Chapter 12 - Millennialists(futurists) & Dispensationalists(Post Dispensationalists)
Imagine two lines on a graph labeled X and Y. This is usually a representation of a graph. These two variables represent two timelines:
X variable is the evolution of the "rapture" doctrine from a Jewish tribal or national concept to John's "rapture" in the Book of Revelation (Revelation 4:1).
X Line variable example: Ezekiel chapter thirty-seven --> James' eulogy and action for Matthew 27:52-53 --> Paul's Dispensationalist doctrine stated in 1st Corinthians 7:26-29, 1st Corinthians 15:51-52, 1st Thessalonians 4:15-17, 2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4 --> John's Millennialist doctrine stated in Revelation 4:1, Revelation 7:9, Revelation 14:20, Revelation 17:11, Revelation 20:6.
X Line summary: This the evolution of the term Rapture from the Jewish tribal nationalistic meaning to James' application stated in the Matthew passage or verses to Paul's Dispensationalist doctrine to John's Millennialist doctrine. What is the difference between Paul's version and John's version?
Paul's version as explained in the chapter - 'One or Two Raptures'- was an attempt to stop the doctrine deriving from Matthew 27:52-53 followed by Hymenaeus. Then later John speaks of this in Revelation 20:6 which is a compromise of the two therefore silencing any opposition from the Hymenaeus group. Paul, historically, had died through Nero much earlier when John wrote his treatise later against the Roman Empire.
My proof is the existence of the Temple which splits the two authors. Paul speaks of the Temple still standing in 2nd Thessalonians 2:4 while John states it is no longer in existence in Revelation 6:12-13, Revelation 11:19-20, Revelation 16:19 (The Fall or Fire of Rome by Nero), Revelation 21:22.
Paul's Dispensationalism is incomplete compared to John's Millennialism. What do I mean?
Paul's rapture is when the Temple is desecrated and no mention in Paul's letters of a thousand year reign. This is known by two previous clues: 1st Corinthians 7:26-29 and 2nd Thessalonians 2:4.
John's rapture is seven decades after the Temple's destruction. This is known because John splits the eras into two: Tribulation era - before the Temple's destruction (Revelation 1:9) & Great Tribulation - after the Temple's destruction in A.D. 70 (Revelation 7:14).
What happened? When Paul died through the hands of Nero, John later coded Nero's name through the number '666' and also developed a new rapture theory. This new theory also added a 'thousand year' reign of a physically returning Jesus (Psalm 105:8).
Basicly, John finished Paul's Dispensationalist theory (1st Corinthians 9:17) and presented a finished form (Revelation 20:6). The oppositions from the Jewish-Christians (Revelation chapter seven, Matthew 27:52-53, Revelation 20:6) may have stopped but most importantly it stopped the doubts in the general Christian community ("Body of Christ") until after A.D. 140 when the predictions were exposed to be false through the acts of the gnostic movement. The periods after these incorrect predictions created the impetus for the 'Gnostic Gospels' and other false predictions by the new sect called 'The Millennialists'. I will present later a prime example of the Millennialist trend.
Y variable represents the evolution of the captivity concept. It started with the predictions of the Babylonian destruction of the Temple of Solomon which resulted in the Babylonian captivity and into the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.
Y Line variable self explanatory.
The point where X and Y meet is A.D. 70 when the Romans destroyed the Temple (Revelation 6:12-13).
Then there is a line developed between the two creating a 45 degree angle out of the 90 degree angle. On this 45 degree angle begins a timeline after A.D. 70. The first event on this timeline is the composition of the Gnostic Gospels then other events afterwards move up.
On this XY 45 degree angle we now get the modern day Millennialists trend among most groups of Christians. The new line will be labeled "Z".
The Z line starts at A.D. 70 then the 'Gnostic Gospels' appear. These are various texts which elaborate either the deeds of the founders of the church or previous prophets in the Old Testament. On this Z line comes the opinion expressed in his book by St. Augustine of Hippo who also falsely predicted events guided by John's Millennialism. Here is the evidence:
" I confess, indeed, that I fear we may be mistaken in respect of the ten kings whom Antichrist, as it seems, is to find, who are ostensibly ten men; I am afraid, that is, that Antichrist may come unexpectedly, seeing that there are not as many kings as that in existence in the Roman world. But it may be suggested that the number ten signifies the total number of kings after whom he is to come, in the same way as totality is frequently signified by a thousand, or a hundred, or seven, or by several other numbers - there is no need to give a list of them here. "( City of God, Book XX, ch. 23, pg. 946 )
Here we have a prime example of an absurd theory developed out of John's Millennialism, of course, based on an earlier false prediction. How could anyone properly predict an event if the event already occurred ?
John's antichrist in Revelation chapter thirteen was already identified as the Roman Emperor Nero using supporting evidence. The problem by Augustine was his usage of the Book of Daniel to suggest that the book of Revelation is detailing a future event. This is further from the truth! John used the symbols in the Book of Daniel to copy those symbols in the Book of Revelation. Therefore, the intent of John was to identify the antichrist during his era and time. Therefore, St. Augustine of Hippo's borrowing and his support for the canonization of the Book of Revelation is based on the events surrounding the sacking of Rome by Alaric. Augustine of Hippo usage of Revelation was a 'window of opportunity' to support his theory of the events arounds his time or era. In other words, the canonization of Revelation was done to support an argument against the new pagan followers which rose up after the sacking of Rome by Alaric. Augustine of Hippo has committed a metaphysical crime which clouded the true intentions of the writer of the Book of Revelation. Nevertheless, John is also misusing verses from the Book of Daniel. When John did this he then gave a false prediction concerning the physical return of Jesus exposing the whole conspiracy and cover-up. The composition of the Book of the City of God by St. Augustine is nothing more than the opposite of a protest document within the many data points on this new Z line. It is rather a predicate of the previous false prediction.
Graph should be below but not presented until publication.
Then we have what is stated in the collection of the church fathers:
In the Dialogue with Trypho by Justin Martyr from Ante-Nicene Fathers it contains evidence that many early Christians, like Justin Martyr, believed in the rebuilding of the Temple after seven decades were over. In other words, many Christians believed that they were returning to the land just like what happened during the Babylonian captivity. Here is the proof:
Chapter LXXX.—The opinion of Justin with regard to the reign of a thousand years.
And Trypho to this replied, “I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the Scriptures. But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt; and do you expect your people to be gathered together, and made joyful with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets, both the men of our nation, and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came? or have you given way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of worsting us in the controversies?”
Then I answered(Justin Martyr), “I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another. I admitted to you formerly, Justin made no previous allusion to this point, so far as we know from the writing preserved. that I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; Or, “so as to believe thoroughly that such will take place” (after “opinion”). but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise. Moreover, I pointed out to you that some who are called Christians, but are godless, impious heretics, teach doctrines that are in every way blasphemous, atheistical, and foolish. But that you may know that I do not say this before you alone, I shall draw up a statement, so far as I can, of all the arguments which have passed between us; in which I shall record myself as admitting the very same things which I admit to you. For I choose to follow not men or men’s doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth],i.e., resurrection. and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genistæ, Meristæ, Maranus says, Hieron. thinks the Genistæ were so called because they were sprung from Abraham (γένος) the Meristæ so called because they separated the Scriptures. Josephus bears testimony to the fact that the sects of the Jews differed in regard to fate and providence; the Pharisees submitting all things indeed to God, with the exception of human will; the Essenes making no exceptions, and submitting all to God. I believe therefore that the Genistæ were so called because they believed the world to in general governed by God; the Meristæ, because they believed that a fate or providence belonged to each man. Galilæans, Hellenists, Otto says, the author and chief of this sect of Galilæans was Judas Galilæus, who, after the exile of king Archelaus, when the Romans wished to raise a tax in Judæa, excited his countrymen to the retaining of their former liberty.—The Hellenists, or rather Hellenæans. No one mentions this sect but Justin; perhaps Herodians or Hillelæans. Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews (do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are [only] called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years
(We have translated the text of Justin as it stands. Commentators make the sense, “and that there will be a thousand years in Jerusalem,” or “that the saints will live a thousand years in Jerusalem.” in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.)