Does the New Testament allow for a gap period?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Daniel David, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    I have heard and read several non premillenialists knock the idea of a gap period. Where is their Scripture reason to not believe in one? What Scripture do I (and other premills) ignore?

    I would like to present a passage from 1 Corinthians 15.

    Verse 23-24a:

    NKJV - But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end...

    NASB - But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then {comes} the end...

    It is said that this passage supports a view that the coming of Christ is the end of everything. But, the NASB indicates that the end is when the kingdom is delivered to the Father. The NKJV is even more clear on this point.

    In fact, since there has been about a 2000 year "gap" so far between Christ's resurrection and ours, why can there not be a 1000 year gap between His coming and the end?

    I ask that the moderator keep an eye on this post and not let it become an argument for the timing of the rapture and other issues not directly related to this issue. Thank you.
     
  2. KenH

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    Is your point that you are assuming a 1000 year gap between "coming." and "Then"? If so, why?

    Becoming a postmillenialist,

    Ken
     
  3. Daniel David

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    I just wanted to bring this one up again for the sake of the primitives and postmillers.

    As one can see, the O.T. and the N.T. allow for gaps in prophecy.

    Now, what will they all do with the truth...?
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Not to answer for anybody else but for me, the 1000 year gap is not assumed, it is prophesied in Rev 20. Only a predisposition against the plain meaning of the text (which makes perfect sense) would lead one somewhere else. The point of citing this verse is for PB and others who are deadset against gaps in prophecies. Here, we see quite clearly a gap, which refutes PB's contention that there is no gap.
     
  5. Primitive Baptist

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    In I Corinthians 15:23, Paul writes with reference to the coming of Christ. With reference to that event, he writes, "Then cometh the end..." (V. 24). It is obvious that the return of Christ is not to begin an earthly reign. Rather, it will bring an end to earthly affairs! Some contend that the adverb "then" (Gr., eita) demands an interval which allows time for a "Millennium." Such is not the case, however. Note the use of eita in connection with eutheos (immediately) in Mark 4:17. Furthermore, Paul said Jesus would deliver "up" the kingdom. I may not be an excellent English student, but I do happen to know the difference between "up" and "down."
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    Which part of this verse identifies the "end" that comes? You say it is the end of earthly affairs. Yet did Paul say that??? I don't have a Bible in front in me but I am pretty sure that you said that, not Paul.

    Furthermore, "up" is not a direction as opposed to down. It is a reference to the end of Christ's reign as Messianic king. You should know that. I hope that last paragraph was a feeble attempt at humor becuase it was very weak exegesis.
     
  7. Primitive Baptist

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    Christ is reigning now. "For he must reign, till ..." (1 Cor. 15:25) You still need to tell me what Rev. 1:9 means. Was John in the kingdom of Jesus Christ or was he not?

    I don't really see the point with arguing with you or any other Premillennialists because you have it in your mind that YOU are right and everyone else is wrong...You cannot argue with anyone like that. And then, instead of answering arguments, you criticize and TRY to be funny.

    [ August 05, 2002, 11:45 PM: Message edited by: Primitive Baptist ]
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    In his messianic kingdom?? Based on what?? He will reign until, to be sure. But that does not mean his messianic kingdom is here now. There are six parts to it as I say. You ignore five of them. If he is reigning in his messianic kingdom now, then the OT means nothing at all.

    John was an inhabitant of the kingdom but was not yet in the kingdom, just as we are.

    And you are different? Tell me that you don't think I am wrong and you are right. I have shown myself over and over again to be willing to discuss any scriptural passage (provided time permits). Yes, I think you are wrong; I think your position calls into question the promises of God and comes very close to making him a liar. I am not saying you are doing that. I can't help but wonder if you have really thought through your position in light of all Scripture and apart from your presuppositions that we can't right be right.

    Name: 1) An argument I have failed to answer; 2) a criticism; and 3) a place I have tried to be funny.
     
  9. Daniel David

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    Primitive, you wanted proof that the N.T. allowed for a gap. Well, I provided a passage that sets the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of believers at around 2000 years so far. When you read Paul's statement, it seems that it happens very close together.

    The burden of proof in not on my side of the interpretation. The ball is in your court. Now, explain how in one sentence we have a 2000 year gap so far if you can.
     
  10. Primitive Baptist

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    Note the use of eita in connection with eutheos (immediately) in Mark 4:17. You cannot prove there is a "gap" in this prophecy unless you can prove there is a literal 1,000 year kingdom, which you have not yet done.

    The New Testament does not state that there will be a certain number of years between the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the good and evil. Daniel, on the hand, gave a definite number, seventy weeks. The first 69 were fulfilled literally and chronologically. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests a 2,000+ year gap between the 69th and 70th weeks, and you cannot prove it using the Bible.

    By definition, if you are not IN the kingdom you cannot be an INHABITANT of the kingdom. John was IN the kingdom. How much more plain could the Scriptures be? What Old Testament prophecies do you keep referring to as having not yet been fulfilled?

    "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20, 21)
     
  11. Daniel David

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    Actually, I don't have to prove that a literal 1000 year kingdom in taught. My point was to demonstrate that the passage allows for an unspecified gap period. Paul did not know how long it was going to be. The length of the millenial reign was revealed to John alone.

    As far as the Daniel passage goes, the first 69 weeks were fulfilled chronologically. They end with the death of the Messiah. The passage then says the Temple will be destroyed. Then it mentions the final week. So the 70th week begins sometime after the destruction of the Temple. Why are you so stubborn in seeing the biblical order? It does not say how long the gap is. We know that it is at least 2000 years because the final week hasn't begun yet.

    BTW, I answered all of your questions relating to our justification for the gap period, the length of the tribulation (which you didn't respond to yet), and the justification for the reason we attribute the tribulation to 7 years.

    As far as unfulfilled prophesies, how about the unconditional covenant with Abraham. Six promises were made. According to you, only one has to be fulfilled.

    Primitive said:
    "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20, 21)

    PreachtheWord replys:
    Oh, you mean that the kingdom of God is in the Pharisees? Surely Jesus wasn't promoting that, was He?

    He was saying it was within the midst of them. Next.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    But eutheos is not in this passage; therefore you cannot read it in to prove your point. Consider the following passages and tell us if you think there is a gap in these:

    I submit that in every single one, there is a demonstrable gap, designated with the word “eita.” It is the exact same construction as 1 Cor 15:23. Your attempt at exegesis in 1 Cor 15:23, whether right or wrong, involves assuming something that is not in the text.

    The 1000 literal kingdom will not be “proven” to your satisfaction until it comes. However, if you read the OT promises of God to Israel without the presuppositions that you are saddled with, you cannot help but see it. The OT does not give the time frame; it tells us that is it a long period of time and gives us the characteristics—nature—of it. For instance, it has a political, social, physical, ethical, and religious facet. None of these are in existence now. If they do not come as God prophesied, then how do you avoid attributing a lie or a broken promise to God?

    Nothing in the Bible suggest that 30 or so year gap between the 69th and 70th week of the preterist view. Yet you have no problem buying that. On what basis do you say it can be 30-40 years (till ad70) but it can’t be 2000 years? That seems very inconsistent.

    By whose definition? I don’t accept your definition. I do on the other hand accept Scriptures which is what the debate is about. We judicially/forensically in the kingdom. The kingdom literally is not yet here.

    Luke 17:20,21 is a often misinterpreted verse because of the translation. It probably is better understood as something like “in your midst.” Since we are told those who enter the kingdom will be spiritually saved, it is clear that those Pharisees were not in the kingdom

    The post exilic prophecies that restate the Abrahamic convanant to inhabit the land. The prophecies that the house of David and Israel will mourn and accept the Messiah who they pierced. The prophecies that Israel will be the chief again of all the nations and that all nations will stream to her. The prophecies that all nations will worship and accept Christ as the Messiah. The prophecies of world wide peace, social restoration. The prophecies of the New Covenant. I could go on and on. But I won’t.
     
  13. Primitive Baptist

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    This point of Premillenialism is where I am confused. I am not saying that to be sarcastic or bitter, and perhaps I have been that way during this thread. My concern is what Jesus said - "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20, 21) Jesus gave the Pharisees two characteristics of the kingdom of God:

    1.) The kingdom of God does not come with oberservation. Premillennialists contend it will be corporeal, or natural. This view seems to contradict Jesus on this point.

    2.) The kingdom of God is within you. This seems to imply the kingdom is spiritual, not natural.

    I interpret the "you" as generic, that is, not "you" who Jesus was talking to, but "you" anybody. I agree the Pharisees were not in the kingdom.

    Was this not fulfilled according to Joshua 21:43-45?

    "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:" (Genesis 15:18)

    Was this not fulfilled according to 2 Chronicles 9:27?

    The keeping of the land was conditional - 1 Kings 9:4-7; 2 Kings 21:8; 2 Chronicles 33:8. When the Jews disobeyed God, they forfeited the right to the land - Malachi 1:6; 3:7

    "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Genesis 12:2, 3)

    "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice." (Gen. 22:18)

    Was this not fulfilled according to Galatians 3:7-18? Are the elect not the "seed?"

    Is not the house of David not already established? "After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things." (Acts 15:16, 17)

    And please, do not think I posted these things because I think I am a "know-it-all" or anything like that. I simply want the opinion of the brethren. We do not get anywhere by arguing and putting each other down.
     
  14. Pastork

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    Primitive Baptist,

    As a "covenant premillennialist" I agree with your take on every verse you have cited except for one, Luke 17:20-21. It seems to me that you are giving too much weight to an uncertain interpretation of the verse. Although your exegesis of the meaning of the verse is possible, I do not think it is very probable, and it is definitely not as certain as you make it sound. For example, your view requires that entos humon be taken to mean 'within you' rather than 'in your midst' or 'among you', but this is questionable. Also, it seems to me that taking 'you' as generic is a bit forced. It only seems necessary in the first place if one assumes your understanding of entos and then also assumes that the Pharisees were asking Jesus about the Second Advent of the Messiah rather than the First Advent. But I see no reason to think that they even got his point on this. It seems best to understand them as questioning His having come as the Messiah at all, because they expected a very different Messiah than the one He claimed to be. Thus Jesus is answering a question about His current claims/ministry at the time and is correcting their mistaken impression about it. This is similar to His claim that "if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you" (Matt.12:28).

    Pastork

    P.S. Did you mean 2Chron.9:26, not 9:27?
     
  15. Primitive Baptist

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    What is Covenant Premillennialism? Is it like Historic Premillennialism? First of all, I would like to thank you for your generous post. Secondly, even if "within you" means "in your midst" or "among you," there is still a problem - "...The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!..." (Luke 17:20, 21).
     
  16. Primitive Baptist

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    "And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. AND TO THIS AGREE THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things." (Acts 15:13-17)
     
  17. Primitive Baptist

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    A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. (Heb. 8:2)

    But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Heb. 9:11, 12)

    Why does everybody want to take everything in the NEW COVENANT and give it to the Jews?????? Clearly the tabernacle Christ set up wasn't a physical temple...i actually read a paper by a PREMILLENNIALIST that said now since we have airplanes and other quick means of transportation, we'll be able to fly over to Jerusalem in a jet airplane and worship in the old tabernacle and make it home by evening!!! :rolleyes: :D
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    PB,

    Please bear with me a bit. I am in the middle of a big project (actually closer to the end) and hoping to finish it up today. I don't want to rush to post a response becuase I want to answer the questions you ask in the depth that they deserve. Hopefully by tonight or tomorrow, I will be able to devote a few minutes to it.

    I am not avoiding or putting you off. This is actually one of the favorite topices. I will get back to it as soon as possible.
     
  19. Primitive Baptist

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    No problem, take your time. [​IMG]
     
  20. Pastork

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    Primitive Baptist,

    Yes, a "covenant premilliennialist" is a version of "historic premillenialism". I used the term because it specifies holding to a covenantal perspective/hermeneutic. As for there still being a problem for the premil. postion in Luke 17:20-21, I still disagree. There is no problem at all unless you think that Jesus' response to the Pharisees was referring to His second advent, but I do not think this is the case as I stated before.

    Pastork

    [ August 08, 2002, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: Pastork ]
     

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