Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit Part 2

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

The Bible as a whole is not just another sacred book, it is God’s written revelation of Himself and mankind’s relationship to Him through the covenant bond He establishes with the men and women He calls into a unique relationship and it has always been defined through the sacred Covenant.

Starting with the Covenant of Adam and creation through Noah, the second Adam as well as a second creation motif, man was to subdue the earth for the glory of God, which mankind failed to do.

Notice in Genesis we see the use of water in creation, dividing the land and the sea and the Holy Spirit moving over the chaos and evil of the darkness. Man is created, placed in the garden, blessed and told to subdue the earth, yet mankind failed to do so

In Noah’s account, the world is recreated through the flood, the Holy Spirit is seen in the dove released by Noah, who flew over the waters. Noah and his family are blessed and told to renew and subdue the earth, yet mankind failed to do so again.

Starting with Abraham and through the renewing of the Covenant with corporate Adam, or Israel, man was still to subdue the earth for the glory of God. It wasn’t just about the Jewish people and the land, it was about something more. All the nations were to be blessed.

We see Abraham as a type of the Father in his ordeal with Isaac, as well as giving birth to Israel. We see the new creation in the Exodus through Moses and the parting of the Red Sea. We see a new Covenant with Israel where they are blessed and told to subdue the earth. So the original boundaries of Israel were to grow bigger as they filled the earth with the glory of God. Israel failed as well. God created a renewing of the Covenant with the generation that enters the Promised Land and they cross the waters of the Jordan, yet they also fail. It seems like there is no hope.

Obedience to God’s covenant allows blessings but disobedience brought about curses. We can see this in Gods dealings with Israel, in that His relationship with Israel was always defined in terms of the Covenant, the marriage bond by which He joined her to Himself as a chosen people. It is the same structure for what would become standard peace treaties of the city-states and Empires of the Ancient Near Eastern societies.

The standard covenant has 5 parts, wether between a King and his vassal, a covenant with equals, both swear an oath that binds the two parties.

1. Preamble – Identifies the two parties involved, if a King and vassal is involved, it would stress his greatness and dominance over the vassal

2. Historical Prologue – Recounting the previous relationship to the two parties and emphasises the benefits or blessings of that relationship

3. Ethical Stipulations – Introduction of the obligations involved to maintain the relationship

4. Sanctions – A list of the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience if one party breaks the covenant

5. Succession Arangements – Arangements and provisions for continuing the covenant relationship over future generations

Covenants between equals would create a brotherly covenant while a covenant between a King and a vassal, would create a father/son relationship. Marriage covenants followed a similar format.

God formed His covenant with Israel as both a King to a vassal as well as a husband to wife covenant. When Israel strays from God to embrace foreign gods she is both seen as an unfaithful wife breaking the marriage covenant, and an ungrateful son who breaks his covenant with his Father.

The Old Covenant blessings and curses

Read Leviticus 26, in it you will find the record of the establishing of the Sinai Covenant between God and Israel. God wanted Israel to be a royal priesthood and a light to the nations.

Exodus 19

5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Isaiah 42

6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

In the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 28, we see the reestablishment of the original Sinai Covenant with the new generation of Israel who had grown up during the 40 years wandering in the wilderness and now about to take possession of the Promised Land.

Sadly Israel does not keep the Covenant with God just as their fathers had not and we eventually see them taken out of the land and ultimately we see the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Israel had come out of exile, yet in their hearts, they were still in exile.

They were guilty of idolatry.

They put the Law, circumcision, the land, their national identity, and the Temple before God. They wanted nothing to do with the Gentiles. They were not being the light to the nations.

Yet God has something greater in mind, for Israel and the nations.

Jesus Christ

He is perfect Israel and the last Adam

Like Israel, God calls Him His Son, He fulfilled Hosea

Matthew 2

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

We see a pseudo creation account in that we see the last Adam passing through the water and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And we see Him tested in the wilderness

Matthew 4

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Yet, unlike the first Adam, unlike Corporate Adam, the Last Adam passed the test showing His worthiness to be called the Son of God in His deity and what He accomplished through His humanity.

Mark tells us that while He was tested, He was among the wild beasts

Mark 1

13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

This gives us the idea of the beginning of His work of reconciliation because the curse of the fall affected everything

We see Jesus, the perfect Israel, the Last Adam, Who came for reconciliation of the universe and redemption for all

This only comes through Jesus Christ.

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Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit Part 1

Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

This message came from God to Jesus through the Angel of the Lord in symbolic means to John. John tells us here that he was at Patmos for two reasons:

He was a witness to the word of God or he preached from the Bible and believed it

and

the testimony of Jesus Christ. We could say the New Testament but it didn’t really exist at this time. He preached Christ and Him crucified as Paul would say.

John was a witness to both and it helps us to understand this book even more. The idea that John is a witness and calls this book a prophecy gives us one of the best ways of seeing Revelation. It being prophecy is like some Old Testament prophecies and seen as a covenant lawsuit.

In the Bible, more books come under the heading of prophecy than any other heading. There are four major prophetic books and twelve minor prophetic books. In our day, we tend to sometimes, either see them as speaking to the future. We do this with Revelation as well in only seeing what the text means to our day and mostly in terms to what it means to the Western Christianity.

The prophets did announce the future, but it mostly had to do with the future of Israel and the nations that surrounded them. They spoke to their contemporaries. The problem that we face is the distance of historical setting. As we move further and further away from what it was like in their lives historically, we have a hard time understanding what their references were and what it meant to their original audience.

The Prophets were Covenant Mediators and the oracles given for them to speak and/or act out were not their own words or ideas. They answered the call and were tasked with giving the message as God wanted it to be given.

One of the three most common oracles in prophecy is the Covenant Lawsuit. This consists of a summons, a charge, evidence, and a verdict.

When a vassal or kingdom violated the terms of a covenant agreement, the King would send emissaries to warn the offenders of the coming judgment and enforcement of sanctions. If the relationship could not be reestablished and the violations continued then the King’s emissaries would call a covenant lawsuit against the offending violators. It was the mission of the Prophets to bring about restoration of the covenant obligations or, when failing to restore these obligations, to act as God’s prosecuting attorneys by bringing about the message of the covenant lawsuit against the offending nation.

Jeremiah and Ezekiel brought a covenant lawsuit against Judea while Isaiah and Hosea bring a covenant lawsuit against Israel.

John is also about to be a witness in the Heavenly courtroom

Some see Revelation as a Covenant Lawsuit with three main groups:

Against the church – Chapters 1-3

Against Israel – Chapters 4-19

Against Rome – Chapters 13-19

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Revelation 1:1-11 A Signified Message

Revelation 1:1-11
Introduction and Benediction
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Greeting the Seven Churches
John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Vision of the Son of Man
I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”


And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,


This tells us how this message was delivered to John. This is a book of signs.
The Angel sign-ified this message (communicates in signs) to John.
These signs have been a source of confusion to some and controversy to others. Yet they seem necessary because John is attempting to convey things seen in heaven. Things that Paul tells us can’t be expressed with normal words.


2 Corinthians 12:2-4
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.


John was watching history unfolding before him and he could only use symbolic language to describe it.
These signs are useful in two ways

  1. There is tremendous power in symbolic language
    It is one thing to call someone or something evil, but it is another to describe them or it as a large beast with horns
  2. It could be used to hide the true message that only those with specific knowledge would know.
    This message would be accessible only to those who had a very good understanding of Scripture, especially the Old Testament.
    The Book of Revelation is rooted in the Old Testament. It contains more than 500 (some claim around 800) allusions to the Old Testament, and 278 of the 404 verses in Revelation make some reference to the Old Testament.
    The Greek word for “Signified,” means, “to write in symbols, signs, and figures.” John is telling us how to look at this book. We can’t just take a stance and read this as narrative or just literal. This book is going to have literal events described in symbolic fashion.
    The Bible contains five main types of literature and each type has it’s own unique set of rules as far as interpretation.
    History, Law, Prophecy, Poetry, Epistles
    Revelation is not apocalyptic literature; it tells us that this work is prophecy. Prophecy was always filled with symbols, and if we were First-Century believers, we would be able to identify these symbols quickly. We have to understand and hold onto the concept that this book is partially dealing with history and we must understand what the original audience of this work would have understood.
    Genesis can’t be interpreted as poetry, the Epistles can’t be identified as symbolic, even though both can have these things within them, the main ideas is what each is meant for.
    This can pigeon hole us into having to make some clear cut guesstimates as far as some of the most debated aspects of this work.
  3. The timing of at least part of this book
  4. The date this book was written
    Symbology plays a major part in all of this but it has also caused some major issues with interpretation.

Revelation is not open to subjective interpretation.


Some believe that since Revelation is full of symbols and so our interpretation can be subjective. When we read this book, it can mean something different to each reader and so they ask, “What does it mean to me?”


That is wonderful for application, but if we are trying to get to the meaning of this book, we must ask “What did it mean in the first Century?”


Many modern ideas of computers, airplanes, tanks, helicopters, UFOs, and nano technological implants as well as other technology have been added into the text in commentaries over the years.


It can be exiting and entertaining but if it takes away from the message, it means nothing and it keeps our eyes and mind on the wrong things.


God is showing us what He means in this book; He is opening them up to us. Most of these symbols are explained in the canon of Scripture, and those that are not, are clearly identified and explained by John.
We just don’t readily get the images because we aren’t immersed in the Old Testament prophetic literature like the First-Century believers were.
To them, it would be like seeing the red and white of the Coca-Cola sign, it was ingrained in them and they would have recognized what the text was talking about immediately.


We also get a first glimpse of how thing work behind the scenes. Jesus is sending this message through “His” Angel to John. We are going to see how angels work in the cosmology of the supernatural.

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Revelation 1:1-11 Millennialism Part 6

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Other Millennial views

The following interpretive approaches arose from the study of the book of Revelation. The principles embodied in these interpretations can be applied to all prophecy to the Bible as a whole. While most interpretations fit into a prescribed approach, they are not mutually exclusive and can be combined to form a more coherent and complete interpretation of prophecy. Though useful, these approaches can paint you into a certain theological corner, especially when you realize that Futurism and Preterism, which came from Jesuit writings, were only brought about to oppose the Historicist approach.

1. Preterism

This word has the inherent meaning of things happening in the past so this position states that Revelation speaks towards events happening in the past and not to the future. Revelation as a whole revolves arond the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

John either truly predicted the coming destruction or he wrote it in a style that made it appear to be prophetic, after the fact.

Preterists claim that John wrote Revelation in 62 to 65 AD and they claim that all references to Babylon refer to neither Babylon or Rome, but rather to Israel. Thus Israel is painted in a very bad light.

Israel as a nation and as a people are already judged for destruction, thus God is utterly and completely through with Israel.

Israel is seen as a persecuter of the church through Rome and deserving to be completely divorced from God and replaced by the Gentile church.

With this view, some Preterists can be falsely labeled as adherents to believe in what is called Replacement Theology or the doctrine that God has replaced Israel with the Church. Every blessing originally given to Israel has now been given to the church.

This view is not just reserved to Preterism but has come from other beliefs as well

Preterism has many views similar to Amillennialism.

There are two views in preterism.

A. Partial Preterism, Also called Orthodox or Classical Preterism

This view claims that prophecies in Revelation were fulfilled in the first century and are mainly about political upheaval.

The destruction of Jerusalem, the Antichrist, the Day of the Lord, and the great tribulation were fulfilled either in A.D. 70 or under the persecution of Nero.

While some believe that The thousand years spans the Church age up to the second coming and the final judgment.

Partial Preterism

B. Full Preterism, Also called True Preterism and The A.D. 70 Doctrine

This view states that a literal interpretation of Matthew 16:28 places the second coming of Jesus in the first century, not a physical one but a symbolic return as a judgment against Jerusalem with the destruction of the Temple in A.D.70

All prophecies and end time events were fulfilled in this judgment.

2. Historical

This view associates symbols in prophecy as associated with historical nations, people, or events and results in a view of progressive fulfillment of prophecy from biblical times to the end of the world.

This view is very interesting but has opened the way for many speculative ideas. This view is a prevelant one for the Western church and a common occurrance to have a specific Bible related historical event attached to some event within the Western church only.

The corruption and power plays of the papacy in history, the Reformation, Muslim Kingdoms have all been attached to some sign in Revelation.

At one point the Soviet Union was believed to be Satan’s agency in surrounding Jerusalem in the Great Tribulation and its collapse caused a problem.

Saddam Hussein was once believed to be the ruler who would bring in the end times.

3. Idealist or symbolic

This view states that Revelation does not refer to historic or future events but is actually allegorical for the spiritual path of man and his struggles with good and evil.

4. Futurist

Many prophecies will be fulfilled in the future by real events, for example, portions of Revelation and Daniel are to be read as future events in a literal, physical, and global sense.

This belief usually has a close relationship with Dispensationalism and Premillennialism and one of its proponents was Irenaeus. Many biblical pastors, teachers, and authors tend to favor it as well.

The problem we have with this kind of interpretation is that we can draw many different speculations in attempting to interpret God’s Word with this view in mind.

Even now, this very month, we see what could be an issue with Dispensational Theology.

Many believed that “the budding of the fig tree” that Jesus spoke of was the political creation of the state of Israel on May 14 1948.

Many claimed that this started a prophecy clock that would last no longer than a generation or no longer than 70 years.

This caused many to call for support for the state of Israel because they need to exist to lead the way to the pre-trib rapture.

Many pastors and Christian writers made millions in book sales claiming the rapture would occur in the 80’s, the 90’s, and the 2000’s. These books, as well as the Left Behind series, reinstated these beliefs to many believers.

Yet it’s been 70 years and nothing happened except President Trump just moved our American Embassy to Jerusalem.

Most see the Bible interpreted in the Futurist view, by modern events first and not by itself. Signs and symbols become real objects and events that only have revelance to future Christians living in the end times.

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Revelation 1:1-11 Millennialism Part 5

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Other Millennial views

Amillennialisn, also known as Nunc-millennialism, or Inaugurated Millennialism

This view teaches that the Kingdom of God was inaugurated at Christ’s resurrection at which point He gained victory over both Satan and the curse. Christ is now (Nunc) reigning at the right hand of the Father over His Church. When this present age has ended, Jesus will return and immediately usher the Church into their eternal state after judging the wicked.

Features:

  • Favored method of interpretation: Redemptive-Historical
  • The Church is the eschatological fulfillment of Israel
  • The Kingdom of God is a spiritual reality that all Christians partake in, seen presently by faith, and will be grasped by sight at the consumation of all things.
  • In the rapture, the saints, living and dead, shall meet Jesus in the clouds and immediately proceed to judge the nations with Him, then follow Him into their eternal state.
  • The millennium was inaugurated with Christ’s resurrection in an “already/Not yet” sense.
  • Events described in the Olivet Discource and in most of the book of Revelation have already occurred or are symbolic in nature and are not taken literally.


Amillennilism was held by many leaders of the early Christian church during the First and Second Centuries. St. Augustine is often called the “Father of Amillennialism,” and was largely responsible for the establishment of this view as the major church belief, until after the Reformation in the 16th Century. The Catholic Church and many mainline Protestant groups still teach Amillennialism.

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Revelation 1:1-11 Millennialism Part 4

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Other Millennial views

Postmillennialism, also known as “Christian Reconstruction, Kingdom-Now Theology, and Dominion Theology”

This view teaches that the millenium is an era, not a literal, thousand-year period, where Jesus Christ will reign over the earth by the gradual Christianization of the world through the increase of the Gospel. This interpretation is in stark contrast to the Premillennial cataclysmic view. After this, Jesus will return and immediately usher the Church into their eternal state and judge the wicked. This belief rose in the early 19th Century.

This optimistic view goes hand-in-hand with, some full but mostly the Partial-Preterist interpretation of Revelation and the various judgment prophecies in the Gospels, teaching that the majority of those prophecies were fulfilled in 70A.D. at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Features:

  • Favored method of interpretation: Covenant-Historical
  • The Church is the fulfillment of Israel
  • The Kingdom of God is a spiritual entity experienced on earth through the Christianizing effect of the Gospel.
  • The Millennium is a golden age previous to the second coming, during which, Jesus will rule over the whole earth through the spread of the Gospel. It is seen as an indefinitely long time
  • First-Century events are highly regarded in prophecy. According to this view, the great tribulation was already fulfilled in the Jewish-Roman War of 66-73 A.D.
  • The rapture is the same event as the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Terms within Postmillennialism

Dominion Theology/Christian Reconstructionism/Theonomy

Dominion theology refers to a line of theological interpretation and thought with regard to the role of the church in contemporary society. Dominion theology states that biblical Christianity will rule all areas of society, personal and corporate.

Christian reconstructionism reasons that society will be reconstructed by the Law of God as preached in the gospel and the Great Commission. The goal is political and religious domination of the world. It is largely based on a post-millennial view of Covenantalism.

Covenantalism refers to the belief that biblical history is divided into three major covenants:

  • Redemption
  • Works
  • Grace – We are currently under this covenant.

Theonomy is a post-millennial view believing that all of the moral laws contained in the Old Testament are yet binding today.

Those who hold these views believe that it is the duty of Christians to create a worldwide kingdom patterned after the Mosaic Law and that Christ will not return to earth until after such a kingdom has been established.

These theological beliefs were soley within Reformed circles, but have branched out, but not soley, into Charismatic churches in the form of Kingdom Now theology

Kingdom Now teaches that God lost control over the world with the fall of Adam and it was given over to Satan. Since then, God has been trying to reestablish control by seeking a special group of believers where all social institutions will be brought under God’s authority.

Since these believers are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit as Jesus, we have all authority in heaven and on the earth to bring in the Kingdom Age. Since we are the Body of Christ, we are Christ, we have His divine nature.

Proponents of this theology also believe that the prophecies regarding future Israe, both Old and New Testament mentions, actually apply to the church. This is known as Replacement Theology.

Replacement theology (also known as supersessionism) essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.

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Revelation 1:1-11 Millennialism Part 3

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Terms associated with Premillennialism:

The Tribulation, or Great Tribulation


A seven-year interval when a world religious-political leader, known as the Anti-Christ, takes power in the future.

Armageddon

A terrible war provoked by the Anti-Christ where God’s anger, hatred, and wrath are poured out over mankind and the earth.

The Rapture

The rapture is a future event expected by most born-again Protestants, particularly within branches of American Evangelicalism. During this event, born-again Christians who have died will have their bodies reconstituted and they will ascend into the air to meet Jesus Christ in the sky, followed by those who are born-again and still alive on the earth. This idea as it is currently defined is not particularly found in historic Christianity, although some claim to have found this idea in ancient texts.

The term “Rapture” comes from the First Epistle to the Thessalonians, written by Paul the Apostle, around 51 AD. He uses the Greek word, “Harpazo,” meaning “To snatch away, to seize”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

  • Those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who are dead (1 Thessalonians 4:15).
  • The dead in Christ will resurrect first (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
  • The living and the resurrected dead will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
  • The rapture will occur as a component of the parousia: “those who are alive and remain unto the coming (παρουσία) of the Lord, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17).
  • The meeting with the Lord will be permanent: “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

An even associated with the rapture is the imminent return of Jesus Christ, also known as the “Second Coming, or Parousia.” It was describe by the word “Parousia,” during the First-Century, and introduced as the “Second Coming” by Justin Martyr in the Second-century.

Christians have anxiously awaited the return Of Jesus Christ for around 2,000 years.

Many, but not all, Christian groups believe:

  • The coming of Christ will be instantaneous and worldwide. “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” ~ Matthew 24:27
  • The coming of Christ will be visible to all. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30
  • The coming of Christ will be audible. “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:31
  • The resurrection of the righteous will occur “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.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16
  • In one single event, the saved who are alive at Christ’s coming will be caught up together with the resurrected to meet the Lord in the air. “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.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Differing views exist about the exact timing of the rapture as well as whether Christ’s return will occur in one event or possibly two.

The following views are held mostly by those within Premillennialism. While many pre-tribulationists are dispensationalists, not all hold to the dispensational view:

Pre-Tribulational Premillennialism

This view has been traced back to at least 140A.D. in “The Shepherd of Hermas,” as well as a few other intertestamental writings and alludes to the idea the believers in Christ will not suffer the tribulation.

Most recently it gained more popularity in the seventeenth century within the Puritan community and had another surge in the 1830’s by John Nelson Darby and the Plymouth Bretheren. The Scofield Reference Bible gave it an even more wide circulation in America in the 20th Century. This influence lead to increasing acceptance of futurist premillennial views along with the pre-tribulation rapture mostly among Presbyterian, Baptists, and non-denominational Evangelical groups. Many popular books were published espousing this view, first in the 1800s, then in 1970s through Hal Lindsey’s books, and finally through Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” series.

This position claims that the rapture of the Church will occur before the beginning of a seven-year tribulation period (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17); the second coming will occur at the end of the tribulation where Jesus comes with the Church (Matthew 24:29–31).

Mid-Tribulational Premillennialism

This view teaches that the rapture will occur at some point in the middle of the Tribulation period, or during Daniel’s 70th Week. The tribulation is typically divided into two periods of 3.5 years each. The Anti-Christ will come into power and a new Temple will be built in Jerusalem. This view holds that the saints will go through the first period (Daniel 7:25) but will be raptured into Heaven before the severe outpouring of God’s wrath in the second half, or the Great Tribulation. At this point, the Anti-Christ will turn on Israel and commit the “Abomination of Desolation” by desecating the Temple.

Prewrath Premillennialism

This view also places the rapture at some point during the tribulation period before the second coming. The tribulation of the Church begins toward the latter part of the seven year period (Daniel’s 70th week) when the Anti-Christ is revealed in the Temple and just before God unleashed His wrath on the world.

Partial Pre-Tribulation Premillennialism

This view is also known as conditional or selective rapture, and holds that all obedient Christians will be raptured before the great tribulation depending on ones personal fellowship between that individual and God, while the rest will be resurrected during the Great Tribulation, between the 5th and 6th seals mentioned in Revelation.

It is also believed by some that the rapture of a believer is determined by the timing of their conversion before the Great Tribulation.

Post-tribulational Premillennialism

This view holds that the Church will undergo the tribulation. The rapture is identical to the second coming of Jesus as a meeting of the Church in the air with Jesus that immediately predeces His return to earth before the millennium.

Many groups have tried over the years to predict the date of the rapture, using charts, math, events in history, or their own personal theology or philosophy.

All have failed. When it comes down to it, we should listen and heed the words of Jesus

Matthew 24:36-44

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

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Revelation 1:1-11 Millennialism Part 2

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Historical Premillennialism:

This belief was held by a large percentage of Christians during the first three centuries of the Christian era. Christianity became the official religion of Rome in the fourth Century. Premillennialism was declared a heresy at the Council of Ephesus and Amillennialism was adopted as the prevailing doctrine of Rome. This view is similar to the dispensational view, in that it also holds to Christ’s return being previous to the establishment of a thousand-year earthly reign, it differs in significant ways.

Rather than the belief of an imminent return of Christ, it is held that a number of historical events must take place first. Apostasy, the rise of the Anti-Christ, and the False Prophet must appear first. The Anti-Christ appears on earth and the seven year Tribulation begins. Next comes the Rapture. After this period of great apostasy and tribulation, Christ and His Church return to earth to rule for a millennium. After the millennium, Satan will be loosed and Gog and Magog will risa against the Kingdom of God. This will be followed the final judgment

Features and Distinctions:

  • Favored method of interpretation – grammatico-historical
  • The Church is the fulfillment of Israel
  • The Kingdom of God is present through the Spirit since Pentecost, to be experienced by sight during the Millennium after Christ’s return
  • The Rapture – The saints, living and dead, shall meet the Lord in the clouds immediately preceding the millennial reign.
  • The Millennium: Christ will return to institute a thousand-year reign on earth. The millennium will see a re-establishment of temple worship and sacrifice as a remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice



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Revelation 1:1-11 Millennialism Part 1

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

Millennialism is the belief in a literal reign of Jesus Christ on earth for 1,000 years in the future and is found in Revelation 20:1-7

Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 

Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 

Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 

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

Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 

During the First Centuries after Christ, various forms of millennialism were found in the Church in both the East and the West. This thinking first emerged in Jewish apocryphal literature during the Second Temple period, and is prominent in Zoroastrianism.
Much of Christian eschatology, especially within Protestantism, is based around a particular view of this millennial kingdom and the timing of Christ’s return in relation to the inauguration of this kingdom.

These views are known as:

Premillennialism – Sees Christ’s second coming as preceding a physical millennium.

Postmillenialism – Sees Christ’s second coming as subsequent to a spiritual millennium through the church.

Amillennialism – Sees Christ’s second coming as subsequent to no literal millennium.

Dispensational Premillennialism, also known as Dispensationalism

Declared a heresay in ancient times, was reintroduced in 1830. Most attribute this reintroduction to John Nelson Darby, a minister of the Church of Ireland and the founder of the Plymouth Bretheren. Premillennialism was given general acceptance by most Fundamentalists and other Evangelical Christians after the publishing of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909.

This view holds that Christ will come before a seven-year period of intense tribulation to take His church, both living and dead, to heaven. After this period, He will return to rule over all the earthly nations in the New Jerusalem for a literal one thousand-year period. After this period, Satan, who was bound up at the beginning of the thousand years, is loosed and allowed to deceive the nations, gather an army, and take up battle against the Lord. This battle will end in judgment for the wicked and Satan and eternal glory with Jesus for the righteous.

Distinctions

  • Method of interpretation – Mostly strict literal.
  • Views the church and Israel as two distinct groups with two individualistic redemptive plans.
  • The church is raptured before a seven-year tribulation.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
  • The time of the great tribulation is called Jacob’s trouble- Jeremiah 30:7 and the seventieth week of Daniel – Daniel 9:24-27. During this time of tribulation, there will be three-and-a-half years of world peace under an Anti-Christ figure – Daniel 7:8, Revelation 13:1-8, who will establish a world-church – Revelation 17:1-15, followed by three-and-a-half years of greater suffering – Revelation 6-18
  • Jesus will return at the end of the great tribulation – Matthew 24:27-31, Revelation 19:11-21 to judge the world – Ezekiel 20:33-38, Matthew 25:31, Jude 1:14-15, bind Satan – Revelation 20:1-3, raise the Old Testament and tribulation saints – Daniel 12:2, Revelation 20:4, and institute a thousand-year reign from the New Jerusalem. Revelation 20:1-6, Isaiah 2:3
  • There will be great peace throughout His reign – Isaiah 2:4
  • At the end of this period, Satan will be released and allowed to instigate rebellion against God – Revelation 20:7-9, but he will fail. Satan and the wicked are cast into the lake of fire – Revelation 20:10, while the righteous proceed into eternal life in the new heaven and new earth – Revelation 21-22
  • Tendancy to see a more pessimistic view of the future up to the millennium.
  • Requires the physical, visible, earthly reign of Christ.
  • Seperate the Second Coming of Christ and the Final Judgment.
  • Sometimes described as following newspaper exegesis.

Dispensationalism

This is a way of ordering things through an administration, system, or a management. In theology, a dispensation is the divine administration of a period of time. Dispensationalism is a theological system that recognizes divinely appointed ages ordained by God to order the affairs of the world with two primary distinctives.

1. A consistent literal interpretation of Scripture, especially prophecy

2. A view of the uniqueness of Israel as seperate from the Church in the program of God.

Dispensational theology understands the Bible to be organized into seven dispensations in which God deals with man:

  • Innocence – Genesis 1:1-3:7
  • Conscience – Genesis 3:8-8:22
  • Human Government – Genesis 9:1-11:32
  • Promise – Genesis 12:1 – Exodus 19:25
  • Law – Exodus 20:1 – Acts 2:4
  • Grace – Acts 2:4 – Revelation 20:3
  • Millennial Kingdom – Revelation 20:4-6

Traditional Dispensationalism teaches that while Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father and ruling, He will physically sit on the throne of David in the Millennial Kingdom.

Progressive Dispensationalism teaches what is known as “Already but not yet” idea, that while Jesus has not yet completely fulfilled the promise of God to David for a descendant to sit on his throne, He is already sitting and ruling and will physically sit and rule in the Millennial Kingdom.

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Revelation 1:1-11 Does Eschatology Matter? Part 2

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

The many and varied interpretations for a majority of this book should give us pause, especially when looking at this work with fresh eyes. It is almost impossible to come to it without preconceived bias and a specific worldview. We want answers but answers that fill what we already want to believe.

There are several ways in which mainline Christians choose to come to Scripture as a whole and depending on which of these interpretive methods are used, one’s doctrine and understanding of eschatological issues, whether learned or passed down, is effected. It’s rather easy to hold to one view or another if we don’t venture far from what we have already known. Yet we see a whole different thing if we decide to forgo learned doctrine and what we have always believed. There is nothing wrong with doctrine we just need to understand whether we truly believe what we believe or is it just what we have been taught in the Church we have attended with family and it’s just easier to go with the flow.

We interpret Scripture primarily through the filter of our understanding fundamental millennial views without actually realizing it and it effects our outlook and how we live our lives.

The very first thing I noticed about the the Amillennials was that they weren’t worried about the future, the mark of the beast, who the AntiChrist was, or any of these things. Mainly because in their view things would slowly get better and they could focus on the now. I was focused on the future as a Premillennialist and things were supposed to get worse.

And then their is the broader spectrum.

Amillennialists can be misunderstood because the Nazis misapplied some of it’s belief system.

Some misused the principles of Postmillennialism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Premillennialism gets a lot of flack because most cults take their cues from this system for their ideas about the future especially in setting dates for the end of the world.

Who is right?

Would Amils and Postmils miss things in Scripture and be tricked by what is coming or would I miss out because I was looking for things to come that weren’t actually going to happen?

Or is it my outlook and theirs?

If it takes the focus away from Christ then it is futile.

If pet doctrine takes the focus from Christ it is meaningless.

Paul says it best

1 Corinthians 1

1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 

1Co 1:19  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 

1Co 1:20  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 

1Co 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 

1Co 1:22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 

1Co 1:23  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 

1Co 1:24  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 

1Co 1:25  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 

1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 

1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 

1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 

1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence. 

1Co 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 

1Co 1:31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 

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