Author Topic: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16  (Read 6826 times)

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martincisneros

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Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« on: May 21, 2008, 07:27:33 AM »
This article in it's entirety, along with bibliography can be read at this link http://www.berith.org/essays/esch/esch23.html  This article in it's entirety, just as this entire Bible study, isn't very long in it's entirety. The entire Bible study from a Postmillenialist perspective that this excerpt is but the final appendix of is available at this link http://www.berith.org/essays/esch/  This study will stop short of an entire global conquest, but not all Postmillenialists do.  Some envision the winning of the entire world to Christ.  I've given this excerpt simply because it lays things out the simplest, and the most concise of all that I've read online so far.  I hope it's clear to all how this interpretation and system of interpretation easily connects to UR as it's logical, Scriptural next step.



The book of Revelation ends with seven visions, each beginning with the words "and I saw."  The first of these visions, recorded in Revelation 19:11-16, is a classic proof text for premillennialism and therefore a good passage with which to test postmillennial exegesis. Can postmillennialism deal faithfully with what seems to many modern readers to be an unequivocally premillennial passage of Scripture?

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.
And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.
And the armies in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.


Literal Interpretation?


According to the premillennial commentator John F. Walvoord, "This passage contains one of the most graphic pictures of the second coming of Christ to be found anywhere in Scripture." He further explains:


As is made clear in these prophecies Zech. 14:3-4; Mt. 24:27-31; etc., the second coming of Christ will be a glorious event which all the world will behold, both believers and unbelievers. It is compared to lightning that shines from the east to the west, in other words, illuminating the whole heaven. The second coming will be preceded by the sun being darkened and the moon not giving her light, stars falling from heaven, and other phenomena not only mentioned in Matthew 24 but vividly revealed in the Revelation. The climax to all these events will be the return of Christ himself in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory and accompanied by the saints. The final revelation of this event is found in Revelation 19.


Either Walvoord has some very strange, though not necessarily unpopular, ideas about the second coming of Christ or he is speaking of Biblical symbols as if they were literal, perhaps for the sake of rhetorical effect. He refers, for example, to stars falling. Revelation 6:13, one of the passages he has in mind, is actually more specific: "the stars of the sky fell to the earth." Walvoord comments on the paragraph that includes this remarkable prophecy, "Students of Revelation have had difficulty interpreting this passage and the tendency has been to regard these judgments as symbolic rather than real. The motive behind this interpretation has been a reluctance to accept a literal interpretation of these judgments at this time . . ."  He goes on to argue that there are "a number of reasons for preferring to take this passage in its literal meaning."  He even quotes E. W. Bullinger's assertion that, "It is impossible for us to take this as symbolical; or as other than what it literally says. The difficulties of the symbolical interpretation are insuperable, while no difficulties whatever attend the literal interpretation."

Apart from the fact that the Bible never uses the language of stars falling from the sky as literal language -- the most important difficulty for the literal interpretation -- there is the minor problem of John's actual words, "the stars of the sky fell to the earth." Just how many "stars," most of which are larger than the sun, does Walvoord think can fall to the earth without doing more damage than the poor planet can sustain? Interestingly, Walvoord's literal interpretation of this passage does not deal with the difficult phrase "fell to the earth," except in the most general terms like "disturbances in the heavens." Unfortunately for Walvoord's literalism, John's language is clear and unmistakable. John says that "stars" -- no escape can be found in hermeneutical gymnastics with the original Greek -- "fell to the earth" -- again, the Greek is clear and accurately translated.

Returning to Revelation 19, it is all the more remarkable to observe that although for Walvoord the falling of stars to the earth is literal language, Jesus riding on a white horse is a symbol. He says that John is referring to the "symbolism of a rider on a white horse drawn from the custom of conquerors riding on a white horse as a sign of victory in triumph."  Why is it more difficult to imagine Jesus riding a white horse from heaven than to imagine a multitude of giant fire-balls, each larger than the sun, falling to planet earth? Why is the "graphic picture" of Christ's second coming couched in figurative language?

Even if Walvoord's literalism could make room for the horse, other elements of this passage cause problems. Some Greek texts do not include the important -- for the literalist interpretation -- word "as" before the description of Jesus' eyes as a "flame of fire." John says that there are "many crowns" on Jesus' head. His robe is dipped in blood. And He has a sharp sword coming out of His mouth. To be brief, a literal interpretation of this passage would be grotesque beyond imagination. In the final analysis the most enthusiastic literalist regards the language here as figurative.

But, the literal interpreter will insist, even if the language is figurative, it is speaking about the literal coming of Christ. This is simply not true. Once again, it is important to consider the actual words of the text. There is no reference to Jesus' coming to the earth or to a "parousia." The idea of the second coming is read into the passage on the basis of the theological presuppositions of the interpreter. What the text actually says is that Jesus will "judge and make war." John speaks of Jesus riding a white horse and leading a heavenly army to subdue the nations and bring them into submission to Him. This is the unmistakable "literal" content of the symbolic language. Whether Jesus conquers the nations by physical violence at the time of His second coming or by the Gospel prior to His second coming is a question that is decided by other passages of Scripture. Neither the premillennialist nor the postmillennialist can find a simple symbolic statement of his eschatology here.

Biblical Interpretation

Close attention to the language of the text and its use in other passages of Scripture suggests that John is using common Biblical figures of speech to speak not of the second coming of Christ, but of the conquest of the nations by the Gospel. It is true that because John is speaking of covenantal conquest, the language is similar to the kind of expressions we would expect in a prophecy of the final judgment of the nations at Christ's coming. Indeed, the second coming of Christ is just the climax of a long historical process. Similarity of language, however, does not mean identitical meaning. John is referring to the present period of "discipling the nations" by the Gospel. In particular three important considerations point to the covenantal spread of the Gospel: 1) the New Testament teaching about the conquest of the nations; 2) the figurative use of martial symbolism; 3) a comparison of John's language with the use of the same or similar expressions in other Scriptures.

Every Enemy Subdued

The New Testament teaches in no uncertain terms that Jesus is now, during the present age of the Gospel, subduing every enemy. He has been crowned King of kings and Lord of lords at His ascension to the right hand of God (Acts 2:34ff; 5:31; Eph. 1:18ff.; Heb. 1:3; 10:12; etc.). All authority in heaven and on earth is already His (Mt. 28:18). Furthermore, the clearest passage in the Bible on the time of the second coming of Christ includes the declaration that Jesus, who is now reigning over God's creation (Mt. 28:18), "must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet" (1 Cor. 15:25). Paul is quoting Psalm 110:1, the Psalm of the Messiah as Melchizedekian King-Priest, frequently quoted in the New Testament. Jesus' reign, including the defeat of all enemies, is the logical application of his cross: "but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; henceforth expecting till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet" (Heb. 10:12-13). It should not be necessary to point out that "enemy" is the vocabulary of martial symbolism.

It may be necessary, however, to remind ourselves that subduing the enemy is the language of covenantal blessing. Beginning with Abraham's defeat of Chedorlaomer (Gn. 14:13ff.; cf. esp. vs. 20), God's defeating of Israel's enemies is a repeated feature of covenantal blessing. After offering up Isaac, Abraham is promised: "thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (Gn. 22:17). Rebekah receives the same blessing when she goes to marry Isaac (Gn. 24:60). Judah, whose descendents become the leading tribe of Israel, is given the same blessing, too (Gn. 49:8). In short, the Old Testament promise of covenantal blessing included as an essential aspect the curse on those who cursed Abraham (Gn. 12:3), which is elaborated in many passages as a promise that God will defeat Israel's enemies (cf. Ex. 15:6; 23:22; Lv. 26:7-8; Nm. 10:9, 35; Dt. 20:3-4; 23:14; 28:7; etc.).  It is natural, then, that John seeing in a vision the Messiah's covenantal victory should picture it in terms of warfare.

Martial Symbolism

No one disputes the fact that the Abrahamic covenant is the background for the New Testament Gospel (Gal. 3:6ff.). But this means that the martial language of the Abrahamic promise is brought into the New Testament also. Most importantly, it is found frequently associated with the preaching and spread of the Gospel. This will only be a surprise to those who have forgotten the typological meaning of the conquest of Canaan. In the conquest God sent His people to conquer the land of Canaan by an exceptional form of warfare (cf. Dt. 20:1-20, esp. vs. 16-18) as an application of the curse of the Abrahamic covenant -- "I will . . . curse him that curseth thee" (Gn. 12:3b). The land promised to Abraham and conquered by war was a symbol of the world promised to Christ and conquered by the Gospel. Paul alludes to the symbolism of Canaan representing the world when he says that Abraham is the covenantal "heir of the world" (Rom. 4:13). Implied in the original promise that Abraham would be the source of blessing for the world (Gn. 12:3c) was the fuller statement of the promise in Genesis 22:17-18 in which the conquest of enemies and the blessing of the world are inseparably yoked: "in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

Both the covenantal conquest of Canaan by military forces under Joshua and the covenantal conquest of the world through covenantal preaching under Joshua-Jesus are a fulfillment of the Abrahamic promise. This leads to the use of martial language to describe the conquest of the world by the Gospel, the fulfillment of the Canaan-conquest typology. more



Again, this article in it's entirety, along with bibliography can be read at this link http://www.berith.org/essays/esch/esch23.html  This article in it's entirety, just as this entire Bible study on Postmillenialism, isn't very long compared to several other works on this subject that have been published. The entire Bible study from a Postmillenialist perspective that this excerpt is but the final appendix of is available at this link http://www.berith.org/essays/esch/  This study will stop short of an entire global conquest, but not all Postmillenialists do.  Some envision the winning of the entire world to Christ.  I've given this excerpt simply because it lays things out the simplest, and the most concise of all that I've read online so far.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 07:39:19 AM by martincisneros »

martincisneros

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Postmillenialism and Agrarianism
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2008, 12:28:08 AM »
Not my article again, but I like it's conciseness on this subject.  This is from this link http://www.homesteaderlife.christianagrarian.com/postmillenialism-and-agrarianism

Postmillenialism and Agrarianism

Once upon a time a lady named Angela asked what Postmillenialism was and what it had to do with Agrarianism. A dear friend responded with these words and I thought them so very well chosen that I gave them their own page…..

Postmillenialism is the view that Jesus Christ came to earth, died, was buried, was raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty where he presently rules, and will continue to rule, until he has put all of his enemies under his feet, and that he will then turn the kingdom over to his Father …

That God has always ruled, but that his kingdom was established in a particular way on earth during the incarnation of Christ, and that its growth is like yeast in a lump of dough … it works slowly, and imperceptibly at times, but very really, and over a period of time the result is obvious …

That its growth is from small to large (like a tiny mustard seed which, when planted, grows into the largest of garden bushes, big enough for all the birds to nest in) …

That it is like a small stone which struck the kingdoms of man, and began to grow, and will continue to grow until it becomes a huge mountain that fills the entire earth …

That there are many Old Testament prophecies about the kingdom, but some of them give time indicators that place its inception at the time of Christ. For example, Daniel talks about the 4 kingdoms from his time until the establishment of the eternal kingdom (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome) and that in the days of the final of these four, the eternal kingdom will be established (Daniel 2, Daniel 7); also, 490 years from the decree that ends the Babylonian captivity and rebuilds Jerusalem until Messiah's ministry (Daniel 9) …

That the time of this establishment was confirmed by Peter (Acts 2) and that within the generation of Christ, the signs were clear that the Son of Man was ruling in the heavens as he destroyed the enemies that had crucified him and persecuted his church (Matthew 24) …

And that ever since, the kingdom has marched forward, so that now, instead of one nation (Israel) of whom a FEW were faithful (a few thousand after Pentecost), now the church covers all the earth, and about one third of the earths 6+ billion people profess to be subjects of Christ. (We are well aware that there are many false professors. Nevertheless, from a few thousand to over 2 billion who profess Christ shows a slow but steady growth in the kingdom of God.)

The name postmillenialism is relatively new (several hundred years old), but most of the concepts have been held by much of the church during many periods of history. The view came to its height among the descendants of the Protestant Reformation, particularly the Puritans and their spiritual relatives who founded America in the 1600's. My particular background is Baptist, and this view was predominant among Baptist ranks until the early 20th century. David Dockery speaks particularly of Southern Baptists:

Nineteenth century Southern Baptist theology was predominantly postmillennial. This position was held by the founders of Southern Seminary and Southwestern Seminary. This postmillennialism was the type held by the Puritans and Jonathan Edwards. They were looking for God's kingdom to come. A thoroughgoing postmillenialism undergirds the WMU theme song, "We've a Story to Tell to the Nations" In that hymn we sing, "Christ's great kingdom shall come on earth, a kingdom of love and light." Postmillenialism was the dominant position until World War I. After that, W.T. Conner and E.Y. Mullins were amillennialists, and that became the Southern Baptist position in Southern Baptist academia during the twentieth century. (http://www.baptiststart.com/print/eschatology_panel.html)

The causes for the demise of postmillenialism in the past century are surely many, but the basic pattern was: pride, followed by despair. As liberalism made inroads during the nineteenth century (German theologians who threw the Bible out and adopted naturalism instead), people began to see the kingdom of God as the accomplishment of mankind getting better and better (progress, evolution, etc.) rather than the accomplishment of God building his work on the earth. Human pride exalted human ability. Then came World War I, in which the dream of human utopia was shattered. Out of this despair, the very notion that God would build his kingdom came under fire, and men began to believe that good and evil would be essentially equal on earth (amillenialism), or that evil would predominate (dispensational premillenialism) until the physical presence of Jesus changed that. However, as one climbs to the peak of a mountain, every step is not upward. There are many downward steps, but the climb is still up overall. In the same way, in the growth of God's kingdom, not every period is upward. In the Western world (due, I must say, to our apostasy), we are in a dramatic downward swing. But God has revived his church in worse times! And his kingdom is still moving forward. His word is clear that it was established at Christ's incarnation, and that it will continue to grow steadily until the end, until the knowledge of the LORD shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Downward spirals will be replaced by repentance and restoration, and new (and higher) heights. Ultimately, God will put all his enemies under his feet (Psalm 110, the Old Testament passage most quoted in the New Testament), and he will do that through his church (Romans 16:20, Revelation 2:26-27) — that is, what is described of Jesus is specifically attributed to his church in these passages.

What does that have to do with agrarianism? First, agrarianism can mean 1000 things. Scott, Tom (Rural Missourian), Herrick (Deliberate Agrarian) mean Biblical agrarianism, or Christian agrarianism when they say agrarianism. It simply means to steward the land according to the law of God. Since the root of economics and wealth is the land, and what our labor draws forth from the land, this means simply that all economics are to be subject to the law that God has set forth. This has everything to do with postmillenialism, because it is as God grants repentance to his church, and they begin to live faithfully according to the law he has given (by which it is obvious that they are born of Him, love Him, love the brethren; and His law, BTW, is not grievous - 1 John 5:1-3) that the kingdom begins to reverse from the valley, and moves on an upward path again. And, by that same repentance, and the patient obedience which issues forth therefrom, economic revitalization happens .. that is through faithful, obedient stewarding of the land. The current pagan economic system promises great wealth and material possession immediately (or yesterday) through debt. Biblical agrarianism requires patience, but guarantees a bigger return in the end (multi-generational thinking). It is the same patience that sees the slow, but very real, growth of the kingdom of God over the centuries. I guess that is why sometimes people hold to both. They are two facets of the same coin, really.



As far as the Law comments in the last paragraph, those are obviously references to theonomy.  Whereas many people have the heevie jeevies over the idea of "Law," that's no reason to toss the article over those isolated statements.  Just simply read it as "New Testament law of love."
« Last Edit: August 07, 2008, 12:32:07 AM by martincisneros »

martincisneros

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 09:41:46 PM »
hey Martin...im going to have to look up these terms\definitions as to what a POST millenialist is :dontknow:....That may give a better understanding of what your saying... :icon_flower:
Postmillenialism: Though the millenium may be future, it's not preceded by the coming of Christ, as in the premillenial Hal Lindsey type of view.  In Postmillenialism, Jesus comes back after the millenium to bring the resurrection, New heavens and New Earth.  This millenial view is the view that after the devil is bound that the Church through the preaching of the Gospel will convert and disciple the nations.  It's often spoken of, by it's adherents, as the Golden Age of the Church 'cause it'll be a time of unprecidented prosperity for the Church. 

It's begun by a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit (i.e. the two-edged sword protruding from the mouth of Christ in Revelation 19 as Christ and the armies of heaven are advancing in that spiritual vision).  Of the three millenial views, including premillenialism and amillenialism, Postmillenialism to me reconciles the most easily with UR.  In different ways and for different reasons both premillenialism and amillenialism have elements of fatalism inherent in their theology, whereas Postmillenialism is the most upbeat and optimistic about the Holy Spirit's power being released to change absolutely anything and everything. 

B.B. Warfield, a Princeton professor in the 19th century, who was a Calvinist and didn't believe in UR didn't like the millenial tag and preferred to call this "eschatological universalism."  He's thought to have gone way too far by other Calvinists who hold to the Postmillenial position in that Warfield believed that when the Holy Spirit was poured out that there wouldn't remain a single unbeliever on the planet.  Other Postmillenialists just believe that the vast majority of people on earth will come to Christ during the millenium.  I'm not sure if it's still that way, but from the days of Jonathan Edwards to at least Warfield, Postmillenialism was the official eschatological position of Princeton's School of Divinity. 

I was a total premillenialist, pre-trib rapture, 7yr trib believer until 2006 when in the fall I started preaching about the coming of Christ after the millenium at the few speaking engagements that I had that fall.  I had never heard of the view before.  Anyway, it was so shocking to me that I kept saying that with such exuberance and conviction that it lead to reading the book of Revelation in 2007 over and over and over again from the Concordant Literal New Testament and from Scarlett's New Testament.  And I looked up the book of Revelation at wikipedia and within a link or two of that I found their page on Postmillenialism and finally knew what to call the position. 

I was completely surprised 'cause I'd never run across it before in any of the theological dictionaries that I'd read through before and it hadn't come up in any other books that I'd read.  I was like...."well...I guess I'm an Absolute Postmillenialist."  This is the link to the wikipedia page on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmillennialism

To me, premillenialism and amillenialism tend to "proof text" rather than simply take the Scriptures in their setting in Scripture.  Amillenialism was the belief of St. Augustine and it corresponded to his doctrine of election and that the Church would always be this real small force in the world acheiving very little.  Premillenialism, according to several papers that I've read, seems to have come into the Church from Zoarastrianism.  It's a persian doctrine that corresponds with and compliments their version of ET. 

My one apprehension about Postmillenialist teachers that I've seen thus far is that they'll tend to be overly zealous about preterism to the exclusion of any futurist teachings about anything, and they'll try to treat the doctrine as inseparable from theonomy which is a belief in imposing Mosaic law on the culture.  I personally believe that Postmillenialism should be looked at separately, for clarity reasons and also to bring more people into embracing it without prematurely getting them into theories about societal law. 

Because of how Postmillenialism has been married by some teachers with preterism, as though it were inseparable, then they've muddied the waters to where a lot of theologians even can't tell the difference between Postmillenialism and Amillenialism and they'll erroneously say that Postmillenialism is just Optimistic Amillenialism.  I personally do believe in a future millenium that we're starting to teeter on the edges of.  But when preterism is carried to an extreme by a teacher to the exclusion of even mentioning that some hold to partial preterism and views about future applications of Bible prophecy, then the implication is created that Postmillenialists simply view the millenium as the period of time between Christ's first and second coming, which is erroneous.  That's Amillenialism and not Postmillenialism. 

But when you eliminate the future, where's this Golden Age of Gospel Evangelism and Discipleship supposed to come in if you're trying to blend "realized eschatology" with Postmillenialism?  I personally believe that they're incompatible, although some people will try to force the two views together in an unhealthy way.  Postmillenialism is the view of the progress of the Church from Church-militant to Church-triumphant and a very definite view of a glorious future that we're walking into where the Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ because the Great Commission is being fulfilled.  This differs from the Premillenial view that says that Christ is going to come back and do all that He told us to do with winning, judging, and discipling the nations.




I need to remember to add these: "?" to my questions :laughing7:
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 10:08:13 PM by martincisneros »

martincisneros

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 11:58:47 AM »
Genuinely worth reading, if it takes you a whole week to get through all 95 short points.  They're generally short, but it is 95 of them!

The Ninety-Five Theses Against Dispensationalism
http://www.againstdispensationalism.com/95theses.shtml

The above 95 thesis that's written against Dispensationalism is an absolute must read.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 09:26:14 PM by martincisneros »

Offline jabcat

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2008, 03:21:36 AM »
SIMPLE, STEP-BY-STEP OUTLINE OF ALL THIS THAT'S BEING DISCUSSED

Martin and ALL...I hope this ties into this discussion somewhere.  If not, I had thought of starting a new thread for it.  If need be, just bump it where it belongs.

Sometimes I like a simple, step-by-step outline in my head that I can then plug other thoughts into and around.  Almost everyone I know believes what I'm about to put down, and I hear statements related to it in one way or another when I'm around my family and other "church" folks...and this is what I've been taught for many years. 

As you Martin, I've really been looking at more of an at least partial preterist POV (Matthew 24 for instance being fulfilled in 70 AD), and I know WilliH you have some thoughts about NOW vs. futurism, etc.

So again, SIMPLE, straightforward outlines would be appreciated...here's the "mainstream" view as I interpret it and understand it...somebody please provide some other thoughts and OUTLINES AS YOU UNDERSTAND SCRIPTURE.
According to mainstream, starting right now, headed toward....

1.  The "End Times", things getting worse and worse, "great falling away".
2.  The "rapture"
3.  7 year tribulation, revival of Temple Worship, AntiChrist, etc. (2nd 3.5 year period much worse than first 3.5 years)
4.  Jesus physically returns with saints who are already in heaven!? and does battle somehow with Satan's armies (Armageddon)
5.  Satan defeated, unsaved thrown into hell
6.  Jesus reigns ON EARTH 1,000 years (reigning over who/what, if saved in heaven, unsaved in hell?)
7.  Satan released, does battle again (against who/what?)
8.  Satan defeated again
9.  Saved (back?) to heaven, unsaved to hell, "forever".

Somewhere in there, there's a mark of the beast, 2 witnesses seen on CNN, Jesus physically stands on Mt. Olive and ALL eyes see him, there's a resurrection or 2, and a judgment or 2 in which a literal Book of Life is read and eveyone's sins announced....Within this belief system that mainstream has, besides the basic accuracy-to-scripture aspect, seems to me there are things that don't fit, i.e., back and forth to and from heaven, how many resurrections, re-establishment of Temple Worship... :mshock: 

Thanks, James.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 04:27:43 AM by jabcat »

Offline Tony N

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2008, 03:24:01 PM »
I believe that as to "stars falling to the earth" it will appear to people on the earth that this is the case in a real way.

How so? I am what some might consider an amateur astronomer (not astrologer!). The galaxie in which our solar system is in is filled with vast amounts of space dust, so thick in places that it blocks out stars behind them.

I believe that when the Lord returns that either one of these dust clouds will move into our solar system, or our solar system will move into one of these dust clouds, blocking out the sun to a certain degree and the moon to a certain degree but that the stars at night will be completely blocked out and the dust particles of this dust will be falling to the earth and will look like shooting stars. Hence people will think that the stars have fallen or are falling to the earth because the stars will  no longer be seen in the heavens.

With my telescope I have looked at these dust clouds here in Orion:

Just because God says He will save all mankind
does not necessarily mean He won't.

martincisneros

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 03:08:23 AM »
1.  The "End Times", things getting worse and worse, "great falling away".
2.  The "rapture"
Ironically, the closest passage corresponding to the premillenial view gets translated as either falling away or apostacy when apostasia could simply mean "departure [of the church??]"  Amplified Bible includes it as a footnote at the bottom of 2Thessalonians 2.  Departure to me is the correct translation although I would interpret it in a different way with the restoration of the truth of UR, working knowledge of both the fruit of the spirit and the gifts of the Spirit to where it's universally understood that the fruit is the recreated spirit doing something through ongoing calculated, deliberate, vigorous stimulation with the Scriptures (i.e. Galatians 3 working of miracles by the hearing of faith) while the gifts are Holy Spirit being activated by Jesus' High Priestly ministry, and various other things.  Pentecostal prophets have been prophesying for nearly 30 years that Jesus would reveal Himself to His Church in a way that He hadn't been revealed before and many would say it wasn't God and would fall away, while at the same time many millions that wouldn't have otherwise come to Christ would come running in.  Sounds like UR, Postmill, and a few other areas of Scripture where people would simultaneously bail on Him by the millions and people by the millions that hadn't considered, suddenly understanding and come running to their Running Daddy.  I wouldn't regard partial preterism as in the same category with restored truth of the Scriptures.  It's an insight, but not necessarily the only interpretation since many promises, blessings, threatenings, judgments, discipleship principles, sowing and reaping principles, faith, confession, and fruit reaping principles have ongoing continuous fulfillments.  I know to tread softly on that.  Virgin birth isn't happening again.  A few other things are obviously already once for all, etc.

martincisneros

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 11:16:33 AM »
Genuinely surprised that I hadn't posted this article to this thread.  When I started studying eschatology online in 2007 wondering "what in the heck" I'd been preaching throughout 2006 since I'd never heard an equivalent of it from anybody else, this wound up being one of the very first articles that I came across that helped to put it into perspective that the Postmillenialism that I'd wandered like a drunk blind man into through the Holy Spirit's leading and absolutely no prior knowledge of, was in fact one of the historic perspectives of the Church on these matters.  I'd never heard of it before.

(Part 1 of 2 posts)

Postmillennialism: Wishful Thinking or Certain Hope?
Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D.


Introduction

I have been invited here to speak on the topic of whether the postmillennial hope is wishful thinking or certain hope. My initial response to this either/or dilemma is to affirm that postmillennialism is both wishful thinking and a certain hope. Let me explain what I mean by this unusual assertion.

By every godly measure postmillennialism should be wishful thinking for the believer. That is, it should be the Christian's wish that the Gospel of Jesus Christ make overwhelming and victorious progress in the earth. It should be our wish that the world be overflowed with the righteousness of God through our diligent, God-blessed labor. It should be our wish that peace arise as a result of the gracious transformation of human nature under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Why would a Christian wish for anything less?

Unfortunately, the prevailing evangelical mind-set today is dispensationally afflicted. Consequently, it is fundamentally pessimistic regarding the progress of contemporary history. Around the turn of the century, the influential dispensationalist R. A. Torrey summarized the wish of developing dispensationalism. He declared: "The darker the night gets, the lighter my heart gets."

Torrey stated this on the basis of his eschatology of despair. His dispensationalism saw the future in the hands of an approaching personal Antichrist, who would arise in the looming Great Tribulation. His hope, his delight, his wish was for the "imminent" Return of Christ. He felt these horrible events would set the stage for and thereby hasten the Lord's Return. In his view, the worse things became, the sooner Jesus would come. Millions of Christians hold his view today. Because of this, this century, which has witnessed the triumph of dispensationalism among evangelicals, has also witnessed the triumph of humanism in culture at large. There is a measure of cause-and-effect here. As Christians retreat from culture in anticipation of society's collapse, humanism has been sucked into the void left by Christianity's leadership absence.

But I hasten to declare: Postmillennialism is not mere wishful thinking. It is, as a matter of revelational fact, a certain hope. It is as sure as God's Word. In the final analysis, all of Scripture is eschatological in orientation, for all of Scripture deals with the progress of redemption. This progress has a goal to which it relentlessly presses. Consequently, the subject of eschatology, of postmillennialism, is of tremendous expanse and great depth. Thus, it is mere wishful thinking if we intend anything more than scratching the surface of this glorious topic. I have a book that will be out in three weeks, entitled He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology. It is over 550 pages long, and I still had to cut out whole chapters and slim down over-large chapters. The topic before us is massive.

Due to the enormity of the challenge and the scarcity of time, I have determined it best to reduce the proof of the certainty of postmillennialism to four foundational truths. Those foundation stones, which I will but summarily survey, are: Creation, Covenant, Prophecy, and Kingdom.


Creation

When considering the eschatological outcome of history, we should look back to the foundational inception of history. Why did God create the world? What was His holy design for His creature man? When answered from Scripture, these and related questions clearly point to the postmillennial hope.

Let us notice first that it is inarguably the case that God created the universe for His glory and delight. As it originally came from His hands it was all "very good" (Gen. 1:31). In Romans 11:36 Paul exults: "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen." Thus, the angelic host of heaven affirm in Revelation 4:11:

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Indeed, due to His creative right, the Scripture affirms dozens of times what the psalmist declared in Psalm 24:1: "The earth is the LORD'S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."

Why is it so difficult to think that God's creative intent will not be experienced in the course of history which He created? Perhaps "the best laid plans of men often go astray," but surely this is not the case with God!

Why would God give up on history, which He began as "very good"? Does not God "make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come." Does He not declare: "My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please" (Isa. 46:10)? If God created the universe for His own glory, He will get the glory!

Second, God created man in His image. Genesis 1:26 reads: "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'"

Here we are not left to guess what is meant by "the image of God." In the very revelational setting wherein we learn of the divine determination to create man "in His image," we also learn that man is given "rule over all the earth." A fundamental aspect of man's reflective image of God is this: He is to exercise righteous rulership, holy dominion in the earth. It was God's design for man to subdue the earth. And surely the presumption here in the "very good" creation is that man is to rule as the very image of God, and thus in holiness and righteousness. God intended His creation to be in subjection to righteous man, who is in tern subject to the Lord God.

The God-ordained impulse in man is to create culture; to develop every area of life to the glory of God. We see the dominion impulse operative even in the post-fall world, when Cain builds a city, when Jabal becomes a cattle-farmer. When Jubal creates the harp and flute and develops music. When Tubal-Cain develops metallurgy (Gen. 4:20-22). And the creation of culture is exactly what postmillennialism anticipates—in the very temporal sphere in which man was placed and given the dominion mandate! Postmillennialism expects God's created order to bring glory to Him through the righteous development of culture.

Third, in fact, immediately after the Fall of Adam (which I am convinced took place within days of the end of the creation week), the Lord God revealed His plan for redemption. This redemptive plan works hand-in-glove with His creational purpose regarding God's image, man. Where redemption flows, it restores man to a rightful approach to life, which is to bring glory to God in all things.

The protoevangelium found in Genesis 3:15 reads: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Here we have the promise that despite struggle in history between Christ and Satan, Christ will win the victory—not Satan.

Surely the victory will be won in history, where the struggle takes place! We see the fulfillment of this in legal principle in the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ: "Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" (Col. 2:15). In point of fact, Paul draws upon the language of the protoevangelium when he speaks of the beginnings of that victory in history. The victory won through Christ, will be experienced through Christ's body, the Church. Romans 16:20 reads: "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you."

The language of Genesis 3:15 is of the total subjugation of Satan. It is in keeping with the original good intent of God in creation. God created the world to bring glory to Himself. He created man to reflect His sovereign dominion. And He redeems man to restore him to righteous dominion over the world and Satan.


Covenant

A second foundation stone for postmillennialism is the idea of "covenant." Paul subsumes all the Old Testament covenants under one principle: gracious promise. When he writes to the Gentile Christians, he urges them to "remember that at that time you were... foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). Although there were "covenants" plural, they all developed "the promise" singular.

A key manifestation of the Covenant of Grace in the Old Testament, a fundamentally significant covenant "of promise," is found in the Abrahamic Covenant. First recorded in Genesis 12, the Abrahamic Covenant continues the creational principle of universal glory to God and the redemptive power of God in history: "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Gen 12:2-3). This important covenant is alluded to a great number of times in the New Testament.

It is crucial to recognize the universal scope of blessing established in this covenant: "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Because of this glorious promise, Paul writes in Romans 4:13: "It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith." Through the establishment of His covenant by the glorious labor of His Son, Who is the ultimate Abrahamic Seed, God intends to spread redemption throughout the "world" and upon "all peoples on earth."

The covenantal promise of God's blessings overwhelming "all peoples on earth" is founded on the very being of God. His covenant power is exemplified in His covenant name: Jehovah. That name, according to Exodus 3:14 means: "I Am that I Am." This self-designation is particularly important to our understanding of God and of His covenant. This statement is found in the imperfect tense in Hebrew, thereby distinguishing a constantly manifested quality. From this name we may discern certain of God's intrinsic qualities: (1) His aseity. God exists of Himself. He is wholly uncreated and self-existent. There is no principle or fact back of God accounting for His existence. (2) His eternity. He is of unlimited, eternal duration. The combination of the verb tense (imperfect) and its repetition ("I am" / "I am") emphasize His uninterrupted, continuous existence. (3) His sovereignty. He is absolutely self-determinative. He determines from within His own being. As the Absolute One, He operates with unfettered liberty. He is not conditioned by outward circumstance. He is what He is because He is what He is. He is completely self-definitional and has no need of anything outside of Himself. This is the God Who makes covenant. This is the covenant God Who establishes certain hope in the place of wishful thinking.

This covenantal victory was confirmed in Old Testament prophecy, where we read of the Abrahamic Covenant: "Your descendants will take possession of the gates of their enemies" (Gen. 22:17b). The gate of an ancient city was the place where special defenses were placed (Deut. 3:5; 28:52) and where justice was administered (Deut. 16:18; 17:5ff). The Abrahamic Covenant promises the conquest of all opposition.

This promise comes over into the New Testament in Jesus' statement to Peter: "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). The defense and injustice of Satan's walled city, his kingdom, will succumb to the onslaught of Christ's Church. This is covenantal promise. It is the clear testimony of the covenantal Scripture that Christ came for the express purpose of defeating Satan and supplanting his nefarious kingdom: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work" (1 John 3:8b). He appeared in history to destroy Satan in history. "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil" (Heb. 2:14). He came in historical form so that He might win historical victory.

The New Covenant development of the Abrahamic Covenant promises an unshakable kingdom: The writer of Hebrews writes to first century Christians: You have come "to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire'" (Heb. 12:24-29).

The covenantal promise of God involves the blessing of all the peoples of the earth, the overcoming of historical opposition to the people of God, and the establishment of the unshakable purpose of God. Let us turn now to our third foundation stone for the postmillennial hope:

martincisneros

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 11:17:51 AM »
(Part 2 of 2 posts)

Prophecy

God's prophetic word is power. It is not raw power, however. Neither is it brute force. Rather it is structured, sovereign might. It is guided by divinely ordained creational principle and covenantal promise. It will secure the end toward which it moves: "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isa. 55:11). Our's is a certain hope, not a mere wishful thought, for God says: "My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please" (Isa. 46:10b).

There is an abundance of prophecy that we could delve into at this juncture. We could look at the glorious prophecy of Psalm 2, where the Messiah is promised that He will be given all the nations on the basis of His historical resurrection. On this sure promise the psalmist calls upon all contemporary nations to do homage to the Son.

We could turn to Psalm 22, where we learn that "all the ends of the earth will turn and remember" and "all nations will worship" the Lord. This is as a direct result of the efficacy of His historical suffering, dealt with in the first portion of the Psalm. We could delve into Psalm 72, where we read that He will "rule from the river to the ends of the earth." This will be in contemporary history before the new heavens and new earth, for it is "as long as the sun and moon endures."

We could open up Psalm 110, which speaks of His entry into heaven and being seated at God's right hand "until His enemies become a footstool for His feet." There we learn that His enemies will be vanquished before He leaves heaven to return to the earth at the Second Advent.

And there are many, many more passages that reflect the glorious victory motif and provide for us a sure grounding in prophecy for our certain hope. But though the Church has ample time available to it to expand the victory of Christ, I do not have such time to expound the victory of Christ. So let me just turn to consider Isaiah 2:2-4, a classic postmillennial reference. (By the way, this passage is found almost verbatim in Micah 4:1-3.)

First, we should note the time-frame for this prophecy we are considering. This is fundamentally important for demonstrating the strength of the postmillennial interpretation, as contrasted to the weakness of the amillennial, premillennial, and dispensational interpretations.

The time-frame we are dealing with is stated in Isaiah 2:2: "Now it shall come to pass in the last days...." The "last days" is eschatological terminology that is important to the structuring of redemptive history. As argued by Oscar Cüllmann, history is properly divided in two: B.C. and A.D. Christ is the center point of universal history. According to the infallible interpretation of the New Testament writers the "last days" began with Christ. This view is opposed by ancient rabbinism and modern Judaism, which do not hold Jesus Christ to be the Messiah. It is also contrary to the Zionism inherent in dispensationalism, which conceives of these days beginning at a time far removed from the first century, and relative to the state of Israel rather than the Person of Christ.

Let us simply note a few verses in support of our contention that the "last days" began in the ministry of Christ:

Acts 2:16-17a: "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh."

1 Corinthians 10:11: "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come."

Hebrews 1:1-2: "God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds."

Hebrews 9:26: "He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."


Clearly "the last days" is an eschatological time-frame which began in the days of Christ. Just as clearly it is during the course of these last days that the events prophesied will occur. Isaiah employs the definite article "the" to speak of the "last days" as a unit, a totality, a whole. That era was to be the last era of the very days the Jews then lived in. That is, this is speaking of temporal history, before eternity begins: it is the last era of the days of history. By definition, then, no temporal era is to follow.

(Side note: Martin Cisneros would not concur on this point of no temporal era to follow, because of a belief in the Universal Restoration when all of the subdued enemies of Christ are then reconciled, so that God will ultimately be all in all, in whatever sense He's not yet all in all, per 1Corinthians 15:22-28. So, obviously there's at least one more temporal era to come - the "ages of ages" which corresponds to the Jubilee of the Old Testament.  The Gospel ages, thus far, have merely been the years of release prefigured in the Old Testament.)

Furthermore, the prophecy to follow is to occur during the last days. In Hebrew the letter (beth) is present, indicating it is actually in or during the last days that these things occur. The same phrase "in the last days" occurs in Genesis 49:1, where we read: "And Jacob called his sons and said, 'Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days.'" He is not informing his sons of what will happen after their last days, but during them! Isaiah is not prophesying what will happen after the last days, as per premillennialism and dispensationalism.

Now what is to occur during these last days? This is where postmillennialism parts company with amillennialism. And this is where we have our certain hope underscored.

Isaiah mentions first that "the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains" (Isa. 2:2). The Hebrew reads literally: "In the last days, established shall be the mountain of the Lord's house." The emphasis is on firm establishing, so "established" it is put first in the statement. The Hebrew word (kun) speaks of permanent duration—and this is intensified by the verb "shall be."

The writer of Hebrews, who emphasizes the "last days" to the Hebrews of the first century (Heb. 1:2; 9:26), speaks of the beginning of this fulfillment in his day. He tells those Jews who were living in the era of the "last days" and who had professed faith in Christ that: "You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" (Heb. 12:22). Consequently, he adds in Hebrews 12:28-29:

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." Christ's kingdom is established in the last days by Christ Himself, while on earth almost 2000 years ago. It is a permanent and sure establishment, not to be overthrown.

Secondly, Christ's kingdom is spoken of as an exalted mountain, towering over the landscape of the earth: "the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills" (Isa. 2:2b). The Lord's house in the Old Testament was the temple, which contained the Shekinah glory presence of God. In the New Testament the Lord's house/temple is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a spiritual temple containing the presence of the Spirit of God: "having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:20-21). As Christ said, His kingdom-Church was to be "a city set on a hill" (Matt. 5:14). Isaiah promises that hill will be an exalted mountain.

Third, during the last days the mountain of the Lord's house will be exalted for a glorious reason: "all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2;2-3). Here we see the victory of the Gospel: All nations will flood into the house of God as an ever-deepening stream. These will evangelize others, encouraging them to turn to God and to seek to worship Him and live by His Law. This is why we have a Great Commission from the Lord that promises: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age'" (Matt. 28:18-20.)

Fourth, because of this the cultural implications eventually become enormous: "Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isa. 2:3-4).

Due to the exalted dominance of the Lord's House in the final era of redemptive history. . . . And due to the tremendous influence of Christianity's God-blessed missionary outreach, sinners will be powerfully transformed by a saving knowledge of the Lord and will. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit they will seek to implement His righteous Law. As a consequence of this, their warring tendencies will be overcome by the grace of God, so that universal righteousness, peace, and prosperity will flow into all the earth.

Postmillennialism teaches that social progress is inevitable. But it is not inevitable on evolutionary assumptions, by naturalistic means, and driven by the inherent goodness of man. Rather social progress toward universal peace and prosperity is certain on the basis of creational, covenantal, and prophetic forces operating in symphony under the providence of God. That is, social progress is assured by means of God-blessed evangelism and discipleship, according to the history-determining prophetic word of God.

I now turn now to my last foundation stone:


Kingdom

By creation God establishes the world in which righteousness is to dwell. By covenant He structures the legal framework of universal righteousness. By prophecy He engages the power of His all-controlling word to direct the spread of His righteousness in history. And by the establishment of the kingdom, He begins the actual progress to universal righteousness.

According to the clear testimony of the New Testament, Christ established His kingdom during His earthly ministry over 1900 years ago. As He began His ministry He preached: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Later He preached: "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you" (Matt. 12:28).

Peter points to His Resurrection as the point at which Christ assumed Messianic rule: "Therefore, [David] being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ" (Acts 2:30-31a). He then makes reference to Psalm 110:1 to show the expectation of Christ's rule:

Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:33-36)

But let us turn to Paul's exposition of the postmillennial kingdom in 1 Corinthians 15:20-27. This glorious passage resounds with victory as the throbbing essence of the postmillennial hope. Let me give a brief, running exposition of Paul's thought here.

As we all well-know, Paul is dealing with the idea of the resurrection of the dead in 1 Corinthians 15. He points out that it is in Christ that we shall be made eternally alive by the resurrection: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). But there is an order in the eschatological resurrection: Christ becomes the firstfruits of the resurrection. "But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming" (1 Cor. 15:23). Just as surely as Christ, the firstfruits, was resurrected in eschatological glory long ago, so shall we, who are found in Him, be resurrected in eschatological glory at some future date.

Contrary to the premillennial expectation, the resurrection is the grand finale of the "last days." The resurrection punctuates "the end" of history: "But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end" (1 Cor. 15:23-24). No new era begins: these are the last days that we now live in. No millennial period will follow the resurrection in history because "then comes the end."

But what may we expect to precede the conclusion of history? Here is where we part company with our amillennial brethren. Verse 24 says, "the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father." The end of earth history is brought about "whenever" (literally) Christ "delivers up" the kingdom to the Father.

In the construction before us the "delivering up" of the kingdom must occur in conjunction with "the end." The Greek for "delivers up" here is ( paradidoi ), which is a verb in the present tense and subjunctive mode. When the word translated "when" or "whenever" ( hotan ) is followed by the present subjunctive (as here), it indicates a present contingency that occurs in conjunction with the main clause, which is "then comes the end." Here the contingent factor is in regard to the date of the "end": "whenever" it may be that He delivers up the kingdom, then the end will come.

Associated with the predestined end here is the prophecy that the kingdom of Christ will be delivered up to the Father. But this occurs only "when he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power." In the Greek text the hotan ( "when") is here followed by the aorist subjunctive, katargese . This construction indicates that the action of this subordinate clause precedes the action of the main clause. The phrase here should be translated: "after he had destroyed all dominion, authority and power."

Gathering this exegetical data together, we see that the end is contingent: it will come whenever it is that he delivers up the kingdom to the Father. But this will not occur until "after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power." Consequently, "the end" will not occur, Christ will not turn the kingdom over to the Father, until after He has abolished His opposition. Here is the certain hope of postmillennialism!

And notice further that verse 25 demands that "He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet." Here the present infinitive translated "reign" indicates the continuance of a reign then in progress. References elsewhere to the Psalm 110 passage specifically mention His sitting at God's right hand. Sitting at the right hand entails active ruling and reigning, not passive resignation. He is now actively "the ruler over the kings of the earth" who "has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 1:5).

Here in 1 Corinthians 15:25 we learn that he must continue to reign, He must continue to put His enemies under His feet—but until when? The answer is identical to that which has already been concluded: it is expected before the end of history. Earlier it was awaiting the abolishing of all rule, authority and power; here it delayed until "He has put all His enemies under His feet." The repetition of the expectation of His sure conquest before the end is significant. Furthermore, the last enemy that will be subdued is death, which is subdued in conjunction with the Resurrection that occurs at His coming. But the subduing of His other enemies occurs before this, before the Resurrection.

In verse 27 it is clear that He has the title to rule, for the Father "has put everything under His feet." This is the Pauline expression (borrowed from Psa. 8:6) that is equivalent to Christ's declaration that "all authority has been given Me." Christ has the promise of victory and He has the right to victory. Psalm 110, especially as expounded by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, shows He will have the historical, pre-consummation victory as His own before His coming.

This is why He confidently commands us: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). This is why postmillennialism is a "certain hope." Our hope is built on the foundational principles of creation, covenant, prophecy, and kingdom.

Online eaglesway

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 05:37:24 PM »
    There may be some evidence in scripture that the putting under His feet of all enemies is also occurring during the millenium (Hence possibility for a pre-millenial view) For instance, there is no need for a kingdom of priests to reign if the subjection of all has already taken place, so why the establishment of this preisthood 1000 years before the judgement seat of Christ(Rev 20:4-6, Rev 3:10). There are verses indicating that Christ will rule with a rod of iron, meaning there will be a period of time where His superior strength and authority will be the means of encouraging certain peoples to "Come to the mountain of the Lord". This is a period of time where the subjection has not been completed, but a resurrection has already taken place in conjunction with a further revelation of Christ as the king reigning over all the nations (unveiled- whether a person sees that as Christ in the flesh from Jerusalem, Christ in the Bride through the church, or Christ's teachings becoming ascendent over all). Though it seems inconceivable, it is clearly written that right up until the end of this age men will shake their fists at God even as He shakes down the foundations around their ears. Therefore it is not outside the realm of possibility that some men will shake their fists at God even should Christ sit on a throne on the earth, or even should He be fully revealed in the Bride.
      As I understand it, the abolishment of all rule power and authority does not just mean subjection of enemies. It means that when every living thing is in a free will harmony because God is all in all- there is no need for ANY authority, office, enforcement- good evil or otherwise, because everyone has found their fulfilled place in the universal cosmic design of God, like droplets flowing in a river, like the sound of ten thousands of ten thousands of voices praising God.
     These conclusions would not exclude the majority of the principles you laid out in your post. For instance,that the kingdom of God was established by Jesus in His earthly ministry. A period of time where the will of God being done on earth "as it is in heaven" is not exclusive of either the post millenial or pre millenial view IMO. There is still the great rejoicing in that no matter how we see the eschatology of the ages, that God will be all in all in the glorious restitution of all things spoken by the prophets is the conclusion. As to the rest of course, time will tell.
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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2010, 07:29:28 PM »
I'm afraid I cannot subscribe to a Postmillenial interpretation, but will nonetheless offer support to Walvoord's teaching of the stars falling to earth. If the earth were to suddenly tilt on it's axis (which has happened many times before and is expected to happen again soon), the constellations as we now see them would suddenly fall from view over the horizon. This also explains the unprecedented Biblical event we know as "Joshua's Long Day".

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Re: Postmillenial interpretation of Revelation 19:11-16
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 11:37:51 PM »
Jesus is coming where Satan works.   In the heart of man, satan being the causes of death by that which is enmity with the truth and ways of God.  It is the spirit of man that does not and is not able to know the things of God.  Jesus' coming in man's spirit is the "arrival" of that which has been "coming" for centuries.  The maturity of GOD in man as who the spiritually mature man is and this has been being worked out with and within mankind for eons of time.  We are now at the "finish" of the finisher of all else that remains to be done after the maturity is actually ruling in the creation.  It is only after that that all things will be "made" by the SON with the Father IN HIM.

2 Thessalonians 2 tells us that Jesus is going to destroy the man of sin, {natural adam's spiritual nature} by the SPIRIT of his mouth {the sword of his mouth mentioned elsewhere in this thread} and by the brightness of His coming  {the way daylight shines from the east to the west, not everywhere at once but by the end of one day it has shone to the whole earth}.  This is in the heart of man where Jesus destroys everything by His resurrection in us to be who we will be, by revealing and destroying everything IN US that does not LOVE THE TRUTH.   In the KJV it may seem to some that Jesus comes to destroy the man of sin, and then a few passages later seems to be "literally" supporting him.  Not so.  It is to the heart of man, where Satan works, that Christ now is coming and has been for quite a while now.  Pentecostalism is the "Elijah" understanding that must first come.

But that understanding, as John the Baptist said of himself, knows Christ not and is not that light and can not loose his shoes.   Pentecostalism has not really known him and therefore has at times been very discreditable, but now it too is decreasing as the truth of the Spirit of God increases in them and us all.
The whole scripture has to be understood according to how the Spirit that GIVES life fulfills them and not to how man and his natural or worldly spiritual identification would have it done.   As you know, when man is a child spiritually, even though an heir at some later date, he is under the elements of the world, the beggarly elements or ways and operations of the natural world where death and destruction is a way of existence.  Until Christ puts all in order AFTER his appearing in mankind so mankind may do those greater works Jesus talked about.

God bless, donken
God bless, ken