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Amils - who are the "souls" in Rev. 20:4?

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  • Amils - who are the "souls" in Rev. 20:4?

    Again, the subject line says it all...

    “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
    (Rev 20:4 NKJV)

    Just wondering who you think these "souls" are. I have a few questions left in trying to understand the amil viewpoint and this is one of them...

    Thanks so much!

    Hawk

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hawk View Post
    Again, the subject line says it all...

    “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
    (Rev 20:4 NKJV)

    Just wondering who you think these "souls" are. I have a few questions left in trying to understand the amil viewpoint and this is one of them...

    Thanks so much!

    Hawk
    The dead in Christ.

    Paul
    "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

    http://www.evangelicaltruth.com/

    WPM

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks again Paul!

      Your answer makes me think of another couple of questions...

      The condition of these "souls" that John sees are those who:

      a) Have been "beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God"
      b) Have "not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands"

      So...

      1) Do these souls include people like the Noah, Abraham, David, and Zechariah?

      2) Who is the "beast", "his image", and this "mark" that these souls did not worship or take? Do all believers throughout history have this quality?

      I see how this fits in a premil viewpoint but I'm trying to learn more about amil and am just having a hard time with this one...

      Hawk

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hawk View Post
        Thanks again Paul!

        Your answer makes me think of another couple of questions...

        The condition of these "souls" that John sees are those who:

        a) Have been "beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God"
        b) Have "not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands"

        So...

        1) Do these souls include people like the Noah, Abraham, David, and Zechariah?

        2) Who is the "beast", "his image", and this "mark" that these souls did not worship or take? Do all believers throughout history have this quality?

        I see how this fits in a premil viewpoint but I'm trying to learn more about amil and am just having a hard time with this one...

        Hawk
        I believe it is the antichrist spirit that takes a hold of every unsaved man from Cain and ultimately deludes them into believing a lie. At the time John wrote Revelation, five kings / kingdom’s were fallen, one was (which in John’s day was Rome), and one was still to come. This seventh, which was to come, and was to continue a short space, is the final reign of the beast (Satan’s overall kingdom), when Satan is loosed for a short period near Christ's Second Advent.

        Revelation 17:8 continues, The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world,when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

        Revelation 17:9-13 further enlarges, “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

        A plain reading of these passages prove that, whatever the beast truly represents, he / it was expressly in existence before the time that John received this symbolic revelation. The beast cannot therefore merely be a last few years end-time phenomenon, as some would have us believe. After all, he existed before John wrote Revelation. We learn through the apostle’s first century testimony that the beast expressly “was” (past tense). In fact, the passage mentions this fact three times (twice in verse 8, and once in verse 11). Therefore, he existed before John. He also existed at the time of John – who said of his day, the beast “is” (present tense). John then explained that the beast would continue after his day, saying it “shall” be (future tense). In fact, Scripture tells us that the beast, and the false prophet, will only finally be destroyed at the all-consummating Second Coming of the Lord, where they will be “cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20). Why would this world system be destroyed at Christ’s Coming and then re-emerge in a future millennium as the sand of the sea?

        Paul
        "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

        http://www.evangelicaltruth.com/

        WPM

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hawk View Post
          Again, the subject line says it all...

          “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
          (Rev 20:4 NKJV)

          Just wondering who you think these "souls" are. I have a few questions left in trying to understand the amil viewpoint and this is one of them...

          Thanks so much!

          Hawk
          The martyrs throught History for the sake of the Gospel.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hawk,

            Not all amils believe the same, for one thing. There are futurists, preterists, historicists and idealists among those who believe in amillennialism. But I know Paul and myself as well as Shirley Ford and maybe a few others here believe that the beast is basically the antichrist system or Satan's worldly system that has been around a long time. We can see in Revelation 17:8 that the beast was, is not, and yet is, and was to come. So, the beast was around even before John wrote the book, existed in some form at the time he wrote the book, and would arise again at some point in the future, presumably to the same state it was before it was and was not in John's day. People have been worshiping the beast and worshiping Satan for a long time now.

            So, to answer your first question, yes, the souls include Noah, Abraham, David and all those guys.

            To answer your second question, well, I already gave my view of the beast, so I'll just briefly say that I believe the mark of the beast is spiritual and has to do with one's thoughts and beliefs (forehead) and actions (right hand) and how they reflect allegiance to Satan and his worldwide beast empire (this reflection = the image of the beast).

            Eric

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by John146 View Post
              Hawk,

              Not all amils believe the same, for one thing. There are futurists, preterists, historicists and idealists among those who believe in amillennialism. But I know Paul and myself as well as Shirley Ford and maybe a few others here believe that the beast is basically the antichrist system or Satan's worldly system that has been around a long time. We can see in Revelation 17:8 that the beast was, is not, and yet is, and was to come. So, the beast was around even before John wrote the book, existed in some form at the time he wrote the book, and would arise again at some point in the future, presumably to the same state it was before it was and was not in John's day. People have been worshiping the beast and worshiping Satan for a long time now.

              So, to answer your first question, yes, the souls include Noah, Abraham, David and all those guys.

              To answer your second question, well, I already gave my view of the beast, so I'll just briefly say that I believe the mark of the beast is spiritual and has to do with one's thoughts and beliefs (forehead) and actions (right hand) and how they reflect allegiance to Satan and his worldwide beast empire (this reflection = the image of the beast).

              Eric
              I suppose you could throw me in that camp as well . . .
              "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

              -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

              Comment


              • #8
                Eric and Paul, thanks so much for helping me understand your specific viewpoint (which is the one I was interested in as I am familiar with some of the others).

                I'm going to hold off on answering the questions you've posed (I may do so in another thread) because I really just want to keep this thread to obtaining your take and understanding your viewpoint...

                Paul, the passages you mentioned describe the beast well (I would have picked the same passages...) but what is your take on the "false prophet" and the "image" of the beast?

                Just wondering if you could flesh out what an "image" of the antichrist spirit looks like, and how one can worship it. And if you have some insight on the "false prophet" and how it relates to the beast and the image of the beast, that'd be great as well.

                Of course, as is your custom, throw in lots of supporting scriptures for me to help me understand it...



                Originally posted by wpm View Post
                A plain reading of these passages prove that, whatever the beast truly represents, he / it was expressly in existence before the time that John received this symbolic revelation.
                Interestingly enough, which we can address in another thread, a plain sense reading of Revelation 19 and 20 would seem to indicate that the millennium follows the second coming and events of Rev. 19... Even several works by Amils I have been looking at readily admit this. (Anthony Hoekema and William Hendriksen are the specific examples). But we'll save that for another thread

                Hawk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by John146 View Post
                  . . . We can see in Revelation 17:8 that the beast was, is not, and yet is, and was to come. So, the beast was around even before John wrote the book, existed in some form at the time he wrote the book, and would arise again at some point in the future . . .
                  Sorry to shorten your post, but to me you have forsaken the fact John is writing about a vision. And a vision could have taken him to a future place where the beast was, is not, and yet is, and is to come. It doesn't mean the beast was, is not, and yet is, and is to come in reality, but in the vision. Whether the vision was future based or not is debatable but I just think you should realize it's not as plain and simple as you make it out to be.
                  Laughing at the world
                  Watching it bend
                  Enjoying the show
                  Just waiting for the end

                  Not worried a bit
                  as I walk through the mist
                  By God I will sit
                  And watch the world twist

                  In Him I will trust
                  And only Him I will fear
                  When the world turns to dust
                  I know He'll be near

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hawk View Post
                    Again, the subject line says it all...

                    “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
                    (Rev 20:4 NKJV)

                    Just wondering who you think these "souls" are. I have a few questions left in trying to understand the amil viewpoint and this is one of them...

                    Thanks so much!

                    Hawk


                    The righteous dead-in-Christ of the ages; reigning in Heaven on thrones with Christ; awaiting the final judgment and resurrection of mankind before the eternal state is set.


                    The 'Beast' and all that goes with it, is a progressive battle spanning all ages; not just the final few years before the Lord's return; differentiating Satan's assault upon the Kingdom of God; and all of the wicked attacks he has, is, and will continue to make against God's people.

                    Revelation picks up on alot of the final stuff at the end; but it also includes alot of panoramic pictures of the entire historical shooting match as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VerticalReality View Post
                      I suppose you could throw me in that camp as well . . .
                      Yes, of course. Sorry for the omission.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by White Spider View Post
                        Sorry to shorten your post, but to me you have forsaken the fact John is writing about a vision. And a vision could have taken him to a future place where the beast was, is not, and yet is, and is to come. It doesn't mean the beast was, is not, and yet is, and is to come in reality, but in the vision. Whether the vision was future based or not is debatable but I just think you should realize it's not as plain and simple as you make it out to be.
                        Okay then. I understand that pretty much the whole book is debatable (just read this forum), so I will just say that I'm going to stick with my understanding while respecting the fact that others can have different views. Despite what you just said, I still think it is as plain and simple as I make it out to be, but you are free to disagree, of course.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hawk View Post
                          Interestingly enough, which we can address in another thread, a plain sense reading of Revelation 19 and 20 would seem to indicate that the millennium follows the second coming and events of Rev. 19... Even several works by Amils I have been looking at readily admit this. (Anthony Hoekema and William Hendriksen are the specific examples). But we'll save that for another thread

                          Hawk
                          We can save that for another thread, like you said, but I was just wanted to say that my whole basis at one point in believing premil was the assumption that Rev 20 followed Rev 19 chronologically. That was it. Not Zechariah 14 or Isaiah 65 or anything like that. But as you probably saw with Hoeksema and Hendriksen (is More than Conquerors the book you're looking at?) my understanding of what scripture teaches on things like one general resurrection of all the dead, one day of judgment, and all unbelievers being destroyed when Christ returns forced me to take a closer look at Revelation 20. I had already believed that there were parallels within the book because I believe Christ returned right after the seventh and last trumpet of Revelation 11 as well as the time when the seventh vial is poured out in Revelation 16, and of course in Revelation 19 as well. So, then I realized that Rev 20 could be a parallel as well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by White Spider View Post
                            Sorry to shorten your post, but to me you have forsaken the fact John is writing about a vision. And a vision could have taken him to a future place where the beast was, is not, and yet is, and is to come. It doesn't mean the beast was, is not, and yet is, and is to come in reality, but in the vision. Whether the vision was future based or not is debatable but I just think you should realize it's not as plain and simple as you make it out to be.
                            Bump Bump, as is the case when people are using different Bible Versions, Greek New Testaments, and Bibles based on the various Greek Archetypes. So I often have to provide some aid in clearing up some confusion and "why is it one person is not understanding another person, and vice-versa?"

                            What most Christians across the world throughout history and have been used to is, and what most MSS (5000+) and Greek New Testaments that have been out, and are out, state to the effect of:

                            "The beast which you saw was, and is not, and is about to be ascending out of the bottomless pit and to be going away to destruction. And the ones dwelling on the earth will be amazed, whose names have not been written on the Scroll of Life from [the] laying of the foundation of [the] world [or, from [the] beginning of the creation of [the] universe], when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will come. Revelation 17:8 ALT

                            The TR (Textus Receptus) archetype is at odds with the MT (Majority Texts) archetype and the CT (Critical Texts) with this rendering.

                            For a listing of variants and difference between the 3 main archetypes in the Book of Revelation, you can access those at:

                            http://www.dtl.org/alt/variants/revelation.htm

                            On the above reference web page, the most significant variants and differences have the archetype identifier (MT. TR, or CT) emphasized in bold, example:

                            18:20 MT/ CT: the holy ones and the apostles – TR: the holy apostles

                            For the “preferred” and “alternate” readings for the Byzantine Textform, an MT archetype, for the The Book of Revelation in the Bible, you can access those at:

                            http://www.dtl.org/alt/byzantine/alt...gs/heb-rev.htm

                            On that web page, the first reading given is the “preferred” readings, then, one or more “alternate” readings after the 2 forward slashes, “//”. This means the readings are closely divided among the numerous manuscripts. Also, it is up to the readers and translators whether they choose any given “alternative” readings. Example:

                            20:7 when the thousand years are completed, // after the thousand years,
                            IOW in that example:
                            PREFERRED READING: when the thousand years are completed,
                            ALTERNATE READING: after the thousand years

                            Take Revelation 21:1 for example. It appears that most English Bibles use the “alternate” reading, which may not look like much different in English, but in Greek, there is a difference.

                            21:1 went away // passed away

                            Blessings.
                            "A text without context is a pretext."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was using his words . . . I don't think different Bible versions came into play at all.

                              Let me put it this way.

                              Say I have a dream of the next president being sworn into office, but I can't tell who it is exactly. I ask a bystander in my dream and they answer. "The President you see survived an assassination attempt."

                              That doesn't mean our next president has survived an assassination attempt when I wake up, it may happen in the future.

                              Sorry to get the thread a bit off topic, Hawk is looking for amill views. I just wanted to show that it's not obvious that the beast was around before John wrote the book.
                              Laughing at the world
                              Watching it bend
                              Enjoying the show
                              Just waiting for the end

                              Not worried a bit
                              as I walk through the mist
                              By God I will sit
                              And watch the world twist

                              In Him I will trust
                              And only Him I will fear
                              When the world turns to dust
                              I know He'll be near

                              Comment

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