Good Friday and the Victory of Jesus

In the moments leading up to Good Friday in Jesus’ day, Jesus utters a very profound reality.

A reality that anyone outside the Amillennial system would have a very difficult time explaining. Jesus Christ, Himself tells us a victory that He has already accomplished.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)

The Greek for, “overcome” in this verse is νικάω. This is of course the verb form of the noun that we are all familiar with, nikē. Nike. The well known sports brand. Or more specifically to our context, the Greek word for, “victory”.

The word in the verb form is probably more accurately, “conquer”. Jesus is saying take heart, even in the midst of tribulation that you will have in the world. And why should you take heart? Because Jesus has conquered the world.

This is a perfect tense verb. Jesus has completed His conquering and the word stands conquered.

The objection that a non-Amillennarian would say, is look around the world, does it look conquered to you? And the answer can only come from the Biblical text in which we can say, “yes”. Simply because Christ told us He conquered it.

The big issue is in what way did He conquer the world. Well in the way that Amillennialists understand it. That Christ is seated on His throne, ruling and reigning. And that the last enemy that Jesus needs to deal with is death.

The idea that there can still be sin and rebellion in the world isn’t an objection to the words of Jesus in John 16:33. That type of redemption takes place in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

The spiritual reign of Jesus Christ now is a reality. And that reign commences with Christ’s first-coming-victory. Good Friday is good because Christ dealt once-and-for-all with our sins. But it’s also Good because it was the necessary victory for Jesus Christ to conquer the world and to reign on His throne, even as we speak.

Praise be to Christ for His successful conquests and reigning sovereignty.

All The Nations and the Whole Earth

It’s clear that Futurists’ presuppositions are in play with eschatology. One such issue that we see this in is the idea of the scope of fulfillment of certain prophecies. 

A constant argument that I hear to refute Partial Preterism is the scope of fulfillment of certain prophecies. 

If we take Zechariah 14:2 as an example we can see what I’m talking about. It states, 

“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”

(Zechariah 14:2 ESV)

As evidence that this passage has not been fulfilled, some Futurists have asserted that the term “all nations” cannot refer to the first century. 

I won’t lie, this is just silly. A similar passage is found in the Olivet Discourse, 

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

(Matthew 24:14 ESV)

The argument is widened with the use of the term “whole world”. This, according to the futurist, couldn’t possibly have happened because the whole world couldn’t have experienced the events of the 1st century. 

The idea of “all nations” requiring a future fulfillment is self-evidently wrong. “All nations” can easily come up against Jerusalem. 

As evidence of this fact, the phrase doesn’t exclude the interpretation of “all known nations”. Which is also the understanding of “whole world”. In other words, it’s the known world. 

The idea of the Gospel being preached to the whole world is understood as fulfilled in Paul’s lifetime, 

“Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.”

(Colossians 1:5–6 ESV)

Paul goes further, 

“if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

(Colossians 1:23 ESV)

What are the chances that if Jesus mentioned that the Gospel needs to be proclaimed in the whole world and Paul says that the Gospel was proclaimed in the whole world, that the Gospel was proclaimed in the whole world?

Those chances are pretty high. And it indicates that Paul believed that what Jesus said was fulfilled even in his lifetime. 

Furthermore, we recognize that the phrases, “whole world” or “all nations” don’t refer to the future. These don’t prove when these things will be fulfilled, they merely prove the scope of their fulfillment.

Numbers in Revelation

I would like to emphasize the fact that when Premillennialists argue that non-Premils use the wrong hermeneutical principles for interpreting Revelation that this is just simply not true.

The inverse is equally not true for any Amillennarians who think that Premils are making the same hermeneutical mistakes. And I’m sure you’ve heard the arguments. Amillennarians use too much symbolic or even allegorical interpretations in Revelation. And in response, Premils are too literalistic.

The Thousand Year Reign

As you can imagine how this relates to the subject of Revelation 20, both sides are considered to have implemented the wrong hermeneutic. Amillennarians emphasize that the book of Revelation itself is highly symbolic, therefore, a thousand years can easily be interpreted symbolically.

Premils demand that a thousand years cannot mean anything other than a thousand years. Both would recognize that context is most likely the determining factor.

Having said that, it’s not enough for the Premillennialist to simply demand that a thousand years means, literally a thousand. The Amillennarian’s claim is a valid one. If you’re in a book of prophecy that already utilizes a highly consistent amount of symbolism, what are the chances that a thousand years can be used to represent something other than a literal passage of time?

There are numerous other arguments that both the Amillennarian and the Premillennialist takes, but suffice it to say, the probability of interpretation favors the Amillennarian.

Numbers in the Book of Revelation

The closest to a viable response to the logic mentioned above from the Premil side has to be the use of numbers in the book of Revelation. It has been pointed out that numbers can be used symbolically but not always in Revelation. For example, there were literally seven churches and literally two witnesses.

The obvious response that both sides are forced to conclude is that there would be differences in literal vs. symbolic interpretations of numbers based on context. But clearly, that would result in both sides demanding that the context of Revelation 20 is in their favor.

Instead, what would be a viable criterion for examining how to handle numbers in the book of Revelation? Think it about it in terms of the 144,000.

I’ve noticed that Premils of all flavors either concede that this is symbolic or stick to this as being literal. John MacArthur, for example, still holds to it being a literal number. Those like MacArthur who hold to this kind of strict literalism are the ones who are extremely hard pressed to interpret numbers appropriately in their context.

How Do We Interpret the 144,000?

It’s possible that this is a literal number of actual ethnic Jews. As a Partial Preterist, it would make sense to me that this number is a number of actual Jews from the 1st century who survive the horrors of 70 AD. Other literal interpretations like MacArthur’s contend that this is a literal number of ethnic Jews in the future, corresponding to a restoration of Israel.

The interesting thing to note is that even if one holds to either literal interpretation, there still is a problem. This is pointed out by Dr. Thomas Ice. In his article, he mentions the fact that the 144,000 is number representing the men. He introduces this fact by stating, “Below are reasons why this passage means what it says and refers to exactly 144,000 Jewish guys (no gals or Gentiles included), and 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel”.

With that in mind, it’s clear that the number 144,000 isn’t meant to be taken to mean that 144,000 is the sum total of all this group of sealed individuals. But that it is representative of a much larger number. This is a literary device that is used throughout Scripture. There were tons more who left Egypt than 600,000 (Exodus 12:37) and there were far more than 5,000 that Jesus fed (Matthew 14:21).

It’s fascinating to see Dr. Thomas Ice noting the exclusion of “gals and Gentiles” in the number, but failing to take into account the fact that that means the number is used just like it is throughout the rest of Scripture, to indicate a much larger number of those sealed.

The Categories of Numbers

With this concept in mind, there is a basic criterion that we can establish for handling numbers in the book of Revelation. Simply put, small numbers should probably be interpreted literally and large numbers should probably be interpreted as representative of much larger quantities or representative of something else other than the number expressed.

Thus, it’s irrelevant for those who are honest enough to admit that numbers are used both literally and symbolically in the book of Revelation. As we can recognize that small numbers are literal whereas large numbers are not.

 

 

Parallel Partial Preterism

This is the first in an installment of posts related to a partial or orthodox, preteristic harmony of the Gospel accounts of the Olivet Discourse.

This an attempt to recognize an exceptionally important hermeneutical approach to the Gospels. That is, recognizing that although each Gospel has a different perspective, they don’t have a different message. Each perspective can and should be taken in light of the others. This is something that will become clearer when approaching the Olivet Discourse from the perspective of allowing all three accounts to speak for themselves.

All three accounts of Christ’s lengthy presentation begin the same way. There’s an examination of the Temple and a promise and prophecy by Christ of its destruction. What is specifically interesting is how much information is contained in one account and how little information is contained in the other two.

The reason for the interesting differences in the amount of information is because of the typical assumption by both futurists and full-preterists of the discourse relating to, almost entirely, the actual event of the Parousia of Christ. Christ does refer to and concludes His discourse with a presentation of the Parousia, for example, after Matthew 24:34. However, the beginning content that holds as the primary material for responding to the disciples happens to include everything but the actual event of the final coming or Parousia of Christ.

Christ basically initiates the discourse the same way in all three accounts. That is, the Temple is going to be destroyed, and there are going to be certain events that surround its destruction.

But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

— Matthew 24:2 ESV

And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

— Mark 13:2 ESV

“As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

— Luke 21:6 ESV

It really is quite remarkable to point out the fact that this discourse was introduced by the specifics of Christ pointing out merely the destruction of the Temple.

He didn’t introduce His final coming. He introduced the Temple’s destruction. Beyond that, all Christ had introduced before this point is the fact that the promised Kingdom of God was at hand (of course never referring to it as a thousand years).

That kingdom that Christ said was not of this world (John 18:36). That same kingdom that Christ indicated He inaugurates within the lifetime of some of His contemporaries, and that He Himself would come to bring into effect (Matthew 16:28).

This is further underscored by the fact that the Greek word παρουσία referring to the Second or Final Coming of Christ isn’t used in Matthew’s Gospel prior to Matthew 24. It isn’t used at all in Luke’s Gospel nor in Marks.

Which means, in the parallel accounts of Mark and Luke, there are absolutely no mentions of the parousia by name. They only mentioned the Parousia by inference, recognizing the specifics of events that coincide with the Parousia (Mark 13:32). Interestingly enough, it appears from Luke’s account that Luke really does not discuss the Parousia at all.

This means that in Luke’s and Mark’s account it is incumbent upon the interpreter to actually spot and recognize the Parousia. Which would logically conclude that there is a margin of error that may feasible on all sides of the eschatology debate. If there is nothing intrinsic in the text itself, then it requires us to think critically about the text its context to determine if a text is Parousia or not.

Moving on to the actual question of the disciples themselves. This brings us back to one of the original assertions, namely, harmonizing each Gospel account together. The fact is, that we must interpret all three accounts in a symbiotic way. The fact that one account has less information than another requires us to apply the same understanding to both. The Gospel with more information must be used to define the Gospel with less information and vice versa. Each Gospel can say more or less but no Gospel can something different.

We cannot assume that because a Gospel has less information than another that the Gospel with less information recorded the account incorrectly and the Gospel with more recorded information either “fixed” or “got it right”.

The lack of information supplied, therefore, must serve as a sufficient amount of information to essentially be saying the same thing as the account with more information. And the account with more information must be capable of providing further clarity, understanding, and insight to the account with less information.

Furthermore, each account must be capable of standing on its own and, therefore, the interpreter must be able to arrive at the same conclusion about the meaning of the discourse in one account as would be the case in any of the others. This is necessarily the case. Another way of stating is, is that even with looking at, for example, Luke’s account which states less that Matthew, we should still be able to arrive at an accurate conclusion of Luke’s message that is similar to and in harmony with Matthew’s account without needing Matthew’s account to correct, expand, or fix our interpretation.

If we interpret Luke, we should expect to find consistency with our understanding of Luke’s account when we open up Mark. The only thing that should happen is that we would find greater clarity and insight into the discourse itself, not a difference of information.

Mark and Luke record the Disciples’ question as asking for less than Matthew’s account does. Both Mark and Luke only ask for when the Temple will be destroyed. Whereas Matthew records the Disciples asking for the destruction of the Temple, the sign of Christ’s παρουσία, and the end of the age.

So here’s the point. Mark and Luke’s Gospels are actually not asking for different information than Matthew’s Gospel, they are asking for the same thing.

In other words, what Matthew records as the destruction of the Temple, the sign of Christ’s final coming, and the end of the age are all simultaneously the same event and can be spoken of with the simpler, summary form of purely asking about the destruction of the Temple.

The only clarification is to point out that the disciples were most likely asking for the end of history and the end of the world. They did, in fact, ask for συντέλεια i.e. the consummation or the total, final end of everything. This word is a compound Greek word, combining τέλεια, meaning “end” with συν meaning “with”.

In other words, it would be totally accurate to state that this would refer to all things that should be ending together. Whereas τέλεια would simply refer to a singular end of some particular thing. In this case, it’s a specific reference to the age.

However, there is a misunderstanding then on the part of the Disciples. Because they were using the word συντέλεια, with the singular word for “age”, αἰών, they weren’t asking for the consummation of the end of the ages but were thinking that the end of the world would then be synonymous with the end of the age they were currently living in. Thus conflating the idea of the destruction of the Temple with the end of the world.

This is essential if were are to understand the discourse correctly. As the Temple was the center of Jewish religion and life, for it to cease was certainly devastating. Therefore, the disciples were primarily interested in the destruction of the Temple and were confusing the destruction of the Temple with the end of the world.

But what about the portion of their question that deals with the Parousia? Certainly, the order of events as recorded by Matthew in 24:3 would indicate they thought there would be the final coming of Christ as well that would happen after the Temple’s destruction but before the end of their age.

The problem though, for futurists and full-preterist is that they didn’t ask for His Parousia, they asked for the sign of His Parousia. And considering how frequently the Jews of Jesus age were asking for a sign, we can recognize that Jews were very interested in signs as proof of something. The BDAG confirms this definition:

a sign or distinguishing mark whereby something is known, sign, token, indication.

William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 920.

Why would this be an important definition? Because they’re specifically asking for proof that Christ will have another Advent before their age ends. They’re asking for proof that there will be another Advent of Christ. They also asked for the timeframe. When will these things be, and how will know whether or not Christ will visit another time?

Before we conclude it’s important to introduce the definition of Parousia. It differs from “come” in the sense that “come” only involves the action of moving from one place to another whereas “Parousia” means coming and staying, just like a visit. We can distinguish between Grandma’s coming to visit and when Grandma is actually here.

The two events are linked, but they are not the same. As we continue through our harmonization as well as continuing to discuss eschatology, we will constantly need to recognize when “coming” is discussed verses when “arrival” or “visit” is discussed.

This is a good starting point for recognizing the harmony between the three accounts. Even though the disciples may have conflated the destruction of the Temple with the end of the world, their entire focus was still on the destruction itself. And the specific reason why Luke and Mark don’t record that would have to solidify the understanding that the entire focus of the question was centered on the Temple’s destruction.

And Jesus answer didn’t quite deviate from that understanding as well. We will continue this series of posts to attempt to further harmonize these accounts.

Don’t Argue Someone Into the Wrong Eschatology

My purpose in this post is to emphasize something very important in light of my desire to see Amillennialism and Partial-Preterism more widely accepted, and that is to make sure we don’t lose sight of very important considerations. These considerations are largely summarized by the title of this article. Don’t argue people away from your position. Don’t make people turned off to your position in Eschatology just because you’re passionate about your Eschatological views. More specifically, don’t use bad or subpar arguments and argumentations just to try to caricature the opposite side’s position in order to make yours more palatable.

My concern in discussing Eschatology is the fact that disagreements on this subject can largely get heated and can be largely difficult in general. The difficulty is seen in the fact that there’s so much written on Eschatology and prophecy that it’s hard to weed through all the information in order to get at the heart of what someone else believes and what, ultimately, the Bible says on the subject. Some Christians may have studied Eschatology almost exclusively and have read way too much information on the subject itself and have been convinced of their particular position. The heated attitudes come into play at this point, because people who have studied a position so intently and have become so convinced by it may have a hard time hearing dissents and disagreements from their position. Combined with the fact that people who disagree may not have read as much or may not be as convicted by Eschatology.

Furthermore, someone who has read their own position either exclusively or for the majority of the time may not be aware of other positions. As such those other positions might sound extremely bizarre. Rather than taking the time — on both sides — to see what the other side believes and why there are an immediate disagreement and debate that ensues. And due to the lack of knowledge on the subject and lack of understanding of the other sides outright, blatant misrepresentations can ensue. Combine this with people’s lack of desire to be logical in their argumentation there ends up being numerous fundamental logical fallacies that are often employed. A few of these are:

  • Straw men and caricaturing the other’s position to make it easier to deal with.
  • Drawing arguments to logical conclusions in order to attempt to disprove someone else’s assertions.
  • Look at this scholar and all these people that agree with me.
  • Let’s distract from the real issues that divide us and focus on unrelated things.
  • Also, let’s chase rabbit trails in order to not have to deal with salient features of another’s argument.

These are recipes for disaster among Christians trying to discuss Eschatology with each other when there are definitive disagreements.

To demonstrate this tactic let’s imagine a conversation as follows between an Amillennialist and Premillennialist:

Doug: “Hey Philip, I believe you’re wrong on Amillennialism because we need to interpret the Bible literally and in a Straightforward manner”.

Philip: “How so?”

Doug: “Well, Revelation 20 says that the saints come to life and reign with Christ for a thousand years. If we just read Revelation 20 in a straightforward manner, then we would all be Premillennial and believe that we all reign with Christ for a literal one thousand years in Jerusalem.”

Philip: “But the Book of Revelation is Apocalyptic literature, there are symbols all over the place.”

Doug: “That’s true, but a thousand years means a literal thousand years. And you must interpret it that way.”

Philip: “The problem that I have with your assertion is that if I were to read 2 Peter 3 that way, then that passage puts the day of the Lord, the Parousia, after the Millennium because it says that the earth and the heavens will be destroyed on the day of the Lord”.

Doug: “2 Peter 3 doesn’t say that.”

Philip: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” — (2 Peter 3:10 ESV)

Doug: “Philip, you’re reading 2 Peter 3 wrong, the day of the Lord is not a literal, 24 hour period of time.”

Philip: “But, I thought you said that I must interpret the Bible literally? So how is a day not a 24 hour period of time?”

Doug: “Because the context of 2nd Peter says, ‘a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day’. So Peter defined a day as a thousand years.”

Philip: “But Peter said that to refute the scoffers who deny Christ’s Parousia. Peter said that the delay before the day of the Lord doesn’t mean He’s not coming. Christ isn’t slow to fulfill the promise of His coming because the waiting period before He comes isn’t significant to Christ, He could wait a day or He could wait a thousand years before coming. In other words, He will fulfill the promise of His coming, but He’s being patient towards the elect, waiting for them to come to repentance. Regardless, however, you said that we need to interpret the Bible literally, and yet you’re not interpreting a day as a literal day. Doug, are Daniels 70 weeks literally weeks?”

Doug: “Of course Daniels weeks are not literal, the 70 weeks are symbolic of 490 years. However, you also have to take into consideration the fact that the context of Daniel chapter 9 puts the last week, the seventieth week, at the end of history.”

Philip: “So the 70 weeks of Daniel are actually 483 years, then 2000+ years, then a last 7 years at the end of all time?”

Doug: “Right.”

Philip: “70 weeks are not literally 70 weeks?”

Doug: “Correct.”

Philip: “But a thousand years are definitely a literal thousand years?”

Doug: “Right, we must interpret the Bible literally.”

Doug and Philip are at an impasse. Doug’s argument against Philip on the Millennium was raised on the basis of hermeneutics. Doug was criticizing Philip for thinking that Revelation 20’s Millennium was symbolic, not referring to a literal passage of time. Doug believes that we should interpret the Bible literally. Philip raised the issue, however, that Revelation is full of symbols. Philip then decided to turn to passages that were similar contexts. He went to a different genre of literature, even, with 2nd Peter 3 where Doug’s hermeneutical criteria are normally found, didactic literature.

Philip caught Doug in an inconsistency, Doug was demanding — even in the midst of symbolic literature — to interpret a period of time literally. But when Philip brought up other periods of time from other eschatological passages, Doug demanded that those passages of time be interpreted symbolically.

The Amillennialist has a very important, and the often neglected point here. There are several passages, including timeframe references, that no one interprets literally, Amillennialists and Premillennialists alike. John MacArthur emphasizes how Daniel’s 70 weeks are not actually weeks,

The “weeks” Daniel speaks of are actually seven-year periods. (The Hebrew word is literally “sevens.”) Notice that Daniel says sixty-nine (seven plus sixty-two) of these seven-year periods (or 483 years) would elapse “from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince.”

— MacArthur, John (2006–01–09). The Second Coming: Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age (p. 77). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

MacArthur continues with the understanding that the seventieth week happens way, way after the other 69 weeks,

Remember, however, that Daniel’s prophecy covered seventy weeks (9: 24). When does the seventieth week occur? Daniel recounts all seventy weeks without mentioning any gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks. In the sixty-ninth week, Messiah is “cut off” (v. 26). In the seventieth week, an evil “prince who is to come” makes a covenant, then interrupts the week with an act of abomination. This appears to be another instance where Old Testament prophecy juxtaposes near and far events. The sixty-nine weeks obviously began with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and continued uninterrupted until Messiah was “cut off.” But when we compare Daniel’s description of the seventieth week with Christ’s words in the Olivet Discourse, we discover that these passages actually refer to the same eschatalogical end-time period. In other words, Daniel’s seventieth week is the Tribulation period Christ referred to. It belongs to the end of the age.

—Ibid (p. 77–78).

The only point of disagreement that I have is separating the seventieth week from the other 69. Certainly, MacArthur is right that it is exactly what Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse that His disciples would see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel, but the end of the age and the Abomination of Desolation would happen during His audience’s lifetime (c.f. Matt. 24:15, 34). Thus, there’s “literally” no reason to believe that the seventieth week happens thousands and thousands of years removed.

Dr. MacArthur attempts to avoid the obvious conclusion of having demanded literal interpretation creating an inconsistency elsewhere when he tries to merge his view with that of a symbolic interpretation in the Olivet Discourse,

Most would agree there is a degree of symbolism in Matthew 24: 29. Almost no one expects the stars to fall to earth literally. It’s possible, too, that the sun might not be extinguished literally; rather, the sun’s light could simply be partly or totally obscured from the earth (cf. Ezek. 32: 7). So I agree that wooden literalism is not necessary to get the right sense of Jesus’ words.

— Ibid (p. 114).

MacArthur doesn’t totally come out and say that the Day of the Lord isn’t a literal, twenty-four hour periods, but he certainly alludes to it in a footnote

8. I’m aware, of course, that Peter cited this very passage in his Pentecost sermon and implied that verse 28 (“ I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions”) was fulfilled in some sense by the events at Pentecost. Looking at the broad context of Joel, it is clear that Joel is prophesying about the catastrophes associated with the Day of the Lord (2: 1). It is equally clear that the apostle Peter regarded the Day of the Lord as something yet future (2 Pet. 3: 10). So Peter could not have been declaring every aspect of Joel’s prophecy fulfilled. When he cited this passage at Pentecost, he was obviously making reference to the outpouring of the Spirit in particular, and he probably meant merely that Pentecost was a preview of the Day-of-the-Lord outpouring.

Ibid, (pp. 219–220).

The fact is, that if Joel’s “day of the Lord” wasn’t literally or totally fulfilled at Pentecost then the day of the Lord can’t be literally a day. Even if one asserts “prophetic perspective” it still lends credence to the notion that the day of the Lord isn’t literally a day.

MacArthur further precipitates the issue by railing against Preterism. In order to do this, MacArthur asserts that in Matthew 24:34, Jesus couldn’t be literally talking about the generation to whom He was actually talking to,

But the reasonable mind quickly sees the folly of having to allegorize so many passages of Scripture just for the sake of interpreting one verse (v. 34) with such rigid literalism. It is simply not necessary to insist that Christ meant that all the Olivet Discourse signs must be fulfilled in that current generation.

—Ibid, (p. 125).

Is it reasonably minded to suggest that the Millennium must be literal but a generation cannot be?

Matt Waymeyer, also, attempts to literally tackle the issue of the day of the Lord in his attempt to refute Amillennialism’s two-age model,

There are three primary ways that premillennialists have responded to this argument. The first and most common response is that the Day of the Lord is an extended period of time that includes the coming of Christ, His millennial reign, the final judgment, and the creation of the new heavens and new earth.

— Waymeyer, Matt (2016–10–12). Amillennialism and the Age to Come: A Premillennial Critique of the Two-Age Model (Kindle Locations 3348–3350). Kress Biblical Resources. Kindle Edition.

In the same section, he argues other views, one of which he states is very similar to this view. In other words, he holds to the fact that the “day of the Lord” isn’t really a day.

Waymeyer doesn’t realize the incongruousness of his level of argumentation in favor of a non-literal interpretation of the day of the Lord and literal interpretation of a thousand years,

In contrast, the “thousand years” of Revelation 20 meets none of the proposed criteria. First, there is nothing absurd or unintelligible about the literal interpretation of the thousand years that compels the interpreter to seek something other than the literal meaning. In fact, if God had wanted to communicate that the imprisonment of Satan and reign of Christ would last for a literal thousand years, how else could He have done it? What else could He have said? Using the number one thousand was the only option available.

— Ibid, (Kindle Locations 6713–6716).

This very same argument is self-refuting for Waymeyer. In other words, we could use it against him on the day of the Lord. Picture this, there is nothing absurd or unintelligible about the literal interpretation of a day that compels the interpreter to seek something other than the literal meaning. In fact, if God wanted to communicate the day of the Lord would last for a literal day, how else could He have done it? What else could he have said? Using the word “day” was the only option available.

Certainly, we can see the need to step up the argumentation. I hope to have more demonstrates the issues of Premillennial argumentation in future posts. But suffice it to say we need to supply our brothers and sisters with a challenge to grow in the way they interact with Amillennialism. Here are my proposed challenges to our brothers and sisters on the other side of the aisle:

  • It must be proven that every timeframe reference in eschatological literature must be interpreted literally in order for the Amillennialist to reject the idea of a figurative Millennium.
  • It must be proven that every use of numbers in the book of Revelation is always literal, in spite of the apocalyptic genre of the book.
  • There must be a contextually defined marker or clue that indicates when a prophetic author switches between a literal timeframe reference or a figurative timeframe reference.

If one or more of the above criteria is proven true then Amillennialism crumbles. And the above criteria cannot prove true by mere assertions, “clearly it’s literal” or “it’s literal because I said you’re supposed to interpret it literally”. And we can’t understand literal use by, “clearly this event hasn’t been fulfilled”. Because the only thing that events within a prophecy prove is scope or fact of what is to be fulfilled or the limitations of the interpreter to comprehend when or how an event is to be fulfilled. There must a demonstration of timeframe references referring to specifically literal fulfillments always or there needs to be the absolute absence of explicitly stated timeframe references.

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