Rev 20:4 - Does it really teach premillenialism?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by bmerr, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. bmerr

    bmerr
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    To All,

    bmerr here. This is an off-shoot of the spirit/soul salvation thread. The reason for it is that the aforementioned thread seems wrapped up with the doctrine of a 1000 year reign of Christ on earth. This fact is one reason why I reject the notion of spirit/soul salvation as false.

    To my knowledge, Rev 20:4 seems to be the primary text used to support the doctrine of millenialism. I will admit, that on the surface, it really does look like there will be a 1000 year reign somewhere. But this doctrine conflicts with so many other passages of Scripture, that it cannot be the result of a proper understanding of Rev 20:4.

    Do I expect to convince lots of people that premillenialism is a false doctrine? Not really, since it's a very widely accepted teaching. But it never hurts to show others evidence they may not have considered before.

    Let's look at the text.

    And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

    Now for a break-down.

    "And I saw thrones..." Seems like that would indicate a position of rule, or authority.

    "...and they sat upon them..." Who sat upon them? "They" is a pronoun, which should refer back to someone, but I can't tell who.

    "...and judgment was given unto them..." This seems fitting for whoever is sitting on the thrones.

    "...and I saw the souls..." These are souls, which I understand to be different from the body of a person. These are apparently the souls of people who were no longer alive, thus, I doubt they are on thrones on the earth.

    "...of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands..." Pretty specific bunch of people, limiting them to those who had been beheaded. Not a common practice nowadays, with notable exceptions in Iraq, of late. Maybe it's coming back into popularity. Whatever the case, these had been put to death for the witness of Christ.

    "...and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." It is only the above described group who will reign with Christ 1000 years, apparently, although there is no indication of how long Christ will reign Himself.

    Well, there's the text, with a few brief, amateur observations from yours truly. We haven't looked at context, or anything yet, but it's a start.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  2. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I believe premillenialism to be in error as well. The notion is not to be found in Christ’s dissertation in Matt. 24 either.

    Here is the most important issue on this subject that I have notice. I have recently heard more than one radio preacher state that you can take a mark in your hand or your forehead today, and it is impossible for that to be the mark of the beast, for all the Christians will be raptured before the mark of the beast is evident.

    Now if those holding to a premillenial view are consistent, they would have to agree. I have asked some specifically if in fact they would take a mark today if it was imposed upon us to do it, and they start backing up. Well, they say, no, I probably wouldn’t. The truth is that they are unsure as to whether or not such a mark could in fact be the mark or not, and therefore their beliefs are based upon possibilities or assumptions, and not the sure Word of God.

    Satan could devise of no better scheme to influence the masses to accept his mark than to tell them that it is impossible for it to be the mark of the beast due to the fact that the Christians would all be gone if in fact it was the mark.

    I believe the premillenial push presents dangerous and deceptive implications and should be rejected as unscriptural.
     
  3. James_Newman

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    We will just have to assume they is whoever is sitting on the thrones.
    They are resurrected when they sit on the thrones. It shows that they 'lived' and reigned with Him a thousand years. As you note, souls without bodies are not alive.
    Many premills past have believed in a selective ressurection would only include those who were martyred for Christ's sake. I don't know of any who hold that position today, but it is understandable how they might come to that conclusion from this verse.
    I don't see how you have a good reason to reject a literal thousand year reign. If we continue the passage, we also have the next two verses.

    Revelation 20:5-6
    5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
    6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    Hebrews 11:35
    35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

    That not all believers will take part in this resurrection should be obvious. They are called blessed and holy. Jesus doesn't say that whosoever believeth on me will reign with me for a thousand years. This first resurrection is promised to those who overcome.

    Revelation 2:11
    11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    Revelation 2:26
    26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

    Revelation 3:21
    21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    If the first resurrection is limited to only those who are martyred, then we would have to find another place to put these scriptures.

    James 2:5
    5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

    2 Peter 1:10-11
    10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    If these verses are not referring to the kingdom in Rev 20, I don't know of any other kingdom revealed in scripture.
     
  4. James_Newman

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    Conditions for the rapture would be another thread. Suffice it to say that I don't believe that all believers will be removed before the tribulation. A worse deception still will be to say there is no literal mark of the beast. If we get rid of the literal interpretation of Rev 20, the rest of Revelation goes right out. Christians who are not watching and praying for the return of Christ will be ripe for deception.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    First of all you admit that the text does mention the literal 1000 years but then you say that OTHER texts make you want to change the meaning of Rev 20 so to try and find a way around the 1000 years that are literally mentioned there.

    That is a good objective honest confession at the start because it shows that you are less inclined to exegete Rev 20 objectively and would be more inclined to try and find a way to bend it into conformity with some of your view on other texts.

    Then you say "let's look at the text" which is also a good approach - because IF you could possibly drop the bias you are bringing to the text to start with and just "look at it" and believe it - using sound exegetical methods you will see the 1000 years literally presented in it.

    That then leaves you with the mission of fully exploring the 1000 years idea in scripture and then going back to your conflicting texts and seeing if you really have interpreted them correctly.

    One might say "On the Surface it appears that John 1 has Christ being God" or "on the surface it looks like 1 Thess 4 speaks of the resurrection of the righteous" as you have said "on the Surface it looks like we see the 1000 years presented in Rev 20"

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. BobRyan

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    #1. I do accept the premillennial second coming as we see it in Rev 19 followed by the literal millennium in Rev 20.

    #2. I do not believe the saints are raptured BEFORE the 2nd coming "the return again" promise of Christ in John 14. In other words the FIRST resurrection is the resurrection of the "Holy and Blessed" the resurrection of the righteous - the resurrection that Paul also mentions in 1Thess 4.

    #3. I do NOT believe Rev 13 shows the saints as falling -- because Rev 20 says those who reign with Christ were victorious over the mark and did not take it.
     
  7. BobRyan

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    speaking of the ark of Noah in which "eight souls were saved" Peter does not argue "these are disembodied souls" neither does John in Rev 20.

    Try something else.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Key Points:

    Rev 19 and 20 are one story – about the return of Christ “I will come again and receive you unto Myself”.

    This is all future to John’s day. “They will be priests”, “They will reign”, “And then I saw – they came to life”

    #1. Souls who had been beheaded for their testimony.
    #2. Souls who died for the Word of God
    #3. Those who had not worship the beast or his image
    #4. Those who had not received the mark of the beast
    #5. “Then I saw…they came to life” A future event regarding these souls. Future to John’s day
    1 Peter 3:20 “Eight souls entered into the ark” same word as “soul’ used in Rev 20:4 – meaning “person”.

    #6. “The Rest of the dead” – all those who do not come to life at this 2nd coming event. Did not “come to life” until the 1000 years are completed.
    (Note – if “come to life” means – “be saved” then the rest of the dead get saved after the 1000 years. Universal salvation is not the point as we see from the rest of the chapter)

    #7. “This is the first resurrection”
    (This is the first resurrection that John sees in the future. The church is focused entirely on that resurrection according to 1Thess 4: 13-18 and 1Peter 1: 21, Romans 8:17-23, Phil 3 end) …

    #8. The resurrection of vs 4 where the souls of the righteous “came to Life” (as opposed to being alive while dead) – is the event that starts the 1000 year clock ticking.

    (This focus of the NT church – the resurrection of the righteous, is also described by Paul in 1Thess 4. These in Rev 20 are the righteous and is also clear that the “second death” has no power over those raised in this resurrection before the 1000 years.)

    But there is another resurrection (a second resurrection) for the text says The Rest of the dead did not “Come To LIFE until the 1000 years were completed.
     
  9. Eliyahu

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    Rev 20:4

    Would you confirm the definition of Pre-millennium-ism or Millennialism ?

    My understanding is :

    1. Jesus Christ comes before the 1000 years reign, after the Great Tribulation.

    2. Rev 20:4 tells us the Resurrection will occur partially.
    Special Saints(maybe 144,000), Martyrs, Idol rejectors, Tribulation Survivors will participate in the New Millennium.

    This is the better Resurrection mentioned in Heb 11:35

    Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

    3. Rest of the people will not resurrect.

    Rev 20:5
    But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection


    4. Rev 20:13 tells us another Resurrection for the plain people ( plain believers and plain unbelievers)

    And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell ( Hades, waiting place for the dead) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
     
  10. J. Jump

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    It amazes me that people try to deny the pre-millenial rapture and the coming 1,000-year kingdom with just looking at one or two Scriptures. The rapture and the 1,000-year kingdom can be seen throughout Scripture starting in Genesis.

    Of course there is way too much information to put on a message board, but if anyone is interested in resource material feel free to PM me or email me.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Isn’t it amazing all the penumbral ideas that can be wrested from underneath and in between verses of Scripture when we are guided by our presuppositions that are directing and creating the boundaries and ends of our search.
     
  12. J. Jump

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    Well HP I guess you'll just get to kick back and enjoy the ride whether you believe it or not :)

    By they way the Bible was written in a typical/shadow/figure fashion and if we want to understand it then we are going to have to see the types the shadows and the figures, instead of calling it underneath and in between verses.

    Again if we would just let the Bible be the Book that God intended it to be...
     
  13. Hope of Glory

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    So, JJump, does that mean you think we should actually pay attention to this verse?

    1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
     
  14. J. Jump

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    Exactly!!!
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HI JJ,
    There are many type and figures in Scripture, but care must be used in the determination of what is a true type for the ‘shadow’ indicated. There is also the tendency to make too much of a comparison, or reading between and underneath the lines in order to make a verse walk on all four legs to support presuppositional notions.

    If we are going to establish doctrine, such as the millennium, when it is to occur and what and whom shall it be seen as to encompass, and establish our ideas by Scripture, we need to develop a list of guidelines for the interpretation of Scripture, so as not to be found simply abusing it to meet the needs of our presuppositions. What are the guidelines you have established for the interpretation of Scripture?
     
  16. Hope of Glory

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    There's more of a tendency to ignore what Scripture says when it contradicts our preconceived notions.

    Ironically, most people who readily see the Kingdom in the Scriptures did so in spite of their presuppositions, once they looked at exactly what the Scriptures say.
     
  17. BobRyan

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    Almost have to agree with Eliyahu on thus one.


    But there is a key detail in Rev 20 that contrasts the resurrection of the righteous that we see in Rev 20:4 and in 1Thess 4 "OVER THESE the second death has NO power".

    But this is not the case for those in the 2nd resurrection.

    For there is a resurrection of the "just" AND then (1000 years later) of the "unjust". Those over whom the second death DOES have power.

    IN Christ,

    Bob
     

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