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Author Topic: The Origins of Dispensational Futurism -- (blockbuster--exclusive information!)  (Read 17698 times)

Offline Lysimachus

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Greetings brothers and sisters!

For years Adventist teachers have traditionally taught that the doctrines inherent in Dispensational Futurism can be traced back to the Jesuits, primarily Cardinals Francisco Ribera (16th century), Robert Bellarmine (16th century), and Manuel de Lacunza (18th century). However, when this information is put forward to some of the more learned Dispensationalists of this era, they come back with a seemingly convincing counter-argument that Futurism originates in the teachings of the early Church Fathers in the 2nd and 3rd century A.D. long before any Jesuits existed. This they claim is “proof” that the Jesuits were not responsible for the doctrines of Futurism in the Protestant world. Getting to the bottom of this problem, some diligent Adventist students of Bible prophecy and history decided to delve much deeper into this subject to see if this claim is true. The results in this research were quite shocking, and it is something EVERY Adventist teacher, pastor, evangelist and professor needs to become aware about!

The primary purpose of this email is to encourage you to listen to the following Radio Program by Mike Warren and D.S. Farris, along with D.S. Farris’ accompanying document entitled “Futurism: The Counterfeit Prophecy” found at the bottom of this email. However, below is a summarized outline of facts to get your feet wet concerning the issues that will be discussed in the Radio Show and accompanying document in relation to the major problems of Dispensational Futurism.  To many Dispensationalists, the following information may prove to be quite shocking.  There is much to chew on here that is not discussed within eschatological circles:


A Summary of the Origins of Dispensational-Futurist Theology:

1. The Jesuits created the modern system of dispensational futurism. Although the Jesuits derived certain aspects of this myth from "futuristic elements" embedded in the teachings of the early church fathers, the evidence is clear that they elaborated the elements of this myth from the early church fathers as a tool to destroy and counter the Protestant Reformation by attempting to lift the heat off the Papacy as the identity of Antichrist.

2. The theological elements of Futurism are derived from the extra-biblical writings, such as: The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, The Sibylline Oracles, Baruch, 1st and 2nd Esdras, T. Levi, The Ascension of Isaiah, etc. etc.

3. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha writings were written by Hellenistic Jews. These Jews mixed Babylonian, Persian, and Greek paganism with Judaism.

4. Long before the first advent of Christ, mystical Jews believed that an anti-messiah would come and oppose the Messiah; the anti-messiah was called "Beliar"; and he was believed to be the devil incarnate in human form.

5. The early Church Fathers such as Ireneaus, Hippolytus, Apollinaris and others, borrowed Futurist elements from these mythical, pseudepigraphal writings, which served to shape their views of end-time events.

6. The Jesuits created Futurism from the Beliar myth found in these writings, indicating that modern Dispensational Futurist theology is nothing more than pagan mythology convoluted around real scripture.

7. The Protestants of the Reformation era knew about this fable, and Protestants separated the real Bible from the extra-Biblical writings.

8. When the Protestants studied the Bible without the fables of the Catholic Church fathers - the Beliar myth - they clearly identified the Papacy as the Antichrist.

9. Modern Protestant Churches the world over have abandoned the Protestant Reformation, and they now teach Catholic theology from the Council of Trent which commenced in 1545 A.D. The Jesuit Cardinals Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) and Robert Bellarmino (1542-1621) in the 16th and 17th centuries were foremost at setting out to accomplish this Protestant destroying task in scraping every bit of knowledge they could formulate from the Early Church Fathers to concoct and repackage the fantastical Jesuit scheme of Futurism. Jesuit Cardinal Manuel de Lacunza in the early 19th century, also an advocate of Futurism, deliberately attempted to take the pressure off the papacy by proposing that the Antichrist was still off in the future, and also laid the foundation for much of modern-day dispensational ideology. On the other hand, the Spanish Jesuit Luis de Alcazar (1554-1613) in the 16th and 17th century was set to the task of concocting the Preterist scheme. Both schemes blossomed about the same time and successfully got the "heat" off the Papacy from detection of Antichrist. It took about 300 years before the Protestant world allowed itself to become infected by these two deadly viruses. Dr. Maitland, James H. Todd, Henry Newman (who later became a Catholic Cardinal after accepting Futurism), Irving, and later Darby and Scofield all came to accept major elements of Ribera's and Bellarmine's fantastical views of a singled-out, future, one-man Antichrist (stemming from the Beliar myth that comes from Persian dualism and Zoroastrianism) as well as the incredible disjointed "gap" theory by which the Jesuits adopted from Hippolytus' erroneous construing of the first 69 units, or weeks of years, as reaching from the first year of Cyrus (or Darius the Mede) to the incarnation of Christ--a chronological impossibility without elongating the period. This "faulty reasoning" of Hippolytus inspired modern Futurism's "gap" theory.   

10. Dispensationalism is simply another branch of Catholicism—developed by the Jesuits in the Counter Reformation. After all is said and done, the Roman Catholic Jesuits must still be identified as being responsible for concocting and inventing the Futurist schemes of prophetic interpretation seen so rampant today in the Protestant and Evangelical world. Why? Because they concocted their Futurist interpretations based on outdated futuristic elements embedded in the teachings of the Church Fathers who thought the world would end no later than AD 500, not to mention many of their Futuristic views were shaped through the lenses of the extra-Biblical, Psuedepigraphal books written by uninspired authors. After the passing of some 1000 years, the Protestant Reformers were able to look back in retrospect comparing history with prophecy and were clearly able to see the manifestation of Antichrist and that Little Horn of Daniel 7 in the Roman Church State.

It now becomes the duty of the reader to verify and evaluate the data which supports these facts for themselves. Although it will be very tempting for any Dispensationalist to ignore this material, to such I entreat with utmost sincerity; that they wholly refrain from the temptation to embark upon this injurious mindset. May the truths presented in this exposition ring loud and clear in the Protestant and Christian world! My research has lead me to conclude that not only is Dispensational-Futurist ideology wholly at variance with the Sacred Declarations of Holy Writ, but also an ideology developed by the Counter Reformation, and will be used as a catalyst to help bring about the New World Order. I invite you all to listen to the following Radio Audio program as well as read the accompanying documents to help establish a foundation for all the forthcoming material. The proof is in the pudding, and I believe you will find in the following radio program and document all the necessary sources to back up the claims outlined above..

Click Audio: The Truth About Dispensational Futurism - Part 1 & 2 (2 hour Radio Program) - by Mike Warren and D.S. Farris

YouTube version: Cut 1 - Cut 2 - Cut 3 - Cut 4 - Cut 5 - Cut 6 - Cut 7 - Cut 8 - Cut 9 - Cut 10 - Cut 11

Along with the above audio/radio program, I recommend the following document that goes along with the audio above:

Futurism: The Counterfeit Prophecy (PDF Document) - by D.S. Farris -- this article goes along with the audio program above - (NOTE: I STRONGLY ADVISE you to read it thoroughly FROM BEGINNING TO END CAREFULLY, as it will lay a crucial foundation. It is my sincere prayer and hope that the data presented in this article will not be ignored by any dispensationalist or futurist.)
- Differences Between Protestantism And Catholicism, The Jesuit Scheme Of Prophetic Interpretation, Ribera and Bellarmine, The Early Church Fathers, EXTRA BIBLICAL INFLUENCES ON THE CHURCH FATHERS, The "Beliar Man"

P.S. The above Radio Program and Document can be found at http://www.HearingTheTruth.org (these men hold to Adventist beliefs, and have done a PROFOUND job in their research. You can find their full list of audio programs as well as a free online copy of D.S. Farris' book entitled: "Prophetic Toolchest for Dismantling the Dispensational Delusion" (about 550 pages long divided into 12 chapters). Feel free to support their ministry if you like what you read and hear.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 04:29:09 PM by Lysimachus »

Offline Quasar

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The above is nothing more than the biased opinions of others with little to no historical facts to support them.  Catholicism didn't exist until late in the second century according to Christian Historians.

The origin of futurism later embraced by Dispenspensationalism was Chiliasm as introduced in the following article:

Historically Christian premillennialism has also been referred as "chiliasm" or "millenarianism". The theological term "premillennialism" did not come into general use until the mid-nineteenth century, the modern period in which premillennialism was revived. Coining the word was "almost entirely the work of British and American Protestants and was prompted by their belief that the French and America Revolution (the French, especially) realized prophecies made in the books of Daniel and Revelation."

Jewish antecedents to Christian premillennialism
The concept of a temporary earthly messianic kingdom at the Messiah's coming was not an invention of Christianity. Instead it was a theological interpretation developed within the apocalyptic literature of early Judaism.

In intertestamental Judaism there was a basic distinction between the current age and the “age to come.” The “age to come” was commonly viewed as a nationalistic golden age in which the hopes of the prophets would become a reality for the nation of Israel. On the surface, the Old Testament prophets revealed an “age to come” which was monolithic. Seemingly the prophets did not write of a two-phase eschaton consisting of a temporary messianic age followed by an eternal state. However, that was the concept that some Jewish interpreters did derive from their Old Testament exegesis. Their conclusions are found in some of the literature and theology of early Judaism within the centuries both before and during the development of the New Testament. R. H. Charles in his commentary on Book of Revelation concluded that Jewish eschatology must have developed the concept of an earthly temporary messianic reign prior to the eternal state at the latest by the year 100 B.C..

A temporary messianic kingdom in 1 Enoch
The earliest instance in Jewish literature that teaches an earthly temporary messianic age prior to an eternal state began with “The Apocalypse of Weeks” contained in 1 Enoch 91-107. This work likely dates to the early second century and shows a schematization of the divine history divided into ten ambiguous periods of time called “weeks.” In the apocalypse, weeks 1-7 (93:1-10) retell the biblical history from the creation of humanity to the author’s time of writing (possibly during the Maccabean crisis). However, after the seventh "week", the temporary earthly messianic age begins and occurs for a period of three more “weeks” (93:12-15). After the temporary messianic kingdom, the creation of the new heavens and the new earth occurs (93:16).

A temporary messianic kingdom in 4 Ezra

An additional piece of early Jewish literature which explicitly teaches a temporary messianic reign prior to the eternal state is the apocalyptic work 4 Ezra. 4 Ezra likely dates from soon after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The apocryphal book was apparently an attempt to explain the difficulties associated with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple to the Jewish people. During one of the visions in the book, Ezra received a revelation from the angel Uriel. The angel explained that prior to the last judgment, the Messiah will come and establish a temporary kingdom lasting 400 years after which all of creation will be obliterated including the Messiah. (7:28) Seven days after this cataclysmic event, the resurrection and the judgment will occur followed by the eternal state (7:36).

Other early Jewish contributions

Supplementary early Jewish literature that refers to a temporary messianic kingdom prior to the eternal state may be found in 4 Ezra 12:34; 2 Baruch 24:1-4; 30:1-5; 39:3-8; 40:1-4; Jubilees 1:4-29; 23:14-31; b. Sanh. 99a. The Jewish belief in an earthly temporary messianic age continued during and beyond the time of the writing of Book of Revelation. A sample of the rabbinical contributions to the concept are listed as follows:

Circa A.D. 90 Eleazar ben Hurcanus claimed that the messianic reign would last 100 years based on Psalm 90:15;
Circa A.D. 100 Eleazar ben Azariah claimed that the messianic reign would last 70 years based upon Isaiah 23:15;

Circa A.D. 110 Joseph ben Galilee claimed that the messianic reign would last 60 years based upon Psalm 72:5;
Circa A.D. 150 Eliezer ben Joseph of Galilee claimed that the messianic reign would last 400 years based upon Genesis 15:13 and Psalm 90:15;

Various rabbis around the close of the first century C.E. have claimed that the messianic reign would last 2000 years based upon 4 Ezra 7:28; Some contemplated that there may be no messianic reign at all.


Quasar



"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me."  Jn.14:6.

Offline Lysimachus

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The above is nothing more than the biased opinions of others with little to no historical facts to support them.  Catholicism didn't exist until late in the second century according to Christian Historians.

I would say then that you are missing the entire point Quasar. The above cites no historical reference simply because the information is simply too vast to fit in a single post. The above is simply a "summary" of the discovered facts. From your response, it seems unlikely that you took out the time to 1. Listen to the 2 hour radio program fully from beginning to end, and 2. Read the entire accompanying document, which irrefutably shows how the Church Fathers quoted (when comparing side by side) the extra-Biblical Jewish writings to help shape their Futurist views of scripture. These things take time, and patience.  There is quite a bit to chew on in the accompanying documents.

Quote
The origin of futurism later embraced by Dispenspensationalism was Chiliasm as introduced in the following article:

Historically Christian premillennialism has also been referred as "chiliasm" or "millenarianism". The theological term "premillennialism" did not come into general use until the mid-nineteenth century, the modern period in which premillennialism was revived. Coining the word was "almost entirely the work of British and American Protestants and was prompted by their belief that the French and America Revolution (the French, especially) realized prophecies made in the books of Daniel and Revelation."

Adventist Historicists are "premillennialists" too. But the Futurist version of Premillennialism is based on the extravagant, and fantastical "chiliast" descriptions which are found in the writings of Hellenistic Jews.  Once again, upon a careful reading of the article I cited, you will see that the Chiliastic views of the early fathers were derived from the extra-biblical writings.  They copied portions, word-for-word from the psuedepigraphal books of junk.

Adventist Historicism believes that Christ's coming is "premillennial"--but that every saint that has ever lived will be raptured and taken up into the clouds with Christ.  At the same time, all the remaining living wicked will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming--leaving the earth void and 100% desolate for 1000 years. There is another article I wrote establishing these Biblical facts here: The True Nature of the Millennium.  Satan and his demons will be trapped on this void, desolate earth--the abussos (bottomless pit)--for 1000 years, while the saints in the New Jerusalem in heaven assist in the judgment of the wicked.  At the end of the 1000 years, all the saints with Christ descend back to the earth with the New Jerusalem.  The New Jerusalem settles down on the Mount of Olives in literal Palestine. This is that "Beloved City" in Revelation 20.  That "Beloved City" is the same as the "New Jerusalem mention in Revelation 3 and 21.   Revelation is not written in chronological order. It is written in a "chiasm". John makes a statement, backs up, repeats, adds details, and so on.  There are also miniature "chiasms" within the overall chiasm in Revelation. The Chiastic Pattern of Revelation can be found here and here

About the time the New Jerusalem is settling on the earth, every single wicked person that died either before the Second Coming or at the Second Coming will be resurrected.  This is "the rest of the dead that lived not again until the thousand years are finished". Satan that goes out to deceive these resurrected, wicked nations.  They are already lost, but he deceives them in the sense of convincing them they have a chance against the "Beloved City" that came down from heaven.  Then the wicked, the Devil, and his hosts are exposed in the Great White Throne Judgment. Fire comes down from heaven, devours Satan, his hosts, and the wicked, and the lake of fire envelops the entire planet save the spot of the Holy City.

Then the earthly reign with Christ begins.

Prior to that, the Millennial reign will be in heaven. Not on earth.  I have written MUCH on this subject proving that an earthly millennial reign is impossible. Christ's coming will be premillennial no-doubt, but according to scripture, the reign with Christ during the millennium will be in heaven, in the New Jerusalem.  God's saints will be with Him in heaven for 1000 years, not merely 7 years.  It is unreasonable to think that 7 years is enough time for the Church saints to reign in heaven with Christ in the New Jerusalem. 

It is foolish reasoning to conclude that Church Saints get to be with Christ in the New Jerusalem for 7 years, only to deprive them at the end of the 7 years to reign on the earth without the New Jerusalem for 1000 years. It doesn't even make any logical sense.

The Adventist reckoning of the millennium solves almost all the eschatological problems inherent in pre-tribulationalism, post-tribulationalism, and dispensational-premillennial-futurism.

Quote
Jewish antecedents to Christian premillennialism
The concept of a temporary earthly messianic kingdom at the Messiah's coming was not an invention of Christianity. Instead it was a theological interpretation developed within the apocalyptic literature of early Judaism.

Nobody doubts this. But nowhere in these Jewish writings is the "1000 years" mentioned. Sadly, many of these Jews were influenced by many pagan writings found in Hellenism and Persian mythology.  Many of the fantastical "elements" of an earthly reign portrayed by these Jewish antecedents were wrongfully taken by the Church fathers and applied them to during the millennium. Once again, there is nothing wrong with premillennialism.  It is Dispensational-Futurist-Premillennialism that is the problem.

Quote
In intertestamental Judaism there was a basic distinction between the current age and the “age to come.” The “age to come” was commonly viewed as a nationalistic golden age in which the hopes of the prophets would become a reality for the nation of Israel. On the surface, the Old Testament prophets revealed an “age to come” which was monolithic. Seemingly the prophets did not write of a two-phase eschaton consisting of a temporary messianic age followed by an eternal state. However, that was the concept that some Jewish interpreters did derive from their Old Testament exegesis. Their conclusions are found in some of the literature and theology of early Judaism within the centuries both before and during the development of the New Testament. R. H. Charles in his commentary on Book of Revelation concluded that Jewish eschatology must have developed the concept of an earthly temporary messianic reign prior to the eternal state at the latest by the year 100 B.C..

You consider this as "positive" evidence, and I consider this as "negative" evidence.  The fact that these ideas can be found in amidst these Jewish writings is reason enough to reject them, as these Jews mixed paganism in their writings, and they were un-inspired.

Quote
A temporary messianic kingdom in 1 Enoch
The earliest instance in Jewish literature that teaches an earthly temporary messianic age prior to an eternal state began with “The Apocalypse of Weeks” contained in 1 Enoch 91-107. This work likely dates to the early second century and shows a schematization of the divine history divided into ten ambiguous periods of time called “weeks.” In the apocalypse, weeks 1-7 (93:1-10) retell the biblical history from the creation of humanity to the author’s time of writing (possibly during the Maccabean crisis). However, after the seventh "week", the temporary earthly messianic age begins and occurs for a period of three more “weeks” (93:12-15). After the temporary messianic kingdom, the creation of the new heavens and the new earth occurs (93:16).

This is addressed in great detail in the article I linked above: "Futurism: The Counterfeit Prophecy".  Once again, the dichotomization of the 70th week from the first 69 was derived by the paganized early Church Fathers (such as Hippolytus and Ireneaus) from these extra-biblical, mythical writings. These books of garbage cannot be trusted as a source of inspiration.

Quote
A temporary messianic kingdom in 4 Ezra

An additional piece of early Jewish literature which explicitly teaches a temporary messianic reign prior to the eternal state is the apocalyptic work 4 Ezra. 4 Ezra likely dates from soon after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The apocryphal book was apparently an attempt to explain the difficulties associated with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple to the Jewish people. During one of the visions in the book, Ezra received a revelation from the angel Uriel. The angel explained that prior to the last judgment, the Messiah will come and establish a temporary kingdom lasting 400 years after which all of creation will be obliterated including the Messiah. (7:28) Seven days after this cataclysmic event, the resurrection and the judgment will occur followed by the eternal state (7:36).

Other early Jewish contributions

Supplementary early Jewish literature that refers to a temporary messianic kingdom prior to the eternal state may be found in 4 Ezra 12:34; 2 Baruch 24:1-4; 30:1-5; 39:3-8; 40:1-4; Jubilees 1:4-29; 23:14-31; b. Sanh. 99a. The Jewish belief in an earthly temporary messianic age continued during and beyond the time of the writing of Book of Revelation. A sample of the rabbinical contributions to the concept are listed as follows:

Circa A.D. 90 Eleazar ben Hurcanus claimed that the messianic reign would last 100 years based on Psalm 90:15;
Circa A.D. 100 Eleazar ben Azariah claimed that the messianic reign would last 70 years based upon Isaiah 23:15;

Circa A.D. 110 Joseph ben Galilee claimed that the messianic reign would last 60 years based upon Psalm 72:5;
Circa A.D. 150 Eliezer ben Joseph of Galilee claimed that the messianic reign would last 400 years based upon Genesis 15:13 and Psalm 90:15;

Various rabbis around the close of the first century C.E. have claimed that the messianic reign would last 2000 years based upon 4 Ezra 7:28; Some contemplated that there may be no messianic reign at all.
Quasar

Once again, more mythical writings from mythical Jews who's minds were influenced by paganism. This is exactly the problem.  This is even more the reason to reject such teachings.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 04:26:05 PM by Lysimachus »

Offline Quasar

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Nothing has changed the remarks of my original post: "The above is nothing more than the biased opinions of others with little to no historical facts to support them.  Catholicism didn't exist until late in the second century according to Christian Historians."


See the following historical facts:


Premillennialism: The Second Foundation

By Dr. Thomas Ice, PhD.


The second foundation stone supporting the pretribulational rapture of the church is the biblical doctrine known as premillennialism. Premillennialism teaches that the second advent will occur before Christ's thousand-year reign from Jerusalem upon earth. In the early church, premillennialism was called chiliasm, from the Greek term meaning 1,000 used six times in Revelation 20:2-7. Charles Ryrie cites essential features of premillennialism as follows: "Its duration will be 1,000 years; its location will be on this earth; its government will be theocratic with the personal presence of Christ reigning as King; and it will fulfill all the yet-unfulfilled promises about the earthly kingdom."

Premillennialism is contrasted with the postmillennial teaching that Christ will return after He has reigned spiritually from His throne in heaven for a long period of time during the current age, through the church, and the similar amillennial view that also advocates a present, but pessimistic, spiritual reign of Christ. Biblical premillennialism is a necessary foundation for pretribulationalism since it is impossible for either postmillennialism or amillennialism to support pretribulationism.

Historical Overview

Without question, premillennialism was the earliest and most widely held view of the earliest centuries of the church. The dean of church historians, Philip Schaff has said, "The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene Age [A.D. 100-325] is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, . . . a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papia, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius." German historian Adolph Harnack has said, "First in point of time came the faith in the nearness of Christ's second advent and the establishing of His reign of glory on the earth. Indeed it appears so early that it might be questioned as an essential part of the Christian religion. . . . it must be admitted that this expectation was a prominent feature in the earliest proclamation of the gospel, and materially contributed to its success. If the primitive churches had been under the necessity of framing a 'Confession of Faith,' it would certainly have embraced those pictures by means of which the near future was distinctly realized."

Premillennialism began to die out in the established Catholic Church during the life of Augustine (A.D. 354-430). Ryrie summarizes this change: "With the union of church and state under Constantine, the hope of Christ's coming faded some. The Alexandrian school of interpretation attacked the literal hermeneutic on which premillennialism was based, and the influence of the teaching of Augustine reinterpreted the concept and time of the Millennium."4 Premillennialism has always survived, even when it has not been dominant or widely known. Chiliasm, though suppressed by the dominant Catholic Church, nevertheless survived through "underground" and "fringe" groups of Christians during the 1,000 year mediaeval period. During the Reformation, Anabaptists and Hugenots helped to revive premillennialism, until it was adopted on a wide scale by many Puritans during the Post-Reformation era.

The last 200 years have seen the greatest development and spread of premillennialism since the early church. Starting in the British Isles and spreading to America, consistent premillennialism, known as dispensational premillennialism, has come to dominate the Evangelical faith. This form of premillennialism has given rise to the most rigorous application of the literal hermeneutic which has lead to the championing of pretribulational premillennialism in our own day.

Biblical Basis for Premillennialism

Even though the strongest support for premillennialism is found in the clear statement of Revelation 20:1-7, where six times Christ's kingdom is said to last 1,000 years, the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament also support a premillennial understanding of God's plan for history. Jeffrey Townsend has given an excellent summary of the biblical evidence for premillennialism in the following material:

Developed from the Old Testament

"The OT covenants with Abraham and David established unconditional promises of an Israelite kingdom in the ancient land ruled by the ultimate Son of David. The OT prophets, from the earliest to the latest, looked forward to the establishment of this kingdom. Its principle features will include: regathering of the Jews from the nations to the ancient land, mass spiritual regeneration of the Jewish people, restoration of Jerusalem as the principal city and her Temple as the spiritual center of the world, the reign of David's ultimate Son over the twelve reunited tribes dwelling securely in the land as the pre-eminent nation of the world. Based on OT Scripture, a this-earthly, spiritual-geopolitical fulfillment of these promises is expected.

Developed from the New Testament

The NT writers do not reinterpret the OT kingdom promises and apply them to the church. Instead the church participates now in the universal, spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants without negating the ultimate fulfillment of the covenant promises to Israel. The NT authors affirm rather than deny the ancient kingdom hope of Israel. Matthew, Luke, and Paul all teach a future for national Israel. Specifically, Acts 1 with Acts 3 establishes that the restoration of the kingdom to Israel takes place at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Romans 11 confirms that at the time of the second advent, Israel will have all her unconditional covenants fulfilled to her. First Corinthians 15 speaks of an interim kingdom following Christ's return but prior to the eternal kingdom of God during which Christ will rule and vanquish all His enemies. Finally, Revelation 20 gives the chronology of events and length of Christ's kingdom on this earth prior to the eternal state.

In sum, the case for premillennialism rests on the fact that the OT promises of an earthly kingdom are not denied or redefined but confirmed by the NT. The basis of premillennialism is not the reference to the thousand years in Revelation 20. That is merely a detail, albeit an important one, in the broad pattern of Scripture. The basis of premillennialism is the covenant-keeping nature of our God, affirmed over and over again in the pages of Scripture. God will do what He has said He will do, for His own glory among the nations. And what He has said He will do is fulfill the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New Covenants to a regathered, regenerated, restored nation of Israel at the second coming of Jesus Christ, and for a thousand years thereafter, prior to the eternal kingdom of God."

Conclusion

Premillennialism is merely the result of interpreting the whole Bible, Genesis to Revelation, in the most natural way -- literally. Many of the critics admit that if the literal approach is applied consistently to the whole of Scripture, then premillennialism is the natural result. If the Old Testament promises are ever going to be fulfilled literally for Israel as a nation, then they are yet in the future. This is also supportive of premillennialism. Premillennialism also provides a satisfactory and victorious end to history in time as man through Christ satisfactorily fulfills his creation mandate to rule over the world.

Premillennialism is a necessary biblical prerequisite needed to build the later biblical doctrine of the rapture of the church before the seven-year tribulation.


Endnotes

1 Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide To Understanding Biblical Truth (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1986), p. 450.

2 Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (New York: Scribner, 1884),, Vol. 2, p. 614.

3 Adolph Harnack, "Millennium," The Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Edition (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1883), XVI, pp. 314-15. Cited in Renald E. Showers, There Really Is A Difference! A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, N.J.: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1990), p. 117.

4 Ryrie, Basic Theology, p. 452.

5 Jeffrey L. Townsend, "Premillennialism Summarized: Conclusion" in Edited by Donald K. Campbell & Jeffrey L. Townsend, A Case For Premillennialism: A New Consensus (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), pp. 270-71.


Quasar
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 04:50:58 PM by Quasar »
"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me."  Jn.14:6.

Offline Quasar

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The Walvoord Legacy

The Walvoord Legacy

The comprehensive sweep of the Bible, as it looks at history from God' s point of view and then presents the glorious future that is awaiting the child of God, gives the Christian a life of meaningful activity, a system of values that transcends the materialism of our day, and a glorious hope in a world where there is much happiness.[1]

- John F. Walvoord

On December 20, 2002 one of the giants of the church went home to be with the Lord. John F. Walvoord, theologian, writer, and teacher, seminary president, and defender of dispensational pretribulational premillennialism passed from our midst. He was 92 years old. It would not be an overstatement to say that Dr. Walvoord was the foremost proponent of pretribulationism and one of the world' s leading interpreters of Bible prophecy. We will miss him! However, as giants are prone to do, he has left behind a great legacy.

Dr. Walvoord came to Dallas Seminary in 1931 as a student and remained there until his death in 2002. Over 70 years at a single institution must be some kind of a record! Virtually every one who has ever gone through Dallas Seminary has brushed shoulders with John Walvoord. I was privileged to have learned eschatology in the late 1970s under his tutelage while a student at the Seminary.


Eschatological Theologian

In the eschatology (study of last things) class that I took from Dr. Walvoord, he gave us a handout the first day of about 278 questions on the subject. (I made the mistake of lending my copy out and never saw it again.) He told us that if we could answer all of those questions, then we would know something about eschatology. The class consisted of him lecturing through all of those questions, without using any notes other than his Bible. Dr. Walvoord was such a clear and straightforward professor. He knew what all the views on any issue were and presented them fairly before he would turn his attention toward providing a biblically accurate and incisive critique. He handled the most pressing questions with ease and biblical clarity, which produced convincing results. Students in my class often competed with one another in an effort to ask a question that Dr. Walvoord was unfamiliar with or would make him look bad. They never succeeded.

I always sat on the front row of his class, right in front of his lectern, because I liked being close to Dr. Walvoord, and, more importantly, because I tape recorded his classes. I have listened to his lectures many times over the years and am always amazed at his grasp of the theology of God' s Word. As a theologian he could correlate all the facts, synthesize them into theology, and show anyone the implications of his own views and where others went astray. As a student, I never dreamed that later I would have the privilege of speaking at about a dozen conferences with Dr. Walvoord. Usually there would be a time of questions and answers from the audience at these conferences. I would often defer to my former teacher in these situations because I would be just as interested in his answer as the questioner.


Why The Rapture Matters

I once heard Dr. Walvoord say that earlier in his career he focused upon broader prophetic concerns, like premillennialism, postmillennialism and amillennialism. However, over time and after much thought and discussion he realized that the same hermeneutical, exegetical and theological issues were involved in the rapture question. He came to believe that when one made a consistent application of interpretative methods, exegesis of Scripture and theological thought, there were only two consistent positions: amillennialism and pretibulational premillennialism. This is why, by the 1950s, Dr. Walvoord started focusing his attention upon the rapture question.

Of course, he believed the New Testament taught pretribulationism, but he also saw that the pre-trib rapture doctrine formed the first line of defense for premillennialism as well. He believed that when one abandoned pretribulationism, that individual was on a slippery slop toward the eschatological valley of allegoricalism known as amillennialism. He believed that consistent literal interpretation led to pretribulationism. Any departure from pretribulationism (for example mid-trib or post-trib) must involve some degree of allegorical interpretation. I heard him say that if you are going to allegorize at all then you might as well allegorize everything and become a consistent allegorizer by adopting amillennialism and be done with it. Dr. Walvoord' s keen theological mind saw where things led.

Dr. Walvoord was asked a few years ago " what do you predict will be the most significant theological issues over the next ten years?" His answer included the following: " the hermeneutical problem of not interpreting the Bible literally, especially the prophetic areas. The church today is engulfed in the idea that one cannot interpret prophecy literally." [2] Such is the trend almost ten years later. Today too many evangelicals want to blend literal and non-literal hermeneutics. According to Dr. Walvoord, it cannot be legitimately done, without producing a confused and contradictory mix of eschatology.


A Single Type of Pretribulationism

Another of Dr. Walvoord' s insights includes the observation that there is a single kind of approach to developing and defending pretribulationism. What does he mean? When it comes to pre-trib rationale, there are not multiple systems that have reached the same conclusion- pretribulationism. In other words, all pretribulationists use the same hermeneutic, generally the same exegesis and theologically the same thought process in arriving at pretribulationism. Dr. Walvoord believed that this detail hints at the fact that pretribulationism is likely what the Bible teaches.

On the other hand, posttribulationism has four distinct ways in which they argue for their belief. Dr. Walvoord use to say that if any single one of these four approaches were true, then it would mean that the other three systems were wrong and would contradict the form of posttribulationism that was posited as true. In other words, there could be incorrect views of posttribulationism, even if the view was posited as being correct. While there is only a single form of pretribulationism, which if true, would make sense since the Bible teaches a single view on any issue.


Four Kinds of Posttribulationism

Dr. Walvoord has classified the four kinds of posttribulationism as classical, semi-classical, futuristic and dispensational.[3] " In the last century a number of varieties of posttribulationism have emerged, some of them quite recent in their major tenets," declares Dr. Walvoord. " In general, they cover the gamut of the possibilities." [4] Note the following breakout by Dr. Walvoord:

1) Classic Posttribulationism- " J. Barton Payne, in his The Imminent Appearing of Christ,[5] advocates a return to what he says was the position of the early church, that is, a premillennial and posttribulational point of view which spiritualizes the tribulation and identifies it with the contemporary problems of Christianity. Comparatively few have followed Payne, however, though a tendency to spiritualize the period of tribulation is a general characteristic of posttribulationism." [6]

2) Semi-Classic Posttribulationism- " Alexander Reese, in his The Approaching Advent of Christ,[7] presents the most comprehensive defense of posttribulationism." [8] " He offers evidence that the resurrection of the church occurs at the same time as the resurrection of Revelation 20. Major emphasis is placed on terms like ' appearing,' ' the day,' ' the end,' and ' revelation' as technical terms that relate the rapture to the second coming as the terminus of the present age. Reese's arguments have not been surpassed by other posttribulationists, but later writers offer other approaches." [9]

" All the views previously mentioned consider the church already in the tribulation and identify the trials of the church through the centuries as the fulfillment of prophecies of a time of trouble preceding the second advent of Christ." [10]

3) Futuristic Posttribulationism- " George Ladd whose work, The Blessed Hope,[11] promotes the view that the great tribulation is still future. While other views of posttribulationism could conceivably be harmonized with the idea that Christ could return any moment, Ladd considers it inevitable that at least a seven-year period (described in Dan. 9:27) separates the church today from the rapture and the second advent of Christ which are aspects of the same event. Although Ladd's argument builds largely on the fact of the history of the doctrine and extols posttribulationism as the norm for orthodoxy through the centuries, he introduces a new realism into the picture in adopting a literal future tribulation. His views have somewhat been qualified by his later writings, but in general he seems to retain a futuristic view of the great tribulation with its corresponding doctrine that Christ's return could not be any day, but that it can only follow the years required to fulfill prophecies relating to the tribulation." [12]

4 Dispensational Posttribulationism- " Robert Gundry in his work, The Church and the Tribulation.[13] Gundry, following the lead of many premillenarians, distinguishes Israel and the church as separate entities and attempts a literal interpretation of many of the prophecies that deal with the endtimes. In advancing his theory he refutes most of the posttribulationists who have preceded him. Working with these premises, he endeavors to establish a new doctrine of posttribulationism which he tries to harmonize with a literal interpretation of prophecy." [14]

" Gundry's work poses a number of theological problems both for other posttribulationists and for contemporary pretribulationists. Because his arguments, in the main, are new and establish a new form of posttribulationism never advanced before, his work is a milestone in the variety of interpretations which have characterized posttribulationism through the centuries and creates further need for study of posttribulationism in the history of the church." [15]

It is interesting to take note of Dr. Walvoord' s classification of differing types of posttribulationism in light of the often made claims that pretribulationism is of recent vintage (around 1830). With the death of Payne in the 1970s, no one of significance even holds his classical view of posttribulationism. The semi-classical view of Reese is rarely held as well. Both of the views require the historicist view of prophecy, which almost no one holds to apart from Seventh-Day Adventist and Mormon influence. This means that the last two forms of posttribulationism, which are views that almost all premillennial posttribulationists advocate today, were developed after pretribulational futurism came on the scene. This means that the systematic approach of virtually all premillennial posttribulationism is newer than pretribulationism. This is a fact little understood in premillennial posttribulational circles. This should be a cause for pause and reflection on their part before suggesting that there is a problem with the history of pretribulationism.


Conclusion

The Walvoord legacy is one of hope- Blessed Hope![16] He used his considerable skills and long life to help believers better understand God' s plan for history and for the individual Christian. Over the years as I have spoken at Bible prophecy conferences across America, I have had a number of people come up to me and tell me that Dr. Walvoord had been their pastor at Rosen Heights Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, Texas. They have all said that Dr. Walvoord use to tell them (this was in the 1930s and 40s) that he would live to see the rapture. Obviously he did not make it. But John F. Walvoord will certainly be a recipient of the crown of righteousness that will be handed out at the judgment seat of Christ. " In the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing." (2 Tim. 4:8) I can' t wait to see him at that awards ceremony. Maranatha!


By: Thomas Ice, PhD.


Endnotes

[1] Statement taken from the back panel of the bulletin obtained at the memorial service for John F. Walvoord, " The Bible: Cornerstone of John F. Walvoord' s Life," final paragraph.

[2] " An Interview: Dr. John F. Walvoord Looks at Dallas Seminary," Dallas Connection (Winter 1994, Vol. 1, No. 3), p. 4.

[3] John F. Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1976), pp. 16- 19.

[4] Walvoord, Blessed Hope, p. 17.

[5] J. Barton Payne, The Imminent Appearing of Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962).

[6] Walvoord, Blessed Hope, p. 17.

[7] Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1937).

[8] Walvoord, Blessed Hope, p. 17.

[9] John F. Walvoord, " Posttribulationism Today, Part I: The Rise of Posttribulational Interpretation, Bibliotheca Sacra (January- March 1975; Vol. 132, No. 525), p. 22.

[10] Walvoord, Blessed Hope, p. 18.

[11] George E. Ladd, The Blessed Hope (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956).

[12] Walvoord, Blessed Hope, pp. 18- 19.

[13] Robert H. Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1973).

[14] Walvoord, Blessed Hope, p. 19.

[15] Walvoord, " Posttribulationism Today," p. 24.

[16] For anyone interested in reading about the life of Dr. Walvoord, his auto biography came out about a year before his death. John F. Walvoord with Mal Couch, Blessed Hope: The Autobiography of John F. Walvoord (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2001).


Quasar
"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me."  Jn.14:6.

Offline Lysimachus

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Quasar,

Nothing has changed in my comments either.

Catholicism, of course, did not exist till much later. But that's where Catholicism got their erroneous Futuristic ideas from....from the Church Fathers who in-turn got it from the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, The Sibylline Oracles, Baruch, 1st and 2nd Esdras, T. Levi, etc. etc.

These are mythical writings. This is where you will find the "Beliar Myth". 

The Jesuits, therefore, are still responsible for concocting Futurist doctrines from this mythology, and "repackaging" it.

It's time to face the music Quasar, and accept the fact that your doctrines are inspired by the Jesuits.

Dispensational Futurism is the most dangerous doctrine on the face of the planet.

It is my conviction that Dispensationalism is the voice of the False Prophet--a symbolic figure that voices false prophecies, and all those who subscribe to such teaching will be swept away by these masterful delusions of the last days, as they set the stage for the arrival of a false Christ.

It is high time to wake out of sleep.

Posting your long articles written by Dispensationalists is doing nothing to contribute to this forum. You are only validating my original argument--that these doctrines come from the extra-Biblical writings inherent in mythical Judaism.

Historicism is the only correct hermeneutic by which to understand Bible Prophecy--the very backbone to Protestant Reformation teaching that enabled the Reformers to pin-point the Papal System as the Man of Sin seated within the Temple of God, or the Christian Church.  All those who refuse to accept Historicism are inadvertently falling into the deadly quagmire Rome has setup for them. Rome is the one who uprooted Historicism from Protestant thinking, and replaced it with Futurism--to save their skin.

Those who refuse to accept the validity of the Historicist position as laid by our reformers will end up falling right back under the wings of the mother hen: Rome.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 01:38:04 PM by Lysimachus »

Offline Quasar

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Quasar,

Nothing has changed in my comments either.

Catholicism, of course, did not exist till much later. But that's where Catholicism got their erroneous Futuristic ideas from....from the Church Fathers who in-turn got it from the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, The Sibylline Oracles, Baruch, 1st and 2nd Esdras, T. Levi, etc. etc.

These are mythical writings. This is where you will find the "Beliar Myth". 

The Jesuits, therefore, are still responsible for concocting Futurist doctrines from this mythology, and "repackaging" it.

It's time to face the music Quasar, and accept the fact that your doctrines are inspired by the Jesuits.

Dispensational Futurism is the most dangerous doctrine on the face of the planet.

Dispensationalism is the VOICE of the False Prophet, and all those who subscribe to such teaching will be swept away by these masterful delusions of the last days.

Time to wakeup!

Posting your long articles written by Dispensationalists is doing nothing to contribute to this forum. You are only validating my original argument--that these doctrines come from the extra-Biblical writings inherent in mythical Judaism.


Quasar You haven't proven your case with a shred of support.  Your tales of the origin of Dispensationalism is pure fiction.  And by what qualifications do you assume the authority to tell me or anyone else "time to wake up?"  As a qualified, degreed teacher of the Scriptures, beginning my Christian studies while in High School, in August of 1937, I've been around the block many times more than most!  When you shorten your posts I'll shorten mine, Capiche!  Obviously you don't know what Judaism is!

The Scriptural prophetic chronological timing of end times events as outlined in the Bible are as follows:

1. The tribulation is revealed in Jer.30:4-7, referred to as Jacob's Trouble.

2. In God's revelation to the prophet Daniel, through the angel Gabriel, the 70 'weeks' of years He has decreed upon the entire history of Israel, the length of time involved in the tribulation is revealed, along with the person who will set it off. The antichrist, who will establish a seven year covenant/agreement with them. Dan.9:27.

3. Jesus confirmation of Daniel's 70th and final 'week,' consisting of the abomination that causes desolation, in His ministry to the 'lost sheep of Israel.' Mt.24:15 and Mt.10:5-6.

4. The fig trees have sprouted leaves, we can see for ourselves and know that summer is near. Lk.21:29. Which began with the new nation of Israel, when it was established on May 14, 1948.

5. The Christian Church of Jesus Christ will be raptured, consisting of everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord, regardless of denomination, or no denomination at all, as taught by both Jesus as well as the apostle Paul. Jn.14:2-4, 28, 1 Thes.4:13-18, Rev.3:10 and 4:1-2. All those who died in Christ, to all those who are still alive at His appearing in the clouds of the sky, for His Church, where we will all meet with Jesus, and He will take us to our Father in heaven, as He promised us in Jn.14:2-4 and 28.

6. The rapture of the Christian Church of Jesus Christ preceding the revealing of the antichrist, which then immediately sets off the seven years of tribulation, as recorded in 2 Thes.2:1-8, in perfect harmony with Dan.9:27 and Rev.6:2.

7. The Christian Church of Jesus Christ is in heaven, symbolically illustrated by the apostle John in Rev.4:1-2, while the tribulation is taking place and is not heard about again until the wedding with the Lamb [Jesus Christ] takes place with the Bride [His Church] in heaven. Rev.19:7-9.

8. Jesus will return - with His Church following Him on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, which stands for the righteous acts of the saints [Vs 8 NIV] - in His Second Coming to the earth - with His angels - in His armies from heaven, in Zech.14:4-5, Mt.24:31, Jude 14, and Rev.19:14.

9. Jesus will end the war of Armageddon, saves the remnant of Israel, who then recognize Him as their Messiah [Zech.12:10, and 'all Israel will be saved' [Rom.11:26]. The antichrist and false prophet along with their armies are defeated and the two of them are thrown into the lake of fire, and their armies are all killed by the sword. Rev.19:17-21. Jesus prophecy in Jn.10:16 will then be fulfilled, when there will be one fold [Israel and His Church] and one Shepherd

10. Satan is caught and thrown into the Abyss for the 1,000 years that Jesus will reign, in His kingdom here on the earth. Rev.20:1-3.

11. The first resurrection takes place which consists of all those who will be martyred during the tribulation. They will not be believers in Jesus Christ at the time the tribulation begins. Therefore, they do not belong to the Christian Church that will be raptured before the seven year tribulation begins. They will be priests of God and of Christ, and rule with Him for 1,000 years. Rev.20:4 and 6.

12. The Millennial Kingdom of Christ will consist of all those who survived the tribulation, besides the resurrected martyrs, and all the remnant of Israel. In numbers alone, from an estimated original 7 billion people, there will only be 2.3 billion remaining. Life expectancy will be greatly increased. Isa.65:20 and 11:6-9.

13. Satan will be released from the Abyss to once again go out to deceive the nations and people as the 1,000 year Kingdom reign of Christ on the earth ends. He will gather millions of people who come against God's people at Jerusalem. But God sends fire from heaven, as He did at Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them and throwing Satan into the lake of fire. Rev.20:7-10.

14. The second resurrection takes place that consists of all those who will be saved during the Millennial reign of Jesus here on the earth, the Godless and wicked and the great white throne is set up to judge them, right here on earth. The sea, death and Hades all give up their dead and will then be thrown into the lake of fire. Meaning, that all who were in the 'temporal holding tanks' of Sheol, Hades and Hell will be removed to face judgement, and along with death, disposed of forever. For all those who participate in the second resurrection, if their name is not found in the book of life, they will be thrown into the lake of fire. Rev.20:11-15.

15. The old heaven and earth passes away and God creates an all new heaven and earth, and the new eternal city of Jerusalem descends from heaven. Rev.21:1-7.
The rest of chapter 21 alludes to a description of the coming eternal city and life of all believers who will be with the Lord forever.


Fully endosed by the following:

A. Frank L. Gaebelein, A.M., Litt.D., Headmaster Emiritus, The Stoney Brook School.

B. William Culbertson, D.D., L.L.D., President, Moody Bible Institute.

C. Charles L. Feinberg, ThD., PhD., Dean, Talbot Theological Seminary.

D. Allan A. Mac Rae, A.M., PhD., President, Biblical School of Theology.

E. Clarence E. Mason, Jr., Th.M., D.D., Dean, Philadelphia College of Bible.

F. Alva J. Mc Clain, Th.M., D.D., President Emeritus, Grace Theological Seminary.

G. Wilbur M. Smith, D.D., Editor, Peloubet's Select Notes.

H. John F. Walvoord, A.M., Th.D., President, Dallas Theological Seminary.

I. C.I. Scofield, D.D., Editor, Scofield Bible.

J. E. Schuyler English, Litt.D., Chairman.

The above theologians represent the Editorial Committee of the 1967 edition of the Scofield Bible.

Others who also endorse the theology posted on this thread are:Charles Stanley, Baptist minister, Chuck

Missler, Koinonia House, Dwight Pentecost, Dean at Dallas Theological Seminary, Harold Wilmington, Dean at Liberty Seminary, Arno Froese, Editor and CEO of Midnight Call Ministries, Thomas Ice, PhD., Author, Jack Van Impe, TV Ministry, Tim Le Hay, Author, Jerry Fallwell, Baptist minister, Billie Graham, TV ministry, Franklin Graham, TV minstry, Dr. Ron Carlson, Dr. Wilfred Hahn, Dave Hunt, Ed Decker, Dr. Norbert Lieth, hundreds of thousands of others!


Quasar
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 05:26:20 PM by Quasar »
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Offline Lysimachus

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Quasar You haven't proven your case at all with a shred of support.  Your tales of the origin of Dispensationalism is pure fiction.

You are only convincing me more Quasar that you are not a sincere student of the word.  Your mind has absorbed so much Jesuit theology, that you no longer can ascertain the big picture of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. I believe I have provided sufficient evidence to validate my case. But what is left now is for you to actually take out the time to thoroughly comb the data.

I am fully persuaded that Dispensationalism is a sinking ship. It cannot stand. I consider it to be one of, if not the most deadly "Christian" ideologies on the face of the planet. This is only after I evaluated the big picture regarding what this ideology is designed to do. To help bring Protestantism back under the fold of Rome.  As I have proven unequivocally, the doctrines of Futurism are inherent in the mythical Jewish writings. Nothing will change this fact.  And you will continue to conclude that my position is untenable until you make up your mind to read the arguments provided in the D.S. Farris' linked article.

You post a lot, but you do not address the arguments raised in the documentation.  What I provided was only a "summary" of the claims made.  There is not enough room in this forum to post 50 pages worth.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 10:51:53 AM by Lysimachus »

Offline Lysimachus

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Quote
The prophetic chronological timing of end times events as outlined in the Bible are as follows:

1. The tribulation is revealed in Jer.30:4-7, referred to as Jacob's Trouble.

Correct, and this applies to Spiritual Israel, as given in Revelation.

Quote
2. In God's revelation to the prophet Daniel, through the angel Gabriel, the 70 'weeks' of years He has decreed upon the entire history of Israel, the length of time involved in the tribulation is revealed, along with the person who will set it off. The antichrist, who will establish a seven year covenant/agreement with them. Dan.9:27.

Daniel's 70 weeks ended in 34 A.D. The "he" of 9:27 is Jesus Christ, not Antichrist. It is a serious thing to  mistake Jesus Christ for the Antichrist.  This is pure fiction, and is not supported in the Sacred Writings of Holy Writ.

Quote
3. Jesus confirmation of Daniel's 70th and final 'week,' consisting of the abomination that causes desolation, in His ministry to the 'lost sheep of Israel.' Mt.24:15 and Mt.10:5-6.

Nowhere does it say the abomination of desolation happens during the 70th week. Nowhere in verses 24-27 does it say this.  The probation ended in 34 A.D, but the cause and effect is as such that the cause occurred in 34 A.D., and the effect went through in 70 A.D. The abomination of desolation was seen when the Romans setup their standards outside the walls of Jerusalem.  This was the first application of the abomination of desolation. The secondary application is when the Pope set itself up as high priest in opposition to Christ's High Priestly ministry--claiming to forgive sins.  The Pope set itself up in the "temple" (the church) of God, claiming to be God through its actions of forgiving sins.  The final abomination of desolation will occur when the national Sunday Law is passed after the union of Church and State.

Quote
4. The fig trees have sprouted leaves, we can see for ourselves and know that summer is near. Lk.21:29. Which began with the new nation of Israel, when it was established on May 14, 1948.

The new nation of Israel is realized in the Church--the new "congregation" (ekklesia). As for the national state of Israel, Jesus unequivocally declared concerning the fig tree: "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away." (Matthew 21:29)  Jews can be saved as individuals now, when they accept Jesus Christ, and are grafted into His tree, the true Israel, but probation closed for Israel as a national, geopolitical establishment for carrying out the keys of the gospel commission to the world in 34 A.D.

Quote
5. The Christian Church of Jesus Christ will be raptured, consisting of everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord, regardless of denomination, or no denomination at all, as taught by both Jesus as well as the apostle Paul. Jn.14:2-4, 28, 1 Thes.4:13-18, Rev.3:10 and 4:1-2. All those who died in Christ, to all those who are still alive at His appearing in the clouds of the sky, for His Church, where we will all meet with Jesus, and He will take us to our Father in heaven, as He promised us in Jn.14:2-4 and 28.

And there will be no "second chances" after this either. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Revelation 21:11-12)

The cases of every human being is decided PRIOR to the second coming of Christ.  This renders it impossible for Jews to be converted and be saved when they see Him coming in the clouds of glory.  As for Revelation 3:10, this was speaking to the Church of Philadelphia. We are living in the Church of Laodicea. They will not have to endure through the tribulation. However, even so, the proper Greek terminology does not mean they will not be on the earth when they are saved from the hour of trial.  To be saved from the hour simply means to be saved from falling into the temptation given during that hour.

Quote
6. The rapture of the Christian Church of Jesus Christ preceding the revealing of the antichrist, which then immediately sets off the seven years of tribulation, as recorded in 2 Thes.2:1-8, in perfect harmony with Dan.9:27 and Rev.6:2.

Nowhere is a seven year tribulation mentioned in any of these passages. It is pure Walt Disney Fiction. And those who continue to expect to be raptured prior to the tribulation will be in for a rude awakening. 2 Thess 2:1-8 only validates my point that the saints will be on the earth during the the man of sin. http://www.whitehorsemedia.com/articles/?d=41

As for your lengthy explanations for "apostasia" meaning "departure", your interpretation is pure fiction, because even if it does mean "departure", the intended meaning is "departure from the faith".  Dispensationalism and a pre-trib rapture is nothing more than fabrication from the imagination of carnal men who desire not the truth, and for this, God will send them strong delusion.

Quote
7. The Christian Church of Jesus Christ is in heaven, symbolically illustrated by the apostle John in Rev.4:1-2, while the tribulation is taking place and is not heard about again until the wedding with the Lamb [Jesus Christ] takes place with the Bride [His Church] in heaven. Rev.19:7-9.

Revelation 4:1-2 is a throne-room scene in heaven prior to Christ's arrival at His ascension. The door that opens is the door to the Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary. Nowhere does it say that the Church is in heaven. Today, while we are still on the earth, we "sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Eph 1:20; 2:6; Ephesians 3:10), we boldly come before the throne of Grace to obtain mercy and find grace (Hebrews 4:16), and we spiritually stand on Mount Sion, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22).  In each one of these cases, is the Church literally in heaven?  Absolutely not.

John the Revelator was taken up to heaven in a vision so that He could see the things that would transpire in the world beginning from Christ's ascension.  The early apostolic Church is the opening of the First Seal, the White Horse.  Once again, the reason why Dispensationalists falsely interpret Revelation 4 and on to be the commencement of the 70th week is because they do not understand Revelation's chiasm. If they did, they would have to re-write their entire theology.

Dispensational theologians are very confused people.  They have turned the bible into an endless maze of confusion.

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8. Jesus will return - with His Church following Him on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, which stands for the righteous acts of the saints [Vs 8 NIV] - in His Second Coming to the earth - with His angels - in His armies from heaven, in Zech.14:4-5, Mt.24:31, Jude 14, and Rev.19:14.

Zechariah 14:4-5 is not the Second Coming.  It is the Third Coming, at the end of the 1000 year millennium. The Second Coming transpires premillennial. The Third Coming (with all the saints) transpires at the end of the millennium--but it is not for salvation. The wicked are then raised, and Satan goes out to deceive these nations.  The detailed Old Testament prophetic descriptions will no longer be fulfilled to National Israel.  These were "conditional types of unconditional antitypes". They now have a spiritual, world-wide fulfillment. John the Revelator has REDEFINED these local-Palestinian prophecies to a world-wide spiritual conflict which will transpire spiritually prior to the millennium, and literally, after the millennium.

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9. Jesus will end the war of Armageddon, saves the remnant of Israel, who then recognize Him as their Messiah [Zech.12:10, and 'all Israel will be saved' [Rom.11:26]. The antichrist and false prophet along with their armies are defeated and the two of them are thrown into the lake of fire, and their armies are all killed by the sword. Rev.19:17-21. Jesus prophecy in Jn.10:16 will then be fulfilled, when there will be one fold [Israel and His Church] and one Shepherd

Armageddon, however will be applied spiritually, world-wide. But it will meet it's acme, literally, at the end of the millennium, and all the wicked surround the New Jerusalem, that Beloved City. You need to read the book by Louis F. Were: "The Certainty of the Third Angel's Message" to understand these things.

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned.  The battle of Armageddon will involve the Papacy and the Sunday Law against all faithful--commandment keeping--Sabbath keeping Christians.  The wicked will be those who have subverted themselves to Papal as well as Dispensational doctrines, and try to force God's people to keep Sunday instead of the Seventh-Day Sabbath of the Lord.  But God will shield His faithful Sabbath keepers, who uphold the 4th commandment, and have the Seal of God.  All those who subscribe to Papal Dogma and accept Sunday as their sign will receive the Mark of the Beast---the Mark of Papal Power.

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10. Satan is caught and thrown into the Abyss for the 1,000 years that Jesus will reign, in His kingdom here on the earth. Rev.20:1-3.

Yes, and this "abyss" is the emptied and destroyed planet for 1000 years (Please read: Isaiah 24:17-22; Jer 4:23-28; Isaiah 24:1-4; Isaiah 14:12-21; Isaiah 13:9-13; Isaiah 6:8-11; Isaiah 28:21,22; Isaiah 34:1-15; Jer 25:32-38; Zeph 1:2,3; 3:6-8), and the wicked are all dead, and lie in wait  in the grave (Hosea 7:6,7)

Revelation 20:1-3 mentions nothing about the earth.  All Bible verses that talk about the earth are referring to after the millennium.

We believe that the Second Coming commences the literal 1000 years. This is yet future.

Note: This would make me pre-millennial, not post-millennial--a clear deviation of Augustine from the lesser error of earthly pre-millennialism--derived not from scripture, but from extra-biblical works. Worse than Augustine was Origen who opposed the millennium altogether along with spiritualizing the resurrection, and Origen pre-dated Augustine by about 200 years. Though there is no official coined term I am aware of, I suppose I would be considered one who subscribes to heavenly pre-millennialism, or non-temporal pre-millennialism, or perhaps even Advent pre-millennialism--and by this I mean, all the saints that ever lived are caught up in the sky and taken to heaven to reign with Christ in the New Jerusalem for a literal 1000 years before returning to inherit the earth.

There is not a single Bible text in ALL of scripture that alludes to an earthly reign during the millennium.  Every single text referring to the saints reigning on the earth is alluding to the earth made new, after the millennium! To counter this, Futurists appeal to arguments found in Isaiah chapters 11 and 65 which mention births and deaths, yet deny the fact that these "births" and "deaths" are, in context, being placed AFTER the earth is made new (Isaiah 65:17).  The Apostle John in Revelation 21 places the New Earth AFTER the millennium.  What Futurists fail to realize is that John the Revelator has redefined these prophecies in Isaiah, lifts them up out of their Old Testament application, and reapplies them at the end of the millennium--revealing their Antitypical, and greater fulfillment. They fail to realize that the New Testament is the expositor of the Old Testament. We believe ALL Old and New Testament passages that speak of an "earthly reign" are speaking of the saints AFTER the millennium.)

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11. The first resurrection takes place which consists of all those who will be martyred during the tribulation. They will not be believers in Jesus Christ at the time the tribulation begins. Therefore, they do not belong to the Christian Church that will be raptured before the seven year tribulation begins. They will be priests of God and of Christ, and rule with Him for 1,000 years. Rev.20:4 and 6.

The first resurrection is described in 1 Thess 4:16 -- "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first."  Only those "blessed" will arise in the "first resurrection" (Rev 20:6). They reign with Christ for 1000 years, but nowhere does it say that they will reign with Christ on earth for 1000 years. Revelation 19:1 confirms that these saints are reigning with Christ in heaven. Revelation 20:4 does not say they are only martyrs, but also "those who were seated upon thrones", which are the saints. These thrones are in "heaven", not on earth. See John 14:2,3.

The "reign" of the saints goes well beyond the 1000 years as taught in Revelation 22:5 - "and they shall reign for ever and ever."

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12. The Millennial Kingdom of Christ will consist of all those who survived the tribulation, besides the resurrected martyrs, and all the remnant of Israel. In numbers alone, from an estimated original 7 billion people, there will only be 2.3 billion remaining. Life expectancy will be greatly increased. Isa.65:20 and 11:6-9.

Isaiah 65:17 (3 verses just before verse 20) applies this to the New Heavens and the New Earth.  John the Revelator REDEFINES and REAPPLIES this prophecy to the END of the millennium in Revelation 21:1. Therefore, this "typical" prophecy, where deaths would occur, is no longer applicable in the book of Revelation, as John has redefined it to the end of the millennium. Those prophecies would have occurred had Israel continued God's original plan. But since they failed, these prophecies will now be realized ANTITYPICALLY in His Church.  The antitype is never identical to the type, but similar, and greater.

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13. Satan will be released from the Abyss to once again go out to deceive the nations and people as the 1,000 year Kingdom reign of Christ on the earth ends. He will gather millions of people who come against God's people at Jerusalem. But God sends fire from heaven, as He did at Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them and throwing Satan into the lake of fire. Rev.20:7-10.

What will release Satan from his chain of circumstances is that all the wicked will be resurrected that were dead during the 1000 years. These were the "rest of the dead". Satan now goes to convince the wicked to besiege the New Jerusalem that came down out of heaven, that Beloved City.

One may argue and say that the "Beloved City" is the local Jerusalem in Palestine, and not the New Jerusalem. Every single instance of "Jerusalem" mentioned in the book of Revelation is referring to the New Jerusalem.  But Dispensationalists, for some fictitious reason, wish to take the "Beloved City" and make it something other than the New Jerusalem. The "Beloved City" is simply another name for the New Jerusalem---just like in other places it is called "the City of My God", and "the Holy Jerusalem" the "Great City" (Revelation), and the "Jerusalem above" (Gal 4:26)

They may also argue that the New Jerusalem is mentioned as "coming down out of heaven" in Revelation 21 after the Beloved City is mentioned in chapter 20. However, if one were to read chapters 20 and 21 chronologically, they would have to conclude that there are 4 lakes of Fires, and that there will be at least 2-3 resurrections of the wicked dead.  The New Jerusalem is mentioned in Revelation 3:12 as coming down out of heaven long before chapter 20.  In Revelation 21:2, it is simply a continuation of the explanation in chapter 20.  John is simply "backing up" to explain what it looked like when that Beloved City did come down from heaven.

You've got a lot of layers upon layers of false theology Quasar, and it is my desire to help peel each layer one at a time until you can see the truth.  You have SO many layers of lies that it is going to take a long time before you can discern the real controversy that is going on between Christ and Satan.

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14. The second resurrection takes place that consists of all those who will be saved during the Millennial reign of Jesus here on the earth, the Godless and wicked and the great white throne is set up to judge them, right here on earth. The sea, death and Hades all give up their dead and will then be thrown into the lake of fire. Meaning, that all who were in the 'temporal holding tanks' of Sheol, Hades and Hell will be removed to face judgement, and along with death, disposed of forever. For all those who participate in the second resurrection, if their name is not found in the book of life, they will be thrown into the lake of fire. Rev.20:11-15.

The Second Resurrection is only of the wicked who resurrect at the END of the millennium. It says "blessed are those who hath part in the first resurrection" (Rev 20:6), and it says "rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" (vs. 5).  Therefore, if those who come up in the first resurrection are those who are blessed, the then only those who do not come to life again until the thousand years are finished must be the wicked.  This is the "second resurrection", and this is why all wicked receive the "second death".  Because they died once before.

Nobody in the second resurrection will be saved.  There is one chance to be saved, and that is before the Rapture at the Second Coming.  All the wicked left alive will be killed by the brightness of Christ's coming, and will remain dead during the 1000 years to face the judgment at the Second Death.  They died once before, that's why they die the "second death".  Thus far, you sure have demonstrated to have a lot of mumble jumble in your theology brother.

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15. The old heaven and earth passes away and God creates an all new heaven and earth, and the new eternal city of Jerusalem descends from heaven. Rev.21:1-7.

But since the New Jerusalem is mentioned in Revelation 20:9, the New Jerusalem that comes down in 21:2 is simply a description of when it came down before the wicked surrounded the city, Gog and Magog. Once again, Revelation's chiasm comes to mind. This chiasm has been proven too.

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The rest of chapter 21 alludes to a description of the coming eternal city and life of all believers who will be with the Lord forever.

Amen, I agree.  And we will reign "for ever and ever" on the earth.  This is when the earthly reign begins.  This is the ANTITYPICAL fulfillment of Old Testament typological prophecies. The New Testament is the expositor of the Old.  The literal details given in Ezekiel 38,39, Joel 3, Zechariah 14, will no longer occur in their literal, local, Palestinian sense.  They will now be fulfilled antitypically to the Church.

Adventist-Historicist-Premillennialism is the only capable ideology on the planet that is capable of dealing with and refuting Dispensational Futurism squarely.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 12:21:04 AM by Lysimachus »

Offline Quasar

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What is Postmillennialism

By: Dr. Thomas Ice, PhD.

Part 1. of 2.

Postmillennialism is the belief that Christ will return after the millennium. Thus, the name " post" (after) millennial (1000). All postmillennialists believe that the current age is the kingdom, while some believe that the millennial phase of the kingdom is present and others hold that it is yet future when the world has been Christianized. Postmillennialists also believe the Church is the agent through which this return to Eden will be mediated by Christ the King from heaven. Most postmillennialist have stressed the preaching of the gospel, resulting in a conversion of most of mankind as the means for Christianization. However, the more recent Reconstructionist version adds to evangelism obedience and faithfulness to biblical law as a condition for victory. Some postmillennialist believe that the conversion of the world will be a very slow and gradual process, taking perhaps thousands of years more. On the other hand, others believe that conversion could happen within a short period of time (about 10 years) as the result of a great revival. Systematic postmillennialism was the last of the three major eschatologies to develop. It was first taught within the church in the seventeenth century.

Postmillennial Self-Definition

Contemporary Reconstructionist, postmillennialist Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. gives the following seven characteristics of evangelical postmillennialism:

• First, postmillennialism "understands the Messianic kingdom to have been founded upon the earth during the earthly ministry and through the redemptive labors of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . the Church becomes the transformed Israel."

• Second, "the fundamental nature of that kingdom is essentially redemptive and spiritual . . . Christ rules His kingdom spiritually in and through His people in the world (representation), as well as by His universal providence."

• Third, Christ's "kingdom will exercise a transformational socio-cultural influence in history. This will occur as more and more people are converted to Christ."

• Fourth, "postmillennialism, thus, expects the gradual, developmental expansion of the kingdom of Christ in time and on earth. . . . Christ's personal presence on earth is not needed for the expansion of His kingdom."

• Fifth, "postmillennialism confidently anticipates a time in earth history (continuous with the present) in which the very gospel already operative in the world will have won the victory throughout the earth in fulfillment of the Great Commission. . . . During that time the overwhelming majority of men and nations will be Christianized, righteousness will abound, wars will cease, and prosperity and safety will flourish."

• Sixth, there are "two types of postmillennialism today: pietistic and theonomic postmillennialism. . . . Pietistic postmillennialism . . . denies that the postmillennial advance of the kingdom involves the total transformation of culture through the application of biblical law. Theonomic postmillennialism affirms this."

• Seventh, "possibly 'we can look forward to a great 'golden age' of spiritual prosperity continuing for centuries, or even for millenniums, . . .' After this . . . earth history will be drawn to a close by the personal, visible, bodily return of Jesus Christ (accompanied by a literal resurrection and a general judgment) to introduce His . . . consummative and eternal form of the kingdom."[1]

Liberals and Conservatives

While many of the basic elements of postmillennialism remain the same, distinction should be made between liberals who promote a postmillennialism through humanism (i.e., the social gospel of the past) and evangelical postmillennialism that promote progress through the church's preaching of the gospel and application of Mosaic Law. Both adhere to a gospel combined with social change as the agency of change and progress. Thus, in a sense, evangelical postmillennialists believe that many nineteenth century postmills went astray by adopting humanistic liberalism, instead they should have relied upon a more traditional, conservative approach.

History

The historical rise and development of postmillennialism has been the object of some dispute, partly because of some similarities between it and amillennialism. Amillennialism and postmillennialism, for example, would have Gentry's point one, two, and four in common. Thus, because of points of similarity, some have confused amillennialism and postmillennialism. Because of these similarities, it may be difficult at times to clearly distinguish postmillennialism and amillennialism in history. It is the differences that are significant, in spite of similarities. Both are clearly anti-premillennial.

It is generally thought that Daniel Whitby (1638-1725) developed systematic postmillennialism, as a clearly distinct form of millenarianism. This does not mean that elements of systematic postmillennialism did not exist prior to Whitby, for they clearly did. However, it seems best to understand the maturity of postmillennialism into a distinct system as post-Reformational and in a sense an optimistic form of amillennialism. Thus, postmillennialism's development is dependent upon amillennialism.

Only a handful of partisan polemicists would attempt to argue that postmillennialism has a post-apostolic presence. " All seem to agree that postmillennialism is quite foreign to the apostolic church. There is no trace of anything in the church which could be classified as postmillennialism in the first two or three centuries." [2]

The rise of figurative interpretation and Augustine's millennial interadvent theory began to lay a foundation for the later development of postmillennialism. Augustine "held that the age between the first and second advents is the millennium of which the Scriptures speak and that the second advent would occur at the end of the millennium. This is definitely a postmillennial viewpoint as it places the second advent after the millennium."[3] However, it is also at the same time an amillennial viewpoint. Augustine and his eschatology is best classified as amillennial because he lacked the optimism required for a true postmillennial viewpoint, regardless of whatever similarities they may have in common.

Another development that contributed to the development of systematic postmillennialism is the rise of Christendom and the merger of church and state with Constantine's declaration that Christianity was the new religion of the Roman Empire (a.d. 313). Before Constantine it is estimated that only eight to ten per cent of the Empire was Christian. However, as the fourth century neared its end, virtually all identified themselves as Christian. This development lead to a form of victory and optimism about the spread of Christianity and its ability to overcome even a hostile state, like the previously evil Roman Empire. However, such optimism was tempered with the lost to Christendom of North Africa in the fifth century and the rise of militant Islam a few centuries later.

Joachim of Floris' rise to prominence in the twelfth century certainly was a watershed event in the development of eschatology. He not only laid the foundation for the historicist interpretation of prophetic literature, but his optimism is seen by some as contributing to the development of postmillennialism. Whether or not he can be classified as a clear postmillennialist,[4] he certainly contributed to an optimistic view of history. E. Randolph Daniel notes:

"The twelfth century was optimistic about history and the future. The Gregorian reformers certainly believed that they could dramatically reform and purify the Church on earth. Joachim, who was clearly Gregorian in his sympathies, believed that history was evolving toward the status of the Holy Spirit . . . when the Church would enjoy a historical era of peace and spiritual attainment that would far surpass anything achieved in the past."[5]

While Joachim helped prepare the way for the later development of postmillennialism, it is best not to classify him as a millennialist.

Joachim's third status has often been described as chiliastic or millennial, which implies that it constitutes a new beginning, the emergence of a spiritual church that would replace the corrupt clerical church. Certainly the millennium as depicted in Apocalypse 20 is a new beginning, but Joachim's status of the Holy Spirit is not millennial in this sense. . . . Joachim's thinking is evolutionary, not revolutionary. He was a reformer, not a millennialist.[6]

Joachim helped prepare the way for postmillennialism by contributing an idea of optimism that was to be continuous with the course of the present age. His belief that it was to be an age of the Holy Spirit was often adopted by later postmillennialists.

The Reformation sprang out of an attitude of pessimism and despair. Marjorie Reeves notes, "E. L. Tuveson has argued that the classical attitude of Protestant reformers towards history was one of pessimism: all things must decline; decay is the essential fact of history."[7] Robin Barnes says, "in the eyes of many Lutherans in the late sixteenth century, the entire social order appeared to be falling apart."[8]

John Calvin, while not reaching the depths of Luther's despair, cannot be claimed for postmillennialism as some have done[9]. just because he utters statements of optimism. Such statements need to be optimism within the context of a postmillennial creed. Calvin also made pessimistic statements: " There is no reason, therefore, why any person should expect the conversion of the world, for at length- when it will be too late, and will yield them no advantage." [10] Nevertheless, " despite Calvin's Augustinian avoidance of historically oriented eschatology, the hint of progressivism in his thought left the way open for the frank meliorism and chiliasm of many later Calvinist thinkers." [11]

It would be left to the post-Reformation era for developments to spring forth into what can rightly be called postmillennialism. Joachim's idea of progress was recast into a "new interpretation of the Apocalypse and of the eschatological pattern which looked forward to some great transforming event rather than to inevitable decay."[12] Postmillennialism came into flower in the 1600's as the "idea of novelty rather than return is seen in the excited references to all the new manifestations of the age- the new lands, the new learning, the new books, the new missionaries."[13] This was aided by the gains of Protestantism over Catholicism in Europe as the new continued to gain over the old.

The postmillennialism of the seventeenth century consisted mainly of those who believed in the success of the preaching of the gospel and correspondingly the conversion of the Jews. The later belief was one held in common with premillennialism. Yet, even though there were a few prominent postmillennialists in the seventeenth century, the position exploded into popularity as a result of Whitby's "new interpretation" of Revelation 20 at the dawn of the eighteenth century.

End of Part 1.  Part 2. follows:


Quasar
"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me."  Jn.14:6.

Offline Quasar

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What is Postmillennialism ?

By: Dr. Thomas Ice, PhD.

Part 2. of 2.


Contemporary reconstructionist postmillennialists usually bristle at the reminder of Whitby's key role in postmillennial history. Their defensiveness likely stems from the fact that Whitby was a less than orthodox Unitarian. Nevertheless, it was as result of the efforts of Whitby who provided exegetical and theological definition for postmillennialism that the position began to gain ground and become the dominate eschatology in Europe and eventually North America before its decline. Walvoord note the following concerning Whitby:

He was a liberal and a freethinker, untrammeled by traditions or previous conceptions of the church. His views on the millennium would probably have never been perpetuated if they had not been so well keyed to the thinking of the times. The rising tide of intellectual freedom, science, and philosophy, coupled with humanism, had enlarged the concept of human progress and painted a bright picture of the future. Whitby's view of a coming golden age for the church was just what people wanted to hear. It fitted the thinking of the times. It is not strange that theologians scrambling for readjustment in a changing world should find in Whitby just the key they needed. It was attractive to all kinds of theology. It provided for the conservative a seemingly more workable principle of interpreting the Scripture. . . . Man's increasing knowledge of the world and scientific improvements which were coming could fit into this picture. On the other hand, the concept was pleasing to the liberal and skeptic. If they did not believe the prophets, at least they believed that man was now able to improve himself and his environment. They, too, believed a golden age was ahead.[14]

After gaining dominance in Europe and America among both conservatives and liberals, postmillennialism began a decline into near extinction. Fallout from the French Revolution in Europe dealt a severe blow to postmillennial optimism. Later, in the States, postmillennial decline awaited the turn of the century and was dealt a near-fatal blow by WWI and WWII and identification with the Social Gospel and Liberalism. Only in the 1970's has postmillennialism began to reassert itself, primarily through the reconstructionist movement. While postmillennialism has made some gains in recent years, it is still a minor position in the overall field of eschatology.

Objections to Postmillennialism

The greatest problem with postmillennialism is the fact that the Bible just does not teach it. Where is a specific passage that teaches the postmillennial concept? Not a passage that they think it their best, from which they attempt to develop a postmillennial theology. I am asking for a passage that teaches the idea of postmillennialism. It is nowhere to be found in the Bible. Lack of specific biblical support is fatal to postmillennialism for any Bible believing Christian. This explains why their normal presentation approach is to first attack premillennialism and then present broad theological concepts that one must adopt as a framework with which on needs to approach biblical texts.

Basic to postmillennialism failure to match up with Scripture is its lack of a consistent hermeneutic. At key points, postmillennialism must abandon the literal hermeneutic of the historical, grammatical, and contextual approach for some degree of spiritualization.

Nowhere does the New Testament teach that the kingdom of God was brought into existence at Christ' s first coming. The New Testament does say that the kingdom was " near" during Christ' s ministry, but it stops short of saying that it arrived during Christ' s first coming. Furthermore, while personal redemption is certainly an essential key to the kingdom, that fact should not be used to negate equally clear teachings concerning the physical nature of this kingdom.

The postmillennial idea of progress is not found in any particular text of the Bible. Rather, it appears to be an idea brought to the pages of Scripture. Postmillennialism is inconsistent with the biblical fact that the cataclysmic return of Christ brings in the kingdom (Rev. 19-20), not the preaching of the gospel and gradual human progress. Gospel preaching in the current age is for the purpose of gathering out the elect for the future kingdom. An increase in the number of Christian converts has not resulted in a transformational socio-cultural influence. Too often there has been cultural regression. Such thinking, by postmillennialists, falls far short of the Old Testament description of the actual conditions of the kingdom.

Postmillennialism confuses Israel and the church. The postmillennial view requires the church to take over the fulfillment of promises made to national Israel so that they may posit a present kingdom. Modern postmillennialism needs to posit replacement theology or supersessionism as a key plank in its theology. Thus, it denies that the modern state of Israel could have any place in God' s future prophetic plan. Postmillennialism is anti-Zionist. The New Testament nowhere teaches that Israel has been replaced by the church. Paul says to these things, " God has not rejected His people [Israel], has He? May it never be!" (Rom. 11:1) The church is certainly a partaken in the Abrahamic promises, but not a taker over of Israel' s promises.

While it is true that the Bible predicts an increasing spread of the proclamation of the gospel in the current age, this does not support the notion of postmillennial progress. All millennial positions- pre, post, and amillennialism- believe in a global preaching and spread of the gospel during the current age. In addition, the Bible speaks frequently in catastrophic and interventionist language of Christ's return to earth as the cause of millennial conditions. Specific statements of gradualism are lacking in the Bible. Postmillennialism also denies the New Testament teaching that Christ could return at any-moment, known as imminency. The Great Commission is being fulfilled, not by exercising a certain level of response to the gospel, but when the church is preaching the gospel and making disciples throughout all the nations. This is occurring in our own day.

Shifting from pietistic to theonomic will not make postmillennial sudden more effective in history. In fact, at least pietistic postmillennialism was much more evangelistic than is the current brand of theonomic postmillennialism. If the church were looking to theonomic postmillennialism to show the way in the area of evangelism, then it would become extinct within a generation.

If a viewpoint truly represents Scripture then it is not too much to ask it to be able to correspond to history. Postmillennialism teaches that this current age will be a time of steady and upward growth. However, this is impossible to defend from history. While the gospel frequently expands to new territories, at the same time so many areas where the gospel has dominated society and culture there has been regression and relapse, not progress. It appears that wherever Christianity has come to dominate the culture, and has lost that dominance, it has never been revived as a significant force. This is not progress it is regression. At this point in time, history supports the premillennial notion of the global spread of the gospel, while at the same time the church becomes increasingly apostate.

Postmillennialism fails to account for the fact that if there is going to be a fulfillment of millennial conditions predicted in the Bible, it is going to be only as a result of a revolutionary intervention of Jesus Christ at His second coming in order to introduce new factors which are discontinuous with the present age. It will require the personal presence of Jesus Christ Himself to role back the curse and to rule with a rod of iron. Only the premillennial model provides the changes necessary to implement a millennial golden age.

Postmillennialism is taught nowhere in the Bible. The postmillennial model of historical expectations is also failing. It is therefore, more than reasonable to conclude that postmillennialism is a deviant and unbiblical aberration.


Endnotes

[1]Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology (Tyler, Tex.: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), pp. 70-73.

[2]John F. Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1959), p. 19.

[3]Walvoord, Millennial Kingdom, p. 19.

[4]D.H. Kromminga, The Millennium in the Church: Studies in the History of Christian Chiliasm (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1945), p. 20f.

[5]E. Randolph Daniel, "Joachim of Fiore: Patterns of History in the Apocalypse" in Richard K. Emmerson and Bernard McGinn, editors, The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992), p. 73.

[6]Daniel, " Joachim," pp. 86, 87.

[7]Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages: A Study of Joachimism (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 501.

[8]Robin Bruce Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis: Apocalypticism in the Wake of the Lutheran Reformation (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1988), p. 5.

[9]Gentry, He Shall Have Dominion, pp. 88-89.

[10]John Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, n.d.) Vol. XVII, p. 147.

[11]Barnes, Prophecy and Gnosis, p. 33.

[12]Reeves, Influence of Prophecy, p. 502.

[13]Reeves, Influence, pp. 502-03.

[14]Walvoord, Millennial Kingdom, pp. 22-23.


Quasar
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 12:36:44 AM by Quasar »
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Offline Lysimachus

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Quasar,

1. I do not believe in Postmillennialism.  I am Premillennnial.  So these arguments you are presenting from these articles mean nothing to me as I am in agreement.

2. Instead of posting articles not even related to the issue in debate, please post your articles as separate threads and we can discuss them there.  I would kindly request that in my threads, let us deal with my arguments.  Responding to my arguments with unrelated articles shows an irresponsibility on your part in how to intelligently grapple with the subjects at hand.

Thank you.

P.S. It is evident that you are still aloof as to what Adventist Historicism really believes, and that they are premillennial, and believe in a literal 1000 years.  The controversial issues here have to do with the nature of premillennialism, not whether it is correct or not.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 10:53:42 AM by Lysimachus »

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Quote by Lysimachus:

P.S. It is evident that you are still aloof as to what Adventist Historicism really believes, and that they are premillennial, and believe in a literal 1000 years.  The controversial issues here have to do with the nature of premillennialism, not whether it is correct or not.


Q: I could care less what label you want to hang on yourself.  It is very simple to see from your attempt to interpret eschatology you have been taught by false prophets.

When you claim Jesus will not be returning until after His millennial reign, that is what postmillennialists believe.


What I determine needs correcting in any belief system is whether it is found in the Scriptures or not.  Not by what labels you want to apply to it.


Quasar
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 10:11:31 AM by Quasar »
"I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me."  Jn.14:6.

Offline Lysimachus

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Q: I could care less what label you want to hang on yourself.  It is very simple to see from your attempt to interpret eschatology you have been taught by false prophets.

When you claim Jesus will not be returning until after His millennial reign, that is what postmillennialists believe.

Christ's Return (Second Coming) is pre-millennial. But he will not "touch the earth". He will be "in the air" (1 Thess 4:17), where "every eye shall see Him" (Rev 1:7).  Every eye cannot see Him if He's on the earth.   1 Thess 4:15 calls it "the COMING [parousia] of the Lord".  Clearly, this is the "second coming".  1. Bethlehem, 2. In the clouds. 

1 Thess 4:15 is proof that He does not need to touch the earth in order for it to be called a "coming". According to Strong's Number 3952, this word "parousia" means:

"the future visible return from heaven of Jesus, to raise the dead, hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God"

The "rapture" in 1 Thess 4:15 is called the "parousia".  There is no way of getting around this.  Every saint, that has ever lived will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and taken to heaven to reign with Christ in the New Jerusalem for 1000 years. (not 7 years!!) 

Postmillennialism is when one believes that the Second Coming occurs at the END of the millennium.  We as Adventist Historicists believe that the Second Coming occurs at the BEGINNING of the millennium.

The "Second Coming" is "for salvation" (Heb 9:28)  The "Third Coming" is NOT for salvation. It is to hold the judgment of the wicked and condemn them to the Lake of Fire--and declare God's judgments to all beings of the universe as just and fair.

The Judgment of the Righteous is taking place since 1844--as Christ intercedes in the Holy of Holies. The wedding commenced in 1844 when Christ entered into the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary.  The wedding does NOT take place at the rapture!

Proof?

Matthew 22:11,12 proves that a man shows up at the wedding without a wedding garment. This is proof that the wedding occurs between Christ and His bride (the church) WHILE the Church is on the earth.  This wedding ceremony is known as the "Investigative Judgment" that has been ongoing since 1844 in heaven (the end of the 2300 year prophecy of Daniel 8:14).   If this wedding were the rapture, what are wicked men doing showing up in heaven without a wedding garment?

After the marriage has occurred between God and His people, and after He can say "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus" (Rev 14:12), THEN Christ can come to claim His bride!

Hence we see:

"And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when HE WILL RETURN FROM THE WEDDING; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately." (Luke 12:36)

The wedding is transpiring now brother. The guests are to keep their garments clean and spotless.  It is AFTER the Second Coming that God's saints are experiencing the "marriage supper of the lamb" (Rev 19:9) in HEAVEN (verse 1)

But what about the earth?  While the saints are experiencing the marriage supper of the lamb in heaven, there is the supper of the birds on earth:

"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of ALL men, both free and bond, both small and great." (Rev 19:17,18)

It is these that are "left behind" in Luke 17:37, "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together."

No one will be left behind "alive" after the Second Coming.  They will be "LEFT DEAD"---during the 1000 years before they are resurrected in the "second resurrection" to face the "second death".  While the saints are enjoying the marriage supper of the lamb in heaven, the earth will be void and desolate with dead bodies on earth, save for Satan and His hosts--who will be the "raiment of those that are slain" (Isaiah 14:19)

« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 02:15:10 PM by Lysimachus »

Offline RevJWWhiteJr

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I have a few questions.

Daniel 9:27
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

When was "the week"?
Author: The Partial Rapture "Theory" Explained / Escaping The Coming Storm

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