Puritan Gems

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Endtimes Questions for Dispensationalists

I’ll continue with my Ten Commandments series later, but for now…

Many of you know that John MacArthur raised a few eyebrows at the 2007 Shepherd’s Conference by suggesting that all true Calvinists should be “Premillennial”. He objected to the way that Amillennialists in particular have a tendency to “spiritualize” certain passages.

I have great respect for Dr. MacArthur, and I really appreciate the way he handles the No-Lordship heresy and other issues. However, I vehemently disagree with his eschatological views. There is a discussion on Pulpit Magazine (Dr. MacArthur’s blog). I asked some questions that I have been longing to ask him. We’ll see where it leads.

I did a long blog series on eschatology from November 13 through December 20. I am also aware that there are a few Premillennial Dispensationalists who stop by here occasionally. As a postmillennialist, I have a boatload of questions about the “literal” interpretation of premillennialists (especially of the Dispensational variety). Feel free to tackle some of these. However, I do request either direct answers or full quotes if you use other sources. Please don’t give an answer like “You should read Dwight Pentecost’s Things to Come. He answers this question”. If so, then please provide his answer.

· Why is the “1,000 year reign” mentioned only in Revelation 20, the most “symbolic” book in the Bible?

· Since we are discussing “literal”, why not start with the time frame references? What does “shortly” mean (Revelation 1:1)? How about “near” (Revelation 1:3)? How about “about to” (Revelation 3:10)? What about “this generation” (Matthew 24:34)?

· Why were the First Century Churches of Asia concerned with 21st Century events? Why would Jesus promise to deliver the First Century Church of Philadelphia from events that none of them would ever live to see (Revelation 3:10)?

· How many resurrections will there be, and when will they take place? Why does Jesus have the righteous and the wicked being resurrected at the same time (John 5:28-29)? Why did Jesus say that the righteous would be resurrected “on the last day” (John 6:39-44)? What happened to that 1,007 year period after that?

· If 1 Thess. 4:17 is the pre-trib rapture, then that means that 1 Thess. 4:16 is a pre-trib resurrection, correct? Yet the “First Resurrection” of Revelation 20:4-5 includes “the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.” Aren’t these supposed to be the tribulation saints? How can they have a part in the first resurrection if the first resurrection takes place before the tribulation even starts?

· Where does the Bible mention a Pre-Trib Rapture? How about a third coming of Christ? How about a 7 year tribulation period?

· Where does the Bible mention a third Jewish Temple?

· Where does the Bible say that Jesus will reign “on earth” for 1,000 years?

· If premillennialism is correct, then why does Ezekiel mention animal sacrifices after the “millennium” (after Gog and Magog – Ezekiel 45:18-25)? What is the purpose of these sacrifices? Ezekiel says that they will be "to make atonement on behalf of the house of Israel" (Ezekiel 45:17). Hasn't the work of Christ already done that?

· Is Matthew 16:28 the literal Second Advent, or should we understand it as something else? If the former, then are some of Jesus’ listeners still alive?

· In Isaiah 19:1, did Jehovah literal ride into Egypt on a cloud?

· Why did Peter say that Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28-32) saw it’s fulfillment on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-21)?

· Where does the 2,000 gap in Daniel’s 70 week prophecy come from (Daniel 9:24-27)?

· What kind of chain will be used to bind the angel Satan (Revelation 20:1-3)?

· Why did Jesus say that Judaists who rejected him were neither Abraham’s children nor God’s, but the Devil’s (John 8:39-44)?


Turgonian said...

You mean you don't know what kind of chain could bind the angel Satan?

The answer lies in the Prose Edda, of course. If the cord Gleipnir could bind the Fenris-Wolf, it might bind Satan.

'It was made of six things: the noise a cat makes in foot-fall, the beard of a woman, the roots of a rock, the sinews of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird. And though thou understand not these matters already, yet now thou mayest speedily find certain proof herein, that no lie is told thee: thou must have seen that a woman has no beard, and no sound comes from the leap of a cat, and there are no roots under a rock; and by my troth, all that I have told thee is equally true, though there be some things which thou canst not put to the test.'

'The fetter was soft and smooth as a silken ribbon, but as sure and strong as thou shalt now hear. Then, when the fetter was brought to the Æsir, they thanked the messenger well for his errand. Then the Æsir went out upon the lake called Ámsvartnir, to the island called Lyngvi, and summoning the Wolf with them, they showed him the silken ribbon and bade him burst it, saying that it was somewhat stouter than appeared from its thickness. And each passed it to the others, and tested it with the strength of their hands and it did not snap; yet they said the Wolf could break it. Then the Wolf answered: 'Touching this matter of the ribbon, it seems to me that I shall get no glory of it, though I snap asunder so slender a band; but if it be made with cunning and wiles, then, though it seem little, that band shall never come upon my feet.' Then the Æsir answered that he could easily snap apart a slight silken band, he who had before broken great fetters of iron,--'but if thou shalt not be able to burst this band, then thou wilt not be able to frighten the gods; and then we shall unloose thee.' The Wolf said: 'If ye bind me so that I shall not get free again, then ye will act in such a way that it will be late ere I receive help from you; I am unwilling that this band should be laid upon me. Yet rather than that ye should impugn my courage, let some one of you lay his hand in my mouth, for a pledge that this is done in good faith.' Each of the Æsir looked at his neighbor, and none was willing to part with his hand, until Týr stretched out his right hand and laid it in the Wolf's mouth. But when the Wolf lashed out, the fetter became hardened; and the more he struggled against it, the tighter the band was. Then all laughed except Týr: he lost his hand.'


Continue blogging -- I enjoy the posts. ;)

Puritan Lad said...

That must be it. Someone on Pulpit Magazine suggested Tungsten :)

Turgonian said...

Tungsten? I grasp thee not.

Fred said...

Do you folks REALLY want someone to answer the questions you've posted, or are they merely "rhetorical" from your POV?


Puritan Lad said...

Hi Fred,

I really would like for someone to answer the questions. As far as their purpose, it is both. If someone can provide decent, biblical answers, we may have a valid discussion on the issue. Otherwise, they would certainly serve as rhetorical questions to expose the silliness of modern doomsday prophecies.