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To: conserv371; GrandEagle; blue-duncan; bremenboy; aimhigh; Iscool
After over 25 years, I still find these discussions fascinating.

To conserv371, blue-duncan, others;
Thank you for starting this thread. Considering my much limited understanding, I think we are in agreement. At least I am able to fit a few more pieces of the "puzzle" together using your/my interpretation of Scripture.

To GrandEagle, bremenboy, others;
Don't even joke about being a heretic, because you are obviously not. Let us also agree that which of us is wrong, it is we and our lack of total knowledge of God's Word that is wrong and that God's Word is right.

We may be "opposites". I was raised in a church that never mentioned a "rapture" or a "millennium". I literally stumbled into this way many years ago and am still excited over it. Allow me to add a couple of verses to ponder upon:

1 Thessalonians ch5 vs 9-11: "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that,whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."

Luke ch21 vs28 "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

Are we told to stockpile food? To build bomb shelters?
Nope. We're told to "look up", and to "fear not". Interesting. I wonder what Paul means by a mystery when he writes in 1 Corinthians ch15 vs 51 where it is written, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."
What is this "mystery"? Is something revealed here we did not know before?

Either way FRiend, avoid the temptation to view the "rapture crowd" as slightly less informed. What if we are right? {You'll be in for a pleasant surprise!} What if we are wrong? What if someday we look out our window and find ourselves in the middle of the tribulation?
Well then I suggest we are going to need people like you praying earnestly for us, since undoubtedly many will have their faith shaken.

I've ranted long enough. Let me say that I appreciate all the opinions.

27 posted on 02/24/2006 6:42:18 PM PST by labette (In the beginning God created....)
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To: labette
our lack of total knowledge of God's Word that is wrong and that God's Word is right.
On this point we are in complete agreement!
28 posted on 02/24/2006 7:59:29 PM PST by GrandEagle
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To: labette
Don't even joke about being a heretic, because you are obviously not.
Man, you should have seen the uproar when I discovered that I had been wrong!
First, let me say that I would never teach things directly contradicting my Pastor. I feel that God placed him there in our Church and he is responsible for what is being taught. I would be creating divisions in the Church and God really dislikes that.
When I first began to question, I postponed my class's study and switched to something else while I did my private study. (I teach the Adult SS class as well as being SS Superintendent.)
My Pastor, sensing something, called and asked me what was up so I discussed it with him. He in turn called two of my fellow church members and the five of us were going to have a study so I could understand the rapture. Well, it didn't quite work out that way so one of the guys was actually going to bring charges of heresy before the church and see if they would withdraw fellowship from me.
I brought out our doctrinal statement which states clearly that we believe in a PRE MELINNEAL return of Jesus Christ. We discussed it and he finally agreed that my position met the Pre Melinneal position.
Well over the next year or so my Pastor and I studied this out and he too soon saw what I saw.

It was a close call, and you are right it is no joking matter, but some are willing to take it that far.

Cordially,
48 posted on 02/25/2006 8:21:04 AM PST by GrandEagle
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To: labette; GrandEagle; blue-duncan; bremenboy; aimhigh; Iscool

"After over 25 years, I still find these discussions fascinating." ~ labette

This is what I find "fascinating":

Cerinthus embraced chiliasm, a form of apocalyptic vision that depicted the millennium as a physical and material period.

In North Africa there arose the Donatists, led by Tyconius, who predicted that the world would end in 380 C.E. Augustine, then Bishop of Hippo, took aim at the sect in an effort to disprove what he termed "out-dated and inappropriate dreams of an earthly paradise." After his death in 430 C.E., a council of church leaders meeting at Ephesus condemned the literalist vision of a physical, worldly millennialist utopia.

Eusebius is one of the early church fathers who most clearly denounces "chiliasm," as premillennialism was then called. In the same work he writes, "About the same time … appeared Cerinthus, the leader of another Heresy. Caius, in The Disputation attributed to him, writes respection him: ‘But Cerinthus, by means of revelations which he pretended as if they were showed him by angels, asserting, that after the resurrection there would be an earthly kingdom of Christ, and that flesh, i.e. men, again inhabiting Jerusalem, would be subject to desires and pleasures. Being also an enemy to the divine scriptures, with a view to deceive men, he said that there would be a space of a thousand years for celebrating nuptial festivals.’" Eusebius also writes of a tradition passed down by Polycarp regarding an encounter between the Apostle John and Cerinthus in a public bath, "He [Polycarp] says that John the Apostle once entered a bath to wash; but ascertaining that Cerinthus was within, he leaped out of the place and fled from the door, not enduring to enter under the same roof with him, and exhorting those with him to do the same, saying, ‘Let us flee, lest the bath fall in, as long as Cerinthus, that enemy of the truth is within.’" Tertullianus is another early church father who attributes chiliasm’s birth to Cerinthus. He writes: "They are not to be heard who assure themselves that there is to be an earthly reign of a thousand years, who think with the heretic Cerinthus. For the Kingdom of Christ is now eternal in the saints, although the glory of the saints shall be manifested after the resurrection."

http://members.aol.com/twarren19/athacreed.html

Justin Martyr (A.D.150)
CHAP. XI.--WHAT KINGDOM CHRISTIANS LOOK FOR.
"And when you hear that we look for a kingdom, you suppose, without making any inquiry, that we speak of a human kingdom; whereas we speak of that which is with God, as appears also from the confession of their faith made by those who are charged with being Christians, though they know that death is the punishment awarded to him who so confesses. For if we looked for a human kingdom, we should also deny our Christ, that we might not be slain; and we should strive to escape detection, that we might obtain what we expect. But since our thoughts are not fixed on the present, we are not concerned when men cut us off; since also death is a debt which must at all events be paid." (First Apology of Justin Martyr, ch. 11)

"Chiliasm found no favor with the best of the Apostolic Fathers... " (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, v. 25 - 36 ).


Eusebius (A.D.325)
"This same historian (Papias) also gives other accounts, which he says he adds as received by him from unwritten tradition, likewise certain strange parables of our Lord, and of His doctrine and some other matters rather too fabulous. In these he says there would be a certain millennium after the resurrection, and that there would be a corporeal reign of Christ on this very earth; which things he appears to have imagined, as if they were authorized by the apostolic narrations, not understanding correctly those matters which they propounded mystically in their representations. For he was very limited in his comprehension, as is evident from his discourses; yet he was the cause why most of the ecclesiastical writers, urging the antiquity of man, were carried away by a similar opinion; as, for instance, Irenaeus, or any other that adopted such sentiments. (Book III, Ch. 39)

Epiphanes (315-403)
"There is indeed a millennium mentioned by St.John; but the most, and those pious men, look upon those words as true indeed, but to be taken in a spiritual sense." (Heresies, 77:26.)

The belief in the millennium was condemned as superstitious at the Council of Ephesus in 431.

"This obscure doctrine [Chiliasm] was probabally known to but very few except the fathers of the church, and is very sparingly mentioned by them during the first centuries; and there is reason to believe that it scarcely attained much notoriety, even among the learned Christians, until it was made a matter of controversy by Origen, and then rejected by the greater majority. In fact, we find Origen himself saying that it was confined to those of the simpler sort. " (Waddington's History, pg. 56)

A field guide to Heresies: http://kevin.davnet.org/articles/heresy.html
Ebionism
Ebionites considered Christianity as a sect of Judaism. The believed the Jesus was a mere man of exceptional righteousness and a superior endowment of the Spirit which came upon him at his baptism. Some Ebionites accepted, and some rejected, the supernatural conception of Christ. Ebionites were among the Judaizers who attempted to impose the Law of Moses upon Christians. Ebionites were millenialists--those who believe in a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ on Earth.

The System of Cerinthus
Cerinthus (contemporary of the Apostle John) combined Gnostic views (separating the earthly Jesus who was the son of Joseph and Mary from the heavenly Christ) with the views of the Judaizers. Cerinthus was also a millinealist (also known as chiliasm).


The Great Premillennial HOAX by Don Matzat
http://www.issuesetc.org/resource/journals/v1.htm


62 posted on 02/25/2006 12:45:19 PM PST by Matchett-PI ( "History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." -- Dwight Eisenhower)
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