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Featured Who Has Part in The First Resurrection?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by OldRegular, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing in Revelation that indicates the Church is no longer present during the events described in chapters 6-18. In fact as I have noted before:
    "The argument is made that because the words church or churches do not appear after the completion of the third chapter of the Revelation, the Church cannot be present during the events described in the succeeding chapters. The word churches is used eleven times in Chapters 1-3, the word church is used seven times in these same chapters. The word church or churches does not appear again until Chapter 22, Verse 16. However, the term saints is used in Revelation 5:8; 8:3, 4; 11:18; 13:7, 10; 14:12; 15:3; 16:6; 17:6; 18:24; 19:8; and 20:9. The term redeemed is used in Revelation 5:9 and 14:3, 4. Both of these terms are characteristic of the Church, the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ when found elsewhere in the New Testament [Gregg, Revelation, Four Views, page 87]. The appearance of the churches again in Chapter 22, Verses 16 and 17 is interesting and informative.

    Revelation 22:16,17, KJV
    16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.
    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.


    Notice two things,

    1. Jesus sent His angel to testify of these things in the churches, and
    2. The Spirit and the Bride, the Church, give the invitation to come and take of the water of life freely.

    These are strange statements to make if the Church is inconsequential during much of the period covered in Revelation; is gone during the tribulation period, and Jesus Christ rules with a ‘rod of iron’ during the millennium."

    Now we examine the appearance of the words Israel or Jew in the Book of Revelation. The word Israel appears three times in the Book of Revelation, Chapters 2, 7, and 21; the word Jews appears only twice, Chapters 2 and 3, and there the reference is to false Jews. So we see that a reference to Israel appears only once during that part of the Book that is presumed to represent ‘the seven year tribulation’ and ‘Jacob’s time of trouble’. The first time the word Israel is used [2:14] the reference is to the false prophet Balaam and his role in the seduction of Israel enroute to the promise land. In Chapter 7 the name Israel is used in the discussion of the servants of God who are sealed. The next occasion [21:12] the name is used in the description of the New Jerusalem, the Church, the Bride of Jesus Christ. Again, Israel is referred to only one time, and no reference is made to the Jews, during that period in which it is claimed that the Church is absent. Strange indeed is the absence of the words Jew or Israel in the 16 chapters of Revelation written specifically, according to dispensational theology, for them while in the remainder of the New Testament the words Jew or Jews occur 188 times and the words Israel or Israelite occur 73 times.

    It is interesting to note that there are other books in the New Testament where the words church or churches are not used. The words do not appear in the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John. If one believes that the Church was not established until Pentecost, that is not necessarily unusual. It is interesting, however, that the book that many dispensationalists claim is the Gospel of the Kingdom [written by a Jewish believer who collected taxes for Rome] is the Gospel in which the Church is first proclaimed. The words church or churches are not mentioned in 1st & 2nd Peter, 1st & 2nd John, and Jude. Can we then argue the absence of the Church? The words are also absent from the first 15 chapters of Romans and occur only twice in Hebrews.

    To show that the absence or presence of a word is not decisive consider the Book of Esther in the Old Testament. The editor of the Thompson Chain Reference Bible notes:The name of God does not appear in the book, while a heathen king is referred to over 150 times. There is no allusion to prayer or spiritual service of any kind with the possible exception of fasting. Does this absence of reference to God mean that He was absent or that the book of Esther should not be in the Canon? Obviously not. The book of Esther was written to show God’s watch care over His Covenant people through whom He would bring the Saviour into the world.

    In conclusion, there are books in the New Testament in which the words church or churches are not mentioned. Therefore, the absence of the word church in Chapters 4-19 of the book of Revelation is scant justification to claim that the Church is absent during the period covered by these chapters. However, I believe the best argument against a pretribulation “Rapture” is contained in the proper interpretation of John 5:28,29.

    Alan Johnson writing in the Expositors Bible Commentary, Volume 12, page 461 explains the absence of the word ‘church’ as follows: “the word church or churches always stands in Revelation for the historic seven churches in Asia and not for the universal body of Christ. Since 4:2-22:15 concerns the believing community as a whole, it would be inappropriate at least for John’s usage to find the narrower term ‘church’ in this section."

    Walvoord, page 279, Major Bible Prophecies, writes: In the entirety of Revelation 4-18, no mention of the church on earth is found. Instead believers are referred to as believing Gentiles or believing Jews but never as the church. The total absence of any reference to the church is difficult to explain unless the pretribulationists are correct that the church is in heaven and not on earth during this period. However, as noted previously the word Jew is not mentioned in Chapters 4-19. The word Israel is mentioned only one time [Revelation 7:4]. The word Gentile is mentioned only one time [Revelation 11:2]. The word “redeemed” occurs only three times, one [Revelation 5:9] referring to the redeemed in Heaven, the remaining two in reference to the 144,000 on Mt Zion [Revelation 14:3, 4]. The word Saints occurs 13 times. Therefore, Walvoord’s statement that believers are referred to as believing Gentiles or believing Jews is not correct. In fact the words believer, believing, believe, or belief do not occur in the Book of Revelation.​

    Continued.
     
  2. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Since the Holy Spirit is gone why will people come to their senses. In fact there are a number of verses in Revelation which indicate the following:

    Revelation 9:20. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

    Reevelation 16:9. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

    Revelation 16:11. And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.


    That is a mile long stretch!

    New Testament Scripture speaks specifically of two resurrections, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the general resurrection, John 5:28, 29. The fact of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is mentioned frequently in the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle Paul gives some additional information related the general resurrections and the word resurrection is used in a number of places in the Gospels.
     
  3. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Let's stick by your adamant assertion that there are only two resurrection's.
    John MacArthur agrees with you: two resurrections! Now will you agree with him?

    In the first resurrection there are four phases:
    1. The resurrection of Christ.
    2. The resurrection of the dead in Christ and those who are alive when Christ comes for his saints before the Tribulation.
    3. At the end of the Tribulation, those who are beheaded for Christ's sake (during the time of the Tribulation).
    4. The resurrection of the OT saints at the same time as the tribulation saints.

    That is the first resurrection in four phases.
    The second resurrection is the resurrection of the unjust in Rev.20:11-15

    I posted this for you here:
    http://www.baptistboard.com/showpost.php?p=2106435&postcount=144
     
  4. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Revelation 20:1-6, KJV
    1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
    2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
    4 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.
    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.


    The initial vision presented in Revelation 20 does not follow chronologically the marriage supper of the Lamb, the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory, the battle of Armageddon, and the destruction of the beast and his followers, which was revealed in Chapter 19. Rather this vision recapitulates certain events associated with this present dispensation, which is that period from the incarnation until the return of Jesus Christ and His judgment of the quick and the dead [2 Timothy 4:1; , Revelation 20:11ff].

    The interpretation of this passage provides the basis for the divergent millennial views regarding the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the age. This chapter can be properly interpreted only if we understand what is meant by 1] the binding of Satan and 2] the first resurrection.

    This angel that the Apostle sees is the same angel that opens the bottomless pit, at the sound of the fifth trumpet, to release a horde of locusts [Revelation 9:1-3]. The mission of the angel on this occasion is to bind the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan and seal him in the bottomless pit for one thousand years. Thus Satan is unable to deceive the nations any more until the thousand years are finished. How are we to interpret this vision?

    We must understand that the vision is symbolic.

    First: The chain and key are not a literal chain and key because these would be unable to restrain a spirit being like Satan. They are symbolic of the sovereignty of God over Satan.

    Second: The thousand years is not literally one thousand years, rather they are symbolic of a complete period of time. The number ten or multiples of ten is used throughout Revelation, and other places in Scripture, to indicate such completeness. For example, the period of time the church at Smyrna must experience tribulation is ten days [Revelation 2:10], the servants of God who were sealed numbered one hundred forty four thousand people [Revelation 7:4] as did the number on Mount Zion [Revelation 14:1]. There are also the ten commandments, the ten plagues of Egypt, and the ten virgins, in each case the number is indicative of completeness. The one thousand years is the period of time from the binding of Satan until he is loosed a little season. This is the same period of time during which the souls of those who have part in the first resurrection will reign with Jesus Christ.

    Third: It is not an angel that binds Satan but Jesus Christ]. Consider the following Scripture:

    Matthew 12:24-29
    24. But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
    25. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
    26. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
    27. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
    28. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
    29. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

    John 12:30-32
    30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
    31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
    32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.

    Hebrews 2:14, 15
    14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


    This binding does not mean that every evil act of Satan is precluded. However, the only power Satan has ever been able to exercise is under limitations imposed by God. This is particularly true when the people of God are involved [Job 1:6-12]. The binding of Satan, so that he can no longer deceive the nations, is simply a further restriction of the ability of Satan to deceive people and prevent the spread of the Gospel throughout the world.

    Jesus Christ triumphed over Satan in His life and in His death because the grave could not hold Him [Acts 2:23, 24]. The above passages speak of the defeat of Satan as an accomplished fact, which it is. However, his ultimate destruction awaits the return of Jesus Christ.

    To be continued:
     
  5. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    It must be acknowledged that Revelation 20:4-6 is avery difficult passage to interpret. This passage is the only place in the New Testament where a thousand year reign of Jesus Christ, popularly called ‘the millennial reign’, is mentioned and gives rise to the various views of the millennium, or the ‘millennial kingdom’.

    In beginning the discussion of this passage I believe it can be conceded, although the passage is highly symbolic, that it teaches two resurrections, a ‘first resurrection’ is mentioned directly, a second resurrection is necessarily implied. The ‘first resurrection’ occurs prior to the beginning of a ‘one thousand year’ period, the ‘millennium’, in which Jesus Christ reigns; the second resurrection occurs at the end of this ‘millennial’ reign. We have discussed in the previous section the meaning and extent of this ‘one thousand year’ period. However, if we are to clearly understand this passage we must first understand what the Apostle sees.

    First John sees thrones. These thrones are occupied but their occupants are not identified. Now we may conclude without doubt that these thrones represent power and those who occupy them have power, the power to judge.

    Second John sees souls, 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. Note that he does not see bodies but souls. Should one ask how John sees souls, recall that this is a vision, John sees what God chooses. Now it is true that in Scripture the word soul is often used to refer to living people, for example: in Acts 2:41 three thousand souls were added to the church, in Acts 27:37 there were three hundred and seventy six souls on the ship carrying Paul to Rome. In these passages souls is used as a figure on speech. However the context in Revelation 20:4 is different in that the word souls is not used as a figure of speech but refers to distinct entities apart from their associated physical bodies, i.e., the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus. The souls that John sees are of those of deceased Saints[


    • 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.

    The passage reads as if John were speaking of only one group of people with multiple descriptions. However, since those beheaded for the witness of Jesus are included in those which had not worshipped the beast it is likely that he is describing all Saints of God.

    We now know what John reportedly saw. In order to further understand what John is teaching in Revelation 20:4-6 we must now determine :


    • 1. Who is sovereign, who is reigning on earth and throughout creation at the present time, Jesus Christ or Satan? If Jesus Christ is not reigning now when does that reign begin?

      2. What is the First Resurrection?

      3. Who are those who have part in the First Resurrection

    1. Scripture is abundantly clear that Jesus Christ is sovereign now, is reigning now.

    1 Peter 3:21-22, KJV
    21 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
    22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

    Ephesians 1:20-22, KJV
    20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],
    21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
    22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,


    Who is reigning with Him? The Apostle John sees souls, not resurrected bodies, and these souls are reigning with Jesus Christ. The souls that John sees are those of the Saints who have already died and are currently in the presence of and reigning with God the Son. That reign will extend until Jesus Christ returns to the earth in power and glory, symbolically represented by the ‘one thousand years’, an extended but definite period of time.


    2. What does Scripture mean when it speaks of the ‘first resurrection’?

    If we search the Scriptures, in fact if we search secular history, we will read of only one person who died and came to life never to die again. That person was Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul preaching before King Agrippa declares:

    Acts 26:22,23, KJV
    22 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
    23 That Christ should suffer, [and] that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.


    Jesus Christ, in prophecy and in history, was the first and only one to rise from the dead to die no more. It is true that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, records accounts of people being raised from the dead:

    • The son of the widow of Zarephath restored to life by the prophet Elijah[1 Kings 17:22].

      The son of the Shunammite woman restored to life by the prophet Elisha[2 Kings 4:35]..
      The dead man restored to life at the touch of Elisha’s bones [2 Kings 13:21].

      Jairus’ daughter restored to life by Jesus Christ [Matthew 9:25, Mark 5:22].

      The son of the widow of Nain restored to life by Jesus Christ [Luke 7:15].

      Lazarus of Bethany restored to life by Jesus Christ [John 11:44].

      The disciple Tabitha, or Dorcas, of Joppa [Acts 9:40] was restored to life by the Apostle Peter.

      The young man Eutychus [Acts 20:9-12] was restored to life by the Apostle Paul.

    Although Scripture is silent about the further lives of these people, they did not have a resurrection body like that of Jesus Christ and they all died again consistent with Paul’s statement to King Agrippa. It is also true that Matthew 27:52,53 states that:

    Matthew 27:52,53, KJV
    52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
    53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.


    However, there is absolutely no indication in Scripture that these Saints possessed a resurrection body like that of Jesus Christ and that they ascended to heaven. It is my belief that these bodies returned to the grave to await the general resurrection. We see from the following Scripture that Jesus Christ was the first resurrection and that there will be no further resurrection until He returns.

    1 Corinthians 15:20-23, KJV
    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
    21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
    23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.


    What is the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the redemption of man and what does John mean when he writes: This [is] the first resurrection. Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.

    The Apostle Paul addresses the significance of the resurrection in his letter to the church at Corinth.

    1 Corinthians 15:17,18, KJV
    17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.
    18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.


    The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ground of the ‘new birth’ [that which is spiritually dead is made alive] and is the surety of the bodily resurrection of the believer. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ there is no hope for the ‘believer’, we are yet in our sins and those who are dead have perished. It is only because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that John can speak of those souls who sit on thrones. The resurrection of Jesus Christ validates the teaching that believers have passed from spiritual death into eternal life [John 3:16, 5:25, 11:25], who upon physical death will immediately go into the presence of the Saviour [Luke 16:22, Romans 14:8]. These souls, priests of God and of Christ, live and reign [2 Timothy 2:12, 1 Corinthians 6:2, Revelation 3:21] with Jesus Christ from heaven during this present dispensation on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thus the remark: This [is] the first resurrection.

    To be Continued:
     
  6. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    3. Who are those who have part in the first resurrection; why are they blessed and holy?

    As noted above Jesus Christ, in prophecy and in history, was the first and only one to rise from the dead to die no more. Those who have part in the first resurrection are the elect of God, those who have been regenerated, who have been rescued from spiritual death, through the power of the Holy Spirit and are saved through the finished work of Jesus Christ. The Apostle John records the teaching of Jesus Christ regarding those who have part in the first resurrection as follows :

    John 5:24-26, KJV
    24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
    25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
    26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

    John 11:25, KJV
    25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:


    In these passages the Lord is, in effect, teaching the rebirth, the spiritual resurrection, of the believer. The soul that undergoes this ‘rebirth’ can never die, will never experience the ‘second death’. There are some who believe that this spiritual rebirth is the ‘first’ resurrection indicated in Revelation 20:4-6. The spiritual rebirth is the an event that takes place during this life of those who are chosen to salvation. Therefore, this interpretation does not satisfy either the context or the content of the passage.

    I say again: Those who have part in the ‘first’ resurrection are the elect of God, those who are redeemed to Him through faith in resurrected Saviour. Blessed and holy indeed are those who have part in the first resurrection.

    • Blessed because they are heirs and joint heirs of God with Jesus Christ [Romans 8:17]. Theirs is an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away [1 Peter 1:4].

      Holy through of the righteousness imputed to them through Jesus Christ. They have been set apart, sanctified, through the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 6:11].

      Over these the second death has no power, rather theirs is life eternal [John 3:14-16, John 17:3, Romans 6:23].

    The Apostle Paul writes of the spiritual resurrection, regeneration, or spiritual rebirth, as follows:

    Ephesians 2:4-7, KJV
    4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
    5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
    6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
    7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.


    When we were ‘dead in sins’, spiritually dead, God made us alive together with Jesus Christ and raised us up to sit with Him in heavenly places, a spiritual resurrection. There is a sense in which the believer now sits in heavenly places with the Saviour, that is, the spiritual communion between the believer and the Father through Jesus Christ. This promise is further realized in the death of the believer and will be fully realized when redemption is complete with the resurrection of the body. However in the meantime while the deceased saints await the resurrection of the body John tells us: 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.
     
    #46 OldRegular, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2014
  7. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    That is your opinion and that is all. It lacks any foundation in fact. You have no reason not to take it chronologically. Why should we trust your interpretation?
    Again this is opinion, allegory, and numerology: all rolled in one, and all without foundation or fact. One is one, and ten is ten, and thousand is thousand. And when the Bible teaches that Christ arose from the dead we believe he did; we don't allegorize the facts!

    This is JW teaching--that Christ is only an angel.
    Now unwittingly you are propagating JW heresy!
    Think this through carefully OR.
    What is a resurrection? Resurrection always, always refers to the physical.
    There is no such thing as a "spiritual resurrection." There is no such thing as the resurrection of a soul, or a spirit. That is JW teaching, and their way of denying the resurrection of Christ. They claim that only his spirit arose and not his body. It is heresy.
    Whenever we speak of "resurrection" we of necessity must be speaking of the body. There is no other kind of resurrection. Therefore, John saw bodies. If they are resurrected they are not souls or spirits, they are bodies, real and physical, sitting on thrones. Resurrection refers to the physical. There is no such thing as the resurrection of a "soul" or "spirit." That teaching is JW heresy!

    The scripture teaches no such thing.
    The saints will reign (future) when we have our bodies on this earth during the millennial kingdom. Souls cannot reign. They don't have bodies. Your theology is not much different than RCC theology. The "souls" are dead! The saints are dead! They are still in the graves! The resurrection has not taken place yet. Often people go and put flowers by the grave-stone of their loved ones. They have died. The resurrection has not yet taken place yet.


    There has been only one resurrection. There will be more. Tense is an important thing to watch out for.
    The new birth is not a resurrection. To believe so is absurd. We have been born again, not resurrected. Our bodies are still in the grave. Your doctrine is perilously close to the JW or a denial to the physical resurrection for which the believer awaits.
    We wait for the redemption of our bodies.
    Again, There is not such thing as a spiritual resurrection; it is a contradiction in terminology. Resurrection always refers to the physical.
     
  8. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    I thought calling your opponents thoughts "heresy" was verboten here. Particularly when you aren't even trying to actually understand what they are really saying.
    Have a difference of opinion? Just call them JWs and call it good.

    I also am amused that the synergist (I assume) is telling the monergist that his theology isn't much different than the RCC. LOL :laugh:

    Anyway...

    OR, thank you for this explanation, I've heard it before but it's always good to get a refresher course. I am not convinced I admit, but I can see why you believe it.

    The language at the beginning of Chapter 20 is ambiguous at best regarding the chronology. The KJV, as you quoted has "And I saw..." Seeming to indicate continuity with the previous chapter though that isn't necessarily true. I tend to examine scripture with the KJV, the NASB, the ESV and the HCSB. Those three modern versions say "Then I saw..." possibly indicating that this is a new vision John is receiving, distinct from the one in Chapter 19, though again it is ambiguous.

    The binding of Satan does seem to correlate to the passages in Matthew, John and Hebrews (and others) that you quoted. But I admit I have a hard time immediately saying that this is the same event as those passages, portrayed symbolically. Could it not possibly be some kind of supernatural "chain" that could bind the Devil? He is a real being, and more importantly he is finite. Unlike God, who is infinite and thus everywhere at all times, Satan is finite and is bound (pardon the pun) by space and time. Is it not possible that there is a supernatural chain capable of holding this creature?

    Unlike DHK I have no problem with the idea that the angel mentioned here is indeed Christ. An angel is a messenger, and Jesus is portrayed as the final and greatest messenger from God (Heb 1:1,2). Also, the OT Angel of the Lord is often thought to be a theophany, or more precisely a Christophany and many times I believe that is the case; with that background, and Revelation's borrowing of OT themes and symbolism, seeing Christ as an angel shouldn't be a surprise.

    Where the Amillennial interpretation really loses me is regarding the identity of the "souls" as all believers. The text says this are those who were martyred by the beast. Now, if you interpret the beast as a singular, eschatological, super bad guy then these souls can't be all Christians through history. I'm really not sure how to interpret the beast. I don't believe that he's a one world ruler like the dispys do, and I admit I lean toward the traditional protestant view of the papacy being antichrist but I'm still not settled.

    That being said, I agree, Christ reigns now from Heaven. That shouldn't even be debatable as it is so clear in scripture. I also believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and that we are already seated with him in heavenly places. So it is VERY possible that Revelation is talking about the present reign of Christ with the saints, but I find the specificity of Rev 20:4 to be harder to overcome than you did.
     
    #48 RLBosley, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2014
  9. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Yes it is.
    Only in your head.
    In Revelation-speak, it's resurrected.

    In one place you talk of the spirit, and here you speak of the body. The body wasn't born again, so how is the fact that the body has yet to be resurrected any kind of rebuttal to OR?

    Not it's not.
    The thing we look for is the coming of Christ. Yes, we expect the resurrection of the body,
    No it doesn't. Resurrection refers to which the author was applying the term. The believer has been resurrected with Christ as is signified by our baptism into Him. That's the first resurrection. The second resurrection is the resurrection of the just and the unjust.
     
  10. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Nonsense.
    By definition "resurrection" ALWAYS refers to the body!
    Was it possible for Jesus to have a "spirit resurrection" as the JW's teach? Of course not! Neither is it for us.
    According to Merriam-Webster:
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resurrection

    It refers to the body, one risen from the dead. A spirit doesn't rise. A spirit is separated from the body.

    James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
    --There is no resurrection here; just separation.

    Resurrection always refers to the physical.
    The new birth is not, does not, and never has referred to a resurrection.
    According to Romans 6:3-5, we have a picture, not a resurrection:

    Romans 6:4-5 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

    As Christ was raised we should walk in newness of life--no resurrection.
    And, "We shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."
    Both involve figures of speech. "As," a simile; "in the likeness of," a comparison. There is no resurrection here, only the resurrection of Christ.

    The Resurrection is always physical, unless of course you have a JW belief, which is heresy.
     
  11. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    The Book of Revelation is a very complex Book in my opinion. In fact the Book of Revelation may be the most difficult book in the Bible to understand. Some years ago I taught through the Book of Revelation. In studying I came to believe that the Book of Revelation presents a number of pictures of the Second Coming from three to seven. I came to believe that there are seven as I have discussed elsewhere. During my study I came across the following which I believe most appropriate:

    John P. Newport writing in The Lion and the Lamb [page 38] quotes Gordon Fee as stating: ....no one should approach Revelation without a proper degree of humility. There are already too many books on ‘Revelation made easy.’ But Revelation is not easy!

    The study of the Book of Revelation is one in which many appeal to extrabiblical helps. However, we should approach any book about the Second Coming and The Revelation with a degree of skepticism. The reason is that there is probably less consensus in the Christian community about the Second Coming and the interpretation of the Book of Revelation than anything else in Scripture, at least among those who believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible. I would also note that the book by Newport, a covenant or historic premillennialist, contains some useful information about the Book of Revelation


    There is another section of Revelation where the discussion centers around a "Mighty Angel" and the "Little Book" that elicits differing opinions as to whether the Mighty Angel is Jesus Christ or an angel.[Revelation 10:1ff] Further evidence at least to me that the angel who binds Satan is in reality Jesus Christ, other then the Scripture I quoted, is the following Scripture:

    Jude 9. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.


    I believe the beast of Revelation is the secular power in the world that has always been opposed to God. That secular power can take many shapes. I sometimes think that the multinational corporations might be considered a form of the beast. Certainly Communism was a manifestation of the beast. I see the false prophet, not as the apostate church, but as the religious power associated with the beast. Islam actually is both a secular power and a religious power just as the Holy Roman Empire. The Apostle Paul told us about 2000 years ago that there were many antichrists in that time. There have always been antichrists. I suppose both the beast and the false prophet could be called antichrists. I believe that the apostate church will be the bride of the beast, the antichrist, just as the True Church is the chaste Bride of Jesus Christ.

    Well said!
     
  12. OldRegular

    OldRegular Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Aaron. You have a gift of providing succinct answers to sometimes laborious remarks!
     
  13. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    Yes. There are at least three. As I pointed out before, the world ends at least three times in Revelation. It can't be completely chronological!

    Good quote!:thumbs:


    I was thinking about the "mighty angel" as well. Traditional he seems to be identified as Christ. Good point on the verse from Jude.


    That is another good option. With that interpretation then the idea that the souls in Rev 20 reflect all believers is much easier to accept. I don't know.

    BTW, it was John, not Paul who spoke of many antichrists 2000 years ago.

    1 John 2:18 - Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour.
     
  14. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    It all boils down to a simple concept. The great tribulation is a time of Gods wrath against the world. To the believer His wrath has already been realized on the cross as we are one with Him. To even hint the wrath to come will be poured out on Christ yet again is unthinkable.
     
  15. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Because a book seems "complex" does not mean it cannot be understood.
    There is no reason to add further "complexity" and confusion to the book by adding allegory to the book, something that never was intended in the first place. Realize that the allegorical interpretation of the Bible in general was not "invented" until Origen, and not popularized until Augustine. The early church never used this method of interpretation; neither should we.
    You are free to believe as you wish here. I approach this subject with great caution because I know that these passages are used by the JW's to "prove" that Christ is only the angel, specifically Michael the archangel. This is one of their primary texts. It says Michael. Why not believe it is Michael, and avoid the confusion. Why argue with the Bible?
    There are two beasts as Revelation 13 points out. One is the antichrist and the other is the false prophet. We are not specifically told who they are, but we are told that they are persons, who have great power. It is doubtful that they could be "companies" or corporations.
    There are many hints that are given. The false prophet will be the head of a one-world church, and the antichrist is the head of a one-world government who will eventually dispose of the false prophet.
    Thus the antichrist must be a great political figure, who according to Rev.6 will come bringing "peace" but then afterward, bring a sword, blood shed, breaking a covenant made with Jews.
    The false prophet will have to have the power to bring all religions together. Do you know of a movement called Chrislam, which is trying to unite Christianity and Islam together. That is a thought. Perhaps it is the Pope. We just don't know. Given the power of the ecumenical movement along with the Charismatic movement, it could be almost anyone that could rise to power very quickly with a popular "Charisma."
    No, it wasn't well said. Christ is not reigning. There is nothing but evil, devastation, sin, and Satan reigning on this earth. This is Satan's kingdom, not Christ's.

    Here is Christ's Kingdom described:
    Isaiah 11:4-9 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
    --Christ does not judge in righteousness.
    The wolf does not dwell with the lamb.
    The cow and the bear do not feed together.
    Their young ones do not lie down together.
    And the earth is not full of the knowledge of the Lord.
    Christ is not reigning.

    What is reigning. Here is a sample from Satan's reign from a paper I received today:

    Malaysian Hotels to Ban Bibles, Non-Islamic Books

    Iranian Pastor Injured by Prison Guards

    China accused of anti-Christian campaign as church demolition begins

    Why the Media Doesn't Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians

    Al Qaeda group in Syria killing people and hanging them from crosses

    Ukraine separatists seize second provincial capital, fire on police

    Christians in Virginia plan 40-day fast to protest gay marriage

    These are just some of the headlines from today's issue of Worthy News.
    Christ is not reigning. Satan is. This is not the work of Christ; it is the work of Satan.

    When Christ rules He will rule in peace and righteousness; "and there will be no more war."
     
  16. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    Who says that God's wrath will be poured out on Christ again?
     
  17. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    We are one with Christ. If the teaching the church will be present for the GT is true that would be what occurs.
     
  18. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    If the early church interpreted Revelation in the same way as you (and other dispensationalists) do, then why do none of them agree with you?

    Doesn't matter what the newspaper or the internet says. The Bible says Jesus is Lord. That is a title of authority. He is reigning now. By his very nature, as God, he must reign. Where else would he be but on the throne?

    Matthew 28:18 -- Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

    Acts 2:33-36 -- Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says:

    The Lord declared to my Lord,
    ‘Sit at My right hand
    until I make Your enemies Your footstool.’

    “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!”

    Ephesians 1:20-23 -- He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavensfar above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

    Colossians 2:9,10 -- For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

     
  19. RLBosley

    RLBosley Active Member

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    No. No one that is post-trib or amill says that believers suffer God's wrath during the so-called great tribulation. The world suffers God's wrath, not the Christian.
     
  20. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    The entire factual GT is Gods wrath against an unbelieving world.
     
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