A word in season – holy calling, assurance, and promises


Bibbia con rosa by Vortix - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - httpcommons.wikimedia.orgwikiFileBibbia_con_rosa.jpg#mediaviewerFileBibbia_con_rosa.jpg

.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

NASB

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your [a]perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. [b]For after all it is only just [c]for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted [d]and to us as well [e]when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with [f]His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified [g]in His [h]saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will [i]count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.


 

Go read! Spurgeon’s view of eschatology


Revelation 20:1-6

NASB
Satan Bound

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain [a]in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of [b]their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.


THE MILLENNIAL POSITION OF SPURGEON

Dennis M. Swanson
Seminary Librarian, The Master’s Seminary Journal

Spurgeon2“The notoriety of Charles Haddon Spurgeon has caused many since his time to claim him as a supporter of their individual views regarding the millennium. Spurgeon and his contemporaries were familiar with the four current millennial views – amillennialism, postmillennialism, historic premillennialism, and dispensational premillennialism – though the earlier nomenclature may have differed. Spurgeon did not preach or write extensively on prophetic themes, but in his sermons and writings he did say enough to produce a clear picture of his position. Despite claims to the contrary, his position was most closely identifiable with that of historic premillennialism in teaching the church would experience the tribulation, the millennial kingdom would be the culmination of God’s program for the church, a thousand years would separate the resurrection of the just from that of the unjust, and the Jews in the kingdom would be part of the one people of God with the church. . .”


 

Simplicity – Amillennialism and the Two Ages


Patek Philippe & Co. watch, Rama, 15 April 2007 (according to Exif data), Wikipedia.

Patek Philippe & Co. watch – Rama – 4/15/07


“The Last Day”

John 6:38-40

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

“This Age [Time]” and “the Age to Come”

Luke 18:28-30

28 Peter said, “Behold, we have left [h]our own homes and followed You.” 29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”


Thoughts

I’m posting this because, though Amillennialism is probably new and strange to many Bible-believing Christians it deserves a hearing by those who love God’s Word. It has simplicity and clarity, and gives prominence to Jesus’ statements in the Gospel of John, the prominence that ought to be given. I pray this gives you something of value from God’s Word even if you disagree. 


A Present or Future Millennium?

[The link in the title is to the page “From the Archives of Modern Reformation.” There, you’ll find this title with an embedded link to a pdf file. Using Windows 10 the pdf doesn’t open on the web but asks to be saved to your computer.] 

By Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

Senior pastor, Christ Reformed Church, Anaheim, California 

Source: The Riddleblog | Devoted to Reformed Theology and Eschatology

“Without a doubt, most American evangelicals are firmly committed to premillennialism–the belief that an earthly millennial age of one thousand year’s duration will begin immediately after our Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Advent. Since premillennialism is so dominant in American church circles, many who encounter Reformed theology for the first time are quite surprised when they discover that all of the Protestant Reformers, as well as virtually the entire Reformed and Lutheran traditions (along with their confessions), with a few notable exceptions, are amillennial. Amillennialism is that understanding of eschatology which sees the millennium as the present course of history between the first and second Advents of our Lord (the age of the church militant), and not as a future golden age upon the earth as is taught in premillennialism and postmillennialism. In the case of both ‘pre’ and ‘post’ millennialism, the millennium is thought to be the age of the church triumphant, not the age of the church militant. . .”

“. . .Yet another problem encountered when discussing this subject is that there is often a great deal of heat without very much light. One prophecy pundit (Chuck Missler) once quipped that the people in heaven with the lowest IQ’s will be amillennial. Hal Lindsey goes so far as to label amillennialism as anti-Semitic, demonic and heretical. Jack Van Impe called A-millennialism (to use his characteristic emphasis upon the A) the greatest heresy in church history. When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to hear prophecy experts label amillennial Christians as theological liberals who were a bit embarrassed by the bold supernaturalism required to believe in a sudden and secret rapture. Furthermore, amillennial Christians are often accused of not taking the Bible literally and of teaching so-called ‘replacement theology.’

“The result of such rhetoric is that American Christians cannot help but be prejudiced by such unfortunate comments and many reject outright (without due consideration of the other side) the eschatology of the Reformers and classical Protestantism–an eschatology which is amazingly simple, Biblical, and Christ-centered. . .”

The article is a little over five pages single-spaced and very helpful in understanding the Bible’s teaching on the last things. 


 

The Destruction of the Second Temple: Harmonizing the Gospels and insights from Philip Mauro


A Bible study


Matthew 23:36-38

NASB

36 Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

Mark 13:1,2

1 As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”


The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans Under the Command of Titus, A.D. 70, by David Roberts (1850)


Recently, Crissy of KNOWING THE TIME, because what’s coming matters quoted Gerald Stanton in a comment at Christian’s blog, Showing Ourselves Approved. The Stanton quote is the part of Crissy’s comment that I want to address. You can read all of her comment at the link below, labled: “Crissy says: August 11, 2018 at 12:31 pm.” 

Let’s Have a Real Conversation About the RAPTURE

Gerald Stanton:

[copied and pasted]

“The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the “time of the Church’s trouble,” but the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scriptures (Deut. 4: 30; Jer. 30: 7; Ezek. 20: 37; Dan. 12:1; Zech. 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26), and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1-2; 17, etc.).

It concerns “Daniel’s people,” the coming of “false Messiah,” the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom,” flight on the “sabbath,” the temple and the “holy place,” the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve “tribes of the children of Israel,” the “son of Moses,” “signs” in the heavens, the “covenant” with the Beast, the “sanctuary,” the “sacrifice and the oblation” of the temple ritual. These all speak of Israel and clearly demonstrate that the Tribulation is largely a time when God deals with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal with this nation (Deut. 30:1-6; Jer. 30:8-10, etc.). Not one Old Testament passage on the tribulation refers to the church.


A foundation for understanding

All of the Bible is for all believers, Jews and Gentiles. Certainly it is crucial to know who is being addressed in a given passage, but if we keep believing and stating that “this is for the Jews” we will only add to the confusion and discouragement in the Church today. I pray that my post will not add to the confusion.


The testimony of Scripture

In studying the End Times, I’ve had many questions about how to understand Jesus’ prophecies in Matthew 24. Some Christians believe that all of these prophecies remain to be fulfilled. However in harmonizing Matthew 24 and Luke 21, we find that Jesus gave us an important key to understanding which was recorded by Luke: the timeframe, “but before all these things.” 

The Lord declared that but before all these things” the Temple would be razed. This happened when Titus and the armies of Rome left not “a stone standing.” Jesus even gave instructions to His disciples concerning what to do when they saw Rome’s armies surrounding Jerusalem. I believe that the disciples took the Lord’s warning to heart, as many have seen. About the safety of Christians during this period Albert Barnes (1832) wrote:

It is said that there is reason to believe that not one Christian perished in the destruction of that city, God having in various ways secured their escape, so that they fled to Pella, where they dwelt when the city was destroyed. The Christian Flight to Pella

And Paul Maier wrote this in Christian History magazine:

Josephus, our major source for all this information, does not name a single Christian victim in connection with great Jewish War. Why not? With immense luck—or blessing—the earliest Christians largely escaped all this horror for two reasons: (1) Only four years before the war’s outbreak, James the Just of Jerusalem (the first Christian bishop according to both Acts 15 and Eusebius) was stoned to death by the Sanhedrin, which must certainly have led the struggling Jewish-Christian community to think about leaving. (2) Eusebius, ‘the father of church history,’ also tells us that Christians were warned by an oracle to flee the city some time before war’s outbreak. In fact, they evacuated to Pella and other cities north of Jerusalem, and so escaped the Roman siege and conquest.  Not One Stone Left Upon Another

Another of the Lord’s prophesied events was the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15). This too was fulfilled when the armies of Rome brought Imperial standards (graven images) into the sacred precincts:

54. Romans occupy Temple [70 CE]
316 Now that the rebels had fled the city, and the temple itself and every thing around was burning, the Romans brought their standards into the sacred spot. And, setting them up facing the eastern gate, they sacrificed to them. And with the greatest acclaim they proclaimed Titus emperor.
JosephusJewish War 6.316

At least two prophecies then have been fulfilled. Let us rejoice for this confirms the words of the Saviour! What He said to His disciples about these matters was fulfilled to the letter.

Returning to the timeframe key in Jesus’ prophecy, please see how Luke 21 helps us to more clearly understand His words in Matthew 24:

Luke 21:10-24

10 Then He continued by saying to them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, 11 and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. 13 It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. 16 But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, 17 and you will be hated by all because of My name. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near. 21 Then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave, and those who are in the country must not enter the city; 22 because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days;for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people; 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.


Who was Philip Mauro? 

Philip was “a famous lawyer, supreme court lawyer, [and] prepared briefs for [the] Scopes Trial.” He left Dispensationalism for a more historically Protestant view. Sadly, he failed to see (that I know of) that Israel would be reborn as a nation. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss his insights about 70 A.D.

Philip Mauro in 1926“It is greatly to be regretted that those who, in our day, give themselves to the study and exposition of prophecy, seem not to be aware of the immense significance of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which was accompanied by the extinction of Jewish national existence, and the dispersion of the Jewish people among all the nations. The failure to recognize the significance of that event, and the vast amount of prophecy which it fulfilled, has been the cause of great confusion, for the necessary consequence of missing the past fulfillment of predicted events is to leave on our hands a mass of prophecies for which we must needs contrive fulfillments in the future. The harmful results are two fold; for first, we are thus deprived of the evidential value, and the support to the faith, of those remarkable fulfillments of prophecy which are so clearly presented to us in authentic contemporary histories; and second, our vision of things to come is greatly obscured and confused by the transference to the future of predicted events which, in fact, have already happened, and whereof complete records have been preserved for our information.”

Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation


“No matter what view of eschatology we embrace, we must take seriously the redemptive-historical importance of Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D.70.”

R.C. Sproul


R.C. Sproul on Eschatology – Whispering, shouting


R. C. Sproul, Sr.

Postmillennialist Partial Preterist

Comment on this page

01 Apr 2004

“I notice that some people say that Sproul is one of the greatest theologians of our times. I know that many would disagree because they do not agree with him, etc. I would like to add however, that I have been fortunate enough to have talked with him (as well as his son) on occasion, and while I agree with a great deal of what he teaches, the greatest reason for me to respect him to such a high degree is this: When we were talking about eschatology, (this was a few years ago) he stated as plainly as he could what he believed, but then even more clearly stated that he just didn’t know when it came to some things. He said that he was on the same path to wisdom that everybody is on and he can say no more than that. I received an almost identical response on another topic that came up as well. That said, what I truly appreciate was the fact that he was humbled before the Lord and felt no shame at admitting he didn’t know some thing or another. I truly appreciate that from someone in his position. Whether I agree with him or not on many or few subjects, I will always have great respect for the man because of his humble servant character that I witnessed. He sheds a little light on this in his works on eschatology in particular when he says that he feels best whispering where he believes God has whispered. He said that he was not willing, personally, to shout where he had not yet received ‘shouting’ knowledge. Just wanted to share that.”