Eschatology Questions

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Some Eschatology Questions

    1. Compare and Contrast the difference between dispensational Soteriology and Calvinistic Dispensational Soteriology.

    2. Classical Dispensationalism distinguished between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, but revised dispensationalism does not. Is there such a distinction?

    3. In Mt 24:16-21 the Jews flee but too what city? Some say Petra but is this correct?

    4. The invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38-39, will this happen before or after the rapture?

    5. Lots of people try and explain away Dispensationalism because of its recent development as a system, but this does not mean that the concepts were not taught prior. Some other examples of doctrines not articulated for centuries are the person and work of christ (Christology), the trinity, etc.. Also those that do not like Dispensationalism forget that their literary and historical criticism is of recent origin as well. Were the early church fathers pre mill and believed in the doctrine of immanence or where they amill?

    6. Where there demons in Noah's day that all be released during the tribulation?

    7. Satan and his demons will be locked up during the 1000 year reign of Christ but man will still be able to sin and rebel against God. How will the evil during this time period compare to the evil of today when Satan and his demons are able to tempt and deceive?
     
    #1 evangelist6589, Apr 5, 2014
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  2. kyredneck

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    Christ made no such distinction:

    4 From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt 4

    14 Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
    15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe in the gospel. Mk 1

    It was Pella:

    "...When the Jewish revolt against Rome broke out four years later, the Jerusalem church left the city and went into dispersion. According to the fourth century historian Eusebius, they received an oracle some time before the fighting began charging them to leave the doomed city of Jerusalem and migrate to Pella. Pella beyond the Jordan was one of the cities of the Decapolis it was probably not to the city of Pella itself that the Jerusalem church migrated, but to the surrounding countryside which belonged to that city, as well as to other parts of Transjordan especially less frequented parts. The flight of the mother church to the wilderness and her preservation there may be reflected in the language of Rev. 12:14.

    In dispersion these believers continued to call themselves the church of Jerusalem, and their successive leaders were drawn for several decades from relatives of James, members of the holy family. They were disowned as apostates by orthodox Jews, and increasingly disowned as heretics by orthodox Christians, although they thought of themselves as forming a bridge between these two bodies, conserving all that was best in both. They lingered on in Transjordan and Egypt until the seventh century, when those who had not already been absorbed by Jewish or Christian orthodoxy lost their identity in the overflowing tide of Islam....."

    It occurs after the 'thousand year reign' of Revelation, and Israel is symbolic of the much greater 'Israel of God', not just a small piece of land in the ME.

    Nothing new at all about the Dispensational heresy. The Judaizers constituted the very first heresy of the early church. Dispensationalism is a 180 degree return to the 1st century heresy of giving the preeminence to the Jews.
     
    #2 kyredneck, Apr 5, 2014
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  3. evangelist6589

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    Are you a Partial Preterist? A full Preterist (a heretic) a Ammillenialist, or a beloved Postmillennialist whom believes the entire world will be christianized for the sake of the gospel before his return?


     
  4. kyredneck

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    There's some merit in all the views. I'm Preterhistorifuturidealist.
     
  5. kyredneck

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    "...Note by translator of the history, William Whiston:

    "There may be another very important and very providential reason assigned for this strange and foolish retreat of Cestius, which, if Josephus had been at the time of writing his history a Christian, he might probably have taken notice of also; and that is the opportunity afforded the Jewish Christians in the city, of calling to mind the prediction and caution given them by Christ that 'when they should see the abomination of desolation' (the idolatrous Roman armies, with the images of their idols in their ensigns) ready to lay Jerusalem desolate, 'stand where it ought not,' or 'in the holy place'; or 'when they should see Jerusalem encompassed with armies,' they should then 'flee to the mountains.' By complying with which, those Jewish Christians fled to the mountains of Perea, and escaped this destruction. Nor was there perhaps any one instance of a more unpolitic, but more providential conduct, than this retreat of Cestius visible during this whole siege of Jerusalem, which (siege) was providentially such a 'great tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the world to that time; no, nor ever should be'.”

    John Gill, on Matthew 24:16:

    "...it is remarked by several interpreters, and which Josephus takes notice of with surprise, that Cestius Gallus having advanced with his army to Jerusalem, and besieged it, on a sudden without any cause, raised the siege, and withdrew his army, when the city might have been easily taken; by which means a signal was made, and an opportunity given to the Christians, to make their escape: which they accordingly did, and went over to Jordan, as Eusebius says, to a place called Pella; so that when Titus came a few months after, there was not a Christian in the city . . "...."

    When You See Jerusalem Surrounded.....
     
    #5 kyredneck, Apr 5, 2014
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  6. ~JM~

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    Working today and wish I had time to respond but I'll post a quick bit of information that might be of assistance.

    Millennialism was a minority belief held by a small but vocal group in Asia minor. It was never a universal position of the church and was rejected for many reasons. The following review might help shed light on the early church and what they believed.

    The Review: Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity: Charles E. Hill: 9780802846341: Books - Amazon.ca

    There is a common misconception among some Christians that early Church's eschatology was universally premillennial and only gradually did this premillennialism (or chiliasm) fall out of favor with the credit (or blame) usually given to Origen and Augustine. This claim, often put forward by those clinging to the dispensationalist eschatology, overlooks the fact that the earliest Church Fathers have no trace of chiliasm in the eschatalogical passages of their writings. It is only in the second century that chiiasm appears and goes on to be the more widely held position - although never universally so - and then fades again in popularity. The questions then become: Where did chiliasm originate? Why did it become so widespread? What led to its demise?

    In Regnum Caelorum, Charles E. Hill explores these question and in the process arrives at some ground breaking conclusions on the connection between the rise of chiliasm and the disemination of certain beliefs in the nature of the intermediate state between the believer's earthly passing and resurrection popularized by two pseudopigraphical Jewish apocalyptic writings that had attained some status within the fledgling Christian community. These two writings - II Baruch and IV Ezra - intimately linked the belief that souls would remain in Hades until the establishment of the millennial kingdom and not go to heaven as believed by others.

    Hill begins by noting that during the height of chiliasm, its most ardent defenders did state that there were true believers in Christ who did not hold the chiliast position. One of the most famous was St. Irenaeus of Lyon who believed that Christians not holding to a chiliast position were troubled because they - wrongly in his mind - believed the souls of the faithful departed would go to heaven and a subsequent return to an earthly millennial kingdom would be a step back from the glories of the beatific vision. Instead, St. Irenaeus asserted that their souls would remain in Hades - located in the bowels of the earth - unitl Christ returns and not in heaven (with an exception made for the martyrs) and so such concerns were baseless.

    With a possible link in Irenaeus of chiliasm and an intermediate state in Hades, Hill then examines other chiliasts for further evidence of a similar connection. Papias, a well known figure of the early second century Church whose writings we now only have in fragements quoted by St. Irenaeus and others, held eschatalogical views that were dependant upon the pseudopigraphical II Baruch. Since II Baruch ties in chiliasm and the view of an intermediate state in Hades, it is likely that Papias held a similar outlook and it was through Papias' influence that St. Irenaeus came to the a similar position.

    Turning to a chiliast between St. Justin Martyr, a chiliast whose writings appeared between Papias and St. Irenaeus, Hill finds a similar connection between chiliasm and Hades as an intermediate state. There is some dispute as to the consistency in his writings on both matters, but where his he assert chiliasm, the subterranean intermediate state assertion also appears. Hill then turns to other Christian chiliasts throughout the ante-Nicene period and finds that, with one exception, all of them also hold to the belief in a subterranean intermediate state in Hades (with some but not all making an exception for the martyrs). The one exception is late - St. Methodius of Olympus at the turn of the fourth century - and was reacting to criticism by Origen by attempting to fuse elements of chiliast and non-chiliast eschatologies. Thus a strong correspondence of the two beliefs is established.

    Having established a link within chiliasm - possibly through Papias - to the eschatalogical views expressed in Jewish pseudopigraphia, Hill takes a look at Jewish eschatalogical speculation in the peiod. There was a great deal of messianic fervor within Judaism prior to the time of Christ and this heightened after the shock of the Roman destruction of the Temple in Jersualem. From that date until the Roman's crushing the Bar Kochba revolt (~130 A.D.), an intense period of apocalyptic speculation occurred in Phariseeic circles and it was during this period that II Baruch and IV Ezra - the only Jewish books to link chiliasm and the subterranean intermediate state - were from this period. The interaction of early Christians with Jews during this period certainly would have familiarized them with such expectations and Papias, St. Justin Martyr, and the author of the Epistle of Barnabas all demonstrate a dependancy on one or both of these documents. It was through this influence that we see that such beliefs entered into the Christian consciousness at the turn of the second century A.D. Hill further notes that the entry of such beliefs is marked by some gnostic writers reacting to the chiliast belief and in so confirming its linkage to the belief in a subterranean intermediate state.

    Hill then begins to examine the writings of non-chiliasts in the ante-Nicene Church. First examining the writings of the first century Apostolic Fathers, he demonstrates both the lack of chiliastic beliefs and a of belief in a subterranean intermediate state. In fact, there is strong evidence of a contrary belief in a heavenly intermediate state. This pattern is also reflected in the writings of non-chiliast Christians, Christian pseudopigraphia, and Christian martyrologies of the second century.

    Hill then tackles the issue of the Montanists. The excesses of the Montanist movement (and its subsequent censure by the Church) are often credited with the decline of chiliasm on the assumption that Montanists were largely chiliasts. However, Hill points out that the patristic critics of Montanism - including many who ardently opposed chiliasm - did not bring up any such link. The misconception may result from the fact that Tertullian, by far the best known figure to embrace Montanism, was also a chiliast but he was a chiliast long before he was a Montanist. In fact, the description of Montanist beliefs we find in the Church Fathers indicates a variety of eschatalogical positions. There is no doubt, however, that an erroneous link between the two became established later.

    (continued in the next post)
     
  7. ~JM~

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    (continued)

    The author then turns to the period when the tide begins to turn against chiliasm. He shows this change in fortunes corresponds to an eschatalogical shift to a position that increasingly looked heavenword. In the third century, the chiliast position would fall out of favor by this trend and the accompanying criticism of the theologians of the Alexandrian school who recoiled at the earthly emphasis of the chiliast eschatology.

    Having established a strong connection between views on the intermediate state and position on chiliasm (chiliasm/subterranean intermediate state vs. non-chiliasm/heavenly intermediate state), Hill looks to the eschatalogical passages of the New Testament to see whether a millennial view can be clearly articulated or at least hinted at by a view of the intermediate state of the faithful departed. In demonstrating no advocacy of a chiliast position in the Epistles and the Gospels, he also points out the many references to a heavenly abode for the faithful departed. This is still further evidence that these writings were not advocating a chiliast view. With this in mind, he then tackles the Book of Revelation and shows how the imagery is best understood in the context of a Christian community that had no understanding of chiliasm. He points out how the imagery deviates greatly from that normally associated with a chiliast view and concludes that later chiliast readings were not in keeping with the original intent and were likely the result of imposing a chiliastic matrix derived from Jewish pseudopigraphia upon the text.

    Hill then closes the book by tying together some loose ends from earlier chapters. He gives a summary of his findings and points out how in the revival of chiliasm in elements of the radical reformation, the same issue of a retreat from the heavenly abode was confronted and was solved by introducing the idea of soul sleep. Although not mentioned, one could also point out that contemporary dispensationalists evade this issue by dividing the people of God into God's earthly people (believing Jews) and heavenly people (Christians) and the millennium is only for the former. Hill then returns to the statement of St. Irenaeus that good Christians disagreed on this issue and from earlier studies concludes who he may have had in mind. The author also points to the evidence supporting the belief that chiliasm was not something St. Irenaeus inherited from St. Polycarp but departed from earlier beliefs to an alternate eschatology that he believed was better able to combat gnosticism. He then gives an exegesis of Revelation 20 using the writings of ante-Nicene non-chiliasts and concludes with some final remarks on New Testament Eschatology.

    In its thoroughness in studying the eschatological views of the early Church, Regnum Caelorum puts to rest the idea that the earliest Christian eschatology was universally premillennial. In so doing, the linkage of millennial views with corresponding outlooks on the intermediate state links the chiliast eschatology with views that are objectively rejected by the New Testament texts. For anyone interested in the development of eschatology in the early Church, it is absolutely essential reading.

    (end of review)
     
  8. ~JM~

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    So as you can see premil was believed for the wrong reasons. The church universal eventually rejected premil for amil/postmil beliefs.

    I hope that helped.

    Back to work!

    jm
     
  9. OldRegular

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    Can't speak to either of those but Scripture teaches that Salvation is by Grace!

    A comparison of certain parables shows that Classical Dispensationalism is wrong.

    They were not Jews but Christians. But the flight was apparently to Pella in 66AD to escape the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.

    That all depends?

    Many of the early Church fathers were apparently premillennial, not dispensational. The major problem with Classical Dispensationalism is their doctrine of the Church. They claim that the Church for which Jesus Christ died is a "Parenthesis" in God"s plan for Israel.

    I will discuss, argue, debate, the dispensationalist regarding Eschatology. However, I really don't care whether they are the "Rapture Ready" type or not. I do resent the belief of many that God places the Jew on a higher level than the "true Believer!"

    That being said the doctrine of the "Parenthesis" Church is simply false doctrine. Jesus Christ did not die for a "Parenthesis". He died for His Bride which includes all the redeemed of all time!

    That all depends! Were there demons in Noah's day. Before or after the flood? Perhaps they were like the pigs in the days of Jesus Christ. As I recall they were all drowned.

    Actually that passage from Revelation 20 is being fulfilled as I write.!
     
  10. OldRegular

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    Classical Dispensationalism is wrong!

    John the Baptist preached that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Jesus Christ taught that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Obviously the kingdoms are the same. The term “Kingdom of Heaven” appears only in the Gospel of Matthew but the term “Kingdom of God” is used on five occasions[Matthew 6:33; 12:28; 19:24, 21:31; 21:43]. Mark, Luke, and John use only the term “Kingdom of God”. Jesus Christ used both terms but generally referred to the Kingdom of God. Some have argued that there is a difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. Walvoord [page 213 of Major Bible Prophecies] states that when Matthew uses the term Kingdom of Heaven he is referring to the sphere of profession but that when he uses the term Kingdom of God he is referring to those who are truly saved. Rather than “rightly divide the Word of God” dispensationalists splinter the Scripture and, therefore, the truth.

    A comparison of parallel passages in Matthew, Mark, and Luke shows that Matthew uses the Kingdom of Heaven in the same context that Mark and Luke use of the Kingdom of God. A comparison of the explanation of Jesus Christ as to why He spoke in parables [following the parable of the sower] demonstrates without doubt that there is no difference in Matthew’s use of the Kingdom of Heaven and Mark’s and Luke’s use of the Kingdom of God.

    Matthew 13:10,11, KJV
    10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
    11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

    Mark 4:10,11, KJV
    10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
    11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all [these] things are done in parables:

    Luke 8:9,10, KJV
    9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
    10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
     
  11. Gabriel Elijah

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    I don’t have time to answer at the moment—but I just wanted to say—this is absolutely one of the best list of eschatology questions I’ve seen in a while—Impressive thinking regardless of where this post goes!
     
  12. evangelist6589

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    Thanks brother. I still have not found a answer on my soteriology question. I may need to refer or read a chapter in Ryries book on Dispensationalism and the book the Gospel according to Jesus as Mac is also a dispensationalist but how does his soteriology differ? I have no clue but a hunch Lordship may be a factor.
     
  13. ~JM~

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    MacArthur is a little confusing to me. He rightly sees one people of God but divides them, like Dispensationalists do, into two groups. John MacArthur uses some elements of covenant theology to bring his Dispensationalism toward a more biblical and historic form of eschatology. What should be noted and noted often, the Premil of the early church was not Dispensational.
     
  14. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Only John wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem, which convinced the Jews that God had removed His hand from them and the temple. They couldn't see a "church age" until that happened, and John was not concerned with teaching it in his gospel or his three epistles, though the Revelation certainly fills in the gaps of biblical eschatology.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    Dispensationalists are generally either Arminian or Calvinist. Both are on this Forum!
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Dispensationalists may fall into the Arminian or Calvinist category by some reckoning, but typically dispensationalists are neither, because neither are completely correct.
     
  17. Van

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    I see a lot of terms, but seldom a definition. There is more than one flavor of dispensationalism, and the majority of negative dispensationalism posts seem to refer to Traditional Dispensationalism, rather than the more recent Progressive Dispensationalism.

    Traditional Dispensationalism does indeed maintain a separation between the promises to the Jews to be fulfilled in end times, and the church.

    Progressive Dispensationalism, or at least one version of it, considers the church members to be children of the promise, and therefore will receive all the promises made to Israel. See Galatians 3 for support for this view.

    Some Calvinists do not believe in a literal thousand year reign of Jesus on David's throne, but those who take the Bible as literally as possible believe in that Kingdom to come.
     
  18. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Nope. And that isn't "Progressive Dispensationalism" either.
    The chapter supports, rather than denies, the promises to Israel will yet be fulfilled.
    Most Calvinists are amillennial.
     
    #18 thisnumbersdisconnected, Apr 8, 2014
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  19. ~JM~

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    Most Calvin believe in a literal period of time symbolized but "1000" years in Revelation. Calvinist believe it could 999 years or much longer, it's still a literal period of time.
     
  20. prophet

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    This is the part I can't agree with.
     

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