The Holy Spirit

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Rexlion, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. Oseas

    Oseas Member

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    OK, I understand, but as is written: 2 Tim. 3:v.1 and 16-17 -

    1 - We know also, that in these last days perilous times shall come.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17 That the man of GOD may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    Proverbs 4:v.18
    18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

    May our Lord GOD bless and keep us, and give us His protection

    Amen
     
  2. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    With respect, I do not see how those passages are relevant to the subject of cessationism vs. continuationism. I have also conceded that the latter is the more coherent than the former as an interpretation of the relevant biblical passages. My opposition to claimed modern manifestations of xenoglossia and glossolalia is based on (1) the theological use that is made of them, which is contrary to the historic Confessions, and (2) the provisional scientific findings, to which I give great weight. If science disagrees with our understanding of Scripture, our understanding of Scripture is probably wrong. That approach goes all the way back to Augustine and even further.
     
  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think most of us can interpret your halting use of the English language and discern what you are attempting to present to us as your theological opinions concerning the supposed 'birth' of The Holy Spirit and The Holy Spirit's 'kinship' with a supposed human being.

    What you have so far NOT done, and won't be able to, is to offer ANY holy scripture that actually confirms and validates your claims that:
    (1) The Holy spirit was 'born' or that.
    (2) The Holy Spirit is a 'brother' to any human being that has ever existed in time or space.

    Merely quoting reams of scripture which bears no relevance to your claims is no way to prove your opinion is the truth. It only makes you look foolish to those who are also able to read and understand scripture for themselves.

    I suggest you take Invictus' advice and relearn some of your erronious theology. Then you will understand better what The Word of God has actually conveyed to us all through the scriptures.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    These scriptures refer not to the Holy Spirit, but to Jesus.
    Rev 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
    Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered....
    Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne
    .

    The child is a male (man) child. This is Jesus. The Holy Spirit is not a man, but is Spirit (without a humanoid body). This must be true for the Holy Spirit to indwell each believer. The Holy Spirit is not a male body living inside your own body; that is ridiculous. The Holy Spirit who indwells you is formless and without physicality. That is also why Jesus refers to him as "Spirit" (for example, in Luke 11:13). And it is why Jesus could say to the people in the synagogue (Luke 4:18) that the Spirit was upon Him right then, in fulfillment of prophecy; you don't suppose that the Holy Spirit was like a man riding on Jesus' shoulders for all to see, do you? The Holy Spirit was, and is, without physical form when he anoints people for ministry and when he indwells them.

    Furthermore, the one who will rule with a rod of iron is Jesus, not the Holy Spirit.

    Rev 19:11 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.
    Rev 19:12 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.
    Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
    Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
    Rev 19:15 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.
    Rev 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

    Rev 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
    Rev 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

    Rev 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
    Rev 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last...
    Rev 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star
    .

    The one who rules with a rod of iron is the one who sits on the throne. Rulers sit on thrones. The one who sits on the throne is "the beginning and the end," and He comes "quickly" to reward and to judge. Who is this person? Verse 16 tells us it is Jesus. Not the Holy Spirit! Jesus is the Word of God:
    John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...
    It is the Word of God made flesh, Jesus, who will rule with a rod of iron. Not the fleshless Holy Spirit!

    In summary, the verses you cite do not show that the Holy Spirit was born. Those verses show us Jesus, whom we already know was born of the virgin.

    Here is another proof. From Rev. 1:17 through Rev. 3:22, Jesus is talking to John (and to us). As we see in 1:17 and 18 it must be Jesus who is saying, "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." And it must be Jesus still talking when we reach Rev. 3:21 and read, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." We know that Jesus is the one who overcame death, hell, and the grave to live forever. This is Jesus talking, no doubt about it. So when we also read in Rev. 2:26-27, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father," this is still Jesus talking. Jesus promises the overcomers that He will share His power with them to rule the nations with His rod of iron. The one who is "the first and the last," the one who possesses the rod of iron for rule, and the one who will sit with His Father on a ruler's throne is Jesus.
     
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  5. Oseas

    Oseas Member

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    Ok, I understand your scientific believe which is from human perspective, not from GOD's perspective, and my point here is about the person of the Holy Spirit, not about the gift of speaking in tongues. Furthermore, I MUST say that we are already in the seventh and last millennium, or seventh and last Day, the Lord's Day, and now, even now, from now on, whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be TONGUES, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. We know in part, and we prophesy in part, and with the coming of that that is perfect, the person of the Holy Spirit, that which is in part shall be done away.
     
  6. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    A human perspective is the only one I am capable of. I am not sure what it would even mean to talk of a “divine perspective”, since by definition, God does not have one. I do not take the apocalyptic passages in the NT as referring to the distant future, but to the destruction of the Temple and persecution of Christians by the Romans in the latter half of the first century. A Christian’s task today is to work to make the world around him/her better, and work to improve the lives of everyone around him/her.

    I also do not believe in a 6,000-year-old Earth, but in a 4.4 billion-year-old Earth, in accordance with modern science. The “seven millennia” language is meaningless to me.
     
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  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Unlike @Invictus I believe that the seventh millennium is the literal thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on earth, which begins with His second coming. It will be a time of peace on the earth, equivalent to the 7th day of rest, during which all people will be able to experience the wonderful theocracy of our Lord as He reigns from Jerusalem. The 7th millennium will conclude with the release of Satan from prison, his deceiving of the masses, and his final war (called Armageddon) as he attempts to wrest control of the earth from Christ. Rev. 20 contains a sketchy account of this future event.

    But we cannot be in the 7th millennium right now, because Jesus has not yet returned! I believe, however, that we could be very, very close to that time.

    Regardless of the earth's actual age, the time span we are concerned with, as followers of God the Creator, is a period of seven thousand years' length.
     
  8. Oseas

    Oseas Member

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    Sorry, you are mistaken. The child is not JESUS, no, absolutely no. Where was JESUS born? In heaven or in the earth? Mary never was clothed with the Sun, neither the moon was under her feet, much less there was upon her head a crown of twelve stars. Mary was not in heaven when give birth to JESUS, but in Nazareth, furthermore, in the time of JESUS's birth, and even in the year 95AD when JESUS sent His angel to Patmos, the body of the great red Dragon was not complete yet, for he had not yet the seven heads.

    Revelation 1:v. 1 -

    1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ,
    2 - which God gave unto JESUS, (GOD gave this Revelation to JESUS around 65 years after His ascention or around 95AD);
    3 - to shew unto His servants things which MUST shortly come to pass;
    4 - and JESUS sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John:

    How could JESUS say unto His servants He would born again in the time of Apocalypse, and it before /IN FRONT a

    MONSTRUOUS and great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads, besides a TERRIBLE AND SATANIC TAIL?

    Could you answer the questions ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
  9. Oseas

    Oseas Member

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    My point here is from Genesis to Revelation, not the age of the planet Earth. You re mixing human things with GOD's things in your posts, according the Word of GOD - the Word is GOD - we can not be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, therefore, seven(7) GOD's Days are 7000 thousand years, six (6) thousand years or six millenniums for restitution of all things, and and one millennium to rest as my GOD planned since the beginning of His works.,

    JESUS came at the turn from the fourth to the fifth millennium and He said : My Father worketh hitherto, and I work - John 5:v.17. From JESUS until this current time have passed more / around two thousand years or two millennia, that said we are living exactly in the beginning of the first century of the seventh and last millennium. So, day by day JESUS is getting CLOSER. Be careful and get ready.

    Revelation 1:v. 8 says: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
    Amen
     
  10. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Well, Anglicanism has always been amillennial, not premillennial, so there's that. There's really no basis in 'Magisterial' Protestantism for the premillennial view. Luther, Calvin, et al, were all amillennialists. The "millennium" is right now, with Christ reigning in heaven, not on earth. I should tell you that the view that Christ's reign would take place on earth after his return, although not formally defined as heresy in a conciliar decree, was condemned by numerous Church Fathers and ultimately disappeared from the Church. It is not, nor has it ever been, the Church's teaching, either as a whole or within Anglicanism.
    Yeah, he absolutely is.

    And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a scepter of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne... (Rev. 12:5 NRSV)
    Notice the throne is in heaven, not earth. The phrase "rule all the nations with a scepter of iron" from Psalm 2 occurs earlier, in ch. 2, when Jesus says:

    To everyone who conquers and continues to do my works to the end,

    I will give authority over the nations,
    to rule them with an iron scepter,
    as when clay pots are shattered—

    “even as I also received authority from my Father. (Rev. 2:26-28 NRSV)
    Now fast forward to ch. 19:

    Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and wages war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a scepter of iron; he will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Rev. 19:11-16 NRSV)
    The child of Rev. 12 is indisputably Jesus. He explicitly identifies himself at the beginning of the book as "the one who will rule with a scepter of iron", and then the book circles back to that theme in chs. 12 and 19. Whoever doesn't recognize that, doesn't understand the way apocalyptic symbolism is meant to work.
     
  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I realize that it is challenging to even the best Bible scholar to differentiate between literal and figurative language in Revelation. But the "woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars" is figurative. It is meant to represent the nation of Israel, which gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus, through the virgin Mary. The crown of 12 stars represents the 12 tribes of Israel. The sun's radiance probably represents the favor of God upon this people whom He chose as His during the Old Testament times. The moon underfoot probably represents Israel's position relative to the pagan nations. So, I agree with you that this is not Mary specifically, but is a representation of Israel. For we know that Jesus is descended from the line of King David, and is therefore also a descendant of Judah and of Jacob (Israel).

    Regarding your question, Rev. 1:1 is not saying Jesus would be "born again in the time of the Apocalypse". Nowhere does the Bible say such a thing. God the Father gave Jesus (God the Son) the task of telling John the revelation, and John received it perhaps around 95 A.D. (we guess), but the time of this revelation to John is not relevant. The problem is, you assume that everything you read from Rev. 4 onward is a story told in linear time. It is not. The revelation jumps around in time. It tells a rough outline of what is to come, then it tells again in greater detail, then it tells yet again with even more detail. And in between, there are portions which relate to previous times. The imagery of Rev. 12:1-5 concerns the time of Jesus' first advent (His birth to virgin Mary) and His ascension into heaven. Verse 6 has to do with the scattering of the nation of Israel after 70 A.D. There isn't anything literal in those verses, and they were not foretelling future events, but they were presenting imagery to set the stage for what would be told afterward. It is incorrect to interpret these verses as a rebirth of Jesus (or of anyone else) during some later time. Jesus was incarnated one time (and one time only), and after He died and rose from the dead He ascended into heaven, where He remains until it is time for His second coming out of heaven (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
     
  12. Oseas

    Oseas Member

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    Good post. Perfect. What you above said is in accord with the Word of GOD. As it is written, the Word is GOD, so it is Truth, for GOD is Truth.

    Correct. According the Word of GOD, " if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel - Michael-Daniel 12:v.1-3 - , and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:v.14 to 17.

    But get ready , Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:v.3-4 and 9-12


    Perfect. Perfect and in accord the Word of GOD. Really what matters is the Word of our GOD.

    In Christ JESUS, KING of kings (kings made by Him), and LORD of the lords

    Amen
     
  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. This is an aspect of the book that is often missed. One book in particular that does a good job of breaking down what's actually happening in each section is William Hendriksen's More Than Conquerors. I highly recommend it. If one really wants to go deep into the book, G.K. Beale's commentary in the NIGTC series is also excellent.
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Premillennialism is the Bible's teaching. A quick article quote & link:
    Many of the early fathers, including Papias (c. 60–c. 130), Justin (c. 100–c. 165), Irenaeus, Tertullian, Victorinus of Pettau (d. c. 304) and Lactantius (c. 240–c. 320), were premillennialists, i.e. they expected the personal coming of Christ in glory to inaugurate a millennial reign on earth before the last judgment. This belief was not only an interpretation of Rev. 20, but also a continuation of Jewish apocalyptic expectation of an interim messianic kingdom. The framework of Rev. 20 was filled with content derived from Jewish apocalyptic and especially from OT prophecies, with the result that the millennium was understood primarily as a restoration of paradise.

    My point is that it is not legitimate to simply dismiss the concept of a thousand-year reign on the basis of some sort of 'consensus.' Where consensus ignores clear verbiage in the Bible to the contrary, the consensus must be wrong.
     
  15. Oseas

    Oseas Member

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    Sorry, you were deceived by the TAIL of the red Dragon, and my battle is against him with his body by entire, and his satanic TAIL is not easy to fight against is devilish, satanic, manifestation. Who is the TAIL ? Isaiah 9:v.15-16
     
  16. Oseas

    Oseas Member

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    Hope all have a good day in Christ JESUS. I am going out now, the morning is coming.
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I'm not dismissing it on the basis of consensus. The lack of consensus merely makes it 'suspect', not automatically wrong. I vehemently disagree that premillennialism is the Bible's teaching. If that were so, why was it not obvious to the Church for the vast majority of its history so far? No, I reject premillennialism on the basis of exegesis. The only mention of a "thousand year reign" is in the Book of Revelation. That the "thousand year reign" is both metaphorical, and precedes rather than proceeds Christ's return, seems to me to be the most natural interpretation of what the original author intended. (I used to be a premillennialist, BTW. I realize there is more to premillennialism than the duration and location of the millennium but I don't have time to go into all that right now.) Also, if I'm going to dissent from the historic Confessions and the teaching of my own church, I need to have a really good reason. I'm simply not aware of any in this case.
    Deceived by reading Rev. 12 as referring to Jesus? Highly unlikely. :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
  18. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    (Rev.11:1-6):

    Both Invictus and Rexlion between them have it about right I think, but there is still the tendency for believers like Oseas to assume that Revelation is about prediction of things to come rather than an apocalyptic statement of historical facts, though which undoubtedly still affect the future of the entire human race. This passage in Revelation essentially deals with the fact that Jesus Christ was born on earth, lived, taught and died, rose again and ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of God in power and authority. All this is expressed in highly codified enigmatic language with many obscure references to Old Testament scripture evoking the imagery that the author John knows his readership in the first century 7 churches of Asia will actually understand. Most christians today simply do not have enough understanding of Old Testament scripture to decipher John's Revelational encryption and therefore mistakenly assume an erroneous literal interpretation to be the correct one. Some even, the only one.

    From - Revelation (An Introduction and Commentary by Leon Morris. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries).

    a. The woman clothed with the sun (Rev.11:1-6)

    I. The word wonder translates semeion, a word often used in the Fourth Gospel of Jesus' miracles (it is usually rendered 'sign'). Here it seems to refer to a significant person rather than to a significant happening (so also in verse 3, Rev. 15:1). 'In heaven' should perhaps be rather 'in the sky', and so again in verse 3. The action John is describing appears to take place on earth, but he sees the actors in the sky first of all. He sees a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. In this symbolism we must discern Israel, the chosen people of God. 'She comes standing upon the Old Testament revelation of reflected light and clothed with the New Testament revelation which is as the sun shining in his strength' (Torrance). The twelve stars will be the twelve patriarchs or the tribes which descended from them. The symbolism is that of Joseph's dream (Gen. 37:9; cf. also Test. Naph. v. 3 f.). In view of this Old Testament symbolism it is unnecessary to see a reference to pagan mythology.

    2. The figure of Israel as a travailing woman is found several times (Isa. 66:7 f., Mic. 4:10, Mic.5:3, etc.). Especially important are some words of Isaiah:

    'Like a woman with child,

    who writhes and cries out in her pangs, when she is near her time,

    so were we because of thee, 0 Lord; we were with child, we writhed,

    we have as it were brought forth wind.

    We have wrought no deliverance in the earth,

    and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen'

    (Isa. 26:17-18 RSV).

    The old Israel could not effect 'deliverance in the earth'.

    That was accomplished only by the Son of God. John writes in the certainty that it has been accomplished. His description is vivid. He uses the present tense 'cries', and his participles 'travailing' and 'being in pain' (the latter not elsewhere in the New Testament of childbirth; it refers to torture) bring the scene before our eyes. The time of birth is near. Israel is about to give birth to the Messiah. For the early Christians there was an important continuity between the old Israel and the church, the true Israel. Here the woman is undoubtedly Israel who. gives birth to the Messiah. But in the latter part of the chapter she is the church who is persecuted for her faith.

    3. A second 'sign' (wonder) now appears in the sky. The great red dragon is undoubtedly a symbol of Satan. It may not be out of place to recall that Pharaoh is called a dragon (Ezk. 29:3, Ezk. 32:2 mg.), for there is a good deal of symbolism associated with Egypt in this book. We have already seen that the language about the plagues is behind many of the troubles introduced by the seven trumpets. The great city, again, is 'Sodom and Egypt' (Rev.11:8). By contrast the song of deliverance is the song of Moses (who delivered from Egypt) and the Lamb (Rev.15:3). Egypt stands for all that is evil, and specifically for the oppression and persecution of the people of God. It is thus natural enough that the dragon has a place in Egypt.

    We should also bear in mind other Old Testament passages which refer to the dragon and bring him into connection with kindred evil beings, such as Leviathan or Rahab (Job. 26:13; Ps. 74. 13 f., Isa. 27: 1, Isa. 51:9). It is plain that to those versed in Old Testament scriptures the term dragon conjured up many associations of an evil being.

    It is not clear why the dragon's colour is red, but it may be no coincidence that the beast on whom the great whore sits is scarlet (Rev.17:3), as is her clothing (Rev.17:4). This red dragon is a fearsome creature, with seven heads and ten horns. The horn is a symbol of strength, so that ten horns points to the mighty power of the dragon. Evil is strong. Cf. the beast with ten horns in Daniel's vision (Dan. 7:7, Dan.7:24). The point of the seven heads is not immediately obvious. But in antiquity several terrible beasts were alleged to have a multiplicity of heads (e.g. the Hydra). The thought may be that of the immense vitality of such an animal. It is very hard to kill. In the same way, opposition to the church on the part of the powers of evil is persistent. No sooner is it defeated in one place than it breaks out elsewhere. We should not overlook the fact that the beast, Satan's chief henchman, also has seven heads and ten horns (Rev.13: 1, Rev.17:3), and is scarlet in colour (Rev.17:3). We should understand that the evil we see on earth is made in the image of Satan.

    The crowns, incidentally, which are on the dragon's seven heads, are crowns of royalty diademata stephanos, which is used in verse I and for which see note on Rev.2:10, may denote rejoicing or victory: Moffatt brings out the difference by translating 'tiara' there and 'diadems' here). John pictures Satan as immensely powerful and as exercising sovereignty.

    4. The dragon's tail now dragged the third part of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. As with a number of the trumpets, the third part will denote a significant minority (Rev.8: 7-9, etc.). The throwing of the stars to the earth (cf. Dan, 8:10) is perhaps meant to show that the activities of the evil one in other spheres yet have their repercussions here on earth. But all this is apparently no more than a preliminary flexing of his muscles. His primary interest is in devouring the child about to be born. Satan was hostile to Jesus from the very beginning (cf. Herod's attempt to slay the Christ child, Mt. 2: 13 ff.). He sought to destroy Him from the moment of his birth. It might be asked why the dragon did not simply devour the woman, which would effectually have accomplished his purpose. But John is setting forth spiritual truth in pictorial form, not giving us a chapter in the natural history of the dragon.

    5. The woman gave birth to a 'male son', the adjective putting some emphasis on the sex, which is, of course, given in the noun. The child was destined for world dominion. The verb to rule is literally 'to shepherd'. It speaks of absolute authority (see note on Rev. 2:27), and the rod of iron of firmness (not tyranny, as the English idiom might perhaps be held to indicate). Who caught up the child to heaven John does not say, nor how it was done without the waiting dragon's being able to prevent it. But in this book (Revelation), God is all-sovereign. He does what He wills. So now John'S point is that He protects the incarnate Son from destruction by Satan. The 'how' does not matter. Sovereignty is further indicated by the reference to the throne.

    Some find difficulty in the fact that there is no reference to any event in the life of Christ. John omits everything between the birth and the ascension. This has been drawn into an argument that John is not composing freely in this section, but taking over a pagan myth. But this is to overlook a feature of his method. John is quite capable of concentrating on one thing at a time so that he omits quite important considerations which are not immediately relevant. Thus he can describe heaven in chapter 4 with no mention of Christ. But when he comes to chapter 5 he emphasises the central place of the Lamb. Here his subject is not strictly Christ, but the church. He is showing how the incarnation gives encouragement to believers. Satan tried hard to destroy Christ. But he did not succeed. Christ came right through to the ascension. Let believers take heart. God always effects His purpose.

    6. The woman led into the wilderness. She was thus protected from the dragon just as surely as was her Son but in a different way. Many draw attention to the flight of the Christians to Pella at the time of the siege of Jerusalem. This does illustrate the point, but the words, of course, have a much wider application. The woman's place was prepared of God. Her flight was foreseen and provision was made for her. She was nourished by divine provision (cf. the manna for the Israelites in the wilderness, and the provision made for Elijah, 1 Ki. 17: 4). The agent God employed is not important enough to be mentioned (as often in this book). For the period of 1,260 days see the note on Rev.11: 2. The period is given here in exactly the same form as in Rev.11:3, the time of the prophecy of the two witnesses. It is not unlikely that we should link the two. God protects His church during the time of her witness.

    b. Satan cast out (Rev.11:7-12)

    This little vision reminds the believer that he is caught up in a wider conflict than the one he sees. The thought is not quite that of Paul who spoke of wrestling 'against principalities, against powers' (Eph. 6. 12). John is speaking of spiritual forces indeed, but he reminds us that the conflict is not simply one between demons and men. Angelic forces are also engaged. Our struggles are not to be shrugged off as insignificant. They are part of the great conflict between good and evil.

    7. Michael appears as the leader of the heavenly hosts.

    Indeed, they are called his angels. This accords with his description as 'archangel' in Jude g. Michael is apparently a warlike angel (Dan. 10:13, Dan.10:21, Dan.12:1, Jude 9). His enemies, the dragon's helpers, are also spoken of as angels (the term means 'messenger' and there can be evil messengers as well as good).

    8. The result of the battle was the defeat of the dragon and his party. Their defeat was so complete that their place was not found any more in heaven.

    9. So the great dragon was expelled. Cast out (eblethe) is perhaps better 'thrown down' (as NEB). In this significant moment he is given a very full description. In addition to being the great dragon he is that old serpent, which is probably meant to awake recollections of Genesis iii. He is called both the Devil and Satan. The latter is the older name. It transliterates ates a Hebrew word which means 'adversary'. It is used of human adversaries such as those God raised up against Solomon (1 Ki. 11:14-23), and the Philistines used the term of David (1 Sam. 29:4). When used of angels it at first had no derogatory associations and it is used, for example, of 'the angel of the Lord' who stood in Balaam's way (Num. 22:22). But the term came to be used of the adversary of mankind, that spirit that accuses men before God. He accused Job (Job. 1:6), and Joshua the high priest (Zec. 3:1). The title 'Accuser', 'Satan', thus became attached to him in an exclusive sense.

    This name for the evil one would have made a specially strong impact in the first century, for there was a well-known and well-hated figure called the delator, the paid informer. He made his living by accusing people before the authorities. Devil (diabolos) means 'slanderer'. It is not a large step from 'accuser' to 'slanderer' and thus 'the Satan' is not infrequently referred to as 'the devil'. In addition to accusing and slandering, the evil one deceives. John brings out the scope of this activity by saying that he deceiveth the whole world. Barclay sums up much when he says of this evil being: 'Satan, as it has been put, stands for the sleepless vigilance of evil against good.' John repeats the information that Satan was cast out, this time adding his destination, into the earth (cf. Lk. 10:18, Jn. 12:31), and the fact that his angels were cast out with him.
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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I believe this statement in the Bible. I believe it is meant to be taken literally, because the language is plain and understandable. It is not couched in a metaphorical, figurative, or poetic way.

    Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
    Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
    Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
    Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
    Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
    Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
    Rev 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea
    .

    Irenaeus (130-202 A.D.) is another early father who interpreted this passage in a literal fashion. Irenaeus' impetus for writing (the text we now call Against Heresies) was to prevent heresies from spreading, so he must have regarded premillennialism as a mainstream, orthodox belief within the church at that time. Of course, any mortal human can get things wrong, but when the plain words of scripture obviously testify to a certain understanding and when we see early churchmen like Irenaeus testify to the same understanding of scripture, it should confirm to us that our understanding of is most probably the correct one.

    Therefore, for anyone who proposes an alternate, opposing interpretation of scripture on this question of millennialism, it is incumbent upon them to show equally clear (if not more clear) language from scripture to support their alternate understanding. Without scriptural proof that these words concerning the thousand-year reign of Christ on earth are figurative, metaphorical, allegorical, or whatnot, opposition to premillennialism is without proper foundation.

    What do the amillennialists say at this juncture? Well, they are fractured. Luther and Calvin took the historicist approach. Some take a preterist approach. Some others, like Hendriksen, Wilcock,Hailey, Hobbs, and Morey adopt a spiritualist view. They're all over the map and without agreement, except for agreeing that they don't like the literal (futurist) approach. But they can't offer any good reason from scripture why Rev. 20 cannot or should not be understood literally. Regarding the "thousand years," the best they can offer is the excuse that the term has been used elsewhere in the Bible in a figurative sense (Psalm 90:4; Eccles. 6:6; 2 Peter 3:8); there is no other scriptural support, and the remainder of their argument lies upon the shifting sands of supposition and human imagination. "Oh," some say, "maybe the thousand years symbolize the spiritual reign of believers on this earth in these present days!" Others say, "Oh! We think it symbolizes the blessed state of deceased believers in heaven!" What scripture verses support these wild hypotheses? None. They simply and doggedly refuse to believe what Rev. 20 spells out for us as plainly as A-B-C; it's as if the idea that Jesus' return could literally be imminent, and the thought that He actually will stick around on earth for a good long while this next time, somehow offends (or frightens?) them.
     
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    It seems quite arbitrary to pick out that one detail as literal in the midst of a book that is saturated with symbolism and metaphor. And it seems to ignore the role of numerology in the book. And it seems to overlook the fact that the frame of reference of apocalyptic literature is the author’s present, not the distant future. The “thousand years” is obviously symbolic, of something.

    The premillennial interpretation is that Christ reigns for a thousand years just to have everything upended again by Satan. How is that supposed to be reassuring to late first century Christians suffering persecution under Domitian? The premil interpretation is simply not compelling exegetically.

    The majority of the Church Fathers rejected the premillennial interpretation because (they believed) it implied a ‘carnal’ kingdom. Picking out a minority of early Fathers against far larger array of later ones, and giving the early minority greater weight than the later majority, is the exact reverse of the fundamentalist position on biblical manuscripts, funnily enough. Ultimately, we today are in a far better position to understand those texts than the Fathers were, and their interpretations - majority and minority alike - should be taken with a grain of salt. In some cases their intuition did them more credit than their exegetical skills, in that they arrived at correct conclusions via erroneous interpretations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022