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This is A Question that Comes Across my Mind All the time I think about this about a good 90% of the day.. DO you wander or think the end time are near.? like at church lately that is all they talk about.

I wanna hear your thoughts and comments? :)
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The end times are always speculated about but never meant to be revealed. No one truly knows when the end will come. I will just go outside and laugh my guts out the morning of 22 December 2012. Personally, I believe the end will come upon the arrival of the Antichrist, he will cause the start of a great war and ultimately the final battle: Armageddon. Then the Warrior Messiah will come again and vanquish the evil and establish an era of peace for a thousand years. Then the God's final judgment will determine the fate of every soul that has ever lived.

Of course like I said, no one knows when this time will come. It's better that we don't. Just simply knowing that the end may come, it motivates us to live life to the fullest and for good.
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You mean the end of the world? I believe it will end at somepoint like predicted the sun will explode. Nothing supernatural though. And I do not believe it's as near to say it will end with our generation.
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I think some preachers, churches, congregations etc. get too hung up on the whole end times thing. I think as Christians we should know about it and understand it but I don't think God ever meant for us to dedicate so much time and effort to it. The Bible says that not even the Son will know when the time is. We need to be aware and pay attention but to try and guess or figure out or pin down something that not even the angels in Heaven or the Son will know is futile. People have tried to predict the end times since Jesus ascended into Heaven. But we should always be ready because you could die in a car crash just as easily as the end times could come.
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Yeah, I don't believe the end of the world is December 21, 2012 - that was only when the Mayan calendar ended. They probably got bored and stopped counting or something, or that was all their calculations went up to. I don't know why people put so much stock into that calendar specifically, because nothing is foolproof and although they were way ahead of their time, they still didn't have modern science. I agree that the sun will probably explode but that won't be for a while now, at least another billion years. At least. If we don't do anything stupid, that is. But yeah, people we all hyped up about 2000 as well and nothing happened.
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"end-of-the-world/battle-of-armageddon"?

The massed forces of good and evil gathering on a plain in Israel with all their military hardware and uncounted numbers of troops to decide the fate of the world in one cataclysmic battle?

Sounds interesting but not very plausible.

Wouldn't do it if I was Satan.

:ph34r:
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I don't think we should worry about when the world will end. It most probably won't be for millions of years yet. How will it end ? I don't know, nobody does. Its best to just live your life to the full, and forget about it.
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Like At My chruch lately it is over talked soo much my youth pastor said the times not really near it just

we will be caught up in heaven and then the 7 year period starts.. then The battle of battle-of-armageddon


then they say the devil will be trapped in the bottom of a sea or somehting for 1,000 years and we would all be togetter for 1,000 years in peace

my church thinks it is all near with the signs.. with all the Tornadoes with like Libra and with everyting happening and soo I dot know why I feel soo CONFUSED
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[quote name='harrypotternerd' timestamp='1304012293' post='99716']
Like At My chruch lately it is over talked soo much my youth pastor said the times not really near it just

we will be caught up in heaven and then the 7 year period starts.. then The battle of battle-of-armageddon


then they say the devil will be trapped in the bottom of a sea or somehting for 1,000 years and we would all be togetter for 1,000 years in peace

my church thinks it is all near with the signs.. with all the Tornadoes with like Libra and with everyting happening and soo I dot know why I feel soo CONFUSED
[/quote]
Sarah, hopefully I can allay your worry and anxiety somewhat.

As Christians we're not "supposed" to worry or fear death and/or the end time. But I feel this fear is natural and understandable. This life is all we've known. As wonderful as Heaven may be it is an uncertainty to us - we don't know what to expect and the thoughts of eternity vex our little finite minds. I believe that there are just some things that we aren't meant to understand. It's beyond our comprehension and to try and understand it may lead to madness.

I feel for you as you may feel like you're alone on an island. Your family doesn't support you. I don't know how comfortable you are with the other members of your church. If you are close to some of them and really feel a close connectedness and feel you can trust them then maybe they could be your support system. You must find someone that can understand you and you can trust just so that in these type circumstances you can spill your guts and they will be there for you. Reaffirm you. Maybe just hold you and give you a hug.

If all this talk of the end times gets to you, don't be afraid to excuse yourself from the church service or the bible lesson. Go for a walk around the church halls. Maybe you'll see a friend to visit etc. It doesn't make you less of a Christian or a bad Christian to duck out on certain things. Especially if it causes you anxiety.

You are not alone. I'm including here a passage from the novel Anne of the Island. It is one of the sequels to Anne of Green Gables. The author, Lucy Maude Montgomery, was married to a minister so these thoughts even cross the mind of a minister's wife. In the passage Anne has come back from college visiting her home town. She has learned that one of her old childhood friends is dying of consumption. They were friends from youth that had grown into young ladies together.

[quote]"How strange the graveyard looks by moonlight!" said Ruby suddenly. "How ghostly!" she shuddered. "Anne, it won't be long now before I'll be lying over there. You and Diana and all the rest will be going about, full of life -- and I'll be there -- in the old graveyard -- dead!"

The surprise of it bewildered Anne. For a few moments she could not speak.

"You know it's so, don't you?" said Ruby insistently.

"Yes, I know," answered Anne in a low tone. "Dear Ruby, I know."

"Everybody knows it," said Ruby bitterly. "I know it -- I've known it all summer, though I wouldn't give in. And, oh, Anne" -- she reached out and caught Anne's hand pleadingly, impulsively -- "I don't want to die. I'm AFRAID to die."

"Why should you be afraid, Ruby?" asked Anne quietly.

"Because -- because -- oh, I'm not afraid but that I'll go to heaven, Anne. I'm a church member. But -- it'll be all so different. I think -- and think -- and I get so frightened -- and -- and -- homesick. Heaven must be very beautiful, of course, the Bible says so -- but, Anne, IT WON'T BE WHAT I'VE BEEN USED TO."

Through Anne's mind drifted an intrusive recollection of a funny story she had heard Philippa Gordon tell -- the story of some old man who had said very much the same thing about the world to come. It had sounded funny then -- she remembered how she and Priscilla had laughed over it. But it did not seem in the least humorous now, coming from Ruby's pale, trembling lips. It was sad, tragic -- and true! Heaven could not be what Ruby had been used to. There had been nothing in her gay, frivolous life, her shallow ideals and aspirations, to fit her for that great change, or make the life to come seem to her anything but alien and unreal and undesirable. Anne wondered helplessly what she could say that would help her. Could she say anything? "I think, Ruby," she began hesitatingly -- for it was difficult for Anne to speak to any one of the deepest thoughts of her heart, or the new ideas that had vaguely begun to shape themselves in her mind, concerning the great mysteries of life here and hereafter, superseding her old childish conceptions, and it was hardest of all to speak of them to such as Ruby Gillis -- "I think, perhaps, we have very mistaken ideas about heaven -- what it is and what it holds for us. I don't think it can be so very different from life here as most people seem to think. I believe we'll just go on living, a good deal as we live here -- and be OURSELVES just the same -- only it will be easier to be good and to -- follow the highest. All the hindrances and perplexities will be taken away, and we shall see clearly. Don't be afraid, Ruby."

"I can't help it," said Ruby pitifully. "Even if what you say about heaven is true -- and you can't be sure -- it may be only that imagination of yours -- it won't be JUST the same. It CAN'T be. I want to go on living HERE. I'm so young, Anne. I haven't had my life. I've fought so hard to live -- and it isn't any use -- I have to die -- and leave EVERYTHING I care for." Anne sat in a pain that was almost intolerable. She could not tell comforting falsehoods; and all that Ruby said was so horribly true. She WAS leaving everything she cared for. She had laid up her treasures on earth only; she had lived solely for the little things of life -- the things that pass -- forgetting the great things that go onward into eternity, bridging the gulf between the two lives and making of death a mere passing from one dwelling to the other -- from twilight to unclouded day. God would take care of her there -- Anne believed -- she would learn -- but now it was no wonder her soul clung, in blind helplessness, to the only things she knew and loved.

Ruby raised herself on her arm and lifted up her bright, beautiful blue eyes to the moonlit skies.

"I want to live," she said, in a trembling voice. "I want to live like other girls. I -- I want to be married, Anne -- and -- and -- have little children. You know I always loved babies, Anne. I couldn't say this to any one but you. I know you understand. And then poor Herb -- he -- he loves me and I love him, Anne. The others meant nothing to me, but HE does -- and if I could live I would be his wife and be so happy. Oh, Anne, it's hard."

Ruby sank back on her pillows and sobbed convulsively. Anne pressed her hand in an agony of sympathy -- silent sympathy, which perhaps helped Ruby more than broken, imperfect words could have done; for presently she grew calmer and her sobs ceased.

"I'm glad I've told you this, Anne," she whispered. "It has helped me just to say it all out. I've wanted to all summer -- every time you came. I wanted to talk it over with you -- but I COULDN'T. It seemed as if it would make death so SURE if I SAID I was going to die, or if any one else said it or hinted it. I wouldn't say it, or even think it. In the daytime, when people were around me and everything was cheerful, it wasn't so hard to keep from thinking of it. But in the night, when I couldn't sleep -- it was so dreadful, Anne. I couldn't get away from it then. Death just came and stared me in the face, until I got so frightened I could have screamed...

...That good night in the garden was for all time. Anne never saw Ruby in life again. The next night the A.V.I.S. gave a farewell party to Jane Andrews before her departure for the West. And, while light feet danced and bright eyes laughed and merry tongues chattered, there came a summons to a soul in Avonlea that might not be disregarded or evaded. The next morning the word went from house to house that Ruby Gillis was dead. She had died in her sleep, painlessly and calmly, and on her face was a smile -- as if, after all, death had come as a kindly friend to lead her over the threshold, instead of the grisly phantom she had dreaded.[/quote]
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[quote name='The Dude' timestamp='1304000838' post='99638']
[b]I think some preachers, churches, congregations etc. get too hung up on the whole end times thing.[/b] I think as Christians we should know about it and understand it but I don't think God ever meant for us to dedicate so much time and effort to it. The Bible says that not even the Son will know when the time is. We need to be aware and pay attention but to try and guess or figure out or pin down something that not even the angels in Heaven or the Son will know is futile. People have tried to predict the end times since Jesus ascended into Heaven. But we should always be ready because you could die in a car crash just as easily as the end times could come.
[/quote]
Agreed.
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[quote name='130671' timestamp='1304002467' post='99644']
"end-of-the-world/battle-of-armageddon"?

The massed forces of good and evil gathering on a plain in Israel with all their military hardware and uncounted numbers of troops to decide the fate of the world in one cataclysmic battle?

Sounds interesting but not very plausible.

Wouldn't do it if I was Satan.

:ph34r:
[/quote]

Well there's Satan and there's the Antichrist. The Antichrist is an interesting character; he will be a figure of power and loved by the people. In other words, the Antichrist will most likely be a political figure voted into office and is a [i]very[/i] popular figure (...this already rules out George W for anyone who mentions it). During his term as a world leader, he will gather the people and make them bear his mark. Without the mark he may not participate in daily activities such as buying a loaf of bread. Towards the end of his reign, he will amass a grand army and prepare for the final showdown with the forces of God, until the coming of Jesus Christ, the Warrior Messiah armed with a sword from his mouth and the word of God.
The two work together but aren't the same person so to speak. Supposedly if taken literally the armies of light and dark will be composed of a[i]ll the armies of all the kings in history[/i]. Doesn't really say much about who will fight for who.

tbh, this will be the most epic battle since Middle Earth. Armageddon is a plateau but the plain (which has been fought over countless times all throughout history) is perfect ground for infantry as well as chariots, tanks and dragoons. The land will flow with rivers of blood from the defeated.

[quote name='harrypotternerd' timestamp='1304012293' post='99716']
Like At My chruch lately it is over talked soo much my youth pastor said the times not really near it just

we will be caught up in heaven and then the 7 year period starts.. then The battle of battle-of-armageddon


then they say the devil will be trapped in the bottom of a sea or somehting for 1,000 years and we would all be togetter for 1,000 years in peace

my church thinks it is all near with the signs.. with all the Tornadoes with like Libra and with everyting happening and soo I dot know why I feel soo CONFUSED
[/quote]

Hey Sarah if you ever get the chance, read the whole book of Revelation. All the things you mentioned are form there and is just one big total mindf***. Honestly with all the natural disasters going on, people don't understand that natural disasters happen [b][i]all the freakin' time[/i][/b]. Frequency may have been a coincidence, but just look at the natural disasters that occurred during the turn of the 20th century: disasters occurred as much then as it does now.
Also, probably off topic but during that time the Earth as we know it was quite literally a few hundred feet from another possible mass extinction or possibly extermination as we know it. A large asteroid [i]almost[/i] plunged into the Earth just above Siberia. Luckily the rock exploded in the air and created a huge explosion that destroyed everything in the area(a dozen or so square miles methinks). It was known as the Tunguska Event if you're ever bored enough to look it up.

Anyways, no one knows for certain when that time is. Whoever thinks that it's happening as we speak is paranoid. It may or it may not, but the truth of the matter is God and only God knows when that time will be.
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[quote name='sirbenedictvs' timestamp='1304045634' post='100091']
It was known as the Tunguska Event if you're ever bored enough to look it up.
[/quote]
I thought that was caused by Nikola Tesla's Death Ray. :P
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I will just go outside and laugh my guts out the morning of 22 December 2012.
[/quote]
I'll join you.

I will be long dead by the end of this world. There are some stuff in Revelations that have and havent happened yet. Like one world currency, which is become more real, and getting rid of the church. There are too many people neither pro or anti the church for it to be deserted just yet. But Revelations is getting closer, the world is turning to crap and people are loosing the chance to decide what they want to follow now that you cant teach religion in schools anymore. People need to be able to witness both sides and then choose.

But I dont worry to much about the end of this world, just focus on the now and living in a holy way that God loves and will benefit myself and others. [url="http://www.bible.ca/pre-date-setters.htm"]Its been predicted before and will again[/url], its all crap and 2012 being the latest one.




What ever...





Edit: also, what does it matter if it does come?
Be sure of yourself that you will end up where you want to end up. Live by your faith as much as you can. Because if die tomorrow its the same as the end of times, in the end your just dead and will you end up where you plan?
Be sure of where your headed and the end of the world is no threat.
You wont be loosing out on anything. Edited by Joe O'Connor
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[quote name='sirbenedictvs' timestamp='1304053472' post='100100']
[img]http://apt46.net/wp-content/upload/demotivational-posters-mayans.jpg[/img]
[/quote]
I don't know if any of you have ever noticed but Microsoft's Outlook calendar goes up to something like July 3500. I wonder if that will freak some future society out.

"Oh no! Those people back in the 20th century must have known something we don't! AHHhhhhh!"
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Whether 2012 is the end or not, it doesn't matter. Either way, this world is sooo screwed with the way nature is being treated, and especially the amount of trees being cut down to feed people's fat asses with more slimy meat. Also, death is something you get closer to each ticking second, but don't worry, death is not the end. If only it were as easy as that!
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[quote name='sirbenedictvs' timestamp='1304053472' post='100100']
[img]http://apt46.net/wp-content/upload/demotivational-posters-mayans.jpg[/img]
[/quote]



ahhahaha Jer that is SO funny :rofl:



And Plus I know everything is Always happening like Tornadoes Etc.. I just Don't understand why people are getting paranoid about it
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lol jeremy, that's exactly what I think, too. I think we are getting too freaked out. Sammy, I agree with you - we need to start treating the earth better because the end of the world WILL come sooner - we'll run out of the natural resources we need. That, to me, is so much more important and scary than the apocalypse. Especially because we can see the destruction happening. With the apocalypse, it'll at least be somewhat of a surprise. It just frustrates me with the lack of respect the earth is getting, because this IS the only home we have. :/
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No one really knows when the End will be, but it seems to me like "Ending times" are near. In the Gospel of John there are many "signs" that of course can be interpreted different by many people. Apart for all the natural disasters -that yeah were always happening, but lately they seem more severe and more often -, he had said mentioned that the final war will begin at the land of the Persian King, which is today's Iran? Or Irak? I think Iran. Another sign was that all these would happen when the spread of Gospels finish all around the world. I think there are some tribes yet to be taught?

I think that this whole 2012 idea was made in purpose. I dare think that "some people" have been preparing something really dangerous for 2012 -an experiment maybe? another war? - something that might cause severe damage? I really don't know. Something might gonna happen on 2012 but it won't certainly be the End of the world. And even if it would be the End we wouldn't know. We're humans not Gods. And so were the Mayas.
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[quote name='He is Not Purple' timestamp='1304424496' post='102173']
No one really knows when the End will be, but it seems to me like "Ending times" are near. In the Gospel of John there are many "signs" that of course can be interpreted different by many people. Apart for all the natural disasters -that yeah were always happening, but lately they seem more severe and more often -, he had said mentioned that the final war will begin at the land of the Persian King, which is today's Iran? Or Irak? I think Iran. Another sign was that all these would happen when the spread of Gospels finish all around the world. I think there are some tribes yet to be taught?

I think that this whole 2012 idea was made in purpose. I dare think that "some people" have been preparing something really dangerous for 2012 -an experiment maybe? another war? - something that might cause severe damage? I really don't know. Something might gonna happen on 2012 but it won't certainly be the End of the world. And even if it would be the End we wouldn't know. We're humans not Gods. And so were the Mayas.
[/quote]

That's an interesting thought. I really don't what I think will happen in 2012. If something DOES happen, I don't think it will be noticeable, end of the world effect or anything. Honestly, I think the world will just keep plugging on.
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  • 3 years later...

I'm just going to keep on posting on old threads!!

 

This seemed like it was a good discussion people were having back in the day!  

 

I agree that far too many Christians get wrapped up in their view of the end times.  Any time there's a disaster or something happens - they say, "It's a sign of the end times".  

 

Even for Christians...as you look at the book of Revelation, there have been AT LEAST four ways of interpreting it.  All of these methods have their own pros & cons.  I wish that pastors would use more words like, "I feel this view is correct", or "Personally, I think this should be interpreted this way"...instead of teaching one position as the only possible right one.

 

Anyway, the four different views are: Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, Historical Premillennialism, and Dispensational Premillennialism.  

 

I don't have time right now...but, eventually I'll try and post a non-biased (is that possible?) summary of each of these views.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally had some time to get around to this…To be honest I do not spend a lot of time studying end times stuff.  I'm no expert at all...I'm just trying to present a fair picture of four different ways to look at the book of Revelation.

 

This first post will deal specifically with a view of the end times known as Amillennialism.  (Three more posts will follow later as I have time.)

 

“A†means “Notâ€

The millennium means 1,000 years…

 

So “Not a thousand yearsâ€.  Amillennialists do not believe in a literal, thousand year reign of Christ on Earth.

 

Let’s begin by looking at some scripture.  Look at Psalm 50:8-10,

8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me. 9 I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. Psalms 50:8-10 (ESV)

 

Now, When writer says that the cattle on a thousand hills already belongs to God…is this a literal 1,000 hills…or what is the author really trying to convey?    A lot of people would say the author is trying to simply convey that ALL the cattle belongs to God.

 

Look at Psalm 90:1-4, which says,

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!†4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.  Psalms 90:1-4 (ESV)

 

According to this passage, how long is 1,000 years to God?    They are like a day when it’s past.

 

Furthermore, look at Psalm 105:7-8?

7 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, Psalms 105:7-8 (ESV)

 

When the Psalmist says that the LORD will remember the word that he has commanded for a thousand generations…does that mean that he’ll forget on the 1001st?  Or what does it mean?  It means that the LORD will remember his covenant forever.

 

 

Now, when most Christians talk about the Millennium…they are normally referring to the 1,000 year reign of Christ, as mentioned in Revelation 20…

 

Turn to Revelation 20:1-3…

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

 

Amillennialism is a view of the end times that takes a passage like Revelation 20…and it basically says…look, many times in the Bible, the number 1,000 is not a literal number…but a number of completeness…

 

Amillennialists don’t believe in a “physical/literal†1,000 year millennium.  Instead, they believe that the millennium is the spiritual reign of Jesus in the hearts of His people.

 

Amillennialists believe that the millennium began with the first coming of Christ and his crucifixion and resurrection, and it will continue until the second coming of Christ.

 

Look at Luke 10:17-20

17  The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!†18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.† Luke 10:17-20 (ESV)

 

Almost all of the other views on Revelation take this passage where Jesus is talking to his disciples…and they say, well Jesus is really talking about a time in the future…he’s looking forward to a time that will take place during the great tribulation where Satan will be cast out of Heaven.

 

Amillenialists, however, will say that the limiting of Satan’s power really started with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ…and they will say that when the disciples were talking about demons losing their power…they will say this is really what is referred to in Revelation 20…where John writes that Satan is bound and no longer able to deceive the Nations.

 

In other words, for Amillenialists…you’ve got Satan’s power restrained by the coming of Jesus & His work of the cross.  The millennium is literally taking place right now (spiritually), because we live in the time after Christ’s first coming…and the 1,000 year reign really means the complete time, as long as it takes for all of those who are called to come to Christ…and then we’ll have the second coming of Christ and the final judgment.

 

What about the Tribulation, then?   Amillenialists believe that the tribulation occurs whenever Christians are persecuted, or wars and disasters happen.  They believe that the tribulation and millennium are happening simultaneously.

 

Now, of course, one of the arguments against Amillenialism is that there seems to be a lot of evil around…is Satan’s power really bound?

 

Amillenialists will answer this question by saying…look the binding is not complete…Satan, as Revelation 20 says, is bound in the sense that he is not able to "deceive the nations"…

 

What could this really mean?   Think about the Old Testament…what was one nation that was deceived into false worship of idols?  Egypt would be one of these.  Remember Moses and the Exodus…each one of the plagues really corresponded with an Egyptian idol. 

 

Do you really think that the worship of Hect as the god of Frogs, or Ra as the sun god…do you  really think they just developed for no reason?  Or could it be that there was some power behind it?

 

Even within the first few plagues of the Exodus...God made some amazing things happen…and the first couple of these were repeated by Pharoah’s sorcerers…by their magical arts…

 

Just look at two of these from Exodus 7.

 

First we have Exodus 7, verses 8-11,

8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 â€œWhen Pharaoh says to you, ‘Prove yourselves by working a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’ †10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts.

 

OK…this passage, the magicians made their staffs become serpents…big deal, I mean maybe this could have been sleight of hand…

 

But then look at Exodus 7:19-22,

19 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’ †20 Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. 21 And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. 22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.

 

Somehow, these magicians were also able to make the water turn into something that looked like blood…and also kill a huge number of fish.  Again, I guess you could say maybe they went out and put some stuff in the water, it wouldn’t be that hard.  Plus, there were other miracles that these magicians couldn’t duplicate.

 

But, to me, it does seem that at least an argument can be made that demonic power was stronger in the OT…Egypt worshipped Idols…Babylon worshiped idols…Assyria worshipped idols…it appears entire nations were deceived, and one explanation could be that there was demonic power behind this.

 

Even in the Job, there’s this weird mention of a kind of evil power that could be conjured…you’ve got Job 3:8, which says,

 

8 Let those who are experts at cursing— whose cursing could rouse Leviathan — curse that day. Job 3:8 (NLT)

 

These experts at cursing…who did they refer to?…The NIV application commentary goes all into the Hebrew root words of this passage…but the bottom line it says is that “those who curse the dayâ€, would be, humanly speaking, diviners who specialized in incantations…some of them could around Leviathian…sea monsters…through a ritual.†

 

It continues, saying that in the time of Job, there were two classes of sages…those that ensured the correct functioning of the divine order…and those that disrupted it.

 

Akkadian literature from the same time period as the OT suggests that those that disrupted the order got their power from demons known as utukke lemnuti…and there were even galle rabuti…great demons, that could cause powerful disruption of natural order, including eclipses of the sun and moon.

 

In other words, Ammillenialists will say, before the cross, there was all kinds of unrestrained evil…and even evil power that could be channeled into horrible things by these “expert cursersâ€. 

 

And so the Amillennial position takes the view that there was a much less restrained force of evil before the resurrection.  But then the cross came, and Satan fell light lightning from Heaven.  It’s not that he’s been totally defeated, but his power, and the power of demons, has been greatly restrained and diminished.  And the millennium is happening, spiritually, as the power of the Holy Spirit is working to bring people to Christ through the spreading of the Gospel. 

 

You boil it all down…and the Amillennial view is that Satan’s power was much greater prior to the cross…the millennium and tribulation are actually real spiritual realities taking place right now…post cross…and this will continue until the second coming.  Most amillennialsts don't get hung up on "signs of the end times"...because they believe that the millennium and tribulation are spiritual realities happenning now.  They will say bad things have happened throughout history since the cross...these are signs of tribulation.  But there have also been great movements of God...and they will say this is the kingdom advancing through the Holy spirit working in the hearts of believers.

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Next up, Postmillennialism!

 

When talking about the end times, it is so hard to keep all of the different views straight.  This next post is going to talk about a Christian view of the endtimes called Postmillennialism…but before we get there…as a way of review, in my last post on this topic, I mentioned a view of the end times called Amillennialism.  In Amillennialism, the prefix “a†means not…so not a literal 1,000 year millennium.

 

I talked about different scriptures where the term 1,000 is used figuratively…such as the LORD owning the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10).  I also said that Amillennialists don’t believe in a “physical/literal†1,000 year reign of Christ on earth.

Instead, Amillennialists believe that a passage like Revelation 20:1-3, where it talks about Satan being bound…they believe that this binding reflects back to passages like Luke 10:19, where Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heavenâ€.  They believe that the binding of Satan took place at Jesus First coming, and especially after his death, burial, and resurrection.

 

And so, according to Amillenialists, we are living in the millennium right now…it began with Christ’s first coming…this view also holds the belief that Satan’s binding is not complete…we talked about that last week…it says Satan can no longer deceive the nations in Rev. 20…but he still has power…like a pit bull being on a chain and fly line…and so tribulation occurs whenever the church is persecuted.

 

To boil it all down…Amillenialism has the millennial reign and tribulation occurring now at the same time.

 

Christ will come back…not in a literal 1,000 years (it’s already been over 1,000 years since the cross)…but when the time is complete…they say that just like other scripture, the 1,000 years is figurative, it just means that the Second Coming will occur when the time is right, or the time is complete.

 

Just as Paul said in Galatians 4:4 about Christ’s first coming,

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son…Gal 4:4 (NLT)

 

Amillennialists say that Christ will come back the second time…when the time is right.

 

But today we’re going to talk about Postmillenialism.

The prefix Post…it means after.  So Postmillennialism is the view that Jesus will return AFTER the millennial reign of Christ.

 

Now…it’s so easy for things to get confusing.  For example…one time I went into a Christian bookstore, and I was looking at some different materials…and in one section of a book, I read that the church father Augustine was the first Amillenialist. 

 

However, then I looked in another section, and in this text I read that the church father Augustine was a Postmillennialist! 

 

Now, what in the world is going on?  The problem is, many Christians like to argue about their views of the end time…and they all want to claim as many people for their position…It’s kind of ridiculous. 

 

But here’s the deal, if you read Augustine’s quote from the City of God, which says, “During the thousand years when the devil is bound, the saints also reign for a thousand years.  Without any doubt, these two time periods are identical and point to the time between the first and second coming of Christâ€â€¦clearly that’s the Amillennial position that we’ve already discussed.

 

So why would Augustine also be listed as a postmillennialist?

Well, remember, in Amillennialism, we said that there wasn’t a literal 1,000 year millennium…but that the millennium began after the first coming of Christ…and it’s a spiritual reign of Christ through the hearts of Christians…and after the time is complete, Jesus will return with the second coming, and the resurrection of the saved & unsaved and the judging will all occur at the same time.

 

So even though Amillennialists doesn’t technically believe in a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ…still, when does the return of Christ happen in Amillennialism?  It happens AFTER the millennium is complete. 

 

Therefore, if you’re completely technical, in the sense of when Christ returns - all Amillenialists can be considered Postmillennialists…because they all agree that Christ returns after the millennium.

 

That’s how Postmillenialists can claim Augustine as well…but see how things get confusing?

 

So it is true that both Amillenialism and Postmillenialism have Christ coming back after the millennium…then what’s the difference between these views?

 

Let’s begin by looking at a couple of scriptures.

 

Matthew 13:31-32?

31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field.32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.† Matt 13:31-32 (NLT)

 

Luke 13:20-21?

20 He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like?21 It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.†Luke 13:20-21 (NLT)

 

In the first illustration, Christ said that the kingdom of heaven is like a tiny mustard seed eventually growing into a huge tree over a long period of time.

 

In the second illustration, Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is like a tiny amount of yeast permeating every part of the dough.

 

UNLIKE AMILLENIALISTS…postmillennialists DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE MILLENIUM BEGAN WITH CHRIST’S FIRST COMING AND CONTINUES UNTIL THE SECOND.

 

Instead, Postmillennialists believe that the spread of the Gospel is a gradual thing that happens over a long period of time…but eventually, as the Gospel is spread and takes route throughout the world, like a seed being planted and watered over time…this spread of the Gospel will eventually usher in a millennium in which most of the world will have submitted to Christ and Satan will have no power over the earth.

 

In other words…unlike Amillennialists, most Postmillennialists believe that the millennium is still something that will happen in the future…as the Gospel completes its work throughout the earth.

 

To restate it even differently…Postmillenialists believe that the church, through the spreading of the Gospel, will gradually usher in the millennium.

 

Now some postmillennialists believe that the millennium, once ushered in, will be for a literal 1,000 years…others believe that the 1,000 years is just a symbolic amount of time.

 

However, postmillennialists DO NOT believe in the millennium as a literal reign of Christ on Earth…but instead as a reign of Christ through the church through the power of the Gospel.

 

Revelation 20:7-15

7 When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison.8 He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore.9 And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide.12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds.14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death.15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.  Rev 20:7-15 (NLT)

 

Amillennialists & Postmillennialists both agree that after the millennium is over…all of these other events, mentioned in the scripture above: the final defeat of evil, second coming of Christ, the defeat of Satan, the physical resurrection of all people and the final judgment…they believe that all of these will occur at the same time…immediately following the millennium.

 

Now the weaknesses of postmillennialism. 

One of the biggest questions asked to postmillennialists is that the world seems to be getting less and less Christian…so how is the Gospel supposed to take hold and overtake the entire earth?

 

Well, here’s how a charismatic postmillennialist might answer that question…

 

They would say…the reason Satan hasn’t been bound and the millennium begun is because the Christian church as a whole has yet to recognize the fullness of the power available through the Holy Spirit to bind Satan and bring about the Kingdom.

 

They would continue with something like, “Once the people of the church recognize the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Gospel…nothing will be able to stop them.  But as long as Christians fight among themselves, evil is allowed to triumph.â€

 

They point to scripture passages like Mark 3:23-29,

 

23 Jesus called them over and responded with an illustration. “How can Satan cast out Satan?†he asked.24 â€œA kingdom divided by civil war will collapse.25 Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.26 And if Satan is divided and fights against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive.27 Let me illustrate this further. Who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.28 â€œI tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven,29 but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with eternal consequences.†  Mark 3:23-29 (NLT)

 

A Postmillennialist would say, to say that the Gospel can’t advance to overtake the whole earth is to try and deny or limit the power of the God.  The Holy Spirit is stronger than Satan…and once the church realizes this and is united, nothing will be able to stop it.

 

Now…what about the Tribulation?

 

Amillennialists, who we talked about in the last post…they said that the tribulation and millennium are happening at the same time.

 

Postmillennialists, however, believe that the tribulation is a separate event that either will happen in the future, or has already happened before the millennium.

 

Some believe that the tribulation is in the future…it may be something that just proceeds the millennium…in other words, bad things happen, the church goes through it…the church wakes up and the Gospel is promoted throughout the world and this eventually ushers in the millennium.

 

But because the whole idea of Postmillennialism is the power of the Gospel will bring about the millennium…most Postmillenialists believe that the world is headed in the right direction, so most Postmillennialists believe that much of the tribulation actually happened in the past, with the destruction of Jerusalem.

 

Now, to make things even more confusing…the people that believe that all of the events of the tribulation have already occurred in the past with the destruction of the original temple in Jerusalem and the things of that time are called Preterists.  

 

For example, Revelation 13:16-18 says,

16 He required everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead.17 And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name.18 Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.[ Rev 13:16-18 (NLT)

 

Many Preterists will take a passage like this…and they will say that when John wrote the number 666 he was really using something called gammatria…in other words, the Greeks used letters to represent numbers…so if you take the letters of Neron Caesar’s name and add them up, you get 666…and so they’ll say that John was predicting the fall of the temple and the terrible persecutions that happened under Nero as the time of the tribulation.  They will say that John clearly expected his readers to be able to figure out his mathematical riddle, as you can see from the wording of verses 18.  How else could someone living during John’s time possible solve this?

 

That’s the basic idea of Preterism.

 

So hopefully…by now this will give you a rough understanding of the differences between Amillennialism & Postmillennialism…and how some Postmillennialists that believe that all the events of the tribulation already happened in the past are called Preterists. 

 

When I get time for the next post, it will be about another view called, “Historical Premillennialismâ€.

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