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Source: (consider it) Thread: Rapture?
Enoch
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Jamat, if you don't mind my saying this and are not offended by this, I think you are making the assumption that what we cannot see is just like what we can see, except for its being invisible.

Part of the problem we all have with Revelation is that John is attempting to describe what cannot be described, but in language that is how a person of his generation expressed themselves. So taking it literally, as though the only difference between his vision and ours was that on one particular Sunday in the first century, God lent him some spiritual spectacles which enabled him to see what is unseen and he just wrote down what he saw, will ensure that we are bound not to get the point.


I'd also query how scriptural the idea is that there is a separate "spirit world".

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Gamaliel
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Jamat, like Enoch I don't wish to offend you and hope you don't take offence at my response ... but I'm broadly in agreement with Enoch.

Of course the term 'apocalyptic' is a term of convenience - but you might as well suggest that the term 'novel' or 'play' or 'parable' or 'short story' are also terms of convenience.

As you are well aware, the term refers a genre of writing. It's a bit like heraldry in the visual arts - it relies on symbolism and particular conventions.

It isn't as though John tripped out on magic mushrooms on the isle of Patmos, nor - simply - that he had some kind of supernatural vision and then wrote down exactly what he 'saw' ...

I'm not obviating the supernatural element, but I'm less concerned whether John had literal visions or whether he was using literary conventions from the apocalyptic genre - and more concerned as to the import and content of what he was writing and what it was he was seeking to convey.

His experience may have been literal. That's not the issue. The issue is what he was wanting to communicate.

Even if his experience was literal, that doesn't mean that an angel with one foot on the earth and the other in the sea and blowing a trumpet should be taken literally.

And yes, for what it's worth then Spenser's Faerie Queen is analogous to what the allegorical elements in apocalyptic writings do.

Of course Spenser's Queen isn't literally Queen Elizabeth 1st, but then neither is a beast coming out of the sea with umpteen heads a literal hydra or sea-monster.

That's the whole point.

And why are you assuming that John didn't know exactly what he was doing in the same way that Spenser did? We aren't talking about automatic writing or some kind of unconscious outpouring.

Why do we have to assume that John wasn't writing apocalyptic literature (not fiction, that's a different genre) with a moral lesson?

For a kick off, he draws heavily on OT symbols and episodes - he was obviously steeped in the Hebrew apocalyptic tradition. Are you suggesting that he wasn't consciously drawing on the 'myth-kitty' as it were, the collective narrative of his own people, to draw out particular parallels and points?

That isn't necessarily incompatible with him having a literal vision of the glorified Christ who 'stood before him and spoke a message for him to write down.'

It could be another of these both/and things ...

Whatever the case, the issue isn't whether the vision was a literal one or something he used a literary device, or a combination of both - the point is what he was trying to convey.

As I said upthread I think, just because something is communicated in 'picture-language' it doesn't mean it's not true.

So yes, I am perfectly aware of how symbolism works and no, I don't think we have to take the trumpets and so on as literal trumpets - but they do signifying something - and something very, very real.

I don't necessarily see them as heavenly Platonic forms of earthly trumpets as it were.

From my perspective, I think that it isn't me who is being overly simplistic here.

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Jamat
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OK but my point is that the word literal is often used as a negative term sans definition.

Is literal a depiction of exactitude i.e. Denotative objective account, says what it means means what it says.
Or
Is literal a depiction of a greater reality by shatever means using the subtleties of language
Or
is literal a term to describe what someone understands and sees and recounts. E.g. Mummy a bee stung me.

If we judge Revelation by John's intention then this is stated in ch 1:1, it is a recount of a message that God have Jesus to tell to his bond servants. John was the first recipient, the channel if you like.

What are we to make of it? Well if it is revelation, then we have the burden to understand it. ISTM to put it in a genre category, apocalyptic, and make a whole lot of assumptions about apocalyptic, ( apocalyptic is open slather on meaning, so rich in imagery as to be without practical application,) is to stick it in the bottom drawer with all the other too hard basket stuff.

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Martin60
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No offense. Lotta words guys. Lotta wasted breath. A lotta good breath after bad. I admire you for it GREATLY. It is a work of infinitely patient love that I don't have. ... Carry on.

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Love wins

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Steve Langton
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My apologies to those who've already frequently seen it, but I'm going to trot out Tyndale again.

The point at issue for now is what 'literal' means; like certain other words (rumble of hooves of Dead Horses...) it has in fact changed since the time of the Reformation and by the 19th C when the 'Rapture' misstep was made, it had come to mean something a bit different to what it meant in the time of the Reformers.

by Tyndale;
quote:
“Thou shalt understand, therefore, that the scripture hath but one sense, which is the literal sense. And that literal sense is the root and ground of all, and the anchor that never faileth, whereunto if thou cleave, thou canst never err or go out of the way. And if thou leave the literal sense, thou canst not but go out of the way. Nevertheless the scripture uses proverbs, similitudes, riddles or allegories, as all other speeches do; but that which the proverb, similitude, riddle or allegory signifieth, is ever the literal sense, which thou must seek out diligently

As I've explained before, to the Reformers (and many medieval scholars) there was a distinctive 'sense' of Scripture which they called the 'literal' or 'according to the letter' sense. As Tyndale explains this does not mean a stiff wooden literalism; rather it means something like 'interpret the text like an ordinary book', and ipso facto make allowance for much use of literary devices, figures of speech, etc.

In 'literal sense' interpretation you may decide that a particular passage is not straightforwardly literal in the modern sense, but is an intentional allegory or whatever. In such a case you interpret it allegorically.

What is more questionable was the medieval practice of interpreting even straightforward texts in an allegorical manner that might then end up contradicting or otherwise detracting from the straightforward sense.

Revelation is clearly NOT a 'literal(modern sense)' account of actual events, past or future. Indeed it's not easy to pigeonhole at all. It seems to contain various levels of symbolism and allegory throughout. Yes what John describes bears some relationship to the ultimate reality - but not all that 'literally' in the modern sense.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
What are we to make of it? Well if it is revelation, then we have the burden to understand it. ISTM to put it in a genre category, apocalyptic, and make a whole lot of assumptions about apocalyptic, ( apocalyptic is open slather on meaning, so rich in imagery as to be without practical application,) is to stick it in the bottom drawer with all the other too hard basket stuff.

Who is saying that apocalyptic is "open slather on meaning, so rich in imagery as to be without practical application"? That sounds like a straw man to me.

ISTM that understanding—not making assumptions, but actually understanding—the genre to which Revelation belongs is a first and indispensable step in the "burden" of understanding the message.

[ 10. December 2016, 01:25: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
What are we to make of it? Well if it is revelation, then we have the burden to understand it. ISTM to put it in a genre category, apocalyptic, and make a whole lot of assumptions about apocalyptic, ( apocalyptic is open slather on meaning, so rich in imagery as to be without practical application,) is to stick it in the bottom drawer with all the other too hard basket stuff.

Who is saying that apocalyptic is "open slather on meaning, so rich in imagery as to be without practical application"? That sounds like a straw man to me

ISTM that understanding—not making assumptions, but actually understanding—the genre to which Revelation belongs is a first and indispensable step in the "burden" of understanding the message.

But Nick, the way the word literal is used derogatorily, without definition is also tending to straw men I think. My view on this thread is seen derisively and at the centre of it is the word literal "ha ha you couldn't seriously believe that John actually saw a door open in heaven and obeyed a summons to come up hither and be shown things that will transpire hereafter, I mean, seriously, demons with the appearance with horses that have stings in their tails?"

Regarding the definition of apocalyptic, there is contention. Mounce says: " modern scholarship has appropriated the term to describe a body of literature widely diffused in Judaism from about 200-100AD. It is pseudonymous,pseudo predictive( the writer places himself at some point in the past and by means of symbols, rewrites history under the guise of prophecy), and pessimistic. It deals with the final catastrophic period of world history when God, after mortal combat with the powers of evil, emerges victorious." (The book of Revelation , Robert Mounce p64).
If this definition is accepted, then apocalyptic writing is necessarily fraudulent. It allows Daniel, for instance, a later date and takes away the supernatural element.

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Eutychus
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Firstly, what Nick Tamen said.

quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
My view on this thread is seen derisively and at the centre of it is the word literal "ha ha you couldn't seriously believe that John actually saw a door open in heaven and obeyed a summons to come up hither and be shown things that will transpire hereafter, I mean, seriously, demons with the appearance with horses that have stings in their tails?"

There might be some irony used in the debate here, on both sides, but I don't see any outright derision. On the contrary, I see a lot of people putting in hard work (or "wasting their breath" as Martin puts it...) to engage with you patiently, respecfully, and seriously.

If any of us stop doing that I'm sure a host will come and keep us in line, or if you have a substantive complaint you can make one to them.

That said, the fact is that literalism (or perhaps in view of Steve Langton's post we should say "literalistism") quickly leads to situations that attract derision.

For instance, I asked you how 144,000 (literal) people can be made to equal 132,000 (literal) people: the total number announced and the total of the tribes listed in Revelation 7. You haven't answered this. A literalistic reading of the text means you have to make 144,000 equal 132,000 (before devising an explanation as to why one tribe is missing). Step back a moment and try to consider why this might invite ridicule. Which is more likely, that God made two numbers that aren't equal equal, or that we should quite legitimately be reading this another way?

Secondly, I don't object to your literalism so much as I object to your constantly slippery definition of terms to suit your position, which is anything but literal (in the sense of "A" always means "A").

You have constantly tried to make "Rapture" mean both 'believers going to be with the Lord' at the end of the age (and deriding the rest of us for not believing that if we say we disagree with you about the rapture) and 'the entire end-time process involving a two-stage return of Christ, once to snatch away believers leaving others behind, and once after an extended period of tribulation to judge everyone else (except for those "saved" by some undefined process) in the meantime' (which everyone else here does seem to disagree with).

This is either confused or deliberately disingenuous, which is why I have spent pages trying to pin you down on it.

You are now attempting to do the same sort of thing with "literal" and "apocalyptic"; these are red herrings in my view.

As regards "literal", I'm with Nick and Steve that taking the text seriously involves taking due consideration of its style and integrity. We don't have to agree on what "inspiration" or any of the other related DH words mean to agree that Matthew was written by someone different to Revelation and in distinctly different styles, and that Daniel was written by someone different again in an entirely different era and language.

Indeed, as far as I'm concerned this diversity is one of the most persuasive arguments for the truth conveyed by the whole of Scripture.

That is why my big objection to your hermeneutic is its need to splice texts into one another without any regard for this context, producing theories that are a) more complicated than the text they seek to explain b) require still more complicated speculation to resolve the further problems they throw up (e.g. the salvation procedures applying to those "saved" after the return of Christ).

[ 10. December 2016, 07:16: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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It's like watching someone in the hypnagogic state where rationality is declining with exhaustion whilst futilely trying to integrate the chaotic complexity of overwhelming dreams.

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Love wins

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Jamat
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@Eutychus
Apologies if you feel derided. No offence is intended. In my Bible there are 12 tribes mentioned which suggests 144 k so I don't see anything to answer. Dan is missing as is Ephraim but Joseph is given a tribe as is Manessah. The tribes mentioned are:
Judah,Reuben,Gad,Asher,Naphtali,Manessah,Simeon,Levi,
Issachar,Zebulun Benjamin and Joseph.
It seems the Holy Spirit is more interested in the number than the names but there are 12 there in my NASB. What version are you using?
Unsure about what you mean by the rest of this. I believe in a rapture of the church, I think that it is scripturally based. I have no idea when it will be and yes some people will be left on the earth afterwards. Whatever issues you see with that are not things that greatly concern me or perhaps I do not understand what those issues are and if they should concern me.
My last post was directed at Gamaliel really as well as Nick as I am unsure there is a clear dichotomy as suggested between my reading which tends to the literal and Gamaliel's whose view I am not sure of, but he seems to be saying this is apocalyptic and therefore you can' t take a straightforward reading. I would like to clarify what exactly is meant when he uses the term apocalyptic. ISTM to suggest we can pick and choose what we can take and what we can leave.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It's like watching someone in the hypnagogic state where rationality is declining with exhaustion whilst futilely trying to integrate the chaotic complexity of overwhelming dreams.

Glad to be of service Martin. This all reminds me of how one can be so convinced one is right that a contrary view must be irrational. There can be no other explanation. 😬

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
In my Bible there are 12 tribes mentioned which suggests 144 k so I don't see anything to answer.

Apologies, my assertion that the numbers cited add up to 132k is plain wrong (I was looking at this in the middle of a bible study arguing about why Ephraim and Manasseh are appropriated by Jacob as his own sons in Gen 48:5-6, and must have missed one out in my distraction).

However the basic maths problem if you take this "literally" is still there: since Manasseh is actually half of Joseph, some people are being counted twice, while Dan is apparently not counted at all (making, on the face of it, 138k people, 6k counted twice...).

All of this suggests to me that we shouldn't be taking either the exact numbers or the names literally, a suggestion further reinforced by the likelihood (in my view) that this bunch of people whose "number" and "names" John "hears" he then goes on to "see" in the next verses (Rev 7:9ff) a great multitude of every nation tribe and tongue; I think these are the same people i.e. the entire people of God.

Set aside your dispensationalism for a moment and tell me what's wrong with that approach.

quote:
Unsure about what you mean by the rest of this. I believe in a rapture of the church, I think that it is scripturally based
If by 'rapture' you mean "believers will go to be with the Lord" then I think we're all basically agreed here.

But if by 'rapture' you mean something including far more detailed, specifically including the notion that some will be left behind for an extended period, to be followed by a "second second coming" of Christ in judgement, then everyone else here disagrees.

In my case, not first and foremost because of your "literalism", but because of the "pick'n'mix" approach to Scripture this requires, notably plucking a piece out of Matthew to explain a text in 1 Thessalonians.

quote:
Whatever issues you see with that are not things that greatly concern me or perhaps I do not understand what those issues are and if they should concern me.
I can see that they don't concern you if you feel you are part of the Church and thus as sure as you can be of being raptured; who cares what happens after that?

But I think they should concern you:

- firstly, because as I have already said, the fruit of that particular dispensational view is in my experience not consistent with what I expect the fruit of good doctrine to look like, notably in the fear it engenders

- secondly, because this hermeneutic is far too dependent on authorities other than Scripture, so you are reading Scripture through the lens of a single hermeneutical system, which to me seems dangerous and in effect accepting a higher authority than Scripture itself (indeed, I well remember one chap who seemed to believe the notes in the Scofield Bible were as inspired, or as nearly so, as the text itself)

- thirdly, because this approach does not respect the integrity of the text for reasons already stated

- fourthly, because it creates considerable theological innovation. You dismiss the thorny issue of how one can be saved after the rapture on the basis that it doesn't concern you personally, but it calls into question a lot of broadly accepted understanding of salvation. In addition, history tends to suggest that innovative theology is bad theology.
quote:
Gamaliel's whose view I am not sure of, but he seems to be saying this is apocalyptic and therefore you can' t take a straightforward reading. I would like to clarify what exactly is meant when he uses the term apocalyptic. ISTM to suggest we can pick and choose what we can take and what we can leave.
It would be better to try and clarify what exactly is meant by "straightforward". I don't think your reading is straightforward at all.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Jamat
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quote:
You have constantly tried to make "Rapture" mean both 'believers going to be with the Lord' at the end of the age (and deriding the rest of us for not believing that if we say we disagree with you about the rapture) and 'the entire end-time process involving a two-stage return of Christ, once to snatch away believers leaving others behind, and once after an extended period of tribulation to judge everyone else (except for those "saved" by some undefined process) in the meantime' (which everyone else here does seem to disagree with). I'm

This is either confused or deliberately disingenuous, which is why I have spent pages trying to pin you down on it.

As regards "literal", I'm with Nick and Steve that taking the text seriously involves taking due consideration of its style and integrity.

That is why my big objection to your hermeneutic is its need to splice texts into one another without any regard for this context..

Well I think I am guilty as charged on the two stage parousia but I think the rapture and the second coming are certainly separated by time but of course how much time I don't know. Fruchtenbaum whom I respect thinks that there is no way of knowing this as the rapture is not tied to anything that needs to happen first which is why we look to the coming of the Lord not in judgement but for his saints. As Corinthians says we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed at the last trump etc.

I do not agree with you that context is violated by the way, I'd like to see an example of how if that is the case. The two stage parousia makes sense of the doctrine of imminence as it is pretty obvious that the second coming itself i.e. The second stage of the second coming cannot be imminent. There has to be an Armageddon scenario in play which is nowhere in sight but of course that is more possible than it was a hundred years ago with a Jewish nation now extant. We have no antichrist and I dare to say the last week of Daniel has not begun but none of this affects the rapture.

While some futurists consider the rapture as it's beginning, the only scriptural indication of this (the beginning of Daniels seventieth week) is a contract made between the man of sin and Israel. The church could be raptured before that happens.

Regarding how scripture should be read in the light of its genre and style, I completely agree. Please show me how I am not doing that.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
fourthly, because it creates considerable theological innovation. You dismiss the thorny issue of how one can be saved after the rapture on the basis that it doesn't concern you personally, but it calls into question a lot of broadly accepted understanding of salvation. In addition, history tends to suggest that innovative theology is bad theology
I actually thought I explained what I thought about this. If you take 1thes 4 as a rapture reference and see the 'Peri de' at the start of 1thes 5 as a contrastive, "Now concerning.." then he changes subject and moves into discussing the day of the Lord. That always refers to a time of tribulation or judgement. Paul is saying that day has not occurred nor yet will it till the man of sin is revealed. Scholars are divided on the nature of the restrainer mentioned here but many think it is the Holy Spirit in the true church that currently restrains evil from overpowering mankind which will be absent after the rapture as all true believers he I dwells will be gone.

Anyhow this all suggests that after the rapture of the church, a time of judgement ensues. During that time, there will still be preaching of the gospel. I do not see as Mudfrog suggested any other covenant. The gospel as Paul says in Romans is the power of God for salvation to all that believe. What changes is the consequences of conversion and its cost to the convert. This convert cannot take the mark if the beast and if he does he cannot be saved. In Revelation 6 we see the sealing of the bond servants of the Lord. It is obvious that God still will harvest a people from the earth at this time. There is specific mention in Revelation of the ones who came out of the great tribulation.

This does not seem to me innovative theology in fact lots of Christians see this as standard fare.

Your other point about the fear engendered by this belief and the fact that it is a single hermeneutic may well be true. I tend to think anyone who reads Revelation comes away with a bit of trepidation whatever ones hermeneutic. I do not think there is a way to read it as comforting. The only positive is that God wins. It is interesting that from from the start of chapter 4 to the marriage supper, 16 or so chapters, the church is not mentioned at all.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Martin60
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It won't be oneirically, irrationally, irreconcilably complicated. Irrational is as irrational is.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
Well I think I am guilty as charged on the two stage parousia

Okay, well then can we agree that the topic of this thread, as outlined in the OP, is best referred to as the "two stage parousia"?
quote:
but I think the rapture and the second coming are certainly separated by time
And this is the contentious part of that.
quote:
we look to the coming of the Lord not in judgement but for his saints
I think we can agree that there is a tension in Scripture between the idea that the Lord can come for his saints at any time (cf the parable of the wise and foolish virgins) and the idea that a number of precursory and catastrophic events precede the end of the age (cf Matthew 24).

The question is whether we simply live with the paradox or try and resolve it.

I'm increasingly inclined to live with the paradox:

a) because I think I'm more likely to die than be raptured (possibly influenced by the oddly aptly-named Doomsday argument that states "supposing that all humans are born in a random order, chances are that any one human is born roughly in the middle")

b) because the practical outworking, "be prepared to meet the Lord at any time" [whether through death or being raptured], is the same either way

c) because the attempts to resolve the paradox are so unhelpful to any useful progress in the faith.

Attempting to resolve the paradox by splitting the parousia into two temporally distinct events creates more problems than it solves. This is evidenced by the fact that even dispensationalists cannot agree on whether the first stage takes place before or in the middle of the tribulation. If this really was a neat explanation that point should be unequivocally clear.

quote:
I do not agree with you that context is violated by the way, I'd like to see an example of how if that is the case.
I don't think there's anything in 1 Thessalonians that suggests a time gap between chapters 4 and 5. I don't think you'd spontaneously come up with that idea on the basis of the text alone. You yourself admit you are making the assumption
quote:
If you take 1thes 4 as a rapture reference
- by which I take you to mean the "first stage". You have imported a concept from outside this passage to impose a sense on it that isn't there. "Peri de", as far as I can see, refers to the issue of "times and dates" (NIV "now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you"), and not to a temporally distinct "second stage".

There is no reason that I can see in the text why the "coming of the Lord" in 1 Thes 4:5 should be at a different time to the "day of the Lord" in 5:2.

Indeed, the following exhortation "you, brothers, are not in darkeness so that this day should surprise you like a thief" (5:4) makes sense only if the brothers are still around, "alert and self-controlled" (5:6), in contrast to the non-believers who will be surprised.

You have interjected the idea of some being taken and others left from Matthew 24. But as has been pointed out, in Matthew those "taken" are taken in judgement, and there is no clear indication as to whether this "taking" is literal or figurative.

So this is a twofold violation of context. Firstly, you are taking the concept in Matthew against its use in Matthew. And secondly, you are violating the context of 1 Thes 4 and 5 by arbitrarily making a temporal distinction between the chapters on the mistaken grounds of Matthew 24.

quote:
We have no antichrist and I dare to say the last week of Daniel has not begun but none of this affects the rapture.
Similarly, I may be a bit hazy on this, but as I recall dispensationalism requires a "parenthesis" between the 69th and 70th "weeks" of Daniel - one that spans the entire church age. Again, this appears to be a wholly unjustified violation of the text - and one that in passing manages to turn the entire thrust of the NT, in which Christ emerges as the definitive revelation of God's New Covenant for all people everywhere, neither Jew nor Greek, forming his Church, into a footnote in some grander scheme for Israel.

This is the sort of thing I mean by "creating more problems than it solves".

As is this:

quote:
During that time, there will still be preaching of the gospel. I do not see as Mudfrog suggested any other covenant. The gospel as Paul says in Romans is the power of God for salvation to all that believe. What changes is the consequences of conversion and its cost to the convert.
Here you said (emphasis mine)
quote:
...there is a sharp distinction between saved and lost. Jesus goes on to the story of the wise and foolish virgins which has a similar theme. There, the wise are taken in to the wedding, the others shut out (...) Once the harpazo occurs, there is no way to reopen that door so be ready, have the oil in your lamp.
I simply cannot square your understanding of this parable, which I broadly share, with what your statements above.

If, once the first stage of the parousia has happened and "there is no way to reopen that door", how can there still be room for preaching of the gospel and conversions? If this is the same gospel that is "the power of salvation for all who believe", how on earth can the consequences be different? And if this salvation is by grace through faith, how on earth can the "cost" be different?

These problems cannot be simply waved away. The contradictions here are huge and the implications immense.

quote:
This does not seem to me innovative theology in fact lots of Christians see this as standard fare.
The fact that lots of Christians see it as standard fare does not mean it is not innovative. You have failed to come up with any evidence of a two-step parousia that pre-dates the 19th century.

Saying "the apostles might have believed it" a) does not count b) is not supported by a single thing they wrote (only, very marginally, by an imaginative cross-stitch of different things different apostles wrote in different contexts).

quote:
Your other point about the fear engendered by this belief and the fact that it is a single hermeneutic may well be true.
These are two points and the second one (a single hermeneutic) is the more serious challenge of the two in my view. You have not addressed it. As to the first...
quote:
I tend to think anyone who reads Revelation comes away with a bit of trepidation whatever ones hermeneutic.
Trepidation certainly. The eschaton is no laughing matter. But that is not the same as the relentless fear perpetrated by the likes of Jack Chick, apparently in an attempt to scare people into the Kingdom, squarely on the basis of a two-step parousia.
quote:
I do not think there is a way to read it as comforting.
I submit that this is the result of your hermeneutic, not the text. I used to think that way, but I don't any more.

As I said before, "blessed are..." occurs seven times in Revelation. "Cursed are" occurs only four. There are songs of worship on almost every page. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

As I say, I teach fairly regularly on this message of encouragement from Revelation. The people who show up hoping for cheap thrills and "delicious terror" tend to go away disappointed. It's a terrible indictment on the hermeneutic they've swallowed.
quote:
The only positive is that God wins.
What could be better than that?? Talk about being "glass half empty..."
quote:
It is interesting that from from the start of chapter 4 to the marriage supper, 16 or so chapters, the church is not mentioned at all.
That's what you think. As far as I'm concerned the following refer, in some measure, to the church universal: chapters 7 (the crowd whose number is "heard" and "seen"); 11 (the two witnesses I believe to represent the Church as a whole); 12 (the woman, who represents both Israel, "the stock from whence Christ came" and the Church which is protected in the desert throughout the present age and against whom the dragon makes war); 14:1 (the 144k again).

[ 10. December 2016, 13:46: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Martin60
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My case rests.

This is raving hypnagogia.

Like having to medicate my 86 year old Mum (thank GOD I've got all powers of attorney) who reads every label, every word on every package, all the arse covering crap on the leaflets inside detailing every possible side effect and tells you why you and the doctor are wrong. She tells the doctors to their faces. The best one is that she never forgets that Simvastatin kills your memory because the Daily Telegraph said. And forgets not to take it half the time. Her understanding of her finances is even more incoherent, she reads every word out loud and understands none of it but believes she understands all of it.

Bless.

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Gamaliel
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All I am saying, Jamat, is that we need to understand the genre in order to understand the message.

Which is pretty much the same point that Steve Langton and others have been making.

And yes, I think his Tyndale quote is well-chosen and apposite. As Steve also points out, Tyndale's view was also shared by others at that time, and previously.

So no, I'm not arguing against a 'literal' or straight-forward understanding of the text in the sense that Tyndale would have understood 'literal' - I'm certainly not calling for a return to the medieval habit of allegorising anything and everything.

No, but it's pretty obvious from the context that what we are dealing with in Revelation is apocalyptic literature - and that needs to be borne in mind when we approach it.

Which is precisely the reason why the Eastern Churches were the last to accept Revelation into the canon of the NT and why, to this day, the Book of Revelations isn't read liturgically in Orthodox Church services. They've got it in their Bible, though, of course.

Their reasons for that is because they knew darn well that people would concoct all sorts of flakey theories and indulge in fruitless end-times speculation based on their personal interpretations. Why? Because these people weren't necessarily reading it as apocalyptic literature and were failing to take into account the checks and balances required when dealing with this genre.

If you want to know my view, Jamat, it's that the Book of Revelation does what it says on the tin. It bills itself as a 'revelation of Jesus Christ', so it's what it tells us of our Lord Jesus Christ that is of prime importance.

What does it tell us?

All sorts of wonderful things. It tells us of his glorious rule and the prospect of its ultimate fulfilment. That's good news by any stretch of the imagination, particularly if you were a beleaguered and persecuted church in the late 1st century.

It does so in visionary and apocalyptic language - it's full of symbols and analogies. Which is why it's a mistake to treat it as some kind of literal, linear account.

I see nothing in the text, for instance, to lead us to conclude that the Letters to the Seven Churches should be understood in a futurist sense. Why should they be?

And if they were, how are we expected to know which 'age' we are supposed to be in?

It makes no sense whatsoever to approach Revelation like that.

The early Church knew that, which is why there was so much deliberation and delay in it being fully accepted into the canon. Indeed, the Book of Revelation was the last NT book to be universally accepted as canonical across the churches as a whole.

So, that's what I'm saying - I'm saying that to understand Revelation in an overly literal sense - a 'literalist' sense if you like - as in expecting to physically see an angel astride the sea and land blowing a trumpet or actual monsters with many heads and stings and so on - is to make a category error. It is to misunderstand the style in which it was written and to focus on the detail rather than on the overall message - which is essentially that Jesus is Lord and that he is in control.

That isn't to dismiss Revelation or consign it to the drawer marked, 'Difficult to undertand'. Rather it is to engage with it in a healthier and more fruitful way than to pore over its apocalyptic symbols seeking to apply them to whatever happens to be going on around us at the time.

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Stetson
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Gamaliel wrote:

quote:
Which is precisely the reason why the Eastern Churches were the last to accept Revelation into the canon of the NT and why, to this day, the Book of Revelations isn't read liturgically in Orthodox Church services. They've got it in their Bible, though, of course.


Which makes name and especially the coat of arms of the city of Archangel somewhat odd, since I would have to assume there was a lot of Orthodox influence up there.

[ 10. December 2016, 18:15: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Gamaliel
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Why is that odd, Stetson?

The Orthodox don't read Revelation liturgically in their services. That doesn't mean they never refer to it. There's an Orthodox shrine on the site where tradition holds that John received his visions on the Isle of Patmos.

Besides, Revelation finally became part of the NT canon among the Eastern Churches in the 5th century I think, which was a long time before Christianity in its Orthodox form reached Archangel.

I've seen imagery from Revelation in some Orthodox iconography I think.

But the point I'm trying to make is that the Church tended to treat Revelation very carefully in the first few centuries because they knew darn well that people would derive whacky ideas from it.

Of course, there was Millenarian panic across the Christian world around 1,000 AD because people thought it was the end of the world - obviously basing this on the millennial imagery in Revelation.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Gamaliel wrote:

quote:
Which is precisely the reason why the Eastern Churches were the last to accept Revelation into the canon of the NT and why, to this day, the Book of Revelations isn't read liturgically in Orthodox Church services. They've got it in their Bible, though, of course.


Which makes name and especially the coat of arms of the city of Archangel somewhat odd, since I would have to assume there was a lot of Orthodox influence up there.
Maybe I'm ignorant here, but does the word "archangel" only occur in the Revelation?

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Jamat
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@Eutychus

The paradox of Jesus coming in 2 modes, for his saints and in judgement becomes a contradiction if it is not resolvable.

The issues of context you raised are in fact about hermeneutics. Context is not violated by linking the, Matt 24, 1thes 4 and 1 Corinthians:15,51 This is normal exegetical practice. I see Matt 24 in the one taken other left as the one gone as raptured. This fits with the parable following and with the point Jesus is making, sudden change, your interpretation differs but there is no context violation.

In 1thes 4 and 5, I showed that the Greek phrase Peri de allows for a change of subject as it does in Matt 24:36. There is no context violation,just the fact that in English,the change is not obvious.

Seeing Daniel's70 weeks as divided in time is an interpretive issue, again not about context at all. There are several other eggs of this in scripture most notably when Jesus reads in the synagogue Luke 4:18,19 and stops at a comma. In doing this he breaks with Jewish practice. He quotes from Is. "the spirit of the Lord is upon me ....to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" He does not add and the day of vengeance as that isn't yet at hand but there is a deliberate hiatus. Similarly in Dan 9. After 69 weeks the messiah is cut off and has nothing i.e. No kingdom. At that point God's purpose for Israel stopped, they had rejected him. The Lord as Paul so clearly taught operated through the church whereas before it was exclusively via nationalIsrael.
All of this is to show that no context is violated. Only an interpretation applied.

Finally you say imposing an idea on the text is wrong. But this is hermeneutics I think. You are merely making a choice here about which idea is imposed.

Finally finally, there are certainly people mentioned as saved between Revelation 4 and the marriage supper but I think that an appeal to context would say these are not the church as we know it. The 144k are Jewish evangelists. Again it is hermeneutical. In my thinking the church age is finished with the rapture. I do not have a category for tribulation saints but would say they are not part of the church which is the bride of Christ formed in this age or epoch.

[ 11. December 2016, 00:07: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
The paradox of Jesus coming in 2 modes, for his saints and in judgement becomes a contradiction if it is not resolvable.

I think this is probably where we part company. Most bad theology/heresy emerges in an attempt to fully resolve paradoxes by reducing them to humanly explicable constructs. There are some things we just can't fully understand.

quote:
your interpretation differs but there is no context violation.
Can you give me an example of something you think is a violation of context?
quote:
In 1thes 4 and 5, I showed that the Greek phrase Peri de allows for a change of subject as it does in Matt 24:36.
But the change of subject is not to a separate return of Christ but to "dates and times".
quote:
Seeing Daniel's70 weeks as divided in time is an interpretive issue, again not about context at all. There are several other eggs of this in scripture most notably when Jesus reads in the synagogue Luke 4:18,19 and stops at a comma.
The difference is that it's Jesus doing it. Unless you think Walvoord et al are prophets on the level of Jesus, you cannot draw this equivalence.
quote:
Finally you say imposing an idea on the text is wrong. But this is hermeneutics I think. You are merely making a choice here about which idea is imposed.
As I said before, there are hermeneutics which allow the text to speak for itself, and hermeneutics which allow themselves to be informed by complementary hermeneutics, more than others. Dispensationalism is an overarching, monolithic hermeneutic which places its structure of Scripture over and above Scripture itself.

quote:
Finally finally, there are certainly people mentioned as saved between Revelation 4 and the marriage supper but I think that an appeal to context would say these are not the church as we know it.
Only if, as your use of "between" suggests, you think Revelation proceeds in solely in successive chronological order. Why should it?
quote:
The 144k are Jewish evangelists.
Where do you get this idea from?
quote:
I do not have a category for tribulation saints
That's hardly surprising considering the need for such a category is nothing more than the product of a defective interpretive theory. This gaping hole in your explanation, in which you claim "it all goes to bed nicely", should give you more pause for thought than it does.
quote:
but would say they are not part of the church which is the bride of Christ formed in this age or epoch.
Can you not see how utterly innovative and unsupported this idea is by Scripture? What are "saints" in the Bible if not members of the church (i.e. the people of God from all ages)? Why should this word suddenly mean something different in Revelation to everywhere else in the NT? What is the "bride of Christ" if not this same "people of God"? In what way are we to understand these "saints" ['set apart'] being set apart from God if not to belong to his people? How are they saved? If it is by the same work of Christ, why are the results not the same? If it's not by the same work of Christ, how on earth are they saved? Are you really going to require your theology to include a "New New Covenant" to provide, in some inexplicable way, for these "saints"?

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Jamat
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quote:
Can you not see how utterly innovative and unsupported this idea is by Scripture? What are "saints" in the Bible if not members of the church (i.e. the people of God from all ages)? Why should this word suddenly mean something different in Revelation to everywhere else in the NT
No the saints are not always part of the church even in the NT.
Jude 14 cites Enoch saying "I saw the Lord coming with tens of thousands of his saints"

The saints referred to here not necessarily all from the church age though they may include them of course. ISTM that the church is a specific caregory of God's people. OT believers were not members of it. I don't know why this is an issue.

Eutychus, I think this comes down to the fact that you and I simply see things very differently. We have different concerns and you obviously see issues I do not in the pre trib rapture. I think many theologians have chewed the same bones.

There was a wonderful old saint I knew who thought Darby and Schofield put the emphasis in all the wrong places. He was a 'kingdom now' chap and dedicated his life to making the church a light for the world. I went to some studies he ran.He believed that the church was the kingdom and would grow to the point that it ultimately smothered the world and Christianised it.

I would have loved to believe that but then leaders started showing their feet of clay. There was no obvious generational building. Kids from church families walked away. The world is obviously not improving or being rescued despite the great efforts.

ISTM that that model could not be right. The problem for me was his theology. I say this as I suspect though you have not said so, that yours is similar.As I said I would love if it were true but have lived long enough now to see that it will never work.

I have only been a convinced futurist for a few years and only since I discovered Robert Anderson and latterly Arnold Fruchtenbaum and Jacob Prasch, both Jewish Christian teachers. Other views do not seem to me to be able to unify the scriptures. Of course, another approach is to have a tradition that takes care of all the theology. Well as a cradle Catholic I have also been on that road. Again would love the claimed authority to be genuine but no, not for me. Anyhow, having answered your criticisms as best I can, I think I have hit the wall so that's it from me.

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Nigel M
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Have tried to catch up over the weekend on this - from the perspective of one sitting in row H eating the popcorn, a very good discussion. Thanks to all (though wondering if there is a spoiler for the sequel half-way through the credits).
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Steve Langton
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by Gamaliel;
quote:
Of course, there was Millenarian panic across the Christian world around 1,000 AD because people thought it was the end of the world - obviously basing this on the millennial imagery in Revelation.
It is my understanding that the "Millenarian panic" of 1000AD has been considerably exaggerated, and a quick Google check suggests that that is currently the prevailing scholarly view - that there was no special concern just because it was the Millennium compared to constant expectation of the Second Coming over many centuries in an age of upheaval.

I also understand that for many, the Millennium had been thought to start with the "victory" of the church in the 4thC CE; and it was actually the 14thC - the 1300s - which did see Millenarian concern. And a lot of that concern was based if anything on disillusion with that manifestation of the Millennium, a dissatisfaction with the RCC which helped to fuel the Reformation via 14thC precursors like Wycliffe.

Tangent though; let's stick to our point - though Millenarian concern in either 1000 or the 1300s does show a basic view of the Millennium as "The Age of the Church" rather than an "after the Rapture" future event....

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Gamaliel
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Ok, I can see what you are getting at, Steve Langton, but my tangent formed part of a broader point about how we interpret numbers and so on in apocalyptic literature ie not in the overly literal way that the dispensationalists do.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
No the saints are not always part of the church even in the NT.
Jude 14 cites Enoch saying "I saw the Lord coming with tens of thousands of his saints"

No it doesn't. According to my Greek interlinear the word is "hagiais". This is not a noun. It is an adjectival form qualifying the following noun, "muriadis". It means 'I saw the Lord coming "with his holy" myriads', not 'with "myriads of saints" (holy people)'.

quote:
ISTM that the church is a specific caregory of God's people. OT believers were not members of it. I don't know why this is an issue.
It is the issue. The issue of whether or not all are saved on the same basis into a single community of believers. This is the question with which the go-to book on dispensationalism, Daniel Fuller's Gospel and Law: Contrast or Continuum? begins.

As far as I'm concerned, the overriding message of the New Testament is that all those who are saved (both before the time of Christ, during, and after), are saved on the same basis which is that of justification by faith. As such they become the Church universal: in the words of Hebrews 12:22-24
quote:
Mount Zion... the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem ...the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven... to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant
Israel (however defined) might have a special place in God's purposes, but I believe that along with the rest of the NT, Paul makes it abundantly clear in Romans that he thinks they are saved on the same basis, and into the same inheritance as the Gentiles (into the same olive tree, to use Paul's expression, not two), forming together the "Israel of God" (Gal 6:16).

A crucial theme in Acts and indeed the epistles is whether Christianity is a subset of Judaism or transcends it with a Gospel in which there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free. This Gospel is the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom Hebrews 1 presents as the culminating revelation of God "in these last days".

The Church in the sense of the body of baptised believers in the NT is simply a fuller and more clearly understood expression of something that God has been doing right from the beginning. It is the ongoing outworking of his plan to form a people for himself, a New Jerusalem in opposition to the Babel/Bablyon of human organisation without God; and it comes to a culmination with the meeting of this city/bride (Rev 21:2) with her Lord.

To me this is the resoundingly clear and easy to understand message of Scripture as a whole. What could be clearer than Galatians 3:28
quote:
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
We have huge arguments about what all the implications of that verse might be in DH, but the central message of the singleness of the body of Christ is plain. As it is in Ephesians 4:4-6
quote:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
and in the prayer of Jesus in John 17 ("that they may be one"). I could go on.

Against this you would set a decidedly shaky translation of a single verse in Jude, hardly the easiest of books to understand, to open up the possibility not just of two covenants, old and new, but further covenants post the return of Christ for his own, and multiple categories of "saint"!

To do so involves, again, taking a complicated piece of Scripture to rule your interpretation of simpler ones, rather than the reverse, which I submit overwhelmingly presents the case for a unicity, not a plurality, of saints.

Granted I have a hermeneutic and you have a different one, but I know which one is more likely to throw up a plethora of conflicting, speculative and heretical interpretations.
quote:
There was a wonderful old saint I knew who thought Darby and Schofield put the emphasis in all the wrong places. He was a 'kingdom now' chap and dedicated his life to making the church a light for the world.
I reject "kingdom now" theology too. Just how that makes dispensationalism right is beyond me.
quote:
Other views do not seem to me to be able to unify the scriptures.
Again, why is this such a compelling necessity? And is it really "unifying the scriptures" to invent whole swathes of doctrine (not just interpretive principles) that have no firm basis in the latter?

[ 11. December 2016, 12:30: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Gamaliel wrote:

quote:
Which is precisely the reason why the Eastern Churches were the last to accept Revelation into the canon of the NT and why, to this day, the Book of Revelations isn't read liturgically in Orthodox Church services. They've got it in their Bible, though, of course.


Which makes name and especially the coat of arms of the city of Archangel somewhat odd, since I would have to assume there was a lot of Orthodox influence up there.
Maybe I'm ignorant here, but does the word "archangel" only occur in the Revelation?
No, in fact, the word itself doesn't appear in Revelation at all(I had to check this). The only two places where it does appear are 1 Thessalonians and Jude. In Jude, the Archangel is named as being Michael, the same as the angel in Revelation, and some translations of the Thessalonians refer to "the archangel", thus suggesting there is only one.

In any case, the coat-of-arms of Archangel clearly portrays Michael fighting the dragon, a scene from Revelation.

Incidentally, that line from Thessalonians is pretty much the entire basis for the Jehovah's Witness claim that Jesus is really just an avatar of Michael The Archangel. since how could Jesus have the voice of THE archangel, if there was more than one?

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Gamaliel
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The thing is, we all have a favoured hermeneutic and we all have tradition - small t or Big T.

I submit that in exchanging the Big T Tradition of his RC upbringing for the small t tradition of conservative evangelicalism, Jamat has exchanged one source of infallible authority - the Papal Magisterium - for another - a conservative evangelical hermeneutic in its dispensationalist form.

As Eutychus says, dispensationalism presents an interpretative grid which is then imposed on top of the scriptures.

It is just as much a tradition as the Big T Tradition that it rejects.

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Steve Langton
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Clearly the return of Jesus "for his people" and his return "in judgement" are logically distinguishable events. But the issue between interpreters like myself and the followers of Darby including later "Left Behind" advocates, is whether Scripture teaches that in practice those events take place more-or-less simultaneously - basically on the same day - or teaches that they are separated by several years of the Tribulation and other events.

As far as I can see there is no reason IN SCRIPTURE to believe in such a separation. The reason people believe it derives from the assumption made by Irving and his fellow Prophetic students that the only legitimate expectation of the Second Coming is that you must expect it to happen 'any second now'.

This in turn led them to find that there were unfulfilled prophecies with no time for them to be fulfilled before an 'any second now' Return, yet also with no appropriate place either in the period of the Judgement and Millennium after the Return. These would be events like the rule of the Man of Lawlessness, the conversion of the Jews, the return of the Jews to Israel, etc.

It was the attempt to solve this 'paradox' that led Darby and Co to espouse the idea of an intermediate period on Earth between the Second Coming 'for the Church' and the 'Day of the Lord' in judgement on unbelief, and then to gradually elaborate that idea with ideas drawn from all over the Scripture. But of course if the paradox was artificial rather than truly biblical, all the elaboration was unnecessary and would be misinterpreting Scripture rather than truly following it.

And again, as far as I can see, the paradox IS artificial. There were all manner of prophecies to be fulfilled before the Return - including the preaching of the Gospel to the whole world, which arguably had still not been fulfilled in the time of Irving and Darby; and of course Paul's specific reference to the 'Man of Lawlessness', which he clearly expected would be seen by whatever Christians were on earth when Jesus returned. Expectancy would always be for the future rather than 'any second now' while such prophecy was unfulfilled; so Irving's basic assumption that you must expect an any second now coming was always wrong.

The real alternatives were either to
1) believe that the Coming was 'not yet' because the prophecies were yet to be fulfilled; though it should be pointed out that the fulfilments could potentially happen over only a few years; or

2) believe in and be ready for a possible 'any second now' coming on the basis that while the prophecies didn't appear to have been fulfilled, you recognised that you might have misread the fulfilment in various ways.

Neither of those alternatives produces the anomaly of unfulfilled prophecy requiring a period for fulfilment after the 'Rapture' and before the return in judgement. In case 1, while remaining watchful you would go to 'Amber Alert' rather than Red while awaiting the fulfilments; in case 2, the prophecies wouldn't need to be fulfilled, the situation would be that they already had been but you had somehow misread it. And case 2 must be a somewhat qualified expectation of an instant Return, not the absolute certainty that is seen in the 'Left Behind' school....

And either of those options would be Scriptural, based on Paul's portrayal of the 'Man of Sin' prophecy in Thessalonians. Insisting on a Second Coming 'any second now' regardless of unfulfilled prophecy is clearly an unScriptural position....

We should also observe the psychology underlying the 19thC events. At that time, it seems that 'post-Millennialism' was the majority view in the Scots Presbyterian Church. That is, it was believed that the Millennium had not yet started, and that Jesus would not return till the end of the 1000 years. This of course is far from expecting an imminent return - indeed until you were sure the Millennium had started (and how would you know?), Jesus' return must be at least 1000 years off!

Irving rightly saw that the Scriptural presentation of the Second Coming didn't portray that way of looking at things; and he enthusiastically started preaching at the other extreme of an absolutely imminent Return. And, as I see it, got people so hyped up on the idea of that any second now event that they couldn't give it up when Scripture study revealed those awkward unfulfilled prophecies; they NEEDED an interpretation whereby they could still believe in the 'any minute now' Rapture while having a place for the awkward prophecies to be fulfilled.

Separating the 'Rapture/Coming for the Church' from the 'Day of the Lord/Coming in Judgement' appeared to offer that resolution, and was eagerly embraced. Yet it was always actually a false option, an artificial rather than real paradox....

THE event which shows how wrong the Irvingite interpretation was occurred in 1948. Up till then dispensationalist teaching had typically seen the recreation of a Jewish state as a consequence of the Rapture - but it happened in 1948 without the Rapture and now, the whole of my life later, we're still expecting the Rapture....

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Clearly the return of Jesus "for his people" and his return "in judgement" are logically distinguishable events.

Why? We're so used to seeing "judgment" in medieval legal terms because the people who crafted that part of our understanding of the Scriptures were medieval lawyers, or people who thought in the legal black-and-white terms that were the stock-in-trade of medieval lawyers (Aquinas, I'm looking at you). But if you look over the OT uses of "judgment" it mostly means "Make that rich guy give back what he stole from me." Which is for the saints.

[ 11. December 2016, 16:52: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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Completely agreed, mt. And while we are at it, justice is about making things just, setting aright things gone wrong.

Steve Langton wrote;
quote:
THE event which shows how wrong the Irvingite interpretation was occurred in 1948. Up till then dispensationalist teaching had typically seen the recreation of a Jewish state as a consequence of the Rapture - but it happened in 1948 without the Rapture and now, the whole of my life later, we're still expecting the Rapture....
Ah - but this assumes the rapture has not already happened and you - I mean we - didn't notice it. How else do you explain Donald Trump, surely the man of lawlessness?

(Only joking...)

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Steve Langton
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quote:
Originally posted by Honest Ron Bacardi:

Steve Langton wrote;
quote:
THE event which shows how wrong the Irvingite interpretation was occurred in 1948. Up till then dispensationalist teaching had typically seen the recreation of a Jewish state as a consequence of the Rapture - but it happened in 1948 without the Rapture and now, the whole of my life later, we're still expecting the Rapture....
Ah - but this assumes the rapture has not already happened and you - I mean we - didn't notice it. How else do you explain Donald Trump, surely the man of lawlessness?

(Only joking...)

Well spotted, Ron! But it has been a fairly consistent part of the 'Left Behind' scenario from the beginning that the period of Tribulation etc will only be about seven years, not sixty-seven-or-eight! Also despite the constant reference to the 'Rapture' as 'Secret', even the tamest representations of it I've seen are not the kind of thing that could go that unnoticed!

Trump as the 'Man of Lawlessness' - just possibly, we'll have to see how things develop; but I think if so we're not in any version of the 'Left Behind' scenario but in Paul's depiction of the situation, with that apocalyptic figure being seen by those Christians living at the day of the Lord, before the Rapture and with no seven-year or whatever Tribulation to follow. This does make the point that the unfulfilled prophecies involved could come to pass remarkably quickly....

Here's a question - Trump... or Putin??

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Steve Langton
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Mousethief -

I take your point about how we interpret 'judgement'; in a different topic I'd probably be making a somewhat similar point myself. But in this case I'm arguing about an interpretation in which the "Second Second Coming" after the 'Tribulation' is generally depicted by its advocates as a coming in 'judgement' on unbelief as opposed to the coming that rescues the Church. I'm broadly expressing the view as it is stated by those who hold it....

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Jamat
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quote:
Against this you would set a decidedly shaky translation of a single verse in Jude
I completely agree that the basis of salvation is retroactive and has never altered. We look forward to the cross in the OT and back to it in the NT. this is evident in Hebrews where it states that the ones who died in the wilderness did so for their lack of faith in God's revelation.

Always, the basis is faith in God's word or the lack of it that justifies or condemns.

This however does not make all believers in all ages part of the church which is in institution created for this age alone. You have no church on the OT and you have no church AFAIK in the future Kingdom, but you do have a people of God saved on the same and only basis Christians of this age are,Christ's blood.

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Steve Langton
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by Jamat;
quote:
You have no church in the OT and you have no church AFAIK in the future Kingdom,
I beg to very differ....

The word used for 'Church' in the NT is 'ekklesia', meaning something like the 'called-out assembly' or the congregation of God's people. And like other words we now see as primarily Christian, e.g., 'episkopos/bishop', 'ekklesia' still has a considerable secular meaning - for example in Acts 19; 32 where it is used of the 'assembly' of the Ephesian citizens....

And 'ekklesia' is also used in the OT - not in the Hebrew, of course, but in the Septuagint Greek translation. There is definitely an 'ekklesia/church' in the OT, just that before the Jew/Gentile partition is broken down by Jesus, it is an almost exclusively Jewish body.

The NT depicts the Church as continuous with the OT Jewish 'ekklesia/assembly/congregation', using the word not to distinguish the OT body from the Christian Church, but precisely to emphasise the continuity....

There is no 'Church' in the Future Kingdom because essentially the Future Kingdom IS the Church, no longer 'called out' because there is no longer a Godless 'World' to be called out of....

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Gamaliel
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What was Israel then, if it wasn't the 'Church' of OT times?

Of course, prior to the Incarnation it would make little sense to speak of the Church as the Body of Christ, but although Pentecost marks the birth of the Church as we know it today, there was a continuum thing going on ...

I've seen Puritan references to 'the Old Testament Church' or Israel as a pre-Church Church as it were ...

Sure, we've got to be careful with all of that but God sees always to have been looking for a people to represent him, not just the odd individual here and there.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Against this you would set a decidedly shaky translation of a single verse in Jude
I completely agree that the basis of salvation is retroactive and has never altered. We look forward to the cross in the OT and back to it in the NT. this is evident in Hebrews where it states that the ones who died in the wilderness did so for their lack of faith in God's revelation.

Always, the basis is faith in God's word or the lack of it that justifies or condemns.

This however does not make all believers in all ages part of the church which is in institution created for this age alone. You have no church on the OT and you have no church AFAIK in the future Kingdom, but you do have a people of God saved on the same and only basis Christians of this age are,Christ's blood.

That is either complete ignorance or denial. Which?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
This however does not make all believers in all ages part of the church which is in institution created for this age alone.

In addition to what Steve Langton and Gamaliel said...

The church is not depicted in Scripture as an institution. The biblical image that springs most readily to mind is that of the "bride of Christ", right up there with the "city of God"; as I said, both are identified as the same entity in Revelation 21.

Do you really think all the teaching on this "bride" and the "body of Christ" and all the comfort promised to her in Revelation in particular apply solely to an institution composed of a particular category of believers amongst a larger whole, all saved on the same basis but somehow not with the same inheritance?

The "city of God", the Church universal, the entity described in that chunk of Hebrews 12 I quoted, has been God's plan all along. The culmination of Revelation points to this and this only.

Are you seriously proposing to "add to the words of (that) book" by coming up with other categories of believer - in particular, after the culminating point at which the Lord has returned for his bride (and "the door cannot be opened again" remember?) - just because your theory (in which "it all goes to bed nicely", remember?) requires them to be assumed into existence in order to tie up its loose ends? If you are, how on earth do you explain these and similar passages that I referred to?

[ 12. December 2016, 20:54: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Jamat
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Martin, call it both, define it how you like.

There is a people of God in every age obviously. If you see it as ekklesia, surely you have to distinguish the entity instituted by the saviour himself otherwise you are confusing the church with the Jews. If you say Israel is the church, this is replacement theology. What about the many promises to Israel Are they now for the church? A cornerstone of dispensationalism is the separation of these two.

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Steve Langton
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by Jamat;
quote:
If you say Israel is the church, this is replacement theology.
No, because the Church does NOT replace Israel; the Church is in continuity with Israel, with the Jew/Gentile barrier broken down. In effect, Gentiles who put trust in Jesus become part of the one 'ekklesia' going back to the OT, joining with faithful Jews; Jews who reject Jesus also reject their place in the covenant and in the ekklesia.
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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by Jamat;
quote:
If you say Israel is the church, this is replacement theology.
No, because the Church does NOT replace Israel; the Church is in continuity with Israel, with the Jew/Gentile barrier broken down. In effect, Gentiles who put trust in Jesus become part of the one 'ekklesia' going back to the OT, joining with faithful Jews; Jews who reject Jesus also reject their place in the covenant and in the ekklesia.
This only works after the cross but what about all the prophecies to Israel before it? I think you tie tourself in knots if you start applying OT prophesies to the NT church
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
If you say Israel is the church, this is replacement theology. What about the many promises to Israel Are they now for the church? A cornerstone of dispensationalism is the separation of these two.

Yes it is, and here we are veering into territory (ha ha) already covered at length by us all here.

While agreeing with Steve, I think this is a genuine problem that dispensationalism seeks to address. The starting point for Daniel Fuller's book mentioned above was when a young John Piper in his class asked him whether, when God said to Moses "the man who does these things shall live by them", he really meant it or not. In other words, was the Old Covenant a valid path to salvation?

There are also all the promises about the Land and so on which I can understand you thinking "Replacement Theology" (or better, "Church-and-Israel-as-continuum") do not address.

Without going over all the same ground as the other thread, my pragmatic answer - in addition to the overwhelming case as I see it for the NT teaching us that the Church is THE people of God as a whole - is that the theological damage done by the dispensationalist solution is far, far worse than that inflicted by seeing the Land promises as having a non-material, spiritual fulfilment in the "continuum".

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Steve Langton
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by Jamat;
quote:
If you see it as ekklesia, surely you have to distinguish the entity instituted by the saviour himself otherwise you are confusing the church with the Jews.
"Ekklesia" simply IS the Greek word translating in the LXX various references to Israel as the assembly or congregation of God's people. And the NT uses that word of the people of Christ. I repeat, it is not that we 'confuse' the Church with the Jews; the two are a continuum, in very real continuity one with the other. Remember that in the NT era the Church had a massive ethnic Jewish membership, including the Apostles; and did not see the contrast in the same way or from the same angle/viewpoint that we see it.
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Gamaliel
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Why shouldn't we apply OT prophecies to the Church? That happens in the Gospels, Acts and the NT epistles all the time.

Putting it crudely, the early Christians 'christianised' the Old Testament.

These things were a shadow of what was to come, they wrote, the reality is found in Christ.

The real tying up in knots happens when you use both the Old and New Testaments as a proof-text mine for eschatological speculation.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
Martin, call it both, define it how you like.

There is a people of God in every age obviously. If you see it as ekklesia, surely you have to distinguish the entity instituted by the saviour himself otherwise you are confusing the church with the Jews. If you say Israel is the church, this is replacement theology. What about the many promises to Israel Are they now for the church? A cornerstone of dispensationalism is the separation of these two.

Wow. So you're right and Luke is wrong. Awesome.

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Steve Langton
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Consider I Peter 2; 9-10

quote:
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Here Peter applies very emphatically to 'The Church', Christians, a whole string of OT passages describing (originally) Israel. The passages are

Deut 10; 15
quote:
15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today.
Deut 7; 6
quote:
6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
Exodus 19; 5-6
quote:
5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'
Isaiah 42; 16
quote:
16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
Hosea 1; 10
quote:
10 "Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'
Hosea 2; 23
quote:
23 I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one. ' I will say to those called 'Not my people, ' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.'"
Now is Peter “Confusing the Church with Israel”? Or does he know what he is talking about in applying these passages rather emphatically to the Church??
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Jamat
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quote:
is that the theological damage done by the dispensationalist solution is far
I'd really like to understand what theological damage you mean as I'd suggest it comes down merely to a matter of opinion.

It is OK to criticise dispensationalism but I like you to explain exactly what your overall hermeneutic is. I wonder if you could just state in what school of prophecy, if you like you pigeonhole yourself.

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Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
Martin, call it both, define it how you like.

There is a people of God in every age obviously. If you see it as ekklesia, surely you have to distinguish the entity instituted by the saviour himself otherwise you are confusing the church with the Jews. If you say Israel is the church, this is replacement theology. What about the many promises to Israel Are they now for the church? A cornerstone of dispensationalism is the separation of these two.

Wow. So you're right and Luke is wrong. Awesome.
Please explain Martin.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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