Amillennialism: A Hostile Attitude to the Throne of David?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Gavin, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Gavin

    Gavin
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    Dear Friends,

    One of the intriguing facts of church history is the continuing refusal of the old line denominations to accept those scriptures stating that Christ will come to earth to rule for a literal one thousand years. The Roman Catholic church and the old Reformed denominations deny the future Millennium. This is in spite of the fact that I have found many Amillennialists personally to be among the most saintly Christians I have ever met. Yet they have a real problem with the Millennium.

    This Amillennialism is intriguing. Why the rejection of scripture? Is the church being 'leaned on' here by temporal powers? In the 1500's Tyndale's Bibles in English were being smuggled into England from Germany and Holland. King Henry went ballistic when he heard his unschooled subjects, Bible in hand, talking about the end of the world and the coming King of Kings who would come to rule. State churchmen had to tread carefully here. Is this a clue? Or do humanistic, people, even a wicked and rebellious generation just hate the righteous rule that God ordains and not want to hear about Him coming to rule and interfering in "human affairs"? -Ps.2

    The thousand years of Messiah is mentioned SIX TIMES in six verses in Rev. 20:2-7. Large chunks of the old testament, especially in Isaiah, are prophetic poetry concerning the glorious Millennium of Messiah. We are also told that the whole creation is groaning, awaiting the epic events that surround the resurrection.-Rom.8:22-23

    The old line denominations also have had a nasty record of antisemitism going back over a thousand years. Church history shows us that church sponsored or church permitted antisemitism emerged in the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the pogroms and the Holocaust. This is intriguing. Do antisemitism and Amillennialism share a common root? Christ will return to this earth as the Lion of the Jewish Tribe of Judah ruling from the Throne of David. Is the common thread linking antisemitism and Amillennialism a hostility to the Throne of David? This article explores this possible connection from the scriptures and also from the record of church history.
    http://endtimepilgrim.org/millennium.htm

    Blessings to all who love His appearing,

    Gavin
     
  2. Tim

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    Gavin's quotes:"Why the rejection of scripture? Is the church being 'leaned on' here by temporal powers? "

    "The thousand years of Messiah is mentioned SIX TIMES in six verses in Rev. 20:2-7. Large chunks of the old testament, especially in Isaiah, are prophetic poetry concerning the glorious Millennium of Messiah."

    "Do antisemitism and Amillennialism share a common root? Christ will return to this earth as the Lion of the Jewish Tribe of Judah ruling from the Throne of David. Is the common thread linking antisemitism and Amillennialism a hostility to the Throne of David?"

    Gavin, what you've posted are the standard misrespresentations of the amil. position. I hope you'll consider reading about the position from someone who believes it rather than only from the dispensational critics. I would suggest the writings of Orval Heath, a contemporary pastor.

    From a non-antisemetic, Bible-believing, yet non-Zionist and not always literalist Christian brother.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  3. Gavin

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    Hi Tim,

    That was a quick response, brother. Did you read the whole article? http://endtimepilgrim.org/millennium.htm

    You say you are non-Zionist. Do you see youself as ever being involved with Zion? Zion is the political/kingdom center of Jerusalem? The returning Jews when they are saved (Zech.12:7-13:1, Rom.11)are going to come and bless us in this particular area. The house of Judah is one of the 12 glories in the High priest's breastplate. We must not forget that Judah is mentioned in Rev. 7. One of the 12 gates of the holy city, the bride of Christ, seen in Rev. 21 is Judah. The Jewish House of Judah has the sceptre until Shiloh/Messiah comes as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. -Gen.49:10
    Is that a problem to you?

    How about this prophecy below? Are you in this company? How about the "train to Zion", and the "Zion hope" of the grand old hymnwriters?

    Isa 35:10
    And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

    Blessings to you on the journey,

    Gavin
     
  4. Tim

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    Gavin, the grand old hymnwriters you speak of who mentioned "Zion" were mostly men who believed in so-called "replacement theology". They, as I, viewed Zion as a type of the church.

    When I say I'm not a Zionist, I mean I have no special concern for modern Israel above other nations. But praise God I'm joined into the Israel of promise, no longer an "alien" or "stranger", but now a "fellowcitizen" Eph. 2:11-22.

    No animousity toward the "throne of David"--my King Jesus sits upon it at the Father's right hand!

    A believer in the better covenant,

    Tim
     
  5. tyndale1946

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    Me to I'm amil partial preterist... To me those that don't hold to the amil are the ones really missing the blessings. Christ is now ruling in his church Zion and we as kings and priests are meant to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Do you think Jesus Christ set up a kingdom and then took it with him when he went back to heaven?... The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven are synonomus... Judgement begins at the house of God... To me the amil view is the only one for me what others believe is fine for them but if they really understood the amil the scriptures would blend together in perfect harmony!... IMHO!... I agree with Tim!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  6. Gavin

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    Ezekiel 47: 1 - 12
    MILLENNIAL GEOLOGY: EZEKIEL PROPHESIES THAT HUGE FLOW OF WATERS FROM TEMPLE MOUNT AREA WILL FLOW INTO THE JORDAN VALLEY AND HEAL THE ( FORMER) DEAD SEA.
    1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side. 3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. 6 He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?" Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river. 7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. 8 Then he said to me: "This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.
    MILLENNIAL FISHERIES : A "GREAT MULTITUDE OF FISH AT ENGEDI ON THE WESTERN SHORE OF THE DEAD SEA.
    9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. 10 It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. 12 Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine."

    Dear Brother Tim and Brother Glen.

    Good to share with you again. From the passage above we see a prophecy showing that the present geology of the Afro-Syrian rift valley on this earth will be dramatically changed. Apparently a huge aquifer will open up underneath Jerusalem at the Temple mount and a massive flow of water will pour down into the Jordan to the east and thence down to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea, now a couple of thousand feet below sea level, will be filled up and the waters healed by the massive flow of crystal clear water pouring down into the Dead Sea and thence overflowing into the Arabah southwards to empty into the Red Sea at Eilat. A quick look at a geological of the area tells the story of what will happen.

    Is this true? Yes it is. Why? Because the Bible tells us so. Has it happened yet? No it has not.
    Will this happen? Yes it will. When will this happen to the geography of this key area of this present earth? The Bible tells us precisely when those waters will break loose and flow down the Arabah to do their healing work.

    ZECHARIAH 14 : THE MOUNT OF OLIVES SPLIT BY JESUS AT HIS SECOND COMING.

    1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. 5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You.* 6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. 7 It shall be one day Which is known to the Lord-- Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light.

    8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be-- "The
    Lord is one,"* And His name one.

    ----------------------------------------------

    So from the cross referencing passage here we see that the waters will flow out from Jerusalem when Jesus Christ returns and becomes "KING OVER THE WHOLE EARTH". Zechariah tells us straight out that it will happen at the Day of the Lord, the second coming at the end of the 70th week/seven years. It will be at the time Jerusalem is surrounded by armies of the nations. His feet will touch the Mount of Olives causing it to split with the cleavage running east to west. This is what opens that aquifer and releases the torrents of crystal clear water to flow eastwards into the Jordan and thence southwards to the Dead Sea. Obviously the Dead Sea will have to be renamed. Because it will pulse with new life. A huge number of fish will swim around in that sea.

    Now here is the question I have for you two gentlemen. Let us suppose you could enter a time machine and go forward a few hundred years. Imagine you were beamed down to take a walk around at Engedi, that garden area on the west coast of the Dead Sea. You looked over at those beautiful gardens and took a stroll where the waterfalls spill out of the wilderness of Judea. Then you saw mortals, men women and children catching fish at Engedi with fishing rods and nets. Perhaps a few catamarans. A beach party on a living sea with lots and lots of fish. And it is obviously on this earth in the next millennium when the Lord is "King over the whole earth".

    What would your response be?

    Blessings,

    Gavin
     
  7. Tim

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    Gavin,

    If you don't mind, let me present another view of that beautiful passage in Ezekiel 47. This example might give you an idea of our (amil) way of looking at many O.T. prophecies. In this case, the view is typological, and looks forward to its spiritual fulfillment in the New Testament era. Personally, I came to this understanding of Ezek. 47 by "backing" into it from my study of the O.T. quotations in the gospel of John. So I'll start there:

    In John 7, Jesus attends the great day, the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which celebrated the Israelites' sojourn in the wilderness, and God's provision for them there. But he does something shocking. When the priests were pouring water upon the altar to commemorate the flood which flowed from the rock in the wilderness, Jesus stands up and declares, "he that believes on me, as the scriptures have said, out of his midst shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:38). The first question we must ask is, where does the O.T. Scripture say that? It is not a direct quote. When you search the O.T., the best fit is actually that Jesus was speaking of Ezekiel 47. It cooresponds to the Jewish ceremony that was performed on the last day of the feast, the pouring of water on the altar, for Ezekiel says the water flowed from the altar. These waters were life-giving in both the N.T. memorial of the feast and in Ezekiel's O.T. Prophecy, and they were "living"in the other sense of the word-- flowing waters.
    So if indeed these two Scriptures are related, as it seems they are, then when John gives us the interpretation of Jesus' statement in John 7:39, he is also giving us an interpretation of Ezek. 47: Just as waters flowed from the temple in Ezekiel's vision, so would the Spirit flow from the temple on the day of Pentecost. Just as that water inudated the valley around Zion's hill, so would the Spirit of God flood over Israel when His Spirit was poured out upon believers--thousands were given eternal life as a result of that flow. Then beyond the borders of Israel the waters continued, giving life as they flowed, just as the gospel spread beyond Isarel to the world round about.

    I read the passage symbolically, not because of my imagination, but because of John's explanation of Jesus' reference to this O.T. Passage. The New Testament acts as an inspired commentary on the Old.

    Perhaps this example will help you better understand the different process of interpretation that many non-literalists use when we study prophecy.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  8. Tony Solomon

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    Originally posted by Gavin:
    One of the intriguing facts of church history is the continuing refusal of the old line denominations to accept those scriptures stating that Christ will come to earth to rule for a literal one thousand years. The Roman Catholic church and the old Reformed denominations deny the future Millennium. This is in spite of the fact that I have found many Amillennialists personally to be among the most saintly Christians I have ever met. Yet they have a real problem with the Millennium.

    This Amillennialism is intriguing. Why the rejection of scripture? Is the church being 'leaned on' here by temporal powers? In the 1500's Tyndale's Bibles in English were being smuggled into England from Germany and Holland. King Henry went ballistic when he heard his unschooled subjects, Bible in hand, talking about the end of the world and the coming King of Kings who would come to rule. State churchmen had to tread carefully here. Is this a clue? Or do humanistic, people, even a wicked and rebellious generation just hate the righteous rule that God ordains and not want to hear about Him coming to rule and interfering in "human affairs"? -Ps.2


    Gavin, since amillenialism goes back to Augustine at least, and further if you look at the earlier writers who did not systematize so much (See "A Second Look and the Second Coming" by T L Frazier), then the idea that amills have been leaned on is not really to the point, and to say that in a Baptist forum, where we as a denomination have persevered through being leaned upon, and kept to our stand, is more than ironic.
    This: the continuing refusal of the old line denominations to accept those scriptures stating that Christ will come to earth to rule for a literal one thousand years. is a most irritating comment and I think goes under the title of "begging the question". Try this: the continuing refusal of the [arminian] denominations to accept those scriptures stating that [God elects individuals unto salvation]. If I posted this in the calv/armin forum it would be shouted down. The question might rather be, why is it that apart from a handful of early church fathers, the church has been predominantly amill.

    The thousand years of Messiah is mentioned SIX TIMES in six verses in Rev. 20:2-7. Large chunks of the old testament, especially in Isaiah, are prophetic poetry concerning the glorious Millennium of Messiah. We are also told that the whole creation is groaning, awaiting the epic events that surround the resurrection.-Rom.8:22-23

    And Rev 20 is the only place where a thousand years is mentioned. And as I have said to Pastor Larry, why is it that in amongst a host of symbolic references, do we suddenly have to take this as literal. unless you are expecting a literal red dragon to attack a pregnant woman, and a strange beast to arise out of the Meditterranean Sea?

    The old line denominations also have had a nasty record of antisemitism going back over a thousand years. Church history shows us that church sponsored or church permitted antisemitism emerged in the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the pogroms and the Holocaust. This is intriguing.

    No, it is frankly insulting. Shall i say that Dispensational support for the Nation of Israel and the Occupied Territories is directly responsible for the persecution of the Palestinian people, for torture, for economic oppression, and the policy of removing Christians from jerusalem?

    Do antisemitism and Amillennialism share a common root?

    No.

    Christ will return to this earth as the Lion of the Jewish Tribe of Judah ruling from the Throne of David. Is the common thread linking antisemitism and Amillennialism a hostility to the Throne of David?

    Jesus Christ is the Seed of David and the Son of God. You have failed to understand the Reformed pov that sees Israel as typological of the real people of God, Jew and Gentile alike. When they had served their purpose, and Messiah had come, God cast them aside in judgement for rejecting the same Messiah (although there was a remnant). It is a far cry from that to antisemitism. You must take up with Catholics their involvment in it. Most Lutherans are embarrassed by Luther's stance (but he was a Reformed Catholic). Reformed Christians have been foremost in carrying the Gospel to the Jews, ie McCheyne. And in my own cirlces there have been at least two jewish converts who served as ministers: Isaac Levinsohn and Edward Samuel. Plus think of Alfred Edersheim, and that ilk.

    Lastly, take note of Baruch maoz, pastor of Grace and Truth congregation in Israel, who is Reformed.

    And if we wish to see how much mud will stick when we fling it, then why is it that most of the major Christian sects/cults came out of premillennial churches? SDA, CD, JW, and others, and on the very issue of end times speculation. How healthy is a doctrine that seems geared to sensationalism, and self-publicist income generating ministries of the Left Behind variety? How healthy is a doctrine that encourages most people to spend their time pinning the tail on the antichrist, worrying about every international situation, and filling book stores with books that they then turn round and say, Oh well, that isn't MY dispensationalism, he's not a poster boy for my pov.

    [ February 28, 2003, 05:26 AM: Message edited by: Tony Solomon ]
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    You titled this Amillennialism:A hostile attitude to the Throne of David... Which is an untruth as we don't wait for someone to sit on the Throne of David... Jesus Christ is now sitting on the Throne Of David... The Lord said unto my Lord sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstood!... Was this not fulfilled at the cross when Jesus said it is finished!... Is not the sting of death destroyed now... In his death... burial... and resurrection!

    I believe definately that Jesus Christ will come again and take all his grace wrought... blood bought... children home... I don't look for a thousand year reign that we are living in now... Is Jesus not the King now in the church and we his subjects... Thy Kingdom come thy will be done... In Earth... As it is... In Heaven!... btw where is in earth?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  10. Gavin

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    BROTHER GLEN>>>
    ...we don't wait for someone to sit on the Throne of David... Jesus Christ is now sitting on the Throne Of David... The Lord said unto my Lord sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstood!... Was this not fulfilled at the cross when Jesus said it is finished!... Is not the sting of death destroyed now... In his death... burial... and resurrection!

    GAVIN>>>While Jesus is indeed at the right hand of the sovereignty on high, the fact is He is not ruling on this earth yet. That is what the Millennium is all about. When Jesus returns and His feet touch the Mount of Olives the mount shall be split in half opening that huge aquifer. This will release a massive flood of water to freshen the Dead Sea. "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth." -Zech 14:9

    BTW, Glen.
    How about those fish from the Dead Sea spoken of in Ezekial 47?
    Any idea what species they will be? Zechariah says they will be much the same as those fish in the Great Sea, the Mediterranean. What do you think about those Millennial fish?

    Blessings,

    Gavin
     
  11. Gavin

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    Dear Tony,

    Thanks for sharing. Just got in late from work. I will reply in the morning.

    Blessings,
    Gavin
     
  12. Jim H.

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    Wow, Gavin. Seems you touched a nerve with your post. It's amazing how easy it is for some to just ignore straight forward scripture and just dismiss it out of hand. This is a perfect example of why there are so many cults and sects. It's the scourge of subjective interpretation, my friend; subjective interpretation.
    Jim
     
  13. Gavin

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    Dear Tony,

    Thanks for your response. I'll deal with the issues you raise point by point.

    TONY>>>> Gavin, since amillenialism goes back to Augustine at least, and further if you look at the earlier writers who did not systematize so much (See "A Second Look and the Second Coming" by T L Frazier),......

    GAVIN>>>>
    Yes Amillennialism goes back earlier than Augustine. In the century before Nicea Origen was discarding the literal grammaticallly understood understood meaning of scripture and jumping into an allegorised interpretation.

    TONY>>>> ...........the idea that amills have been leaned on is not really to the point,

    GAVIN>>>> Every generation of Christians, and every Christian personally is "leaned on" by the cultural and political milieu in which they live. Here in America we are "leaned on" by the rampant materialism around us. We have the "God is my co-pilot, I set the course for Him" "name it, claim it" "write your own ticket with God" gospel which we have to be aware of and which we have to judge by a faithful Berean recourse to the holy scriptures. These are the facts of life for all the saints in all eras of history. There is insideous humanism is all around us. Secular humanism is forever trying to get Christians to adopt the world's view of things rather than God's view as we see evidenced in the scriptures. And even in the church, we must face up to the religious humanism trying to pressure us to conform and assume the shape of the mould of this world system. This pressure, can get quite severe. The Greek word "Thlipsis" translated as "tribulation" means 'pressure'. The interpretation of scripture is not just an academic matter. There are always pressures on Christians to "adjust" their interpretation of the Bible to suit the powers that be. Ask Sir Thomas More, ask Tewkesbury, ask John Frith, ask William Tyndale, ask the millions of anabaptists, (our Baptist forebearers in many cases), who died resisting being "leaned on" by the political powers of this world. How we respond to that pressure which is forever seeking to force us into the mould of this world is very much a part of the story of biblical interpretation. It is as much a part of the story today as in the days od Origen and Augustine and the bishops of Rome.

    TONY>>> .......and to say that in a Baptist forum, where we as a denomination have persevered through being leaned upon, and kept to our stand, is more than ironic.

    GAVIN>>> Unfortunately we have not done as good a job in our Baptist tradition as we might wish to believe. We are being outclassed in Berean zeal for the scriptures by other emerging denominations who study the scriptures, yes the old testament too, verse by verse. The Bible class I attend is going through the old testament and people will do this for nearly two hours on a Sunday morning before church and hate it when the class ends. This is the 'real' Baptist tradition. There are forces on us as Baptists 'leaning' on us to become a country club sort of a church, a social club, a masonic temple, a resource for business style motivational speaking, a political agency for the left and for the right, a church of 'positivism' that doesn't want to be bothered with the suffering church, all this whilst 500 of our brothers and sisters overseas are dying for their faith in Jesus every day. All these forces want to 'lean on us' to reinterpret scripture to take out its "bite". This is the Laodicean reality we live and breathe in. So we need the fresh air of the scriptures read alone with God in our morning and evening devotions.

    TONY>>> This comment, "The continuing refusal of the old line denominations to accept those scriptures stating that Christ will come to earth to rule for a literal one thousand years". is a most irritating comment and I think goes under the title of "begging the question".

    GAVIN>>> I disagree, Tony. In our Baptist tradition we have championed the faithful Berean approach to scripture which says this. "If the literal sense of the scriptural text makes good sense, seek no other sense". A refusal to accept the literal sense of those six references in Rev. 20:2-7 to the one thousand years reign of Christ is a failure to do that. Let us let the chips fall where they may here.

    TONY>>>> Try this: the continuing refusal of the [arminian] denominations to accept those scriptures stating that [God elects individuals unto salvation]. If I posted this in the calv/armin forum it would be shouted down.

    GAVIN>>> There are good scriptures to support the Calvinist position. And there are good scriptures to support the freewill/election position. So a faithful Berean conclusion is that they are both right. If we don't understand that it is because our human minds cannot grasp the mystery of the underlying Truth in Christ which gives them a common root in Him. Our minds have been Hellenised by out passage through the Greek culture two millennia ago. We cannot think outside our precious boxes of logical and ideological concepts which we seek to raise up higher than Christ. Hence the endless arguments that go nowhere.

    TONY>>> The question might rather be, why is it that apart from a handful of early church fathers, the church has been predominantly amill?

    GAVIN>>> Quite so. Our first assumption might well be that because it has been the dominant position in Europe thoughout church history after 200 A.D. it is probably correct. But our second thoughts on the matter might be that since the church was compromised badly during the dark ages the amillennialism and the allegorization of scripture that underlies it is also similarly suspect. Hence or need to go to the scriptures and discard church tradition. That Reformation has just scratched the surface. We have a lot of "baggage" from the dark ages still nestled comfortably inside the church structure like gargoyles. It is too painful and too disruptive to get rid of them, (we think).

    QUOTE FROM GAVIN>>> The thousand years of Messiah is mentioned SIX TIMES in six verses in Rev. 20:2-7. Large chunks of the old testament, especially in Isaiah, are prophetic poetry concerning the glorious Millennium of Messiah. We are also told that the whole creation is groaning, awaiting the epic events that surround the resurrection.-Rom.8:22-23

    TONY>>> And Rev 20 is the only place where a thousand years is mentioned.

    GAVIN>>> If God tells us something once isn't that enough? When you were growing up and your father told you something once didn't He expect you to listen to what he was telling you and take him seriously? I have heard that same comment from churchmen. They should know better than to bring out a lame excuse like that. Do they not fear God? If the Holy Spirit has told us something we need to pay attention and not wait around for him to tell us twice. Many things on the Bible are taught just once. Anyway, here in Rev. 20 is not just one place. God tells us six times in six verses!

    TONY>>> And as I have said to Pastor Larry, why is it that in amongst a host of symbolic references, do we suddenly have to take this as literal?

    GAVIN>>> We should not make our assessment of scripture not on the basis of the way our Hellenised human minds have boxed it up. God can use poetry to give prophecy, and wisdom literature to give prophecy. We should not limit the text to the type of literature in which it appears. Psalm 2 is poetry, a song in fact. But is it just poetic? No. It is bible prophecy as well. It tells us in great detail about the endtime nationalism, the raging of nations that are, and have been and will in future rise up against the coming Kingdom of Messiah. Every sentence in scripture is to be understood as a message from God to us. We must be totally open to the Holy Spirit to receive what He is saying to us through the verse and not limit Him to our preconceived ideas of what the scripture is allowed to be and what we don't allow the scripture to be. The Word of God is to be respected, unshackled and let loose into our hearts, minds, and will to do His wonderful work within us.

    TONY>>> .....unless you are expecting a literal red dragon to attack a pregnant woman, and a strange beast to arise out of the Meditterranean Sea?

    GAVIN>>> Yes this passage from Rev. 12 is imagery. But it is telling of truths that are literal. Here is what the picture is telling us. A socialistic angry (red) New World Order system comprised of a world subdivided into ten global geo-political banking regions will rise up out of the nations,(sea) and persecute the true people of God. See. Once the dreamscape in the passage is interpreted it becomes a literal message to us. The text is painting a picture. God is outlining something for His people to know and understand. Just because it is not literal and rationally discerned we are not at liberty to throw it in the dustbin. German rationalism did that in the 19th century. We still do that today. Many sensitive pieces of information are written for Christian saints in devotional biblical code. This world has no right to the secret things of God. We are in a spiritual war. We sail out "under sealed orders". God is giving us information, "for our eyes only". Here is an article that addresses picture of the beast with the ten horns. http://endtimepilgrim.org/tenhorns.htm

    QUOTE FROM GAVIN>>> The old line denominations also have had a nasty record of antisemitism going back over a thousand years. Church history shows us that church sponsored or church permitted antisemitism emerged in the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the pogroms and the Holocaust. This is intriguing.

    TONY>>>> No, it is frankly insulting. Shall I say that Dispensational support for the Nation of Israel and the Occupied Territories is directly responsible for the persecution of the Palestinian people, for torture, for economic oppression, and the policy of removing Christians from Jerusalem?

    GAVIN>>> We will have to agre to disagree on that issue, Tony. The "occupied territories" so called or "west bank" are Judea in the south and the territory of the lost ten tribes of Israel in the north. The returning House of Judah has every right to take over all that land which was given to our father Abraham. I rejoice that they are trying to hold it in safekeeping until "all Israel is saved/delivered at the end of the age. Mr. Barak in fact offered Yasser Arafat this land. Yasser refused it. Why? Land is not the Arab agenda. The PLO was an Arab construct concocted from the very beginning to destroy Israel from within. Palestine has never been a sovereign nation. Name one leader fro history? There are none. Palestine was the name given to the land of Israel by the Romans in the Jewish wars back in the 1st and 2nd centuries. The Romans named the land after the enemies of Israel, the Philistines. The word 'Philistine' is where we get our word 'Palestine' from. That is what Palestinians are. Enemies of Israel pure and simple. The Paletinians are nothing more than that. Many attempts have been made by westerners to set up factories or trade enterprises for the Palestinians. They are not interested. They raise and educate their childen to do nothing more than hate Israel. It is their only agenda. Hence the escalating bombings of buses and markets especially in Jerusalem, the city of David. Evil spirits are behind this. Evil spirits that hate the throne of David and do not want to see it come. These evil spirits knew that when they saw the bones of Ezekiel 37 come together in 1948 the end was drawing near for them. They are getting desperate.

    GAVIN>>>> Do antisemitism and Amillennialism share a common root?

    TONY>> No.

    QUOTE FROM GAVIN>>> "Christ will return to this earth as the Lion of the Jewish Tribe of Judah ruling from the Throne of David. Is the common thread linking antisemitism and Amillennialism a hostility to the Throne of David?"

    TONY>>>> Jesus Christ is the Seed of David and the Son of God. You have failed to understand the Reformed pov that sees Israel as typological of the real people of God, Jew and Gentile alike.

    GAVIN>>>> I agree. Israel is not a DNA issue as a heart issue. Jesus told the Pharisees as much. He called them sons of serpents. Yet he told Nathanael that he was "an iSraelite indeed, in whom their is no guile!"-John 1:47

    TONY>>> "When they had served their purpose, and Messiah had come",

    GAVIN>>> You have presumed to say that the Jewish nation "had served their purpose". Here is the classic replacement theology of the established church. It denies a future role for the Jews as a people. But the house of Judah has gone through great disciplinings in the national experience of the diaspora. The Jewish nation will be saved at the end. Zech 12:7-13:1 ans Rom. 11. Their return will be a glorious enrichment of our ekklesia/callled out congregation of God. Their salvation and return to Messiah will enrich us all. The Jewish repenting returning remnant are the royal jewel on the High Priest's breastplate. Judah is mentioned in Rev. 7. Judah is one of the 12 gates of the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of god, the Bride of Christ, as we see it come down from heaven in Rev. 21. The Jewish saints will provide valuable service to Messiah in His royal kingdom office during the Millennium. Messiah will rule "after the order of Melchizedec", that is as priest and king. -Psalm 110:4 The church quite naturally has majored on the priestly role of bringing union between God and man through the Gospel. But the time will come, and at the very end, when the kingdom/political issue will be addressed agaon at Jerusalem and Armageddon and the Valley of Jezreel. God will save the Jews that the world and the church has rejected. -Joel 2:28-32 He has His plans for them. We need not be jealous here. Our jealousy goes back to Jeroboam. Jeroboam is still our spiritual father to some degree unfortunately. The jealousy we have for Judah will end. -Isa.11:13 Because their are no boxes or hierarchies in the mansions of God. The New Jerusalem is not a vatican. a compartmentalised hierarchical pyramid. Every saint has access to all 12 gates and is blessed by all of them.

    TONY>> God cast them aside in judgement for rejecting the same Messiah (although there was a remnant). It is a far cry from that to antisemitism. You must take up with Catholics their involvment in it. Most Lutherans are embarrassed by Luther's stance (but he was a Reformed Catholic). Reformed Christians have been foremost in carrying the Gospel to the Jews, ie McCheyne. And in my own cirlces there have been at least two jewish converts who served as ministers: Isaac Levinsohn and Edward Samuel. Plus think of Alfred Edersheim, and that ilk. Lastly, take note of Baruch maoz, pastor of Grace and Truth congregation in Israel, who is Reformed.

    GAVIN>>> Point taken. I agree. they were sidelined. But not for ever. We must not boast against the branches. Because we could be plucked out too for unbelief. - Rom. 11

    TONY>>>> And if we wish to see how much mud will stick when we fling it, then why is it that most of the major Christian sects/cults came out of premillennial churches? SDA, CD, JW, and others, and on the very issue of end times speculation. How healthy is a doctrine that seems geared to sensationalism, and self-publicist income generating ministries of the Left Behind variety?

    GAVIN>>> You are preaching to the choir here. Most of the western church is in a real mess. As for the "Left Behind" thing well this is truly shameful. See http://endtimepilgrim.org/acts27.htm

    TONY>>> How healthy is a doctrine that encourages most people to spend their time pinning the tail on the antichrist, worrying about every international situation, and filling book stores with books that they then turn round and say, Oh well, that isn't MY dispensationalism, he's not a poster boy for my pov.

    GAVIN>>> You must understand that this is the period of history that we may as well call the Pax Americana. America is at her peak. American Christians are fully aware of the national peaks that preceeded them, the German half century, the British empire before that, the Napoleonic era of French dominance, the Dutch trade era, the Italian Renaissance, the Spanish dominance in exploration and conquests, the Portugese navigators leading the way around the world before that. All these kingdoms rose to a peak. Then at a certain point, perhaps of arrogance, they were judged by God. I am an Australian so I hope Americans don't mind me presuming to take up for them here. But God fearing Americans are quite rightly digging into their Bibles just as the British Christians did in the 19th century. They are asking "What is our role?" And "What is our destiny?" They are worried about the nation turning from its Christian past. They worry about persecution, yes even tribulation at the hand of the new world order harlot and the antichrist that will follow. These are all addressed in ways that are sometimes scriptural and sometimes "politico-religiously correct". The problem the Americans face is that they know that there is no big emerging Christian protector nation out there that can pick up the baton if they come to the en of their run. The Battle Hymn of the republic even suggests that American history will impinge on the endtime. America is the big player for Christendom right now. 90% of all the world's missionaries are coming out of the USA. Quite understandably American Christians are asking, "What next?" Some want deep scripturally true answers. Other, perhaps most, want answers that are not so spiritually taxing. If you lived here you would probably have the same concerns.

    I wish you every blessing on the pilgrimage, Tony.

    Your servant in Christ,

    Gavin

    http://endtimepilgrim.org

    March 1, 2003
     
  14. Gavin

    Gavin
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    Dear Jim,

    Thanks for sharing. Yes we are people characterised by "sol scriptura". May we always honor the scriptures and remember the many fine saints who died for this principle of "the scriptures alone" in days gone by.

    Blessings,
    Gavin
    http://endtimepilgrim.org/millennium.htm
     
  15. Tim

    Tim
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    Jim's quote: "Wow, Gavin. Seems you touched a nerve with your post. It's amazing how easy it is for some to just ignore straight forward scripture and just dismiss it out of hand. This is a perfect example of why there are so many cults and sects. It's the scourge of subjective interpretation, my friend; subjective interpretation.
    Jim "

    Jim, Pardon my forthrightness, but apparently you do not know much about the historical background of modern cults. The MAJORITY of them developed in the context of LITERAL hermenuetics, specifically regarding teachings about the endtimes (William Miller, Charles Russell, etc.) Many of the Catholic church's errors also spring from LITERAL hermenuetics. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security that if it's LITERAL it must be "safe". There are errors on both the right AND the left side of the truth.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  16. Tim

    Tim
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    GAVIN's quote>>> "Yes this passage from Rev. 12 is imagery. But it is telling of truths that are literal. Here is what the picture is telling us. A socialistic angry (red) New World Order system comprised of a world subdivided into ten global geo-political banking regions will rise up out of the nations,(sea) and persecute the true people of God. See. Once the dreamscape in the passage is interpreted it becomes a literal message to us. The text is painting a picture. God is outlining something for His people to know and understand. Just because it is not literal and rationally discerned we are not at liberty to throw it in the dustbin."

    Gavin, I hear this kind of explanantion of obviously figurative language from dispensational "literalists" often. The problem is(if you'll pardon my forthrightness)--it makes absolutely no sense! What does the word "literal" mean? It does not mean "true", neither does it mean "real". Perhaps the best one-word definition is "physical". In other words, a literal interpretation of the passage above would require a physical, tangible dragon--like the kind that knights used to go around slaying. Anything other than that is a FIGURATIVE interpretation! And Revelation is FULL of that kind of thing.

    What does the term "literal truth" mean? Is being born again a "literal truth"? No, it is a spiritual truth--yet every bit as REAL as the physical nose on my face. Spiritual things are REAL! They're just not best represented "literally". That's why Jesus spoke in parables throughout His ministry. Parables present REAL spiritual truth in a figurative manner.

    And we throw nothing of God's Word in the "dustbin" when we discern it to be a spiritual truth.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  17. Jim H.

    Jim H.
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    Tim wrote...

    Jim, Pardon my forthrightness, but apparently you do not know much about the historical background of modern cults. The MAJORITY of them developed in the context of LITERAL hermenuetics, specifically regarding teachings about the endtimes (William Miller, Charles Russell, etc.) Many of the Catholic church's errors also spring from LITERAL hermenuetics. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security that if it's LITERAL it must be "safe". There are errors on both the right AND the left side of the truth.

    Hi, Tim. Thanks for your reply. Actually, I know more about cults than I care to, at times. I have one relative who is involved in a cult, several friends, and some next - door neighbors. I've spent several years studying different cults.
    I think you are confusing literal with letteral. There is a difference. I agree that most of the cults started as the result of letteral interpretation in matters of eschatology. The Roman Catholic Chruch found the doctrine of "transubstansiation" in a letteral interpretation of John 6:50-59.
    But you said that the RCC and the cults arrived at their positions through "LITERAL hermeneutics". Actually, I couldn't disagree more. These doctrines are arrived at specifically because of a lack of good hermeneutics!
    To qoute Hank Hannegraaff...
    "The best antidote to heretical teaching is a good hermeneutical training."
    In other words, the way to combat the false teachings of the cults and RCC is with good literal hermeneutics! The alternative is the swamp of subjective interpretation. And subjective interpretation is the scourge of the modern church.
    God bless,
    Jim
     
  18. Gavin

    Gavin
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    Dear Tim,

    Thanks for your reply. Yes there are problems interpreting figurative language, parables, scriptural prophetic poetry etc. But we must know that God is speaking to us. He is giving His own trusted people information. Other cannot "see" it. So let us shine some light on the subject here. I am still unsure of how you deal with figurative language in scripture. Since you brought up the subject of the harlot riding the beast with ten horns how do you interpret that pictorial message that John saw.-Rev.17:4 What hermeneutics do you use to interpret it. Is the Holy Spirit involved? Do you even attempt an interpretation? And if so, then what does that scripture in Rev.17:4 tell you? And what does it mean to you personally?

    Blessings,

    Gavin
    http://endtimepilgrim.org
     
  19. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper
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    Demonize those who disagree:

    Do antisemitism and Amillennialism share a common root?

    It's amazing how easy it is for some to just ignore straight forward scripture and just dismiss it out of hand. This is a perfect example of why there are so many cults and sects.

    Can't we discuss things without questioning peoples integrity?
     
  20. Gavin

    Gavin
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    Dear Grasshopper,

    I appreciate your concern for unity among the brethren. It is a point well taken. But that unity we all long for and which Jesus prayed for in John 17 cannot be expected to be lasting unless it has the integrity of a proper foundation on the bedrock of scripture. As for demonising people no people are being demonised here. Spirits are being demonised. Yes even religious spirits. Like the spirit that wants to lock Messiah out of the earthly cosmos for example. This is abominably nasty business, Grasshopper. Nasty religious spirits are the ones being demonised here. Not people. People are the unwitting pawns in this whole business. We are all groping our way along the highway of holiness. -Isa 35. It gets pretty foggy at times, especially as we move up higher. All of us are being targetted for deception. Jesus warned us about great deception in the endtimes. We would be irresponsible if we did nothing but sit in pews, admire steeples and accept everything we have been told. That is why we need to cut each other plenty of slack as regards their personal integrity. Yet we are not good fellow pilgrims and friends if we do not point out the evil spirits lurking along the way. We are all subject to deception. None of us has arrived. And the clear passage we have today could lead on to a mistake tomorrow. Let us all pray for each other as we share. Because these issues can be a matter of life and death. Jesus said that "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way" and "few that be that find it". I am sorry is has to be this way. But we shall see a much more pleasant learning experience for the people on earth during the Millennium of Messiah.

    Every blessing to you on the journey,

    Gavin
    http://endtimepilgrim.org/millennium.htm
     

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