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Thread: Preterism and the binding of Satan

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    tWebber AlphaBravo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Okay. I'll note, however, that miracles have continued since that time, and that there was a formal position of 'exorcist' for centuries thereafter. While the canon was (eventually) closed to writings after that date (according to some dating methods, at any rate), the canon was not firmly established for centuries (and prophecy has largely, but not wholly, ceased).
    It can be argued that the dispensation of miracles ended with the passing of the apostles and those whom the apostles had laid their hands upon. This would include the closing of the canon which was a product of those inspired individuals. Obviously this view would conflict with Catholic and Pentecostal doctrines and maybe others.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Okay. It would seem not to have been fulfilled in AD 70, at least not verifiably.
    This is a problem that we both must deal with. We have no inspired accounts and only partial/imperfect historical accounts from the late AD 60s to the present. In particular, we have no inspired account looking back at the destruction of Jerusalem, which the preterist position focuses on. In addition, the available historical accounts are not particularly interested in the connection between this event and the prophecies of Mt 24 and the Revelation. If you head down the path of what is currently 'verifiable' you might just as easily argue against other tenets of preterism or even Christianity which we both accept.

    With respect to the resurrection of the martyrs, the account in Revelation 20 is cryptic. John only states that he sees those who had been martyred alive and apparently ruling in heaven. As I say, from a pretereist-type perspective, this is consistent with the resurrection that begins at the resurrection of Jesus and extends through the tribulation of the destruction of Jerusalem. Resurrections are described in the gospels, epistles, and in both Rev 11 and 20 in connection with this time period.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    Granted your last qualification, IMO it is rather ad hoc (and it is not especially close to 1,000 years).
    I think that this proposition, namely that the release of Satan after 1000 years and the deception of the nations and the surrounding of Jerusalem (the beloved city) by the armies of the nations (Rev 20:8), is connected with the Crusades, deserves further study and cannot be casually dismissed.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    The general preterist approach is not incompatible with my beliefs, AFAICT.
    The preterist approach is strongest and most successful where it identifies the historical one-to-one connections with Daniel 7, Mt 24, and the Revelation, etc, most of these culminating with the destruction of Jerusalem. It is weakest where, due to the silence/imperfection of the historical record, it then rather arbitrarily reverts to a figurative/symbolic/metaphorical interpretation. In my opinion it is this capriciousness that causes many to go the route of premillenialism or futurism.
    Last edited by AlphaBravo; 02-11-2015 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Posted at 303 views

  2. #12
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaBravo View Post
    It can be argued that the dispensation of miracles ended with the passing of the apostles and those whom the apostles had laid their hands upon. This would include the closing of the canon which was a product of those inspired individuals. Obviously this view would conflict with Catholic and Pentecostal doctrines and maybe others.
    From my (Orthodox) experience it is demonstrably wrong - though I'll also note that the Orthodox Church considers that is a direct successor to the apostles through the laying on of hands down through the centuries.
    This is a problem that we both must deal with. We have no inspired accounts and only partial/imperfect historical accounts from the late AD 60s to the present. In particular, we have no inspired account looking back at the destruction of Jerusalem, which the preterist position focuses on. In addition, the available historical accounts are not particularly interested in the connection between this event and the prophecies of Mt 24 and the Revelation. If you head down the path of what is currently 'verifiable' you might just as easily argue against other tenets of preterism or even Christianity which we both accept.

    With respect to the resurrection of the martyrs, the account in Revelation 20 is cryptic. John only states that he sees those who had been martyred alive and apparently ruling in heaven. As I say, from a pretereist-type perspective, this is consistent with the resurrection that begins at the resurrection of Jesus and extends through the tribulation of the destruction of Jerusalem.
    The main problem that I have with this idea is that is essentially unverifiable given preterist methods of interpretation. They're reigning with Jesus. Jesus' returning 'on the clouds with power' is seen as fulfilled in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem (just as the OT fulfillment of similar passages is in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians). If the resurrected martyrs' co-reign is similarly metaphorical (and I see no reason why it shouldn't be), what would that look like?
    Resurrections are described in the gospels, epistles, and in both Rev 11 and 20 in connection with this time period.
    You'll need to be more specific.
    I think that this proposition, namely that the release of Satan after 1000 years and the deception of the nations and the surrounding of Jerusalem (the beloved city) by the armies of the nations (Rev 20:8), is connected with the Crusades, deserves further study and cannot be casually dismissed.
    I wouldn't absolutely rule it out as a secondary fulfillment, but I don't see the Crusaders as a particularly valid stand-in for the Church. I would consider the Church as metaphorical Jerusalem surrounded by armies of the world a much stronger possibility.
    The preterist approach is strongest and most successful where it identifies the historical one-to-one connections with Daniel 7, Mt 24, and the Revelation, etc, most of these culminating with the destruction of Jerusalem. It is weakest where, due to the silence/imperfection of the historical record, it then rather arbitrarily reverts to a figurative/symbolic/metaphorical interpretation. In my opinion it is this capriciousness that causes many to go the route of premillenialism or futurism.
    As far as I know, premillenialism is largely a Protestant phenomenon (except for early chiliasm); the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches have been largely amillenial in outlook.
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  3. #13
    tWebber AlphaBravo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    From my (Orthodox) experience it is demonstrably wrong - though I'll also note that the Orthodox Church considers that is a direct successor to the apostles through the laying on of hands down through the centuries.
    This topic probably needs a separate thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    The main problem that I have with this idea is that is essentially unverifiable given preterist methods of interpretation.
    I'm not really sure what you mean here. Scholarship is scholarship. If you are relying upon modern orthodox apostles to expound upon the blanks in the historical record then I can't really follow you there.

    My point is that the historical record is incomplete and imperfect and a scholarly approach to the Revelation in the preterist framework must recognize this fact. It must acknowledge that there are some things in the Revelation that we cannot understand unless further historical documents or discoveries come to light.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    They're reigning with Jesus. Jesus' returning 'on the clouds with power' is seen as fulfilled in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem (just as the OT fulfillment of similar passages is in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians). If the resurrected martyrs' co-reign is similarly metaphorical (and I see no reason why it shouldn't be), what would that look like?
    Why must the reign of resurrected martyrs be metaphorical? What does that even mean? Was their faithful service unto death metaphorical? Is their beheading for refusal to worship the beast metaphorical? Is the beast metaphorical? Are their glorification, thrones and rule metaphorical? From a preterist approach I think we should say no. Again this is where I think the full preterist approach is sometimes arbitrary and abandons the strongest line.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    You'll need to be more specific.
    In addition to those unnumbered who were resurrected during the ministry of Christ, Matthew 27: 51-53 has "many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and appeared to many in the holy city (Jerusalem)." This occurs after the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. This was followed over the next 40 years by an intense period of persecution and expression of miraculous gifts including resurrections.

    Revelation 11 has the two witnesses martyred and resurrected in The Great City where Jesus was crucified (Jerusalem) which in a preterist framework can be closely connected with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.

    Finally we have in Revelation 20 the eyewitness account of John who sees the resurrection of those who had not deferred to the beast and whose resurrection and reign precedes the general resurrection by at least 1000 years. To switch here from an historical framework to a metaphorical one I think does injury to the apparent continuity of the text.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    I wouldn't absolutely rule it out as a secondary fulfillment, but I don't see the Crusaders as a particularly valid stand-in for the Church. I would consider the Church as metaphorical Jerusalem surrounded by armies of the world a much stronger possibility.
    It would be better to just say we don't understand what parts of Revelation mean than to switch from an historical to a metaphorical interpretation just because the historical record is silent.
    Last edited by AlphaBravo; 02-13-2015 at 01:49 PM. Reason: posted at 346 views

  4. #14
    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaBravo View Post
    I'm not really sure what you mean here. Scholarship is scholarship. If you are relying upon modern orthodox apostles to expound upon the blanks in the historical record then I can't really follow you there.

    My point is that the historical record is incomplete and imperfect and a scholarly approach to the Revelation in the preterist framework must recognize this fact. It must acknowledge that there are some things in the Revelation that we cannot understand unless further historical documents or discoveries come to light.

    Why must the reign of resurrected martyrs be metaphorical? What does that even mean? Was their faithful service unto death metaphorical? Is their beheading for refusal to worship the beast metaphorical? Is the beast metaphorical? Are their glorification, thrones and rule metaphorical? From a preterist approach I think we should say no. Again this is where I think the full preterist approach is sometimes arbitrary and abandons the strongest line.
    I think you're missing my point. How does preterism interpret the coming of Jesus in AD 70 and His current reign? Why would not those reigning with Him be interpreted similarly? And we have accounts of martyrs from earliest times. However, we have no accounts of those martyrs being resurrected (the only one of which I'm aware is of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, which is from a later time period). The church has a record, if fragmentary, of the time period. I cannot fathom how a widely known resurrection of martyrs would be lost entirely. I can understand how secular historians might miss it, but not the church.
    In addition to those unnumbered who were resurrected during the ministry of Christ, Matthew 27: 51-53 has "many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and appeared to many in the holy city (Jerusalem)." This occurs after the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
    This occurred at the time of Jesus' resurrection -wrong time period. And I don't think they're referred to as martyrs.
    This was followed over the next 40 years by an intense period of persecution and expression of miraculous gifts including resurrections.
    One here, one there, and none of them martyrs - and not close to the time envisaged in Rev 20.
    Revelation 11 has the two witnesses martyred and resurrected in The Great City where Jesus was crucified (Jerusalem) which in a preterist framework can be closely connected with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70.
    These seem unlikely to be related to the mass resurrection mentioned later, under different circumstances.
    Finally we have in Revelation 20 the eyewitness account of John who sees the resurrection of those who had not deferred to the beast and whose resurrection and reign precedes the general resurrection by at least 1000 years. To switch here from an historical framework to a metaphorical one I think does injury to the apparent continuity of the text.
    IMO a fair amount of what John saw was metaphorical. Another question is whether the resurrection of these martyrs was temporary (like those recorded in Matthew and Acts) or permanent.
    It would be better to just say we don't understand what parts of Revelation mean than to switch from an historical to a metaphorical interpretation just because the historical record is silent.
    Look, the Crusades really don't fit well historically. They're sorta close to 1,000 years, and at one point 'Christian' Jerusalem was surrounded by hostile armies. Except, as you admit, the Crusaders were hardly a shining example of Christianity, and Jerusalem subsequently surrendered to the Arabs instead of Revelation's depiction of fire consuming the surrounding armies.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

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    tWebber AlphaBravo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    I think you're missing my point. How does preterism interpret the coming of Jesus in AD 70 and His current reign? Why would not those reigning with Him be interpreted similarly?
    Yes they should. But to say that it is metaphorical is impotent and meaningless. The metaphorical interpretation of the coming of Jesus at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 is exactly the point where the preterist approach abandon's its strongest case. Matthew 24 cannot be parsed into a literal and metaphorical component as preterists do, just as it cannot be parsed into a past and future component as the premillenialists do. Both do injury to the plain sense of the text.

    It is the natural sense and explicit statements in Mt 24 and Lk 21 that drove me off the premillenial wagon and led me to a preterist approach. Preterism does some beautiful work in tying Mt 24 to the tribulation leading up to AD 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem. Then somewhere around Matthew 24:29, the formal preterist approach quails and abandons the strongest line for a metaphorical/figurative interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    And we have accounts of martyrs from earliest times. However, we have no accounts of those martyrs being resurrected (the only one of which I'm aware is of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, which is from a later time period). The church has a record, if fragmentary, of the time period. I cannot fathom how a widely known resurrection of martyrs would be lost entirely. I can understand how secular historians might miss it, but not the church.
    I think one has to ask themselves this question: What would we know about the fullfillment of messianic prophecies if the inspired accounts of the gospels and the epistles did not survive to this day? Would we doubt the virgin birth? Would we know about the angels who appeared in heaven at the birth of Jesus? The slaughter of the innocent by Herod? The feeding of 5000 with a basket of fishes and loaves? That Jesus emptied the land of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee of the sick, lame, blind, and possessed, even raising the dead? The resurrection of Jesus? The opening of the heavens to receive him as he floated up into the sky? The resurrection of many, perhaps hundreds when Jesus was raised? How is secular and even church history nearly silent of the wonders which Jesus performed which the world cannot contain the books if they were all written down?

    We do not have an inspired account of the tribulation and destruction of Jerusalem. Period. There may be much that occurred that we do not know about, and yes even the resurrection of many.

    Another matter that must be recognized is that modern expositors have neglected or disparaged the detailed historical accounts that survive. Josephus, an historian that was ignorant or perhaps indifferent to Christian prophecies, nevertheless records many interesting, even incredible events which align closely with the Christian apocalyptic writings. Are you aware that Josephus records the accounts of eyewitnesses who reported the opening of the sky above the cities of Judaea? That in the sky chariots, soldiers with glittering armor, flashes of lights and voices were seen and heard rushing back and forth across the entire land? Tacitus (and Eusebius) reports the same including flashes of lighting, declarations of a superhuman voice from heaven, and sounds of rushing winds as the gods (sic) departed the temple.

    As I say, there is no where else to turn but to the preterist approach but I still consider it a work in progress.

    Peace.
    Last edited by AlphaBravo; 02-15-2015 at 04:00 PM. Reason: posted at 412 views

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaBravo View Post
    Yes they should. But to say that it is metaphorical is impotent and meaningless. The metaphorical interpretation of the coming of Jesus at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 is exactly the point where the preterist approach abandon's its strongest case. Matthew 24 cannot be parsed into a literal and metaphorical component as preterists do, just as it cannot be parsed into a past and future component as the premillenialists do. Both do injury to the plain sense of the text.

    It is the natural sense and explicit statements in Mt 24 and Lk 21 that drove me off the premillenial wagon and led me to a preterist approach. Preterism does some beautiful work in tying Mt 24 to the tribulation leading up to AD 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem. Then somewhere around Matthew 24:29, the formal preterist approach quails and abandons the strongest line for a metaphorical/figurative interpretation.
    Yet at Matthew 24:29, events happen that, if literal, would be extremely likely to have been picked up by the historical record and/or later Christian writings.
    I think one has to ask themselves this question: What would we know about the fullfillment of messianic prophecies if the inspired accounts of the gospels and the epistles did not survive to this day? Would we doubt the virgin birth? Would we know about the angels who appeared in heaven at the birth of Jesus? The slaughter of the innocent by Herod? The feeding of 5000 with a basket of fishes and loaves? That Jesus emptied the land of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee of the sick, lame, blind, and possessed, even raising the dead? The resurrection of Jesus? The opening of the heavens to receive him as he floated up into the sky? The resurrection of many, perhaps hundreds when Jesus was raised? How is secular and even church history nearly silent of the wonders which Jesus performed which the world cannot contain the books if they were all written down?
    Because these things happened in the backwaters of Palestine, and were generally of little historical import, they would not likely have been recorded elsewhere.
    We do not have an inspired account of the tribulation and destruction of Jerusalem. Period. There may be much that occurred that we do not know about, and yes even the resurrection of many.
    Unlike the events of the gospels, the destruction of Jerusalem was a significant historical event involving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people - which is why we have historical accounts of the matter.
    Another matter that must be recognized is that modern expositors have neglected or disparaged the detailed historical accounts that survive. Josephus, an historian that was ignorant or perhaps indifferent to Christian prophecies, nevertheless records many interesting, even incredible events which align closely with the Christian apocalyptic writings. Are you aware that Josephus records the accounts of eyewitnesses who reported the opening of the sky above the cities of Judaea? That in the sky chariots, soldiers with glittering armor, flashes of lights and voices were seen and heard rushing back and forth across the entire land? Tacitus (and Eusebius) reports the same including flashes of lighting, declarations of a superhuman voice from heaven, and sounds of rushing winds as the gods (sic) departed the temple.
    Would not the resurrection of many have been of similar import as these visions? Would not the apostolic fathers have made mention of them? Ignatius of Antioch certainly wrote within living memory of the event, and the topic would have been close to his mind as he went to his martyrdom.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

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    Go back and read the passage again. Satan was only bound in one area of his activity. He was and is prohibited from amassing all of the nations against the Christians. This will change in the very last days when he will be released. Satan will be loosed to attack all of the Christian world at once. How could he do this? Perhaps something like a global non proselytizing law. I don't know. This will be God's final effort to divide all of humanity on earth into one of two camps. There will no longer be any grey area. When he does attack all of Christendom the Jesus will come again and put an end to all things.

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    tWebber AlphaBravo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    Go back and read the passage again. Satan was only bound in one area of his activity.
    No. It also says that while bound in the pit he cannot deceive the nations.

    I think it is grossly presumptuous to propose that Satan is somehow incompletely imprisoned during this time period. Just because the text focuses one aspect of Satan's restraint does not imply that he could do whatever else he pleased, or indeed anything else at all.

    In fact, if you list all the things the bible describes Satan as having the power and authority to do, his imprisonment suggests the suspension of them all. He is bound with a chain, by an angel from heaven, and cast into a bottomless pit designed by God to contain him for 1000 years.

    1. He cannot deceive the nations but he can still deceive individuals?
    2. He cannot gather the nations to war but he can still walk about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour?
    3. He is chained in a sealed bottomless pit but he can still appear to men transformed as an angel of light?

    Why even take this position without explicit support from the text? It begs too many questions.
    Last edited by AlphaBravo; 02-28-2015 at 10:14 PM. Reason: posted at 649 views

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