Author Topic: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking  (Read 5944 times)

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Stephen

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Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« on: May 26, 2009, 07:42:36 PM »
The pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, dispensational [time frames and time lapse] overview and methodology of rendering truth from the scriptures is the correct approach for the student of Bible prophecy, but I do not agree with a number of added precepts of the traditional pre-tribulational view of the scriptures currently held by many.

Here they are:
Removal of restraint equated with the removal of the Church at the "rapture"
References to the Church in the Lord's discourse regarding Israel and the time of the end
A 7 year peace agreement between Israel and the nation's enemies
That the confirmation of the covenant of 70 weeks of years is by the "other prince that shall come"
A re-built tribulation temple of the Lord's
Israel's resumption of sacrificial animal worship during the 70th week
A revival of the Roman Empire with its core as the EU
The symbol of the first seal is the "anti-christ"
A European "antichrist"
The pope is the "antichrist"
The "woman" of Revelation 17 and 18 is the RCC
MBG's great city is the Vatican
MBG's great city is the beast's base of operations
Revelation 18:4 is a request to come out of the RCC
Identification of the first beast as a system of government .... or a human
The timing of the initial destruction of MBG's great city placed at the end of the 70th week
The placement of the two witnesses during the first 1,260 days
The 24 elders alone are the "Church"
The great multitude are believers saved during the tribulation period
Insertion of historical events after 33 A.D. and before the 70th week into the prophetic visions
Rome and subsequent historical rulers of the Middle East are in the scope of the visions
Gog is a Russian
Satan is not Gog, and not the one that the Lord's addresses in Ezekiel's vision
The "revealing" of the little horn/beast placed at the middle of the 70th week
Ezekiel's war is extra-70th week, and or not the battle of Armageddon
The creatures described in Revelation 9 are human armies with advanced technology
The removal of the seals are actual time line events of the tribulation period
The primary focus of the visions of the Bible prophets is outside of the Middle East
That specific signs will be observed on the earth before the Lord brings His coming judgment
False predictions made related to the second coming
False assumptions made of current events that are not in the scope of the visions
Speculations made for the purpose of attracting attention

All of these listed have been suggested and imbedded in the traditional 'pre-tribulation' view and require further investigation and refinement in my opinion in order to build an air-tight rendering of correct end time exegesis as the Lord has intended to give.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 12:45:23 AM »
 :cloud9: Hi Stephen, welcome to the board, good to have you here.  :happy3:
I would just like to share with you, that you have come on a board where most of the brethren here have been shown the spiritual MESSAGES contained within the letter (Rock smitten to reveal the life of the Spirit). The Word is Spirit, written to our Spirit, and as such cannot be interpreted thru anything but the mind of Christ, which IS Spirit.

As such, the first line of the book of Revelation tells succinctly what it is about, ie. the REVELATION (means to uncover or reveal) of JESUS CHRIST, which John testified took place IN THE TEMPLE.

1Co 6:19 - What? 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?

God the Father was IN Christ, reconciling all men unto Himself, and as Christ is now in His temple (us) made without hands, the revelation of Him in us, is why Christ IN US, is our hope of glory (Col.) and why Romans 8 says that the glory is getting ready to be REVEALED, IN US.

Additionally, the word derived tribulation comes from a Greek word tribulum, that is a tool used to thresh WHEAT (Matt. 13 the good seed of the Kingdom/Christ). So the "tribulation" is the action used by the reapers/angels (word means MESSAGES or messengers with a MESSAGE) to remove the CHAFF off the good Seed, that He might be seen of all men. Blessings....





"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Stephen

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 12:54:56 AM »
Cardinal,

"spiritual MESSAGES contained within the letter (Rock smitten to reveal the life of the Spirit). The Word is Spirit, written to our Spirit, and as such cannot be interpreted thru anything but the mind of Christ, which IS Spirit."

>Expand on this statement for me please

>And yes the book of Revelation is the Lord's own revelation

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 01:44:01 AM »
 :sigh:
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 01:48:32 AM by Beloved Servant »

Offline Nathan

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 01:59:44 AM »
Partly what Card is sharing is the fact that truth comes through relationship to the individual . . .thus, the truth becomes an experience within them.  The traditional means of understanding has been through much reading, rendering and indepth studying, teaching, anylizing . . .all with the very equipment Scripture advises us to not rely on . . .which is our natural reasoning and logic.

For me it's the Peter experience . . ."Who do YOU say that I am . . ." in reading that passage, Jesus explicitly states that truth can only come through revelation from the Father . . .flesh and blood has not taught this, only the Father can reveal it to us.

Everything is spiritual.  Everything is symbolizing something deeper.  Comments have been made here in the past about the idea that you can't spiritualize something that's already spiritual . . . but there was never any clarification as to what the writer percieved to be spiritual in the first place.  But for me, to take a word spiritually, is to take it inwardly.

That issue with Peter . . .Jesus FIRST asked "Who do men say that I am . . ."  It's a question asking about all the different opinions that others have about Christ . . .but when he turned to Peter and said "who do YOU say that I am"  Jesus just took it dimensionally internal with Peter.  And the next thing out of Peter's mouth was not the result of much studying, reasoning and debates . .but it was a momumental revelation to a simple man.

Scripture says whatever the reader wants it to say . .even if the reader intends to approach the Word with an open mind, good intentions may be a good place to start, but often times, good intentions can still create more problems than solutions in our lives.

I can say that I read with an open mind . . .but once the discussion takes a turn away from what I think it says . .the mind isn't as open as I convinced myself for it to be.

Bottom line, we're to walk in the spirit . . applying the word to current events isn't spiritual as much as it is literal.  When you're applying things to a natural experience, it's still literal.  The intent for our hearts is spiritual . .inward.  We are the temple 2 Thessalonians speaks of where there is one who stands and defies God, the obomination of desolation . . .Paul words it another way in Romans, he says there the mind is at emnity with God . . .that is where the antichrist is to me . . .it's in our carnal-thinking minds.

Yes, we are to have our minds renewed . .but that again is a spiritual experience, not a schoolastic teaching accompanied with certification to give license to enforce personal convictions on congregations or neighbors.  

Just thinking along the lines of the conversation already in progress is all.

Stephen

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 03:02:22 AM »
But the believer is to study themselves approved

To seek truth from the Lord's Word with His guidance

This works ..... believe it

One should be careful that this approach is not abandon for an open undisciplined, unbiblical, self generated methodology for understanding truth

The Lord's truth cannot be found in any other source except His Word and one needs to seek and focus upon this precept

Otherwise anything is fair game for the return

2Timothy
2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was.

3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.  

« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 03:08:03 AM by Stephen »

Offline Nathan

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 03:18:22 AM »
But the believer is to study themselves approved

To seek truth from the Lord's Word with His guidance

This works ..... believe it

One should be careful that this approach is not abandon for an open undisciplined, unbiblical, self generated methodology for understanding truth

The Lord's truth cannot be found in any other source except His Word and one needs to seek and focus upon this precept

Otherwise anything is fair game for the return

2Timothy
2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was.

3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.  




One quick comment on all your Scripts you post . . .it really isn't enlightening when you just post Scripture because I'll still read it in the light from my position with the Father . . .it benefits little really.

As far as the studying to show  . . .you do realize that all it's saying is WHEN you study YOU WILL FIND yourself APPROVED.  No one here is saying throw out the word . . .all I'm saying is . .there's much more that lies beneath the surface than just a literal translation.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 03:46:01 AM »
 :cloud9: Hello again Stephen.......just a quick note here to share.......

The ones to whom the scriptures were entrusted to, were also given understanding or sort of an "owner's manual" on how to approach what was given to them via the mouth of the Father. The approach is as follows: see if you can spot yours in there.

"The system of hebraic understanding used by all hebrew prophets and scholars was and remains a system that goes by the acronym of PARDES which stands for:

PASHAT/ Literal primary meaning

REMEZ/Hints in the text of something deeper

DRASH/ The added understanding that can only be gleaned by parables, riddles, stories

SOD/ Secrets and mysteries which are mysterious underlying secrets revealed in text

For Jesus said, "The Words that I speak unto you they are Spirit and they are life."
The Spirit world can only be revealed in the Spirit, and the Spirit of YHWH comes in 4 basic measures or levels.

This is why the scripture states that we shall not live (or have HIS life) by bread (literal letter that killeth) alone, but every Word (Spirit breathed revelation) that comes out of the mouth of the Father. The Father is a Spirit, and what comes out of His mouth IS Spirit, and it was this that Jesus said He spoke (only what He HEARD the Father speak).

ALL of the "ways" of study that evolve naturally out of RELATIONSHIP with He who IS Spirit, which was lost to the "Pharisees" of successive generations, is being restored in this generation upon whom the ends of the age have come. Blessings....




"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Stephen

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 03:52:20 AM »
Nathan,

"One quick comment on all your Scripts you post . . .it really isn't enlightening when you just post Scripture because I'll still read it in the light from my position with the Father . . .it benefits little really."

>You are really subverting the Lord's Word by your statements

>I post scripture for good reason .... this is a must for the believer in Jesus Christ

>You say don't do it .... a strange thing for a professing christian to exclaim

>And I also post much commentary [I have only just begun] .... and this you will discover if you read my postings on this forum ... whether you agree or not is beside the point ... I just completed a session on a forum with over 7,000 posts

>So what you are telling is presumptuous and not really a fair and equitable assessment




Stephen

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 04:03:43 AM »
"Hello again Stephen.......just a quick note here to share.......

The ones to whom the scriptures were entrusted to, were also given understanding or sort of an "owner's manual" on how to approach what was given to them via the mouth of the Father. The approach is as follows: see if you can spot yours in there.

"The system of hebraic understanding used by all hebrew prophets and scholars was and remains a system that goes by the acronym of PARDES which stands for:

PASHAT/ Literal primary meaning

REMEZ/Hints in the text of something deeper

DRASH/ The added understanding that can only be gleaned by parables, riddles, stories

SOD/ Secrets and mysteries which are mysterious underlying secrets revealed in text

For Jesus said, "The Words that I speak unto you they are Spirit and they are life."
The Spirit world can only be revealed in the Spirit, and the Spirit of YHWH comes in 4 basic measures or levels.

This is why the scripture states that we shall not live (or have HIS life) by bread (literal letter that killeth) alone, but every Word (Spirit breathed revelation) that comes out of the mouth of the Father. The Father is a Spirit, and what comes out of His mouth IS Spirit, and it was this that Jesus said He spoke (only what He HEARD the Father speak).

ALL of the "ways" of study that evolve naturally out of RELATIONSHIP with He who IS Spirit, which was lost to the "Pharisees" of successive generations, is being restored in this generation upon whom the ends of the age have come. Blessings...."


>I have to tell you that all of this is bordering on gnosticism .... "secrete meanings", "hidden manna", the "letter killeth", etc. .... these are diversionary methods to lead away from truth presented in the scriptures

>For example; "the letter of the law killeth" has nothing to do with the literal method of interpretation of the scriptures .... the letter of the law does kill if one is depending upon it for salvation

>These ideas are employed for the purpose of subverting the gospel and the truth of the scriptures, so I will warn you about the practice
 

Offline Taffy

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2009, 04:09:46 AM »
Nathan,

"One quick comment on all your Scripts you post . . .it really isn't enlightening when you just post Scripture because I'll still read it in the light from my position with the Father . . .it benefits little really."

>You are really subverting the Lord's Word by your statements

>I post scripture for good reason .... this is a must for the believer in Jesus Christ

>You say don't do it .... a strange thing for a professing christian to exclaim

>And I also post much commentary [I have only just begun] .... and this you will discover if you read my postings on this forum ... whether you agree or not is beside the point ... I just completed a session on a forum with over 7,000 posts

>So what you are telling is presumptuous and not really a fair and equitable assessment




Hi Stephen :icon_flower:

Please share and expound on the scriptures you quote , as proof texting is so easily done by all of us,,,, Have ya ever thought there may be hidden depths beneath many of the scriptures ..?Kinda hidden to the natural eye? ..

sorta like.. ya read a passage of scripture for  yrs and THEN POW...something just JUMPS right out the BOOK...,like a revelation...one of those LIGHT bulb moments. :icon_flower:

over the seasons ive found this to be very so ,then we seem to take a different veiw to what we may  have thought was TRUE for Eons...,

Intellect is useful, but there are some here who will equally say its really worthless come the depths which lay within ...it actually HINDERS .... and there are some very intellectual folk on this board .....just giving you some grounding to what  Tent and some of its members are about..pre warned so Im told, is prearmed....

again Blessings To you Stephen :icon_flower:

Taffy :icon_flower:
Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Offline Taffy

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 04:15:03 AM »
Hi again Stephen :icon_flower:

Seems Card posted over me,,she lays it out very well , well for mine.

This mystic stuff has come up before , ill find ya the thread if ya wish , because I sense it coming back once more

Blessings :icon_flower:
Taffy

Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Stephen

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2009, 04:32:04 AM »
Taffy,

Intellect has nothing to do with the ability to learn the Lord's truth in the scriptures

The sincere desire without motive toward self gain, and with diligence and effort has everything to do with understanding what the Lord will reveal .... but it must always be on His terms

He will withhold nothing from one who seeks His truth without design .... He knows one's motives and will reveal nothing to those who do otherwise .... and even confuse those who do

.... and I can assure you that those who claim to know "hidden manna", "secret" things, and "new" revelations are those who come to deceive and pervert truth

This behavior is no new thing and has been going on since human existence and is presently abounding and growing

False prophets and false teachers are attracting many to follow roads that lead to no where and the Lord has warned about this .... those coming in His name and deceiving many in the process

Offline Taffy

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2009, 04:44:02 AM »
Taffy,

Intellect has nothing to do with the ability to learn the Lord's truth in the scriptures

The sincere desire without motive toward self gain, and with diligence and effort has everything to do with understanding what the Lord will reveal .... but it must always be on His terms

He will withhold nothing from one who seeks His truth without design .... He knows one's motives and will reveal nothing to those who do otherwise .... and even confuse those who do

.... and I can assure you that those who claim to know "hidden manna", "secret" things, and "new" revelations are those who come to deceive and pervert truth

This behavior is no new thing and has been going on since human existence and is presently abounding and growing

False prophets and false teachers are attracting many to follow roads that lead to no where and the Lord has warned about this .... those coming in His name and deceiving many in the process

Hi Again Stephen :icon_flower:

For me ,The intellect stays at the literal level , as C points out theres others , which some categorize as Mystic among others.

I must dig out that old thread Stephen, it will add to whats shes already stated . :icon_flower:

There are some at Tent wholl stand their corner with you Stephen and there are those who go about it differently ,but again a word of warning, Tis nothing new you bring here Bud. :icon_flower:

Thanks again :icon_flower:T

Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Stephen

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 05:12:47 AM »
Taffy,

I need no warning .... I already know what is going on here

And there is nothing new for sure, the Lord's Word is the same past, present, and future

The "new" things are the talk of those who have discovered the "hidden mystical manna"

This is the gnostic gospel that has been around for centuries dressed up in a new package

 

Offline Taffy

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2009, 05:28:53 AM »
Well here ya go Stephen as I sense this coming.. an excerpt of that thread I mentioned, this post always stuck in my mind...

ya right its Not new..went back to the TIME of PAUL... :icon_flower:

hope ya dont mind C.... :icon_flower: your welcome to the link to Stephen ,if you desire...this of course is NOT in direct response to you,,but as we are talking Gnostics, Mystics etc....
.

  I don't know what you are basing your information on, but here is what they have always used as a principle for studying scripture. It is well known in Jewish circles, and this particular quote is from a Messianic rabbi.

"The system of hebraic understanding used by all hebrew prophets and scholars was and remains a system that goes by the acronym of PARDES which stands for PASHAT/ Literal primary meaning, REMEZ/Hints in the text of something deeper, DRASH/ The added understanding that can only be gleaned by parables, riddles, stories etc and SOD/ Secrets and mysteries which are mysterious underlying secrets revealed in text."

  In addition to that, Paul said though I know ALL MYSTERIES...and there are other scriptures that mention mystery or mysteries. So I consider Paul to be the premiere example of a "mystical Christian", particularly since what He was taught of the mysteries was given to Him by the Spirit of the risen Lord not by the disciples who knew Him after the flesh, nor the imaginations of men, and certainly not by the devil.

Obviously there were Jews who went about establishing their own righteousness and  it only got worse after Jesus came on the scene (out of bitterness and jealousy); much of the Talmud (which is not considered scripture) is proof of this. But to call THEM "mystical" is inaccurate, just as calling the other "branch" of them not mystical is also inaccurate, as the OT came through mystical experiences with God which is to say, through the Spirit in various ways.

John the Baptist's father was a levitical priest, and he certainly had a mystical experience with the authority of the Spirit of God, as did the devout man Simeon and the woman Anna in the temple at Jesus's presentation. The OT is full of such experiences, and what you fail to realize is that mystical experiences come with understanding, in all your getting, get understanding. The experience cannot be separated from the Spirit of Truth, because they are one and the same, therefore understanding is automatically present.

Understanding here is not as the carnal mind's understanding of a provable fact, but it itself is an attribute of the Spirit of God and is instantaneously deposited into the believer, as if it was something they had always known , ie. no thinking about it was necessary or even possible prior to receiving it, because it BYPASSES THE CARNAL MIND ALTOGETHER and goes directly into the spirit, and THEN is retrievable by the carnal mind, not the other way around.

Simply put, it is the culmination of union, as between a man/Spirit and his wife/soul = "child"/new LIFE. Just as we are not aware of the exact second of conception in the natural, so too are we unaware of the twinkling of an eye split second that the mystical experience brought understanding, for as soon as it happens, it produced new life. Blessings...
Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2009, 05:31:06 AM »
 :cloud9: You mean THIS, "mystical" manna? Blessings....

Re 2:17 - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the HIDDEN manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline Taffy

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2009, 05:38:15 AM »
:cloud9: You mean THIS, "mystical" manna? Blessings....

Re 2:17 - He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the HIDDEN manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
For mine I Hope so :icon_flower:
The Lord Thrice  :icon_flower: :icon_flower: :icon_flower:

 :icon_flower:
Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Offline jabcat

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2009, 06:04:37 AM »
Stephen, I don't believe the following quote is an accurate summary of Biblical Ultimate Reconciliation; 

"Your core position is that all humans are saved regardless of what they believe .... "

Though I do believe Jesus is indeed the Savior of the world as scripture says He is, the above is NOT what I believe, so it isn't my "core position". 
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 06:08:27 AM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

martincisneros

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Core positions of UR
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2009, 01:20:02 PM »
The core position of UR is EMPHATICALLY the Blood of Jesus Christ that has taken away the sin of the world; that He's the ransom for all men, especially of those that believe; that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and when we ask anything according to His will, we have the petitions we have desired of Him; that if we abide in Him and His Word abides in us, then we shall ask what we will and it shall be done for us; that whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved, as well as:

The Scriptures are clear that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for those of the world. To bring this out clearly, I append the following chain of passages from a long series, clearly and closely linked together, claiming for Christ a saving empire co-extensive with the whole universe. The connection is clearly marked, for each passage suggests or contains, the same central idea; and thus forms a link in a continuous chain. This chain commences at Creation, when all things were created by Christ, Who, therefore, as St. Paul implies, reconciles(in fact, recreates) all things unto God(Colossians 1:15-20). Hence His work is the restitution of all things(Acts 3:21); He is Heir of all things(Hebrews 1:2); in Him all nations are to be blessed(Galatians 3:8); for the Father has given Him authority over all flesh, to give to whatsoever was given to Him eternal life(John 17:2); and so all flesh shall see the salvation of God(Luke 3:6). For God, Whose counsel is immutable(Hebrews 6:17), Whose attitude towards His enemies is love unchanging(Luke 6:27-35), will have all men to be saved(ITimothy 2:4); and all to come to repentance(2 Peter 3:9); and has shut all up unto unbelief, in order that he may shew mercy upon all(Romans 11:32); for (out) of Him, as Source, and unto (or into) Him, as End, are all things whatsoever(Romans 11:36); and He has, therefore, put all things into subjection under Christ's feet(Ephesians 1:22). And so we are assured that God will gather into one all things in Christ(Ephesians 1:10); and His grace comes upon all men unto justification of life(Romans 5:18). So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands(John 13:3), promises by His Cross to draw all men unto Himself(John 12:32). For having, as stated, received all things from the Father(John 3:35), all that was given come to Him; and He loses none(John 6:37-39); but if any stray, goes after that which is lost till He find it(Luke 15:4); and so makes all things new(Revelation 21:5). And thus He comes in order that all men may believe(John 1:17); that the world, through Him, may be saved(John 3:17); His grace brings salvation to all men(Titus 2:11); for He takes away the sin of the world(John 1:29); gives His flesh for it's life(John 6:51); and, because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance(Romans 9:29), He gives life to the world(John 6:33); is the light of the world(John 8:12); is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world(1John 2:2); is the Savior of all men(1Timothy 4:10); destroys the works of the devil, not some of them only(1John 3:8); abolishes death(2Timothy 1:10); is manifest to put away sin(Hebrews 9:26); and thus subduing all things unto Himself(Philippians 3:21; the context clearly shows this subjection to be conformity to Himself); does not forget the dead, but takes the gospel to Hades(1Peter 3:19); of which He holds the keys(Revelation 1:18); for He is the same (Savior) for ever(Hebrews 13:8); thus even the dead are evangelized(1Peter 4:6); Thus all are made alive in Him(1Corinthians 15:22); for Christ finishes, completes His work(John 17:4; 19:30): restores all things(Acts 3:21); and there is no more curse(Revelation 22:2-3); but every knee of things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, bends to Him(Philippians 2:10); for the creation is delivered from the bondage of corruption(Romans 8:21); and every creature joins in the song of praise(Revelation 5:13), and so comes the end when Christ delivers up the Kingdom to God, Who is then All in All(1Corinthians 15:24-28).

martincisneros

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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2009, 01:21:08 PM »
As well as:

The verbal pivot on which swings the question, Does the Bible teach the doctrine of Endless Punishment? Is the word Aion and its derivatives and reduplications... It will generally be conceded that the tenet referred to is not contained in the Scriptures if the meaning of endless duration does not reside in the controverted word.(From the preface of "THE GREEK WORD AION -- AIONIOS, TRANSLATED Everlasting -- Eternal IN THE HOLY BIBLE, SHOWN TO DENOTE LIMITED DURATION." Written by: REV. JOHN WESLEY HANSON in 1875.)

Adding just a little bit more to this message from J. W. Hanson's book, just cited, for clarity on this subject, if this is the first time you've been presented this issue:

The oldest lexicographer, Hesychius, (A. D. 400-600,) defines aion thus: "The life of man, the time of life."

At this early date no theologian had yet imported into the word the meaning of endless duration. It retained only the sense it had in the classics, and in the Bible.

Theodoret (A. D. 300-4--) "Aion is not any existing thing, but an interval denoting time, sometimes infinite when spoken of God, sometimes proportioned to the duration of the creation, and sometimes to the life of man."

John of Damascus (A. D. 750,) says, "1, The life of every man is called aion. 3, The whole duration or life of this world is called aion. 4, The life after the resurrection is called 'the aion to come.'"

But in the sixteenth century Phavorinus was compelled to notice an addition, which subsequently to the time of the famous Council of 544 had been grafted on the word. He says: "Aion, time, also life, also habit, or way of life. Aion is also the eternal and endless AS IT SEEMS TO THE THEOLOGIAN." Theologians had succeeded in using the word in the sense of endless, and Phavorinus was forced to recognize their usage of it and his phraseology shows conclusively enough that he attributed to theologians the authorship of that use of the word.

Alluding to this definition, Rev. Ezra S. Goodwin, one of the ripest scholars and profoundest critics, said, "Here I strongly suspect is the true secret brought to light of the origin of the sense of eternity in aion. The theologian first thought he perceived it, or else he placed it there. The theologian keeps it there, now. And the theologian will probably retain it there longer than any one else. Hence it is that those lexicographers who assign eternity as one of the meanings of aion uniformly appeal for proofs to either theological, Hebrew, or Rabbinical Greek, or some species of Greek subsequent to the age of the Seventy, if not subsequent to the age of the Apostles, so far as I can ascertain."

From the sixteenth century onward, the word has been defined as used to denote all lengths of duration from brief to endless.

Macknight: "These words being ambiguous, are always to be understood according to the nature and circumstances to which they are applied." He thinks the words sustain endless punishment, but adds: "At the same time I must be so candid as to acknowledge that the use of these terms, forever, eternal and everlasting, in other passages of Scripture, shows that they who understand these words in a limited sense, when applied to punishment, put no forced interpretation upon them."

But the Blessed Life has not been left dependent on so equivocal a word. The soul's immortal and happy existence is taught in the New Testament, by words that in the Bible are never applied to anything that is of limited duration. They are applied to God and the soul's happy existence only. These words are akataluton, imperishable; amarantos and amarantinos, unfading; aphtharto, immortal, incorruptible; and athanasian, immortality. Let us quote some of the passages in which these words occur:

Heb. vii:15, 16, "And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless (akatalutos, imperishable) life." 1 Pet. i:3, 4, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, (aphtharton,) and undefiled, and that fadeth not (amaranton) away." 1 Pet. v:4, "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory thatfadeth not (amarantinos) away." 1 Tim. i:17, "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, (aphtharto,) invisible, the only wise god, be honor and glory forever and ever, Amen." Rom. i:23, "And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man." 1 Cor. ix:25, "Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." 1 Cor. xv:51-54, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, (aphthartoi,) and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, (aphtharsian,) and this mortal must put on immortality (athanasian). So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, (aphtharsian,) and this mortal shall have put on immortality, (athanasian,) then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." Rom. ii:7, "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, (aphtharsia,) eternal life." 1 Cor. xv:42, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption (aphtharsia)." See also verse 50, 2 Tim i:10, "Who brought life and immortality (aphtharsian) to light, through the gospel." 1 Tim. vi:16, "Who only hath immortality (athanasian)."

Now these words are applied to God and the soul's happiness. They are words that in the Bible are never applied to punishment, or to anything perishable. They would have been affixed to punishment had the Bible intended to teach endless punishment. And certainly they show the error of those who declare that the indefinite word aiónion is all the word, or the strongest word in the Bible declarative of the endlessness of the life beyond the grave. A little more study of the subject would prevent such reckless statements and would show that the happy, endless life does not depend at all on the pet word of the partialist critics.

There is but one Greek word beside aiónios rendered everlasting, and applied to punishment, in the New Testament, and that is the word aidios found in Jude 6: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgement of the great day." This word is found in but one other place in the New Testament, viz. Rom. i:20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead."

Now it is admitted that this word among the Greeks had the sense of eternal, and should be understood as having that meaning wherever found, unless by express limitation it is shorn of its proper meaning. It is further admitted that had aidios occurred where aiónios does, there would be no escape from the conclusion that the New Testament teaches Endless Punishment. It is further admitted that the word is here used in the exact sense of aiónios, as is seen in the succeeding verse: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." That is to say, the "aidios" chains in verse 6 are "even as" durable as the aiónion fire" in verse 7. Which word modifies the other?

1. The construction of the language shows that the latter word limits the former. The aidios chains are even as the aiónion fire. As if one should say "I have been infinitely troubled, I have been vexed for an hour," or "He is an endless talker, he can talk five hours on a stretch." Now while "infinitely" and "endless" convey the sense of unlimited, they are both limited by what follows, as aidios, eternal, is limited by aiónios, indefinitely long.

2. That this is the correct exegesis is evident from still another limitation of the word. "The angels - - - he hath reserved in everlasting chains UNTO the judgement of the great day." Had Jude said that the angels are held in aidios chains, and stopped there, not limiting the word, we should not dare deny that he taught their eternal imprisonment. But when he limits the duration by aiónion and then expressly states that it is only unto a certain date, we understand that the imprisonment will terminate, even though we find applied to it a word that intrinsically signifies eternal duration, and that was used by the Greeks to convey the idea of eternity, and was attached to punishment by the Greek Jews of our Savior's times, to describe endless punishment, in which they were believers.

But observe, while this word aidios was in universal use among the Greek Jews of our Savior's day, to convey the idea of eternal duration, and was used by them to teach endless punishment, he never allowed himself to use it in connection with punishment, nor did any of his disciples but one, and he but once, and then carefully and expressly limited its meaning. Can demonstration go further than this to show that Jesus carefully avoided the phraseology by which his contemporaries described the doctrine of endless punishment? He never employed it. What ground then is there for saying that he adopted the language of his day on this subject? Their language was aidios timoria, endless torment. His language was aionion kolasin, age-lasting correction. They described unending ruin, he discipline, resulting in reformation. - end quote

Let me quote something briefly from a scholarly work by Thomas Allin, entitled "Christ Triumphant":

"Let me state the dilemma clearly. Aion either means endless duration (in Scriptural usage) as its necessary, or at least it's ordinary significance, or it does not. If it does, the following difficulties at once arise; 1 - How if it means an endless period can aion have a plural? 2 - How came such phrases to be used as those repeatedly occuring in Scripture, where aion is added to aion, if aion is of itself infinite? 3 - How come such phrases as for the "aion" or aions and beyond? - ton aiona kai ep aiona kai eti: eis tous aionas kai eti. - See (Sept.) Ex. xv. 18; Dan xii. 3; Micah iv. 5. 4 - How is it that we repeatedly read of the end of the aion? - S. Matt. xiii. 39-40-49; xxiv. 3; xxviii. 20; 1Cor. x. 11; Heb. ix. 26. 5 - Finally, if aion be infinite, why is it applied over and over to what is strictly finite? e.g., S. Mark iv. 19; Acts iii. 21; Rom. xii. 2; 1Cor. i. 20, ii. 6, iii. 18, x. 11, &c., &c. But if an aion be not infinite, what right have we to render the adjective aionios (which depends on it's meaning on aion) by the terms "eternal" (when used as the equivalent of "endless") and "everlasting?" Indeed our translators have really done further hurt to those who can only read their English Bible. They have, wholly obscured a very important doctrine, that of "the ages." This when fully understood throws a flood of light on the plan of redemption, and the method of the divine working." - end quote.

martincisneros

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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2009, 01:21:32 PM »
Ancient writings, other than the Scriptures, show how aion and aionios were used in the ordinary affairs of that time period. Long ago in Rome, periodic games were held. These were referred to as "secular" games. Herodian, who wrote in Greek about the end of the second century A.D., called these aionios, "eonian," games. In no sense could those games have been eternal.

In 1Enoch 10:10 there is an interesting statement using the Greek words: zoên aionion, "life eonian," or, as in the KJV, "everlasting life" (at John 3:16 and elswhere). The whole sentence in Enoch is, hoti elpizousi zêsai zoên aionion, kai hoti zêsetai hekastos auton etê pentakosia, "For they hope to live an eonian life, and that each one of them will live five hundred years." Here, eonian life is limited to five hundred years!

St. Justin Martyr repeatedly used the word aionios as in the Apol. (p. 57), aionion kolasin ...all ouchi chiliontaetê periodon, "eonian chastening ...but a period, not a thousand years." Or, as some translate the last clause: "but a period of a thousand years only." He limits the eonian chastening to a period of a thousand years, rather than to endlessness.

Josephus shows that aionios did not mean endlessness, for he uses it of the period between the giving of the law to Moses and that of his own writing; to the period of the imprisonment of the tyrant John by the Romans; and to the period during which Herod's temple stood. The temple had already been destroyed by the time Josephus was writing.

Dr. Mangey, a translator of the writings of Philo, says Philo did not use aionios to express endless duration.

Adolph Deissman gives this account: "Upon a lead tablet found in the Necropolis at Adrumetum in the Roman province of Africa, near Carthage, the following inscription, belonging to the early third century, is scratched in Greek: 'I am adjuring Thee, the great God, the eonian, and more than eonian (epaionion) and almighty...' If by eonian, endless time were meant, then what could be more than endless time?"

In the Apostolical Constitutions, a work of the fourth century A.D., it is said, kai touto humin esto nomimon aionion hos tes suntleias to aionos, "And let this be to you an eonian ordinance until the consummation of the eon." Obviously there was no thought in the author's mind of endless time.

In the Iliad and Odyssey Aión occurs thirteen times, as a noun, besides its occurrence as a participle in the sense of hearing, perceiving, understanding. Homer never uses it as signifying eternal duration. Priam to Hector says, "Thyself shall be deprived of pleasant aiónos" (life.) Andromache over dead Hector, "Husband thou hast perished from aiónos" (life or time.)

Pindar gives thirteen instances, such as "A long life produces the four virtues."(Ela de kai tessaras aretas ho makros aión.)

Sophocles nine times. "Endeavor to remain the same in mind as long as you live." Askei toiaute noun di aiónos menein. He also employs makraion five times, as long-enduring. The word long increases the force of aión, which would be impossible if it had the idea of eternity.

Hippocrates. "A human aión is a seven days matter."

Empedocles, An earthly body deprived of happy life, (aiónos.)

Euripides uses the word thirty-two times. I'll quote three instances: "Marriage to those mortals who are well situated is a happy aión." "Every aión of mortals is unstable." "A long aión has many things to say," etc.

From Andrew Jukes's "Restitution of all things" we read:

Every scholar knows that the expressions, "ages," "to the ages," "age of the ages," and "ages of the ages," are unlike anything which occurs in the heathen Greek writers. The reason is, that the inspired writers, and they alone, understood the mystery and purpose of the "ages." They, or at least the Spirit which spake by them, saw that there would be a succession of "ages," a certain number of which constituted another greater "age." It seems to me that when they simply intended a duration of many "ages," they wrote "to the ages." When they had in view a greater and more comprehensive "age," including in it many other subordinate "ages," they wrote "to the age of ages." When they intended the longer "age" alone, without regard to its constituent parts, they wrote "to an aeonial age"; this form of expression being a Hebraism, exactly equivalent to "age of the ages:" like "liberty of glory," for "glorious liberty," (Rom. viii. 21,) and "body of our vileness," for "our vile body." (Phil. iii. 21.) When they intended the several comprehensive "ages" collectively, they wrote "to the ages of ages." Each varying form is used with a distinct purpose and meaning. - end of quote.

Additionally:

Many Lexicon editors derive the word "aidios" from aei, ever, or always: but it very likely has the same etymology as "hades," which they derive from a negative, and idein, "to see;" and therefore it signifies invisible, unseen, or unknown. In Romans 1:20 where it is applied to the power of God, it's translated "unknown" by Scarlett's New Testament from 1798, because we see or know only a very small part of God's power. The word is used in a limited sense by the Greeks. Thucydides has this phrase "othen aidion misthophoran uparchein" from whence he expected a perpetual salary. But this could be only a salary during his life time, therefore the word in Thucydides means a period unknown, though it will certainly end.


Extracts from John Wesley's Explanatory Notes:

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times — In this last administration of God's fullest grace, which took place when the time appointed was fully come.

He might gather together into one in Christ — Might recapitulate, re-unite, and place in order again under Christ, their common Head.

All things which are in heaven, and on earth — All angels and men, whether living or dead, in the Lord.
 

2Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

And all these new things are from God, considered under this very notion, as reconciling us - The world, 2Corinthians 5:19, to himself.

2Corinthians 5:19 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.

Namely — The sum of which is, God - The whole Godhead, but more eminently God the Father.

Was in Christ, reconciling the world — Which was before at enmity with God.

To himself — So taking away that enmity, which could no otherwise be removed than by the blood of the Son of God.


Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And every creature — In the whole universe, good or bad.

In the heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea — With these four regions of the world, agrees the fourfold word of praise. What is in heaven, says blessing; what is on earth, honour; what is under the earth, glory: what is on the sea, strength; is unto him. This praise from all creatures begins before the opening of the first seal; but it continues from that time to eternity, according to the capacity of each. His enemies must acknowledge his glory; but those in heaven say, Blessed be God and the Lamb. This royal manifesto is, as it were, a proclamation, showing how Christ fulfils all things, and "every knee bows to him," not only on earth, but also in heaven, and under the earth. This book exhausts all things, 1 Corinthians 15:27,28, and is suitable to an heart enlarged as the sand of the sea. It inspires the attentive and intelligent reader with such a magnanimity, that he accounts nothing in this world great; no, not the whole frame of visible nature, compared to the immense greatness of what he is here called to behold, yea, and in part, to inherit. St. John has in view, through the whole following vision, what he has been now describing, namely, the four living creatures, the elders, the angels, and all creatures, looking together at the opening of the seven seals.
 

1Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

The Son also shall be subject — Shall deliver up the mediatorial kingdom. That the three-one God may be all in all - All things, (consequently all persons,) without any interruption, without the intervention of any creature, without the opposition of any enemy, shall be subordinate to God. All shall say, "My God, and my all." This is the end. Even an inspired apostle can see nothing beyond this.

martincisneros

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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2009, 01:23:39 PM »
I believe in free will. I believe that our freedom plays an essential role in the process whereby God, first, brings us into existence as rational and self-aware beings, and second, perfects us as his sons and daughters. But as a universalist, I also accept two additional Pauline claims: (1) that the very same "all" who died in Adam will most assuredly be made alive in Christ (I Corinthians 15:22), and (2) that our destiny "depends not on human will or exertion, but upon God who shows mercy" (Romans 9:16).

So how do I put these seemingly disparate ideas together? Fortunately, Paul himself teaches us exactly how to put them together consistently. For though Paul clearly rejects the idea that we choose freely between different possible eternal destinies, arguing instead that our destiny is wholly a matter of grace, he nonetheless stresses the importance of choice. "Note then," he writes in his letter to the Romans, "the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise, you also will be cut off." So how we encounter God's love in the future, whether we encounter it as kindness or as severity, is indeed, says Paul, up to us--a matter of free choice, if you will. But our ultimate destiny is not up to us, because God's severity, no less than his kindness, is itself a means of his saving grace. In particular, God's severity towards the unbelieving Jews--even his willingness to blind them, to harden their hearts, and to cut them off for a season--is according to Paul but one of the means whereby God will save all of Israel in the end. In Paul's own words, "a hardening has come upon part of Israel . . .. And so all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:25-26). What our free choices determine, then, is not our eternal destiny, which is secure from the beginning, but the means required to achieve it. For the more tenaciously we cling to our illusions and selfish desires--to the flesh, as Paul calls it--the more severe will be the means and the more painful the process whereby God shatters our illusions, destroys the flesh, and finally separates us from our sin.

A virtue of the Christian religion, as I see it, is that Christians are never permitted to take credit for their own redemption or even for a virtuous character (where such exists). All credit of this kind goes to God. But the Christian religion also stresses the importance of free choice, of choosing this day whom you shall serve. Nor need there be any tension between these two emphases, provided that we regard our free choices as determining not our eternal destiny, but the means of grace available to us. Essential to the whole redemptive process, I am suggesting, is that we exercise our moral freedom--not that we choose rightly rather than wrongly, but that we choose freely one way or the other. We can choose today to live selfishly or unselfishly, faithfully or unfaithfully, obediently or disobediently. But our choices, especially the bad ones, will also have unintended and unforeseen consequences in our lives; as the proverb says, "The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps" (16:9). A man who commits robbery may set off a chain of events that, contrary to his own intentions, lands him in jail; and a woman who enters into an adulterous affair may discover that, even though her husband remains oblivious to it, the affair has a host of unforeseen and destructive consequences in her life. In fact, our bad choices almost never get us what we really want; that is part of what makes them bad and also one reason why God is able to bring redemptive goods out of them. When we make a mess of our lives and our misery becomes more and more unbearable, the hell we thereby create for ourselves will in the end resolve the very ambiguity and shatter the very illusions that made the bad choices possible in the first place. That is how God works with created rational agents. He permits them to choose in the ambiguous contexts in which they first emerge as self-aware beings, and he then requires them to learn from experience the hard lessons they sometimes need to learn.

My point is that a pattern of bad choices can be just as useful to God in correcting us and in teaching the lessons of love as a pattern of good choices can be. And perhaps that is one reason why Paul at least raises the embarrassing question: "Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?" (Romans 6:1). After all, "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Romans 5:20). But Paul's correct answer is also most emphatic: "By no means!" That the pain I experience when I thrust my hand into a flame may serve a beneficial purpose--because it enables me to avoid an even greater injury in the future--hardly entails that I have a good reason to thrust my hand into the flame again and again. And similarly, that the misery and unhappiness that sin brings into a life can serve a redemptive purpose--because it can provide a compelling motive to repent--hardly implies that one has a good reason to keep on sinning and to continue making oneself more and more miserable.

More than a few have charged that universalists operate with an overly sentimental conception of God's love. But no one who actually reads the early Christian universalists, such as Origen or St. Gregory of Nyssa, could possibly come away with that misconception. If anything, the idea that God will in the end destroy sin altogether rests upon a more rigorous conception of God's holy love than does the idea that he will keep sin alive throughout an eternity of hell. For according to the former idea, God will not permit any of us to cling forever to our illusions or to remain forever ignorant of the true nature of our selfish choices. We are free to sin and perhaps even to sin with relative impunity for awhile, but in no way are we free to sin with impunity forever. So unless we first repent of our sin and step into the life that Christ brings to us, God will sooner or later--in the next life, if not in this one--permit our illusions to shatter against the hard rock of reality. In that respect, God's holy love is like a consuming fire (see Hebrews 12:29); it will continue to burn us until it finally purges us of all that is false within us. The more we freely rebel against it and try to defeat it, the more deeply and inexorably it will burn, until every conceivable motive for disobedience is consumed and we are finally transformed from the inside out. And so God will eventually destroy sin in the only way possible short of annihilation: by redeeming the sinners themselves.

Offline jabcat

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2009, 01:24:53 PM »
 :2thumbs:
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

martincisneros

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Re: Current Pre-Tribulational Thinking
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2009, 01:41:08 PM »
The pre-tribulational, pre-millennial, dispensational [time frames and time lapse] overview and methodology of rendering truth from the scriptures is the correct approach for the student of Bible prophecy...
I hope this isn't too obnoxious of me 'cause I believed the exact same three years ago and back, before doing my own studying rather than reading everybody else's materials, but  :laugh: :laugh2: :LH: :rolllol: :mrflo:

Two links for you to look at, brother:

95 Thesis Against Dispensationalism

And a short primer on Postmillenialism that, along the way, gives a concise series of propositions on why neither the Amillenial nor the Premillenial positions hold water:

http://www.berith.org/essays/esch