Does that make sense?

Dr. Riddlebarger actually uses this analogy in the book I mentioned earlier… :-)

141   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 12:51 pm
The first resurrection is precisely the promise that Christ gave us. It is eternal life – very clear in the above passage and everywhere else throughout.

This is pretty much exactly what I said. The first resurrection is our rebirth in Christ. It’s the gift of eternal life given to us upon declaring Christ the Lord. So even though we may physically die, we will live. The second resurrection is the physical resurrection of the dead. I’ve heard some put it that the first resurrection is a spiritual resurrection and the second is the physical. That may not be a bad way of looking at it.

Yes, I would agree with this, as well.

That’s not what I am saying. The first resurrection is the physical resurrection from the dead as Rev 20 clearly, clearly shows.

Rev 20 is an account of the final (i.e. “second”) resurrection.

2 Tim 2: Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

To me it appears as though Chris L is advocating this very point. The resurrection has occurred.

It is likely that Hymenaeus and Philetus were dealing with the resurrections that occurred at the time of Christ’s death (which, I would note, we should assume were – like Lazarus – temporary in nature, i.e. they went back to the grave after a time).

Jesus’ resurrection has already taken place – it is the “firstfruits” – the promise of what is to come. For us, the first resurrection is a spiritual one, and “the resurrection”/”the second resurrection”/”the final resurrection” occurs (per Rev 20 – which I agreed I see as futuristic) at the end of days (as depicted in Rev 20).

If I’m misinterpreting Chris’s comments, let me know.

You are – I mistook your question of the “first resurrection” as a singular (i.e. Jesus being, symbolicaly, the “first resurrection”) not a general one.

142   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Rev 20 is an account of the final (i.e. “second”) resurrection.

It also refers to the first resurrection which takes place at the beginning of the 1000 years. Hence, the reference to “blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection…”

That is why I disagree with you and Phil regarding what the first resurrection is. I don’t believe it is spiritual but actual/physical as in the same resurrection Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 15.

Rev 20: They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.)

I don’t know how much clearer this could be that this is a physical resurrection.

The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

This means they are no longer subject to death, even during the transitional 1000 yr reign on this earth. They are reigning with Christ.

As Rev 2 says:

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—
‘He will rule them with an iron scepter;
he will dash them to pieces like pottery’— just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star.

There are still other nations on the earth, even though Christ is physically present as well. Apparently they have not fully turned to Christ. They are deceived by the Devil who is loosed from his bondage (from the time Christ has returned) and they and he are destroyed.

Then the final resurrection occurs at the finality of the 1000 yrs, after death has died (leaving only life).

This is the white throne judgment in which EVERY MAN will stand before Christ (every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess).

So, there are 2 resurrections, both physical and in the future in my view.

143   John Hughes    
June 9th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

1 Peter 5:8 – Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The Preterist’s definition of the word “bound” , to me, is a totally artificial construct required solely to address a major hole in their theological sytem. It’s much like the Calvinist’s re-definition of the word “world” also a totally artificial construct required to maintain a coherent theological system in the face of the everyday use of the word.

“Defeat” does not equal “Bound”. As Paul C has attested, which of Satan’s activities are currently bound?

When he **is** actually bound during the Millineum his activities will be curtailed.

Rev 20:1-3 – Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time [at which point he will deceive again].

Note, when bound, Satan’s activities cease during his incarceration. Is that the case now? No, of course not. So therefore, once again, the Preterist’s definition of the word “bound” is an artifical construct required for their theological system and makes no sense in any other end-times theological scenario.

144   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Again, this goes back to first-century apocalyptic literature (vs. historical vs. esoteric, etc.) and symbology. We’re in a section that talks about beasts, dragons and lots of other figurative/symbolic things, and we hit “a thousand years” and assume it must be literal. In fact, once you get past the letters to the churches in Rev 2-3, there is wall-to-wall imagery and symbology (which is a typical feature of apocalyptic literature), which, primarily in the past 150 years, we’ve suddenly decided to take literally as much as possible (even though literalism, outside of historical records, was not a common practice until after the rise of Modernism – about 1700 years after this literature was written).

To a first-century Jew, “eternal life” has a number of facets – with physical resurrection being only one of them. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are viewed as having eternal life because their seed, their stories and their actions are faithfully carried down as part of the basis of the Jews as a people. What you passed on through your children was seen as part of your eternal life – and only those things that are of God truly last in your descendants.

In fact, physical resurrection, as a mature belief system, didn’t really solidify until after the Babylonian captivity – primarily in response to widespread persecution and martyrdom. This was the basis of a huge argument between the Priests/Sadducees and the Pharisees (with the former denying that there was a physical resurrection, and the latter teaching it.) Jesus sided with the Pharisees when questioned about it.

Paul speaks of a “cloud of witnesses” who watch on, right after cataloging the heroes of the faith. I would say that the church we belong to is built on the sacrifices of those who were faithful through the apocalyptic times in the first and second centuries, and that those of us who join the kingdom in life are part of this first resurrection and reign on with Christ until the end of days, the time of the second, bodily, resurrection.

145   John Hughes    
June 9th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I could be that there are some from the 1st century that are still alive and among us (such as John) which would be a literal interpretation of Jesus’ words.

Funny, no one seems to postulate that position.

146   John Hughes    
June 9th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I’m going to start an escatology based on the Apostle John and others still being alive. Anyone else in?

It would make a great movie.

147   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:01 pm
Rev 20: They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.)

I don’t know how much clearer this could be that this is a physical resurrection.

It’s funny because to me it seems pretty clear it’s talking about something different than a physical resurrection, especially since the writer specifically mentions that not everyone is resurrected. It seems to me that what the writer is describing is the “reign” of the church on earth with Christ as her head. I think Jesus was describing the church in terms of a reigning entity when He commissioned Peter.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

Personally I think the problem is trying to force a literalist view on the book of Revelation. It seems once you get past the idea that it’s a literal 1,000 years, things make a lot more sense.

There are still other nations on the earth, even though Christ is physically present as well. Apparently they have not fully turned to Christ. They are deceived by the Devil who is loosed from his bondage (from the time Christ has returned) and they and he are destroyed.

Then the final resurrection occurs at the finality of the 1000 yrs, after death has died (leaving only life).

This is the white throne judgment in which EVERY MAN will stand before Christ (every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess).

So, there are 2 resurrections, both physical and in the future in my view.

I just don’t see anywhere else in Scripture that supports the idea of two physical resurrections. If you look at what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians and 1 Thessalonians, it would seem he is envisioning one event where the general resurrection of the dead takes place when Jesus returns.

I’m sorry Paul, I just find that scheme you’re putting forth to be pretty convoluted, but who knows, I could be wrong. I just think the amillennial view fits the whole narrative and thrust of Scripture much better.

148   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Anyone with eyes can see that the work of the adversary is continuing as strong as ever. Deception has never been greater than it is today, but not only deception – evil is increasing as well, the family unit is being almost completely eroded… the list goes on and on.

It’s comments like this that constrain me to argue a point I am not even sure I hold…

To say that Satan is is continuing as strong as ever implies you have a perspective that spans thousands of years. I’ll not address the “anyone with eyes” swipe… How do you know how the work of Satan in the world now compares to his work in the world before the advent of Christ?

To say evil is increasing and the family units eroding is also very Americentric and subjective. Certain types of evil are increasing, but one hundred years agao we enslaved whole races, exploited women and childre, etc…

Even if we grant that evil is increasing, so is the church; the church is larger than it has ever been, and the % of the world’s population who follow Christ has never been higher… it’s as if both extremes are growing exponentially.

How can deception be at it’s height at the same time the church is expanding exponentially and enjoys it’s greatest expansion in history?

149   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:04 pm
Rev 20: They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.)

I don’t know how much clearer this could be that this is a physical resurrection.

And he also owns the cattle on a thousand hills… that sounds pretty clear (and literal) as well.

150   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Note, when bound, Satan’s activities cease during his incarceration. Is that the case now? No, of course not. So therefore, once again, the Preterist’s definition of the word “bound” is an artifical construct required for their theological system and makes no sense in any other end-times theological scenario.

Were you freed from Satan’s lies when you became a Christian? I would say in a very real sense you were. I don’t consider it a construct. I just think that Satan was in a real way defeated and bound when Christ died and rose again.

I would echo what Chris L. said. It seems that the problem comes when we try to make the book of Revelation be literal in ways the original readers wouldn’t have thought to make it.

151   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

This means they are no longer subject to death, even during the transitional 1000 yr reign on this earth. They are reigning with Christ.

So, in the 1,000 year period you have risen saints in eternal bodies who live forever along side mortal people with sin natures living in bodies that will die.

152   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

The Preterist’s definition of the word “bound” , to me, is a totally artificial construct required solely to address a major hole in their theological sytem. It’s much like the Calvinist’s re-definition of the word “world” also a totally artificial construct required to maintain a coherent theological system in the face of the everyday use of the word. – Joh Hughs

This is no worse than what futurists have to do to the word “soon” – as in these events will take place soon. – and the answer “soon” means “quick once they start” is unacceptable in normal use.

153   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

The Preterist’s definition of the word “bound” , to me, is a totally artificial construct required solely to address a major hole in their theological sytem. It’s much like the Calvinist’s re-definition of the word “world” also a totally artificial construct required to maintain a coherent theological system in the face of the everyday use of the word.

I would first note that, unlike the word “world” – which has widespread usage in the Scripture, “bound” is in a single reference –

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

Now – interestingly – we’ve got a section that is chock full of symbolism, but yet we’ve grabbed two words/phrases – “bound” and “thousand years” and decided they must me literal, with no symbolism.

What exactly does “bound” mean? There is a whole lot of room for interpretation.

From Hoekema’s work on Amillenialism (noting that Hoekema is a Reformed scholar – not an Evanglical):

In these verses we have a description of the binding of Satan. The dragon, here clearly identified as “the devil, Or Satan,” is said to be bound for a thousand years and then cast into a place called “the Abyss.” The purpose of this binding is “to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended.”

The book of Revelation is full of symbolic numbers. Obviously the number “thousand” which is used here must not be interpreted in a literal sense. Since the number ten signifies completeness, and since a thousand is ten to the third power, we may think of the expression “a thousand years” as standing for a complete period, a very long period of indeterminate length. In agreement with what was said above about the structure of the book and in the light of verses 7-15 of this very chapter (which describe Satan’s “little season,” the final battle and the final judgment), we may conclude that this thousand-year period extends from Christ’s first coming to just before his Second Coming.

Since the “lake of fire” mentioned in verses 10, 14 and 15 is obviously a description of the place of final punishment, the “Abyss” mentioned in verses 1 and 3 must not be the place of final punishment. The word Abyss should rather be thought of as a figurative description of the way in which Satan’s activities will be curbed during the thousand-year period.

What is meant, then, by the binding of Satan? In Old Testament times, at least in the post-Abrahamic era, all the nations of the world except Israel were, so to speak, under Satan’s rule. At that time the people of Israel were the recipients of God’s special revelation, so that they knew God’s truth about themselves, about their sinfulness, and about the way they could obtain forgiveness and salvation. During this same time, however, the other nations of the world did not know that truth, and were therefore in ignorance and error (see Acts 17:30) — except for an occasional person, family or city which came into contact with God’s special revelation. One could say that during this time these nations were deceived by Satan, as our first parents had been deceived by Satan when they fell into sin in the Garden of Eden.

Just before his ascension, however, Christ gave his disciples his Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19, NIV). At this point one can well imagine the disciples raising a disturbing question: How can we possibly do this if Satan continues to deceive the nations the way he has in the past? In Revelation 20:1-3 John gives a reassuring answer to this question. Paraphrased, his answer goes something like this: “During the gospel era which has now been ushered in, Satan will not be able to continue deceiving the nations the way he did in the past, for he has been bound. During this entire period, therefore, you, Christ’s disciples, will be able to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations.”

This does not imply that Satan can do no harm whatever while he is bound. It means only what John says here: While Satan is bound he cannot deceive the nations in such a way as to keep them from learning about the truth of God. Later in the chapter we are told that when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations of the world to gather them together to fight against and, if possible, to destroy the people of God (verses 7-9). This, however, he cannot do while he is bound. We conclude, then, that the binding of Satan during the gospel age means that, first, he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel, and second, he cannot gather all the enemies of Christ together to attack the church.

Is there any indication in the New Testament that Satan was bound at the time of the first coming of Christ? Indeed there is. When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan, Jesus replied, “How can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?” (Mt. 12:29). Interestingly enough, the word used by Matthew to describe the binding of the strong man is the same word used in Revelation 20 to describe the binding of Satan. One could say that Jesus bound the devil when he triumphed over him in the wilderness, refusing to give in to his temptations. Jesus’ casting out of demons, so he teaches us in this passage, was evidence of this triumph. One could counter that the binding of Satan mentioned here is reported in connection with the casting out of demons rather than in connection with the preaching of the gospel. But I would reply that the casting out of demons is an evidence of the presence of the kingdom of God (Mt. 12:28) and that it is precisely because the kingdom of God has come that the gospel can now be preached to all the nations (see Mt. 13:24-30, 47-50).

When the seventy returned from their preaching mission, they said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Jesus replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk. 10:17-18, NIV). These words, needless to say, must not be interpreted literally. They must rather be understood to mean that Jesus saw in the works his disciples were doing an indication that Satan’s kingdom had just been dealt a crushing blow — that, in fact, a certain binding of Satan, a certain restriction of his power, had just taken place. In this instance Satan’s fall or binding is associated directly with the missionary activity of Jesus’ disciples.

Another passage which ties in the restriction of Satan’s activities with Christ’s missionary outreach is John 12:31-32:

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself’” (NIV). It is interesting to note that the verb here translated “driven out” (ekballo) is derived from the same root as the word used in Revelation 20:3, “He [the angel] threw [ballo] him [Satan] into the Abyss.” Even more important, however, is the observation that Satan’s being “driven out” or “cast out” (RSV) is here associated with the fact that not only Jews but men of all nationalities shall be drawn to Christ as he hangs on the cross.

We see then that the binding of Satan described in Revelation 20:1-3 means that throughout the gospel age in which we now live the influence of Satan, though certainly not annihilated, is so curtailed that he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel to the nations of the world. Because of the binding of Satan during this present age, the nations cannot conquer the church, but the church is conquering the nations.

154   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Note, when bound, Satan’s activities cease during his incarceration. Is that the case now? No, of course not. So therefore, once again, the Preterist’s definition of the word “bound” is an artifical construct required for their theological system and makes no sense in any other end-times theological scenario. John Hughs

You quote a verse then claim it says something that is not there… Rev 20 does not say Satan’s activities cease, it does not say he is not active in any sense – it specifically says he will not be able to deceive the nations.

Maybe it does mean cease, maybe it does mean there will be no Satanic activity at all – but that is not what it specifically says.

155   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Because of the binding of Satan during this present age, the nations cannot conquer the church, but the church is conquering the nations. Hoekema

And anyone with eyes can see the church conquering the nations… ;)

156   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I love how anyone can “interpret” the metaphors in Revelation and say “This means this” and incorperate it into the predetermined doctrinal view.

The definition of the Abyss is especially entertaining.

157   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Note, when bound, Satan’s activities cease during his incarceration. Is that the case now? No, of course not.

I hate it when someone sums up in one or two sentences what I’ve been struggling to communicate over dozens of comments. Thanks John.

Chris L: In fact, physical resurrection, as a mature belief system, didn’t really solidify until after the Babylonian captivity – primarily in response to widespread persecution and martyrdom.

Yet Job (written well before) says:

I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

If you look at what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians and 1 Thessalonians, it would seem he is envisioning one event where the general resurrection of the dead takes place when Jesus returns.

That’s because he’s not giving a theological discourse and is talking to the churches in these areas – presuming they will be partakers of the first resurrection. This is why Paul mentions the “crown of righteousness” (2 Tim 4) as he is looking forward to this as well – that is, when Jesus returns.

the church is larger than it has ever been

In numbers perhaps, but that’s a matter for God to judge. He may see it as a million miles wide and an inch deep.

How can deception be at it’s height at the same time the church is expanding exponentially and enjoys it’s greatest expansion in history?

Again that’s your perspective as you might see the growth of the RCC on par with the growth of true moves of God. Religion has ever abounded, but not so with regards to the truth. Remember, Satan is preaching the ‘gospel’ as much as anyone.

158   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I love how anyone can “interpret” the metaphors in Revelation and say “This means this” and incorperate it into the predetermined doctrinal view.

I don’t mind people saying “This is what it means…” – it’s when they say “Clearly…” or “As everyone knows…”

159   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

The definition of the Abyss is especially entertaining.

Actually, it was quite common for near Eastern people to use terms such as the “abyss” or “the sea” when describing the origin or dwelling place of evil. That is why it is significant that God separated the land from the water in Genesis 1. He was creating order from chaos.

That’s also why it’s interesting that the book of Job mentions God taming the leviathan – a mythical creature said to dwell in the abyss or sea. So the presentation of Satan as a dragon being thrown into the abyss makes a lot of sense.

160   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:30 pm
How can deception be at it’s height at the same time the church is expanding exponentially and enjoys it’s greatest expansion in history?

Again that’s your perspective as you might see the growth of the RCC on par with the growth of true moves of God. Religion has ever abounded, but not so with regards to the truth. Remember, Satan is preaching the ‘gospel’ as much as anyone.

So when espousing your opinions it’s “Anyone with eyes can see…” but when I espouse an observation it’s just my perspective… and I must mix the truth with error to get there.

Even if you strip away Roman Catholics the ratio of believers to the world’s population as a percentage is greater than it has ever been.

161   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:33 pm
Note, when bound, Satan’s activities cease during his incarceration. Is that the case now? No, of course not.

I hate it when someone sums up in one or two sentences what I’ve been struggling to communicate over dozens of comments. Thanks John.

cf. comment 154

162   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Sorry Neil – obviously you have a major problem with my “eyes” reference. Can I retract that please? :)

Re 160, the point I am making is that it’s not my or your position to number the church. God will judge. We both would have looked at Sardis and saw a flourishing church; Christ looked at it and saw it dead.

163   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

#161: I still agree with John’s point. It seems the view Phil/Chris L hold to is very flimsy when it speaks of the devil’s activity being even somewhat limited, but because they’ve taken the view that it’s already happened, they have to go all the way and fit round pegs into square holes.

No doubt, Revelation is a very symbolic book and I would not want to claim to understand it fully, but to me the view that almost everything’s been fulfilled is just flimsy – like Chris L saying Matt 24 & 25 has already happened… See what I’m saying?

164   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

#159 -

“Since the “lake of fire” mentioned in verses 10, 14 and 15 is obviously a description of the place of final punishment, the “Abyss” mentioned in verses 1 and 3 must not be the place of final punishment. The word Abyss should rather be thought of as a figurative description of the way in which Satan’s activities will be curbed during the thousand-year period.”

Huh?? It is just a guess not a “it MUST not be”.

165   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Sorry Neil – obviously you have a major problem with my “eyes” reference. Can I retract that please? :)

Granted – thanks.

Re 160, the point I am making is that it’s not my or your position to number the church. God will judge. We both would have looked at Sardis and saw a flourishing church; Christ looked at it and saw it dead.

I understand and concur with the caution in numbering the church… yet you cannot have it both ways… you cannot say it is empirically obvious Satan is as active now, or more so, compared to all other times… and also deny the empirically obvious growth of the church.

Either we both get to employ empiricism, or neither of us do.

166   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

No doubt, Revelation is a very symbolic book and I would not want to claim to understand it fully, but to me the view that almost everything’s been fulfilled is just flimsy – like Chris L saying Matt 24 & 25 has already happened… See what I’m saying?

Not really… If you look at what happened in A.D. 70 and compare what Jesus said would happen, it makes a lot of sense. Now, I don’t think that all Biblical prophecy is fulfilled, but I do think that most of the prophecy people try to apply to present-day events is a misapplication of it.

I find it a lot more reckless and “flimsy” to try to make the Biblical narrative fit into our modern-day contrivances.

167   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

re 163:

I understand what you are saying… and that is why I do not share the partial preterist view. Though I probably appreciate it’s strengths more than you.

John Hughs said that revelation 30 says Satan’s activities will cease (BF his) but that is not (BF mine) what it says.

The view that Satan was bound at the crucifiction/resurrection/temptation is a view that is held by more than just preterists who have to make it fit their square hole (that sounds bad – sorry)… it’s a view held by Amillennialism.

The biggest issues I have with a literal millennium is 1) why take this one reference literally when the book is so symbolic and 1,000 is used symbolically through the whole Bible and 2) what purpose does the Millennium serve, why is it not clearer, why didn’t Jesus speak of it, or Paul? -ok may be that’s three…

168   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

you cannot say it is empirically obvious Satan is as active now, or more so, compared to all other times…

Even people who are not believers can attest to an uptick in evil and the general acceptance of it in society in general.

A good analogy perhaps is warfare: methods of warfare have advanced with technology, so that a single man today could wipe out 1000 soldiers single-handedly from 500 yrs ago. So too, with the increase and accessibility of technology, evil has not sat idly by, but has advanced deeply.

I am not saying we were all angels 100s of years ago, but the accessibility to evil today (not just the web, but in every sense) is greater than ever, and because of our fallen natures, we have been capitalized on as a race. The battle is hotter than it ever has been.

169   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 2:53 pm

It seems the view Phil/Chris L hold to is very flimsy when it speaks of the devil’s activity being even somewhat limited, but because they’ve taken the view that it’s already happened, they have to go all the way and fit round pegs into square holes.

Nothing “flimsy” or round pegs/square holes.

What is the ONLY context we are given of Satan’s “binding”?

to keep him from deceiving the nations

This does NOT say Satan’s activities cease. In fact, it underscores the Great Commission – where the disciples were commanded to go make disciples of all nations. Prior to this, only Israel had the Gospel message. Not a “square peg/round hole” or “flimsy”.

No doubt, Revelation is a very symbolic book and I would not want to claim to understand it fully, but to me the view that almost everything’s been fulfilled is just flimsy – like Chris L saying Matt 24 & 25 has already happened… See what I’m saying?

Not at all. Matt 24&25 has been viewed as ‘complete’ (even by those who viewed Rev as all future) by the church for about 1900 years. To be less coy than my earlier comments – part of the reason the church preserved Josephus’ works about the fall of Jerusalem was because it was specific documented proof that Jesus’ words had come true. It wasn’t until 1800 years later, when Darby decided to do his own translation of the Bible, that Matt 24 and 25 (along with, later “the rapture” concept), the Olivet Discourse, suddenly became so central to this brand-new eschatology called ‘dispensationalism’.

In this case, I’ll go with the 1900-year-old view, rather than the one made up during the time of the American Civil War…

170   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Even people who are not believers can attest to an uptick in evil and the general acceptance of it in society in general.

A good analogy perhaps is warfare: methods of warfare have advanced with technology, so that a single man today could wipe out 1000 soldiers single-handedly from 500 yrs ago. So too, with the increase and accessibility of technology, evil has not sat idly by, but has advanced deeply.

I am not saying we were all angels 100s of years ago, but the accessibility to evil today (not just the web, but in every sense) is greater than ever, and because of our fallen natures, we have been capitalized on as a race. The battle is hotter than it ever has been.

It’s true that our capacity, or at least the scale available to use, to inflict pain and suffering has increased. It’s just that I don’t think there’s anything inherently different in the human heart. I think trying to talk about evil in terms of less or more is really ambiguous.

It seems that for every step of progress humans have made, there is an evil flip-side. Atomic energy can be used for great good, but also great evil, as you mentioned. The same can be said for things like the internet, television, or whatever. It really comes down to our ability to choose.

171   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

It’s just that I don’t think there’s anything inherently different in the human heart.

Right, but equip mankind with the tools and he will maximize the evil he can inflict. The capacity to commit evil has gone through the roof and because of our fallen nature, we have the tendency to pursue wrong rather than good. Mankind who does not have God (even though he has a conscience) will usually err on the side of temptation/wrong.

We have every vehicle and implement for evil and greed at our fingertips today. Well, guess what? There will be an increase.

172   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Matt 24&25 has been viewed as ‘complete’

I just don’t see this unless you wrest scripture entirely.

As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man… the faithful, unfaithful servant… the 10 virgins… the talents… the sheep and goats. Those all refer to the physical return of Christ.

173   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

A good analogy perhaps is warfare: methods of warfare have advanced with technology, so that a single man today could wipe out 1000 soldiers single-handedly from 500 yrs ago. So too, with the increase and accessibility of technology, evil has not sat idly by, but has advanced deeply.

This analogy cuts both ways… 60 years ago we had to carpet bomb entire populations to knock out a few strategic targets… today we can pin-point the very building and even do so when it’s most likely to be empty.

174   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

1) why take this one reference literally when the book is so symbolic and 1,000 is used symbolically through the whole Bible

A 1000 yrs is to the Lord like 1 day and 1 day like a 1000 yrs. I get what you’re saying here. The point is that it could be 1000 yrs, but that’s not a hill to die on for me. It represents a space of time/transition from the world we know to the world which is to come.

2) what purpose does the Millennium serve, why is it not clearer, why didn’t Jesus speak of it, or Paul?

I would be speculating here, but it seems like a period of transition or ‘clean up’ (bad choice of words, I know) that sets the stage for the final culmination at the white throne judgment and when death actually dies. Paradise has already been fully restored at this point.

175   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

The battle is hotter than it ever has been.

I agree, but this does not argue that Satan is bound from deceiving the nations. For every anecdotal example, or statistic of increased evil you present, I can match it with a anecdotal example or statistic about the advancement of the Gospel.

The battle is raging, but that is moot to the issue of Revelation 20.

176   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

#173: right, and you prove my point. Warfare has tremendously advanced in capability and expertise. So too has demonic warfare because of the tools available.

No one can deny that there has been a massive, massive uptick in the consumption of pornography. Why? Because it’s been made more available than ever – as simple as that. Man’s heart was always wicked, but the means to consume evil has not always been the same. But our nature goes after evil when it is made available, and this is what has happened.

177   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man… the faithful, unfaithful servant… the 10 virgins… the talents… the sheep and goats. Those all refer to the physical return of Christ.

Well, they refer to the “Coming of the Son of Man”. And that’s something that was referred to in Daniel that encompasses not only Christ final return but His first one as well. Also involved in that event was judgment on Israel, specifically Jerusalem, as well.

In some of things, I think we are like people who watch the last half hour of a movie and try to piece the whole plot together without watching the whole thing.

178   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

A 1000 yrs is to the Lord like 1 day and 1 day like a 1000 yrs. I get what you’re saying here. The point is that it could be 1000 yrs, but that’s not a hill to die on for me. It represents a space of time/transition from the world we know to the world which is to come

I would be speculating here, but it seems like a period of transition or ‘clean up’ (bad choice of words, I know) that sets the stage for the final culmination at the white throne judgment and when death actually dies. Paradise has already been fully restored at this point.

Except for the last line, both of these statements make plenty of room for us to be in the midst of the millennium even now.

And regarding the last line; I’m not so sure I’d call a time period that still included death, sin, and rebellion – “paradise fully restored.”

179   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

The battle is raging, but that is moot to the issue of Revelation 20.

Hmmm… if the entity responsible for the battle – the devil – is held in prison, then wouldn’t his activity be curtailed? In fact, isn’t the point of prison to curtail one’s activity?

The fact that evil is on a rampage demonstrates the fact that he is not in prison, but is operating as the ‘god of this world’ and the ‘prince of the power of the air.’ Remember that Gabriel had to war with the ‘prince of Persia’ to deliver his message. Likewise, we are wrestling against:

Eph 6: the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

God is also at work, but we are operating in enemy territory until the captain of our salvation puts the devil out of existence.

180   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Hmmm… if the entity responsible for the battle – the devil – is held in prison, then wouldn’t his activity be curtailed? In fact, isn’t the point of prison to curtail one’s activity?

As we’ve said multiple times… Satan is bound for one purpose – so that the Gospel may be spread. I would assume that if he weren’t bound, it would not be possible for people to hear and/or believe.

The fact that evil is on a rampage demonstrates the fact that he is not in prison, but is operating as the ‘god of this world’ and the ‘prince of the power of the air.’ Remember that Gabriel had to war with the ‘prince of Persia’ to deliver his message. Likewise, we are wrestling against:

Eph 6: the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

God is also at work, but we are operating in enemy territory until the captain of our salvation puts the devil out of existence.

Again, you seem to be arguing against a point that no one is making. No is claiming that Satan is completely powerless. All we are saying that he at bay for now even though the final victory is yet to come.

181   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

And regarding the last line; I’m not so sure I’d call a world that still included death, sin, and rebellion “paradise fully restored.”

Read again what I wrote – after death dies, paradise is fully restored.

Read Rev 20 again:

And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.

These people (like Stephen for example or other martyrs throughout the inception of the church until now) are resurrected.

They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Here is the physical resurrection of these people – coming to life and literally reigning with Christ who is physically on the earth.

(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.)

This does not fit with Phil’s description of this being the physical resurrection at all.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.

At the end of 1000 yrs, every soul that has ever lived outside of Christ is resurrected to stand before Him to answer for their life.

182   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Hmmm… if the entity responsible for the battle – the devil – is held in prison, then wouldn’t his activity be curtailed? In fact, isn’t the point of prison to curtail one’s activity?

Well, since you introduces speaking in analogies… there are a lot of criminals (whether mafia types or gang-bangers) who run crime activities from prison.

The gov’t may have limited the nature of their work, but not eliminated it.

Again, the text no where says Satan’s activities will cease when he is bound… and Hoekema raised some great parallels to other comments in Scripture.

183   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Satan is bound for one purpose – so that the Gospel may be spread.

And yet Paul (and ALL the other writers) warn about the devil spreading a false gospel. I guess he has the weekends off to do as he pleases.

All we are saying that he at bay for now even though the final victory is yet to come.

But he is not at bay any more than he was previously. Look around you.

God has always been ‘almighty’ and sovereign. Yet He allows the devil’s existence. He can turn the devil’s schemes to His glory (ie: Job, Esther, Joseph, etc) and this has always been the case. But he is not “at bay for now”.

184   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

I just don’t see this unless you wrest scripture entirely.

Or, unless your drop your preconceived notions, particularly that it must refer to our future, rather than to the future of the people it was written to.

It just seems to me that today’s dispensationalists have just tied their horse to the same cart the Jewish people did in the first century, thinking that they’re doing something new.

The judgment of Jerusalem can very well fit the question being asked by the disciples and answered by Jesus.

Just to begin:

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

And what happened to the Temple in 70-72 A.D.? It was torn apart so that nothing was left upon the Temple mount and not one stone was left on top of another. Some of these stones are left as fill in the Tyropean valley, some were carted off to become parts of other buildings, some were tossed into the Mediterranean.

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

So, they’ve now walked past the Temple, through the East Gate or the Sheep’s Gate onto the Mount of Olives, and the disciples link “when will this happen?” (with this being the destruction of the Temple) with “and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?” (noting that the “end of the age” is not necessarily congruent with “the end of days”).

So, when will the Temple be destroyed and what will be the sign of your return and the end of the age? (noting that the disciples have tied the two concepts together)

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Breaking it down:

1) False Messiahs – there were a number of them between 30 AD and 135 AD. In fact, it was Simon bar Kochba – who was proclaimed as a messiah – who led the revolt in 132 AD that led to the expulsion of the Jewish people – on threat of death – from the Holy Lands.

2) Wars and rumors of wars – check. Lots of them in the 30-100 AD timeframe.

3) Famines – check. Josephus records several.

4) Earthquakes – check. Lots and LOTS of highly destructive earthquakes in Asia Minor, particularly. Laodicea (and other Lycus valley cities) was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

1) Persecution – check. We’ve got Nero from 60-68.

2) Infighting? Check.

3) Spread of the gospel? Check.

After this, we have the advance of the Roman 12th legion into Jerusalem, followed by its withdrawal. During this time, Romans set up a number of pagan sacrifices in synagogues (the most prominent one being Caesarea), and Vespasian defiles the Temple Mount.

After this, the Christians boogie out of town, across the Jordan to Pella, while the Roman leadership passes from Vespasian to Titus and Vespasian becomes Caesar. etc., etc.,

185   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Read again what I wrote – after death dies, paradise is fully restored.

OK – but a ramp-up to this is hardly necessary… the more I read the more I like a simple “This Age, and The Age to Come” scenario…

186   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:45 pm
They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Here is the physical resurrection of these people – coming to life and literally reigning with Christ who is physically on the earth.

And therein you have interpreted the verse by inserting “literally” and “who is physically on the earth.”

I could just as easily say:

They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Here is the spiritual rebirth of these people – coming to life and reigning with Christ (the reigning King of kings and Lord of lords) who is seated at the Father’s right hand.

187   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:46 pm
Satan is bound for one purpose – so that the Gospel may be spread.

And yet Paul (and ALL the other writers) warn about the devil spreading a false gospel. I guess he has the weekends off to do as he pleases.

Again, the text no where says Satan’s activities will cease when he is bound… and Hoekema raised some great parallels to other comments in Scripture.

188   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

But he is not at bay any more than he was previously. Look around you.

How do you know this? How do you know that he is as active now as he was before Christ?

God has always been ‘almighty’ and sovereign. Yet He allows the devil’s existence. He can turn the devil’s schemes to His glory (ie: Job, Esther, Joseph, etc) and this has always been the case. But he is not “at bay for now”.

Again, the text no where says Satan’s activities will cease when he is bound… and Hoekema raised some great parallels to other comments in Scripture.

189   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

The battle is hotter than it ever has been.

I fully disagree.

Prior to Pentecost 33 AD, Christianity (as it was) existed in one single nation. Judiasm existed primarily in one nation, with some uninfluential remnants in surrounding countries.

Drunken orgies occurred in broad daylight. Bestiality, prostitution and gross self-mutilation were officially sanctioned religious ceremonies, also in broad daylight. For a brief while, Christians (and others) were tossed into arena and killed in all sorts of barbarous means as sport in the capital of the world, Rome.

Pandemic frequently wiped out huge swaths of the population.

I can go on and on. Despite the evil that still lives today, the impact of church upon much of the the world has led to a great deal of “good” advances (in the general condition) and the spread of the Gospel to all nations.

Satan, who was the Prince of the Air (all of the kingdoms of the world) has been powerless to stop the spread of the Gospel. He has been bound, and his strategic plans thwarted by the resurrection of Jesus and the spread of His church.

Satan’s grasp on the world is MUCH smaller than it was in 30 AD – unless, of course, Jesus’ victory means absolutely nothing until after his final return…

190   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 9th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Again, the text no where says Satan’s activities will cease when he is bound… and Hoekema raised some great parallels to other comments in Scripture.

Lol, Neil, now you’re plagiarizing yourself… this is getting to be rather repetitive, huh…

191   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

It just seems to me that today’s dispensationalists have just tied their horse to the same cart the Jewish people did in the first century, thinking that they’re doing something new. – Chris L.

Brilliant!

192   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Lol, Neil, now you’re plagiarizing yourself… this is getting to be rather repetitive, huh…

I figure the same argument over and over justifies the same answer over and over – I just skipped the steps of different analogies, different anecdotes, different ways of saying it and went straight to ctrl-c > ctrl-v

193   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Satan, who was the Prince of the Air (all of the kingdoms of the world) has been powerless to stop the spread of the Gospel.

Why do you say “was” when Paul, who was around after the resurrection of Christ, refer to him in the present tense?

He has been bound, and his strategic plans thwarted by the resurrection of Jesus and the spread of His church.

I completely agree that because of what Christ has done and is doing on the earth, the devils plan are thwarted. Christ is stronger than the devil and is warring on our part. But the battle is raging with humankind as the battlefield. Thankfully, we know who wins in the end because of what Christ accomplished, but the game is still on so to speak.

He has been hindered and is also hindering. He is promoting a false gospel and is active in all facets of life, including the church. He is like a roaring lion.

Still, those who put their trust in Christ will prevail.

Drunken orgies occurred in broad daylight.

I didn’t know you came to Toronto during the gay pride parade every July.

194   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Some people just live in the past. :cool:

195   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

yes, I would think so. Forget the fact that more people were killed in the 20th century than the previous 1900 yrs combined. It’s all roses!!

196   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

yes, I would think so. Forget the fact that more people were killed in the 20th century than the previous 1900 yrs combined. It’s all roses!!

Again, the text no where says Satan’s activities will cease when he is bound… and Hoekema raised some great parallels to other comments in Scripture.

197   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Again, the text no where says Satan’s activities will cease when he is bound…

Let’s see…

He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.

I like the KJV on this:

And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him

That’s pretty strong language for guy who still is as active as ever. Again, I think you’re just fitting a square peg into a round hole on this particular verse.

198   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Stan has deceived entire nations, and at times most of the church. That definition of “bound” is very curious.

Satan is not bound including deceiving those who say he is. :cool:

199   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

That’s pretty strong language for guy who still is as active as ever.

Maybe I will just start referring to comments by number and skip even the hassle of ctrl-c > crtl-v…

200   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended.

Two can play html tag game… this is a pretty specific purpose… and pretty coincidental given the amazing spread of the Gospel… it’s as if Satan cannot stop it.

201   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he was bound”.

Edited version of what movie?

202   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Satan is not bound including deceiving those who say he is.

Satan being bound is like George Bush standing on the flight deck boldly declaring the Iraq War over. Not so fast folks.


locked and sealed it over him

Just a guess here… But if I’m locked and sealed in a pit by a strong angel with a chain… my chances of still wreaking havoc just got a lot lower. Round peg, square hole Neil. Sorry.

203   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

#198: BTW Rick, who’s Stan? :)

204   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Just a guess here… But if I’m locked and sealed in a pit by a strong angel with a chain… my chances of still wreaking havoc just got a lot lower. Round peg, square hole Neil. Sorry.

Again, the text no where says Satan’s activities will cease when he is bound… and Hoekema raised some great parallels to other comments in Scripture.

This is a pretty specific purpose… and pretty coincidental given the amazing spread of the Gospel… it’s as if Satan cannot stop it.

205   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Nothing has been added to this conversation since comment 189…

206   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Stan is Satan’s identical twin brother. :lol:

207   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Nothing has been added to this conversation since comment 189…

until comment 206!

208   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

The Jolly Blogger points out how saying Satan is not bound because he is still active means we must also say we are not dead to sin… and that pointing out Satan’s activity as proof is placing experience over Scripture.

209   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Neil,

I find it fairly ironic that those who are trying to prove that we’re living in the “most evil time ever” and that Satan is completely unfettered are the same folks who piss and moan when we have discussions supporting humanitarian missions that aren’t explicitly about spreading the Gospel via expository teaching.

So – if we’re talking about “good” being done in the world, it can only be about the spread of the Gospel.

But – if we’re talking about “evil” being done in the world, it must be about the humanitarian ills of the world.

Having your cake and eating it, too, apparently.

Noting that

1) defining in absolute terms how “evil” one era is when compared to another is impossible, if doing so via a humanitarian yardstick, since there is no absolute scale;
and
2) the need for comparing apples to apples -

I’d first compare the “good” in 30 AD vs. the “good” in 2009

A) # of nations in which the Gospel is preached
– 30 AD = 1
– 2009 AD = 195

B) # of individuals hearing and believing the Gospel
– 30 AD = <10,000
– 2009 AD = 1-2 Billion

C) # of world-wide empires bent on killing any/all members of the Christian church
– 30 AD = 1 (actually, in 60-68 AD)
– 2009 AD = 0

Now, if we take into account #1 (no absolute measure), it becomes a bit more difficult to get a real measure. However, in order to level the playing field, if we use a percentage comparison (rather than a gross numerical comparison), 30 AD is MUCH worse off than 2009.

A) % of the world living in slavery
– 30 AD = 95%
– 2009 AD = <5%

B) Life expectancy (primarily due to disaster, disease and violence)
– 30 AD = 20-30
– 2009 AD = 70

And then we can go into Christian impact upon governments (arising in standards like the Geneva convention, etc.)

I’d say – picking most any reasonable, measurable, standard normalized for population differences, that the overall impact of Christianity and the church has been a positive one, and that the argument that Satan has been “bound” – prevented from his span of control prior to the cross – is a sound one. Unfortunately, when you extrapolate “bound” to mean “can’t do a darn thing, not even kicking a dog” instead of sticking to what Scripture says “to keep him from deceiving the nations”, you can pretty much say Revelation means anything you darn well want it to mean.

210   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I find it fairly ironic that those who are trying to prove that we’re living in the “most evil time ever” and that Satan is completely unfettered are the same folks who piss and moan when we have discussions supporting humanitarian missions that aren’t explicitly about spreading the Gospel via expository teaching.

Who is bemoaning this Chris L?

Regarding the rest of your comment, you must be a statistician.

Anyways, to say Satan is no longer “deceiving the nations” including the US is pretty ridiculous and singlehandedly neuters your entire argument in one swipe.

And this is the funny thing: you’re arguing this point so that you can make Rev 20 fit in with your pre-formulated doctrine. That’s the challenge here. And it doesn’t fit.

211   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

A) # of nations in which the Gospel is preached
- 30 AD = 1
- 2009 AD = 195

If you take “nation” in the biblical sense, as ethne, then the number is in the tens of thousands.

212   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Anyways, to say Satan is no longer “deceiving the nations” including the US is pretty ridiculous and singlehandedly neuters your entire argument in one swipe.

I may just give up responding… if my responses continue to be met with comments that address things no one is saying… you can have your point ignored only so long and it becomes apparent that it will probably NEVER be addressed.

213   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 6:38 pm

And this is the funny thing: you’re arguing this point so that you can make Rev 20 fit in with your pre-formulated doctrine. That’s the challenge here. And it doesn’t fit.

At the point this card is played, and motives are being questioned, I have had enough…

214   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Number of Americans living in slavery today?

100%

215   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 9th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Exactly Rick. Satan has changed his tactics over the course of time (which is what I was getting at with the warfare example). People assume that because a certain ‘type’ of war is not being waged (ie: persecution) that the enemy has tucked-tailed and ran. Not so.

216   Neil    
June 9th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Chris L.,

Apparently our repeated statements that the binding of Satan is related to the spread of the Gospel among the nations, and Satan’s inability to stop it, is going to be continually ignored (as are the related verses brought up by both Hoekema and the Jolly Blogger) in favor of the repetition of pointing out that people continue to sin.

217   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

There are many nations that have gone generations with a gospel witness. That nuanced definition is without merit.

Satan even blocked Paul from some journeys. The god of this world continues to blind the eyes of the lost, including many entire nations.

218   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 8:58 pm

“…generations WITHOUT a gospel witness.”

219   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 9th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

“you can pretty much say Revelation means anything you darn well want it to mean.”

Welcome to the fraternity. :cool:

220   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 12:29 am

Apparently, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection are pretty much meaningless until some point in the future.

I guess they forgot to teach that to me in Bible College…

221   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 6:07 am

Comment #220 – The starwman, tin man, and cowardly lion all rolled up in one!

222   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 9:15 am

Apparently, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection are pretty much meaningless until some point in the future.

Translation: “You didn’t buy the stuff I’m pedalling. I’m taking my ball and going home!”

Get real Chris L – come on…

223   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 9:42 am

No strawman, no “stuff” to peddle.

Just the logical outcome of the powerless Christ you’ve presented.

Apparently, Satan wasn’t defeated at the cross, and we need to wait around to find out the outcome.

224   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 9:57 am

Just the logical outcome of the powerless Christ you’ve presented.

I guess you’re trying to provoke some sort of response Chris. If that’s what you’ve taken away from this, that’s kind of sad (and a false representation).

225   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:11 am

I’d say comments such as

Just the logical outcome of the powerless Christ you’ve presented.

and

…you’re arguing this point so that you can make Rev 20 fit in with your pre-formulated doctrine.

are both equally inappropriate…. not that I am not guilty as well… but I’ll leave that for others to point out.

226   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 10:19 am

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.

I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Apparently, he was lying.

I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Oh, and by the way, whichever one of you is the last one alive, please go hide in a cave for 2000 years or so, since we’ll have to wait that long for the kingdom to come.

And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

Ok, so my kingdom has already begun to arrive – but it doesn’t really have any power to prevent Satan from deceiving all of the people of the world for at least another 2000+ years. Go have fun till then. (and don’t forget to go hide in that cave for 2000 years, John. You drew the short straw.)

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.

Just kidding. I’m not coming soon. It will be 2000+ years or more. Sorry to get you worked up over nothing. (BtW – please pass this on, so that in 2000 years or so it will be relevant to somebody. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.”

Well. Forget the “soon” part. But have fun comparing these words of prophecy to your current events for the next 2000+ years.

“Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

Just kidding. I’m not coming very soon at all, but I need to keep you on your toes. I’m coming soon. (wink, wink)

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Psych!

“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

OK, not really. I’m going to raise him up a thousand years before the last day. My bad.

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

Well, not really all that near. Whoops.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

(in 2000 years or so…)

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

But when Vespasian does this, just ignore him. Not talking about him at all.

Instead, realize that the Temple will be destroyed, and you’ll have to wait 2000+ years for it to be rebuilt.
____________
And so on…

Seriously, though. Call me when the Dome of the Rock is pushed off of the Temple Mount. Otherwise, I’m going to stick to the eschatology of most of the church for the past 2000 years, and continue to laugh at the folks who read the newspaper in one hand with a Bible in the other, following an eschatology that’s only been popular since 1948 (and even then, primarily only in North American Evangelicalism).

227   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 10:23 am

Satan was defeated on the cross, however the narrative is not complete.There will come a day for him, but it is not yet. He even has access to believers who are not wearing the whole armor of God.

To say the devil is bound in any way is to ignore the world, personal experience, and Biblical teaching. Other than that, it is an interesting post modern perspective. :cool:

228   Joe    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:24 am

#225
Neil,
He didn’t attack their momma’s, he didn’t question their salvation, he simply said they they have presented a “powerless Christ.” What is wrong with that? Your line for what is appropriate and inappropriate seems so…arbitrary to me.

229   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:26 am

RE 225: OK, maybe “inappropriate” is a little strong. My point is, a good, even passionate, theological debate among brothers is fun… but when we start assigning motives, insulting intelligence, and pushing the other person’s argument beyond what they actual say – then it has lost it’s luster.

230   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 10:34 am

#229, I agree, Neil

Another reason why I don’t play very hard in these kinds of debates.

231   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:36 am

Joe, I posted before seeing your comment. In my self-analysis I came to the conclusion that I may be overly sensitive – but not arbitrary.

What I reacted to was 1) Paul C. basically ignoring the point I have been trying to make and repeatedly commenting about the level of sin/evil – this is frustrating… 2) Paul C.’ implying that there is only one obvious interpretation, and coming to another mean you are either blind or dishonest. and 3) I think saying that those who do not see Satan as bound have a powerless Christ is – let’s just say I do not think this is the obvious conclusion of the position.

I suppose of Chris and others do, that’s fine… it’s their opinion.

232   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:37 am

#229, I agree, Neil

Another reason why I don’t play very hard in these kinds of debates

Play hard, just don’t take any cheap shots.

233   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 10:40 am

To say the devil is bound in any way is to ignore the world, personal experience, and Biblical teaching.

Again, you’ve now presented a powerless Christ.

Either Satan was defeated or he was not.

If he was defeated, then it has had some impact upon his realm and his capability. The problem isn’t with “world, personal experience, and Biblical teaching”, it’s that you’re simply making the same mistakes Jesus’ disciples did by looking for the physical manifestation of Jesus’ kingdom as “proof” of his power.

You’ve taken “He seized the [Satan], and bound him for a thousand years” and supplied your own meaning to the word bound, ignoring the meaning immediately provided in the same passage of Scripture “to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore”.

As pointed out above, the nations – ethnos – basically all of the Gentile cultures in the world – belonged to Satan prior to Pentecost, 33 AD.

Part of your problem is that your knee-jerk response to human governments automatically transfers to “nations” – which are incongruent concepts. The first is a system of the world (kosmos), the second is the peoples of the world (ethnos).

When Satan was bound, he was no longer able to hold full sway over the ethnos. After he was bound, though, the Gospel was available to all and he could not prevent it. Satan (which means – literally – accuser) completely lost his function (to accuse all ethnos aside from Israel) after Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

Does this mean that Satan still cannot deceive? No. It just means that is overarching (strategic) power was crushed when the stone rolled away.

When you came to Christ, were you a new creation, blameless and without sin? If you believe Paul, then yes, you were.

Do you still commit sin?

If so, is Paul a liar, or has something fundamentally changed in the power of sin?

Other than that, it is an interesting post modern perspective.

Postmodern?
There’s nothing ‘non-definitive’ or ‘fuzzy’ or ‘the truth is relative’ about it.

It’s actually the PRE-modernist view. Even the early church fathers who were premillennial believed in a premil doctrine that looks nothing like dispensationalism and a whole lot more (particularly in terms of its orthopraxic impact) like amillennialism.

234   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:41 am

To say the devil is bound in any way is to ignore the world, personal experience, and Biblical teaching. Other than that, it is an interesting post modern perspective. :cool:

Rick, playing the post-modern card is so… well, so Pastorboyan of you.

Like I said oh so many comments ago… I am not completely convinced of the “Satan is bound” interpretation myself.

Yet, both Hoekema and the Jolly Blogger make some great arguments from Scripture that have yet to be addressed.

235   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:46 am

Again, you’ve now presented a powerless Christ.

Chris L.,

I don’t follow why it means a powerless Christ. This sounds as extreme as Paul C. saying because sin is rampant Satan cannot be bound.

I understand it may “limit” the immediate application of such power, but saying it renders Christ “powerless” is too extreme – me thinks.

236   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 10:47 am

I think saying that those who do not see Satan as bound have a powerless Christ is – let’s just say I do not think this is the obvious conclusion of the position.

Neil,

My apologies for the bluntness. But a ‘powerless Christ’ seems to be (to me at least) an outcome of saying “To say the devil is bound in any way is to ignore the world, personal experience, and Biblical teaching” or (to paraphrase it) “Satan was defeated by Christ, but the defeat had no impact on his abilities/capabilities in this world”.

237   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 10:49 am

At the same time, it is foolhardy to say that the Devil is presently bound, else Paul wouldn’t refer to him as the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air. Peter would not have warned about the devil being as a lion. Paul wouldn’t have warned the Corinthians about the possibility of deception (2 Cor 11) because, guess what, he is bound and cannot ‘deceive the nations’.

When Jesus returns, the devil will be bound, imprisoned and sealed in such a way that he is rendered impotent. That’s the purpose of the sealing. But it occurs after Christ returns.

Chris L: He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Question: has He returned yet?

Chris L: “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

Question: have you received your reward as yet, according to what you have done?

Chris L: and continue to laugh at the folks who read the newspaper in one hand with a Bible in the other, following an eschatology that’s only been popular since 1948

Nice, Christ-like spirit Chris. Though not sure who you are referring to here as I didn’t get the sense anyone in this thread can be described like that. But again, if it makes you feel better…

Rick: it is an interesting post modern perspective.

Yes it is…

238   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 10:53 am

Chris L: weren’t you the one above that says it is possible Christ physically returned in 70 AD? It sounds like you’re making some of this stuff up as you’re going.

239   Joe    
June 10th, 2009 at 10:56 am

229 and 231 make more sense. I can see saying it’s not the logical outcome.

240   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 10:56 am

Question: has He returned yet?

His final return at the end of days, no.

In judgment of Jerusalem? Ask Josephus.

Question: have you received your reward as yet, according to what you have done?

Yes, I received eternal life when I accepted Christ via the Holy Spirit.

Rick: it is an interesting post modern perspective.

Paul: Yes it is.

Who knew St. Augustine, Justin Martyr and Origen were pomos?

That’s a new one to me.

241   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 10:59 am

Chris L: weren’t you the one above that says it is possible Christ physically returned in 70 AD? It sounds like you’re making some of this stuff up as you’re going.

I’m taking the historical/classical view that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD was the judgment of Jesus upon it, as he predicted.

242   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:03 am

At the same time, it is foolhardy to say that the Devil is presently bound, else Paul wouldn’t refer to him as the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air. Peter would not have warned about the devil being as a lion. Paul wouldn’t have warned the Corinthians about the possibility of deception (2 Cor 11) because, guess what, he is bound and cannot ‘deceive the nations’.

I have seen translations that say “…the god that is this world…” – and they were not espousing a “Satan Bound” position. So, it could be that it was not Pail’s intention to name Satan the “god of this world.”

Also, the other references are all warnings to believers against Satanic strategies – which no one is arguing.

243   Joe    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:03 am

BTW, I agree with Chris L, including his conclusion.

244   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:03 am

Neil – to your point, I should amend my comment to be that –

To take the view that Satan cannot be currently bound in any way logically suggests that Jesus is, then, currently powerless in this world.

245   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:05 am

In judgment of Jerusalem? Ask Josephus.

So Christ possibly physicall returned to visit judgment on Jerusalem? That’s odd.

Question: have you received your reward as yet, according to what you have done?

Chris L: Yes, I received eternal life when I accepted Christ via the Holy Spirit.

Chris – the reward is life from the dead. How is it that you’ve received it, but those in the Hebrews (ch 11) hall of faith are still waiting?

And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

You have received the promise of eternal life by faith, but the realization – which is our hope – does not come to pass until the time of the resurrection.

246   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:05 am

OK guys… call me picky, but “AD” precedes the year and “BC” follows… think of it in a sentence that uses the actual words: e.g. – 50 years before Christ vs. in the year of our Lord 70.

247   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:09 am

“It just means that is overarching (strategic) power was crushed when the stone rolled away.”

I agree with that statement. The “powerless Christ” phrase is just a debate tool intended to question a believer’s view of Christ which by inference must be not only less powerful than is yours, but must be completely powerless.

I find the different kingdoms debate as tedious and unproductive. The Satan is bound debate was made more clear by Chris L’s sentence I referenced. We can all agree with that.

248   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:10 am

To take the view that Satan cannot be currently bound in any way logically suggests that Jesus is, then, currently powerless in this world.

I understand Chris… I just think this is as extreme as saying binding Satan means he ceases all activity.

249   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:11 am

“To take the view that Satan cannot be currently bound in any way logically suggests that Jesus is, then, currently powerless in this world.”

Your logic is bound.

250   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:11 am

So, it could be that it was not Pail’s intention to name Satan the “god of this world.”

What of the mention of Ephesians 2:2: “the prince of the power of the air”?

Also, the other references are all warnings to believers against Satanic strategies – which no one is arguing.

So, he is bound yet, from his prison cell of solitary confinement, he is still orchestrating attacks – not on the nations who are free from deception a la Rev 20 – but just on the church? He is walking around as a roaring lion, as free as ever (just like in the days of Job), but it’s ‘hands off’ the nations who he can no longer deceive because he’s bound.

To take the view that Satan cannot be currently bound in any way logically suggests that Jesus is, then, currently powerless in this world.

He is subordinate to the power of Christ – 1 John 4:4. But to use Rev 20 to make your point is where the ’round peg, square hole’ argument comes in. You’re using that scripture incorrectly in my view because you have taken the view that it’s already been fulfilled.

251   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:14 am

How is it that you’ve received it, but those in the Hebrews (ch 11) hall of faith are still waiting?

(Heb 11:13) -

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.

(Heb 11:39-40)

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

They did not receive them when they died, because Jesus had not come yet. I have received it during my life in this world, because Jesus had already come.

You have received the promise of eternal life by faith, but the realization – which is our hope – does not come to pass until the time of the resurrection.

When does eternal life begin? It already has. The final resurrection is just a step along the way for followers of Christ, because they had already received eternal life before their (brief) respite from this world.

252   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:18 am

So, he is bound yet, from his prison cell of solitary confinement, he is still orchestrating attacks – not on the nations who are free from deception a la Rev 20 – but just on the church? He is walking around as a roaring lion, as free as ever (just like in the days of Job), but it’s ‘hands off’ the nations who he can no longer deceive because he’s bound.

**sigh** it seems a waste of time to address a caricature of the position… but I will.

No one said just the church. No one said the nations were free from deception.

Coupled with the verses addressed by Hoekema and the Jolly Blogger (I will continue referring to them until they are addressed) the position holds that the binding is in reference to the spread of the Gospel, the advance of the Kingdom, the acquisition of territory (so to speak).

253   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:18 am
“To take the view that Satan cannot be currently bound in any way logically suggests that Jesus is, then, currently powerless in this world.”

Your logic is bound.

Can Satan’s power in this world be curbed in any way by the power of Jesus – today?

Did Jesus’ resurrection have any impact on Satan’s abilities or capabilities?

254   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:20 am

What of the mention of Ephesians 2:2: “the prince of the power of the air”?

Calling this a reference to Satan seems like a good interpretation.

255   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:21 am

When does eternal life begin? It already has.

You have received the promise of eternal life, but death still has a sting. That’s why Paul says regarding the resurrection in the future:

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Then he says:

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

When? Not now, but in the future.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

256   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:24 am

Paul:

So, he is bound yet, from his prison cell of solitary confinement, he is still orchestrating attacks – not on the nations who are free from deception a la Rev 20 – but just on the church?

Hoekema:

Is there any indication in the New Testament that Satan was bound at the time of the first coming of Christ? Indeed there is. When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan, Jesus replied, “How can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?” (Mt. 12:29). Interestingly enough, the word used by Matthew to describe the binding of the strong man is the same word used in Revelation 20 to describe the binding of Satan. One could say that Jesus bound the devil when he triumphed over him in the wilderness, refusing to give in to his temptations. Jesus’ casting out of demons, so he teaches us in this passage, was evidence of this triumph. One could counter that the binding of Satan mentioned here is reported in connection with the casting out of demons rather than in connection with the preaching of the gospel. But I would reply that the casting out of demons is an evidence of the presence of the kingdom of God (Mt. 12:28) and that it is precisely because the kingdom of God has come that the gospel can now be preached to all the nations (see Mt. 13:24-30, 47-50).

Paul:

He is walking around as a roaring lion, as free as ever (just like in the days of Job), but it’s ‘hands off’ the nations who he can no longer deceive because he’s bound.

Hoekema:

This does not imply that Satan can do no harm whatever while he is bound. It means only what John says here: While Satan is bound he cannot deceive the nations in such a way as to keep them from learning about the truth of God. Later in the chapter we are told that when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations of the world to gather them together to fight against and, if possible, to destroy the people of God (verses 7-9). This, however, he cannot do while he is bound. We conclude, then, that the binding of Satan during the gospel age means that, first, he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel, and second, he cannot gather all the enemies of Christ together to attack the church.

and

Another passage which ties in the restriction of Satan’s activities with Christ’s missionary outreach is John 12:31-32:

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself’” (NIV). It is interesting to note that the verb here translated “driven out” (ekballo) is derived from the same root as the word used in Revelation 20:3, “He [the angel] threw [ballo] him [Satan] into the Abyss.” Even more important, however, is the observation that Satan’s being “driven out” or “cast out” (RSV) is here associated with the fact that not only Jews but men of all nationalities shall be drawn to Christ as he hangs on the cross.

257   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:28 am

Paul said”

You have received the promise of eternal life, but death still has a sting.

But you already answered this -

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

So, because we have been given the gift of eternal life, death has no victory and no sting.

Eternal life has already begun – you’re just picking it up at a point in the middle and dwelling upon it as if it were the beginning.

258   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:29 am

OK guys… call me picky, but “AD” precedes the year and “BC” follows… think of it in a sentence that uses the actual words: e.g. – 50 years before Christ vs. in the year of our Lord 70.

Sorry, Neil. Bad habits die hard…

259   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:30 am

Calling this a reference to Satan seems like a good interpretation.

Right. And so is the reference in 2 Cor 4 regarding the “god of this world.”

Jesus is the Almighty – mighty to save, able to deliver, able to do the impossible, to redeem the lost, to penetrate enemy territory – this world – and bring us (POWs if you will) to salvation through His power and grace.

The devil is warring against this plan but will not prevail because of what was accomplished in the death and resurrection of our Savior. But, make no mistake, the war is on UNTIL the time of the end at which time, his hands are finally tied.

260   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:34 am

So, because we have been given the gift of eternal life, death has no victory and no sting.

It does have a sting and it does have victory – hence Paul using the word “THEN” – as in, when Jesus returns THEN death loses it sting and the grave its victory.

Lazarus was stung by death – ask his sisters. They mourned though the believed that Jesus could raise him at the last day. That’s when we realize eternal life.

261   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:39 am

If God is indeed a sovereign God, was/is Satan ever free from God’s ability to have him bound? In other words has Satan EVER had the ability to do what wishes apart from God’s will?

I think it a moot point, unless one is a amillennialist and they feel the need to firm up their ideology, that we are now living in the millennial times. Because, in a sense Satan has always been bound and never has been in complete control.

With that being being said, I don’t see the debate here….we’re all just playing with words and how we individually interpret what being bound means.

262   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:42 am

The devil is warring against this plan but will not prevail because of what was accomplished in the death and resurrection of our Savior. But, make no mistake, the war is on UNTIL the time of the end at which time, his hands are finally tied.

So who has power over whom -today- and when did this shift in power occur?

And so is the reference in 2 Cor 4 regarding the “god of this world.”

II Cor 4 -

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

So – Satan, “blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel”, but God provided light, through Jesus, to pierce through that blindness, so that Satan could no longer deceive them, and they would receive life.

Yes. Exactly as promised in Rev 20.

From Hoekema:

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself’” (NIV). It is interesting to note that the verb here translated “driven out” (ekballo) is derived from the same root as the word used in Revelation 20:3, “He [the angel] threw [ballo] him [Satan] into the Abyss.” Even more important, however, is the observation that Satan’s being “driven out” or “cast out” (RSV) is here associated with the fact that not only Jews but men of all nationalities shall be drawn to Christ as he hangs on the cross.

263   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:44 am

Jesus is the Almighty – mighty to save, able to deliver, able to do the impossible, to redeem the lost, to penetrate enemy territory – this world – and bring us (POWs if you will) to salvation through His power and grace.

I guess it comes down to which metaphor: this one or the metaphor of a man being bound before you start pillaging his territory (again references the Jolly Blogger)

264   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:48 am

I think it a moot point, unless one is a amillennialist and they feel the need to firm up their ideology, that we are now living in the millennial times. Because, in a sense Satan has always been bound and never has been in complete control.

This is true… but I don’t think the accusation that it’s just Amills needing to firm up their position. The binding of Satan in Rev 20 seems to be something beyond your reference to Satan always having been subject to God… beyond just a refernce to his not being in complete control.

This, then, begs the question – what does it mean that he is specifically bound? We are addressing that question.

With that being being said, I don’t see the debate here….we’re all just playing with words and how we individually interpret what being bound means.

On the one hand you are right. On the other, it means something, and we have opposing views on the table.

265   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:51 am

In other words has Satan EVER had the ability to do what wishes apart from God’s will?

Excellent, excellent point Scotty. He has never been free to operate beyond the will of God.

Finally, he will be bound, at the return of Christ and rendered impotent. Until then, he is operating within the sphere – the earth – that the Lord has allowed him.

II Cor 4

This was brought out to show that – contrary to your and Neil’s argument – the Adversary is not in some abyss somewhere. Even after the death and resurrection of Christ, Paul refers to him by the title “god of this age” – ruler, prince.

When THIS AGE is completed, at the return of Christ which ushers in a new age, he is deposed completely aka Rev 20.

266   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:52 am

…we’re all just playing with words and how we individually interpret what being bound means.

The issue of “bound” is just the sticking point Amills have to answer… we could just as easily be arguing over the definition and use of “soon” which is the premills sticking point which they need to address.

And an Amiller would view the Premiller use of “soon” in much the same way the Premiller sees the Amiller using “bound.” Except “soon” lends itself to a literal interpretation more than “bound” – me thinks.

Whihc is kinda ironic given the accusation level against Amills – that they do not take things as literal.

267   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:55 am

Scotty,

Neil: On the one hand you are right. On the other, it means something, and we have opposing views on the table.

The reason it means so much to Chris L/Neil is because of the fact they believe Rev 20 has been largely fulfilled. Namely that the Devil has been ‘bound’ in prison. But this is not the case.

The also believe that the ‘first resurrection’ has already occurred.

Chris L even believes that Jesus physically returned in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem.

That’s the reason I’m arguing this point.

We all understand and agree with the point that Christ is supreme and more powerful than the Adversary.

268   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:57 am

Excellent, excellent point Scotty. He has never been free to operate beyond the will of God.

Finally, he will be bound, at the return of Christ and rendered impotent. Until then, he is operating within the sphere – the earth – that the Lord has allowed him.

And the other position would say that “binding” does not require the complete impotence you say… or as John Hughs wrongly said – “cease.”

It could be just another dimension, an added restriction on the freedom given to Satan.

269   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 11:59 am

…the Adversary is not in some abyss somewhere.

Do you believe that an angel will physically bind Satan with a chain and throw him into a literal abyss with a literal/physical cover and seal?

270   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

But this is not the case.

Well then… I guess I am wrong… unless of course, an earthly 1,000 transitional kingdom with a rebuilt temple and renewed sacrifices and people living in glorified bodies along side people living and dieing in natural bodies is – well… not the case.

…and of course… “soon” does not mean what you think it means…

271   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Neil – the problem that your argument poses is regarding who Satan is: he is a deceiver and a liar. It started with Eve in the garden as he beguiled her. He has ever been the deceiver throughout the OT. He was bold enough to try and deceive Christ, he undermined the churches from within, he is active in deceiving the world.

While I agree that the light now shines in the darkness, he has not changed from what he was in the beginning: a liar and deceiver. He is active in the world.

But the time is coming – at the Christ’s return – in which he is bound, sealed and rendered impotent.

The way Neil/Chris L are characterizing him is some sort of drug cartel leader who is in prison, but is still running the show through a cell phone someone smuggled into him.

272   Sandman    
June 10th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Perhaps it would be more fitting to say (as a modern reference)

D Day has been fought (the cross); V-E has yet to be realized.

273   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

While I agree that the light now shines in the darkness, he has not changed from what he was in the beginning: a liar and deceiver. He is active in the world.

NO argument there.

274   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

But the time is coming – at the Christ’s return – in which he is bound, sealed and rendered impotent.

“impotent” is an interpretive inclusion.

275   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

“Perhaps it would be more fitting to say (as a modern reference)

D Day has been fought (the cross); V-E has yet to be realized.”

Very good illustartion. Let us all recognize the limitations of linguistically defining these kinds of mysteries. The invisible kingdom, combined with the invisible spirits, can never be completely understood in the visible universe.

The word bound can also represent a criminal allowed to be somewhat free but with an ankle brace that identifies his location. Satan has and continues to deceive people, ethnic groups, and even churches.

276   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

we could just as easily be arguing over the definition and use of “soon” which is the premills sticking point which they need to address.

I wasn’t addressing “soon” My attention span only allows me to deal with one issue at a time….. ;)

That’s a WHOLE other dissciussion!

277   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I have noticed one thing. There are some who are sympathetic to the post modern understandings and the constricted set of certainties, who seem very certain about prophetic truths and dates.

Interesting…

278   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I wasn’t addressing “soon” My attention span only allows me to deal with one issue at a time….. ;)

That’s a WHOLE other dissciussion!

my point exactly… it’s not like the amill position is the only one which has significant issues it needs to wrestle with…

279   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

When THIS AGE is completed, at the return of Christ which ushers in a new age, he is deposed completely aka Rev 20.

But now you’re making an assumption about “this age” – as “the end of the age” and “the end of days” are two separate concepts that you continue to conflate as one.

The reason it means so much to Chris L/Neil is because of the fact they believe Rev 20 has been largely fulfilled. Namely that the Devil has been ‘bound’ in prison. But this is not the case.

You’ve offered nothing convincing to suggest it is not the case – particularly in such a definitive manner.

The also believe that the ‘first resurrection’ has already occurred.

I also believe that water is wet and the sky appears to be blue.

Hoekema:

Let us now take a closer look at verse 4: “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.” The first question we must face here is, Where are these thrones? Leon Morris points out that in the book of Revelation the word “throne” is used forty-seven times and that all but three of these thrones (2:13; 13:2; 16:10) appear to be in heaven.4 When we add to this consideration the fact that John sees “the souls of those who had been beheaded,” we are confirmed in the conclusion that the locale of John’s vision has now shifted to heaven. We may say then that whereas the thousand-year period described in these six verses is the same throughout, verses 1-3 describe what happens on earth during this time, and verses 4-6 depict what happens in heaven.

Chris L even believes that Jesus physically returned in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I “believe that it is possible” that Jesus physically returned in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem.

We have created an assumption that the “second coming” is the “final return”. I happen to believe it is possible/probable that Jesus did not dangle false hope in front of the people he directly knew and loved in his time here on earth via his promises of “soon” and “within a generation” and “will not see death”, and that – whether his return was physical and visible or not – they would have seen (and, did see, if we are to believe Eusebeus and other ancient writers) the destruction of Jerusalem as evidence of his fulfilling his prophecy on the Mount of Olives.

We all understand and agree with the point that Christ is supreme and more powerful than the Adversary.

But we disagree as to whether that power is manifested in any hindrance to Satan today.

Neil: Well then… I guess I am wrong… unless of course, an earthly 1,000 transitional kingdom with a rebuilt temple and renewed sacrifices and people living in glorified bodies along side people living and dieing in natural bodies is – well… not the case.

…and of course… “soon” does not mean what you think it means…

Exactly. Paul – get back to me with your “proof” that “this is not the case” when the Dome of the Rock is pushed into the Tyropean (or the Hinnom) Valley. Until then…

Neil – the problem that your argument poses is regarding who Satan is: he is a deceiver and a liar. [...] While I agree that the light now shines in the darkness, he has not changed from what he was in the beginning: a liar and deceiver. He is active in the world.

Actually, lying and deceiving are two aspects of Satan’s official role. Satan is translated accuser – which describes his role as an angel. To accuse men of their sin when being judged by God. Jesus’ victory stripped Satan of this role for all of those who are in Him. In his primary role, Satan is powerless over all believers. He has been bound.

The way Neil/Chris L are characterizing him is some sort of drug cartel leader who is in prison, but is still running the show through a cell phone someone smuggled into him.

No – you’ve just extrapolated “bound” to mean something far beyond what Scripture allows. In apocalyptic literature, specifically, symbols and concepts do not have literal meaning beyond what they are given or what they reference from other specific works. In Rev 20, we are given the meaning of “bound” – “to keep him from deceiving the [ethnos]“. We cannot say that this ‘binding’ prevents him from doing evil in the world because the Scripture does not say it does.

Prior to this, the [ethnos] did not have the Gospel, and, therefore, did not have grace to render Satan’s accusations null and void in Christ. Now, they do, and Satan cannot stop the Gospel from advancing until he is briefly loosed again “to deceive the ethnos”.

I have noticed one thing. There are some who are sympathetic to the post modern understandings and the constricted set of certainties, who seem very certain about prophetic truths and dates.

Perhaps because they’re not “post modern”, but rather because they’re trying to think in “pre modern” terms back to the first century. It is a mistake to say that postmodernism is the only philosophical position that sees many types of truth as having multiple facets/dimensions, and that contradictions are just as likely to be indicative of a lack of knowledge on a subject as they are of a lack of compatibility between positions on a subject.

280   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

There is only one God and Margaret MacDonald is His prophetess.

281   Joe    
June 10th, 2009 at 1:16 pm

What I find interesting is there are many who believe that if they can attach the term “post modern” to the other person’s argument they have effectually attached an albatross of death to the argument. The actual argument being post modern or not post modern is irrelevant.

282   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Post modern, in the colloquial sense, indicates a metamorphosis of truth and a culturally and generationally restricted understanding of that same truth.

Relevant. :cool:

283   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Satan is powerless over all believers.

Really. Tell me, where is the church of Ephesus today, or Rome, or Colosse or Corinth or…

Many believers have been deceived and are being deceived even up until this day.

In Rev 20, we are given the meaning of “bound” – “to keep him from deceiving the [ethnos]“.

Even though he is still doing this. Hmmm… So he can still deceive the church and the saints, yet it’s ‘hands off’ the ethnos. OK.

We cannot say that this ‘binding’ prevents him from doing evil in the world because the Scripture does not say it does.

So he’s bound, but still fully active in the world. That’s where the round peg and square hole comes in.

Let’s just leave it at this for now. It’s obvious we’re looking at this from different viewpoints altogether.

284   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Here is Rick’s point encapsulated in a sentence or two:

Chris L: Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I “believe that it is possible” that Jesus physically returned in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem.

We have created an assumption that the “second coming” is the “final return”.

As false as false can be: Christ might have already returned.

That verse now makes sense: “If I go, I will return several times throughout the next few years and centuries, that where I am you may be also.” – The Gospel of Jim

All the parables (ie: Matt 25) speak of a future return at the end of the age. Why? Because when Christ returns a new age is ushered in – the renewed heavens and earth.

285   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

If Christ has returned to earth in AD 70, and if He is setting up His earthly kingdom, and if the devil is bound, I suggest that God has lost the blueprints for His kingdom.

You guys are passionate, yet your position is unreasonable.

286   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 1:43 pm
Satan is powerless over all believers.

Really. Tell me, where is the church of Ephesus today, or Rome, or Colosse or Corinth or…

In Rome GA, in Corinth TX, Rome Italy, Corinth MS, and all of the corners of the earth. There is only one church.

As for physical location – Ephesus and Colosse are ruins with nobody living in them, but there are Christian churches in the modern cities nearby (which I have seen). The Vatican is in Rome, as are some Protestant churches, as well. There are churches in the modern city of Corinth, as well (though on a difference site, since the site of the original city was destroyed in an earthquake).

The truth, though, is that Satan has no power over believers because they are covered by grace. Even if he might deceive them or lead them into sin, if they are believers, Christ’s blood covers their sins. Satan’s accusations are powerless.

In Rev 20, we are given the meaning of “bound” – “to keep him from deceiving the [ethnos]“.

Even though he is still doing this.

Is the Gospel available to all ethnos? Is it effective for all ethnos? Or – is it only still available to those of Jewish ethnos? Was it available to the non-Jewish ethnos before Jesus – or did they have to become Jews to be covered by God’s grace?

So he can still deceive the church and the saints, yet it’s ‘hands off’ the ethnos. OK.

You are mixing/conflating individuals with the institutions.

Is the church (there is only one) deceived and apart from the grace of Christ?

Are all of the saints deceived and free from the accusations of Satan, because they are in Christ?

You’re grasping at straws (and strawmen) now, appealing only to experience (which is always so myopic to think that today – no matter the era -”is the worst of times”).

We cannot say that this ‘binding’ prevents him from doing evil in the world because the Scripture does not say it does.

So he’s bound, but still fully active in the world. That’s where the round peg and square hole comes in.

No – I’ve put a round peg into a round hole, but you’ve constructed your own square hole completely independent from Scripture, ignoring what it gives as the definition for “bound”, and ignoring Jesus’ own use of this term in Matt 12:29 in a parallel use of the term.

I have no need to fit any peg into the hole you’ve created, because it’s not one with any basis in Scripture.

287   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 1:46 pm

If Christ has returned to earth in AD 70, and if He is setting up His earthly kingdom, and if the devil is bound, I suggest that God has lost the blueprints for His kingdom.

Or you just can’t read them….

288   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Chris L – at this point it’s getting ridiculous – Christ has physically returned, the devil is bound, Matt 25 was fulfilled, the devil ‘was’ the god of this world, the devil is operating under the pseudonym ‘Guido’ from a cell in solitary confinement in San Quentin, directing affairs via a cell phone… At this point we’re further off the mark than the ‘universalist’ discussions that have been had here. Time to pack it in…

As a side question: have you ever lost an argument in your entire life?

289   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Even my German Shepherd will not lie down with the lamb. :cool:

290   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

There is only one God and Margaret MacDonald is His prophetess.

Knowing Rick… this is extremely clever… but I do not get it at all.

291   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

So he’s bound, but still fully active in the world. That’s where the round peg and square hole comes in.

As with “impotence” above, your inclusion of “fully” is an interpretive insertion.

292   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Given the choice between a) “bound” meaning still having an influence but unable to stop the spread of the Gospel and b) “soon” meaning after at least 2000 years…

293   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Neil – Margaret MacDonald is the Scottish girl who purportedly first dreamed of the pre-trib rapture which was later picked up by Darby. Until that dream the church had been decieved prophetically by the unbound devil. :cool:

294   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

at this point it’s getting ridiculous – Christ has physically returned, the devil is bound, Matt 25 was fulfilled, the devil ‘was’ the god of this world, the devil is operating under the pseudonym ‘Guido’ from a cell in solitary confinement in San Quentin, directing affairs via a cell phone… At this point we’re further off the mark than the ‘universalist’ discussions that have been had here. Time to pack it in…

It’s only getting ridiculous if you distort everything said in ridiculous ways.

1) If the destruction of Jerusalem was in response to Jesus’ judgment upon it (Mt 24:1-3 and elsewhere), which I believe – and the bolus of the church has believed for 2000 years – then whether his return was physical or only a manifestation of his return is immaterial. I believe it is possible, because it is not Scripturally precluded. Again – there is no Scriptural prohibition to a multi-part perousia. It is only in our eschatology that we’ve conflated a number of prophecies into a single event – even in conflict with itself (such as calling for two physical resurrections in one case, when Jesus specifies there will be only one in another place.)

2) The devil is bound – he no longer has control over all of the ethnos apart from Israel. As Jesus said:

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.

And he uses the same word for “tying up” the strong man as is used for “binding” Satan.

It’s like sticking a knife in the head of a shark – it’s already dead, but in its throes, it will try to take anyone else it can with it. Satan’s already lost, and he is powerless against the Gospel – he cannot oppose those whom it covers, even if he might lead them to sin.

3) “Matt 25 was fulfilled”? I never said Matthew 25 was fulfilled – I said Matt 24 was (see #184). In Matt 25, I would say that the fulfillment has begun, but will not be complete until the end of days.

4) As for all the crap about Guido, etc., it’s just you eisegesis of “bound” as being “cease” or “impotent”, when such an interpretation is completely unsupported by the text. In other words, it’s a straw man, cuz that’s not what I believe.

As a side question: have you ever lost an argument in your entire life?

Just ask Zan – all the time.

Or, I can do a search of this site, and I can point out some specific threads to you…

When it comes to eschatology, though, I rarely enter the fray w/o having my ducks in a row first. With dispensationalism, though, it’s kind of like arguing with Trekkies about how many decks there are on the USS Enterprise…

295   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Margaret MacDonald is the Scottish girl who purportedly first dreamed of the pre-trib rapture which was later picked up by Darby. Until that dream the church had been decieved prophetically by the unbound devil.

Exactly… which gets to my Star Trek comparison…

296   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

[Side note: I'm surprised nobody jumped on my case for being pro-Israel, but non-dispensationalist]

297   Joe    http://joemartino.name
June 10th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

There are ducks on the Enterprise?

298   Joe    http://joemartino.name
June 10th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Yeah, I know it says Decks but ducks is funnier

299   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 10th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Wow! I was at the hospital most of the day (my wife is still in the hospital , but it well on her way to a full recovery – she’s had a real bout with a foodborne illness this last month.)

Anyway, I must say that reading through these comments makes me scratch my head. I grew up with Dispensationalism my whole life, and there was always stuff about that didn’t make sense to me. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started doing my own in-depth research and I found out that it was pretty much a recent development. After I read some of the stuff I mentioned earlier, it was like things I had read my whole life finally made some sense. I’ve had conversations with my Dad about this stuff more recently as well, and after many years of being almost forced to tow the Dispy line, he’s actually leaning more toward the Amill position now.

I know it can be a relatively unimportant thing, but I have found that a person’s eschatology can end up influencing their whole life in some pretty significant ways. Heck, I’ve known people who’ve unwisely turned their backs on God-given talents and vocations because they’ve gotten involved with people who convinced them the world was going down the tubes. So you have groups of Christians just kind of detached from the real world, who are almost gnostics.

So that’s my story…

300   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Phil – suppose that Revelation was written after AD 70, what does that do to your theory? Just trying to understand how this would play out. Or does it have any impact at all?

301   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 10th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Phil – suppose that Revelation was written after AD 70, what does that do to your theory? Just trying to understand how this would play out. Or does it have any impact at all?

I think there’s probably a good chance that Revelation was written after AD 70, actually. I tend to think that it makes a bit more sense to place the writing during the time of Domitian rather than Nero. The Church faced dire times at during Domitian’s reign, and Revelation was speaking specifically to that. The Lamb has conquered and the Empire cannot win, and God is in control.

I see the eschatological aspects of the book not as a roadmap, but more as a painting of history from the perspective of heaven. They are to reminds Christians that even in the turbulence, God has them in His hands, and He will have the final say.

302   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

“As a side question: have you ever lost an argument in your entire life?”

Yes, he has. Everytime he argues with me, although the bound-one deceives him into thinking he won.

303   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

suppose that Revelation was written after AD 70, what does that do to your theory?

Not that much. There has always been somewhat of a question regarding Nero and Dometian that often ties back to different streams of amillennialism.

Nero’s name, for instance, is Neron in Hebrew (whose number totals 666) and in the Latin is Nero (which numbers 616). There are a number of early Latin manuscripts, where copyists put the number of the beast at 616 (which has historically been seen as their acknowledgment to the number’s identification of Nero). (There are also records that, in Greek, Domitian’s title added to 666.)

We know that he commanded that people had to worship him or be killed, and that in the marketplaces (particularly in Ephesus, the home of Caesar worship) one must worship him and receive his mark (charagma) in order to buy or sell there.

Nero is traditionally seen as killing Jesus’ chief two apostles/prophets – Peter and Paul – in Rome.

We also know that on June 9, AD 68, Nero committed suicide, dying of a fatal head wound.

After Nero (the sixth Caesar) there were two more Caesars in the remainder of the first century who were highly antagonistic toward Christians – Vespasian and Domitian.

Domitian (the twelfth Caesar – six after Nero) was seen as a bane to Christians, particularly toward the end of his reign. He was the first Caesar to declare himself God while still alive, and he reinstituted the worship of himself and all past Caesars as gods upon pain of death. John’s refusal to do so led to his exile on Patmos (reportedly after he did not die after thrown into boiling oil).

Domitian rode a white horse into battle and commanded that everyone, including his wife (who he later kicked to death when she was pregnant) call him “king of kings and lord of lords”, and to announce him as such when entering any city.

His reign of terror only ended after his assassination. And a few years after his death, his general Trajan, now Caesar, had Domitian’s name etched out of all public buildings/works as part of “the damning of the memory” – a response to Domitian’s cruelty and ineptitude.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that 70 vs. 96 is not that big of a deal to amillinnialism, unless you take the position that Nero had to fit all of the bills, rather than a combination of Nero and Domitian (who was compared as a parallel to Nero in a number of historical documents).

304   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I grew up with Dispensationalism my whole life, and there was always stuff about that didn’t make sense to me. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started doing my own in-depth research and I…

Similar story here, except I did not grow up with anything. But my conversion came at a dispie (no disrespect just shorter) church and I got my Th.M. from THE dispie seminary.

Some things just never sat right though…

A few years ago I am studyingHebrews and it hit me like the proverbial bricks… so I started really studying it – Romans included. Now I am a “former dispie with amill tendencies.”

305   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Phil – suppose that Revelation was written after AD 70, what does that do to your theory? Just trying to understand how this would play out. Or does it have any impact at all? – Paul C.

It has impact on the futurist/preterist decision… but has no relevance I know of on the premill/amill decision.

306   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Thanks guys – the discussion has been interesting, if a little impassioned.

307   Neil    
June 10th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Thanks guys – the discussion has been interesting, if a little impassioned.

Well, we’ve gone better than 300 comments, disagreed, become a little testy at times… yet no one questioned anyone’s salvation.

Remember this the next time some drive-by says we’re as bad as the ADM’s…

308   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Well, we’ve gone better than 300 comments, disagreed, become a little testy at times… yet no one questioned anyone’s salvation.

But I’m beginning to believe that it WAS Rick on the grassy knoll…..

309   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

No, Scotty, that was not me. I was in the front row at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865. After all the commotion stopped the play, I asked for my money back.

Sic semper tyrannis!!

310   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Guys, a couple more questions…

Chris L mentions that Rev 13 largely typifies either Domitian or Nero. The devil has been bound, according to you by this time and can no longer “deceive the nations” outright as before. Yet this same chapter says:

“… and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast.”

All the world? I take it that it’s not every soul, but the vast, vast majority. The dragon is the devil of course.

So how is he bound as per Rev 20?

THEN

v 7: He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

Finally,

Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

Does it appear anyone is bound here?

Or what of Paul’s warning to Timothy?

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

But according to you, the devil cannot fully operate as the deceiver/seducer.

Lastly, how would interpret 2 Thessalonians 2 according to your model?

Read vs 1-12

- man of lawlessness cannot be any of the invaders in AD 70 because it means that Christ’s return is imminent. We know 2000 yrs later that Christ still hasn’t returned

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

This is probably why Chris L has the need to say that Jesus came in AD 70. But it doesn’t fit.

All these scriptures taken together should be a concern for you and your model.

311   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 10th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Paul, I really don’t how you’re saying anything new. We’ve said over and over and over again that saying Satan is bound doesn’t mean that he can’t do anything.

It’s interesting that idea of “binding” was mentioned by Jesus as well. In Matthew 12, Jesus talks about “binding the strong man” in clear reference to Satan. So Jesus saw his death and resurrection in spiritual warfare terms where it was the decisive blow against Satan.

1 John 3:8 says, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” So was Christ successful in that? I would say the answer is yes despite the fact that Satan is still active. As I said before, he is defeated. All of his activity now is him acting in his death throes. That doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous, but it simply means that Christ accomplished the entire work He came to do on the cross. That is why He said, “it is finished” when He died.

312   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Phil,

If both Rev 13 and Rev 20 have been fulfilled (pretty much at the same time – the 1st century) then there is a major descrepancy.

Rev 13: the entire world is being deceived by the devil. In fact, he was given authority over the nations.

Rev 20: the devil is bound from deceiving the world/nations

Again (for perhaps the 20th time) no one denying that Christ is dismantling the devil’s work – I said the same thing several times (ie: this is enemy territory and Christ is redeeming us from prison camp). That’s apparent. He is stronger than the devil.

I also believe the devil has been defeated because light has come into the world. The world is dark, but the light shall overcome it in the end.

313   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Basically I’m saying your misappropriating Rev 20 based on the above scriptures which clearly demonstrate that this MUST be referencing a future date.

314   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

If both Rev 13 and Rev 20 have been fulfilled (pretty much at the same time – the 1st century) then there is a major descrepancy.

I don’t anyone has said that Revelation 20 is “fulfilled”. What the Amill position posits is that the “thousand years” mentioned in that chapter is currently ongoing. It started at Christ’s resurrection and will end at His return with the resurrection of the dead. The reason Satan is bound is so the Gospel can spread during this period. And certainly you can’t deny that Gospel has spread despite the devil’s efforts to stop it.

This isn’t anything different than what I’ve been saying, either. I just think you taking a far too literal and linear approach to Revelation.

I would also add that “the beast” in chapter 13 isn’t necessarily Satan himself. It was probably code for the Roman Empire, especially when you consider “the beast” is introduced as follows: “And I saw a beast coming out of the sea”. That could easily be the description of an invading army, or it could just be the author making the point that the emperor who is currently persecuting the Church is satanic in nature.

315   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Paul,
Overall, I’d say if you’re saying the choice before me is either giving some leeway to the way the word “bound” is used in Revelation 20 or believing that there are two physical resurrections of the dead, I will go with the former.

The Jewish narrative, which Jesus was firmly planted in, looked forward to the hope of a physical resurrection of the dead when creation when be restored. Now certainly the NT writers gave more details on what this would be like and who would take place, but they did not alter the core story. They still are looking forward to the physical resurrection (only one). In fact this may be why there were some who were saying that it had already taken place. They couldn’t get their minds around the fact that Jesus was just a foretaste of the final resurrection.

316   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 10th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

I would also add that “the beast” in chapter 13 isn’t necessarily Satan himself. It was probably code for the Roman Empire, especially when you consider “the beast” is introduced as follows: “And I saw a beast coming out of the sea”. That could easily be the description of an invading army, or it could just be the author making the point that the emperor who is currently persecuting the Church is satanic in nature.

I think Paul said the dragon was Satan (which is most likely correct), not the beast.

As for the beast rising out of the sea, there was a 150+ foot tall statue of Domitian constructed at the Caesar temple in Ephesus, which was the first things sailors saw “rising out of the sea” when they approached Ephesus. Additionally, it was the first thing visible when approaching Ephesus from the east, “rising out of the land”…

What the Amill position posits is that the “thousand years” mentioned in that chapter is currently ongoing. It started at Christ’s resurrection and will end at His return with the resurrection of the dead. The reason Satan is bound is so the Gospel can spread during this period. And certainly you can’t deny that Gospel has spread despite the devil’s efforts to stop it.

This isn’t anything different than what I’ve been saying, either. I just think you taking a far too literal and linear approach to Revelation.

Exactly.

I used to be a dispy, too. My Dad had Hal Lindsay’s books in the home library, and they were all pretty cool and exciting. I remember being somewhat disappointed in my first NT course when all of the ties between Rev. and Nero became undeniably apparent. Why? Because all of the sudden, it was no longer about current events, Russia, China and Israel – it was no longer about something I could watch unfold in the news. It was only later that I realized the seductive pull of dispensationalism, because it puts us in the driver’s seat and makes us a part of the eschaton.

My minister coming out of college was a PhD in Hebrew studies, with a LOT of emphasis on apocalyptic literature, and he also won a good number of “debates” with me, as I actually plumbed into Scripture, the first century, and the modernist, pop-culture nature of dispensationalism.

What little bit of dispensationalism was left in me was pretty much squashed (a good thing, indeed) when I traveled to Asia Minor and visited Ephesus, where it became readily apparent that the people John wrote to were experiencing the exact things he wrote about, in the age in which he wrote about them.

317   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 10th, 2009 at 11:30 pm

I don’

t anyone has said that Revelation 20 is “fulfilled”

Talk to Chris L and Neil. They believe Satan has been bound (in some sense) and the first resurrection has taken place. Are you also going to backtrack from this position?

And yet there’s Rev 13: he’s deceiving the whole world.

You are trying to have it both ways and it is apparent. The only way out is to twist scripture to what you want it to mean rather than just say – Rev 20 is a future event.

I would also add that “the beast” in chapter 13 isn’t necessarily Satan himself

It doesn’t matter does it – worship the beast, you worship the devil.

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast:

The dragon is the devil.

That could easily be the description of an invading army, or it could just be the author making the point that the emperor who is currently persecuting the Church is satanic in nature.

Or it could be a future event that we need to be alert for. The amillenialism is very weak.

What the Amill position posits is that the “thousand years” mentioned in that chapter is currently ongoing.

This is the core of the problem: your position. It is very flimsy, but to give it legs, you insist on twisting scriptures…

Rev 13, which according to you, was fulfilled and is part of the millenium we’re in now. He’s wreaking havoc according to this chapter on the NATIONS OF THE WORLD – deceiving them. But according to you he’s bound somewhat from deceiving the nations as per Rev 20.

I can’t believe you cannot at least acknowledge there’s some incongruity here.

318   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 11th, 2009 at 1:09 am

They believe Satan has been bound (in some sense) and the first resurrection has taken place. Are you also going to backtrack from this position?

You’re only 3 verses into Rev 20 with the binding of Satan, and 6 in with the “first resurrection”. The problem with your interpretation of the “first resurrection” is that you’ve placed it on earth, which has all sorts of logistical problems, along with contradicting Jesus’ own words regarding the resurrection of the dead.

I would content, as does Hoekema (who you, conveniently, have failed to address at all), that the “first resurrection” occurs in the heavenly realm (where nearly all of the thrones in Rev. are mentioned). This is not only somewhat obvious in the context of Rev. 20, but also is the only position that can be taken that is consistent with the whole of Scripture.

Neither Neil nor I have stated that Rev 20:7-15 have already occurred. In fact, we’ve been pretty consistent with the amill position (noting that amillennial is a misnomer, and that realized millennial is more a more accurate description of the position) that the millennium is figurative, and that we are presently in the midst of it.

And yet there’s Rev 13: he’s deceiving the whole world.

As the Caesars did. I would say that Rev 13 has already come to pass, with a combination of Nero and Domitian, and that these horrors were part of what the early church endured.

You are trying to have it both ways and it is apparent. The only way out is to twist scripture to what you want it to mean rather than just say – Rev 20 is a future event.

Now you’re just plain incoherent. How about you read Hoekema and deal with that before you continue to misconstrue and make up our position as you go along?

Or it could be a future event that we need to be alert for. The amillenialism is very weak.

Now THAT is wonderful humor. A sci-fi believer calling the historical position of the church “weak”… Very rich humor, indeed.

I can’t believe you cannot at least acknowledge there’s some incongruity here.

Maybe because there is no incongruity to acknowledge. Just because you’re incapable (unwilling?) of grasping the truth doesn’t mean it does not exist.

319   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 11th, 2009 at 7:06 am

Talk to Chris L and Neil. They believe Satan has been bound (in some sense) and the first resurrection has taken place. Are you also going to backtrack from this position?

The first resurrection has taken and is still taking place. It is a spiritual resurrection that happens when someone becomes a Christian. That person begins to reign with Christ. Again, something we’ve covered multiple times already.

And yet there’s Rev 13: he’s deceiving the whole world.

You are trying to have it both ways and it is apparent. The only way out is to twist scripture to what you want it to mean rather than just say – Rev 20 is a future event.

The “whole world” doesn’t mean every person on the planet. I believe the “world” in this passage is best thought of as the power systems of the world. They are satanic, and anyone who falls prey to them is in essence choosing to worship Satan. The fact that he is bound doesn’t mean people can’t choose to worship him. Heck, people worship dead things all the time.

So yes, the dragon is the devil, and the Beast is his minion. I was pointing out that it is the Beast in Chapter 13 who is described as attacking. The dragon is sort of the authority figure behind him. So as mentioned earlier, it isn’t unlike a mob boss controlling his henchmen from behind bars.

This is the core of the problem: your position. It is very flimsy, but to give it legs, you insist on twisting scriptures…

:roll:

Rev 13, which according to you, was fulfilled and is part of the millenium we’re in now. He’s wreaking havoc according to this chapter on the NATIONS OF THE WORLD – deceiving them. But according to you he’s bound somewhat from deceiving the nations as per Rev 20.

I can’t believe you cannot at least acknowledge there’s some incongruity here.

A paradox isn’t the same as an incongruity. It’s the same type of thing as saying the Kingdom is here but it’s not yet here. On the surface it’s a logical contradiction (although I don’t really think the point you’re raising over the word “bound” necessarily even would fall into this category – it seems pretty clear to me), but it’s something that’s a fundamental principle in Scripture. It only becomes a problem when Western readers try to “solve” something that wasn’t intended to be solved.

To me, I arrived at the Amill position kind of through Occam’s razor. It just seemed like the most likely explanation, and most of the time the most likely explanation of a situation turns out to be the correct explanation. Even if there are a few details that require a but more explanation, they pale in comparison to huge leaps and suspension of disbelief required for me to believe the Dispy position.

320   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 11th, 2009 at 7:49 am

So as mentioned earlier, it isn’t unlike a mob boss controlling his henchmen from behind bars.

So why did Chris L shoot down my representation of your position when I said:

the devil is operating under the pseudonym ‘Guido’ from a cell in solitary confinement in San Quentin, directing affairs via a cell phone…

We’re virtually saying the same thing (though I don’t fully agree), yet Chris L disagrees.

A paradox isn’t the same as an incongruity

Phil, this is a paradox: “It is better to give than to receive.”

But to argue the devil is BOUND FROM DECEIVING THE NATIONS – cast into a bottomless pit, shut up and sealed – and YET he is as active as ever, operating with impunity in Rev 13 (which you say has occurred) is more than a paradox. That’s incongruity.

It’s like saying I’m in New York and LA at the same time.

It only becomes a problem when Western readers try to “solve” something that wasn’t intended to be solved.

Ah yes – the ever present ‘ace card’ – if in doubt, just pull this one out and it quells all arguments.

I can respect your position re amill, but it would be good to at least acknowledge that there is a bit of incongruity here. I can respect that to you it seems to be the ‘most likely explanation’, but when you (or Chris L) approach it with almost 100% certainty, yet there are holes (ie: the problem of Rev 13 vs 20, 2 Thess 2, 2 Tim 4, etc… as per above) then we’re just arguing.

BTW, yesterday was the first time I even looked up what amill, premill, preterist, etc. is. I’m not trying to defend one of these per se.

321   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 11th, 2009 at 8:00 am

The problem with your interpretation of the “first resurrection” is that you’ve placed it on earth, which has all sorts of logistical problems

When it comes to God fulfilling his plan, I’ll let Him worry about the ‘logistics’ as you put.

But read Rev 19 – Christ has returned to earth, destroyed the beast and false prophet in judgment. Not only that, but:

out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword (FIGURATIVE), that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Hmmm… gentle Jesus meek-and-mild or the Lion of the Tribe of Judah executing judgment on this ungodly world at His return?

Nero and Domitian

Is the man represented in Rev 13, the same as the man destroyed in Rev 19? Also, is it the same man Paul refers to in 2 Thess 2?

A sci-fi believer calling the historical position of the church “weak”…

Sorry – nice attempt to disparage, but I’m not a sci-fi believer my friend.

Maybe because there is no incongruity to acknowledge.

Wow! You have Rev all figured out. Awesome.

322   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 11th, 2009 at 8:16 am

Phil, this is a paradox: “It is better to give than to receive.”

But to argue the devil is BOUND FROM DECEIVING THE NATIONS – cast into a bottomless pit, shut up and sealed – and YET he is as active as ever, operating with impunity in Rev 13 (which you say has occurred) is more than a paradox. That’s incongruity.

Again, I don’t see it as an incongruity, or necessarily a paradox, as I said – although there is something paradoxical in the fact that Satan was defeated a the cross, but yet we are still warned to be on the watch for him. So I will acknowledge that. But again, like I said, that’s no more incongruous than saying the Kingdom is here but it’s not yet here, which is a tension that we have learned to accept.

There’s no such thing as a completely “airtight” theological construct to explain the Biblical narrative, so I don’t necessarily think that the Amill has to have an exact rebuttal for every question. Although, I do think that the potential issues raised in that view are dwarfed by some much bigger issues in the other views.

Ah yes – the ever present ‘ace card’ – if in doubt, just pull this one out and it quells all arguments.

I can respect your position re amill, but it would be good to at least acknowledge that there is a bit of incongruity here. I can respect that to you it seems to be the ‘most likely explanation’, but when you (or Chris L) approach it with almost 100% certainty, yet there are holes (ie: the problem of Rev 13 vs 20, 2 Thess 2, 2 Tim 4, etc… as per above) then we’re just arguing.

BTW, yesterday was the first time I even looked up what amill, premill, preterist, etc. is. I’m not trying to defend one of these per se.

I don’t see having some humility in my it as an “ace card” at all. In fact, if the Dispy people would show a little more, it might make it a little easier to take them more seriously. How many times have they pointed to certain events being the “fulfillment” of prophecy only to have things turn out differently than they said they would. According to many people I heard growing up, Russia should have invaded Israel many years ago… it was on their charts and graphs, dangit!

I also think that it takes a certain amount of chutzpah for us to assume that the majority of the book of Revelation meant almost nothing to the Christians who it was originally addressed to. I think that it makes a lot more sense to look at it as a book primarily written to the Christians in Asia Minor at the end of the first century. That doesn’t mean we should ignore it, but we have to be able to put ourselves in their shoes before we try to extrapolate what it means to us.

323   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 11th, 2009 at 10:57 am

the devil is operating under the pseudonym ‘Guido’ from a cell in solitary confinement in San Quentin, directing affairs via a cell phone…

Because prisons in the Roman era were not like the prisons of today. Paul was able to pretty freely correspond and operate while imprisoned in Rome. (Some scholars suggest he was chained to a Roman soldier, but able to live in his own house.) Prisons (as buildings) were fairly few, and usually used for torture and execution, not incarceration as punishment. It’s not like today where you have to get special permission to visit a prisoner, and then only for a short time.

If I had to come up with a modern parallel, it would be like taking your passport and putting an ankle monitor on you.

But to argue the devil is BOUND FROM DECEIVING THE NATIONS – cast into a bottomless pit, shut up and sealed – and YET he is as active as ever, operating with impunity in Rev 13 (which you say has occurred) is more than a paradox. That’s incongruity

1) Prior to Christ, all of the nations were deceived and they could not be right with God. The accusation (satan) against them was binding and could not be escaped. Only if individuals became part of a the ethnos of Israel could they escape the accusation (satan).
2) After the Jesus’ resurrection and the Gospel was spread throughout the known world (with the transition period being 33 AD – 70 AD, or 33 AD – 98 AD), Satan’s power to fully deceive the ethnos was removed. You no longer had to become of Jewish ethnos in order to receive grace and escape accusation (satan). Why? Because Satan no longer had the power to legitimately accuse the ethnos, apart from Israel. Grace was available to both Jew and Gentile.
3) If Rev 13 occurred with Nero (roughly 3.5 years from AD65-68 ) or with Domitian (from AD93-96), and Satan’s binding was in place via the spread of the Gospel (around 135, when it reached the full expansion of the Roman Empire, up to Hadrian’s Wall), then there is no “incongruity”, because Rev. 13 happened before the binding was fully in place (i.e. the Gospel had reached the corners of the empire) in Rev. 20.

It only becomes a problem when Western readers try to “solve” something that wasn’t intended to be solved.

Ah yes – the ever present ‘ace card’ – if in doubt, just pull this one out and it quells all arguments.

And the problem with this is…? Certainty as to interpretation of symbology is a difficult thing, and there is a good deal of room for doubt. Judiasm dealt with this for 4000 years, as did Christianity for 1800+ years prior to the rise of modernism, when ‘certainty’ became a prized possession.

I can respect that to you it seems to be the ‘most likely explanation’, but when you (or Chris L) approach it with almost 100% certainty, yet there are holes (ie: the problem of Rev 13 vs 20, 2 Thess 2, 2 Tim 4, etc… as per above) then we’re just arguing.

I would say it is the ‘most likely explanation’, though I would also say that there is nothing that prevents double-fulfillment of prophecy, and that some aspects of futurism may be quite valid.

I would disagree that the “holes” you’ve pointed out, though, are necessarily “holes”.

Dispensational premillennialism, IMO, is an eschatalogical doctrine, though, that is pretty much science fiction and leads to all sorts of awful orthopraxy (particularly in dealing with the modern state of Israel, with missions, with politics, etc.) The premillennialist streak in the early church was nothing like this.

My ‘certainty’ in amillennialism is not so much certainty that is covers everything, but rather than it is at least in the realm of historical orthodoxy and does not lead to poor orthopraxy.

The problem with your interpretation of the “first resurrection” is that you’ve placed it on earth, which has all sorts of logistical problems

When it comes to God fulfilling his plan, I’ll let Him worry about the ‘logistics’ as you put.

Talk about incongruities! And you accuse amill’s of having weak arguments/lack of certainty?

This is one of the differences between classic premillennialism and dispensational pre-mills. The classics can at least recognize that to place the “first resurrection” on earth (rather than in heaven) is to create all sorts of problems with Jesus’ and Paul’s statements about physical resurrection and the judging of the dead, and thus they view the ‘first resurrection’ as being in the spiritual realm, not the physical one.

A sci-fi believer calling the historical position of the church “weak”…

Sorry – nice attempt to disparage, but I’m not a sci-fi believer my friend.

My apologies, I thought you were dispensationalist premillennial.

Q: What’s the difference between John Darby and Tim LaHaye?
A: LaHaye was honest enough to file his works under “fiction”.

Maybe because there is no incongruity to acknowledge.

Wow! You have Rev all figured out. Awesome.

I don’t have it all figured out – I doubt anyone does. I do believe, though, that the position I’ve taken – in line with 1900 years of Christianity – is the most highly probable one to take, and the one that has the fewest issues that lead to poor orthopraxis (even if it’s not always lived out).

I also think that it takes a certain amount of chutzpah for us to assume that the majority of the book of Revelation meant almost nothing to the Christians who it was originally addressed to.

Yes. This. Exactly.

324   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 13th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

Phil/Chris L: I am still considering this discussion, and had a question:

In amillenialism, you view the man referred to in Rev 13 (I think Chris L hinted it might be Nero or Domitian) as the same man referred to be Paul in 2 Thessalonians?

325   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 13th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

In amillenialism, you view the man referred to in Rev 13 (I think Chris L hinted it might be Nero or Domitian) as the same man referred to be Paul in 2 Thessalonians?

Paul,

I think that is a possible interpretation. If it truly ties back to Daniel, I believe that his 70-week prophecy was fulfilled, and that it was not (for some goofy reason) suspended after 69 weeks. As such, then yes. With Rev 13, there are far too many similarities between the historical record of the actions/events of both Domitian and Nero for at least a “first fulfillment” to not be reasonably seen as a fulfillment.

Reading back through, there is one caveat I often make that I have not in this thread -

I can point to several OT prophecies that were “double fulfilled” (the most obvious example being Isaiah’s prophecy about a virgin birth). I do believe that it is possible that some of the prophecies made to the disciples and/or the early Christians have the possibility of “double fulfillment” as well – meaning that, if we examine the history of the first two centuries, we might see that the fulfillment occurred for the early church (such as with the warning to escape from Jerusalem in the Olivet Discourse that the Jewish Christians heeded and escaped from the Roman siege of Jerusalem) that could possibly have a future fulfillment, as well.

Even so, I do not count on it, even if I don’t rule it out. Of course, such a position makes the newspaper/bible caution just as strongly as a single-fulfillment amill position does.

326   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 13th, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Chris L – I don’t discount the possibilities of dual fulfillment… this is similar to Hosea (”Out of Egypt have I called me son…”) or Ezekiel (the king of Tyre and Satan).

But, not in this particular case.

BUT, the challenge with 2 Thessalonians 2 and Rev 13 having been fulfilled is represented here:

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

This is extremely important. Not just His coming – but the splendor/power of His coming. It is apparent that Christ has not returned yet, so how could this be the case that it was Nero or Domitian or anyone else.

BTW, several other verses in both chapter – especially dealing with deception – cast serious doubt as to this being the Emperor of the Roman Empire.

How can this be credibly reconciled with your perspective?

327   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 12:34 am

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[or sin] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

This could actually refer to Vespasian (who took over for Nero and was rather nasty during his brief reign, as well), which he was proclaimed ‘god’ on the Temple Mount after it was destroyed.

But I would more likely go with the interpretation of it being Domitian, who declared himself god over all living things (”king of kings and lord of lords” was the title he used for himself – all previous Caesars had been deified after their deaths) while he was still alive, and he required all in the Roman empire to worship him, upon pain of death if they refused.

With every Caesar, in their coronation, there were reported any number of “miracles” that occurred during the Triumphus. There were likely many (the Nicolaetins, in particular) who burned incense to Caesar – or who treated God as one of many gods – to escape persecution.

You asked specifically about:

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

The word ’splendor’ is not actually “power”, but rather epiphaneia, which is “lightness” or “appearance”. I would say that the key is likely “the breath” (pneuma – which is also “spirit”). This actually suggests a non-physical manifestation (since the pneuma of your mouth is manifested in the words you speak), rather than a physical one.

BTW, several other verses in both chapter – especially dealing with deception – cast serious doubt as to this being the Emperor of the Roman Empire.

Actually, it supports it rather heavily, since all of the empire was forced to worship either the recently dead Caesar(s) (prior to Domitian), or the living Caesar (Domitian and ante-Domitian). Once Domitian came around, the Caesar was considered to be the god over all of the gods, and (depending on the ego of the Caesar in question) could demand all worship his image or be put to death.

If that’s not deception, I’m not sure what is…

BtW – You might want to check out R.C. Sproul’s Last Days According to Jesus – as he is both Reformed and partial-preterist, and does a good job (from what I hear – I’ve skimmed this in the bookstore, though I’ve had numerous recommendations made to me – just not when I had cash in the book budget… ),

328   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 12:46 am

FYI – In the Roman Empire, the only anthropos ho anomia – man of unlawness – was Caesar. He could declare any law, and the only person exempt from the law was himself.

329   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 7:23 am

I am noy greatly disturbed over different perspectives of prophecy. I am greatly disturbed when men distort redemption and people who are so energetic about dates and times and leaders concerning prophecy seem to be insouciant when men blatantly misrepresent the gospel, or even still, do not mention it much at all.

Why such passion about the date of Revelation yet so carefree or even defensive about obvious gospel distortions? I personally believe unhealthy attachments to men make people vunerable to receive error through their ministries and teachings. There was a time I would not have questioned anything Jack Hyles said, but in retrospect he said many things that were wrong and was a legalist.

And to the OP – I see nowhere in the New Testament that deals with land boundaries for the modern Israel. Let us not forget that individually and collectively they are enemies of the cross, even though God will display some kind of grace at the end.

330   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 14th, 2009 at 9:39 am

Chris – I appreciate a lot of these things and enjoy the history, especially of the first century, but look at the context of 2 Thessalonians 2:

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him

That is the context. What follows is precisely what will occur before Jesus returns and “our being gathered to him” (the resurrection).

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

You said that what’s important here is the breath of his mouth. But Paul is basically putting them – the breath combined with the splendor of his coming – on par, at the same time, concurrent events. This matches verse 1.

331   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 14th, 2009 at 10:49 am

I really don’t have time to type up a detailed answer to your question, but I do think that there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Titus, who oversaw the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, fits the bill as the man of lawlessness. However, that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be others. I don’t think Paul was operating outside of the Jewish mindset. Daniel 12 talks about an archangel arising the protect the Jewish people. This is traditionally thought of as the Archangel Michael. So it is likely that Paul was thinking of this when he refers to “the one who holds him back”. So at the appointed time, Jerusalem was left unprotected, and the enemy swooped in.

Also, I could see how it makes sense to think of 70AD as the beginning of the Second Coming of Christ in a very real sense. The destruction of the temple signified its utter obsolescence, and in the New Covenant, there is no temple but Christ. So in 70AD, the old temple left for good, and Christ stepped in as the only temple.

So just as there is an overlapping between the end of the first age and the coming of the second one, I see there could be an overlapping involving the Second Coming.

332   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 11:00 am

Whatever will happen, will happen. The events are set, our calling is the gospel. The same, unchanging gospel.

Much of these discussions seem to me to mirror the same set of eschatological charts that the “Left Behind” people construct, just with different dates.

333   Joe C    
June 14th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_israel_palestinians

Interesting

334   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Joe -

I would note that Netanyahu’s conditions (demilitarization, recognition of a the right of the Jewish State to exist, the PS’s ownership of the refugees) are all of the points the Palenstinians have refused to accept in the past.

What he’s “called for” is nothing really new, aside from a repackaging of what Israel will accept in a way that now will make Obama look bad when he can’t get the Palestinians to play ball. Gotta love this Israeli’s…

335   M.G.    
June 14th, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Christ L:

The leader of the Likud party endorsing a two-state solution is pretty big news no matter how you cut it. And how it would make Obama look bad is beyond me… Palestinians maybe, but Obama not so much.

Contrary to your intimation, the Israelis aren’t a monolithic people. And when the right-wing party makes a shift, it’s a real change, not just some window dressing made to look an American President look bad.

Contrary to most Americans’ beliefs, the world doesn’t revolve around the U.S….

336   Robbo    http://goldcoastbereans.blogspot.com
June 14th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

and what exactly did Obama ever do to you, Chris L?

your mates at Verum Serum went into National Enquirer mode in the run up to the elections last November and you are now on a self-imposed news blackout because of the election outcome. It’s baffling.

Yes you are a Republican, yes can never support anyone in the Democratic party but when it comes to Obama, it looks like – to misquote an old line, “it’s not business, it is personal”

337   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

MG,

If you make a “concession” that is offering a deal that you know won’t be accepted, are you really making a concession? And if your olive branch is rejected (as you knew it would be), then you’ve proven your initial point, while looking gregarious.

It’s a win-win…

338   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Chris isn’t content to play American politics, he has to go global as well. Verum Serum has become a Republican blog.

The Middle East doesn’t need a two state solution to have peace, they need the Prince of Peace. Politics is such hollow air, especially when believers act like it matters in the Kingdom.

In many Christian blogs President Obama has been called everything but titles of respect, and this is from believers who “claim” they believe Romans 13. Politics is the great compromiser.

339   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

“What he’s “called for” is nothing really new, aside from a repackaging of what Israel will accept in a way that now will make Obama look bad when he can’t get the Palestinians to play ball. Gotta love this Israeli’s…”

And while men play political maneuvers mothers weep over thousands of dead sons and tens of thousands of maimed people. I see no spirituality in taking sides and even being somewaht smug about the Israeli’s.

Netanyahu is lost and needs Christ, however his right wing credentials hold weight to people who should know better.

340   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 14th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Also, I could see how it makes sense to think of 70AD as the beginning of the Second Coming of Christ in a very real sense.

Phil, can you elaborate on this from a scriptural standpoint?

Chris L didn’t answer it, so maybe you can (not trying to be smug but looking for a credible answer here if there is one). Look at the context of 2 Thes 2 – as Paul sets it up in v 1:

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him

He is talking about the time of the return of Christ and the resurrection. What I am trying to understand is that if 70AD was what he was referring to, then how does this correspond with the return of Christ and the resurrection?

341   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 14th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Chris L didn’t answer it, so maybe you can (not trying to be smug but looking for a credible answer here if there is one).

Sorry, I thought Phil’s answer was fine.

As westerners, we see events as point-in-time occurrences. Generally, in an eastern sense, events happen and continue (like with the coming of the kingdom).

So, as Phil noted, I would see AD 70 as the beginning of the Second Coming – demonstrated in the ending of the sacrificial system via the destruction of the Temple – and that the first resurrection would begin occurring, and the reign of believers with Christ in the heavenly realm.

342   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 9:07 am

Chris L/Phil – I am sorry but this is not a credible answer at all.

Generally, in an eastern sense, events happen and continue (like with the coming of the kingdom).

This is not correct and to try and tie it into the parable of the mustard seed is a little disingenuous in my view.

The coming of the Lord is AN event. It did not begin 2,000 years ago and is still occurring. Jesus will return, as a thief in the night (ie: “Don’t set dates, just do the work I’ve asked you to do.”).

I find this answer very disappointing and really a case study in trying to fit a scripture to fit your pre-formulated doctrine rather than a simple “I don’t know” or “Yes, this scripture has caused me to really question…”

343   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 15th, 2009 at 9:22 am

This is not correct and to try and tie it into the parable of the mustard seed is a little disingenuous in my view.

The coming of the Lord is AN event. It did not begin 2,000 years ago and is still occurring. Jesus will return, as a thief in the night (ie: “Don’t set dates, just do the work I’ve asked you to do.”).

I find this answer very disappointing and really a case study in trying to fit a scripture to fit your pre-formulated doctrine rather than a simple “I don’t know” or “Yes, this scripture has caused me to really question…”

I don’t see it as disingenuous at all. We refer to things that span over years as events all the time. We refer to things like, “the liberation of Europe”, “The Revolutionary War”, or perhaps more appropriately, “The Industrial Revolution” (since it would be more difficult to place a beginning and ending date) as singular events, but in reality they took place over the span of years or decades. Certainly the Coming of the Kingdom of God dwarfs all off these in its scope, and God isn’t constrained by time limits. So why should it be surprising if things work out in a way that is differently than our time schedule allows?

Certainly the destruction of the Temple itself was a rather sudden and dramatic event that caught many Jews off-guard. I’m sure there were some who thought it could never happen again simply because it was Yahweh’s temple, and that He would in some way intervene. They were, as Jesus warned against, caught sleeping.

Another thing to consider is the salvation of a human life. Is it something that occurs in an instance, or is a process that takes a lifetime. I’d say the answer is that it’s both. So like many things in the Kingdom, the answer isn’t one or the other, but rather holding both in some sort of tension.

344   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 9:22 am

“I don’t know”.

Rick Frueh – circa A.D. 2009

345   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 15th, 2009 at 9:28 am

“I don’t know”.

Rick Frueh – circa A.D. 2009

I’m not advocating a time schedule either. I do however find it odd that people seem rather unwilling to take Jesus’ words to His disciples seriously. If He warned them that these things would happen during their lifetimes, doesn’t it seem odd that some Christians refuse to accept the fact that He was actually telling the truth? What He told them was going to happen actually happened.

I don’t see why it is easier to believe that Jesus would give the disciples an answer that was for the most part unrelated to their question in Matthew 24 than to believe that He actually answered them. Maybe it’s just our western mindset that everything is actually all about us.

346   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 9:43 am

I’m not advocating a time schedule either.

And yet you and Chris L have all the dates down pat. Odd.

No man knows the time or hour that Christ will return – except you. Because your theory doesn’t allow you to have it both ways (AD70 was the fulfillment of 2 Thess and yet Jesus didn’t return in AD70 as we all know), you insist of wresting the scriptures.

BTW, I do not deny that certain parts of Matt 24 were fulfilled and that Christ accurately predicted the decimation of the temple.

To say that “Jesus has been returning for the last 2000 years” is as disingenuous as it comes Phil. It goes against dozens of scriptures that speak of physical His return as sudden, quick. If you want to use man-made historical context instead of scripture, that’s dangerous.

Again – if you had answered, “I’m not sure” it would have been more credible.

It is clear that Paul (in talking to the Thessalonians, chapter 2) is speaking of AN event that will transpire in the future – but don’t panic, these things need to happen first. That’s the message of chapter 2 – before Jesus returns, this is what will happen, but rest assured, “the splendor of his coming” will eradicate the evil.

347   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 9:43 am

“It is not for you to know the times or seasons, which the Father has put in His own power.”

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

No dates, but those words have not been fulfilled without a serious conjecture accompanied by a revisionist historical account. When Christ returns there will be no doubt and He will be recognized by all the inhabitants of the earth.

348   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 9:46 am

No dates, but those words have not been fulfilled without a serious conjecture accompanied by a revisionist historical account.

Rick, and that is my concern here. None of us have a clue, but once we start twisting scripture so blatantly as is happening in this thread, it really makes we wonder. What’s the rationale behind it? It is dishonest.

Chris L and Phil are taking us into Mormon-land with the leaps of logic that are required here.

349   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 15th, 2009 at 9:53 am

Rick, and that is my concern here. None of us have a clue, but once we start twisting scripture so blatantly as is happening in this thread, it really makes we wonder. What’s the rationale behind it? It is dishonest.

Chris L and Phil are taking us into Mormon-land with the leaps of logic that are required here.

Whatever. Seriously, I could point you to all sorts of scholarship that backs up what I’m saying, but, hey, why burst your little anti-intellectual bubble?

It seems you are saying that Jesus out and out lied to His disciples in Matthew 24. If He told them that something would happen in their lifetime and it didn’t, it seems to me that you are the one who has an issue with the veracity of Scripture and forcing some sort of system onto it.

What I’m saying isn’t anything new. In fact it’s a much older view than what you’re advocating, Paul. But leave it up to 21st Century North American Evangelicals to think that history began sometime in the 19th century. It takes much greater leaps of logic and suspension of disbelief for me to adhere the Dispensationalist dogma you are putting forth.

350   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 10:01 am

Scholarship – A term used to elevate conjecture as fact. It is usually employed when the so called scholarship supports you particular view.

It is almost always blind to the “scholarship” on the opposing view’s perspective. There are a myriad of scholarships that are diametrically opposed to each other. In short, mostly worthless.

Who do you believe then? Usually the one you choose to believe or the last one you heard.

351   Sandman    
June 15th, 2009 at 10:13 am

Whatever. Seriously, I could point you to all sorts of scholarship that backs up what I’m saying, but, hey, why burst your little anti-intellectual bubble?

A bit more barbed a response than was necessary.

352   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 15th, 2009 at 10:19 am

Scholarship – A term used to elevate conjecture as fact. It is usually employed when the so called scholarship supports you particular view.

It is almost always blind to the “scholarship” on the opposing view’s perspective. There are a myriad of scholarships that are diametrically opposed to each other. In short, mostly worthless.

Who do you believe then? Usually the one you choose to believe or the last one you heard.

How do you even know what “conjecture” is apart from scholarship? The only reason any of us have any version of the Bible in our hands today is because of the Spirit-led scholarship of saints of old. To present our faith in these anti-intellectual terms is nothing but a red herring, and in the end will do much more harm than good.

Is it any wonder that so many students leave the faith when the leaders in their churches constantly tell them they have to choose between God and learning? Seriously, if that were what I was presented with when growing up, I’d probably have gone down a much different path. Thankfully, my parents, while being immersed in a pretty fundamentalist background, always encouraged me to pursue education and to learn on my own.

Now, as I’ve stated many times, certainly we can make anything an idol, and I believe that there are certain aspects of or faith that require a leap of faith. But that doesn’t mean that everything we believe is just gobbledy-gook. We should be ready to give a defense. And actually the issue of what Jesus said in Matthew 24 is quite a common point that skeptics bring up in regards to the truthfulness of Scripture. So once again, please tell me why studying this particular topic is verboten?

353   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 10:20 am

Phil basically ignores the facts (highlighted by the scriptures quoted in #347) and 2 Thess 2 in preference to a theory that is holding less and less water by the minute.

How can you credibly explain the verse in #347 and say it has already been fulfilled.

Now I am seeing why Chris L said that it is possible that Christ returned in AD70 – because without this, the foundation of the theory goes up in smoke.

It seems you are saying that Jesus out and out lied to His disciples in Matthew 24

How so? You know very well that this is not the case. I also said this:

BTW, I do not deny that certain parts of Matt 24 were fulfilled and that Christ accurately predicted the decimation of the temple.

Your position that the scriptures we have been discussing have been fulfilled is much more dangerous and deceptive.

Again, I don’t care that you might have it wrong (none of us have it all right), but the fact that you insist on twisting scripture here is more than a little concerning.

354   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 10:26 am

Everyone claims scholarship. But when you claim that your sholarship proves your point, especially when it come to prophecy, you are now claiming only your scholarship can lead to Scriptural truth.

That means that most Christians throughout the world must remain ignorant in this area unless they are exposed to and agree with the “all sorts of scholarships” you support. That kind of scholarship is set up as the Rosetta Stone of Biblical interpretation.

Again, prophecy will happen according to the will of God and no one can alter that. I believe there is much more profound areas that need addressing in this day. Let us begin (and end) with redemption and the gospel.

355   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 15th, 2009 at 10:27 am

A bit more barbed a response than was necessary.

Maybe, but Paul C. is trying to have it both ways. He accuses me and Chris L. of somehow being too sure of ourselves and somehow being in Mormon-land, but yet puts forth his little theories as rock-solid fact. It is also his style to make these little ad hominen jabs. Saying that we are in “Mormon-land” is just that.

I will also not stand for him accusing me of being dishonest much longer. I shouldn’t be surprised, really. It’s pretty much a common tactic among Christians, sadly. Once someone offers an argument they can’t refute, they sadly revert to name-calling. I’ve yet to see him really offer much in the way of factual rebuttals to any of the details I or Chris have offered up. I’m sorry, but simply saying, “the Bible says” when pull out verses out of context without looking at the entire narrative.

356   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 15th, 2009 at 10:29 am

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

Josephus’ description of the attack on Jerusalem in AD70 describe the event in terms that are very similar to this. It wasn’t at all uncommon to use this type of imagery to describe horrific events in the ancient world.

357   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 10:41 am

Was Josephus a believer? His remarks are a curiosity but hold no prophetic weight.

I do not consider you dishonest.

358   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 10:43 am

I will also not stand for him accusing me of being dishonest much longer.

Phil, I am saying that the theory you are proposing sounds disingenuous when confronted with fairly straightforward scriptures that have to be danced around in order to make them fit. Rather than acknowledging they haven’t been fulfilled yet which is obvious fact, we resort to saying things like “Jesus has been returning for 2000 years.”

Please forgive me for anything ad hominen – that’s not my intention here Phil. Again, I’m sorry.

Maybe, but Paul C. is trying to have it both ways.

That’s what I’ve been saying of your theory Phil. It tries to have it both ways, but since it can’t, the only recourse is to twist certain scriptures like 2 Thess 2:1 or the only Rick quoted in #347.

Once someone offers an argument they can’t refute, they sadly revert to name-calling.

You seem to think you are standing on more solid-ground with your theory than might be the case.

I’m sorry, but simply saying, “the Bible says” when pull out verses out of context without looking at the entire narrative.

That is simply laughable. You accuse me of pulling “verses out of context” when that’s what you have been doing all along… That has been the sole reason I am debating with you here – not because one theory is better than another per se, but because you are misusing certain scriptures to bolster a point, but in the process, you are using them completely out of context.

And when it comes to a point that is nonsensical, you resort to your standard “western thinking” rebuttal.

359   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 11:21 am

Phil: What I’m saying isn’t anything new. In fact it’s a much older view than what you’re advocating, Paul.

Tracing a view back to one or more church fathers, as though
the earlier the church father the more likely he is to be correct, is an interesting exercise. The fact that an idea was touted in the early centuries is no guarantee that it is a right idea.

Certainly an argument can be made that Augustine was one of the many that danced around the amillennial view. But at the same time a case can be made that Irenaeus, among others, held a literal millennial view……if memory serves me he came from the AD 100 or 200 era.

Me personally? Until the the date can be etched in stone that Revelation was written before or on AD 70 The amillennial view holds no water.

360   Sandman    
June 15th, 2009 at 11:23 am

Okay, Phil, since you, Chris L, and Paul C are, for the most part, the core combatants in a somewhat public debate, will there be one less issue that will every have to come up again? And after you put premil/postmil/amil to bed, what’s next? Are you going to finally get this pre-trib/mid-trib/post-trib matter settled? What digs are you going to take at each other in making or proving your points then?

No disrespect meant to any of you, but I just don’t see how carrying on this way is very edifying. I just see an apple of dischord being whipped around, and it’s making great cannon fodder for critics and mockers alike.

361   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 11:36 am

Sandman – your point is well-taken. I appreciate your plea for peace.

At this point, I am not so much concerned about which view is correct. What I am debating at this point is the twisting of scripture that needs to take place when we try to fit scripture into a preferred view. It’s more a case study that is unfolding here, and just to say, “Well, your truth – whatever that might be – is OK, let’s just all get along” is not really a goal we should aim toward.

But, I apologized to Phil for anything that could be seen as personal accusation and I mean that sincerely. Personal digs are out of place as you say.

362   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 11:45 am

I am currently mentally mocking all of you. :cool:

363   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 15th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

I will concede that perhaps this debate has gotten too heated. I do, however, think that the one thing that kind of gets my goat is the old shtick that if I see Scripture differently than someone else, well then of course that means I don’t take it seriously. It is a charge that I get tired of hearing again and again, and it is one that Paul C. has accused me and other writers here of again and again. And, frankly, it’s getting old. I can assure you that we all take it seriously. If we didn’t I don’t think we spend our time here, honestly.

So I am content to let this argument die. My mind is for the most part made up based on my own reading of Scripture and on different commentaries. That others don’t see it as I do doesn’t bother me. That’s life. I do, however, get annoyed when people start accusing us of things we aren’t doing.

I could find people who have dedicated their lives to studying Scripture who are great men of God who can offer evidence to support the different views. Does the fact that they come to different conclusions mean that one of them takes Scripture less seriously than the others? No. It just means they see things differently.

364   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Phil, just for the record, I don’t think that you don’t take scripture seriously. That is not what this debate has been about at all.

In the interest of fairness, I have been accused of various things time and again, but I don’t take it to heart.

And in the interests of truth, if you read through this thread you and Chris L have promoted the view you hold as pretty-much conclusive, and that I and others how some sort of “sci-fi, post-19th century” view.

Until the last post (or maybe last couple) you have not admitted that there might be support for other views on this point.

365   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

“My mind is for the most part made up based on my own reading of Scripture and on different commentaries.”

Have you read mine? :cool:

366   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I’m not advocating a time schedule either. I do however find it odd that people seem rather unwilling to take Jesus’ words to His disciples seriously. If He warned them that these things would happen during their lifetimes, doesn’t it seem odd that some Christians refuse to accept the fact that He was actually telling the truth? What He told them was going to happen actually happened.

I don’t see why it is easier to believe that Jesus would give the disciples an answer that was for the most part unrelated to their question in Matthew 24 than to believe that He actually answered them. Maybe it’s just our western mindset that everything is actually all about us.

Phil sums it up rather excellently.

I just happen to believe that Jesus told his disciples something relevant to their lives and their lifetimes, and they, too, wrote to their churches about things relevant to their lives and lifetimes. But we, as “modern”/”enlightened”/etc. Christians are so full of ourselves, and with our inflated egos, we assume that they had no applicability to those they were spoken to, but they were just warnings to pass on down until they meant something to someone (i.e. us).

I’m not advocating a time schedule either.

And yet you and Chris L have all the dates down pat. Odd.

We’ve not predicted any future dates. Granted, if something was predicted and has come true, it would be rather odd if you didn’t have some idea when it happened….

That’s the difference between history and conjecture. It’s a lot harder to change history than it is to make wild-ass guesses about the future (a la Darby, LaHaye, Lindsey, etc.)

No man knows the time or hour that Christ will return – except you.

We have no clue when the final judgment will occur. History, on the other hand, we can study (you know, since it already happened). Trying to apply a future-looking statement to a past event is just silly.

Because your theory doesn’t allow you to have it both ways (AD70 was the fulfillment of 2 Thess and yet Jesus didn’t return in AD70 as we all know), you insist of wresting the scriptures.

“As we all know”? Maybe “we” don’t all know, then (or you’ve not been listening).

To say that “Jesus has been returning for the last 2000 years” is as disingenuous as it comes Phil. It goes against dozens of scriptures that speak of physical His return as sudden, quick. If you want to use man-made historical context instead of scripture, that’s dangerous.

If Jesus’ return began with the unexpected and sudden events (the destruction of the Temple), and if it has implications to all of his followers – Jew and non-Jew (i.e. no more sacrificial system is possible, the reign in heaven has begun, etc.), then it is not disingenuous, at all.

Again – if you had answered, “I’m not sure” it would have been more credible.

None of are “sure” about fulfillment of prophecy. I’d just say I’m just working off of the highest-probability of likelihood, based on what the Spirit has revealed over the 2000 years of history since the church began.

It is clear that Paul (in talking to the Thessalonians, chapter 2) is speaking of AN event that will transpire in the future – but don’t panic, these things need to happen first. That’s the message of chapter 2 – before Jesus returns, this is what will happen, but rest assured, “the splendor of his coming” will eradicate the evil.

Perhaps it’s just that you’re as tone-deaf as the disciples, looking for an earthly conqueror in advance of the End of Days….

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

No dates, but those words have not been fulfilled without a serious conjecture accompanied by a revisionist historical account.

Let’s see, there’s the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which blotted out the sun throughout a good deal of the Empire for weeks/months…

There’s Josephus’ description of Jerusalem “There was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city (Jerusalem), and a comet, that continued a whole year” – among other events, as well.

No need to revise what happened – we’ve got a number of eyewitness accounts. The only problem we face is trying to force-fit a physical kingdom where it does not necessarily belong.

Chris L and Phil are taking us into Mormon-land with the leaps of logic that are required here.

In general, I’ve tried (and failed on a few points) to be respectful, but this is plain crap. In fact, I find it ironic that someone who seems to hold truck with an eschatology fabricated in parallel (with striking coincidences) to Joseph Smith’s fabrication of morminism, in roughly the same time period, would make any comparison to Mormonism…

What I’m saying isn’t anything new. In fact it’s a much older view than what you’re advocating, Paul. But leave it up to 21st Century North American Evangelicals to think that history began sometime in the 19th century. It takes much greater leaps of logic and suspension of disbelief for me to adhere the Dispensationalist dogma you are putting forth.

Yes, Phil. But I think you forgot that the Bible fell out of the sky with no need for any historical context…

There are a myriad of scholarships that are diametrically opposed to each other. In short, mostly worthless.

Who do you believe then? Usually the one you choose to believe or the last one you heard.

Ah yes, leave it to Rick to promote the idiotarian viewpoint. There are scholars we can’t trust, so we shouldn’t trust any.

Perfect.

Is it any wonder that so many students leave the faith when the leaders in their churches constantly tell them they have to choose between God and learning?

No, it’s no wonder at all, Phil.

Was Josephus a believer? His remarks are a curiosity but hold no prophetic weight.

No, but they are a first-hand account of the destruction of Jerusalem, and they’ve been shown to be pretty accurate. In fact, Josephus’ writings have led a number of Jews to investigate Jesus, and then to Christianity – because he lays part of the fault at the feet of Jerusalem for killing James and Jesus.

I’d also note that the newspaper holds no “prophetic weight”, but yet many would believe it if said that the Israelis cleared off the Temple mount and began construction on another one…

Phil, I am saying that the theory you are proposing sounds disingenuous when confronted with fairly straightforward scriptures that have to be danced around in order to make them fit. Rather than acknowledging they haven’t been fulfilled yet which is obvious fact, we resort to saying things like “Jesus has been returning for 2000 years.”

There’s no dancing. He’s just following 1900 years of church understanding of their interpretation. It’s only because of western modernist/literalism combined with a streak of American exceptionalism that Rev/Thess has been reinterpreted so literally – and thus become so future-focused.

I will concede that perhaps this debate has gotten too heated. I do, however, think that the one thing that kind of gets my goat is the old shtick that if I see Scripture differently than someone else, well then of course that means I don’t take it seriously. It is a charge that I get tired of hearing again and again, and it is one that Paul C. has accused me and other writers here of again and again. And, frankly, it’s getting old. I can assure you that we all take it seriously. If we didn’t I don’t think we spend our time here, honestly.

Yes, yes, and yes.

My mind is for the most part made up based on my own reading of Scripture and on different commentaries. That others don’t see it as I do doesn’t bother me. That’s life. I do, however, get annoyed when people start accusing us of things we aren’t doing.

And yes.

And in the interests of truth, if you read through this thread you and Chris L have promoted the view you hold as pretty-much conclusive, and that I and others how some sort of “sci-fi, post-19th century” view.

Until the last post (or maybe last couple) you have not admitted that there might be support for other views on this point.

Per #325, I do allow for dual fulfillment as a distinct possibility. At the baseline, I am probably a pan-mill – I don’t know exactly how it will pan out, but I’m sure it will do so just as God has planned it. (or, as my Sr. Minister put it yesterday – I’m not on the planning committee, but I’d love to be in on the welcoming committee.

My distinct problem with Left Behind theology is not so much with the silliness of timelines, nations, etc., etc., but with the poor orthopraxy that often springs forth from it. Even the classic pre-mill (and post-mill) theory is preferable to it.

367   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

“I just happen to believe that Jesus told his disciples something relevant to their lives and their lifetimes, and they, too, wrote to their churches about things relevant to their lives and lifetimes. But we, as “modern”/”enlightened”/etc. Christians are so full of ourselves, and with our inflated egos, we assume that they had no applicability to those they were spoken to, but they were just warnings to pass on down until they meant something to someone (i.e. us).”

Or both, as in Is.7:14. Does it only apply to Isaiah’s son or does it also refer to Christ? And does Gen.3:15 refer to Cain as Eve’s seed or Christ? I have scholarship to support my views!

368   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 15th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Again, Chris L, you attempt to nicely package my argument as Left Behind theology when I’ve never read the book or seen the movies. I would probably disagree with as much as LB theology as you do. But we’ll leave that for another day.

As I’ve said (for the 3rd time now) I do believe certain aspects of Matt 24 were fulfilled. But the remainder has yet to be in my view. Considering that ch 24 & 25 are one long discourse I don’t think that’s hard to believe.

Anyways, we can leave it alone for now. As you say, it will all pan out in the end.

369   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Anyone who challenges the Left Behind doctrine will be Left Behind.

370   Neil    
June 15th, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Chris L and Phil are taking us into Mormon-land with the leaps of logic that are required here. – Pau C>

Seriously, what’s the point in going there.

371   Neil    
June 15th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Again, I don’t care that you might have it wrong (none of us have it all right), but the fact that you insist on twisting scripture here is more than a little concerning.

Scripture twisting” – the act of interpreting a passage differently than I do.

372   Neil    
June 15th, 2009 at 6:36 pm

I’m disappointing that this was never dealt with.

373   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 6:46 pm

“never dealt with” – the act of interpreting Scripture differently than I do.

I find the entrenchment concerning eschatology to be tedious and unseemly. I am not into eschatological evangelism. Jesus is coming back – prepare. (Frueh’s exhaustive eschatology)

374   Neil    
June 15th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

No, Rick, “never dealt with” mean… well, never dealt with… never acknowledged, never dismissed, never rebutted… maybe even never read. I don’t care if Paul C. agrees with the Jolly Blogger or not… but Paul C. has continually accused others of twisting Scripture, being blind to the obvious, and having dishonest motives – none of these advance a discussion.

I, for one, have made several comments on the unentrenchment of my eschatological leanings. And I am not into eschatological evangelism either.

That said, I fail to see the point on dropping into a discussion every now and then just to repeat you opinion that you do not like these kinds of discussions.

On a more general note – as of the last few threads you demeanor has becoming uncharacteristically hostile.

375   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 7:25 pm

I have made many substantive comments on this thread, however I reserve the right to interject a “beating a dead horse” observation once in a while. I believe your “hostile” observation is most specifically concerning the view of redemption, especially as it concerns Peter Rollins.

I would more accurately characterize it as passionate, relentless, and sometimes frustrated.

376   Neil    
June 15th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

I would more accurately characterize the Rollins stuff as passionate, relentless, frustrated, and uncharacteristically hostile.

377   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
June 15th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

I’m disappointing that this was never dealt with.

I tried and Paul C had thoughts on Satan bound too!

I read the jolly blogger piece and didn’t agree…..my point in #261