How does Eschatology affect how we live as Christians?

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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I think that both the A Mils/PreMils would see the victory of the Lord Jesus can being finally accomplished only at His returning, while some Posr Mil seem to see the Church able to overcome before that Event.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I expect tremendous progress of the Gospel on earth and in time just as there has been growth through time from the original 120 disciples (Acts 1:15) through now. If I am not mistaken, he Puritan Board alone has over 5,000 members. I expect the growth to continue for perhaps thousands of years before Christ's return. Does that make me Amil with a positive view? Or a Postmil who thinks all power in heaven and earth is (now) given to Christ.

This view has radically altered my prayers and worshipping in ever increasing ways.

Here's the 2's I often share with others:
Psalm 2 - "ask of me, and I will give you the Gentiles for thy possession;
Isaiah 2 - "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
Danial 2 - Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image... and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
Habakkuk 2 - "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

Plus many many other places through the Old Testament.

So, am I Postmill, or Amill?
Ed, you're totally Amill. Those are verses in which I also delight, and say only that the success of the Gospel is not measured by the darkness of the world around. It is perfectly logical to see the world getting worse while the church grows by the sovereign work of God. In spite of the darkness of the times (which have always been dark--look at the description of antediluvian man), God has his people in every place, His messengers are still going out to proclaim peace, and souls are being added daily to His church.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Ed, you're totally Amill. Those are verses in which I also delight, and say only that the success of the Gospel is not measured by the darkness of the world around. It is perfectly logical to see the world getting worse while the church grows by the sovereign work of God. In spite of the darkness of the times (which have always been dark--look at the description of antediluvian man), God has his people in every place, His messengers are still going out to proclaim peace, and souls are being added daily to His church.
Premils such as myself would see also the two tracts of Jesus expanding and adding into the Church, but that culture on a whole grows darker in a steady fashion.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
but that culture on a whole grows darker in a steady fashion.
How in the world can the culture grow darker without God's law of blessing and cursing being perverse? Don't you realize that, in general, and in the long run, good must triumph over evil or God's entire ethical laws would be turned upside down? There are always exceptions to be sure, but good people live longer and produce more and receive the blessing of God while evil men lose power and dominion. Hasn't there been progress since Rome? Hasn't the Church grown since then? It's like the ten spies running around saying the sky is falling in; the sky is falling in. Those unbelievers that refused to believe and obey God's promise of victory had to die off in the wilderness over the next 40 years. That was 600,000± men. But the ten spies God killed on the spot for their wicked unbelief. Only Joshua and Caleb lived to see the promised land. And they prospered.

Let verse 22 sink into your ears. It was in the context of defeat and judgment that the Lord cried out these words of victory:

But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. (Numbers 14:21)

Numbers 14:22-24
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
How in the world can the culture grow darker without God's law of blessing and cursing being perverse? Don't you realize that, in general, and in the long run, good must triumph over evil or God's entire ethical laws would be turned upside down? There are always exceptions to be sure, but good people live longer and produce more and receive the blessing of God while evil men lose power and dominion. Hasn't there been progress since Rome? Hasn't the Church grown since then? It's like the ten spies running around saying the sky is falling in; the sky is falling in. Those unbelievers that refused to believe and obey God's promise of victory had to die off in the wilderness over the next 40 years. That was 600,000± men. But the ten spies God killed on the spot for their wicked unbelief. Only Joshua and Caleb lived to see the promised land. And they prospered.

Let verse 22 sink into your ears. It was in the context of defeat and judgment that the Lord cried out these words of victory:

But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. (Numbers 14:21)

Numbers 14:22-24
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
God allows for Satan and evil and sin to remain in this life until the Second Coming, and while the Kingdom grows here through more being saved, there is also a push towards lost mankind having done their evil desires and ways also. Both continue until the return of Jesus.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Ed,

I would say you're clearly postmil, given the Scriptures you cite in post 29, and your saying there are "perhaps thousands of years before Christ's return". I note you post only OT verses, some of which are to be fulfilled on New Earth where only "the nations of them which are saved" (Rev 21:24) exist, and some figuratively show the elect of all nations flowing into the heavenly Zion (Heb 12:22-24) during the NT age.

The NT cannot be used to support postmillennialism.

I did show in post 9 some of the unscriptural basis of the postmil view.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
God allows for Satan and evil and sin to remain in this life until the Second Coming, and while the Kingdom grows here through more being saved, there is also a push towards lost mankind having done their evil desires and ways also. Both continue until the return of Jesus.
Of course, I believe this. You are right.

Even in one of the most optimistic places in Scripture, there are still holdouts of wicked men. But notice that Ezekiel portrays them as a small minority.

Ezekiel 47:11 (KJV)
But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.

Remember the OP. It asked how escatology affected our lives. "how does what we believe in eschatology affect our entire lives in the way we live for Christ" Well it affects mine big time.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Of course, I believe this. You are right.

Even in one of the most optimistic places in Scripture, there are still holdouts of wicked men. But notice that Ezekiel portrays them as a small minority.

Ezekiel 47:11 (KJV)
But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.

Remember the OP. It asked how escatology affected our lives. "how does what we believe in eschatology affect our entire lives in the way we live for Christ" Well it affects mine big time.
All here would affirm the Second Coming of Christ, and so all of us would hopefully be doing the business God has assigned to us to do until either we die, or else He returns.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I would say you're clearly postmil, given the Scriptures you cite in post 29, and your saying there are "perhaps thousands of years before Christ's return". I note you post only OT verses, some of which are to be fulfilled on New Earth where only "the nations of them which are saved" (Rev 21:24) exist, and some figuratively show the elect of all nations flowing into the heavenly Zion (Heb 12:22-24) during the NT age.

The NT cannot be used to support postmillennialism.
Hi back to you Steve,

Regarding my post on "The Two's," and your reply in post #36 located here where you said, "I note you post only OT verses, some of which are to be fulfilled on New Earth where only," and where you also asserted that, "The NT cannot be used to support postmillennialism." Consoder the following.

I am not writing this post with any hope of changing your opinion, Steve. I write only for the 2 out of 10 (think, Joshuah and Caleb) people that will dare to hope big things from Christ's Great Commission's promise--that we will "teach all nations," and be successful as shown in the words, "baptizing them." -- You don't baptize unbelievers. I write for you hopeful fence-sitters that halt between two opinions.

First - Psalm 2 and Danial 2 clearly are dealing with events during this present age. Daniel 2 speaks of the eclipsing of four real-world empires, the last being the Roman, when, at that time the "Stone" cut out without human hands, begins to fill the whole earth, and, as we will see prophesies of the time Christ's reign begins and continues until the entire world is subdued to his kingly rule. (And, as I said in post #37, there will be holdouts, pockets of resistance that remain unconverted. Ezekiel 47:11)
Consider also:

Zechariah 14:18
And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Clearly, this verse has no possible connection to the consummation when there will be no more resistance to Christ's reign.

Before beginning a New Testament medley of verses, I preface them with this reminder from the Old Testament. It was often promised to the patriarchs, that “in their seed, all the nations,” or (as it is sometimes expressed) “all the families of the earth, should be blessed.” (See Gen. 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14.) Agreeable to this, it is said of the Messiah, Ps. 72:11, that “all nations shall serve him”; and in v. 17.

Here then begins some New Testament prophesies of Christ's victorious kingdom:

Matthew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

[Christ - The Savior of the whole world]

I am always amazed at all the verses that teach this truth. Here are a number of them:

John 3:16,17 (KJV )
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 4:42 (ESV)
42 They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."
Note: Said by the Samaritans to the woman at the well.

1 John 2:2 (ESV)
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

John 1:9 (KJV 1900)
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

John 1:29 (KJV 1900)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 6:33 (KJV 1900)
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

John 8:12 (KJV 1900)
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:

John 9:5 (KJV 1900)
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 12:47 (KJV 1900)
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

2 Corinthians 5:19 (KJV 1900)
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

1 Timothy 4:10 (ESV)
10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

(Notice that this verse teaches that in some sense even unbelievers are "saved" during Christ's reign)

1 John 4:14 (ESV)
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

The age-old explanation that "world" doesn't mean all the world, but only the "world" of the elect. I will not take time here to elaborate.

=================

Then there are the Kingdom Parables:

Luke 13:120-21
20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Mark 4:26-28
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

Mark 4:30–32
30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Some negative verses:

Q. Doesn't II Timothy 3 teach that things will get worse and worse over time?

A. Maybe, but what does verses 2 Tim. 3:8, 9 mean?

II Timothy 3:1-9
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

As to the three supposed negative verses in the Gospels. [actually, there are four but one of them is a duplicate found in two places]


.


Matthew 7:14
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 20:16
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Note: the "many are called" etc. is repeated in a different context in Matthew 22:14

Luke 13:23, 24
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

There is no better treatment of these verses that I know of than in this paper:

ARE THEY FEW THAT BE SAVED?
By: Benjamin B. Warfield, D. D., LL. D., LITT. D.

I have uploaded a PDF of the document for the few that will be interested.

Here's the first paragraph:

The paucitas salvandorum has long ranked among a wide circle of theologians as an established dogma. To cite only a couple of examples from the great Lutheran systematists of the seventeenth century, John Gerhard (1621) and John Andrew Quenstedt (1685), uncle and nephew, both teach it without misgiving. Speaking of what he calls “the object of eternal life,” “Gerhard remarks,1 that so far as sinners of the human race are concerned, they are first of all “few.” “No doubt,” he adds in the wish to do justice to the whole subject, “if the elect are considered in themselves and absolutely, their number is sufficiently large (Rev. 7:9: ‘After these things I saw and behold a great multitude which no man could number out of every nation, and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the lamb, in white robes and palms in their hands’). But if they are considered comparatively, that is in comparison with the company of the lost, they are and are said to be few. Without any contradiction, therefore, the Scriptures assert that ‘many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 18:11), and that ‘there are few that be saved’ (Lk. 13:23), that ‘the gate is narrow and the way straitened that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it’ (Mat. 7:14; Lk. 13:24), that ‘many are called but few chosen’ (Mat. 20:16; 22:14).” Similarly, Quenstedt, in enumerating the “attributes” of the elect and of the reprobate—synonyms of the saved and the lost—gives the primary place in the two instances respectively to ‘fewness” and “multitudinousness.” “The attributes of the elect,” says he,2 “are (1). Fewness, as is taught in Mat. 20:16; 22:14 and elsewhere. ‘Many are called but few chosen.’ Here ὀλίγοι ‘few’ are opposed to τοῖς πολλοῖς, ‘many,’ or πασῖν, ‘all,’ as is shown by the lucid contrast made by Christ. But Christ contrasts, not election and vocation, but the number of the elect and of the called. If it be asked why the lesser part of men are elected and the larger part reprobated, the answer is that, according to the counsel of God, believers who are few are the elect, and unbelievers who are many are the reprobate. Because there are few that believe, there are also few who are elected.” And again3: “The attributes of the reprobate are (1) multitudinousness. For, because many are unbelieving, therefore also many are reprobated. It is therefore said, ‘Few are chosen’ (Mat. 20:16), in comparison, that is, with the far greater multitude of the reprobate. The Saviour intimates the same thing in Mat. 7:13f, saying: ‘Enter in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth unto destruction; and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate and straitened the way that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.’ Observe, the gates are wide and narrow, and the two ways are broad and strait. The broad way leads to death, the strait to life; the former is trodden by many, the latter is found by few.”

Finally -
It is natural and reasonable to suppose, that the whole world should finally be given to Christ, as one whose right it is to reign, as the proper heir of him, who is originally the king of all nations, and the possessor of heaven and earth: and the Scripture teaches us, that God the Father hath constituted his Son, as God-man, and in his kingdom of grace, or mediatorial kingdom, to be “the heir of the world,” that he might in this kingdom have “the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost ends of the earth for his possession” (Hebrews 1:2; 2:8;
[I think this quote is from Jonathan Edwards but I am not sure]
 

Attachments

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I would say you're clearly postmil, given the Scriptures you cite in post 29, and your saying there are "perhaps thousands of years before Christ's return". I note you post only OT verses, some of which are to be fulfilled on New Earth where only "the nations of them which are saved" (Rev 21:24) exist, and some figuratively show the elect of all nations flowing into the heavenly Zion (Heb 12:22-24) during the NT age.

The NT cannot be used to support postmillennialism.
Hi back to you Steve,

Regarding my post on "The Two's," and your reply in post #36 located here where you said, "I note you post only OT verses, some of which are to be fulfilled on New Earth where only," and where you also asserted that, "The NT cannot be used to support postmillennialism." Consoder the following.

I am not writing this post with any hope of changing your opinion, Steve. I write only for the 2 out of 10 (think, Joshuah and Caleb) people that will dare to hope big things from Christ's Great Commission's promise--that we will "teach all nations," and be successful as shown in the words, "baptizing them." -- You don't baptize unbelievers. I write for you hopeful fence-sitters that halt between two opinions.

First - Psalm 2 and Danial 2 clearly are dealing with events during this present age. Daniel 2 speaks of the eclipsing of four real-world empires, the last being the Roman, when, at that time the "Stone" cut out without human hands, begins to fill the whole earth, and, as we will see prophesies of the time Christ's reign begins and continues until the entire world is subdued to his kingly rule. (And, as I said in post #37, there will be holdouts, pockets of resistance that remain unconverted. Ezekiel 47:11)
Consider also:

Zechariah 14:18
And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Clearly, this verse has no possible connection to the consummation when there will be no more resistance to Christ's reign.

Before beginning a New Testament medley of verses, I preface them with this reminder from the Old Testament. It was often promised to the patriarchs, that “in their seed, all the nations,” or (as it is sometimes expressed) “all the families of the earth, should be blessed.” (See Gen. 12:3, 18:18, 22:18, 26:4, and 28:14.) Agreeable to this, it is said of the Messiah, Ps. 72:11, that “all nations shall serve him”; and in v. 17.

Here then begins some New Testament prophesies of Christ's victorious kingdom:

Matthew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

[Christ - The Savior of the whole world]

I am always amazed at all the verses that teach this truth. Here are a number of them:

John 3:16,17 (KJV )
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

John 4:42 (ESV)
42 They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."
Note: Said by the Samaritans to the woman at the well.

1 John 2:2 (ESV)
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

John 1:9 (KJV 1900)
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

John 1:29 (KJV 1900)
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 6:33 (KJV 1900)
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

John 8:12 (KJV 1900)
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:

John 9:5 (KJV 1900)
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 12:47 (KJV 1900)
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

2 Corinthians 5:19 (KJV 1900)
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

1 Timothy 4:10 (ESV)
10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

(Notice that this verse teaches that in some sense even unbelievers are "saved" during Christ's reign)

1 John 4:14 (ESV)
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

The age-old explanation that "world" doesn't mean all the world, but only the "world" of the elect. I will not take time here to elaborate.

=================

Then there are the Kingdom Parables:

Luke 13:120-21
20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Mark 4:26-28
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

Mark 4:30–32
30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Some negative verses:

Q. Doesn't II Timothy 3 teach that things will get worse and worse over time?

A. Maybe, but what does verses 2 Tim. 3:8, 9 mean?

II Timothy 3:1-9
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

As to the three supposed negative verses in the Gospels. [actually, there are four but one of them is a duplicate found in two places]

Matthew 7:14
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 20:16
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Note: the "many are called" etc. is repeated in a different context in Matthew 22:14

Luke 13:23, 24
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

There is no better treatment of these verses that I know of than in this paper:

ARE THEY FEW THAT BE SAVED?
By: Benjamin B. Warfield, D. D., LL. D., LITT. D.

I have uploaded a PDF of the document for the few that will be interested.

Here's the first paragraph:

The paucitas salvandorum has long ranked among a wide circle of theologians as an established dogma. To cite only a couple of examples from the great Lutheran systematists of the seventeenth century, John Gerhard (1621) and John Andrew Quenstedt (1685), uncle and nephew, both teach it without misgiving. Speaking of what he calls “the object of eternal life,” “Gerhard remarks,1 that so far as sinners of the human race are concerned, they are first of all “few.” “No doubt,” he adds in the wish to do justice to the whole subject, “if the elect are considered in themselves and absolutely, their number is sufficiently large (Rev. 7:9: ‘After these things I saw and behold a great multitude which no man could number out of every nation, and of all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the lamb, in white robes and palms in their hands’). But if they are considered comparatively, that is in comparison with the company of the lost, they are and are said to be few. Without any contradiction, therefore, the Scriptures assert that ‘many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 18:11), and that ‘there are few that be saved’ (Lk. 13:23), that ‘the gate is narrow and the way straitened that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it’ (Mat. 7:14; Lk. 13:24), that ‘many are called but few chosen’ (Mat. 20:16; 22:14).” Similarly, Quenstedt, in enumerating the “attributes” of the elect and of the reprobate—synonyms of the saved and the lost—gives the primary place in the two instances respectively to ‘fewness” and “multitudinousness.” “The attributes of the elect,” says he,2 “are (1). Fewness, as is taught in Mat. 20:16; 22:14 and elsewhere. ‘Many are called but few chosen.’ Here ὀλίγοι ‘few’ are opposed to τοῖς πολλοῖς, ‘many,’ or πασῖν, ‘all,’ as is shown by the lucid contrast made by Christ. But Christ contrasts, not election and vocation, but the number of the elect and of the called. If it be asked why the lesser part of men are elected and the larger part reprobated, the answer is that, according to the counsel of God, believers who are few are the elect, and unbelievers who are many are the reprobate. Because there are few that believe, there are also few who are elected.” And again3: “The attributes of the reprobate are (1) multitudinousness. For, because many are unbelieving, therefore also many are reprobated. It is therefore said, ‘Few are chosen’ (Mat. 20:16), in comparison, that is, with the far greater multitude of the reprobate. The Saviour intimates the same thing in Mat. 7:13f, saying: ‘Enter in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth unto destruction; and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate and straitened the way that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.’ Observe, the gates are wide and narrow, and the two ways are broad and strait. The broad way leads to death, the strait to life; the former is trodden by many, the latter is found by few.”

Finally -
It is natural and reasonable to suppose, that the whole world should finally be given to Christ, as one whose right it is to reign, as the proper heir of him, who is originally the king of all nations, and the possessor of heaven and earth: and the Scripture teaches us, that God the Father hath constituted his Son, as God-man, and in his kingdom of grace, or mediatorial kingdom, to be “the heir of the world,” that he might in this kingdom have “the heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost ends of the earth for his possession” (Hebrews 1:2; 2:8;
[I think this quote is from Jonathan Edwards but I am not sure]
 

Attachments

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
I expect tremendous progress of the Gospel on earth and in time just as there has been growth through time from the original 120 disciples (Acts 1:15) through now. If I am not mistaken, he Puritan Board alone has over 5,000 members. I expect the growth to continue for perhaps thousands of years before Christ's return. Does that make me Amil with a positive view? Or a Postmil who thinks all power in heaven and earth is (now) given to Christ.

This view has radically altered my prayers and worshipping in ever increasing ways.

Here's the 2's I often share with others:
Psalm 2 - "ask of me, and I will give you the Gentiles for thy possession;
Isaiah 2 - "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
Danial 2 - Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image... and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
Habakkuk 2 - "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

Plus many many other places through the Old Testament.

So, am I Postmill, or Amill?
Postmil (and in my view correct).

Edit, I didn't mean to sound pompous or judicial, and realise that the views of a 28 year old non-office bearer on the correctness or otherwise of your views are of little relevance. What I meant was I agree with you.
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Ed,


I appreciate your graciousness, and resorting to Scripture to support your views, though I do take exception to your hermeneutical approach.


You are writing to “hopeful fence-sitters” hoping the world will get better and better? Good thing the Scriptures speak to the contrary: with regard to the two ages, this present “evil age [or world – aiōn]” will continue until the Lord’s return (Gal 1:4), and the Lord Jesus says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).


For example, when you talk of the Lord’s “Great Commission” in Matt 28:18-20 and the assumption (unwarranted) of “baptizing them” to indicate almost universal success, do you not know of the many places in Scripture that plainly contradict you? Here are a few:


1 John 5:19 we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness [or the wicked one]


Eph 2:2 in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience


John 15:18-20 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you


John 17:14-16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world


Luke 17:26, 27 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all


2 Tim 3:12, 13 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived​


Ed, besides the Scripture’s testimony, we have the record of history. If you say, “Well, that is history past, but in the ‘golden age’ before the Lord returns things will change", there is no added third age besides this present one and the eternal age. You’d have to show me from the Bible, and that’s not possible, as I show in post 9.


Psalm 2, while dealing with this present age of rebellion, does not speak of all the heathen and uttermost parts of the earth submitting to Christ, but of His gathering His elect from them. As for Daniel 2 – in verse 35 we, the church, do indeed “fill the whole earth”, but that does not mean that the whole earth is the church! Re verse 44, the kingdom that the God of heaven sets up and shall never be destroyed, but rather shall break in pieces all other opposing kingdoms, while “it shall stand for ever”: we will not see the mighty kingdoms of the world broken in pieces by the Lord’s rod of iron and fiery wrath until He returns as revealed in Rev 19:15-21, and Rev 20:7-9.


With regard to Zech 14:18, are you saying that the feast of tabernacles will be observed then? Or is that figurative? If figurative then the rest is also; and if that’s the case things are far more complicated than your simplistic view makes out. I’m going to quote a commentator at length here because your referencing Zech 14 opens up a difficult hermeneutical matter you seem not wanting to deal with, but for those looking on it is of great profit!
From H.C. Leupold’s Exposition of Zechariah:

The new state of things after the Lord’s Day, 14:6-11

There follows a picture of a radically new state of things such as this world has never seen. By a comparison with the statements of Christ we discover that the time of His last coming and that which follows are under consideration. Yet on the whole the picture is painted in colors that are taken from purely local conditions. All the details combine to form a composite scene of symbolic import. Purely literalistic interpretations would result in a tragic misreading of prophecy. (p 264)


…speaking in terms of the Holy Land, the prophet selects this manner of presentation to illustrate the new state of things more graphically. Yet here (v. 8) caution must be exercised not to interpret literally in a gross Judaizing fashion. (p. 266)​

I would enter a brief comment of my own on v 12: the rotting or “consuming away” of the flesh of Jerusalem’s adversaries (read the church’s enemies), and particularly noted are their eyes and tongues, this has always seemed to me connected to Rev 6:16-17, where the wicked remaining after the Lord calls His people to Himself in the air, bewail their situation, saying “to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” As written in Malachi 4:1, the day has come “that shall burn as an oven” – speaking of the fiery anger which melts their flesh as they stand screaming.


Lookin a little further in Leupold’s work, he touches upon v. 16 and following:
What is now discussed (v. 16-19) is an obvious outgrowth of what preceded and offers as a very positive result the story of how the nations that are left after God’s judgment has been carried out shall cheerfully submit themselves to the Lord…


This section is of the same stamp as is the whole chapter – eschatological matters are discussed in Old Testament terms. The Book of Revelation would use radically different terminology. The Old Testament terms are for the most part not used in their limited literal significance but in their broadest typical import.


verse 16 might be paraphrased thus: all who are left at the time of the Lord’s glorious victory will not do as they were wont to do in days of old, that is, continue to display hostility toward Jerusalem and take part is assaults against her, but shall deem it a privilege to celebrate, for example, festivals like Tabernacles, which served as an occasion for thanking God for His manifest care of His people in days of great danger. For the Feast of Tabernacles did commemorate God’s protective guidance of Israel in the days when the nation passed through the wilderness and the desert toward the land of promise. These nations shall now acknowledge Him as “King” and as the “Lord of hosts” and shall recognize that they share His sovereign protection and shall praise Him for it. They have been converted from foes to worshippers.


It is better to view the Feast of Tabernacles as we have done above than to concentrate upon what must always have been a secondary feature of this festival, namely, the idea that it marked the conclusion of all harvesting in the land… (pp 272, 273)


Since the final outcome of things is being depicted, and since in the consummation all evil and ungodliness will have been entirely overcome, it would be quite out of keeping with the spirit of the passage to conclude that after the judgment has been carried out wicked men and sinners will still be met with in the new heavens and the new earth. The account is to be regarded as being highly idealized. In other words, v. Orelli’s summary statement of v. 16 may be cited here. He says, “The fruit of the judgment, as was already announced in v. 9, will be universal acclaim before the Ruler of all, Yahweh.”


An example (v. 18) of the point just made is given: should the Egyptians fail to join the worship of the Lord and fail to acknowledge Him they would be punished in the same way as were all the others, that is to say, rain would be withheld, and a sharp corrective plague would befall them.


It seems that it was thought to be altogether too bold a conception for Old Testament prophets to utter that a world might exist where none would fail to accept the Lord, the King. So they claimed at least this: if a few ungodly ones were left, the Lord would set them right.


The Egyptians seem to be mentioned separately because they were the nation “that in the days of old opposed Yahweh and His people with the utmost of hostility” (Keil) and to indicate that “even this people was to arrive at the point where it shared in the full possession of Israel’s spiritual treasures.”…


We must reassert that the prophet is not putting an undue emphasis on things ceremonial when he keep referring to the Feast of Tabernacles. We might well indicate his point of view by saying: His concern is for the spiritual import of that festival, which is true gratitude to God for His paternal care of His people. Or we might say: The people of God will in that day celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles or any adequate New Testament equivalent. (pp 274, 275)​

G.K. Beale in his larger Revelation commentary likewise sees that “The prophetic theme of the nations streaming into Zion to worship God in the end time occurs elsewhere in the OT (so Isa. 2:3…Zec 14:16…)” (p 797).


To finish up with Zechariah – and also establish a hermeneutic approach able to make sense of this and other passages like this – I want to post something from Dean Davis’ The High King of Heaven: Discovering the Master Keys to the Great End Time Debate, on vv 16ff:
The Worship to Come (14:16-21)


Our final snapshot pictures worship in the World to Come. It is divided into two parts. The first speaks of the eschatological Feast of Booths (16-19), the second of the perfect holiness of eschatological Judah and Jerusalem (20-21). Earlier, we discussed the reasons why a literal, premillennial interpretation of this text is impossible. Let us therefore see what help the NCH [New Covenant Hermeneutic] can offer us in disclosing the deep, New Testament meaning of Zechariah’s words.


On the surface of things, the message of verses 16-19 is quite simple: In the World to Come there will be two different kinds of nations (or families). Both of them, at one time or another prior to the Judgment, came up with hostile intent against Jerusalem (v. 16). Now, however, the first group goes up annually (and eternally), not to attack Jerusalem, but rather to worship God as their King, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem’s holy precincts. Meanwhile, the other group, which apparently has Egypt at its head, consists of stiff-necked nations that persistently refuse to go up. These the LORD will punish with a plague of drought (vv. 17-19).


How can we best understand the meaning of this mysterious prophecy? To begin with, we must ponder for a moment the typological meaning of the Feast of Booths. A look at Leviticus 23:33-34 reveals that this was an especially joyful feast, celebrated at harvest time, wherein Israel was to commemorate not only their great deliverance from Egypt, but also God’s faithfulness in leading them through the wilderness of Sinai (where they camped in “booths” or “tabernacles”) into the Promised Land. Here, I believe, is the key to understanding this prophecy, a prophecy designed to comfort devout OT saints with a picture of the eternal worship of the glorified Church, cast in the language and imagery of Israel’s most joyful OT feast!


How exactly does this work? To begin with, we learn that Zechariah’s eschatological Feast of Booths will indeed be a harvest feast, since there, in the World to Come, all the saints will have been gathered in at last (Mt. 13:30, John 4:38, Rev. 14:14-16). Formerly, they were indeed enemies of God and of his people; but Christ, prior to the Judgment, harvested them through the Gospel and turned them into eternal friends (Mt. 9:37, Acts 26:17-18, Rom. 5:8, 1 Tim. 1:12-12, Titus 3:3f). It will also be an everlasting Feast: The saints will forever “go up” in worship, through Christ, unto God their King (1 Peter 2:5, Rev. 7:9-10, 14:1-4). In his City, and as his City, they will ever rejoice, not only in the hour of their salvation—their own, personal rescue from the Domain of Darkness—, but also in the subsequent faithfulness of God, who, through Christ, by the Spirit, led them safely through the deadly wilderness of “this present evil age,” and into the Promised Land of the New Heavens and the New Earth (John 6:38-40, Gal. 1:4, Phil. 1:6, Rev. 12:7-17, 19:11).


But what of Egypt, and of the families of the earth that follow Egypt’s lead in refusing to go up? Clearly, these typify all men and nations who refused to participate in the eschatological exodus; who refused to accept spiritual rescue from the Domain of Darkness, and spiritual transfer into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:13); who refused to follow in the footsteps of Moses, who esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt (i.e., the fallen world-system); and who refused to walk with Christ through the wilderness of this world to the Promised Land (Heb. 11:26, Rev. 12:1f). Puzzlingly, in the prophecy, we see these rebellious nations in earth, but far from Zion and Jerusalem, where the friends of God celebrate the Feasts of God. But in the Revelation, the puzzle is solved: In the World to Come, where the prophecy is fulfilled, we once again see these nations far from Jerusalem—outside the gates of the Holy City— , but this time in the Lake of Fire (Isaiah 66:24, Rev. 20:14, 22:15). It is, therefore, in death (and hell) that the impenitent enemies of God will experience the very plague of drought they chose for themselves in life, when they refused to drink of the Rock, and to follow the Rock, that God offered them in the Gospel. And that Rock is Christ (Mt. 12:43 NAS, Luke 16:24, John 7:37, 1 Cor. 10:4, Rev. 21:6, 22:17).


Part two of our prophecy (vv. 20-22) celebrates the perfect, all-pervading holiness of the World to Come. In that world, the distinction between holy and common, clean and unclean, has completely disappeared (Acts 10:15). The bells on the horses are holy. The cooking pots in the LORD’s house are holy—as holy as the altar itself. Yes, even the cooking pots in the houses of the people of Jerusalem and Judah are holy, so holy that men may boil their sacrifices to God in them. Here the boundary between the sacred and the profane is obliterated. Here, every act is an act of worship, every day is the Lord’s Day. Here, every Canaanite—a type of unregenerate, sinful man—has been expelled (14:21, Rom. 16:17-20, 1 John 2:19, Rev. 22:15). Here, Israel itself has become the eternal house of the LORD of hosts, the gracious, loving Redeemer who fought triumphantly in their behalf (14:21, Eph. 2:22).


For this reason, in that Day the saints will weep no more, but in an eternal celebration of the Feast of Booths will rejoice in the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; in the Holy One of Israel, who, by his righteous life and atoning death, so mightily prevailed that he made both them and all their world forever holy, even as he is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16, Rev. 5:5, 21:2, 22:11).


Jerusalem In That Day: Interpreting Zechariah 12-14


[End Davis]
_________


In the next post I’ll begin to look at your NT verses
 
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Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
In the next post I’ll begin to look at your NT verses
What a long and thoughtful post. I only read about half so far. Thank you for taking so much time and thought. I'm being called to dinner so I will have to read this thoroughly later on. Maybe not until tomorrow. Thanks again.

Ed
 

Braden

Puritan Board Freshman
I once went to premil Dispensational Church. They preached Israel from CNN, not Christ from Scripture. This is one huge way eschatology can affect the life of preachers.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I once went to premil Dispensational Church. They preached Israel from CNN, not Christ from Scripture. This is one huge way eschatology can affect the life of preachers.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
I think one can find bad preaching and application in any of the views, as have heard some postmils state that until we unite the body and take over this world for Jesus, He cannot return again, so not a real urgency for Him appearing at any time.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Ed, you begin your next section (in post 40) thus:


“Here then begins some New Testament prophesies of Christ's victorious kingdom:

[Christ - The Savior of the whole world]

I am always amazed at all the verses that teach this truth.”​


I’m afraid you make a bad mistake when you take the phrase “the world” (and even in 1 John 2:2 ,“the whole world”) and understand it to mean all or most of the people in the world – an error the Universalists also make and run with.


To start out with your quoting John 3:16, 17.


16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.​


And you think this means that God loved the entire world and that the entire world – or the vast majority of it – “might be saved through Him”? Would it not be more in line with the rest of the Scripture to understand that God loved the world of the elect, those whom He had not decreed to “pass by” for their sin and the manifestation of His justice? (WCF 3:5-7)


You think to use this passage to support the postmil view of a golden age wherein by far the greater lot of humankind love and worship God, and He them? It will not support such a view! He savingly loves not the reprobate, but “whosoever believeth” in His Son. Quantifying the number of the saved from these verses is unsound.


Moving on to John 4:42:


And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.​


This is similar to Jn 3:16. Christ is Saviour of the world of the elect, which shall comprise the entire world of redeemed humanity after the resurrection and judgment, and our lives on New Earth. You err after the manner of the unlearned Universalists (which I know you are not of that ilk).


You do somewhat the same with 1 John 2:2,


And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.​


John here – being a Jew – is speaking first from the vantage of the Jews (with a method in mind), knowing that they thought of salvation and God’s favor limited to themselves, but John says Jesus is the propitiation not only of our sins, but of those also who believe throughout the entire world of the Gentiles. The floodgates of God’s saving mercies has been opened to all the world, far beyond the Jewish people.


Without having to deal with the rest of your verses, for they are in the same vein as the above, let me just say you appear to be dealing with this matter from the perspective of a novice Universalist, though I know you are not one!
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Ed, you begin your next section (in post 40) thus:


“Here then begins some New Testament prophesies of Christ's victorious kingdom:

[Christ - The Savior of the whole world]

I am always amazed at all the verses that teach this truth.”​


I’m afraid you make a bad mistake when you take the phrase “the world” (and even in 1 John 2:2 ,“the whole world”) and understand it to mean all or most of the people in the world – an error the Universalists also make and run with.


To start out with your quoting John 3:16, 17.


16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.​


And you think this means that God loved the entire world and that the entire world – or the vast majority of it – “might be saved through Him”? Would it not be more in line with the rest of the Scripture to understand that God loved the world of the elect, those whom He had not decreed to “pass by” for their sin and the manifestation of His justice? (WCF 3:5-7)


You think to use this passage to support the postmil view of a golden age wherein by far the greater lot of humankind love and worship God, and He them? It will not support such a view! He savingly loves not the reprobate, but “whosoever believeth” in His Son. Quantifying the number of the saved from these verses is unsound.


Moving on to John 4:42:


And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.​


This is similar to Jn 3:16. Christ is Saviour of the world of the elect, which shall comprise the entire world of redeemed humanity after the resurrection and judgment, and our lives on New Earth. You err after the manner of the unlearned Universalists (which I know you are not of that ilk).


You do somewhat the same with 1 John 2:2,


And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.​


John here – being a Jew – is speaking first from the vantage of the Jews (with a method in mind), knowing that they thought of salvation and God’s favor limited to themselves, but John says Jesus is the propitiation not only of our sins, but of those also who believe throughout the entire world of the Gentiles. The floodgates of God’s saving mercies has been opened to all the world, far beyond the Jewish people.


Without having to deal with the rest of your verses, for they are in the same vein as the above, let me just say you appear to be dealing with this matter from the perspective of a novice Universalist, though I know you are not one!
His line of reasoning actually is what would be stated in many free will/Arminian theology type churches.
 
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