Posted 03 May 2011 - 12:08 PM
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.
Posted 05 May 2011 - 01:56 PM
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.
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.
Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Ninja Crew! <3
Daughter:Amber. Auntie: Sarah. Sisters: Prongs, Stefanie, and lindalumos. Brother: Ardi.
Posted 31 December 2014 - 07:37 PM
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.
Posted 12 January 2015 - 06:22 PM
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 “Not”
The millennium means 1,000 years…
So “Not a thousand years”. 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 “When 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 day”, 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 cursers”.
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.
Posted 24 January 2015 - 04:40 AM
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 Heaven”. 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 Christ”…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.
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)
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.
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.”
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 “A 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 “I 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 Premillennialism”.
Posted 06 February 2015 - 07:58 PM
And now we come to Historical Premillennialism. To understand HP (see what I did there!) …let’s think about some movies…in the following movies, who was the main character and what did they have to go through to triumph in the end?
Simba was the main character, right? He had to overcome who? His uncle Scar and the heinnas…Simba had to do this before he could take his throne.
*It’s a Wonderful life.
George Bailey was the main character, right? He had to overcome who and what? He had to overcome his assistant losing $5,000 dollars and Mr. Potter before Bailey Buildings and Loans could be successful.
Main character is Mumble. Mumble had to overcome not being able to sing before he could marry the love of his life, right?
In a lot of our life…people have to overcome adversity before ultimate triumph. This idea is expressed in the endtimes view of Historical Premillenialism.
Now, with Amillennialism, Postmillinialism, and Historical Premillinialism…all of these views have the church going either currently experiencing the tribulation, having experienced the tribulation in the past, or in the case of Historical Premillianialism, going to go through the tribulation in the future…but all of these three views have the church going through some kind of tribulation before the second coming of Christ.
And the argument that these people often make is that suffering often leads to repentance. As it is stated in Revelation 2:22-23,
22 “Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds.23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve. Rev 2:22-23 (NLT)
In this passage, John was writing to the church at Thyatira…and he was saying what…people will suffer greatly unless they repent. Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, and Historical Premillennialism all hold that the church (believers) will go through the tribulation.
So What’s the difference between these views?
Amillinialism – basically the millennium is symbolic, and the church experiences the tribulation any time it’s persecuted.
Postmillenialism – most of these people are preterists…and they believe that most of the events of the tribulation took place around 70ad with the destruction of the temple.
And Now today…Historical Premillennialism – this group of people believes that the church will go through the rapture sometime IN THE FUTURE, before the second coming of Christ.
Historical Premillennialism is different, however, from Amillennialism and Postmillennialism, because people that accept Historical Premillennialism believe that Christ will return at the end of the tribulation, and He will institute a literal 1,000 year millennium.
So PRE-millenialism…Christ comes back BEFORE the millennium.
Now, the last view that I’ll write a separate post about is Dispensational Premillennialism. What I want to say here is that there are some differences between these two views.
Historical Premillenialism differs from Dispensational premillennialsm in two major ways.
FIRST OF ALL…most dispensational premillennialists, they believe that believers are raptured out…they are caught up to be with Christ, either before the tribulation, or at the midpoint of the tribulation.
Historical Premillennialists, on the other hand, believe that the church goes through the ENTIRE tribulation. And then Christ will return and institute the millennium.
There’s also a second way in which they differ as well.
Historical Premillennialists believe that references to Israel in the book of Revelation are symbolic, and refer to the church.
For example, Romans 9:6-8 says,
6 Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promise to Israel? No, for not all who are born into the nation of Israel are truly members of God’s people!7 Being descendants of Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children. For the Scriptures say, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted,” though Abraham had other children, too.8 This means that Abraham’s physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham’s children. Romans 9:6-8 (NLT)
And Matthew 3:7-9 says,
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath?8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Matt 3:7-9 (NLT)
Historical Premillennialists will make the argument that God has only really had one set of children…the OT Jews were saved by looking forward to a coming Messiah…Today, Christians are saved by looking back upon the finished work of Christ…
Dispensational Premillennialists view Israel and the Jews and the church as two separate groups.
But the main difference is that Historical Premillennialists make the argument that the saints are on Earth during the tribulation – from passages like Revelation 13:7…while Dispensational Premillennialists will make the argument that the church will be raptured up…from passages like 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
So there you have it. Historical Premillennialism.
Posted 07 February 2015 - 10:56 PM
OK. Time for the last one! At this point, we have looked at Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, and Historical Premillennialism.
This last post is about Dispensational Premillennialism.
Dispensational Premillennialism is the most different from all of these three other views of the endtimes. Unlike all of the others, most Dispensational Premillennialists believe that Christ will come back for his church BEFORE the time of tribulation. (Some dispensational premillennialists believe that the church will go through some tribulation and then be taken back).
Also, unlike all of the other three views, Dispensational Premillennialists call this coming back of Christ to get the church the rapture…and then after the 7 year period of tribulation, Jesus returns with His church in the Second Coming.
IN OTHER WORDS, Dispensational Premillennialists are the only group of people that believe that the rapture and the second coming of Jesus are TWO SEPARATE EVENTS.
Therefore, one criticism that is often brought up against Dispensational Premillennialism is to say that these people believe in Two Second comings…and this is not taught in scripture.
Well…a Dispensational Premillennialist would respond and say something like,
“No we don’t believe in two second comings…What we’re saying is that the rapture really isn’t a second coming because Jesus Christ appears and we meet him in the air…In other words, during the rapture Christ doesn’t come back the whole way down to Earth and actually touch the ground…Then the 7 years of tribulation occur…then Christ comes back with us at the end of the tribulation, and this is the true Second Coming…and we reign with Him during the millennium.”
Another complaint that will be brought against Dispensational Premillennialists is that nowhere in the Bible do you actually find the word rapture.
But a Dispensational Premillennialist will show you different scriptures…and they will say something like,
“Look, just like you won’t find the word Trinity in the Bible…that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t present. Furthermore, they will say, it certainly seems like there are scriptures that suggest a rapture, and there are also scriptures that suggest that the rapture and second coming are two separate events.”
Let’s begin by looking at some scriptures that seem to suggest a rapture.
I Thessalonians 4:13-5:11.
13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.18 So encourage each other with these words.
1 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you.2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.7 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk.8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thess 4:13 - 5:11 (NLT)
What is going on here? Well, Paul is generally thought to be the author of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. These were letters to the church at Thessalonica. Elsewhere in the Bible, Acts 17 tells us about Paul coming to Thessalonica…but he couldn’t stay long because there was a riot that forced him to leave…so soon Paul sent Timothy to be with these people.
The church seemed to do pretty well…but then false teachers started to tell them that Jesus had already come back…therefore the believers in this area were worried that they missed it…and they were also worried about their loved ones that died…that they would somehow miss the second coming.
So Paul writes to them in our scripture from 1 Thessalonians above …and what does he say really happens when Christ appears again? (LOOK AT VERSES 16-17). Pall says that those who are Christians who have died will be raised first…and then those that are living will rise and meet him in the air. So in this instance…it appears that the believers (the true church), both dead and alive, are being taken up to Heaven with Christ.
This is what Dispensational Premillennialists will call “The Rapture”.
This, they will say, is different from the second coming…Look at Revelation 19:11-16,
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself.13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God.14 The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses.15 From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress.16 On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Rev 19:11-16 (NLT)
Most people believe that this passage here describes the second coming…it says the King of Kings and Lord of Lords comes back riding on this white horse.
Now who is with him according to verse 14?
The scripture says that the armies of heaven, dressed in finest pure white are with him. Many premillennial dispensationalists will say,
“See, these armies of heaven…this is really the believers, those that were already raptured up, and now they are coming back with Christ as their leader in the second coming.”
Furthermore…look back at 1 Thessalonians 5:2. What does this verse tell us about the timing of the Rapture, when does it happen…when do believers get to meet Christ in the air?
It says the day of the Lord’s return will be unexpectedly…like a thief in the night. We don’t know the timing!
On the other hand, look at Matthew 24:15-22,
15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!)16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills.17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack.18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat.19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days.20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again.22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones. Matt 24:15-22 (NLT)
Here, it appears as if Jesus is talking about a time of tribulation…then look at verses 29-30 from Matthew 24….
29 “Immediately after the anguish of those days,
the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matt 24:29-30 (NLT)
Here, After Jesus finishes talking about the tribulation…he says immediately after the anguish of those days…the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens…and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Do you see what we’re getting at here? Scripture seems to suggest that there’s one event in which believers will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air…and of this event no one will know the timing of it…they call this the rapture.
And then there is this second event that seems to be implied by the other scriptures…one in which Christ returns with His church to the Earth…and we’re told that this clearly happens at the end of the period of tribulation. Dispensational Premillennialists will call this “The Second Coming”.
Now, beyond believing that the church is raptured up before the tribulation, and believing that the rapture and second coming are two distinct events and separate events, there is also another belief that separates Dispensational Premillennialism from all of the other views. And this is the dispensational belief that God still has work to do and promises to fulfill with Israel.
Remember in the last post…we said that HISTORICAL PREMILLENNIALISM teaches that God has always only had one people. Historical Premillennialism says that in the OT people were saved by looking forward to a coming Messiah…and that as New Testament believers, we are saved by looking back.
Dispensational Premillennialism is different. Dispensational Premillennialists say that God has worked through time with different purposes and different groups of people.
So a Dispensationalist will say that God worked with Promises to the Patriarchs…these were people like Abraham, Moses, and Noah…he made promise to these people. Remember some of these promises…Abraham was promised descendants…Noah was promised that God would never again to destroy the earth with Water…Moses was promised that the Lord would redeem His people. God also promised David that the Messiah would come from his line. In other words, God works in different ways at different times through promises he makes to his people.
The New International Dictionary of the Bible puts it this way, it says that a dispensation may be defined as a covenantal period during which faith in Christ is manifested by a distinct form of ceremonial obedience…
So in the Old Testament how did the people of Israel showed their commitment to God? They showed it through circumcision and obedience to the Levitical law.
Now regardless of how many dispensations the different groups believe in…the bottom line is that Dispensational Premillennialists will say that God still has promises to fulfill to the patriarchs…and Israel.
For example, Genesis 15:18 says,
18 So the Lord made a covenant with Abram that day and said, “I have given this land to your descendants, all the way from the border of Egypt to the great Euphrates River—19 the land now occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites,20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” Gen 15:18-21 (NLT)
What Dispenational Premillennialists will say is that even Israel in it’s heyday under Solomon…it never had this much territory…and so there must be a time in the future in which God keeps this promise to Israel. They will say…look it began in 1948 when Israel was re-established…and eventually Israel will expand.
Furthermore, what Dispensational Premillennialists will says is that part of the purpose of the Rapture is going to be getting the church up and out of the way…(they might not put it that way…but that’s the idea)…so that God can complete his work with Israel, literally fulfilling all of these promises during the time of tribulation.
Dispensational Premillennialism is the most popular view of the endtimes among Christians today. However, this view is also the newest view…having begun only about 200 years ago. In addition, out of all the four views of the endtimes, it’s the Dispensational Premillennialists that get most worked up over current events. Many see things happening, and they try and tie them in with the end times.
So that’s Dispensational Premillennialism in a nutshell.
That’s all of the major views.
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