Discussion All Areas Of Systematic Theology
Thanks. I'm glad what I wrote made some sense. It's difficult to explain since we don't think of "living" and genealogy in the same way that the ancient Hebrews did.
This is also the way I think we should understand the difficult text about Jesus in John 8:58. Even though Jesus was "not yet 50 years old" (John 8:57) when the Pharisees were questioning him about Abraham, Jesus could say "before Abraham was, I am" in the sense that his (Jesus) father was God who existed before Abraham (Genesis 1:1).
In other words, it seems that the Hebrews thought of someone "existing in the loins of his father" (Hebrews 7:10) even before the person was actually born and the older one's father was (or higher rank), the greater that person was. Since the Pharisees were going all the way back to "father Abraham" to put put Jesus down (John 8:53), he claimed that his own father was God Himself (thus making him greater than even Abraham because Jesus existed in the loins of God the Father who existed long before Abraham and God was superior to Abraham).
Yes, there definitely cannot be any "1,000 years" after the parousia because the parousia is the time of the "resurrection" which occurred after the "1,000 years" are completed (Revelation 20:4-6; 1 Corinthians 15:23-24).
I think the time of the "release of Satan" (Revelation 20:7) was taking place during the "last days" (Acts 2:17; Hebrews 1:1-2) because Jesus had been resurrected and ascended (Acts 1:9-11) and the loosing of Satan involved "Gog and Magog" (Revelation 20:8) which was also to appear in "the latter years" (Ezekiel 38:8) when "holy spirit" was "poured out" on God's people (Ezekiel 39:29; Acts 2:17; Acts 10:45).
Could you please tell us what exactly "the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan was bound for a thousand years" in Rev. 20:1-3 mean?
Does this have anything to do with Matt. 16:18-19; 18:15-18? What about the marriage in 1 Cor. 7:27. All of these with "bound" and "loose".
I think the "bound for 1,000 years" (Revelation 20:1-3) was referring to the part of the promise God made to David where it said that "I will appoint a place for my people Israel where they will live in their own place and not be disturbed or afflicted by their wicked enemies any longer" (2 Samuel 7:10-11). Remember, "Satan" was opposed to Israel from the beginning of David's reign (1 Chronicles 21:1).
Some preterists, even futurists asked me about those passages where they say that Christ’s kingdom shall have no end, the gates shall not shut, etc. I told them about 1 Cor. 15:22-28 and all of them were completed at the Parousia. Here’s the list what I would think. Let me know your thoughts.
1. Dan. 2:35 – It says “a great mountain and filled the whole earth”. Actually it should be “land” as referring to the land of Israel which God made covenants with His people and they were completed (“fullness of Gentiles and all Israel saved” Rom. 11:25-28).
2. Dan. 2:44 – Notice it says “kingdom will not be left for another people” which means it was for Israel only. Also it says “it will itself endure forever” does not mean forever because Christ’s ruling came to end and brought all things back to his Father. In other words, Christ’s kingdom last until all things was accomplished in AD 70.
3. Dan. 7: 14 – Same as #2 in above.
4. Isa. 9:7 – Same as #2 in above.
5. Luke 1:33 – Same as #2 in above.
6. Rev. 21:25 – At that time when the book of Revelation was written, it wasn’t fulfilled yet. We need to read within the context like in verses 6-8. Also those twelve gates named for the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12-14). All things were fulfilled and the gates already closed.
Good answers. I would like to put out a couple of other thought.
1. Daniel 2:35. Even if "the whole earth" is taken to extend beyond the Promised Land, it still would only be referring to the regathering of all the Israelites (per Daniel 2:44). The "known world" extended beyond the borders of Israel, but God still only made the promises to save the Israelites who were scattered there.
2. Daniel 2:44. When it says "the kingdom will endure forever", the Hebrew for "forever" can simply mean "permenance." Thus, the point is not about the length of time. Rather, the idea being conveyed is that the Kingdom is a "permenant" one that cannot be overcome by its enemies.
3. Daniel 7:14. The Hebrew parallelism explains the meaning of "everlasting dominion" in this text when it says that the Kingdom "will not pass away" and "will not be destroyed." Again, the idea is "permenance" and not duration of time.
4. Isaiah 9:7. In this text, the "government and peace" is identified as "the throne of David's kingdom." Thus, the extent of the Kingdom is limited to the 12 tribes of Israel over whom David ruled. This is explained in Luke 1:32-33 where "reign over the house of Israel" is that same as "throne of David".
5. Luke 1:33. In this text, "reign over the house of Jacob" is the same as "the throne of David." This shows that the Kingdom and reign of Jesus were for a specific geneaology of people.
6. Revelation 21:25. We know this prophecy pertained to the time when people were being saved before the Parousia and the final judgement (Revelation 22:12-14).
Are you saying that the Hebrew for "forever" can mean "permenance" or "indefinite period of time but there is the end", depending on the context?
Yes. The Hebrew word that is translated "forever" (Daniel 2:44) is the word OLaM which is used about 400 times in the OT and never means "eternal" (as defined as "no beginning or end" in modern English). It simply means a distant and imperceptible period of time (usually beyond the scope of a human lifetime).
For example, in Daniel 7:18 it says that "the saints will possess the Kingdom forever (OLaM), and for all ages (OLam) to come (OLaM)." Here we have the word "forever" (OLaM) uses 3 times for emphasis. However, if the word meant "forever" or "eternal" there would be no need to repeat it (since you can't have multiple "eternal" or "endless" periods of time). The idea of "endless" or "eternal" does not have an "end."
The NT Greek equivalent of OLaM is AIWN. Paul's exposition of Daniel 7:18 shows that "forever" had an "end" where he says "the ends of the ages (Grk. AIWN) have come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). Since the "ages" come to their "ends", it shows that the word "forever" did not mean "endless" in their languages. Thus, Daniel was talking about the point in time when the Kingdom would become the full possession of the saints (i.e the Parousia) and not about an endless period of time.
The idea of "permenance" or "completion" comes from the context where the goal of the "ages" and "forever" was the permenant arrival and establishment of Messiah's Kingdom (Isaiah 9:7).
Thanks. I want to add one more thing when someone asked me about Eph. 3:21, "all generations of the age of the age". Does that mean the "church" were living in the end of the age from all generations (from Abraham to the Parousia)?
Here's what I wrote with some editing from you if you don't mind:
First of all, the “church” (ekklesia) is referring to the congregation or assembly of the Israelites (Acts 7:36-37; Heb. 2:12) because they were called out or set apart from all other nations (Psalm 147:19-20; Amos 3:1-2).
Second, whenever you see “forever and ever” in any Bible translation, this is not correct translation. It should be “age of the ages” (Hebrew: Olam/Greek: Aion).
My understanding of "all generations of age of the ages" (Ephesians 3:21) would be referring to the time of the apostles (before AD 70) and not to any "future" period of time. The context of Eph. 3:21 contain numerous references to Paul and the people who were already part of the "church." There's no reason to read the words "you" and "us" and "our" as referring to anyone in the future (post-Parousia).
I think Paul understood this language to be referring to the "ends of the ages" that was taking place in his own time and for the people who lived in the last days before the Parousia (1 Corinthians 10:11). So, that it was the conclusion of all the previous ages (“all generations”) leading up to (and including) the final age (i.e. apostolic era).
This is why Jesus and Paul referred to "the end" as the time of the Parousia (Matthew 24:14; 1 Corinthians 15:24). Nothing happens after the end because God "became all in all" at that point (1 Corinthians 15:28) and "every person" was accounted for (Matthew 16:27-28). Would you agree that the gospel already preached to the “whole world” and “all the nations” before the end came at the Parousia within the first century generation (Matt. 24:14, 34)? Yes or no?
Yes, I think "the age of the ages" (Ephesians 3:21) or "unto the age of the ages" (Daniel 7:18) or "the consummation of the ages" (1 Corinthians 10:11) were all referring to the fulfillment of what had been anticipated by all of the previous generations that inherited the promises through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Neither Matthew 12:32 nor Ephesians 3:21 use any "future" verb tenses or were referring to any "future" people in the context of the passages. Rather, they are expressed in "present active participles" which refer to what was being consummated among the apostles during the "last days" (i.e. the final generation when the Christ had appeared to establish the permenant Kingdom).
Thus, all of the past generations of Israel were leading up to the apostolic "generation" which was "the end" (Matthew 24:14; 1 Corinthians 15:24). From Daniel's earlier perspective in prophecy, there were still an indefinite number of "ages" yet to come (Daniel 7:18) which would end when the Christ appeared (Daniel 9:24-27). Thus, for Daniel, the ages were "future", but for Paul the ages had reached their conclusion.
Thanks. One more thing when someone asked me about those who believed in Jesus has "eternal" life (i.e. John 3:16; Rom. 6:23), does this mean they lived in "temporary" or "indefinite" life but end up in death? How do you answer this?
John 3:16. "will not die" = "will have life permanently". This refers to the fact that the resurrection would save the believing Israelites from the inevitability of physical death (i.e. anihilation in the grave). God told Adam from the beginning that he would "toil until (he) returns to dust" (Genesis 3:19). This means that life is temporary without a resurrection out of the grave.
Romans 6:21-20. Since physical death was inevitable (Genesis 3:19; Romans 5:12-14), those who sought after their own righteousness (or led lives of disobedience) had no hope of resurrection apart from Christ. The "wages of sin is death" is just a figure of speech meaning that physical death (annihilation) was inevitable apart following Christ.