Millennialism vs Amillennialism

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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby natman » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:56 pm

Johannes_1965 wrote:Nathan, Thank you for your answer. What do you mean by the "quickening of the living"? Their change or transformation according to 1Cor 15,51-52?


Yes. Exactly.

Johannes_1965 wrote:A short time in the Bible is something quite relative. Jesus says himself he is coming soon or quickly and we are still waiting for his Second Coming.


If you take the "Catholic" and/or "Reformed-Protestant" (both "ammillenialists") position, then you might see that John's Revelation most likely occurred BEFORE the destruction of Jerusalem and it's temple (since John is instructed to go measure the Temple in Rev 11:1) and the utter lack of any mention of the destruction of either. In Matt 24, Mark 13 & 14 and Luke 21, Jesus said that some of those who were alive at that time ("this generation") would witness Him "coming in clouds", which is a direct allusion to Jesus (God) pouring out wrath and judgement (God appearing in clouds and smoke is mentioned throughout Scripture whenever God pours out wrath and judgement). I believe that this wrath and judgement was carried out by God against the apostate city and it's religious leaders by use of the Roman armies over a period of three and a half years, culminating in 70AD, consistent with the writings of Josephus.

In that sense, we have already witnessed a "second coming" (parousia) of Christ at the end of the "Temple Age". However, we are still waiting for His final return at the "End of Time", on the "Last Day".

Johannes_1965 wrote:When I look at Rev 20, I read it together with many other passages in the New Testament talking about the Second Coming of Christ for the final judgement. Among these...

"Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (2Thess 2,4-5)

I see in this "man of lawlessness, the son of destruction"a single person whom I call "the Antichrist" and who acts and ends as follows: "Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved." (2 Thess 2,8-10)

I don't see this time or person to have come already (it's not Obama!) and in so far the devil is not yet set free. I just see a strong development pointing in that direction.


I agree that parts of Revelation point back to these verses. However, I believe that the "man of lawlessness" is none other than Caesar Nero, "The Beast" a common nickname for Nero because of his propensity to bind young boys to poles in his palace and dress up as a wild animal then devour their genitals, the one who's number of his name is "666" (in Hebrew gamatria) and "616" in the Greek version of gamatria. Nero had his armies place his royal placards inside the Temple so that he could be worshiped along side the Jewish God, which inflamed the Zealots into starting an uprising, the prelude to the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

In context, Paul was reassuring his audience that they and their families still had time to accept Christ because He had not yet returned. Paul understood that Jesus would return in judgement over Jerusalem, but was not allowed to know when He would return in Final Judgement. It could have been the next day, the next week or some time in the distant future.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby Johannes_1965 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:06 am

I can agree that the Revelation of John was given with regard to Nero and the destruction of Jerusalem rather than in the time of Domitian at the end of the century as usually taught: Domitian ordered to be adored as divus, as a god, already during his life time.
Then I believe that the prophecy is not exhausted by the events of 70 AD but the main time of its fulfillment will be the tribulation before Christ's coming to the Final Judgement.
When you call already a temporary, geographically located judgement a "second coming", there have been many of them in Church history: like the destruction of Constantinople in 1454 or the destruction of German cities during WW. I prefer to use the term of parousia for a single Second Coming at the end of times.
The Catholic interpretation is not really amillenialist as if a millennium would be denied. We don't deny the word of God but a certain most literal interpretation that expects a future earthly reign of Christ before his final Parousia. His reign will never be a political one of this world.
In your interpretation I see some truth, in millennialism not. Of course Paul and John expected a judgement over Jerusalem that Jesus had already foretold during his lifetime.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby Ramblinman » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:17 pm

Johannes_1965 wrote:I can agree that the Revelation of John was given with regard to Nero and the destruction of Jerusalem rather than in the time of Domitian at the end of the century as usually taught: Domitian ordered to be adored as divus, as a god, already during his life time.
Then I believe that the prophecy is not exhausted by the events of 70 AD but the main time of its fulfillment will be the tribulation before Christ's coming to the Final Judgement....


The concept of prophecies having gradual fulfillment or filfilment in increments is one of the most helpful concepts to the student of the Bible.
Satan is personified in the description of the King of Tyre (Ezekiel 28:11-19). We needn't grow despondent trying to decide which party is described. It is both.
Likewise, the case of Melchizedek.. Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 110:4 (cited also in the book of Hebrews 5:5-6). He is one of the most intriguing characters of the Old Testament, but mentioned ever so briefly. Was he simply one of the last remaining non-Hebrew priests of Yahweh? Was he a pre-incarnate Christ?
The Bible does not say clearly enough for me to say with conviction who Melchizedek was, but it is clear that God intended Abraham's relationship with him to be a foretype of Messiah's role, albeit in an earthly sense. As was Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Issac a foretype of God the Father's gift of his own Son.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby natman » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:37 pm

Johannes_1965 wrote:I can agree that the Revelation of John was given with regard to Nero and the destruction of Jerusalem rather than in the time of Domitian at the end of the century as usually taught: Domitian ordered to be adored as divus, as a god, already during his life time.


Actually, the foisting of symbols of the Caesars into the Temple and Synagogues began with Caligula Caesar in 40AD, continuing with Nero who was Caesar during the onset of the seige of Jerusalem, commanding Titus do raze the city and the Temple. In fact, ALL Caesars demanded to be adored as gods. However, it was the insistence that their symbols, usually their banner or standard be placed INSIDE the Temple or synagogues that caused the uprising and eventual destruction.

Johannes_1965 wrote:Then I believe that the prophecy is not exhausted by the events of 70 AD but the main time of its fulfillment will be the tribulation before Christ's coming to the Final Judgement.


I agree to an extent.

The description of the destruction of the city and it's Temple continue through Rev 19. The final two chapters point to a future coming at the end of time, on the Last Day.

Johannes_1965 wrote:When you call already a temporary, geographically located judgement a "second coming", there have been many of them in Church history: like the destruction of Constantinople in 1454 or the destruction of German cities during WW.


Perhaps, but none as clearly alluded to as the destruction of Jerusalem and it's Temple by none other than Jesus Himself in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

Johannes_1965 wrote:I prefer to use the term of parousia for a single Second Coming at the end of times.


That may be your personal preference. However, it is not how the Church (and particularly the Catholic Church) views the word.

Johannes_1965 wrote:The Catholic interpretation is not really amillenialist as if a millennium would be denied. We don't deny the word of God but a certain most literal interpretation that expects a future earthly reign of Christ before his final Parousia. His reign will never be a political one of this world.


Actually, the word "millennium" does not appear in Scripture. It is a word that is used by the millennial literalists because some translator translated the Greek word for "thousands" to "a thousand".

Johannes_1965 wrote:In your interpretation I see some truth, in millennialism not. Of course Paul and John expected a judgement over Jerusalem that Jesus had already foretold during his lifetime.


That certainly may be true. Paul had written all of his epistles by before the time that John had his Revelation. They both knew that Jesus said that Jerusalem and it's temple would be destroyed within a generation of His speech on the Mount of Olives, but it had not yet occurred when Paul was beheaded by Nero nor John's writing of his Revelation.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby Petros » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:32 pm

natman: Thou has said:

Actually, the word "millennium" does not appear in Scripture. It is a word that is used by the millennial literalists because some translator translated the Greek word for "thousands" to "a thousand".

A new one on me - I had nerver hit anyone assuming the prediction was a binding lastingf THOUSANDS of years. But it does not hold up - "a thousand years" is what the Greek says, what the Syriac understands it to say, and probably [I coluld check, but I have not] what the other ancient versions,m Coptic and Latin, understood it to say.

The literality question comes to, is this to be read as PRECISELY 100 years [and by which calendar?], or as "about a thousand years, and 991 or 1008 is close enough for Rock and Roll", or even as "a long time".
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby Johannes_1965 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:58 am

In fact, the Greek word "Chilia" is a cardinal number and means thousand, not thousands.
You find this in all greek lexicons, so I would like to ask you, Nathan, where your plural version comes from.

natman wrote:In fact, ALL Caesars demanded to be adored as gods.

But the cult was only put to practice posthume, after death.
Domitian was the first to call himself god during his lifetime: "Domitian's government exhibitedtotalitarian characteristics; he saw himself as the newAugustus, an enlightened despot destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance. Religious, military, and culturalpropaganda fostered acult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetualcensor, he sought to control public and private morals. As a consequence, Domitian was popular with the people and army but considered a tyrant by members of theRoman Senate. According toSuetonius, he was the first Roman Emperor who had demanded to be addressed asdominus et deus(master and god)." (Wikipedia)

That fits to the beast in Revelation, as Nero does.

natman wrote:
Johannes_1965 wrote: I prefer to use the term of parousia for a single Second Coming at the end of times.
That may be your personal preference. However, it is not how the Church (and particularly the Catholic Church) views the word.

Concerning this point you are not well informed. The Catholic Church uses the Greek term "Parusia" only rarely and only with regard to the Second Coming. But she affirms, that Christ is present with us all the time until the parusia and thus the parusia is in a certain way already made present in faith and hope.

I quote pope Benedict XVI for this point:
"Eschatology : the Expectation of the Parusia.

GENERAL AUDIENCE,
St. Peter's Square, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The subject of the Resurrection on which we reflected last week unfolds a new perspective, that of the expectation of the Lord's return. It thus brings us to ponder on the relationship among the present time, the time of the Church and of the Kingdom of Christ, and the future (éschaton) that lies in store for us, when Christ will consign the Kingdom to his Father (cf. 1 Cor 15: 24). Every Christian discussion of the last things, called eschatology, always starts with the event of the Resurrection; in this event the last things have already begun and, in a certain sense, are already present.
Very likely it was in the year 52 that St Paul wrote the first of his Letters, the First Letter to the Thessalonians, in which he speaks of this return of Jesus, called parusia or advent, his new, definitive and manifest presence (cf. 4: 13-18). The Apostle wrote these words to the Thessalonians who were beset by doubts and problems: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, God will bring forth with him from the dead those who have fallen asleep" (4: 14)

And Paul continues: "those who have died in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living, the survivors, will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thenceforth we shall be with the Lord unceasingly" (4: 16-17). Paul describes Christ's parusia in especially vivid tones and with symbolic imagery which, however, conveys a simple and profound message: we shall ultimately be with the Lord for ever. Over and above the images, this is the essential message: our future is "to be with the Lord". As believers, we are already with the Lord in our lifetime; our future, eternal life, has already begun..."
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby natman » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:40 pm

Johannes_1965 wrote:In fact, the Greek word "Chilia" is a cardinal number and means thousand, not thousands.
You find this in all greek lexicons, so I would like to ask you, Nathan, where your plural version comes from.


It comes from Strong's Concordence.
http://studybible.info/strongs/G5507 χίλιοι

Regardless, if you do a word search and study on the word "thousand" or the phrase "a thousand" in Scripture, it is easy to see that it is generally used in a non-literal sense, implying a large but limited number of something, such as "the cattle on a thousand hills".

Johannes_1965 wrote:
natman wrote:In fact, ALL Caesars demanded to be adored as gods.


But the cult was only put to practice posthume, after death.


I agree that elevating a Caesar to the level of "god" was generally done "posthumously" (Divus Caesar), but only up until Caesar Nero, who took it upon himself to elevate himself to "Roman Paterfamilias" (Roman Father), giving himself the power to declare his own deity and building his own temple over the very site of his predecessor, Claudius Caesar. The practice of self-deification continued with Galba, Othos and Vitelleus. Vespasian (Titus) restored the practice of "Divus Caesar".

Johannes_1965 wrote:Domitian was the first to call himself god during his lifetime:


Actually, Domitian was noted for REINSTATING the practice after it had been set aside by Vespasian.

Johannes_1965 wrote:According toSuetonius, he was the first Roman Emperor who had demanded to be addressed asdominus et deus(master and god)." (Wikipedia)


He may have been the first to require the address of "dominus et deus" (master and god), however, I am pretty sure that in order to work within the Roman Empire, even during Jesus' time, it was required that an offering of incense and the declaration "Kaiser est Kurios" (Caesar is Lord) be given to Roman temple priests.

I am searching for historical writings that bare this out as it is repeatedly presented in the Church.

Johannes_1965 wrote:The Catholic Church uses the Greek term "Parusia" only rarely and only with regard to the Second Coming. But she affirms, that Christ is present with us all the time until the parusia and thus the parusia is in a certain way already made present in faith and hope.

I quote pope Benedict XVI for this point:
"Eschatology : the Expectation of the Parusia....


I agree that the word "parousia" is indeed used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ (actually the "Last Coming of Christ" because Christ has come and appeared many times throughout Scripture). However, Scripture also uses it to refer to the "Coming of Christ in judgement over Jerusalem and it's Temple" in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. It also uses it to refer to the "coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus" in 1 Cor 16:17, the "coming of Titus" in 2 Cor 7:6-7, Paul' "presence" in 2 Cor 10:10 and 2 Phil 2:12, Paul's "coming" in Phil 1:26 and the "coming of the lawless one" in 2 Thes 2:9. (See http://www.teknia.com/greek-dictionary/parousia).
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby bn2bnude » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:03 am

Maybe this belongs better in a strip on "the rapture", however...

Steven Sizer wrote a post called "The Secret Rapture Hoax...". In there he writes:
The Bible actually teaches the opposite of what our Rapture experts promote. In Matthew 13, for example, in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, Jesus says:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ” (Matthew 13:24-30)
Notice the order in the story. Jesus explains that the weeds will be removed first and destroyed, then the wheat gathered. And to avoid any confusion, Jesus explains the meaning,
“The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:38-43)
Jesus says his return will be associated both with destruction and deliverance, with condemnation and vindication, but the order is significant. There is nothing in the Bible that teaches that Jesus will return secretly to rescue believers then return visibly to judge the world. The most conclusive repudiation of the notion of a secret rapture, however, comes a little later in Matthew 24. Jesus says,
"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:30-31)

He continues from there...
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby natman » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:44 pm

While I would probably agree that the Matthew 13 verses refer to the events surrounding the Final Coming of Christ, I believe that the verses referenced in Matthew 24 refer to those who were either taken into captivity or slaughtered at the hands of the Roman armies during the three-and-a-half year siege and destruction of Jerusalem. A few verses earlier, Jesus gave this warning...

Matt 24:15-20
"So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath."


... which, according to the historian Josephus, is exactly what the Christians who heard Jesus' warning did, and so they were saved.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby Petros » Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:19 am

We may grant in Matthew 24 some mixing of levels, as it wewre, such as is [all too] common in propohetic speech that extends beyond a short sentence.

But are we to read that Roman troops are God's harvesting angels, and take it that all of the local;s hewn down were baddies and all those spared wheat?

Not saying God could not, but still ....
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby natman » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:14 pm

I do not know that I would refer to the Romans as "Harvesters of Tares or Wheat", however, throughout OT history, whenever God disciplined His people, He used their enemies such as the Egyptians, Babylonians and the Assyrians. Using the Romans to discipline Jerusalem and it's religious leaders is an apparent continuation of that practice.

Further, I believe that not only "bad" people were killed in the siege of Jerusalem. I believe that some ardent followers of YHVH as well as some Christians died in the attacks and as results of the starvation, pestilence and cannibalism that occurred in the process. While God Himself is responsible for all that happened, it does not make Him evil. He has orchestrated and even commanded the taking of many a human life. He is still the one and only Righteous God who will rightly judge all who live and have ever lived and died. It is only sin when humans wantonly take human life without the authority of God to do so.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby Petros » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:22 am

Of course God has used / uses Egyptians, Philistines, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Spaniards, Germans. Arabs for calculated effect on his people. Explicitly stated several times, obvious repeatedly.

But I don't think any of those, ancient or recent, fits the description of the wheat / tares harvest. THAT I think is the one to come.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby bn2bnude » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:42 am

natman wrote:I do not know that I would refer to the Romans as "Harvesters of Tares or Wheat", however, throughout OT history, whenever God disciplined His people, He used their enemies such as the Egyptians, Babylonians and the Assyrians. Using the Romans to discipline Jerusalem and it's religious leaders is an apparent continuation of that practice.

Further, I believe that not only "bad" people were killed in the siege of Jerusalem. I believe that some ardent followers of YHVH as well as some Christians died in the attacks and as results of the starvation, pestilence and cannibalism that occurred in the process. While God Himself is responsible for all that happened, it does not make Him evil. He has orchestrated and even commanded the taking of many a human life. He is still the one and only Righteous God who will rightly judge all who live and have ever lived and died. It is only sin when humans wantonly take human life without the authority of God to do so.


My understanding is that most who believed at that time would have been warned between what Jesus said in Matthew and Luke about "running to the hills" and what was written by John in his Revelation.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby Petros » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:17 am

"My understanding is that most who believed at that time would have been warned between what Jesus said in Matthew and Luke about "running to the hills" and what was written by John in his Revelation."

THAT suggests a unanimity of understanding and of willingness / ability to act on advice that IO hasve not seen in my time.

Further extrapolating from my lifetime, I would expect there would have been not a few among the unbelieving who would have observed the political signs of the times and prepared their fallout shelters and survivalist cabins.
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Re: Millennialism vs Amillennialism

Postby natman » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:13 pm

bn2bnude wrote:My understanding is that most who believed at that time would have been warned between what Jesus said in Matthew and Luke about "running to the hills" and what was written by John in his Revelation.


Petros wrote:THAT suggests a unanimity of understanding and of willingness / ability to act on advice that IO hasve not seen in my time.

Further extrapolating from my lifetime, I would expect there would have been not a few among the unbelieving who would have observed the political signs of the times and prepared their fallout shelters and survivalist cabins.


According to the writings of Josephus, that is pretty much what happened. He noted that the majority of Christian converts left ahead of the siege, before the city was locked down.

However, as Petros points out, I would have to assume that not ALL of the Christians escaped. Some likely remained behind to care for non-converted family members. Although they were destroyed with the rest of the almost 2 million in the city, I believe that they are counted with the saints.
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