The Roman Pope Is The Antichrist

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One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
2 Thess 2:3-4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God



"Antichrist" and "man of sin," in the eschatological context of the New Testament, strictly and properly refer to the anti-messianic development of the covenant people of Israel after the fulfilment of the promise to the fathers in the coming of Christ. The Papacy is the Christian counterpart of it, so that these appellations are appropriately attributed to the Papacy in relation to the Christian church.

This puts an unnecessary dual or multiple fulfilment on a specific Prophesy, it cannot be both the anti-messianic development of the covenant people of Israel & the Papacy, it has to one or the other, & as it can't be the first it is the latter.


Paul is definitely refering to the Christian Church, & not Isreal (after the flesh) as he says in 1 Cor 3:16-17

Such is an allegorical interpretation, which would only be necessary where the proper and literal referent did not make sense. The passage makes excellent sense when temple is understood to be the temple which symbolised Israel's sacred privileges.

Paul himself refers to the Christian or believing Jew/Gentile as the Temple of the Lord it is not an allegorical interpretation as you say, but is a Spiritualised Interpretation, nevertheless it is not an arbitrary Interpretation either it is there in the Text.

16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
and also in
1 Cor 6:19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

The Antichrist will be seated in the Outward Professing Christian Church or the New Testament Temple of Paul, have you not heard it written that
Rev 11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.


the 1st Century was still to early for the Great Apostasy to have occurred,

According to Romans 11, it was happening before the apostle's eyes. V. 12, "the fall of them." V. 15, "The casting away of them."

The Jews had already in Jesus' day excommunicated those who had Believed on Jesus, they had rejected His message & that of his Apostles, they had already Apostatized by the time Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians, roughly 50-53AD, and Paul mentions that the Apostasy had not as yet occurred which casts doubt on it referring to the Jews, Paul says it in reference to the Lord's Second Coming, that the Second Coming hadn't occurred yet, nor could
except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
evidentally this falling away or Apostasy had not occurred yet, but has since Paul's day being seen in the Apostasy of the Catholic Church both Eastern & Western branches. Of which Paul also wrote about in

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
& to the Ephesian Elders he remarked
Act 20:29-30 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.


The apostle is speaking of the revelation of a covenanted nation as an apostate and lawless people, who nevertheless still claim divine privileges on account of the temple.
The Old Testament prophesied of the day of the Lord as a time in which God would shake the existing order and bring in something new. Altering the Jew-Gentile separation was fundamental to that change. The final result of that change would be the man of sin, which would be revealed as a consequence of the apostasy of covenanted Israel. In Ephesians 2 God makes of Jew and Gentile believers one new covenanted man in Christ. That which has been de-covenanted is the man of sin.


Unfortunately this becomes a Fulfilled Pretarist Interpretation, not only does it distort the Exegetical Interpretation of the above mentioned Scriptures it changes the Confessional Protestant view
that The Papacy is The Antichrist, which is the Historicist more sure Word of Prophecy, & it also basically aligns itself with the other notorious Counter-Reformation Pretarist Scheme of the
Neronic Antichrist, that is Emperor Nero as an already Fulfilled First Century Antichrist/Man of Sin/ Son of Perdition because it has a First Century Fulfillment.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Sorry, Matthew, I didn’t mean to be “dismissive”, just to point out that your use of the word “amillennial” often bears more freight than common usage does, which may reflect on this discussion by engendering confusion.

Steve, when I use the word "amillennial," I am seeking to represent the mainstream. I will use other terms where there are differences. E.g., optimistic, or consistent idealist. In this case, the relationship between Israel and the church is fairly standard. There is no reason for you to call it into question.

I have not heard such an interpretation before. Paul’s preponderant use of the word “temple” is in reference to the NT church or to individual believers, as the place where the Spirit of God indwells.

The preterist interpretation is fairly common, and understands temple literally.

Those who take the symbolical view of temple are required to make it relate to the church in a way the apostle never symbolically used it. "He sitteth in the temple of God" requires an occupation which effectively destroys the symbolism as understood and used by the apostle when speaking of the church. It could not be identified as "the temple" where there is no habitation of the Spirit. The literal temple, however, still continued to be recognised as the temple of God by the believing remnant which continued to worship there.

From the perspective of First Thessalonians 2, the Jews were still filling up their sins in the rejection and persecution of Christ, and in this sense the wrath of God was coming upon them to the uttermost. The days of vengeance were in operation in the time of the apostles before the temple was physically destroyed. The material contained in Second Thessalonians was not a single prophecy, but formed a part of the apostle's teaching concerning Jesus being the Messiah (Acts 18:5), which the unbelieving Jews "opposed" (verse 6), and even "blasphemed." 2 Thess. 2:5 reminds the Thessalonians that he told them of these things while he was yet with them. In Thessalonica, as later in Corinth, it was the unbelieving Jews who opposed themselves to the proclamation that Jesus is the Christ.
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
This puts an unnecessary dual or multiple fulfilment on a specific Prophesy, it cannot be both the anti-messianic development of the covenant people of Israel & the Papacy, it has to one or the other, & as it can't be the first it is the latter.

I distinguished between interpretation and application. The Papacy is not the fulfilment, but it bears strong resemblances to the fulfilment.

Paul himself refers to the Christian or believing Jew/Gentile as the Temple of the Lord it is not an allegorical interpretation as you say, but is a Spiritualised Interpretation, nevertheless it is not an arbitrary Interpretation either it is there in the Text.

Please refer to my response to Steve.

The Jews had already in Jesus' day excommunicated those who had Believed on Jesus, they had rejected His message & that of his Apostles, they had already Apostatized by the time Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians, roughly 50-53AD

The temple was still functioning and believing Jews were still worshipping there, as the book of Acts plainly demonstrates.

Unfortunately this becomes a Fulfilled Pretarist Interpretation, not only does it distort the Exegetical Interpretation of the above mentioned Scriptures it changes the Confessional Protestant view

There is no confessional Protestant view. Nor do I distort the "exegetical interpretation" (all interpretation should be exegetical). I have sought to show how the passage relates in the eschatolgical perspective and outlook of the time when it was written.
 

baron

Puritan Board Graduate
Not sure if this is germane to OP. Was reading in Hortons book Calvin and the Christian Life, Even the sixth century Roman bishop Gregory the Great said that universal pontiff was a form of proud address and that any bishop who assumed that title was a precursor to Antichrist. Letters of Pope Gregory the Great, book 5, epistle 18. I looked up the word precursor means something that comes before something else and that often leads to or influences its development. Funny though how they call him pope. So are they saying that every pope is the antichrist?

I do not know much on this subject, any one know how the medieval church taught on the subject of antichrist. Does any one really know who the antichrist is? One can spend all day guessing.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Well, Matthew, I should amend what I said to, I had not heard a purported amil render such an interpretation before, but then you are full of surprises, as I have discovered at other times.

Do you and your preterist friends consider that of the eight times Paul uses the word “temple” in his epistles, five are explicit references to the Christian individual or the corporate body of Christians in which the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Cor 3:16; 3:17; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:21). Nor would I call this “symbolic” but actual reality whereas the temple of crumbling stones was now but a shadow, empty of even typical reality. One we suspend judging for the moment is the 2 Thess 2:4 use, and 1 Cor 8:10 is an idol’s temple, 1 Cor 9:13 is comparing the correlation between the priests’ the Levites’ right to eat of the things of the temple (cf Lev 6:16) and the right of ministers of the gospel to partake of the “carnal” offerings of the flock.

That the old stone temple no longer had typical / symbolic efficacy to take away sins is shown in Hebrews, that Christ’s “one sacrifice for sins forever” (10:13) was “the one offering” that perfected the sanctification of God’s people (v 14), so that their “sins and iniquities will [God] remember no more” (v 17), and thus “there is no more offering for sin” (v 18) in the Levitical system, or anywhere.

So when you say, “The literal temple . . . still continued to be recognised as the temple of God by the believing remnant which continued to worship there”, such does not give this “temple” any authenticity or reality as the temple of God, notwithstanding the believing Jews’ error in cleaving to the old, forsaken shadows. God would remedy that quickly when He “sent forth his armies, and destroyed [the] murderers, and burned up their city” (Matt 22:7) at the hand of Titus in AD 70.

I do not believe we see anywhere in Paul’s epistles the use of the literal temple as the place for the spiritual worship of believers in the Spirit of Christ.

Geerhardus Vos makes an interesting observation in his, The Pauline Eschatology, in the chapter, “The Man of sin”. He makes a distinction between the figure of antichrist (which Scripturally is seen only in John’s epistles), who is not only an antagonist to Christ and the doctrine of Christ, but one who seeks to replace, supplant, or reign instead Him; on the other hand he sees the “man of sin” as one

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (2 Thess 2:4)​

and is quite distinct from the one who would stand in place of Christ (who as Messiah is subject to God the Father), for the man of sin repudiates even the idea of God and Christ and exalts himself, being subject to no one and especially to no divinity, showing himself that he is deity. There was no such person or activity among the 1[SUP]st[/SUP] century Jews.

Later I will offer Riddlebarger’s synthesis of the two, antichrist and man of sin.

----

The “fairly standard” view of “the relationship between Israel and the church” is what in your opinion?

My view is that the Church was the elect congregation within the larger community of Israel in Old Testament times (Acts 7:38 AV; Heb 2:12 AV); in New Testament times Israel is that community gathered around and joined as members to the only true Israelite, the King, Jesus of Nazareth. The capital of NT Israel is “Jerusalem which is above . . . which is the mother of us all” (Gal 4:26), “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22), and on New Earth upon which Heaven also dwells, the great city is New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2), the light and glory of which are the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Rev 21:22,23).

Regarding this Lamb; when God said in Isaiah 46:13, “. . . I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory”, what is this “Israel my glory”? In its very essence it is Jesus Christ, for He alone is unsullied and without iniquity, “the brightness of his [Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person” (Heb 1:3) – the only one worthy the name Israel, and He is the glory of God.

Every one who is joined unto Christ shares in His glory, and in His name, the Israel of God (Gal 6:16).
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Well, Matthew, I should amend what I said to, I had not heard a purported amil render such an interpretation before, but then you are full of surprises, as I have discovered at other times.

Steve, church history provides a large range of hearing on this subject. Being locked into the "contemporary" voice is very limiting.

Do you and your preterist friends consider that of the eight times Paul uses the word “temple” in his epistles, five are explicit references to the Christian individual or the corporate body of Christians in which the Holy Spirit dwells (1 Cor 3:16; 3:17; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:21).

I obviously had considered it because I just answered it in my previous response to you. Perhaps you could reply to what I wrote rather than provide a reiteration of your previous point.

That the old stone temple no longer had typical / symbolic efficacy to take away sins is shown in Hebrews, that Christ’s “one sacrifice for sins forever” (10:13) was “the one offering” that perfected the sanctification of God’s people (v 14), so that their “sins and iniquities will [God] remember no more” (v 17), and thus “there is no more offering for sin” (v 18) in the Levitical system, or anywhere.

That is the reality which makes the picture of the literal temple in 2 Thess 2 so shocking and abhorrent. Here you are making the case for a literal referent.

God would remedy that quickly when He “sent forth his armies, and destroyed [the] murderers, and burned up their city” (Matt 22:7) at the hand of Titus in AD 70.

I don't see the AD 70 event in Scripture. That event is more a consequence of what the Scripture describes. The Scripture speaks of Israel as a nation in covenant with God. It is the de-covenanting of the nation which makes it possible for it to be treated like every other nation of the world.

I do not believe we see anywhere in Paul’s epistles the use of the literal temple as the place for the spiritual worship of believers in the Spirit of Christ.

This is irrelevant as the temple is not used in this "spiritual" sense in 2 Thess 2.

The “fairly standard” view of “the relationship between Israel and the church” is what in your opinion?

That there is one covenant of grace with two administrations -- law and gospel. That God's provisions for national Israel would have an end, and this end belongs to the last days. That the spiritual blessings of Israel are the inheritance of the church of Jews and Gentiles upon whom the ends of the world are come.

The day of the Lord concludes the old economy and inaugurates the new. In which case, it is impossible for national Israel to be judged a second time as a covenanted nation. Moreover, if this is made to apply to the church it will have the effect of de-covenanting the church and bringing in another new order. The double fulfilment schema does not fit the prophetic program.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
From John Lightfoot, one of the Westminster divines:

Works, 3:232: “The mystery of iniquity was already working,” when the apostle wrote this Epistle, which cannot possibly be understood but of the Jewish nation; and so it is explained again and again. The several characters, that the apostle gives of “the man of sin,” agree most thoroughly to that generation and nation; and so the Scripture plainly applies them to it.

Works, 6:340: And, by the way, learn from the apostle there, how to construe ‘the last times;’ which phrase occurs so frequently, – for the ‘last times of the Jewish state and city.’ And I must crave leave to understand that passage concerning ‘the man of sin’ in 2 Thess. 2, of these very persons, and of those very times. I read the Romish antichrist in the Revelation, in great letters; but, truly, I can read none but the Jewish antichrist in this place.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Matthew, you said,

“Those who take the symbolical view of temple are required to make it relate to the church in a way the apostle never symbolically used it. ‘He sitteth in the temple of God’ requires an occupation which effectively destroys the symbolism as understood and used by the apostle when speaking of the church. It could not be identified as "the temple" where there is no habitation of the Spirit. The literal temple, however, still continued to be recognised as the temple of God by the believing remnant which continued to worship there.”​

This you say erroneously applies a prophecy to be fulfilled later in the church to the Jewish era, where it was not fulfilled (Lightfoot’s views notwithstanding), though, as John says, there were many antichrists already in his day; but these are two different phenomena. I reiterated my point to make the case clearer to those watching. It appears we are talking past each other, though I do try to directly engage with what you say.

As I also said, the day of the LORD has numerous applications, judgment upon apostate Israel, and also – later – judgment upon the wicked world. I gave Scripture to support that. The day of the LORD is also, while terror to the ungodly, joy and redemption to the saints. This may not fit your “prophetic program” but it does the view I hold forth.

Are not the curses due to breaking the covenant – see Deuteronomy 28 – still upon apostate Jewry? The holocaust, was that not part of it – the result of refusing God’s protection and care in Messiah? Are there not promises yet left for those elect Jews who turn back to God in repentance through Messiah? This is not spiritually legitimizing the apostate Jewish State, but applies to individual Jews scattered throughout the world, including those in said state.

In A Poet Arises In Israel I do seek to speak to such. It is a nation to be evangelized. Plus it has a history that may provide in them (the elect at any rate) a heart to hear the pure gospel such as Paul brought first to the Jew, and then to the Gentile.

Indeed, as you say, “church history provides a large range of hearing on this subject. Being locked into the ‘contemporary’ voice is very limiting.” And this is the crux of our differences, I think. I have found that the contemporary reflections – such as those spoken of in this thread – are more productive, and limiting only to that which is no longer relevant to our day. For instance, the “mediate prophecy” of the Puritans, and the “eschatological excess” spoken of by Bauckham are things to be considered.

If one considers the views of church history (as done in the link just provided) there is much profit in it. “Being locked into” precludes considering others’ views. I actually have learned a lot interacting with you re eschatology over the years.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Steve, Because Israel has been judged as a covenant people, and she is no longer a nation in covenant with God, there is no possibility of it happening a second time. The church is recognised as the Israel of God and the inheritor of the promises, but the Israel of God can never be apostate in the sense Israel was because this is the true Israel. Likewise the body of believers is the temple of God because it is the fulfilment of what the temple stood for, but should that body cease to believe it would also cease to be recognised as the temple. It is also contrary to Scripture to suppose that the gospel or the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way. The gospel is called everlasting and the Holy Spirit is the presence of Christ with His church to the end of the world.

The man of sin is the Wicked (anomos -- without the law) nation of Israel, which has been cast off and is now considered as sinful like every other nation of the world because it has been stripped bare of covenant privileges. That which is taken out of the way is the final provision of the old dispensation which required the gospel to be preached to the Jew first in fulfilment of the promises to the fathers. The mystery of iniquity already worked so that the truth of the promises was not received in the love of it. The apostasy was a corporate falling away from the promise to the fathers. The temple was the literal temple upon which the nation continued to claim divine prerogatives for itself and thereby exalted itself above the very God which the temple was built to serve.
 

One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
Steve,...It is also contrary to Scripture to suppose that the gospel or the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way. The gospel is called everlasting and the Holy Spirit is the presence of Christ with His church to the end of the world.

I don't understand Matthew why you are trying to suggest that Steve even made such a remark, he didn't even make a sniff of any sort or type of Dispensationalism ie that the gospel or the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way?

I'm of the opinion also that Old Israel's Covenants are binding & that he/she is under the curses of Deuteronomy 28, this
doesn't mean that "the gospel or the Holy Spirit will be taken out of the way" but that one day, current Unbelieving Israel
after the flesh will be grafted back on to the "Olive Tree" as even you believe brother!


The man of sin is the Wicked (anomos -- without the law) nation of Israel, which has been cast off and is now considered as sinful like every other nation of the world because it has been stripped bare of covenant privileges. That which is taken out of the way is the final provision of the old dispensation which required the gospel to be preached to the Jew first in fulfilment of the promises to the fathers. The mystery of iniquity already worked so that the truth of the promises was not received in the love of it. The apostasy was a corporate falling away from the promise to the fathers. The temple was the literal temple upon which the nation continued to claim divine prerogatives for itself and thereby exalted itself above the very God which the temple was built to serve.


So Matthew if you're going to Literalise the 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, then Literalise the whole prophesy & not
just apart of it, it is specific about a single individual being the man of sin who, seats himself in the, again literal Temple,
and proclaims himself God!
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God

was this ever done by any Jewish High Priest as they were the only ones to ever enter the Temple, albiet only once a year,
no I have never heard of such, as you say that it was old Israel, please be consisently literal in your interpretation of prophesy, which is one of the Main Pillars that Dispensationalism resides on by the way (and you may like them find yourself a full blown Pre Millennial Dispensationalism ;) ) they also hold to a Literal Temple & Personal Antichrist/Man of Sin, albeit they throw everything into the Future.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I don't understand Matthew why you are trying to suggest that Steve even made such a remark

I don't understand, Robert, why you are saying that I tried to suggest Steve made the remark. I never connected the view with Steve. Just because a person makes an argument in reply to another person does not mean everythig in that argument is a refutation of something the other person said.

Speaking as a moderator, Robert, I find you often inflame and disrupt discussions with these kinds of comments. You try to make things too personal. Why not allow a subject to be discussed without respect of persons.

As for the point at hand, the church of Jews and Gentiles, as the inheritor of Israel's promises, will have the gospel and the Spirit to the end of the age. The idea that this church will turn apostate is contrary to the promises. That is the basic point I was making. An apostate church is not the Israel or temple of God.

I'm of the opinion also that Old Israel's Covenants are binding

Then we are all undone. This is very bad news. Cursed is everyone who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Do you not have any good news for us?

So Matthew if you're going to Literalise the 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, then Literalise the whole prophesy & not just apart of it, it is specific about a single individual being the man of sin who, seats himself in the, again literal Temple, and proclaims himself God!

The futurist view generally holds the man of sin to be a specific individual. But when "man" is taken as a Hebraism it is literally understood as a singular example or defining characteristic. The Jews regarded Gentiles as "sinners" on the basis of their coventantal privileges. When the unbelieving Jews were finally revealed as an uncovenanted nation they would be identified as the man of sin.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Robert, I should also note that some amillennial futurists, so far as the restraint of 2 Thess. 2 and the binding of Rev. 20 is concerned, do suggest that the gospel is the restraining power. Riddlebarger writes (The Man of Sin, p. 132): "Something, perhaps the preaching of the gospel, is already restraining the power of lawlessness, keeping it from prevailing. If Paul's restrainer/restraint is in any way connected to the angel of Revelation 20, then the case becomes all the stronger that Paul is indeed speaking of the preaching of the gospel as presently holding back the power of evil."

Riddlebarger goes on to turn his suggestion into a matter of fact (p. 134): "Paul's Man of Sin presides over an end-times apostasy in Christ's church. He is the culmination of that series of antichrists already plaguing the apostolic church, and he is presently being restrained by the preaching of the gospel, until such time as God lifts his supernatural restraint and the Man of Lawlessness is finally revealed. And when that day comes, the second coming of the Lord will not be far behind."

Such is the dismal prospect which amillennial futurism holds for the spiritual temple of God.
 

One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
I don't understand Matthew why you are trying to suggest that Steve even made such a remark

I don't understand, Robert, why you are saying that I tried to suggest Steve made the remark. I never connected the view with Steve. Just because a person makes an argument in reply to another person does not mean everything in that argument is a refutation of something the other person said.

My apologies Matthew, I wasn't trying to be personal, I mistook you comment, thinking you were making a logical conclusion as to Steve's position, and yes agreed that...
Just because a person makes an argument in reply to another person does not mean everything in that argument is a refutation of something the other person said.


As for the point at hand, the church of Jews and Gentiles, as the inheritor of Israel's promises, will have the gospel and the Spirit to the end of the age. The idea that this church will turn apostate is contrary to the promises. That is the basic point I was making. An apostate church is not the Israel or temple of God.

During the the Great Reformation Theological Battles that raged between the Protestants & the Romanist's, the latter claimed that they were the True Church, that it was Infallible & could not err from the Truth. The Protestant's retorted that they had indeed apostatized from the Truth, that just as in Elijah's day God had reserved unto Himself 7000 that had not bowed the knee to Baal, so to speak, the outward Visible church can apostatize while God keeps a remnant (which would be pre Trent & the Catholic Church's Unchurching [of which I've written about previously]), the True Bride of Christ or Church Invisible was either contained within the corrupt body as a dispersed remnant or in some particular Churches which stayed true or had either separated from the Roman communion. Calvin had used the prophets words the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord trust not in lying words to show the Romanist that they were to not trust in the infallibility of the outward
Visible Church.


I'm of the opinion also that Old Israel's Covenants are binding

Then we are all undone. This is very bad news. Cursed is everyone who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Do you not have any good news for us?

There is a future ingathering into Christ of the Jews to occur immediately before the 2nd Coming of the Lord,
Rom 11:24 how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
&
Rom 11:15 what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

This is why I'm also sort of leaning to a Republication of the Covenant of Works in the Mosaic Covenant, a dual Covenant embracing both the Covenant of Grace unto Life & the Covenant of Works unto Death, because why was it necessary for The
Lord Jesus to fulfill the Laws of the Mosaic Covenant to attain eternal redemption for His people if it did not contain a Republication of the Covenant of Works, He would simply have had to fulfill Adam's broken covenant of Works to attain eternal Life,but as it was written
Galations 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Christ is made a Surety for us, He has fulfilled the Law in our stead, keeping it's statutes entire thus giving us right to eternal life & bearing it's penalty giving us pardon from it's curse.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Robert, apology accepted. Thankyou.

If Calvin "used" the temple of the Lord statement in his own context, that was an application to his own situation. I freely grant this. But again, interpretation and application are two different things. In interpretation we are seeking to find the intent of the writing in the context in which it was written. In application we take what we have learned from interpretation and implement its normative value in our own situation.

The Reformers and Puritans were quite correct to see the characteristics of the man of sin in the Papacy. But we are not bound to follow their interpretations when we have further light in this matter. The fact is, the Papacy has not been destroyed as they thought it would long before now. The 1260 years is well and truly concluded and the Papacy is still here. The tendency to keep changing the historical events and move the timeline forward to suit the age in which the commentator lived is a fair indication that there is something amiss in the historicist method of interpretation.

I find your understanding of the two covenants to be very problematic, but it would take this discussion far afield to enter into it. Suffice to say, the only hope for Israel is in the gospel, not in the law.
 

One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
If Calvin "used" the temple of the Lord statement in his own context, that was an application to his own situation. I freely grant this. But again, interpretation and application are two different things. In interpretation we are seeking to find the intent of the writing in the context in which it was written. In application we take what we have learned from interpretation and implement its normative value in our own situation.

That was just to show that if Old Testament Israel had the The Temple yet apostatized, so could the visible Church, neither were Infallible.


The Reformers and Puritans were quite correct to see the characteristics of the man of sin in the Papacy. But we are not bound to follow their interpretations when we have further light in this matter. The fact is, the Papacy has not been destroyed as they thought it would long before now. The 1260 years is well and truly concluded and the Papacy is still here. The tendency to keep changing the historical events and move the timeline forward to suit the age in which the commentator lived is a fair indication that there is something amiss in the historicist method of interpretation.


It is my understanding that the 1260 day/year prophesy did not specify the Papacy's end, Grattan Guinness' book Romanism and the Reformation mentions Mede's key to the Apocalypse on pge 72, Grattan mentions that
Mede did what no interpreter had previously done; he laid down the important principle, that, for the correct understanding of the Apocalypse, it is necessary, in the first place, to fix the order of its principal visions apart from the question of their interpretation. Accordingly Mede sought to exhibit the synchronism and the succession of these visions, or the order of the prophecies contained in the Apocalypse. Setting aside and ignoring for the time all question of the meaning of these prophecies, he
endeavored to demonstrate from the visions themselves the position they occupy with reference to one another. Their mutual relations once proved serve as a most valuable clue to their significance.

pg73 continues...
The first synchronism which Mede establishes is that of what he calls a "noble quaternion of prophecies," remarkable by reason of the equality of their times. First, of the woman remaining in the wilderness for three and a half times, or as it is declared in the prophecy, 1,260 days; second, of the beast whose deadly wound was healed ruling forty-two months; third, of the outer court of the temple trodden underfoot by the Gentiles for the same number of months; fourth, of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth 1,260 days.Mede points out that not only are these times equal, but they begin at the same period and end together, and must therefore synchronize throughout their course.

though Grattan errs on pg 73 in saying that...
and extend to the era of the overthrow of those powers;
The Interpretation of the 3 Unclean Spirits
Rev 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
which occurs after the events of the 1260 years predicts a resurgence in Romanism prior to the sounding of the 7th Trumpet as we are seeing in our day, so it shows that nothing is amiss with the historicist method of interpretation.


Suffice to say, the only hope for Israel is in the gospel, not in the law.

yes I did say
There is a future in gathering into Christ of the Jews
into Christ would denote the Gospel, would it not? the context was Israel after the flesh though all Israel will be saved.


I find your understanding of the two covenants to be very problematic, but it would take this discussion far afield to enter into it.

Ill mention it in one of the Covenant Theology threads & you can tell me what you thoughts are.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
That was just to show that if Old Testament Israel had the The Temple yet apostatized, so could the visible Church, neither were Infallible.

Two points. (1) Israel's final apostasy related to a development in the history of redemption, namely, the coming of the Messiah. The Messiah has come so far as the New Testament church is concerned, and Israel as a nation did not receive Him. That kind of apostasy is not possible for the New Testament church because Christ Himself is the foundation of the church. Were a church to destroy the foundation it would cease to be a church. (2) The New Testament church, as the inheritor of the promises of Israel, has promises guarding her against the judicial casting off which Israel underwent. For both reasons I think your parallel fails to apply in the same way to the New Testament church.

It is my understanding that the 1260 day/year prophesy did not specify the Papacy's end,

There are numerous references to Leo the Great (Magnus) in the historicist view, and about 1700 for the destruction of the Papacy. When that failed to materialise it was pushed back to different successors. The reason for the eschatological fervour and some of the political movements in Puritan times specifically related to the 1260 day-for-a-year scheme.

Premillennial historicists have revised the scheme in their own peculiar direction and it directly serves the premillennial cause. Once the postmillennial golden age did not come to pass, 19th century eschatologists naturally started looking for the advent to produce the golden age, and this is what enabled premillennial expectation to assume dominance.

We share the expectation of the Jews coming to Christ together with all nations. My main concern is to distinguish this from the belief that this evolves out of the "old covenant" of national Israel. Such a belief would entail return to the land and rebuilding of the temple, etc., for these were specific promises relating to the "old covenant."
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As I wrote above, I wonder about the wisdom of wading into the murky waters of a debate between a preterist/full-idealist and an historicist! This is the confusion I also spoke of which turns so many off to the topic of eschatology. It removes the relevance of the Bible’s eschatological statements and prophecies from our present times and either into the past, and a purely symbolic realm of “inspiration”, or a realm of one-to-one correspondence between past historical personages and/or events, both of which options deprive us of the riches of God’s word to us in our own time.

To note a couple of great weaknesses in the preterist interpretation of 2 Thess 2, compared to the standard amil view as posited by G.K. Beale, William Hendriksen, Dennis E. Johnson, Cornelis Venema, Anthony Hoekema, etc:

In 1 Thess 4:15-17 we have a passage on the parousia (v 15) – the [second] coming – of the Lord Jesus, which very few deny; and then in 1 Thess 5:2 Paul specifically calls this “the day of the Lord”.

Going on to 2 Thess 1:7-10 we have him continuing to describe the return of Christ and His vengeance against the wicked. I suppose some die-hard preterists might deny this is what is spoken of, but a fair reading of the context shows a continuity in Paul’s discussion. Then he moves to 2 Thess 2:1 where he continues in the same vein, referring to “the coming [parousia] of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him”, which is a repeat of 1 Thess 4:16-17 where the Lord descends from heaven and we are “caught up together” with Him and those who have already died in Him.

So in the epistles to the Thessalonians we have Paul talking in 1:4 and 5 and in 2:1 and 2 of the return of Christ and the rapture of His saints at that time. He then addresses some false teaching that has been going around, namely that the return of Christ has already happened or is imminent, as two things must precede it, a great falling away from the faith and the revealing of the man of sin (or man of lawlessness).

Preterists will assert this refers strictly to the Jewish times, but we are not seeing here the day of vengeance on the already apostate Jewish nation about to be consummated in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (though that is the punctuation mark of a major change of eras, from the Jewish times to that of the Gentiles), but another eschatological event, the final days of vengeance when all the wicked of the earth shall be destroyed and judged and the saints rescued and rewarded.

Even though – looking at the second weakness (besides the confusion regarding the parousia) – the temple is still standing, with very few years left of its existence, and some Messianic Jews still enamored of the worship in the Ichabod temple (from which the glory has departed once and forever), the Holy Spirit in writing of the man of sin, that “he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2:4), would never use the words “of God” to signify the temple left desolate, forever abandoned by Him. The only temple "of God" was now Jesus Christ.

This is an attempt of a minority report to circumvent proper exegesis and sound Biblical sense to foist its view on the church, and the church does suffer from such, as this passage and those of Revelation are meant to edify us as to the times we are in, which some do obfuscate with learnedness gone awry. I should note that relegating the fulfillment of 2 Thess 2 to the Jewish era and its termination actually enables the “consistent idealist” view of Revelation in being an ahistorical and strictly symbolic inspirational drama with no actual prophetic elements, as in prophesying of events to come.

Not that the “majority report” is always right – far from it – but in this instance it is, as seen in the quality of the argumentation of its proponents.

Concerning that which restrains the revelation of the Wicked, the view as held by Riddlebarger, the reason he turns his “suggestion” into a “fact” is because in the intervening pages he has developed his argument. I think it is quite feasible that the preaching of the gospel and the angel of Rev 20:1-3 are, respectively, the “what” and “he” that restrain.

Matthew, you say that “amillennial futurism” holds a “dismal prospect . . . for the spiritual temple of God”. But wait! the Prototype of the “spiritual temple” – who is Jesus Christ – suffered and died, and through death triumphed over death, it being unable to hold Him; and if we follow Him in our own witness against the powers of darkness and death through death and resurrection, you say this is “dismal”?

As the hymnist said,

In the cross of Christ I glory,

towering o’er the wrecks of time;

all the light of sacred story

gathers round its head sublime.​

And if the church is to go through a furnace of purifying affliction for love of Christ’s cause, and for love of Him, we count this as far more than being mere “conquerors” over enemies and death, but as being united with Him in His sufferings, and then in the glory of His resurrection.
 
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TheOldCourse

Puritan Board Sophomore
Rev. Winzer,

Are there any detailed works on the subject which defend an interpretation such as yours which you might commend to us? I'm well familiar with the authors Steve cites and with a few of the more enthusiastic historicist works in Puritan times, but have not read much from within the Reformed historical corpus along the lines of what you are contending (which I'm sure is my own deficiency).
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
With regard to “the day of the LORD” in the OT referring to the second coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ to gather His church to Himself and avenge their cruel mistreatment at the hands of the earth-only (having no interest in heaven and its God) wicked I would like to look at Isaiah 2. In verses 2 through 4 he conveys the word of the LORD showing “all nations” flowing to the house of the God of Jacob, and “many people” seek His teaching of His ways, His law, and His word. This is understood to refer to the nations coming to the house of God in the days of the New Covenant.

The focus of the prophecy shifts toward the end of the chapter; in verse 10 we see the warning to men to fear the LORD and the glory of His majesty, and then he says,

“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low” (2:11,12)​

This is apparently spoken concerning mankind generally. E.J. Young in his commentary on Isaiah, says,

a day — The word is prominent. A day is coming, and so the present order will be overthrown. But does not a day, in distinction from night, bring the light of blessing? This day, however, belongs to the Lord of hosts. It is the time of world judgment, adumbrations or foreshadowings of which are to be found in the earlier judgments of Yahweh, such as the exile and the first advent. Other prophets had already mentioned the day, but it is in Isaiah that the concept obtains a force not found previously. It is pictured as a storm which sweeps over everything that in the opinion of man was lifted up and exalted. (The Book of Isaiah, Vol 1, Chapters 1-18; p 124)​

The prophet then speaks of judgment in local terms, and in verses 19-21 judgment is again depicted as universal,

And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
and the haughtiness of men shall be made low:
and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. . .
And they shall go into the holes of the rocks,
and into the caves of the earth,
for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty,
when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold,
which they made each one for himself to worship,
to the moles and to the bats;
To go into the clefts of the rocks,
and into the tops of the ragged rocks,
for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty,
when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth (Isa 2:17,19-21)​

Young links this passage with the apostle John’s vision in Revelation 6:15-17, when the Lord Christ is revealed form heaven on the great day of His appearing,

“And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said 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” (Rev 6:14-17)​

I have greater confidence in Young’s understanding and exegesis than those who deny Isaiah is speaking – ultimately – of “that great day of God Almighty” (Rev 16:14), when His vengeance is loosed and His bride safe in His arms at last.

Isaiah also speaks of scenes beyond the resurrection and the judgment, when in 65:17 and 18 he says,

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth:
and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create:
for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.​

Which John again refers to in Rev 21:1-2,

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.​

What poverty it creates in New Testament hermeneutics when men seek to strip away the visions of the future God’s OT prophets were given to see, and to give to His people to enliven their hope, relegating them instead strictly to the Jewish era.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Are there any detailed works on the subject which defend an interpretation such as yours which you might commend to us? I'm well familiar with the authors Steve cites and with a few of the more enthusiastic historicist works in Puritan times, but have not read much from within the Reformed historical corpus along the lines of what you are contending (which I'm sure is my own deficiency).

Chris, you might be interested in G. I Williamson's study of eschatology, written from an optimistic amillennial point of view. It is available here: http://www.reformed.org/eschaton/EschatologyPages.pdf. There is also Samuel G. Craig's "Jesus as He was and is," which contains a chapter entitled Jesus as the Coming One. B. B. Warfield wrote a study on the Prophecies of St. Paul and is included in the volume entitled "Biblical Doctrines."

The view I hold is not based on seeking specific events in the history of Israel, so I would not classify myself as a consistent preterist. I only identify with the exegesis which sees the development of the man of sin in relation to the Jewish nation. The conjectures related to the Roman empire/emperor or the destruction of Jerusalem are foreign to the apostle's theological viewpoint and message, as far as I can see. On the other hand, the apostasy and casting out of of national Israel is a continual theme of the New Testament, and the change of economy in the covenant of grace was a major factor in the apostle's ministry to the Gentiles. Hence I see the apostle as referring to a covenant reality rather than the AD 70 event.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
This will have to be my final reply.

1. It is claimed that a preterist view "removes the relevance of the Bible’s eschatological statements and prophecies from our present times." This could only be possible if one denied the normative value of redemptive history for those upon whom the ends of the world are come, 1 Cor. 10:6, 11. The fact is, because the correct interpretation of the passage is tied to the redemptive historical context it provides normative principles for evaluating the true nature of apostasy within the Christian church and for distinguishing the true from the false church. If one ignores the redemptive-historical context, and places the manifestation in the future, there are no concrete markers for identifying the expected manifestation. A myriad of contenders might fulfil the vacant position.

Conversely, the present relevance to the Thesssalonians is apparent throughout the passage, vv. 2, 5-7, 15. The attempt to place the manifestation into the far future only serves to negate the immediate relevance to the Thessalonian church to whom the letter was written.

2. In these discussions there is often an appeal made by Steve Rafalsky to "the standard amil view." I am more interested in weighing arguments than counting heads. However, this exclusivist appeal has been made so often that it requires a response. The amillennial view is defined by the fact it is neither pre-millennial nor post-millennial. The millennium of Rev. 20 is a present reality by virtue of the fact that the Redeemer is exalted above all things and rules all things for the good of His church. This is "the standard amil view." There is difference of opinion on how matters will fall out within the present age. There is no "standard" view on these things. As Oswald T. Allis has pointed out (Prophecy and the Church, 237), "Amillennialists ... deny that either in the Gospels or in the Epistles is there provision for such a millennium. They may take an optimistic view of the future of the Church on earth, or they may agree with Premillennialists that evil will be at work in the world, even increasingly active, up to the very times of Christ's coming."

John Murray wrote an article on Amillennialism for the Presbyterian Guardian. He stated, "The amillenarian does not take upon himself to deny but that in the purpose and providence of God there may be a period of unprecedented prosperity for the church of God upon earth prior to the Lord's advent. What he says is that he does not find in Scripture evidence sufficient to warrant his believing in a millennium before the end of the world."

In "A Study of Biblical Eschatology," G. I. Williamson commented, "What does the future hold? It is our conviction that it holds no such gloomy and pessimistic a scenario as many imagine."

Many amillennial interpreters of Romans 11 and kindred passages have espoused what has been called "the Puritan Hope." There is nothing in the amillennial scheme itself which requires one to be less than hopeful about the mission of the church in the world. What God has done in the past He may yet do again. Let us be the Lord's remembrancers, and often call upon Him, and labour fervently for Him. Who knows what a day of refreshing may bring!

3. Reference has been made to 1 Thess. 4 and 5 for understanding the day of the Lord in 2 Thess 2 to refer specifically to the second coming of Christ. Such a limitation is not warranted by the text. The second coming undoubtedly forms a part of the day of the Lord -- the climactic and consummating part of it -- but it is not limited to it. We live in the day of the Lord, in which we enjoy the blessed effects of His first coming and await the consummation at His second coming. A part of the day of the Lord included the final administration to national Israel in mercy and judgment, and the apostle lived and ministered in this transitional time. The developments in relation to Israel should not be forcibly removed from the eschatological nuances which the term holds, especially when it is considered that the Old Testament "day of the Lord" specifically and contextually related to the covenanted nation.

Moreover, there is nothing in the apostle's words in 1 Thess. 4 and 5, which places the second coming in a distant future so far as his own personal expectation was concerned. He could speak of "we which are alive and remain." He obviously did not mean that he would certainly be alive at the second coming, but neither did he exclude it so far as his own living vantage point was concerned. If this passage is decisive for understanding the day of the Lord in 2 Thess 2 it would only serve to undermine the futurist interpretation.

4. The Thessalonian's alarm has been painted as if the believers of that time shared present day dispensational concerns of being "left behind" at the second coming of Christ. This gives the dispensational view too much credit. In light of chapter 1 it is obvious that their concern lay in a different direction, namely, that their current tribulations were somehow connected with the terrible day of the Lord as taught by the prophets. As observed by Oswald T. Allis (Prophecy and the Church, 197): "It seems quite probable that the immature converts at Thessalonica were troubled by the thought that the persecutions they were suffering were but the precursors of the day of the Lord which they very likely envisaged as a time of suffering and terror (Joel 2.2, Amos 5.18)." The apostle did not write to make them "rapture ready," but to assure them that their persecutors would meet with vengeance.

5. Finally, when the New Testament is taken as a whole, and its statements relative to the apostasy and casting out of national Israel are carefully placed within their historical context, it is natural to understand that the apostle Paul was speaking about the days of vengeance on the persecutor, Israel. He had already mentioned this in 1 Thess. 2. It forms a part of the "mystery" which he dealt with in Romans 9-11. It is seen in his deliberate choice to turn away from the Jews and to preach to the Gentiles in the Book of Acts. It follows the clear denunciations which our Lord had made concerning the rejection and casting out of Israel. The apostle directed his words to first century Christians who lived in transitional times when the old covenant church was on its last legs and the new covenant church had the baton in its hand ready to run its course. He did not write to enable dispensation-type speculation about the "last days."
 

BryanW

Puritan Board Freshman
It also gives too much credence that Islam's prophecies are true.
Are Islam's "prophecies" really prophecies? Or are they just a twisting of scripture that says the opposite of what Jesus taught his followers and what was revealed to John on Patmos? The Koran is the anti-bible.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Matthew – thanks for the gracious response. I will seek to (as far as I am able) briefly answer you point by point.

1. There is more to the Bible’s eschatological statements than simply providing “normative principles” if we take said statements in their “redemptive historical context”. At least you are consistent with your form of idealism.

Clearly my understanding of the “redemptive historical context” is not akin to yours and G.I.’s, for it does not mandate the limiting of the “man of sin” and the “falling away” (apostasia) to the first century with the Jewish state and destruction of the temple.

Part of the second epistle’s relevance to the Thessalonian church was the correcting of the false teachings circulating among them concerning the past or present and ongoing occurrence of the final parousia of Christ, for he assures them two things must precede His coming: the revealing of the man of sin and the falling away; only after these two signs should one think of the return of Christ as imminent.

2. With regard to my saying, “the standard amil view” : I have often phrased this the contemporary standard amil view, nor is it determined by mere numbers, but by the cumulative excellence (admittedly a subjective assessment) of the wise reflection and argumentation on the topic, taking into account modern studies in the field. Eschatology is perhaps the one area in theology which is completely open to change and development.

Both Oswald T. Allis and Geerhardus Vos, speak with regard to increasing understanding in this area,

[The prophecy of Antichrist] “belongs among the many prophecies, whose best and final exegete will be the eschatological fulfillment, and in regard to which it behooves the saints to exercise a peculiar kind of eschatological patience.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology, p. 133)​

O.T. Allis in Prophecy and the Church, wrote similarly to Vos when he said,

“The usual view on this subject [‘the intelligibility of prophecy’] has been that prophecy is not intended to be fully understood before its fulfilment, that it is only when God ‘establishes the word of his servants and fulfills the counsel of his messengers,’ that the meaning and import of their words become fully manifest.” (p 25)​

You quote O.T. Allis on some among amillenarians taking an “optimistic view of the future of the Church on earth”, but I think fail to give the nuance he does as to their identity. On page 6 of the book you cite he writes,

“One point is especially to be stressed in this connection, for the reason that it is of fundamental importance to the problems to be discussed in this volume. All Amillennialists of today [he wrote the book in 1945 –SMR], whether they hold with Augustine or with Kliefoth, are in a position to maintain the coming of the Lord is imminent; and some of them take the pessimistic view of the future of the church on earth—that the love of many will grow cold, and that evil men will grow worse and worse—which is characteristic of the premillennial view. The great exception is the Whitbyans, whom in accordance with customary usage we shall call Postmillenarians.”​

He repeats this distinction on page 167 (ibid), saying,

“If, according to the Postmillenarian or Whitbyan view, the millennium is wholly future and is to precede the advent, it is absurd, they [the premils –SMR] tell us, to speak of expecting or watching for the coming of the Lord. This argument is not without weight. Amillennialists feel this objection to the Postmillenarian view quite as strongly as do Premillenarians.”​

[Daniel Whitby was an earlier developer of what is now known as Postmillennialism.]

In Allis’ time postmils were associated with amils (both believing Christ’s return would be post the millennium), and thankfully (for this discussion) he distinguishes between the two types he includes among the amils.

In the quote of John Murray you neglected to cite another of his sayings in that article:

“The amillenarian, however, does not find warrant for believing that one of those events that must occur before the Lord’s advent is a millennium of universal prosperity for the church of God. And so on that particular point he differs from the postmillenarian.”​

When I use the term “contemporary standard amil view” or something similar, I refer to men and their works like,

G.K. Beale, New International Greek Testament Commentary: Revelation; The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: 1-2 Thessalonians; Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament; Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation; The Use of Daniel in Jewish Apocalyptic Literature and in the Revelation of St. John; John’s Use of the Old Testament in Revelation; and The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A biblical theology of the dwelling place of God.
Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb: A Commentary on Revelation
Cornelis P. Venema, The Promise of the Future
William Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation; and Three Lectures on the Book of Revelation
Michael Wilcock, The Message of Revelation
Richard Bauckham, The Climax of Prophecy; and The Theology of the Book of Revelation
Kim Riddlebarger, The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist; and, A Case for Amillennialism: Understanding the End Times
David J. Engelsma, Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom: A Defense of Reformed Amillennialism (A shortened online version); and The Messianic Kingdom and Civil Government (article)
Stephen S. Smalley, The Revelation To John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse
Vern Poythress, The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation
R.C.H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. John’s Revelation
Stuart Olyott, Dare to Stand Alone: Daniel Simply Explained
Samuel E. Waldron, The End Times Made Simple
Anthony Hoekema, The Bible and the Future
Simon J. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Revelation
Arturo Azurdia, An Exposition of the Book of Revelation (81 MP3 sermons)
Leon Morris, The Book of Revelation (Revised Edition)
G.B. Caird, The Revelation of Saint John
Sam Storms, Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative

3. I agree with your first paragraph in this section, save to say that – as I have shown above – the OT “the day of the LORD” sometimes pointed to things other than dealings with “the covenanted [OT] nation” exclusively.

With regard to the second paragraph of this section, I agree, Paul did not exclude the possibility that the events he spoke of in 2 Thess 2 could develop in his own time. In either event, it was still future, whether near or far.

4. I agree that fear of the terror of their persecutors [preceding the supposedly “at hand” 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] coming] were at least part of their false thinking, but others have pointed out that other false teachings may have been referred to; in 2 Tim 2:17, 18 it is said of “Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”

5. You say of Paul, “He did not write to enable dispensation-type speculation about the ‘last days.’ ” Agreed, yet he also exercised prophetic gifting as the Spirit of Christ spoke through him. You liken the eclectic amil futurist understanding to “dispensation-type speculation — and I will grant you some partial and distant similarity in the two, and perhaps it will be this that shall draw souls from the premil camp to the amil, as it does more justice to the Biblical data than their own views and the preterist, postmil, and historicist takes.

The Dispensational view is very dangerous, and with a new version of the Left Behind movie about to come out that danger increases. For many shall think, “Well, I can indulge the flesh and repent and turn to Christ later, for after the rapture I will have a second chance to seek and find Him with the ‘Tribulation saints’.” Alas, those who die in such delusion shall awake in Hell.
 

Conner

Puritan Board Freshman
My understanding is that there have been many in the reformed tradition who did see Islam and Mohammed being prophesied as an eschatological figure (the beast of revelation 13) as well as the papacy and the pope (the beast of revelation 17). (See Edwards "history of redemption". BTW has anybody read Goodwins commentary on Revelation? I myself tend toward the partial preterist view espoused by men like Bahnsen and Gentry.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
It also gives too much credence that Islam's prophecies are true.
Are Islam's "prophecies" really prophecies? Or are they just a twisting of scripture that says the opposite of what Jesus taught his followers and what was revealed to John on Patmos? The Koran is the anti-bible.

You'd probably be better starting another thread on such a divergent topic, Bryan :2cents:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Regarding Steve Rafalsky's "list," Very Poythress has espoused the optimistic view, and credits Richard Gaffin with the same view. In "2 Thessalonians 1 supports Amillennialism," Poythress wrote in relation to postmillennialism, "In my opinion, it is possible that this sort of thing might happen. In fact, because I am awed by the power of God for salvation in the gospel (Rom 1:16), I am optimistic about the future. Christ may return very soon, but if he does not return in the next hundred years, we may see a great harvest for the gospel. Some other amillennialists display the same optimism. [Cf. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., “Theonomy and Eschatology: Reflections on Pstmillennialism,” in Theonomy: A Reformed Critique, ed. William S. Barker and W. Robert Godfrey (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990) 201, 208, 210.]"
 
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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Continuing to examine the "list," Kim Riddlebarger is another amillennialist who maintains optimism in relation to the calling of the Jews. He states, "Is there a future for ethnic Israel? Paul's answer was yes. And the presence of a believing remnant was proof. But the future salvation of Israel is not connected to a future millennial kingdom. It is connected to the end of the age. When all Israel is saved, the resurrection is at hand." Case for Amillennialism, 194.

Michael Horton takes the same view in "The Christian Faith," p. 950: "While Israel is the church and the church is Israel, this spiritual nation will be enlarged in the last days -- this time, with a great influx of ethnic Jews."
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
When Poythress says, “if [Christ] does not return in the next hundred years, we may see a great harvest for the gospel”, I do not disagree with that kind of optimism. It is a hope of mine, and constitutes part of the rationale for why I write and seek to publish: when I bear testimony to the Kingdom of God and of His Christ, while accepting the possibility of paying dearly for this testimony the world hates, I do hope it will bear great fruit. I am not under any illusion it must be so, but I do hope it. This is optimism in my book, even if I see the world going from bad to worse – the Lord’s net may gather in many fish while the storm rages, and before it hits full force.

The same for the Jews, my people according to the flesh, and many of my family. Part of the purpose I am preparing and polishing my little booklet, A Poet Arises In Israel, is to provoke a clash with the rabbinate of world Jewry, that the Lord’s elect among them may take notice, and revisit the claims of their Messiah, the inertia of millennia broken by the violence of it. Do I do this in vain? No, my hope is that the Lord may bring multitudes from the bloodline of Abraham to the new temple and to the glorious High Priest within it who also reigns as King. Must it be so? no, I do not think so, but I may hope and labor that it will. It is in His hands. I keep in mind the words of the hymn by John Newton:

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring​

This tension between seeing the world go increasingly bad, and the turning of many souls from the power of Satan unto God, that they may be cleansed and glorified in Him, is not comprised of incongruity, but may exist as an antinomy.
 

One Little Nail

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would also venture to say that the little horn that comes out of the beast of Daniel is one & the same with the image of the beast in Rev Chap 13.
 

AJ Castellitto

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Steve, I blog on a site that features JW's articles & I am like minded - Religious Humanism is devouring the globe & has taken hold of the pagan papacy..... Not sure where Islam fits (a mere footnote, I guess)
 
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