Dispensationalism: the Key to Bible Prophecy (part 2)

by Cris D. Putnam
Traditional Seven Dispensations

Traditional Seven Dispensations

I affirm Ryrie’s second point the basic dispensational philosophy of history as well. A philosophy of history is a systematic understanding in which past events and major sequences are unified and explained in light of a future ultimate meaning.[i] While all Christians believe the ultimate meaning is found in Christ, they disagree in the form and function. Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,” (Eph 3:8–9, underline added). “The plan” is a rendering of the Greek οἰκονομία meaning “a plan which involves a set of arrangements (referring in the NT to God’s plan for bringing salvation to mankind within the course of history)—‘purpose, scheme, plan, arrangement.’”[ii]

In the second century, Irenaeus wrote, “He who, by Moses, instituted the legal dispensation, by which giving of the law we know that He spake to the fathers.”[iii] He then divides biblical history based on “four principal (καθολικαί) covenants given to the human race.”[iv] In the third century, church father Tertullian used the Latin word dispensatio to translate οἰκονομία and from that the English word dispensation derives. Hence, used in this way, a dispensation refers to a distinctive way in which God administers His relationship with mankind. As one can see, this line of thinking was present in primitive Christianity. In this way, nineteenth century dispensationalists were actually recovering theology that had been lost under centuries of Roman Catholic oppression.

As a system, dispensationalism has the most coherent philosophy of history because it accounts for the whole range of predictive prophecy. For example, the Old Testament predicts an earthly kingdom of universal peace (Is 2:2-4, 11:6-9, 65:17-25; Mic 4:1-5). Accordingly, futurist premillennialism accounts for the biblical data affirming that Christ will return to earth and rule over it for 1,000 years (Rev 20:4). Even so, I am willing to allow that “χίλια ἔτη” could be an idiom for a long period of time rather than insisting on precisely one thousand years. I agree with earlier divisions including the Adamic and Noahic dispensations found in revised dispensationalism. I somewhat appreciate the simplicity of the simple four-part structure associated with progressive dispensationalism: 1) Patriarchal (creation to Sinai); 2) Mosaic (Moses to Jesus ascension); 3) Ecclesial (ascension to second coming), and 4) Zionic (the millennial kingdom and eternal new creation).[v] However, Ryrie argues that progressive dispensationalists make the goal atemporal by conflating eternity and the millennium.[vi] While progressives place the millennial reign prior to the eternal state within the Zionic dispensation, it seems to confuse the matter. Thus, I agree with the older school that posits the eternal state as a distinct unit. Hence, my position entails: 1) Adamic; 2) Noahic; 3) Patriarchal; 4) Mosaic; 5) Church; 6) Millennial; 7) Eternal. These offer more explanatory scope than the abridged scheme presented by progressives. Ultimately, the exact number and name of the dispensations is not as important as one’s hermeneutic.

On the third point, a literal interpretation of scripture, I think the work of progressive dispensationalists is helpful. Literal interpretation needs to be informed by literary understanding (e.g. genre). While the historical grammatical hermeneutic is best, biblical scholarship is certainly more informed today than the days of Darby and Scofield. The radical bifurcation of the church and Israel advocated in classic dispensationalism goes too far. Classic dispensationalists posited the Church and Israel as eternally separate. The Rose Guide to End Time Prophecy is helpful:

      • Classic dispensationalists see the church as God’s heavenly people and Israel as God’s earthly people. These two groups will remain separate even in eternity. The church will be in heaven. Israel will be on the earth. (John Nelson Darby, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Cyrus I. Scofield)
      • Revised dispensationalists still see the church and Israel as distinct. At the same time, they expect the saved from both groups to coexist in eternity in glorified and resurrected bodies. Ethnic Israel is the physical seed of Abraham; prior to the end of time, the nation of Israel will still receive the land that God promised. God temporarily set aside the unbelieving nation of Israel so that he could bring together believing Gentiles with a remnant of believing Jews in the church. The church is the spiritual seed of Abraham and includes believing Jews and Gentiles. (John Walvoord, Charles Caldwell Ryrie, J. Dwight Pentecost)
      • Progressive dispensationalists are similar in many ways to new covenantalists. According to progressive dispensationalists, God has had one plan that he has unfolded from the beginning of time to the present. Each dispensation has simply emphasized a different aspect of this one plan. Jesus inaugurated a kingdom during his earthly ministry, and he will bring this kingdom to fruition in a future millennium. The nation of Israel will still receive the land that God promised to Abraham, and Jesus will govern Jews and Gentiles according to their separate nationalities during the millennium. The plan of God will, however, ultimately culminate with one people, joined together in the presence of God for all eternity.(Craig Blaising, Darrell Bock, Bruce Ware)[vii]

Even given classic’s extremes, they served as a needed corrective. Theology Professor at LBTS, Dan Mitchell cogently qualifies the final point, “It’s not so much the idea of a literal interpretation that marks the distinction, but it is the approach, do you approach the text inductively from Genesis forward or deductively from the fulfillment backward. If you have already decided that everything is fulfilled in Christ, then there really isn’t much to talk about in terms of future eschatology.”[viii] For these reasons, I believe the dispensationalism is superior to covenant theology and I find myself somewhere in the tension between the progressive and revised schools of thought.

This essay offered an analysis of dispensationalism. It sought to illustrate the value of the system by examining three defining points: the distinction between the church and Israel, the philosophy of history and a literal hermeneutic. The relationship between these points was shown. In the end, it seems that these points support the idea that dispensationalism is the key to biblical prophecy.



[i] Renald E. Showers, There Really Is a Difference! : A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990). 22.

[ii] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 357.
[iii] Irenaeus of Lyons, “Irenæus Against Heresies” In , in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume I: The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson and A. Cleveland Coxe (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 424.
[iv] Irenaeus, “Against Heresies” 429.

[v] Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock, Progressive Dispensationalism (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993), 123.

[vi] Ryrie, Dispensationalism, 22.
[vii] Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy, Kindle Edition (2012-03-06). Kindle Locations 5406-5417.
[viii] Dan Mitchell, “Dispensationalism and the Interpretation of Prophecy,” LBTS: Theo 630 lecture video, 3:32-3:57.

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.

Comments

  1. Chuckles says:

    Cris said:

    Even so, I am willing to allow that “χίλια ἔτη” could be an idiom for a long period of time rather than insisting on precisely one thousand years.

    Cris, not trying to “start something” here, but I’d be very interested in knowing your reasoning behind that willingness.

    I must admit having the same impulse myself, occasionally. But then I get back into Scripture, and find myself thinking “If God didn’t mean 1000 years, why would He say ‘1000 years’?” That always bothers me. Aren’t there ways of saying “a long period of time” in Hebrew?

    God did give Daniel a precise number of years “decreed” for the nation (Dan. 9:24). He seems to be able to be precise in His revelations. Just sayin’. :)

    • Cris Putnam says:

      Chuckles — First, it is not Hebrew but Greek. There is precedent in the Greek literature of the time for 1000 years to denote a long period of time. Second,the book of Revelation is written in the apocalyptic genre which was a well known style of writing to John. He intentionally used the genre. It uses lots of symbols. So its not too much of a leap to suppose numbers are frequently used symbolically.
      See: http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/asbury-bible-commentary/Apocalyptic-Literature

      I too tend to take it literally but I am open to the alternative for these reasons.

      • Chuckles says:

        Cris…

        You’re right–Greek, not Hebrew! Dunno why I was thinking “Hebrew”.

        Checked out that link. The author seems to be implying that “1000 years” might be non-literal because so much of Revelation is symbolic. Seems like an unwarranted assumption to me. I would answer that the symbolism in Revelation is explained within Revelation, and the “1000 years” are not explained as anything else therein. Also, other #s are taken literally (7 seals, 7 trumpets, 7 bowls, 2 witnesses, 144,000 witnesses, etc.) I don’t see any reason to abandon that for the 1000 years.

        We’re on solid ground with the literal #, I think.

        • jaz says:

          I think that if you understand the teachings of the Lord and that of His Apostles concerning the end times, then the 1000 years can only be symbolical of Christ’d present reign. 1Cor15:25-28

          Take into consideration what transpires upon the seventh Trumpet sounding Rev11:7 (the mystery of God is finished) Rev11:18 (indicates the rewarding of the righteous and the judgment of the living and the dead). This is the same event as Rev22:11,12 Acts10:42 2Tim4:1 Jn5:22 2Thes1:7-9 Mat25:31-41

          • Cris Putnam says:

            1000 years can only be symbolical of Christ’d present reign

            Nonsense…

            “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.(Re 20:2–3)

            Are you really trying to argue that none of the nations are deceived today? Satan is bound? Please explain Islam. And then explain 2 Cor 4:4 and how a bound and sealed Satan is like a roaring lion: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.(1 Pe 5:8)

            Your view is obviously false.

          • Chuckles says:

            jaz said:

            I think that if you understand the teachings of the Lord and that of His Apostles concerning the end times, then the 1000 years can only be symbolical of Christ’d present reign. 1Cor15:25-28

            Jaz, you are a funny guy, and your talent for the non-sequitur is truly impressive, :) but my understanding of “the teachings of the Lord and that of His Apostles concerning the end times” is much better than you suppose.

            Cris has already given an answer to your assertion, so I’ll just point out that very few (if any, I’m being generous) of the biblical quotes you’ve referenced–in this thread or the previous one–have any weight as regards Dispensationalism “yea or nay” (let alone with Israel’s national restoration). 1Cor15:25-28 is a good example. How in the world does that preclude a literal reading of “1000 years”? Does God need more time than that to “put all things in subjection under His feet”? God isn’t up to the “1000 Year Challenge”?

            The arguments you’ve put forth are typical amillenialist generalizations. They lump together “that which should not be lumped”, blur or ignore key distinctions, assume much, and beg the question. Evidently, your grasp of amillenialist dogma is firm (no small achievement!) but you’re riding the wrong horse.

  2. jaz says:

    Cris: I am not of any particular theology this is how I see our Loving God’s gracious redemption of a sinful humanity. It’s outside the traditional concept of dispensation theology. It can be seen as ‘progressive redemption’

    1.God deals with one Man and one woman (Adam & Eve)

    2. God deals with The Family (Noah, wife, children)

    3. God deals with a nation (Israel)

    4 God deals with all of humanity (the world)

    Grace In the sense of ‘God’s provision of mercy’ is applicable within all these facets of redemption.

  3. Bob says:

    Hebrews clearly teaches the end of the Old Covenant and that the separation of Jew and Gentile is over.
    Hebrews clearly teaches that the covenant with David was and is being fulfilled by Christ, the Son of David, rising to sit at the Father’s right hand to rule in the midst of His enemies as prophesied in Psalm 110 and Psalm 2, Messianic prophecies at the heart of Hebrews.
    Hebrews clearly teaches that the covenant with Abraham concerning the land is not fulfilled by the possession of the literal land in Palestine since Abraham himself looked for the fulfillment in a “city with foundations whose Builder and Maker is God”. The city with foundations is the New Jerusalem mentioned in Revelation 21. For “here we have no lasting city”. He looked for a better country, even a heavenly country. That is the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham.
    Jesus mentioned two dispensations: ‘this age’ and ‘the age to come’. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

    • Cris Putnam says:

      You seem uninformed of basic Old testament. There’s more than one covenant in the old Testament, one is finished two are unconditional and eternal.

      • jaz says:

        Bob; I am in agreement; Christ is the fulfilment of the Law and the prophets

        The Apostle Peter said that The christians immediate promise on the Day of the Lord is the new heaven and a New earth in which righteousness dwells 2Pet3:13. Now The Apostle includes himself in the partaking of this promise “We are looking for”
        The Apostle is saying that the reality to which “Abraham was looking for” will be fulfilled when Christ returns and that we are also to look for these things 2Pet2:14 This is conclusive of the church age as is indicated by the Apostles words in Vs14 ” Be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless”
        A statement referring to the wedding feast of the Lamb when the Church is raptured. This, the Apostle spoke in His previous letter 1Pet1:7

        • jaz says:

          Cris; The Revelations do not pertain only to the seven last years of the church as is suggested by most diepensationalists.
          As I see it; the events that transpire are those that must shortly come to pass from the time that the book was written.Rev1:1
          I also see the book in five various sequences often repeating the same events using differing imagery.

          for example; The seventh Trump clearly shows the ‘judgment of the Living and the dead at the end of the age’ Rev11:18

          That is indicative that the Bowls judgments also line up with the previous trumps, and the seven seals that preceded them. To the keen observer there can be seen many strong parallelism between them.

          If you were to really look at the scriptures I gave above. Rev22:11,12 Acts10:42 2Tim4:1 Jn5:22 2Thes1:7-9 Mat25:31-41 Then the 1000 years must be symbolical of the reign of Christ presently, otherwise the scriptures would contradict and we know from the words of Jesus, that “the scriptures cannot be broken”
          It is the rule of sound hermeneutic to always subject ‘prophetic visions’ to the clear teachings of Christ and that of His Apostles. Again; look up the scriptures above and place the 1000 tears within their context.

          Peace to you.

        • jaz says:

          That should have been 2Pet3:14 in the above post

  4. Bob says:

    I agree with your position that the Mosaic Covenant is finished and that the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants are unconditional and eternal. The NT teaches that Christ fulfills the Davidic Covenant as He sits on the throne…even Now and Forever. And the promise of the land to Abraham will be fulfilled when the New Jerusalem descends from Heaven to Earth. It was this ‘city with foundations’ that Abraham was looking for, not the earthly Jerusalem. That is what Hebrews teaches. Hebrews teaches that the Covenant of Moses is finished, Jesus is NOW on the throne of David (Ps. 110) as He rules in the midst of His enemies, and that the coming New Earth and New Jerusalem will fulfill the promise to Abraham. All the promises find their yes and amen in Christ.

  5. Bob says:

    Cris: As you know, there are many many Christians who do not subscribe to dispensational eschatology. We are serious intelligent students and scholars of the Bible and lovers of truth. We could easily call dispensationalist views nonsense, uninformed and wrong and sincerely believe we are right in doing so. My purpose in posting on this topic is to show you that there are many of us who disagree with dispensationalism who join you in your exposure of the strong delusion and its connection to the Vatican and Aliens.
    The major difference with the dispensationalist viewpoint is that many of us see the “gathering of Satan’s armies, Gog and Magog” happening NOW before Christ’s return, not a thousand years in the future.
    In regard to the point about the deceiving of the nations. Revelation tells us what he is restrained from … and that is the deceiving of the nations FOR THE PURPOSE of gathering them together for the last great war. Here is the Scripture:
    “Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.” Rev. 20:8
    Notice that the Scripture says that he is released to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to deceive the nation in order “to gather them together to battle”.
    Yes, Satan walks to and fro the earth and rages like a lion and he is permitted to make war against the church. He has always been permitted to deceive as he sends out false prophets like Mohammed and Darwin and Popes to deceive the people. But what he has been restrained and bound from doing is this ‘gathering the nations, gog and magog, for the battle’ against God and His people.
    That is why this revelation you and Tom Horn are making is so important. It is only now that we see HOW Satan intends to deceive the nations for the purpose of gathering them together for the battle. It is through the strong delusion of panspermia and that we all are here because of superior alien beings. This is the only thing that could unite the world together. Satan has been bound from doing this until now. And now we believe we are at the end of Christ’s millennial reign at God’s right hand as we see the evidence through your book that Satan is loosed for the purpose of assembling the nations together to attack God and His people. And those of us who are not dispensationalists are not expecting a rapture to escape this strong delusion, but we do expect God will deliver us at the moment when Satan leads the world to sentence Christians to death.
    God bless you as you expose this strong delusion.

    Pastor Bob Brown

    • Cris Putnam says:

      The major difference with the dispensationalist viewpoint is that many of us see the “gathering of Satan’s armies, Gog and Magog” happening NOW before Christ’s return, not a thousand years in the future.

      Actually most all dispensationalists agree with you on this even the Left Behind series put the Magog war before the rapture.

      Revelation tells us what he is restrained from … and that is the deceiving of the nations FOR THE PURPOSE of gathering them together for the last great war.

      Has Christ returned? Did I miss it? When did all of this that preceeds Rev 20 happen?

      “His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses…. (Re 19:12–14)

      When was the antichrist and false prophet defeated? The huge hole in your eisegesis of Rev 20 is that in Rev 19 the return of Christ happens before Satan is restrained. Also you don’t have to be dispensational to be premillennial, look into Historic Premillennialism.

      • Bob says:

        Of course the antichrist and false prophet is defeated when He returns as Rev. 19 indicates. The huge hole in your eisegesis is that His return destroys ALL flesh. There is no one left. Rev. 20 is a recapitulation of Satan’s history from his binding at the cross until he is thrown into the Lake of Fire at Christ’s return. If you are really interested in exegesis that PROVES that Rev. 20:1-10 is a recapitulation please read it here:
        http://www.apuritansmind.com/the-christian-walk/recapitulation-in-revelation-201-10-by-dr-r-fowler-white/
        Also See: http://www.gospeltruth.net/millenniumisnotflethcer.htm and
        Philip Mauro is excellent: http://www.tentmaker.org/books/HopeoftheJews/index.htm

        • Cris Putnam says:

          Satan was not bound by the cross the NT is full of references to the contrary.

          • Bob says:

            The fallen angels were bound from the moment they left their first estate. God did not permit them to use their powers as they could have. Look at Job. God put a hedge around him so that Satan could not harm him, his family, his health or his wealth. But when God removed the restraint, Satan did a lot of damage.

            Jude 6 tells us “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.”

            Clearly this binding of angels in Jude 6 refers to something that happened in the past. Peter confirms this in 2Peter 2:4 “…God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to tartaroo and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”

            Notice that there is another binding of fallen angels mentioned by Christ in Matthew 12:25-30:

            “But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand… But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? and then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”

            The binding of evil spirits and fallen angels could only by done by One stronger than Satan. Jesus is clear that the Kingdom of God had finally arrived with His appearing in the flesh as the King of this Kingdom. So what when and how was the strong man (Satan) bound? It was at the cross where Christ defeated Satan and disarmed him, so He and His witnesses could plunder his kingdom of darkness.

            Colossians 2:15 “He disarmed principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.” And as a result…. “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Col. 1:13,14. Amen!

            Once the gospel goes into all the world as witness, then the end shall come. Matthew 24:14. Many of us believe that has now happened and that the end has indeed come. Revelation teaches that God will loose the devil so that he can deceive the nations into believing a lie, called the ‘strong delusion’. He was bound from deceiving the nations and gathering together until the gospel went into all the world. NOW he has been loosed. And NOW the strong delusion is being exposed. You are a part of that exposure Cris. Evolution has morphed into the lie of panspermia and the Copernican principle has morphed into the principle of mediocrity, and the belief in GOD has morphed into a belief in aliens, and the gospel of our Savior, Jesus, has morphed into the gospel of alien saviors.

            This is the evidence that Satan has been loosed. And Revelation tells us that during the fifth and sixth trumpets he will be unbound further and allowed to harm those without the seal of God and then to kill those without the seal of God as God releases all those angels bound since the flood.

            Just because we teach that Satan was bound at the cross doesn’t mean we believe he no longer deceived and lied and raged as a roaring lion knowing his time is short. We believe that. But we teach Satan was bound all this time from bringing forth his own savior, the antichrist, who would gather the nations at the very end. In a powerful way he will use the belief in aliens to deceive the whole world. He was kept or bound from doing this until the very end. This is what we see now. We need to call people to repent and receive Christ so they can be sealed from being harmed and killed when God releases the fallen angels from the abyss (the dark realm). They need to be sealed by God now like in Ezekiel 9.

            This explanation is believed by many many Christians. Peace and God bless you.

          • Cris Putnam says:

            Just because we teach that Satan was bound at the cross doesn’t mean we believe he no longer deceived and lied and raged as a roaring lion knowing his time is short. We believe that. But we teach Satan was bound all this time from bringing forth his own savior, the antichrist, who would gather the nations at the very end.

            But the text never says that. It is not at all consistent with what the scripture says. In Revelation 20 Satan is bound and thrown into the pit unable to deceive the nations. “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.”(Re 20:2–3)

            You cant be sealed in a pit and roaming about as a roaring lion, it is one or the other, it cannot be both!

            Rev 20 is quite a bit different from him only being prevented from “bringing forth his own savior, the antichrist.” This displays the inadequacy of the amillennial recapitulation interpretation. It leads to too many contradictions.

  6. jaz says:

    Listen to the word of God:

    The Apostle’s words to Timothy; “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” 1Tim4:1

    The Apostle’s words to the Thessalonians; ” The Lord Jesus shall be revealed (appear) from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire (judgment) taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ………….When he shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believed” 2Thes1:7-10

    The Apostle’s words to the Corinthians as it relates to His coming 1Cor15:23
    “Then comes the end, when He (Jesus) delivers up the Kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule, all authority and power” 1Cor15:24

    Those Three scriptures alone suffices us with what is to transpire at the second coming of Jesus.
    Note: that He comes not to set up His kingdom, But rather, delivers it to the Father.
    Jesus said concerning this day, addressing His disciples “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that ‘Day’ when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom” Mat26:29

    There are many more scriptures showing that the return of the Lord is the day of judgment for all souls. Rev22:12 and that it is the eternal kingdom of God the Father that is established in New heavens and a New earth 2Pet3:13

    Therefore; presently, The prince of this world has been cast out as Jesus said. His binding with chains is symbolical of (his power restrained) and must be understood within the context of the power of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, specifically as it relates to the ‘Grace of God’ in this day of salvation 2Cor2:2

    Satan’s loosening from the abyss for a short time, corresponds with the release of Apollyon form the abyss Rev9:11 who is also “The beast of the abyss that makes war upon the two witnesses” (the church Comprised of Jews and Gentiles, the two olive trees, the two lampstands) Rev11:7

    It is my belief that we are presently at that time of Satan’s loosening, and that his deceptive strategies is being wrought within the political and religious arena for the purpose of silencing the Gospel of Christ. Indeed; he uses many fronts and resources from the entire beast system (the four corners of the earth)

    We have an end-Time persecution coming before the two witnesses (church) are taken up into heaven (the rapture) at the second coming of Jesus.

    We may agree or disagree. Reality is; we are in the Last days!

  7. Bob says:

    Thanks Jaz. I agree with you. And don’t forget 2Peter 3:10-13

    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    Peter is VERY clear here about what happens when Jesus comes as a thief in the night. “…the heavens will pass away with a great noise….the elements will melt with fervent heat. Doesn’t sound like life continues on for another ‘thousand years’ to me. Peter tells us to look for a new heaven and a new earth….not another thousand years continuing to put up with unconverted ‘mortals’ as we continue to wait for the end. Jesus coming as a thief will bring the end. Peter teaches that we are to look for …the Day of God, not another thousand years on earth.
    And I’ll add that this idea of a Supernatural Being coming to sit on a throne in earthly Jerusalem is dangerous in that it can lead believers into being deceived in a satanic impersonation of Christ.
    Secondly, this idea that unconverted humans survive His return to live on another thousand years offer sinners ‘a second chance’. We’re not helping the Jews or any sinner by teaching them they will have another chance after the rapture. When the High Priest leaves heaven, like in the Day of Atonement, there is no further opportunity to apply the blood of the Lamb.

  8. Bob B says:

    Cris you said: “You cant be sealed in a pit and roaming about as a roaring lion, it is one or the other, it cannot be both!”

    The error is the failure to see that the devil can indeed be restrained in this realm/abyss of darkness and ALSO be allowed to deceive and tempt and make war. It is this ‘literal hermeneutic’ that is the foundational error of premillennialism. The devil isn’t physically chained is he? Do you think he is really put into a ‘pit’? Both Peter and Jude call this place where Satan and the angels are bound – darkness…tartarus. Adam Clarke is enlightening on 2Peter 2:4 on where the fallen angels are kept (I copy in part):

    “Chains of darkness is a highly poetic expression. Darkness binds them on all hands; and so dense and strong is this darkness that it cannot be broken through; they cannot deliver themselves, nor be delivered by others. As the word Tartarus is found nowhere else in the New Testament, nor does it appear in the Septuagint, we must have recourse to the Greek writers for its meaning.

    “The ancient Greeks appear to have received, by tradition, an account of the punishment of the fallen angels,‘ and of bad men after death; and their poets did, in conformity I presume with that account, make Tartarus the place where the giants who rebelled against Jupiter, and the souls of the wicked, were confined. ‘Here,‘ saith Hesiod, Theogon., lin. 720, 1, ‘the rebellious Titans were bound in penal chains.‘

    Which description will very well agree with the proper sense of Tartarus, if we take the earth for the center of the material system, and reckon from our zenith, or the extremity of the heavens that is over our heads. But as the Greeks imagined the earth to be of a boundless depth, so it must not be dissembled that their poets speak of Tartarus as a vast pit or gulf in the bowels of it. Thus Hesiod in the same poem, lin. 119, calls it –
    ΤΑΡΤΑΡΑ τ ‘ ηεροεντα μυχῳ χθονος ευρυοδειης·
    ‹Black Tartarus, within earth‘s spacious womb.‘

    “And Homer, Iliad viii., lin. 13, etc., introduces Jupiter threatening any of the gods who should presume to assist either the Greeks or the Trojans, that he should either come back wounded to heaven, or be sent to Tartarus.
    That gulf which iron gates and brazen ground
    Within the earth inexorably bound;
    As deep beneath th‘ infernal center hurl‘d,
    As from that center to the ethereal world.‘

    “On the whole, then, ταρταρουν , in St. Peter, is the same as ῥιπτειν ες Ταρταρον , to throw into Tartarus, in Homer, only rectifying the poet‘s mistake of Tartarus being in the bowels of the earth, and recurring to the original sense of that word above explained, which when applied to spirits must be interpreted spiritually; and thus ταρταρωσας will import that God cast the apostate angels out of his presence into that ζοφος του σκοτους , blackness of darkness, (2 Peter 2:17; Judges 1:13), where they will be for ever banished from the light of his countenance, and from the beatifying influence of the ever blessed Three, as truly as a person plunged into the torpid boundary of this created system would be from the light of the sun and the benign operations of the material heavens.”
    By chains of darkness we are to understand a place of darkness and wretchedness, from which it is impossible for them to escape.

    So this “pit” is simply ‘a place of darkness, out of the Light of God’s Loving Beautiful Presence full of joy.’ It is not a literal pit where they are literally chained. Since the cross, Satan is now being restrained in this realm of darkness which is in the atmosphere of earth. In this realm he is bound, but still able to deceive, tempt, roar as a raging lion and enter into the “Judases” of the world….who are also abiding in this realm of darkness. It is this “pit” of darkness where we are all born until Christ calls us and saves us and places us into His marvelous light of His loving Presence. The whole world lies in darkness and this is where Satan is bound, chained until he is loosed.

    Just because Satan is bound in this realm/abyss of darkness does not mean he is in solitary confinement. He makes war from this place using those humans walking in darkness. Just as God restrained Satan from making the world ‘one’ in the days of Nimrod, God has restrained him from waging the last day battle until it is time. He is being restrained in the realm/abyss of darkness in the air until he is loosed and allowed to go to gog and magog to gather them together for the battle.

    The great weakness of premillennialism is not only the literal hermeneutic but also the failure to see that at the end of Revelation 19, all of wicked humanity is slain.

    Revelation 19:17 “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.

    19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

    Revelation 19:17ff teaches the destruction and death of all of wicked humanity. That means that there is NO ONE who survives to live in the Presence of Jesus except the sheep. See the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25. When Christ returns ALL the goats are thrown in the fire AT THAT TIME!

    Revelation 20:1-10 simply tells of the restraining and then the final punishment of Satan and the fallen angels who also end up with the beast and false prophet in the lake of fire.

    Rev. 20:1-10 restates how Satan was punished by first being bound in the realm of darkness (the pit) until the very end, when he is allowed to go to the rulers of the world, gog and magog, who are also in darkness to gather them together for the final war. It is indeed a recapitulation of Satan’s short story….that teaches believers that Satan is still alive and well, but that he is being restrained in the pit or realm of darkness…until the very end when he is freed for one hour.

    God bless you my brother.

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