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theophilus

A question for Amillennialist

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Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:1-6 ESV

 

Premillennialists believe this speaks of a future reign of Christ on earth; amillennialists believe this prophecy is being fulfllled at the present time.  There have been discussion on this forum about the meaning of the thousand years and about the binding of Satan.  But there is one statement that I don't recall ever being discussed here.

 

Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 

 

If the amillennial interpretation is true this resurrection should have taken place sometime in the past.  Can any amillennialists tell me just when this happened?

 

  

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1 hour ago, theophilus said:

If the amillennial interpretation is true this resurrection should have taken place sometime in the past.  Can any amillennialists tell me just when this happened?

Notice:

Rev 20:4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

 

And,

 

Rev 20:5  "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection."

 

Is "the first resurrection" physical or spiritual and based on those two verses for what period of time or how long of a duration does this first resurrection take place? And how does this differ from "the second resurrection"?

 

God bless,

William

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20 hours ago, William said:

Is "the first resurrection" physical or spiritual and based on those two verses for what period of time or how long of a duration does this first resurrection take place? And how does this differ from "the second resurrection"?

The word "resurrection" refers to the restoration of a physical body that has died.  Since this resurrection includes those who have refused to take the mark of the beast it must take place after the time the beast required the mark.  The second resurrection obviously includes those who did take the mark.

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Strong's for the word 'resurrection' as used in The Revelation of Christ. 20:5 

 

 

G386
ἀνάστασις
anastasis
an-as'-tas-is
From G450; a standing up again, that is, (literally) a resurrection from death (individual, general or by implication (its author)), or (figuratively) a (moral) recovery (of spiritual truth): - raised to life again, resurrection, rise from the dead, that should rise, rising again.
 

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1 hour ago, theophilus said:

The word "resurrection" refers to the restoration of a physical body that has died. 

Why can't "The First Resurrection" be spiritual in nature?

 

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

 

Why is the living and reigning in Revelation 20:4 limited only to after the death of the martyrs?

 

2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
 

God bless,

William

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On 10/6/2018 at 10:15 AM, William said:

Why can't "The First Resurrection" be spiritual in nature?

"They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended."

If the first resurrection is spiritual then all of the dead will experience such a resurrection after the millennium.  That would mean that the universalists are right and everyone will be saved.  The Bible refers to the receiving of spiritual life as the new birth, not resurrection.  

 

The Bible also says that those who are resurrected will reign with Christ during the thousand years.  I don't see any sign that believers are reigning now.  Instead, there are many places on the earth where Christians are being persecuted.

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5 hours ago, theophilus said:

"They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended."

If the first resurrection is spiritual then all of the dead will experience such a resurrection after the millennium.  That would mean that the universalists are right and everyone will be saved.  The Bible refers to the receiving of spiritual life as the new birth, not resurrection. 

No, contrary to Universalism in Revelation 20:4 the "they" are limited to "those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands."

 

John chapter 5 speaks about two resurrections, one spiritual and one physical at the end of the age.
 

5 hours ago, theophilus said:

The Bible also says that those who are resurrected will reign with Christ during the thousand years.  I don't see any sign that believers are reigning now.  Instead, there are many places on the earth where Christians are being persecuted.

In Amil eschatology the millennial Kingdom is taking place now, Satan has been bound by Christ's work on the cross so that Satan can no longer hold all the nations in deception. Believers, who seem to be persecuted and afflicted, are really reigning with Christ and causing God's Kingdom, which does not now come visibly, to spread to every corner of the earth. The believers reigning with Christ in Amil eschatology are presented in two different views 1) those who reign with Christ are still alive, and/or 2) those who have died in the Lord are now in his presence.

 

God bless,

William

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22 hours ago, William said:

Satan has been bound by Christ's work on the cross so that Satan can no longer hold all the nations in deception

If Satan isn't deceiving the nations, who is?

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Just now, theophilus said:

If Satan isn't deceiving the nations, who is?

The Scriptures are very clear as to what the binding of Satan entails. The actual description of Satan's binding, is often misunderstood or rejected for what people want it to mean. As you are well aware, there are plenty of threads in the Amil sub-forum on the subject of the binding of Satan.

 

As for the OP here, I hope you find it satisfactorily answered with respect from an Amil perspective.

 

God bless,

William

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5 minutes ago, William said:

As for the OP here, I hope you find it satisfactorily answered with respect from an Amil perspective.

 

I find the answer satisfactory from the Amil perspective but not from a biblical perspective.

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On 10/9/2018 at 9:16 AM, theophilus said:

I find the answer satisfactory from the Amil perspective but not from a biblical perspective.

Our differences, I'm sure, are to do with each of our method of interpretation when tackling Revelation. We're approaching the book from two different schools which uses two different methods and principles.

 

God bless,

William

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On 10/5/2018 at 7:45 AM, theophilus said:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:1-6 ESV

 

Premillennialists believe this speaks of a future reign of Christ on earth; amillennialists believe this prophecy is being fulfllled at the present time.  There have been discussion on this forum about the meaning of the thousand years and about the binding of Satan.  But there is one statement that I don't recall ever being discussed here.

 

Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 

 

If the amillennial interpretation is true this resurrection should have taken place sometime in the past.  Can any amillennialists tell me just when this happened?

 

  

One other point of view you may want to consider is that a resurrection is recorded in Matthew 27:52-53. I believe this is the resurrection in Revelation 20:5. They are called beheaded in Revelation 20:4 because Messiah was cut off (Daniel 9:26) and the church (Gentiles and a remnant of Jews) becomes the body of Christ.

   Also about the church being raptured which I think you are alluding to I would like to state that Christ is currently seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1). He remains seated until God makes his enemies his footstool (Hebrews 1:13). His footstool is the earth (Matthew 5:35). There seams to be only a few options as to when the earth becomes the enemy. I think this happens when the bottomless pit is opened as I think it is Christ that opens it. Some may argue that it’s an angel or star as we see in Revelation 9:1 and not Christ. This would then put the earth being the enemy closer to the battle of Armageddon. In either case I don’t see anyway Christ can leave the right hand of God to come down and rapture the church before the earth itself becomes his enemy. The earth must become the enemy first.

   However I think there is evidence that the church will be removed before the tribulation. The fulness of the Gentiles (Romans 11:25), the falling away (2 Thessalonians 2:3), and the warning of Gentile branches being cut off (Romans 11:21-22) are all pointing to this. This doesn’t mean that the church is resurrected or raptured as some call it. God can simply stop creating new church age believers at some point and through attrition or what appears to be natural causes the church is removed or at least the true believers in the church. People who believe in election can accept this but people who believe in free will can’t and seam to require an additional resurrection for this to occur.

   This then leads to one other point I would like to make here. If the removal of believers from the church goes largely unnoticed then when the man of sin is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3) many people especially religious people will then look for the 2 witnesses for guidance. In Revelation 13:11 the beast with 2 horns could certainly be an imposter of the expected 2 witnesses. The beast could be 2 individuals who perhaps claim to be Elijah and Moses. This beast does cause fire to come down from heaven. Perhaps the image that is worshipped is a brass serpent on a pole. Whatever will happen I think Satan uses things miss understood to deceive during the tribulation.

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On ‎10‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 11:15 AM, William said:

Why can't "The First Resurrection" be spiritual in nature?

That makes perfect sense. I never made that connection before, but it fits perfectly

How else can God see us? If he looks at us physically we are all dead in our sin. He has to see us spiritually

 Born again, new creations, he sees us as being dead to sin and alive in Christ. We are dead to the flesh and alive in the spirit.

 Its not the sinful man 'physical' that draws close to god, but the spiritual man.

If we are dead to sin and born again, then God sees us as resurrected. The sinful man has died and we are born again in Christ

It also give me a better perspective of Baptism and its importance 

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17 hours ago, Grafted Branch said:

One other point of view you may want to consider is that a resurrection is recorded in Matthew 27:52-53. I believe this is the resurrection in Revelation 20:5. They are called beheaded in Revelation 20:4 because Messiah was cut off (Daniel 9:26) and the church (Gentiles and a remnant of Jews) becomes the body of Christ.

.

No, not really true.

 

Those resurrected or raised from the dead at Matthew27:52-53 were not Christians who "who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands."(Revelation20:4)

....... Actually, those of Matthew27 were dead Jews similar to Lazarus who had been raised from the dead, ...

John 11:38 & 44 = [ Lazarus Raised from the Dead ] Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. ... 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

 

Also, the prophetic event of "the mark of the beast" for buying and selling at Revelation13:11-18 and Revelation20:4 has yet to happen, ie Christians who refuse to accept the mark(= computer chip implants to replace credit/debit cards.?) will be prosecuted/persecuted/martyred by the powerful governments of the world or left alone to starve to death(cf; Amish Christians).

.

 

1Thessalonians4:15-18 = 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Edited by discipler77
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On 10/6/2018 at 8:15 AM, William said:

Why can't "The First Resurrection" be spiritual in nature?

 

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

 

Why is the living and reigning in Revelation 20:4 limited only to after the death of the martyrs?

 

2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
 

God bless,

William

Because man does not want to "give up" his falsely  perceived  autonomy.. It has to be THIS way because that is how i say it is.

Simple example: Jesus said 

Mat_23:36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation
Mat_24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 

So much of the end times teachings in my 72 years have said ...  nope Jesus did not mean 'this generation' for some reason we want IT to be about the generation of 'our time' . 
 

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12 hours ago, Guppy said:

That makes perfect sense. I never made that connection before, but it fits perfectly

How else can God see us? If he looks at us physically we are all dead in our sin. He has to see us spiritually

 Born again, new creations, he sees us as being dead to sin and alive in Christ. We are dead to the flesh and alive in the spirit.

 Its not the sinful man 'physical' that draws close to god, but the spiritual man.

If we are dead to sin and born again, then God sees us as resurrected. The sinful man has died and we are born again in Christ

It also give me a better perspective of Baptism and its importance 

I wouldn't necessarily suggest that God "can't see" the natural or unregenerate man, but God knows them (non elect) in an impersonal way rather than in an intimate personal way or relationship. We are told in John 3 that man cannot "see" or "enter" into God's presence, let alone approach the object of faith Jesus Christ John 6. Romans chapters 1-3 and Ephesians 2 emphasizes the condition of the natural or unregenerate man which is dead in sin and trespasses. Therefore, the natural or unregenerate man needs God to bring them to life.

 

Matthew 7:21-23

 

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

 

God obviously sees all and knows about them and their works but He doesn't know them in a personal intimate relationship (Jesus never "knew" them).

 

Other than this minor edit I agree with you @Guppy

 

Hope you're understanding why certain soteriology goes together with certain eschatology and incompatible with others.

 

God bless,

William

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@discipler77 

I agree that those resurrected in Matthew 27:52-53 are Jews. The sacrifices made in the Old Testament testified to Christ being the sacrifice for our sins. The Jews that are in view here are able to give testimony to Jesus based on this. They may not have fully understood all the implications at that time but it is clear that Jews were looking for the Messiah.

   As far as the mark of the beast I don’t think it is prophetic, I think it is symbolic of those who aren’t saved and spiritual in that it is not physically tangible. The 144,000 on mount Zion are marked or written on their forehead in Revelation 14:1 which I don’t take as literal. Therefore I believe the mark of the beast was used in the past and Revelation 20:4 give credence to this. I think this is just a difference between our views that can’t be resolved by just examining the mark of the beast or other marks.

   I would like to give my view of Revelation 13:17 were no one can buy or sell without the mark of the beast. I associate this with Matthew 21:12 were Jesus cast out all those who bought and sold in the temple. Because the church age believers are removed before the tribulation only unsaved people are left in the church. As some people will try to sell salvation and some will try to buy it, they will all be unsaved or have the mark of the beast. Those who are saved in the tribulation will recognize this and will not take part in it.

   I have a question for you, how do you view those that are beheaded in Revelation 20:4, physical or spiritual? If physical then why only the beheaded, this is not an efficient way of killing people, if people can’t buy or sell physical goods without the mark then what happens to those who starve to death because they didn’t receive the mark? Would you advise seeking a way to get beheaded for those who find themselves in the tribulation? If spiritual and it reflects the souls waiting for the marriage ceremony in Revelation 19:7 why the use of the word beheaded?  The word beheaded implies that body and head were attached and now are not. Therefore I can only see one place where this fits, do you have any other reasonable solution to this?

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@Becky 

   Some people take this generation to be Jews or Israel as that was the time the statement was made. After Christ dies the Gentiles and a remnant of Jews are given the gospel. I view it in this way so I find no fault stating that the church age will end and this generation (Jews) will continue to the end. I am not a dispensationalist but I find enough evidence that I believe there is a “church age”.

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I know that.   Dispinsationalism was THEE way to me for about 40 years. .. 

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29 minutes ago, davidtaylorjr said:

I think the real question for the Amil crowd is if there is no Millenial reign, why does the Bible say there is a 1,000 year reign?

If am correct the only person making that claim is from the post-mil camp.

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8 minutes ago, William said:

If am correct the only person making that claim is from the post-mil camp.

Was this in response to me? If so, maybe I don't understand the Amil position. I thought be definition it meant you don't believe in the 1,000 year reign.

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16 minutes ago, davidtaylorjr said:

Was this in response to me? If so, maybe I don't understand the Amil position. I thought be definition it meant you don't believe in the 1,000 year reign.

Yes, David.

 

My apologies, I was on a mobile device and didn't quote your response to clarify exactly who I was responding to.

 

As an Amillennialist I believe the 1000 is symbolic for a "time of completion". Rather than contending for no millennium lemme suggest that it is now realized.

 

"Although the term Amillennialism is widely used, some prefer the term "realized millennialism", saying it describes the position more accurately than the former, which emphasizes what they do not believe about the millennium, rather than what they do believe." - Theopedia.com

 

Lemme direct you here David:

 

 

God bless,

William

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9 minutes ago, William said:

Yes, David.

 

As an Amillennialist I believe the 1000 is symbolic for a "time of completion". Rather than contending for no millennium lemme suggest that it is now realized.

 

"Although the term Amillennialism is widely used, some prefer the term "realized millennialism", saying it describes the position more accurately than the former, which emphasizes what they do not believe about the millennium, rather than what they do believe." - Theopedia.com

 

Lemme direct you here David:

 

 

God bless,

William

That would require a non-literal approach to the 1,000 years which I personally don't believe fits. BUT I also know that eschatology is one area where we should not be as dogmatic, so I will respectfully disagree with your position.

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11 hours ago, Grafted Branch said:

I agree that those resurrected in Matthew 27:52-53 are Jews. The sacrifices made in the Old Testament testified to Christ being the sacrifice for our sins. The Jews that are in view here are able to give testimony to Jesus based on this. They may not have fully understood all the implications at that time but it is clear that Jews were looking for the Messiah.

No, the non-persecuted/non-martyred and raised-from-the-dead Jews of Matthew27:52-53 were not necessarily the same as the persecuted/martyred and resurrected Christians of Revelation20:4. These Jews did not die for their witness to Jesus Christ, whereas those Christians died for their witness to Jesus. The former happened before the Ascension of Jesus Christ back to heaven(= Acts1), whereas the latter happened or will happen after the Ascension of Jesus Christ in heavenly power and glory.(eg Acts9:5) ...

 

Matthew10:16-23 = Persecutions Are Coming

16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

 

21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

.

11 hours ago, Grafted Branch said:

The 144,000 on mount Zion are marked or written on their forehead in Revelation 14:1 which I don’t take as literal.

No, the "Father's name written on their foreheads" of Revelation14:1 is quite likely different from the "mark/number of the beast on their right hand or foreheads" of Revelation13:16-18.

....... Having "the Father's name written on their foreheads" likely means Jews who worshipped God/Jesus and who did not worship Satan/idols/false-gods/self. ...

 

Revelation14:7 = 7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

 

Revelation20:4 = Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands.

.

 

The 144,000 likely refers to the remnant of the Jews who will be saved by the 2 powerful witnesses/prophets(= the 2 who did not die on earth, Enoch and Elijah.?) appearing in Jerusalem for 42 months or 3-1/2 years before the 2nd Coming of Lord/God Jesus Christ to earth.( see Revelation11) ...

 

Revelation7:4 = 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; ...

Edited by discipler77

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