The Weekend Word

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108 Responses

  1. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I hope as we all go to the divine worship service today that the pastor makes everyone aware that we are the 144,000 described as the great multitude that no one could number – that Paul spoke of a us in the heavenlies in Eph 1 – The reality of the Church Triumphant (those who have preceded us) and the Church Militant (those of us still here on earth awaiting glory.)

  2. Xenia says:

    we are the 144,000 described as the great multitude that no one could number <<<

    Never came up.

    This is the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing women.

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia, there is nothing in the Orthodox liturgy that connects your church body with that great multitude (labeled the 144,000) – no connection between the church militant and the church triumphant?
    My old pastor in the OC and my new pastor in AZ bring this up every week

  4. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Btw, we were at Good Shepherd Sunday.

  5. Xenia says:

    MLD, we are all about the connection between the Church on earth and the Saints in heaven but I have never heard “the 144,00” mentioned, ever. End times topics are not especially popular in EO sermons but as far as I can tell, our view is similar to yours.

    We believe when we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, Heaven is participating with us. I think you mentioned your church believes this as well.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – yes to the divine liturgy.

    My point in this study on Revelation is that the 144,000 is not necessarily an”end times” thing like we see with the rapture crowd. It is not the 144,000 virgin Jewish Billy Grahams.

    I did not mean that the pastor had to mention the 144,000, but that the experience of the divine worship service correlates to Rev 7.

  7. Josh the Baptist says:

    “we are the 144,000 described as the great multitude that no one could number ”

    144,000 = No one could number.

    At least in this case you aren’t arguing that you take the bible literally. Because that sentence is the exact opposite of taking the bible literally.

  8. Xenia says:

    It’s a funny thing about “taking the Bible literally.” From what I’ve seen, the evangelicals take certain scriptures literally (or as literally as possible), especially prophecy, and come up with their unique pre-mil/ Rapture theology. Other groups, especially the liturgical churches, don’t take prophecy literally but are more inclined to take the words of Jesus literally, as in the Sermon on the Mount and “This is My Body” and have a very different church culture. Is it possible to take it all literally? Anybody know of a group that does this successfully?

    Before someone tells me that CC and the evangelicals take the whole Bible literally, I’ve sat through plenty of sermons where the Beatitudes were disassembled and destroyed before my very eyes. “Jesus isn’t talking to YOU, brothers and sisters, He’s talking to some other group of people so don’t feel uncomfortable.”

  9. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Anybody know of a group that does this successfully?”

    Nope, but in this case we are pointing at a verse and claiming it means the exact opposite. I don’t see that often.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The multitude too large to number is the fuller description of the 144K – which I explained in the previous article is all using numbers to describe – not as the rapture people do – to count.
    12 OT tribes (complete people of the OT) x 12 Apostles (complete people of the NT) x 10x10x10 (God’s number of completeness in trinity) = 144K

    So how many are contained in this representative number? a multitude too large to count. Oh wait, isn’t that the number given to Abraham – a number of the sand on earth – who can count that?

    So what about the mixed up names for the tribes – what do you do with that?

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – a question – are you saying that John is describing 2 separate groups of people?
    Group 1 = the 144K?
    Group 2 = The great multitude?

  12. Xenia says:

    MLD is behaving like a liturgical Christian and does not take the signs and symbols of prophecy literally. Josh is behaving like an evangelical and is inclined to take these things literally, whenever possible, which I don’t think can be very often. Josh, how do you decide which of the wondrous signs and symbols of Revelation to take literally?

  13. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Group 1 = the 144K?
    Group 2 = The great multitude?”

    Obviously, unless language has no meaning.

    “Josh, how do you decide which of the wondrous signs and symbols of Revelation to take literally?”

    I don’t know. There is much I don’t understand. I can’t say that I ever see a symbol and interpret it as meaning the exact opposite.

  14. Jean says:

    Josh,

    Regarding Groups 1 and 2 and speaking of language,

    Does it matter to you that in one case its “I heard” and in the other its “I looked”?

    Isn’t this a literary device that communicates two different perspectives, rather than two different groups?

  15. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean – No, because in REvelation 14 – it again says “I looked” and this time it is 144,000 again.

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, here was a comment I made last week – you may have missed it.

    “April 17, 2018 at 7:46 am
    I think the issue with those who want a literal ethnic, national Israel to be seen here is that they do not let scripture interpret the scripture for the ‘meaning’.
    We saw in Revelation 5, the one speaking in the vision describe Jesus as the Lion of the tribe of Judah (v5) – but when John looked at what was described he saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain (v6).

    It is the same here – John hears the angel describe the great crowd as “And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:…” but then he turns to see what was described – (and this is scripture interpreting scripture – who this 144,000 is) – “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (v9)”

    So based on what you said before – what John heard described and what he turned and saw are 2 different entities?

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia,
    “MLD is behaving like a liturgical Christian and does not take the signs and symbols of prophecy literally. ”

    No and this is the point – I DO take the signs and symbols literally … as signs and symbols.

    Wait until we get to chapter 12 and the rapture folks need to explain their literal view of the dragon, the woman and the child – that will be good when we get to it. 🙂

  18. Josh the Baptist says:

    “So based on what you said before – what John heard described and what he turned and saw are 2 different entities?”

    One says it is unable to be numbered and the other gives a number. Your gymnastics aren’t the least bit convincing.

    Look, this is just interesting to see the other side. In many areas. amil has good understanding of Scripture. I’m just learning that Revelation is not one of those areas. Last week I commented about the “this doesn’t mean what it says” tone. This week, we get a new wrinkle. “This doesn’t mean what it says, in fact, it means the exact opposite.”

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So what was it – was Jesus the Lion of Judah (which is what he was told) or the slain lamb (which he saw)? it’s the same passage (verse 5 & 6) – also saying the opposite in making the point. is John that inept or as Jean mentioned, a literary device?

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    Haha!

    I don’t know. Which was it, 144,000 or unable to be numbered? Come on man. You can just keep asking questions but you know that is a super weak interpretation. It’s all good. There is no need to discuss further. Just pointing out a clear issue.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So in that vein, who are the 144K? Who is the group that cannot be numbered?

    I know of only 2 groups who take the 144K as a literal number.

    But you don’t need to answer – but perhaps someone else will.

  22. Xenia says:

    Maybe we need to define what is meant by “literal.” I take it to mean taking a word in its most obvious sense without the addition of literary devices like analogy, metaphor, etc.

    For me, a “literal” 144,000 would be 144,000 actual individual people. It would not be a number that represents a great multitude.

    You can say it’s “literally” a symbol but that’s not playing fair because everyone can say that about everything.

    Just call it a sign or a symbol and leave “literal” out of it, is my advice.

    Prophecy is not always literal but it’s always true.

  23. Xenia says:

    Just like the symbolic number 1000!

    God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.

    Just those cattle?

    Christ will reign for 1000 years.

    Just that number of years?

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – I think my hermenuetic is consistent. After Rev 1:10 I do not take anything as being stated in a literal (plain English) manner – it is all signs and symbols — John is speaking from a vision.

    Going back – we need to ask if the listing of the named tribes of Israel are literal – folks need to check out the names. Is the order of the tribes literal – again folks need to check out the first listed (firstborn), is that the first born – and as I asked earlier who then are the 2 different messiah’s described in Rev 5:5-6 if the ‘I heard and then I saw’ is not valid?

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I do not take anything as being stated in a literal (plain English) manner”

    Then “multitude no one could number” could be 30 people, right?

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – yes could mean 30, if you believe only 30 people are destined for heaven…

    and there you have it – as I tried to show last week and in my #10 today the completeness of God’s call to heaven (also described by ‘a multitude’ and not a count) you have taken the JW position that 144K means 144K and that is the number who are allowed in heaven and the rest of the ‘saved’ will be earth dwellers. (I am not saying you are a JW but only JWs and Rapture folks believe in the definite count.)

    A review (and I do use this with the JWs) – (12 OT tribes (complete people of the OT) x 12 Apostles (complete people of the NT) x 10x10x10 (God’s number of completeness in trinity) = 144K) – all the saved – not a grand total of 144K but a multitude that cannot be counted like the grains of sand of the earth.

    But you haven’t yet said who are these 144K if not those seen in heaven?

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    Similar wrangling to make an Amil interpretation fit, for sure.

    If that is what you accept, that’s fine. You just can’t call it a plain reading of Scripture.

    We’ve always said every theological system has its downfalls. This is an amil downfall that has to be covered with some Biblical gymnastics.

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    “we are the 144,000 ”

    You heard that if you are JW.

  29. Michael says:

    Josh,

    A “plain reading” of apocalyptic literature is an oxymoron.

    The amill wrangling makes a lot more sense than a literal reading of this passage…especially when you consider the differences in the list of tribes and the exact renumeration given.

  30. Josh the Baptist says:

    28 is an answer to 26.

    29 is an answer to 27.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    Perhaps Michael @ 30 – But you haven’t been one who has pounded others over a “plain reading of Scripture” for years. 🙂

  32. Josh the Baptist says:

    Just be honest and say one of two things:

    144,000 means absolutely nothing, OR

    I have no clue what 144,000 means.

  33. Michael says:

    Josh @32… I get your point. 🙂

  34. Michael says:

    Josh @33…the biblical numerology used by the amill folks is not unique to this part of scripture and is consistent with how the Bible uses numbers symbolically.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I have explained my reading of Revelation – after 1:10 I do not take a “plain reading” – it is all in symbols and signs.”

    I read most of Ezekiel the same way – I do not take the literal position that a bunch of literal bones will rise up out of the sand like a bunch of Halloween skeletons – but I do take it as symbolic language for the resurrection of the dead at the end of the age.

  36. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’ve seen the math equation my whole life. 12 x 12 etc…Dispies play with that stuff some too. In other cases in the bible, if it is used, it has meaning. Here, it is only used to deprive the number of meaning. So you don’t mean “a certain number from ever tribe of Israel”, you mean “any number from anywhere”. The equation completely contradicts the actual text.

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – thanks for the Sam Storms piece. I have not read his stuff before, but it has been highly recommended over the years.

  38. Josh the Baptist says:

    @36 – That’s fine. Certainly you would admit that this passage is a very weak argument for amil.

  39. Xenia says:

    I think most things in Revelation are a weak argument for anything.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    josh @39 – which passage? The Ezek or the Rev. Neither are for the purpose of explaining Amil. They are explaining God’s plan and message for the church age – from the first advent until the return of Jesus for his church.

    You have still avoided a great opportunity to clear up your position. Who are the 144K and what purpose is John’s vision putting forth for this 144K?

  41. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I think it’s a very strong passage for amill.

    I still lean slightly to a premil/prewrath view, but passages like this are so obviously symbolic it makes it harder to justify…

    The lion/lamb analogy fits well, I think…

  42. Michael says:

    Xenia @ 40… I agree!

  43. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Who are the 144K ”

    Exactly who the Scriptures say they are.

  44. Josh the Baptist says:

    “I still lean slightly to a premil/prewrath view, but passages like this are so obviously symbolic it makes it harder to justify…”

    The question is not is there symbolism, the question is would the interpretation of the symbol be the exact opposite of what is being presented?

    A specific number makes no sense being explained as “no one could number”.
    We all know that is ridiculous. The amil lens makes us start figuring out how this thing could possibly mean that thing, but in truth…they just don’t line up.

  45. Duane Arnold says:

    Not to create an issue with either Michael, Josh or MLD, could we not say that we are all doing our best to interpret what the various signs and symbols mean? This was written to late first or second century Christians at a time when there were all sorts of apocalyptic literature being passed around in both the Christian and Jewish communities. We are not looking at it through their eyes. It is very possible (indeed, likely) that the signs and symbols would have been clear and meaningful to them at that time (in fact many show up in other extra-biblical works). We’re just trying to get into their understanding and perception. It is difficult and without external evidence there is no absolute ground for certainty. What we can be certain about is that the writer is assuring his readers that Christ is ultimately victorious and there is an eternal kingdom awaiting us…

  46. Michael says:

    ” What we can be certain about is that the writer is assuring his readers that Christ is ultimately victorious and there is an eternal kingdom awaiting us…”

    Duane, in reality, that’s a complete exposition of the book…the rest are just details to grouse over…

  47. Josh the Baptist says:

    I definitely agree with all of 46.

  48. Duane Arnold says:

    A really good parallel is the literature that has come out of Qumran. The Essenes knew exactly what the signs and symbols meant. After a half-century of scholarship, archeological excavations, multiple texts and textual criticism, we’re still in the dark about much that was written.

  49. Jean says:

    That Storms article is a devastating critique, which adds additional exegesis to MLD’s article. According to Storms’ bio he attended DTS. I assume he fully understands what he’s arguing against. Thanks for posting that Michael.

  50. Xenia says:

    Duane, yep.

    I was listening to an EO podcast on Revelation and the speaker said that the book is written in code language that was understood by the people of the time but incomprehensible to us now.

    It’s as if I wrote a paper for the purpose of warning people against a great danger and used phrases that only made sense in 2018 America. I could go to the Urban Dictionary and write a few chapters using the clean words and 2000 years later no one would have a clue what I was talking about.

    It’s not that bad w/ Revelation. After all, it’s about our Lord so it’s not entirely incomprehensible. And God saw to it that it was included in the New Testament, although the Orthodox do not include this book in the daily readings of the Church.

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – around one more time — “he question is not is there symbolism, the question is would the interpretation of the symbol be the exact opposite of what is being presented?”

    You have not addressed the Lion / Lamb scenario – what John was told and what he saw were exact opposites – I am sure (but I could be wrong) that the vision is not allowing for 2 separate entities.

    If it is possible with the lion and lamb, then it is possible in Rev 7. What do you say?

    I am careful in my language and I keep all of this within a vision – so the question is what is the vision trying to produce. The 2nd part of my question about the 144K went unanswered – if you could please — ” what purpose is John’s vision putting forth for this 144K?”

  52. Josh the Baptist says:

    People like tidy theological systems. In cases where scripture doesn’t fit the system, they choose the tidy system over scripture.

    Yes, this applies to dispies, too.

  53. Jean says:

    I disagree with #46, because we have a history of interpretation and an entire Canon to bring to bear on the text. The 2 peoples/2 plans interpretation, which is a recent innovation, corrupts the Gospel, Christology, and Christ’s teachings for Christian life in my opinion.

  54. Josh the Baptist says:

    “You have not addressed the Lion / Lamb scenario”

    And why would I? Because you post an obviously contradicting scenario doesn’t mean I have to answers 40 thousand of your gotcha questions.

  55. Josh the Baptist says:

    @54 – IF we go by history, we can’t choose amil. So I think I agree with you.

  56. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia, I don’t remember if I put it in the introduction or was just thinking it but there are ways to track down what the ancients thought or were referring to.

    If I was writing a book using imagery of elephants fighting with donkeys and 500 yrs later someone dug it up in an archaeological dig they would be scratching their heads until research revealed that I was talking about political battles between the GOP and the Dems.

    or imagine a 1,000 yrs from now someone digging up old Paul Conrad or Herblock political cartoons.

  57. John 20:29 says:

    Looks like this thread has taken off… It is MLD’s well presented traditional view.
    I’ll pray for strength to read without reacting as i know the logic of dispensations and a removal of the Church (which is not Israel, nor is it all Believers of all time) before the wrath of God descends is beyond the grasp of the traditionalist….
    I think the Rapture craze of the last century was one of the devil’s best propaganda coupes… That said, anyone accusing their fellow Believer of being illogical, a rapture sissy or even a henny penny for taking the book of Revelation as a logical and mostly literal book is wrong! IMNSHO 😊

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, at #21 I said you did not need to answer any further questions if you did not want.
    “But you don’t need to answer – but perhaps someone else will.”

    You kept coming back so I kept up the conversation.

  59. Duane Arnold says:

    #54

    Actually, Irenaeus is the first Church Father to address the book, and he is ambiguous as to what it all means (numbers, etc.). On the other hand, Justin Martyr is a literal millennialist. All this is to say the “history of interpretation”, while interesting, is less than enlightening. This is well known to people in the field of patristics…

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “This is well known to people in the field of patristics…”

    Again Duane is in the secret knowledge club.

  61. Duane Arnold says:

    #61

    Not a secret as far as I know 🙂

  62. John 20:29 says:

    Does anyone see how illogical it would have been for prophesy to be written catering to the the understanding of the prophets contemporaries, not to the people for whom the prophesy is to be applied?

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Justin Martyr and his millennialism is not even in question. The historic millennial view follows right along with the amil position up to the 2nd coming and they have folks stop off for an earthly 1,000 yr reign. I have no problem ther – that would be my 2nd choice.They have no rapture nor any of the Israel / Jewish stuff.

    However, the issue is with pre mil dispensationalism

  64. Duane Arnold says:

    #64

    Agreed… I was addressing the “history of interpretation” issue.

  65. Jean says:

    No, Duane, you were trying to disparage my comment as uniformed, while implying that you are, and trying to delegitmize the value of the history of interpretation, which MLD corrected in #64.

  66. Michael says:

    Jean,

    He does have a doctorate in patristics…which is where we start in the history of interpretation…

  67. Duane Arnold says:

    “trying to delegitmize the value of the history of interpretation…”

    Never in life! I hold to the value of the history of interpretation, as you well know.

    Your comment in regard to the Apocalypse, however, was uninformed with regard to the early patristic era…

  68. Duane Arnold says:

    #67 Michael

    Forget the doctorate… I’ve been studying the field for almost four decades, which is more to the point.

  69. Michael says:

    “Does anyone see how illogical it would have been for prophesy to be written catering to the the understanding of the prophets contemporaries, not to the people for whom the prophesy is to be applied?”

    This book was undoubtedly more precious to it’s original hearers than to us.

    Most prophecies have a near/far interpretation…

  70. Jean says:

    It’s funny that 4 decades didn’t understand what I was addressing, but MLD did.

    Michael, I’m happy either way: We can all discuss the text, or just read from the PhDs?

    But I’m not interested in anyone’s self-aggrandizement. If someone has a point, it should be able to be persuasive and defensible on its own.

  71. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I don’t believe sharing a lifetime of work is self aggrandizement…and I think calling it such is more than rude.

    It’s unacceptable.

    One of the reasons people of similar ability have left here is that their gifts were treated as common…and that is a loss for all of us.

    Your comment about the PhD’s evidently doesn’t include Luther or the doctors of Reformation…

  72. Jean says:

    I’m bowing out, but would like anyone with a blind spot to be aware that statements like this at the end of an opposing viewpoint, even if true, are both unnecessary and condescending:

    “This is well known to people in the field of patristics…”

  73. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Personally, I am 100 % for all of the back and forth, push and shove of conversation. I do not think it is sin or unloving to tell someone I think they are wrong. On the other hand I would hope that those entering a conversation are at least will to just shoot and run, but be willing to explain their position. Flair and bluster make conversations fun.
    Off blog, Jean and I fight like Jr High girls.

  74. Michael says:

    Jean,

    That was unnecessary.
    It was a simple statement of fact.
    Unfortunately, you are now under moderation.

  75. John 20:29 says:

    #+70 … More precious to the original hearers? Perhaps so because of the promises.
    More precious than to those who would experience the culmination of what is outlined in the book? Perhaps so, but that is sad, if true. However, God wrote and preserved it for 2,000 plus years for His purposes …. assurance for the ancients and affirmation for those seeking Him who will experience the predicted chaos and apostasy at the end…

    MLD keeps salivating over ch 12? It is a synopsis, somewhat parenthetical, whose key is ch 11:14 which predicts the third woe – a result of events rehearsed in ch 12 – but then that is the simple minded view 😏

  76. Josh the Baptist says:

    A. ) MLD, you are welcome.

    B. ) Duane @ 60 – exactly.

    C. ) Em @ 63 – Yes, good point.

  77. Duane Arnold says:

    Just for the record…
    I’m going nowhere, unless Michael kicks me out.
    I believe in what Michael is trying to do.

  78. ( |o )====::: says:

    From this Saturday, re-meeting one of my wife’s cousins again after 30 years, he says,

    “Isn’t it awesome that God has made it clear how we’re to be supporting Israel?! I’m so proud that Trump knows that Jerusalem has “USA” right in the middle of it?!?
    JerUSAlem…”

    …and at that I knew the conversation would continue to be “interesting” when he then mentioned “the Trump prophecy” from the Biblical codex that included Hillary as being bad, and Trump so very good.

    …and that’s when I made myself pour a little more Pinot into my glass!

    O_o

  79. Xenia says:

    ( |o )====::: ,

    I’ve had some conversations like that, too. Unfortunately, there was never any pinot around to help.

  80. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yeah, he sounds like a hoot.

  81. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, you are correct that 12-14 is somewhat parenthetical, – but it is also a retelling of the same story (told previously and will be told again) – you can see in 12:5-6 the entire birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ in those 2 verses. – “She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.”

    So ch 12 begins at the birth and life of Jesus, 13 tells of the life of the church fending off the dragon and his beasties and 14 is the 2nd coming of Jesus as we see in 14:1 Jesus standing on Mt Zion. Again, a recapitulation of the same story told over and over again.

    Thank you for allowing me to put things in perspective of the entire book, so we don’t get consumed with the Israel plot.

  82. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    That is the good thing about coming from a family of unbelievers – they don’t believe any of that crap either so I don’t have to listen to it..

  83. John 20:29 says:

    #82-uh oh… We see the same simple minded story.?… 😀
    But we’ll probably part company on the sequencing of woes… no matter as we do agree on the final end. 🙆

  84. Dan from Georgia says:

    Gman, Xenia, MLD, Josh et al…

    I just don’t get the frothing at the mouth hatred directed towards Hillary Clinton by some fellow believers. Gman sounds like your wife’s cousin reads too much Charisma News stories, and I mean that with no disrespect towards your wife’s cousin. I posted a similar comment at Charisma News and I fully expect to be vilified by those who are more fearful of liberals than the devil or sin.

  85. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    You have stated clearly our difference – I see John’s vision speak of one end that is repeated as John emphasizes his point and you see a Final End, not to be confused with the other ends.

    I think this goes back to dispensationalism having to many comings of Jesus, too many resurrections and too many judgments – and now we can add too many ends.

  86. John 20:29 says:

    #86-MLD, that makes me smile… The end we’d agree on.?.. I was speaking of the new heavens and the new earth…
    Not sure where you got all the “comings” and “resurrections” … after all Jesus is coming and maybe going all the time … whenever even two or three are gathered in His name….. 😶
    havent thought much about the judgements… We each die once, are judged once and done…
    Sometimes your comments make me think you live in a world of your own, but then MY comments make no sense to the majority here sooo…. So maybe i live in a different world – it is entirely possible. 😇. spooky?Y

    God keep

  87. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Just so I can wrap this up so one day a 1,000 years from now (literally or figuratively) when an archaeologist stumbles across this blog, he / she (what is the new neutral term ze?)

    How do we know when numbers are used to call out a definite counting? When the scripture describes the dragon as having 10 horns, 7 heads and 10 diadems (does satan have any heads and any horns to put any diadems on), is that any different than calling out 12,000 from each tribe. What technical strategies do people use to determine when a number is a definite count? My view is that none of the numbers are a definite count – even the 7 churches are representative of God’s own complete church.

    Also, descriptions do not need to make sense and can contradict each other as we spoke of the Lion / Lamb and the 144K / unable to number. Look how satan is described – Dragon, serpent, and in the same couple of chapters he is described as the angel of the abyss (9) and the beast of the abyss (11) – well angels and beasts are opposites of some sort.

    OK, that is my morning thought 🙂

  88. Josh the Baptist says:

    “even the 7 churches are representative of God’s own complete church.”

    That’s a lot like a premil invention that I reject.

  89. Michael says:

    I agree with MLD @ 88…and commend him for explicating this view well.

    Linkathon will be late…early doctors appointments.

  90. Josh the Baptist says:

    88 is poor reasoning.It is a mixing of categories. You can’t just say “because these two thing seem contradictory but are the same, then these two things could be too.” Think about the implications of that reasoning. It renders every word of Revelation without meaning. Perhaps, when John said Jesus was speaking to him, he really meant Satan? How could you know? I mean Lion / Lamb seem contradictory.

    You can’t jump across categories like that. Instead of removing the meaning from all of Revelation, just say “We don’t really understand it all that well.”

  91. Josh the Baptist says:

    Prayers for DR appointments.

  92. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – you miss the main question (actually you have avoided it the entire conversation) what tool do you personally use to determine if a number is symbolic or a definite count in apocalyptic literature?
    You seem to make the distinction all the time – how?

  93. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t always know, do you?

  94. Duane Arnold says:

    Josh,

    This is, generally speaking, out of your tradition and, I thought, helpful…
    http://equip.sbts.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/SBJT-V14-N.1-Bandy.pdf

    His last point was, in my opinion, wisdom – “Remain humble in your conclusions…”

  95. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Remain humble in your conclusions…”

    Of course. I’m just throwing MLD a few bones, here.

  96. Duane Arnold says:

    #96 Josh

    BTW, have you ever read the extra-canonical Book of Enoch? There are interesting parallels in terms of symbolism…

  97. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I love it. Right before Duane posted the article, I was going to post that the DTS guys have systematized the the difference in numbers by how they relate to Israel. If they relate to Israel, they are definite literal counts – the 144K of Rev 7, the 1,000 years and the 31/2, 42 months, 1,260 days.
    Anything else is open to symbolism.

    The endnotes are telling from the article about dispnsationalism where the author states IN endnote 4 “The twentieth century witnessed the development of dispensationalism into three distinct expressions: (1) classic dispensationalism (Darby, Scofield, Chafer);
    (2) revised dispensationalism (J. Walvoord, C. Ryrie, D. Pentecost, T. LaHaye, and R. Thomas); and (3) progressive dispensationalism (D. Bock, C. Blaising, R. Saucy, and M. Pate). The distinguishing difference between classic, revised, and progressive dispensationalism is hermeneutical. The hermeneutical hallmark of classic dispensationalism is a consistent and insistent commitment to the literal interpretation of prophetic Scripture. This hermeneutical approach has resulted in a particular theological system that makes a strict and consistent distinction between Israel and the church.

    AND HERE IS THE KICKER

    “The church is merely a parenthesis inserted between God’s dealings with Israel,
    and thus the Book of Revelation focuses on the future of ethnic and national Israel.”

    and then his next several endnotes are documenting the persons and references within the dispensational camp.

    Fine article – thanks Duane.

  98. John 20:29 says:

    Well, interesting posts … from where i sit. 😀 Although i am certain that is where Satan would like us catagorized, the Church cannot be “merely” an insertion ever! Considering the One Who is its head… considering with what we are tasked….
    However, we do seem to be an insertion into the history of the human race. We are unique in God’s dealings with mankind from the beginning of creation. Of course that is from one who considers the new birth as not merely a change of mind and one who sees the logic in dispensational divisions of the plan of God concerning mankind… a simple minded pew sitter …

    Praying for Michael and his doctor today

  99. Duane Arnold says:

    #98

    That being the case, I did not see him pushing a particular agenda in the main body of the paper, which I thought worthwhile…

  100. Josh the Baptist says:

    @100 – I did think it was a very good paper.

    I’ve said many times before (not in this thread) that I’m not a strict dispensationalist. I can play the part, because like other systems, it ties up loose ends and gives simple answers to complex questions. I would fall much closer to Blasing than to Darby, though Blasing also rejects the label of “progressive dispensationalist”.

    My activity in this thread has not been to say “everything every dispensationalist has ever said is true”.

    I am only here to say that 144,000 does not equal a number that no one can count.

  101. Josh the Baptist says:

    @97 – Not in it’s entirety, only parts for classes. Yes, quite similar in ways.

  102. Duane Arnold says:

    #101 Josh

    You do know, of course, that Craig is a fine Athanasian scholar… he was a good friend back in the day. I take what he writes with due regard.

  103. Josh the Baptist says:

    @103 – I did not know that. Very cool!

  104. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane @100,
    I had a professor at university once who taught me to read footnotes / endnotes. For several decades now I read or skim them before I read the book and I read with 2 book marks – one where I am reading and one marking the endnotes. It has turned me into a very slow reader over the years.
    I find that the authors usually tuck away what they think would bog down the casual reader, but reveals their motivations and details. Just my own quirk.

    My reading of choice for the next 6 months now that I am retired is mainly re reading my 60 Perry Mason books I read in the early 80s – not a single footnote to be found.

  105. ( |o )====::: says:

    Dan,
    Yep!

    Xenia
    =)

    Michael,
    May your visit to the doctor bring you healing & calm

  106. Josh the Baptist says:

    Just googling, I may be wrong about Blasing and the “progressive disp.” label. Seems like maybe he is ok with it. I thought I remembered him taking issue with it in his part of 3 Views of The Millennium, but I could be wrong.

  107. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I haven’t seen Jean the past couple of days – is he still moderated? banned to outer darkness? just away for a couple of days?

    Or worse / better – the rapture was to be April 23rd – perhaps he flew away. 🙂

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