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Christian Interests => End Times Forum => Preterist Forum => Topic started by: Dafydd on Thu Nov 21, 2019 - 19:27:33

Title: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Dafydd on Thu Nov 21, 2019 - 19:27:33
What I call "optimillennialism" ("OM" for short) here is very broadly defined. It includes any eschatological position that believes Christ to be ruling now; that the Kingdom has already come in some sense,  is increasing through history and will be completed within the present historical epoch. There is also the corollary that Christians play a role in the increasing manifestation of the Kingdom by actively working for it. Such a position covers postmillennialism and most forms of preterism. The differences between these various positions can be ignored for the present purpose.

Basically,OM take two forms: theonomic or "top down" and (what might be termed) revivalist/pietistic/mystical or "bottom up". A prominent exponent of the former is Rushdoony and, of the latter, Jonathan Edwards.

The vision of the former is the transformation or reconstruction of society along Christian lines as brought about by Christians in government who, in effect, legislate for Christian morality as the basis of society. It aims at establishing a theocracy in which Christian rulers are said to be the viceroys of God. The Old Testament theocracy is, in essence, their model for the Millennium.

By contrast, the vision of the alternative form is for the building up of Christian influence within society through the conversion of individuals. As more people turn to Christ, so "Christian morality" will increase within society. This will be reflected both in who is elected to government (in a democracy) and in the sort of legislation introduced and supported.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with the first form is that it assumes that godliness can be legislated into existence. But the theocracy of the Old Testament failed. I believe that it was destined to fail, because only by demonstrating its weaknesses could human beings be taught that they are totally incapable of acting as God's viceroys. It is probably noteworthy that in the New Testament, Jesus never attempted to revive the old theocracy. In fact, he always refused to do so. Had he ridden a horse instead of a donkey into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday, history would have been very different. Horses were ridden by warriors and if Jesus had appeared as such, violent revolution would surely have broken out and he would have been proclaimed King. It is worth pondering that it was Satan who offered Jesus the position of ruling the kingdoms of the world!

Concerning the bottom up OM, it is an historical fact that great revivals can have profound effects on wider society. Note how the early Methodist awakening led to social reform in England and how the villages of Wales responded to the great revival that swept through the land during the first decade of last century. Nevertheless, it is also true that revivals tend to be like meteors, lighting up the landscape for a short while and then fading away. They can also become inward looking. Indeed, much revival preaching today seems more inclined to look away from the wider world and into ones own life in a manner that can become too one-sided.

My own position is basically bottom up, but there are some theological points which need to be addressed (and are seldom addressed) by all OM believers.

First, I do not believe that God ever intended human beings to be his viceroys (as at least some top down folk explicitly teach). A viceroy is an individual governor who rules as a representative of an absent king. The Viceroy of India, for example, ruled in place of the British monarch who was thousands of miles away and had little if any immediate knowledge of what was happening in India. But God is NOT and absent Monarch! He needs no "governor" to represent him as he rules directly. Furthermore, in the human realm, both monarchs and their viceroys are equal in each being independent persons. Only in their occupations are they very different. But God is unique. We may have been created in his image, but we are his creature totally depending upon him. He is the only complete Person. We derive our "personhood" from him. Picture the Sun and the Moon. Only the Sun produces light in the full sense. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as moonlight - it is only sunlight reflected by the surface of the Moon. So are we only persons in so far as we reflect the Personhood of God.

We were created, not to be viceroys of God but vessels capable of containing  the Diving Presence through whom God acts within human society.  The church (i.e. the company of Christians, both locally and universally) is the Body or the Vine through which God in Christ acts in human society. The ideal is for each Christian and the church corporately to be so inwardly convicted of the individual as the vessel in which Christ is present that society increasingly becomes the Body of Christ ruled by the one Person; the one Self controlling the Body and each organ of the Body - the One who is the life of the Vine and each branch thereof.

That, I believe, is what God is calling us to realize, AND TO ACT UPON, in this age. Not just a society in which Christians are numerically dominant, but a society filled with Christians who are inwardly convicted that each "lives, yet not I but Christ lives in me". Christians having this conviction can come together and pray for collective guidance regarding any matter - social or otherwise. Only when each member of the group is inwardly convicted that a particular course of action is God's will, will this then be acted upon. Inward conviction - not "the will of the majority" or even mere consensus, but deep convicted certainty given by the Holy Spirit. Some day, I believe, the governments of the world will be run that way. Then, through his totally surrendered vessels, Christ will rule completely!

HALLELUJAH!!!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Sat Nov 30, 2019 - 19:26:02
Added a little spacing to your post.  Hope you don't mind. ::smile::
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Dafydd on Wed Dec 04, 2019 - 18:50:36
One more point relating to the last paragraph in my post. Irrespective of what a Christian believes re eschatology, the conviction of "not I but Christ in (and living through) me" should become an habitual and spontaneous attitude. This is the ideal and from that it follows that the ideal of any meeting of Christians (where some decision is to be reached) should be completely submissive to the inward guidance of Christ. That should also be our spontaneous attitude. But for the OM, this is even more important as it has eschatological implications. As this approach becomes more and more habitual and widespread among Christians, so we will become increasingly prepared for the day when "the kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of the Lord". As Christians' influence grows at the highest levels of society, these Christians will spontaneously act as vessels of God's presence and not be deceived into thinking that they are to be God's viceroys in the theonomic manner. In short, the teaching on this subject that the church receives today paves the way for the increasing rule of Christ (through his surrendered people) tomorrow. As I see it, it is of the uttermost importance that this teaching be promoted as widely as possible.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Tue Dec 10, 2019 - 10:54:44
  While Jesus is ruling the universe in general right now with His Father, He is obviously not ruling earth now, given the prevalence of sin. He won't rule earth til He physically, visibly returns & casts the 'beast' & false prophet directly into the lake of fire.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sun Dec 22, 2019 - 15:08:09
  While Jesus is ruling the universe in general right now with His Father, He is obviously not ruling earth now, given the prevalence of sin. He won't rule earth til He physically, visibly returns & casts the 'beast' & false prophet directly into the lake of fire.

Newsflash: the "earth" is part of the universe!

And your claim that Jesus (and the Father) do not rule and reign from heaven and on earth NOW- is pitiful!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Mon Dec 23, 2019 - 06:12:30
Newsflash: the "earth" is part of the universe!

And your claim that Jesus (and the Father) do not rule and reign from heaven and on earth NOW- is pitiful!

  The prevalence of sin all over the earth proves you wrong. No getting around it.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Mon Dec 23, 2019 - 20:31:20
Depends on who you hang around with!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Tue Dec 24, 2019 - 05:49:15
Depends on who you hang around with!

Aint no "hangingaround"; all one need do is read, hear, or watch any news medium.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: grandcentralstation on Fri Dec 27, 2019 - 07:54:27
  While Jesus is ruling the universe in general right now with His Father, He is obviously not ruling earth now, given the prevalence of sin. He won't rule earth til He physically, visibly returns & casts the 'beast' & false prophet directly into the lake of fire.

Jesus will not rule in a physical temple here on earth in our future. He is ruling now from his heavenly throne. Christ's kingdom is in progress in heaven and here on earth. Read these verses and you will notice a common theme regarding the spiritual temple that is already here on earth.

Hebrews 8: 1-6:

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.

4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

 
1 Corinthians 3: 16-17:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Peter 2:5:

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The idea of a future literal 1000 year reign of Christ in a physical temple here on earth is not what the Bible portrays. The Kingdom is in the here & now.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Fri Dec 27, 2019 - 08:22:39
I think Dafydd’s post has made some excellent points about the “bottom up” effect that the work of the Holy Spirit has upon the nations of men.   This view is consistent with the promises Christ made about the manner in which progress of the kingdom of God increases in this world. 

The parable of the leaven, the mustard seed, Daniel’s rock growing into a mountain until it fills the earth, the growth of the wheat harvest (with the vast majority being wheat and not tares) - all these are optimistic revelations of God’s purpose for His kingdom on earth.  Especially since God promises that “...of the INCREASE of His government and of His peace there shall be no end...”

To say that God’s kingdom reign does not exist if there is any presence of sin at all on this globe is to deny the clear statements of scripture.  We are told that “...even the wrath of man shall praise him.  The remainder of wrath thou shalt restrain...”.   Sin is no impediment to God’s ability to reign.

Psalms 96:10 tells us “Say among the heathen that THE LORD REIGNETH...”. This is God’s reign over His creation, even with the presence of the unbelieving heathen within it.

Psalms 103:19 tells us “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom REIGNETH OVER ALL.”  No exceptions mentioned - even with the presence of the wicked.

God has never intended to “zap” the entire planet into a state of simultaneous righteousness in a moment of time.  He has worked INCREMENTALLY OVER THE MILLENNIA to slowly and increasingly build His kingdom ever since the Fall in the Garden of Eden.  It will only be on the final day of the last judgment and the third resurrection when the planet will finally be purged of any remaining elements of evil humanity.  The Satanic realm He has already destroyed back in AD 70, but the children of the Devil who act like their father once did are still working iniquity in this world. 

Knowing what good He intends to finally accomplish on this globe, God can afford to be patient and long-suffering, even though many of us are impatient, and would prefer the instant gratification of seeing God “zap” everything right in a single moment.

The intended message God wants us to learn by His patient long-suffering with human iniquity is that, even with the mercy He has shown towards us, that even then we are still by nature inclined to seek darkness rather than light, unless God’s Spirit does a work within to change our nature to seek Him instead. 
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Fri Dec 27, 2019 - 12:06:03
Jesus will not rule in a physical temple here on earth in our future. He is ruling now from his heavenly throne. Christ's kingdom is in progress in heaven and here on earth. Read these verses and you will notice a common theme regarding the spiritual temple that is already here on earth.

Hebrews 8: 1-6:

Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.

4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

 
1 Corinthians 3: 16-17:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Peter 2:5:

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The idea of a future literal 1000 year reign of Christ in a physical temple here on earth is not what the Bible portrays. The Kingdom is in the here & now.

  That's not what Scripture actually says. When Jesus returns, He's gonna reign on earth with a rod of iron for 1K years before stepping aside for His Father.

Rev. 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

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.

Rev. 20:7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 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. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

  So we plainly see Jesus IS gonna rule the earth, physically ON earth. Obviously, He isn't ruling earth yet, as is proven by the prevalence of sin. But He WILL !
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Fri Dec 27, 2019 - 17:06:43
robycop3 makes the same mistake as the Pharisees and unbelieving Jews in the first century. He's looking for a physical kingdom just like them. The biggest reason why Jews reject(ed) Jesus, even until their end in the temple. They believed God would come and save them and usher in their physical kingdom and they would rule the world (and not be a puppet nation any longer).
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Dec 28, 2019 - 06:16:54
robycop3 makes the same mistake as the Pharisees and unbelieving Jews in the first century. He's looking for a physical kingdom just like them. The biggest reason why Jews reject(ed) Jesus, even until their end in the temple. They believed God would come and save them and usher in their physical kingdom and they would rule the world (and not be a puppet nation any longer).

  The Revelation plainly says He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. And it also says the armies stirred up by Satan will attack "the camp of the saints", which must be on earth in order for an earthly army to attack it.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Sat Dec 28, 2019 - 08:39:40
Actually, the phrase is better translated in the Interlinear version as “HE shall SHEPHERD them with a rod of iron”.

The substance of iron for a shepherd’s rod instead of the typical choice of wood for that rod represents that an UNBROKEN shepherding of the nations will be done by Christ from then on.   He will never relinquish to another His role as the Shepherd of His sheep. 

This unbroken iron rod of Christ’s is meant to be in direct contrast to Zechariah’s example of breaking the two shepherd’s staffs that he called “Beauty” and “Bands”.   That prophecy in Zechariah 11:7-14 was a prediction of God breaking the two joined rods of Ezekiel 37:26’s covenant of peace with the people of Israel in the post-exilic return, and breaking the brotherhood between Israel and Judah; both of which took place in the civil war conditions in Israel of the AD 66-70 era.

After all the elements of that Old Covenant were burned up, Christ is now shepherding His people within all the nations with His unbroken rod of iron under the unshaken New Covenant.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Dec 28, 2019 - 09:19:30
Actually, the phrase is better translated in the Interlinear version as “HE shall SHEPHERD them with a rod of iron”.

The substance of iron for a shepherd’s rod instead of the typical choice of wood for that rod represents that an UNBROKEN shepherding of the nations will be done by Christ from then on.   He will never relinquish to another His role as the Shepherd of His sheep. 

This unbroken iron rod of Christ’s is meant to be in direct contrast to Zechariah’s example of breaking the two shepherd’s staffs that he called “Beauty” and “Bands”.   That prophecy in Zechariah 11:7-14 was a prediction of God breaking the two joined rods of Ezekiel 37:26’s covenant of peace with the people of Israel in the post-exilic return, and breaking the brotherhood between Israel and Judah; both of which took place in the civil war conditions in Israel of the AD 66-70 era.

After all the elements of that Old Covenant were burned up, Christ is now shepherding His people within all the nations with His unbroken rod of iron under the unshaken New Covenant.

  Actually,  "rule with a rod of iron" means to rule in a very strict manner. Jesus won't tolerate any disobedience when He's physically here, ruling in person. He will issue the laws & rules, which will be obeyed to the letter, as Satan won't be around to interfere.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Sat Dec 28, 2019 - 11:06:48
We are told exactly when that “shepherding all the nations with a rod of iron” was going to start. 

Revelation 12:5 in the Interlinear says, ”And she brought forth a son male, who IS ABOUT TO shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron...”. This puts the fulfillment of this prophecy in the immediate time frame of the first century when Revelation was written.  God did not plan to wait until the close of human history before His Son would “rule in the midst of His enemies”.  And it does not require His physical presence standing on the earth for Him to do so.

Does Christ rule in your life as a child of God, robycop3?  Are you ever in the middle of a group of unbelievers?  Then wherever you are, Christ ruling in your heart is ruling in the middle of His enemies.  Even though the ultimate plan is for human evil to be expunged from this planet, He does not need to wait for the end of human history to do this kind of shepherding as Lord and Christ in the lives of the believers. 
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Dec 28, 2019 - 13:36:10
We are told exactly when that “shepherding all the nations with a rod of iron” was going to start. 

Revelation 12:5 in the Interlinear says, ”And she brought forth a son male, who IS ABOUT TO shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron...”. This puts the fulfillment of this prophecy in the immediate time frame of the first century when Revelation was written.  God did not plan to wait until the close of human history before His Son would “rule in the midst of His enemies”.  And it does not require His physical presence standing on the earth for Him to do so.

 Hoo-BOY ! You just won't abandon the hokum you've learned from Preston, Gentry, & other quacks whose purpose is to sell boox to the gullible.

  Jesus is NOT ruling the nations with a rod of iron right now, as is quite-evident frpm the prevalence of sin. Feel freeta look up what the phrase "with a rod of iron' or "rule with a rod of iron" means. it was used to describe the rule of Hitler, Stalin, franco, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, etc.

Quote
Does Christ rule in your life as a child of God, robycop3?  Are you ever in the middle of a group of unbelievers?  Then wherever you are, Christ ruling in your heart is ruling in the middle of His enemies.  Even though the ultimate plan is for human evil to be expunged from this planet, He does not need to wait for the end of human history to do this kind of shepherding as Lord and Christ in the lives of the believers.

  Remember, Scripture says "the nations", not the individual believers. Every nation is full of UNbelievers right now. They'll be on the "endangered species list" when Jesus returns, the whole world knowing who He is, & Satan is banished. THAT'S when Jesus will rule(or "shepherd", if you prefer) with a rod of iron, that is, very strictly, with a very firm hand.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Dec 28, 2019 - 17:27:43
The absolute truth about Israel's holocaust had everything to do with them not being covered with the blood of Christ. They are the heathen, just like any other unsaved country or person. Karma happens to those people outside of God's good graces.

Rev2:
25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27
‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—

So, Christ followers who lived post  "end times" were and are to put down evil in the world.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 03:35:54
The absolute truth about Israel's holocaust had everything to do with them not being covered with the blood of Christ. They are the heathen, just like any other unsaved country or person. Karma happens to those people outside of God's good graces.

Rev2:
25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27
‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—

So, Christ followers who lived post  "end times" were and are to put down evil in the world.

  Well, actually, the holocaust was the culmination of the over-1800-year punishment the Jews received for rejecting & murdering Jesus. Their punishment began to lift when the nazis fell.

  And now you quote a "rod of iron" Scripture. Doesn't look like a shepherd's rod here !
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: GB on Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 08:08:31
robycop3 makes the same mistake as the Pharisees and unbelieving Jews in the first century. He's looking for a physical kingdom just like them. The biggest reason why Jews reject(ed) Jesus, even until their end in the temple. They believed God would come and save them and usher in their physical kingdom and they would rule the world (and not be a puppet nation any longer).

According to Scriptures, the Pharisees didn't believe the God of the Bible, or His Word's. Zechariahs did, Simeon did, but they didn't. Had they believed God, they would have known the Christ when He came to them, as did Zechariahs.

As for the Physical Reign of the Christ on earth.

Is. 56:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.

This is speaking to religious men, not kingdoms.


22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

There are still humans on the new earth here. These are the inspired Word's of God, they surely should be considered in any discussion regarding reign of Christ on earth.



Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 09:41:25
According to Scriptures, the Pharisees didn't believe the God of the Bible, or His Word's. Zechariahs did, Simeon did, but they didn't. Had they believed God, they would have known the Christ when He came to them, as did Zechariahs.

As for the Physical Reign of the Christ on earth.

Is. 56:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.

This is speaking to religious men, not kingdoms.


22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

There are still humans on the new earth here. These are the inspired Word's of God, they surely should be considered in any discussion regarding reign of Christ on earth.

  Jesus plainly said He's returning to earth. His angels said He will return in like manner as He left.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sun Dec 29, 2019 - 14:14:39
According to Scriptures, the Pharisees didn't believe the God of the Bible, or His Word's. Zechariahs did, Simeon did, but they didn't. Had they believed God, they would have known the Christ when He came to them, as did Zechariahs.

As for the Physical Reign of the Christ on earth.

Is. 56:15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.

This is speaking to religious men, not kingdoms.


22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

There are still humans on the new earth here. These are the inspired Word's of God, they surely should be considered in any discussion regarding reign of Christ on earth.

The flesh never describes a physical reign of Christ on earth after the judgment of AD70.

You jumped from Isa.56 to some verse "23," which is in Isa.66 BTW.  Isa.65-66 are one continuing message.
See all of Isaiah 65 and 66 (too much to post here)

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Tue Dec 31, 2019 - 06:28:59
  Well, Jesus said He will return, and I believe HIM over any goofy pret doctrine or any other man-made guesswork.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Tue Dec 31, 2019 - 12:56:12
  Well, Jesus said He will return, and I believe HIM over any goofy pret doctrine or any other man-made guesswork.
Right, but you fail to admit "when" He would return!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Wed Jan 01, 2020 - 07:52:46
Right, but you fail to admit "when" He would return!

 He will return when He returns, but the trib must come & be ended first, as Jesus Himself said.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Fri Jan 03, 2020 - 19:37:11
He will return when He returns, but the trib must come & be ended first, as Jesus Himself said.

You can believe in a future tribulation if you like.

On the other hand, I will simply have faith in God's grace for everything.

Peace out!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Jan 04, 2020 - 05:56:36
You can believe in a future tribulation if you like.

On the other hand, I will simply have faith in God's grace for everything.

Peace out!

Well, I "like" cuz that's what SCRIPTURE says.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Jan 04, 2020 - 13:05:33
Well, I "like" cuz that's what SCRIPTURE says.

Just don't project your pessimism on us!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Jan 04, 2020 - 14:37:39
Just don't project your pessimism on us!

Be pessimistic if you wish, but it's the TRUTH.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Jan 04, 2020 - 17:44:20
Be pessimistic if you wish, but it's the TRUTH.

You are pessimistic. Don't try to kid this kid. You twist my words just as you twist the words of Scripture.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Jan 04, 2020 - 17:48:07
You are pessimistic. Don't try to kid this kid. You twist my words just as you twist the words of Scripture.

  No, YOU twist Scripture, as is the pret habit. You prets try to reduce  "inconvenient" Scriptures to "figurative/symbolic" status. (the "inconvenient" ones are those that prove preterism false because they haven't yet been fulfilled & prets have no excuses for that.)
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Jan 04, 2020 - 18:13:28
  No, YOU twist Scripture, as is the pret habit. You prets try to reduce  "inconvenient" Scriptures to "figurative/symbolic" status. (the "inconvenient" ones are those that prove preterism false because they haven't yet been fulfilled & prets have no excuses for that.)

Wow, don't get too upset! I asked you what "soon" and "at hand" meant. 
I don't have to twist Scripture to fit a paradigm.

But you seem to need all the help you can get to get around the Lord's and disciples statements.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sun Jan 05, 2020 - 07:11:38
Wow, don't get too upset! I asked you what "soon" and "at hand" meant. 
I don't have to twist Scripture to fit a paradigm.

But you seem to need all the help you can get to get around the Lord's and disciples statements.

  No; I don't need any help. What hasn't yet  happened, hasn't yet happened. No rocket science needed, just a history book & a reality check.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Jan 11, 2020 - 11:41:57
  No; I don't need any help. What hasn't yet  happened, hasn't yet happened. No rocket science needed, just a history book & a reality check.

I think you're the one who needs a reality check.  Someone who knows nothing about Biblical prophetic language can never compare to those who do know.

Nothing to learn from you.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Jan 11, 2020 - 13:57:37
I think you're the one who needs a reality check.  Someone who knows nothing about Biblical prophetic language can never compare to those who do know.

Nothing to learn from you.

"Biblical prophetic language" - a euphemism for "Since it didn't happen yet, I'd better make this prophecy figurative/symbolic."

  In more "other words", the FACT those events have NOT yet happened has left you clueless.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Jan 11, 2020 - 14:54:26
"Biblical prophetic language" - a euphemism for "Since it didn't happen yet, I'd better make this prophecy figurative/symbolic."

  In more "other words", the FACT those events have NOT yet happened has left you clueless.

Your cult doesn't allow you to learn anything.  It binds you and blinds you.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Jan 11, 2020 - 18:20:24
Your cult doesn't allow you to learn anything.  It binds you and blinds you.

  OK, **PROOF**, please, or admit preterism is false.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Jan 11, 2020 - 20:06:17
  OK, **PROOF**, please, or admit preterism is false.

Here's my 80 proof.  ::cool::

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sun Jan 12, 2020 - 05:52:03
Here's my 80 proof.  ::cool::

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

  You simply have no proof, but you're too proud to admit it.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sun Jan 12, 2020 - 10:25:37
  You simply have no proof, but you're too proud to admit it.

I'm not going through the interpretations all again for an accuser.

Who wants to cast their "pearls" before swine anyway?
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Mon Jan 13, 2020 - 10:20:43
I'm not going through the interpretations all again for an accuser.

Who wants to cast their "pearls" before swine anyway?

  So far, your "pearls" have been paper wads.

  Remember, I'm quite-familiar with what's been written about the events of 66-70 AD as well as the "diaspora" of the Jews in 135-136 AD. And these  events match the "days of vengeance" Scriptures pretty well, especially the punishments of Israel prophesied from Moses onward.

  But they do NOT match the eschatological prophecies. You're still batting ZERO proof-wise.

  You don't SEEM stupid, so why do you believe a stupid false doctrine you cannot prove ?
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Dafydd on Sun Jan 26, 2020 - 17:56:22
Someone once said that the mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. We do indeed need patience to wait for God to bring about the completion of the Kingdom in His way and in His time. When we try to precipitate the end result we run into trouble. Those who try to create Heaven on Earth in their own power end up by creating a Hell!

Yet, it is interesting to try to imagine what life and society will be like during the later times of the Kingdom. While not trying to "force God's hand," if we hold a vision before us we see our work here and now in the wider perspective. We will be like the workman who said that he was building a cathedral and not like his friend who only saw himself as digging a ditch.

I would once have considered myself an old-fashioned Christian Socialist, but I now see this as another form of Top Down OM. Today, I believe that something like the goal of Christian Socialism will emerge "(super-) naturally" as more and more of the world's population become Christian and the evil of greed (which drives Capitalism) is replaced by the sense of brotherhood in the Lord. Something like Robert Owen's villages of co-operation might be the norm in the latter times of the Earthly Kingdom. Where Owen failed was in both rejecting Christianity and in his belief that we are basically good. He tried to build with fallen humans a society that can only exist when people die to themselves and allow Christ to act through them.

There's a great day coming. Hallelujah!!!
 
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sun Jan 26, 2020 - 19:02:51
by Daffydd,
Quote
We do indeed need patience to wait for God to bring about the completion of the Kingdom in His way and in His time.

Only an increase in His government, friend!

Note Luke 1:33 and MORE! (NKJV)

33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Mon Jan 27, 2020 - 01:17:08
  Jesus is NOT now ruling the nations with a rod of iron, that is, in a firm, strict manner, as is evidenced by His physical absence & the prevalence of sin worldwide.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Mon Jan 27, 2020 - 11:28:10
rb3,
I wasn't talking to you! Anyway, ppl will read this and learn:

The victory of Jesus in his resurrection and ascension.  God "begat" Jesus as a Son in his resurrection; he set him as king upon his "holy hill of Zion" (heavenly Jerusalem), and gave him the kingdoms of the world for his inheritance, which he rules with a rod of iron:

"Ask of me and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."  Ps. 2:8, 9; cf. Rom. 1:4 

Psalm 110 similarly describes Christ's rule from God's right hand in heaven:

"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies."  Ps. 110:1, 2

Psalm 2 and 110 thus describe the reign of Christ; both extend it over the heathen and Christ's enemies; both set it at God's right hand in heaven in precisely the same terms as Daniel's coronation vision.  The New Testament epistles and Acts affirm that Psalm 2 and 110 were fulfilled in Christ's ascension (Acts 2:34, 35; 13:33; Heb. 1:13; 12:2; I Pet. 3:22). Moreover, John portrays the heavenly coronation of Christ as an accomplished fact, drawing on the imagery and language of Daniel and the Psalms (Rev. 5; 12:5), and Jesus himself indicates present fulfillment of Psalm 2 (Rev. 2:26, 27). Hence, prophecies like Isa. 9:6, 7, which speak of Christ ruling upon David's throne, looked for fulfillment in his resurrection and ascension, not upon earth.
Learn War No More

Some will object that many, if not most, nations are in denial and rebellion of Christ's authority and Sonship: How does this square with imagery of the Messianic kingdom where the nations "beat their swords into plowshares" and learn war no more?  Consider this prophecy of Isaiah:

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. "Isa. 2:2-4

This imagery is commonly relied upon by Millennialists as foretelling a time of universal peace on earth under the Messiah. However, this mistakes the passage. 

First, it must be pointed out that scripture nowhere foretells a time when all nations willingly submit to Christ. Just the opposite: When Psalm 110 says "rule thou in the midst of thine enemies," it presupposes resistance to Christ's reign. Likewise, when Psalm 2 says the Son will break the nations with a rod of iron and thus urges earth's kings and judges to "kiss the Son, lest he be angry and ye perish from the way" (v. 12), it indicates that Christ governs all nations, whether they acknowledge him or not (cf. Zech. 14:16-19). Indeed, Isaiah himself says as much when he states that Christ will "judge among the nations and shall rebuke many peoples" (Isa. 2:4).  Thus, the notion of a time when universal peace will obtain on earth is mere fantasy.

Second, when Isaiah says the nations will "learn war no more," he speaks only of those who walk in his paths; viz., those who obey the gospel. "Learning war" is the opposite of "rest from war." As the Jews obeyed God, he gave them rest from their enemies. But when they disobeyed, war was the result (Jud. 3:8, 11, 30; II Sam. 7:1, 11). "Learning war" therefore is to experience God's chastisement and correction; "rest from war" his reward and favor (cf. Jud. 3:1, 2).  Hence, Isaiah's imagery of the nations "beating their swords into plowshares" applies only to those who "ascend" the mountain of the Lord (receive the gospel), not the nations that remain in rebellion. ~ by Kurt Simmons
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Wed Jan 29, 2020 - 01:16:57
   "Learning war" is military training, plain-n-simple. As a young man, I THOUGHT I could fight well; I was also a very good shot with pistol or rifle. But I found out how little I knew when I joined the USN & went thru boot camp.

   Simple fact is: Jesus is NOT yet ruling the nations "with a rod of iron", that is, strictly and firmly. But He shall; thus says Scripture. Now, you may choose to not believe it, but as for me & my house, WE SHALL TRUST GOD !
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Fri Jan 31, 2020 - 16:09:48
Jesus is NOT now ruling the nations with a rod of iron, that is, in a firm, strict manner, as is evidenced by His physical absence & the prevalence of sin worldwide.
Physical absence?  Nah... we are His body, and the last I checked, we are in the world.

As for sin, I think the thing that trips people up is that they expect that as soon as Jesus begins His reign, everything will INSTANTLY be perfection.  God only knows why people expect that... it has never been the case before.  God's work has always been a slow process of leading people down the path towards perfection.  And so it remains.

Jarrod
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Sat Feb 01, 2020 - 03:50:25
Spot-on, Jarrod.

Incremental growth, such as Christ’s example of the mustard seed, leaven, and also the increasing effect of Daniel’s rock that is presently growing into a mountain that will fill the whole earth with its influence.

Slow, but inevitable growth of God’s kingdom.  God has infinitely more patience than we have.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Feb 01, 2020 - 06:39:35
  But the REAL growth won't occur til JESUS is physically here, directly ruling.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Mon Feb 03, 2020 - 13:58:31
  But the REAL growth won't occur til JESUS is physically here, directly ruling.
Jesus already has a physical presence in the world.  We are His body.  That verse is literal, not a metaphor.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Dafydd on Mon Feb 03, 2020 - 19:26:51
Sin is present during the 1,000 years. This seems to be the implication of biblical teaching and is not dependent upon either interpreting the 1,000 years as a literal 1,000 years during which Christ will rule physically on earth or as an extended period during which he rules earth from Heaven (as I interpret it). The OT speaks about stagnant pools which will not be refreshed by the River flowing from the Temple and also about people who die at ages of 100 years being thought of as punished by God. The last may just be an emphasis on the great age reached by those of that time, but it does nevertheless seem to indicate that sin will remain present. In the NT, Paul says (1Cor. 15: 23-28) that Christ will rule until all that is against him is placed under his feet, with the final defeated enemy being death itself. That implies a progressive cleansing during the entirety of his reign, with total victory over sin at the very end. Then, when the Kingdom is perfected, Jesus will yield the Kingdom to the Father. Similarly, Rev. 20:4 - 10 speaks of the last insurrection of evil at the very end of the 1,000-year rule of Christ. John says that Satan must (not simply will) be released then. But why the imperative? Surely to draw out his followers who are as numerous as the sands of the sea. Even if that is still a minority of the human race at that time, it still amounts to a lot of sinners!

This final event is still in the future, but Christ rules now with a rod of iron (i.e. without any compromise with sin). A "rod" of iron is not, by the way, a "fist" of iron!

The Biblical position does not seem consistent with a full-fledged pantelist preterism which sees ALL prophecy as being completed in 70 AD, but is in line with the position of Russell. We are now in the age of Kingdom growth, moving toward an eventual eternal age free from all sin and wickedness. I believe that Christ truly rules from Heaven through his surrendered people on earth (as limbs of his body, not as viceroys!) and that his rule will be increased as his people yield increasingly to his inward guidance and not from our own ideas. This is how all Christian endeavors should proceed. Through this, we as the church should be modelling to the world how all government and authority should proceed, as well as providing a prophecy as to how it WILL proceed one day as the Kingdom extends throughout the world of politics and authority.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Tue Feb 04, 2020 - 01:23:22
  Answers to the last 2 posts:  Actually, we are Jesus' representatives here on earth; He Himself is only Spiritually present when 2 or more gather in His name. The prevalence of sin in the world is proof He is NOT now ruling the world, except in maintaining the laws of physics, etc.

  And Scripture plainly prophesies a number of world events, such as the great trib, empire of the antichrist, etc. Very obviously, these events haven't yet occurred, but they WILL.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Tue Feb 04, 2020 - 10:54:32
It’s not really a choice of the saints of God being EITHER a representative OR the body of Christ.  It’s a case of BOTH / AND.  Paul said that the saints are both of these things.

I Cor. 12:27:  “Now YE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST, and members in particular.”

Eph. 6:20:  “Now then WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, as though God did beseech you by us...”

Per robycop3’s last reply, it sounds a bit condescending to speak of God the Spirit as “ONLY spiritually present when two or more gather in His name”.  God the Spirit is of no less importance in the Trinity than God the Son or God the Father.  The presence of God the Spirit NEVER LEAVES the saints of God, once He takes up residence.  He does not wait to make an appearance until two or more gather: He is *ALREADY* THERE IN THE MIDST OF THEM when they gather together, because He resides WITHIN THEM ALL (Eph. 1:23, and John 14:17).

That is why Christ left the planet at His final ascension from the Mount of Olives in Acts 1, so that the Comforter could remain with them (and IN them) forever (John 16:7).

And the presence of sin in the world at present does not negate the ongoing rule of Christ on His heavenly throne, which is the mercy-seat of His high-priesthood.  The resurrected Christ was to “rule thou in the midst of thine enemies” (Ps. 110:2), which is a tacit admission that those enemies would exist, concurrent with His rule.  The mere presence of resistance and hostility to an authority structure does not invalidate the rule exercised by that authority.  God’s rule has never been held hostage by the sinfulness of a fallen creation.  He makes even the wrath of man to praise Him.

Dafydd, while I am on board with the general flow of your post’s theme, there is one item of disagreement: the 1,000 year millennium and the release of Satan for a short time at the end of that millennium is NOT a FUTURE EVENT for us.  John’s chronology of events puts that 1,000-year millennium and release of Satan in THE PAST, as of the time he was writing Revelation 12:12.  John spoke about the release of Satan in the PRESENT TENSE at THAT TIME.  “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  For the Devil *IS COME DOWN UNTO YOU*, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” 

This “SHORT TIME” is the same “LITTLE SEASON” at the end of the millennium in Rev. 20:7-8 when Satan was released to deceive the nations - in JOHN’S days, not our future.

This means that the Devil had only a short time longer to exist and to do his massive deception of the nations, in those few years before and after John wrote those words. After that “little season”, he would no longer be around, because God would slay him, and utterly destroy him, as Is. 27:1 and Ezekiel 28:14-19 had prophesied.

With the eradication of the demonic realm in John’s days, the Age of kingdom growth from then on was liberated from the presence of one of its great oppressive enemies (Heb. 2:5).  As you have said describing the present condition of our current age, we are “moving toward an eventual eternal age free from all sin and wickedness”.  Christ will return for a third time at the end of this current age to establish this totally purified state of the world at a final third resurrection.  Until then, however, each of the saints are charged to increase that kingdom’s growth with the provided means of the in-dwelling Spirit.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Tue Feb 04, 2020 - 14:15:18
Hi 3 R's,
Quote
With the eradication of the demonic realm in John’s days, the Age of kingdom growth from then on was liberated from the presence of one of its great oppressive enemies (Heb. 2:5).  As you have said describing the present condition of our current age, we are “moving toward an eventual eternal age free from all sin and wickedness”.  Christ will return for a third time at the end of this current age to establish this totally purified state of the world at a final third resurrection.  Until then, however, each of the saints are charged to increase that kingdom’s growth with the provided means of the in-dwelling Spirit.
I don't want to explore "angels" too much, but I disagree with your take on Heb.2:5. Yes, Satan was destroyed in AD70, however Hebrews is speaking about the "angels" in their "present and past" authorities by which they brought God's Holy Scriptures.
from Google: In the Bible angels are mostly errand boys, the word itself means "messenger." As God's intermediaries they give tours of heaven to righteous visionaries like Daniel, deliver messages to God's chosen ones, and sing eternal praises to God. ... The Angel of the Lord is always packing heat.
Daniel is the first biblical figure to refer to individual angels by name, mentioning Gabriel (God's primary messenger) in Daniel 9:21 and Michael (the holy fighter) in Daniel 10:13.


Another thing, I'm surprised you hang on to a 3rd coming without any Biblical proof.  The "age to come" is the eternal age of Christ's Theocratic kingdom. We're in it ever since AD70 ushered in the New heaven and earth- the New Jerusalem, which is a depiction of the heavenly one. God's holy mountain, Mt Zion.

You know, the first Christians were expecting Christ's return in their day, as they had been preached to about. Somehow, pride and selfishness wants to claim that that's for them today.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 00:43:41
  While the HOLY SPIRIT indwells us Christians, He is separate from Jesus. And Jesus said HE will be present Spiritually whenever/wherever 2 or more are gathered in His name.

  And Satan has neither yet been confined to "the abyss" nor freed from it, since he hasn't yet been confined in it. The prevalence of sin all over earth is proof positive that Satan is still functioning on earth. That's a fact that's hard for a sane person to deny !

  No. Satan was not destroyed in 70 AD. That's nonsense. If he had been destroyed, there'd be no sin. Besides, Scripture says Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, to remain there for ever.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 10:50:05
  While the HOLY SPIRIT indwells us Christians, He is separate from Jesus. And Jesus said HE will be present Spiritually whenever/wherever 2 or more are gathered in His name.

  And Satan has neither yet been confined to "the abyss" nor freed from it, since he hasn't yet been confined in it. The prevalence of sin all over earth is proof positive that Satan is still functioning on earth. That's a fact that's hard for a sane person to deny !

  No. Satan was not destroyed in 70 AD. That's nonsense. If he had been destroyed, there'd be no sin. Besides, Scripture says Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, to remain there for ever.

So you don't believe the Trinity. Ask me if I care! The Spirit is one. Eph.4:4, For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
Where is your hope for the future? In Armageddon? Good thing you're not a preacher!

And you still hold on to Satan whereas God sentenced him into the lake of fire.

In Revelation, inspiration depicts the imminent consummation of God’s scheme of Redemption. Satan has attempted to kill Jesus. His last resort is to destroy the church in her infancy before she can grow to maturity (chapter 12). He incorporates the city “where our Lord was crucified,” (11:8), which becomes drunken with the blood of the saints (17:6f). But Jesus comes in judgment on that apostate city and destroys her. In chapter 20 judgment is set, Satan is cast into the lake of fire; and Jesus takes his glorious bride unto himself! This all happened in 70 AD with the full destruction of the Theocracy of Israel, the persecuting city of Jerusalem, the Old Heavens and Earth. The New Creation is complete–what Satan had succeeded in getting man to forfeit, communion with God and eternal life, is restored. Satan lost — God finished His work.

Whence Comes Evil
But if all this is true why do we still have evil in the world? Consider: in Revelation 20, Satan is cast into the lake of fire. He is fully defeated. But in chapter 22:15 we find that outside the New Jerusalem, the perfected church, [it is not heaven!] is all manner of evil. Here is the continued existence of sin and evil AFTER Satan is depicted as destroyed! How is this possible?

Are Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, dead? Of course. Are we still influenced by them? Positively! Is Hitler dead? Nero? To be sure. Are we still influenced by them? Unquestionably! In the very same way it is possible for a Christian today to maintain that Satan has been finally defeated, cast into hell. Evil still exists because man is still a free moral agent with dilemma ever present. (Incidentally, Adam and Eve had free agency and dilemma BEFORE Satan appeared to Eve. They could have sinned.) But man needs to recognize his own responsibility for his own actions.

James says we are tempted and drawn away of our own lusts (James 1:13f). Every temptation we have can be summarized under the three headings of I John 2:15-17. Our great need is to take responsibility in curbing our own appetites. We need to rely more on God and his promises!
~
by DKPreston.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 12:02:03
Actually, we are Jesus' representatives here on earth; He Himself is only Spiritually present when 2 or more gather in His name.
That isn't what the Bible says.  Paul says "we are His body."  Peter says we are the stones that comprise His temple, and He is present among us.

The prevalence of sin in the world is proof He is NOT now ruling the world, except in maintaining the laws of physics, etc.
This doesn't pass the logic test.  Are we to believe that His rule cannot happen UNTIL the world is ALREADY sin-free?  If He is ruling, then it will happen while there is still sin, and He will take action to rectify it.

Jarrod
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Wycliffes_Shillelagh on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 12:03:42
Are Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, dead? Of course. Are we still influenced by them? Positively! Is Hitler dead? Nero? To be sure. Are we still influenced by them? Unquestionably! In the very same way it is possible for a Christian today to maintain that Satan has been finally defeated, cast into hell. Evil still exists because man is still a free moral agent with dilemma ever present. (Incidentally, Adam and Eve had free agency and dilemma BEFORE Satan appeared to Eve. They could have sinned.) But man needs to recognize his own responsibility for his own actions.
+1
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 17:20:10
As lea has already brought up this point, these are a couple verses we are all familiar with that confirm mankind’s own responsibility for their sinful actions - which does NOT require the presence of Satanic or demonic evil in this earth to instigate that sin.

Mark 7:21-23 - “For FROM WITHIN, OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these things come FROM WITHIN, and defile the man.”

James 1:14 - “But every man is tempted when he is DRAWN AWAY OF *HIS OWN* LUST, and enticed.”  No satanic or demonic existence mentioned as a cause.

Even though Satan was totally destroyed in AD 70 (when this formerly-anointed cherub was burned to ashes in Jerusalem’s “Lake of Fire” during the city and the nation’s “second death”), sin would still continue to be generated by mankind’s evil heart desires, even under the prevailing conditions of the NHNE of our present New Covenant Age.  Dafydd already mentioned above this presence of sin in the NHNE conditions of Isaiah 65:20, which means that Isaiah was not writing about the eternal state in that context.

And as Dafydd’s post is also emphasizing, God has chosen to use the work of the indwelling Spirit in the saints to produce the incremental growth of His kingdom in this world.  This Spirit is not separated from Jesus, since I John 4:13 links the two together.  “Hereby know we that we dwell in him and HE IN US, because he hath given us of HIS SPIRIT.”   Because Jesus had given the disciples His Spirit, Jesus’s promise was fulfilled to them when He said “and lo, I am with you always, even unto the completion of the age”, in spite of the fact that Jesus’ glorified, resurrected human body would physically ascend into the heavens.

At the final third resurrection and judgment, this growth of redeemed humanity in the kingdom of God will no longer be necessary, because we will have finally achieved a totally perfected status of completed redemption for the body, soul and spirit of every remaining  member of the body of Christ.  To use Christ’s parable, the growth of the “leaven” of Christ’s kingdom is not left to perpetually develop in the bread dough.  Instead, at the peak of development, the growth of leaven is halted by the baking process, which yields a perfect, edible result.

Lea, you have stated that you see no scripture proof of this third resurrection I speak of, nor of another age beyond the NHNE one that we currently occupy.  I agree that Paul spoke of the SINGLE “Age To Come” in Ephesians 2:21, (which you and I agree was the NHNE Age under the New Covenant, which we currently occupy).  However, Paul also spoke in Ephesians 2:6-7 of “The *AGES* (PLURAL) that are coming”, all of which ages would follow after the Age Paul was then occupying. 

These PLURAL AGES that Paul spoke of (not just that SINGLE additional one) would necessarily require that there be a culmination point of some kind - a transition point from our NHNE Age under the New Covenant into at least one more Age following this one.   That transition point between the NHNE Age and the Age following it is where I see the third bodily resurrection and judgment taking place. 

After that third resurrection and final judgment, God will then rid this world completely of human evil.  He will glorify the corruptible bodies of the rest of His resurrected saints, and also annihilate the rest of the wicked so that human evil exists no more in this world.  This totally purified state of the world is not something that we as saints can ultimately achieve while in corruptible flesh, although we are tasked with doing our part with the Spirit’s aid to make disciples for His kingdom meanwhile.

In the final analysis, the kingdom rule of God can still be endless, while the individual phases of humanity’s different Ages during that kingdom have both a beginning and an end.  And one of the features of this present NHNE Age is that we are not subjected to the angelic supervision of the “Watchers” of God’s divine council anymore (as predicted in Heb. 2:5). The purpose for this particular role of celestial, watchful oversight of human affairs by God’s divine council is outmoded in this NHNE Age, because Satan and his angels are no longer a threat since their destruction in AD 70. 

The saints of God are the new version of God’s divine council on earth now.  The task of being Christ’s ambassador representatives to the nations of the world, implementing His plans for the kingdom’s growth (which was once the job of the celestial divine council) has now fallen to us.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 19:44:55
3R's,
Since there are several other indications of the "ages" in Scripture, ie: 1Cor.10:11, 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
Since Paul says "in the ages to come" and almost exclusively in that verse, I copied a sermon(redeeminggod.com/sermon) The commentary explains much about the plural use in v.7.

Eph.2: 6,7, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like? Ephesians 2:7 is a hint. It will be an eternity of experiencing the exceeding riches of God’s grace and kindness. I don’t know exactly what that means – I don’t know all that will be involved – but think about it for a moment. If God did not spare his own son for mortal sinners like us – we cannot even imagine what he has in store for us when we become immortal children of God in heaven!

If you think He’s shown us mercy, grace and love now – just wait! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Take all of your fondest memories, mix them with your wildest dreams, put them together with the most beautiful places on earth, add in the most enjoyable people you know of to be around, and if can imagine such an event, you have not even come close understanding what God is preparing for those who love him. Jesus said when He left this earth that he was going to prepare a place for us. He has been gone now for almost 2000 years. Think about that, and compare it with the six days it took Him to create the present universe. It’s going to be a glorious place – and it will be for our enjoyment in the ages to come when God shows the exceeding riches of His grace and His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

So Ephesians 2:5-7 tell of the things that God has given to believers in Christ. When Christ died, believers died as well. When he got new life, believers got new life. When He was raised, we were raised. When He was given a royal position, so were we, and since he has eternal honor and riches, when we get to heaven, God promises to pour them out upon us as well.


So, that makes complete sense to me.  There nothing in Scripture that supports a 2nd OR 3rd coming of Christ coming to earth.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Wed Feb 05, 2020 - 23:37:03
Sorry lea, but the extended quote from the sermon you copied says absolutely nothing that addresses why Paul used the plural term “AGES” while he was sitting in the time period at the “end of the ages”.

The way Paul was speaking in Eph. 2:7, there were AT LEAST *TWO* MORE AGES TO COME from his perspective at the end of the Old Covenant Age - and up to an INFINITE NUMBER OF AGES that will extend into eternity, during which we will be worshipping and serving our God in whatever capacity He intends for us.   

Eternity has no conclusion point, but the term “Ages” does include a beginning and an ending point.  Think of it mathematically in geometry terms; eternity could be represented by a line with arrows at both ends showing infinity, and the ages of fallen humanity’s existence on this earth can be represented as a sequence of connected segments on that line named “segment AB”, “BC”, “CD”, “DE”, “EF”, “FG”, “GH”, and so on from there into eternity.  Each of those named sets of points on that timeline would represent a beginning and ending point of each segment for each different age of fallen humanity’s history on this earth.

Let’s say that the Apostle Paul was sitting on that timeline at the “end of the ages” (plural) which had begun at the Fall in the Garden of Eden with point “A”, and would soon end at point “E” when the remnants of the Old Covenant would be dissolved at Christ’s bodily return for the AD 70 resurrection (prophesied in Zech. 14:4-5).

From Paul’s perspective in Ephesians 2:7, the “AGES that are coming” (also plural) would at least include the next two segments on that timeline starting from point “E” and ending with point “H” in our future, at which point fallen man’s history on this planet will conclude with a final third resurrection and judgment.  Paul could have also been including all the infinite number of ages in eternity that would follow from that point “H” and onward.

As you can tell, I don’t see that scripture limits world history to only two ages as the rabbis have always done (and most Full Preterists that I am aware of).  Paul mentions multiple ages again in Ephesians 3:21.  “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus THROUGHOUT *ALL* AGES, world without end.”  More than just a total of two ages of human history are spoken about here, or Paul would have said “throughout BOTH ages...”.

Paul also mentions multiple ages (plural) occurring BEFORE the Old Covenant Age he was then occupying.  Ephesians 3:4-6, “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, Which IN OTHER AGES (plural) was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is NOW revealed” (at the end of that Old Covenant Age) “unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

Personally, I recognize 7 different ages of fallen mankind’s history on this planet, (to coincide with the 7 days of creation week), which are divided into a thousand years each, and with the Revelation 20 millennium in the very center of this timeline at “segment DE”.

That would mean you and I, lea, would be living near the very end of “segment FG” on this timeline, with one more age to go before the final third resurrection.  And yes, there are scriptures that refer to this second and third resurrection, which I have listed before on other posts, and which are generally disregarded.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Thu Feb 06, 2020 - 01:18:50
That isn't what the Bible says.  Paul says "we are His body."  Peter says we are the stones that comprise His temple, and He is present among us.
This doesn't pass the logic test.  Are we to believe that His rule cannot happen UNTIL the world is ALREADY sin-free?  If He is ruling, then it will happen while there is still sin, and He will take action to rectify it.

Jarrod

  Actually, Jesus will quickly deal with further sin after His return & the elimination of the "beast", false prophet, & their army, as He establishes His world rule from Jerusalem. Sure, there'll still be some sin, and sinners, but they won't freely sin & get away with it as they do now.

  As for now, the HOLY SPIRIT is now here in Jesus' place. (Except in Jesus' office of Savior.) Jesus said that Himself. But he also said that whenever/wherever two or more are gathered in His name, He would be among them. (Spiritually, of course.)
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Thu Feb 06, 2020 - 10:35:34
3R's,
You well enough can understand that Paul was a Hebrew, and a former Pharisee, most likely knowing much about Jewish ages. However, I don't believe the one instance in Eph. 2:7, (Eph.3:21 does not project ages in the future) denotes anything new. I don't think one can interject any vision from that verse except the one proposed by the preacher in my last post.
Perhaps Paul could be referring to the "middle ages" in his future. He may also be referring to science.
Hebrews 9:
26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
That vs. is clear., whereas Eph.2:7 is ambiguous. I believe we should rely on what is clear in the Bible, that which is written the majority of times also.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Thu Feb 06, 2020 - 13:09:19
Hi lea,

Thank you for the reasonable tone of your feedback on this, since I know some of this goes against the flow of Full-Preterist teaching.  I’m afraid I have to disagree with you when you state that Ephesians 3:21 says nothing about multiple future ages.  It does.  Our main clue that it does is that Paul is discussing Christ’s manifested glory IN THE *CHURCH* throughout all of its different future ages, which number of additional ages in eternity has no end after the final bodily resurrection.

From Paul’s perspective on the timeline when the NHNE Age was soon to arrive, the church would have MULTIPLE “ALL AGES” in its future when they would be manifesting God’s glory in the world.  (And I believe scripture teaches that the planet’s existence and the presence of the saints in it will not cease when the ages of eternity begin.  God had always “formed this earth to be inhabited”, and “the earth He hath given to the sons of men.”)

That makes two witnesses that agree on multiple FUTURE ages after the last days when the the Old Covenant had passed (Eph. 2:7 and 3:21).  And there are several witnesses for multiple ages in the PAST before that NHNE Age arrived (I Cor. 10:11, Heb. 9:26, Eph. 3:5).  And we know that the very definition of an “age” requires a beginning point and an ending point for it, which the extended quote above from the preacher’s commentary on Eph. 2:7 does not seem to admit.

Having 7 ages for fallen man’s history, with a total of 7,000 years to match the 7 days of creation week is not an idea original to me.  It has been presented by Jewish rabbis and other sources before.  I wish I had copied the source, but I have read that some rabbis have also proposed that the laying of Solomon’s foundation stone for the Temple was what sealed Satan in the abyss for a literal thousand years.  Symbolically, this was very true for that 4th millennium of Rev. 20 in the center of all human history.

It was at the consummation of that 4th age of human history that Christ was manifested and sacrificed Himself for us to put away sin.  He is the central point and the ultimate purpose that all prophecy revolves around.   “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”, Rev. 19:10 tells us.   Which means that the focus of all prophecy either looked forward in time, anticipating Christ’s work, or it looked backward in time at His accomplished work.  I believe three ages for fallen man preceded the Rev. 20 millennium, and three ages will have followed it before the final resurrection.  You are right, lea, that this verse in Heb. 9:26 is very clear as to the preeminence that Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection has above all other human events on the timeline of the ages.  It’s the main focus in the very center of fallen mankind’s history.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Thu Feb 06, 2020 - 16:42:39
3R's,
When I pulled up the vs. in Eph.3:21, I noticed that the term "ages" is actually "generations" in other versions.
Ephesians 3:21, NASB: "to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.""
The KJV has "ages" but even the NIV has "generations" as the key word here.
The literal Greek here is "throughout all generations of the age of the ages."  The Christian age is the age of the ages; the age to which all others were tending and which will last so long as earth endures.

Now, I have another, commentator on  preteristcentral that agrees with the preacher's view on Eph.2:7.
Eph. 2:7 - "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
Quote
This verse seems to speak in anticipation of the resurrection, and the ages to come in heaven where we will live as sons of the living God.

So with that in mind, Eph.3:21 is not a second witness for "ages to come." And two witnesses at least describe Eph.2:7 as being in heaven.

Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Dafydd on Thu Feb 06, 2020 - 18:44:09
Dafydd, while I am on board with the general flow of your post’s theme, there is one item of disagreement: the 1,000 year millennium and the release of Satan for a short time at the end of that millennium is NOT a FUTURE EVENT for us.  John’s chronology of events puts that 1,000-year millennium and release of Satan in THE PAST, as of the time he was writing Revelation 12:12.  John spoke about the release of Satan in the PRESENT TENSE at THAT TIME.  “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  For the Devil *IS COME DOWN UNTO YOU*, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

This “SHORT TIME” is the same “LITTLE SEASON” at the end of the millennium in Rev. 20:7-8 when Satan was released to deceive the nations - in JOHN’S days, not our future.


These two Satanic instances cannot be the same, in my opinion. In the first, Satan has been cast out of Heaven and fallen to earth where his aim seems to be to thwart the Incarnation (hence his pursuit of Mary etc.). In the second, Satan is released from the abyss, coming "up" to earth as it were. In this case, he cannot thwart the Incarnation (which has already taken place) but he attempts to deceive the people who are not believers to attack the Christians. The battle never happens, as God comes down in fiery judgment and puts an end to evil forever.

J. S. Russell, in his book "The Parousia" points out the difference between the prophecy of the last insurrection of evil and other NT prophecies. The others either give an explicit timeline for the near future ("soon", before the end of "this generation" etc.) or are worded in ways that are consistent with this. The most likely interpretation of these is the preterist one. However, the prophecy of the last insurrection of evil gives a timeline of after the 1,000 years. This difference makes the prophecy stand out like the proverbial sore thumb!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Fri Feb 07, 2020 - 06:24:36
Hey again lea,

Here’s where it appears that we agree:

#1)  that the NHNE Age was the anticipated SINGLE “Age to come” of Ephesians 1:21.  “...not only in this age (when the Old Covenant elements were passing away) but also in that which is to come” (the NHNE Age that was “about to come” in Paul’s immediate future).

#2)  that the PLURAL “Ages to come” in Ephesians 2:7 would also include the anticipated joys of an after-life existence prepared for us by Christ in heaven.  “That in the ages to come, he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” 

That “kindness” we do not need to wait to experience in an after-life existence - we can also experience a  generous foretaste of that grace and kindness here in this age of the current NHNE, even before our death and the final resurrection.  In other words, those plural “ages to come” in Eph. 2:7 from Paul’s perspective in time were referring to ALL of those ages future to him - which included that soon-coming age of the NHNE we are in now, and ALSO the ages of eternity following the future resurrection that your second commenter mentioned.

And again for emphasis - AGES by mere definition have both a beginning AND an ending point, although ETERNITY as well as God’s KINGDOM RULE that flows through an endless series of ages do not have a conclusion. 

That means the conditions of the NHNE ages on earth will have a culmination point before the ages of an afterlife of eternity’s heaven begin for us.  That CULMINATION POINT OF TRANSITION between the sets of ages in our future is the point of the final judgment and the third resurrection.  A transition and culmination point that most Full-Preterists deny, since most acknowledge only two ages total.  There are definitely more than just the two ages of Ephesians 1:21.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Fri Feb 07, 2020 - 10:52:00
Hi Dafydd,

With all due respect to the labor that Russell put into his Parousia, he missed the common denominator between Rev. 12’s “short time” and Rev. 20’s “little season” after the millennium had expired.  That common denominator is Rev. 20’s “FIRST resurrection” (that of “Christ the FIRST-fruits” and the 144,000 First-fruits who arose from the dead with Him in Matt. 27:53-53), and the Rev. 12:11 link to the shed blood of the resurrected and ascended Lamb.  That shed blood accomplished salvation for the saints with God’s acceptance of the spotless Lamb’s sacrifice.   The context of Christ’s resurrection setting the stage is the common temporal factor to both Rev. 12:7-12 and Rev. 20:4-7.

In Rev. 20:5, the 144,000 “First-fruits” were the comparatively small fraction - the “remnant of the dead” who arose with Christ in Matt. 27:52-53 and “lived again” in the “First resurrection” when the millennium had just expired - and when Satan had just been loosed for his “short time”.

Rev. 12’s war in heaven between Satan’s forces and Michael’s took place while Christ was in the grave.  But as soon as Jesus ascended to His Father that morning after the resurrection, His blood sacrifice on heaven’s mercy seat was what cast Satan out of heaven as the “accuser of the brethren” in heaven’s courtroom (since it took the blood of the crucified Lamb to overcome Satan in Rev. 12:11). 

Once Satan could no longer fight against mankind in heaven, he re-doubled his wrathful efforts on earth in the early days of the church, after he was cast out of heaven down to the earth with his angels.

Saul’s persecution of the saints during that 3 1/2 years was the “flood” the Dragon / Satan cast out of his mouth to try to overcome the church in its earliest stages.  But Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus “swallowed up” that “flood” and “helped the woman” by halting Satan’s 1,260-days / time, times, and half-time period of church persecution in those early days of the church at Jerusalem.

This halt of persecution by Saul’s conversion enraged Satan even further (Rev. 12:17).  As a “roaring lion” in that “short time” and “little season” after the millennium had expired in AD 33, his intent during the little time he had left was to deceive as many as possible with corrupted doctrine and beliefs combined with other periods of persecution towards the saints.

Satan, his angels, and every unclean spirit  knew the Isaiah 24:21-23, 27:1, Ezekiel 28:18-19, and Zechariah 13:2 prophesies that predicted when they would be imprisoned in Jerusalem and destroyed there after many days of being confined in the city.  Rev. 18:2 confirms this period of imprisonment for every unclean spirit in the city before their final destruction in Jerusalem’s Lake of Fire.

By working furiously to deceive the nations in that “little season” of years from AD 33 until he and his angels were imprisoned in Jerusalem in AD 66, Satan gathered together the armies of the nations in Israel to battle each other.  This was a case when “every man’s sword shall be against his brother” (as Ezekiel 38:21 described Gog’s army) in the civil war period of the Zealot armies fighting each other from AD 66 through AD 70.

This “last insurrection of evil” as you call it Dafydd, was not describing the scheduled end for all evil at the end of human history, but was a battle led by Simon bar Gioras the Zealot leader with his huge army coming against Jerusalem in AD 69.  Actual physical battle did take place, in which God destroyed all the combatants by defeating them with the Roman army that came against those competing Zealot leaders in April of AD 70.  Literal fire prevailed in the city at the close of the AD 70 conflict, especially at the Temple site.  So God sending “fire out of heaven” to devour Gog’s army was not merely a metaphor.

The dead of “Gog’s” army (that of Simon bar Gioras and his Zealot forces) was strewn all over the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 39:4) particularly the 7 mountains that encircled Jerusalem.  It literally took 7 months to bury all of Gog’s dead in the plain of Jordan at the top of the Dead Sea, as well as 7 literal years to burn up the wooden weaponry used in this conflict.  If this battle of Gog was to be at the close of human history, the 7 months of burial and 7 years of post-war cleanup would not even be necessary, and would not be taking place.



Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Fri Feb 07, 2020 - 11:45:03
from 3R's,
Quote
And again for emphasis - AGES by mere definition have both a beginning AND an ending point, although ETERNITY as well as God’s KINGDOM RULE that flows through an endless series of ages do not have a conclusion.

That means the conditions of the NHNE ages on earth will have a culmination point before the ages of an afterlife of eternity’s heaven begin for us.  That CULMINATION POINT OF TRANSITION between the sets of ages in our future is the point of the final judgment and the third resurrection.  A transition and culmination point that most Full-Preterists deny, since most acknowledge only two ages total.  There are definitely more than just the two ages of Ephesians 1:21.

I disagree with your interpretation of "ages to come." You are hard pressed again with your 3R's in Scripture. I don't think you can overcome the proof of 1 Corinthians 10:11, NASB: "Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."

Some versions say the "culmination" of the ages. Now, what the ends of the ages have come precisely means, you know math. The end of the prior "ages" or the end of the Old Covenant age is the "mean" end that meets the "mean" beginning of the New Covenant age.

Then we see again in Heb 9:26 "But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself."

Scripture says there that Jesus appeared once and for all times at the end of the O.C. age and beginning of the one, N.C. age.

AD30-70 was the transition period, and the O.C. law was still in effect until AD70.

Since Jesus said in Matt.5:18, For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled.

And no indication of another corporate resurrection after all was fulfilled by Jesus and the New heaven and earth arrived, transitioned, etc.

Believers go directly to heaven now when they die. No waiting in Hades as in O.C. times.  ::smile::
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Fri Feb 07, 2020 - 13:59:23
Hi lea,

I have no problem with I Cor. 10:11 speaking about “the ends of the ages”, or “the culmination of the ages” up to that point in time.  Let’s use Christ’s simple example of the leaven parable.  It proves another culmination point BEYOND AD 70.

Have you ever seen a loaf of bread made from scratch?  It’s a perfect comparison to all of fallen human history from the Fall in the Garden of Eden to the final third resurrection. 

Bread takes two separate risings with a punch-down of the dough in the middle.  There’s a reason for this.  Leaven at the first rising makes these huge unsightly air holes throughout the dough.  Just like the presence of God’s kingdom in this world used to be concentrated in distinct clusters such as Noah’s family, Abraham’s family, then only the nation of Israel, etc.  It was not well distributed throughout the pagan world, just like the huge air holes produced by leaven in the first rising are not well-distributed throughout the dough.

Then comes the punch-down of the dough after a few hours, and a vigorous kneading process that develops the elasticity of the gluten in the dough and gives it a stronger form.  To all appearances, it looks as if all the work of the leaven has disappeared.  Not so.  What this squashing and kneading process does for the second rising stage is to spread the leaven into tiny well-distributed air pockets throughout the loaf sitting in the pan.    The whole loaf in the second rising is evenly affected by the leaven’s influence.

The AD 70 era that you and I are well familiar with, lea, is a duplicate of this mid-point punch-down and kneading process of the  bread dough.  To all appearances, those first-century persecutions that “wore out the saints” at this “culmination of the ages” seemed to have squashed flat the Christian influence in the world, and the passing away of the Old Covenant trappings appeared to have left a void.  Not so.  God had only used the stress of that period to “knead” and strengthen the form of the New Covenant church, and allow it to steadily spread its influence into every corner of the world in tiny, well-distributed pockets.  The great commission is still ours to perform. 

This is very much on target with Dafydd’s post theme of “bottom-up” effects of the kingdom in this world.

The point of this leaven parable that the Full-Preterist misses is the word “UNTIL”.  The leaven of the kingdom spreads “UNTIL the whole is leavened.”  There is a STOPPING POINT to this parable.  Leaven is allowed to develop UNTIL it fills the bread dough, and not a minute longer.  If the baker waits too long, the leaven swells too much, and the dough collapses under its own weight.  At the prime moment when the loaf has doubled in bulk, into the oven it goes to stop the leaven process, and yield a perfect, tasty result.

Same thing for the spread of evangelism in this world.  God has designed a STOPPING POINT for the development of His kingdom in this fallen world.  At His predetermined time at the end of the New Covenant Ages, He will halt the “leaven” of the kingdom at a final judgment and resurrection.  The kingdom of God will then transition to the ages of eternity in the saints’ after-life existence. 

Daniel’s growing rock that strikes the image  presents the very same growth process as the leaven.  The rock grows UNTIL it fills the earth.  A STOPPING POINT, or a culmination point - just like that of the leaven. 
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Feb 08, 2020 - 10:54:03
3R's,
No. Again, there is no 3rd resurrection in Scripture!

You misunderstand the Parable of the Leaven and Daniel's rock that fills the whole earth.

The leaven is the GOSPEL. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

The Kingdom’s influence will be complete.
And of the loaf, Jesus said till it was all leavened. No part of the loaf,  that is the world, will be untouched by the influence of the kingdom   

So no, there is no ending point in your "ages" theory for bringing the gospel to their or our known world!   
We are not speaking about the whole world being Christians someday. The parable and the metaphor denote only the influence of the gospel of the Kingdom and not the whole world's conversion. (would be nice, but not totally realistic).
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: robycop3 on Sat Feb 08, 2020 - 11:30:21
  Actually, Jesus established the New Covenant when he first saved one during His ministry, as the one He saved no longer had to follow the rules of sacrifice, etc. Jesus first mentioned the NT at the "Last Supper". He sealed the NC with His death, as a will or testament doesn't go into full effect til the death of the testator.

  And obviously, we don't know God's stopping point for the growth of His kingdom. It's very-apparent that it hasn't spread too far in the world yet. But neither has it become a boulder which has struck down the kingdoms yet. the "feet" of the statue in Daniel's vision will be the antichrist's empire, where the boulder of God's kingdom will strike.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: 3 Resurrections on Sat Feb 08, 2020 - 11:54:50
Hi again lea,

Of course, I never said that a kind of universal conversion of the entire world would result from the effect of the leaven of the kingdom.  There will always be “sheep” and “goats”; “bastards” and “sons”; “wheat” and “tares”, etc. until the end of the New Covenant Age.

You have emphasized the exact word that I would use to describe what “leaven” is.  It is an “INFLUENCE” upon its surroundings.  This influence can be  used for either good or bad, depending on the context (the leaven of the Pharisees - bad, or the leaven of God’s kingdom - good).

This GOOD influence of God’s kingdom will eventually prevail throughout the world at the end of fallen mankind’s history.  Sort of like Trump’s fiscal policies are creating a “rising tide that tends to float all ships”, so to speak.  The increase of the INFLUENCE of God’s kingdom prevailing in the world can create blessings across the board, even for those who are not sons of God. 

But I should say that you are still ignoring completely the key word “UNTIL” in this leaven parable.  Fallen humanity living in this world does not go on perpetually without having to give an account before God at some point.  Sin has a certain day of judgment-accounting.  God may be LONG-suffering today with the presence of wickedness in the world He created, but He is not going to tolerate it for an eternity.   A day of reckoning for the dead is scheduled, even though God planned to do this in stages (AD 70, and AD 3033 at the end of 7,000 years of fallen man’s history on this planet.)

“...for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.   So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”  (Rom. 14:10-12). 

Doesn’t sound as if there are any exceptions to this, even for those living under the New Covenant.
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: lea on Sat Feb 08, 2020 - 12:21:17
3R's,
There are no exceptions to this except the apostle Paul is speaking to saved Christians in Romans 14.

Also, he applies the quote from Isa.45:23 as to happening in the "end times."

True Israel would not come into condemnation as the "synagogue of Satan" Jews would.

Have to post and run. Much to do. God Bless!
Title: Re: Top Down & Bottom Up "Optimillennialism"
Post by: Dafydd on Tue Feb 11, 2020 - 20:22:25
This topic has caused quite a deal of debate, and that is good and healthy. But can we also go beyond debate (although I don't want to see it stop!) and consider how we might also contribute to the practical application of the subject of bottom-up optimillennialism? I believe that God is working through his people - Christ's Body on earth - to bring about his Kingdom rule. But only as Christ's people yield to the inward presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit and cease to govern in their own (supposed) power can this come about. Most of the debate here is about whether the rule of Christ has already begun in the world. But we are all surely agreed that Christ rules the church and that his rule there would be complete if only Christians allowed themselves to be truly governed by him. Galatians 2:20 is a key verse. Paul acted, not from his own self (he had persecuted the church) but from Christ within, and if Paul needed to do this, so must we. But if Christ rules through the individual, he rules through the collection of individuals who share his Spirit in common - the church. Whatever our beliefs re the 1,000 years (whether it is still future or not), we can at least demonstrate the sort of rule that Christ will eventually have by modelling it in the church.

I have a post in the general discussion for Jan. 22 this year "Next phase of church reform and the future of the world" and an article at daffydd.simplesite.com. I humbly ask that readers pray and meditate on what is expressed there, as I sincerely believe that God has led me to these conclusions. If you come to agree, then please discuss these articles with Christian groups and, God willing, put them into practice wherever possible. Maybe God is starting a new movement here and calling you to give it birth!!!