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A second question about annihilationism

This is the second of two questions about annihilationism. The first had to do with the origins of the argument that the “hell” language in the New Testament refers not to suffering after death but to historical events interpreted as divine judgment, which could be quite unpleasant enough enough. This second question raises a more specific issue: Is it necessary to believe that the unrighteous are also raised at the end, only to be destroyed again?

Is it possible to hold to conditional immortality w/out annihilationism, in that immortality is a gift, but not believe that God will resurrect the unrepentant only to destroy them again? I guess what I’m getting at is I wonder if the “dead” (nonbelievers) will simply remain dead after they take their last breath. What am I to do with the passages about the resurrection of both the righteous and unrighteous?

I understand what this is getting at, but it seems a funny way of putting it. It sounds as though we’re looking for acceptable doctrinal options rather than trying to understand the New Testament. It is possible to hold to whatever we like and to not believe whatever we like. If we don’t like the passages about the resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous, well, we are free to disregard them. We do that all the time.

But I think the challenge that we face at the moment is, as best we can, to suspend the urge to read according to what we consider morally or theologically possible or desirable and let the text say what it wants to say. A narrative-historical hermeneutic has to learn to respect the Bible for what it is, not for what we would like it to be. If we are uncomfortable with what we find, that is simply part of the total narrative of the people of God.

Now to the question. I wonder, in the first place, whether a doctrine of annihilation necessarily requires a resurrection and second death of the unrighteous. In other words, we could start from the assumption that conditional immortality by definition entails annihilation. Annihilation is just the destruction that is death, a fact of life, the basic given. The idea of a second annihilation is a development—and perhaps only a peripheral development—from the existential position.

It seems to me that it is only in Revelation 20:11-15 that we have an unequivocal account of a resurrection of all the dead, both righteous and unrighteous, for judgment. Daniel 12:2-3, with its distinction between those who are raised to “everlasting life” and those who are raised to “shame and everlasting contempt” has left its mark on the New Testament (eg. Matt. 13:43; perhaps John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15). But this is a resurrection closely associated with the restoration of Israel rather than with cosmic renewal, and it is very difficult to determine exactly what resurrection looks like under these circumstances (consider the problems generated by Matt. 27:52-53). Apart from Acts 24:15, Paul has nothing to say about a resurrection of the unrighteous.

Given this, we may have the option of understanding the final judgment of all the dead somewhat symbolically. It could be argued that the “second death” is only a symbolic reinforcement or restatement of the fundamental existential judgment on human sinfulness, which is death (cf. Rom. 6:23). The risk here is that by the same demythologizing sleight of hand we inadvertently make the participation of the just in a renewed creation disappear. But I guess the symbolic reinforcement or restatement of life, if it is to have any meaning at all, must presuppose a new ontology, a new creation existence. In any case, Revelation 20-21 is not a passage to be interpreted too literally.

Comments

I remember as a child being presented with the punishment I would have to endure if I were to continue to pursue the behavior I currently was enjoying; and after weighing it out determined the pleasure outweighed the punishment. Because of this,  I have always found discussions surrounding the idea of Hell to be interesting. It provides the “risk” element to the decision of whether or not following God is “worth it.”

Some views appeal to the physical pain and agony that one might be faced with due to “their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched,” (Isa. 66:24); contrasted with a Heaven where “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or morning or crying or pain” (Rev 21:4).

As for annihilationism, I have many (non-believing) friends who believe that once dead, that is it. Period. Calling on God, who is Love, to give them exactly what they want, and so He destroys them.

But to your question, I would present Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.”  

In light of this verse it could be the first death is death of the body; while the second is death of the soul. Death and destruction, perhaps having to do with the life of the soul. Where the soul is not made a new creation and remains able to experience pain and torment. Additionally, what is also destroyed is the image and likeness of its Creator and is therefore no longer capable of giving life, or contributing to new creation. Spiritual pain and suffering becoming its only reality.

While interesting, is it important for us to have an accurate view of hell?

Some interesting thoughts, thanks. I would question the suggestion that Isaiah 66:24 describes “physical pain and agony”. This is a vision of corpses lying unburied outside Jerusalem. Corpses do not feel pain, and there is no reason to think that Jesus uses the image in order to suggest anything other than the seriousness of Jewish rebellion against YHWH. Matthew 10:28 is difficult. I have presented my understanding here. If we argue that the second death is spiritual or “soulish”, that rather undermines the view that resurrection is a bodily event—but I’m not sure I follow your argument entirely.

I think an accurate view of hell is that there is no such thing in scripture. The concept of post mortem suffering for the wicked can be found in Jewish apocalyptic, but I don’t think it finds its way into the New Testament. There is presumably a reason for that.

So my personal view is that both for our understanding of the New Testament and for our preaching we would do well to eliminate the word “hell” from our vocabulary.

I agree with your comments on the Isaiah passage (I’m using Isaiah as part of my text for this Sunday, had my Bible open to it, and mistakingly used it out of context for my response). So you caught me.

As for my argument, I might suggest the resurrection is between the First and Second deaths, to which some will be resurrected to life, and others to condemnation (John 5:28-29).

Andrew,

If one were to eliminate the word hell from their vocabulary for their preaching and understanding of the New Testament, is there another word you use to communicate the same concept? 

Do you have a post or new thoughts on the uses of: Lake of Fire, and Hades?

-Stephen

Whether a person’s existence after suffering the Lake of Fire is ended through annhilation or lasts as eternal conscious torment, it seems to me that there is too much talk about the unrighteous being judged according to their works to dismiss this as symbolic.  I don’t think it would be just for God to allow some of the dramatically sinful people in history to just simply die and rot away.

 

As far as Revelation 20 and 21 goes, I agree that they should not be taken too literally.  But, they do establish some basic dynamics which I think we gloss over and should take more seriously.  For instance, in the New Heaven and New Earth we still have people invited to enter the New Jerusalem (which means that they started outside and have to make the choice to enter).  However, not all do so, so that dogs, socerers, etc. are kept outside of the gate.  The parallel passages in Isaiah 65 and 66 clearly describe that people still die and are still rebellious in some context in the New Heaven and New Earth.  If this is so, this means that there is some function of sin and death after the new, perfect creation. 

 

Doug

Thanks for your comments Doug. This is helpful for me.

While I think there is good biblical evidence for a general resurrection, I’ve lately wondered if it will in fact be universal. On the conditionalist scheme, the dead are raised in order to be judged according to their deeds; but many human beings die without having commited any deeds at all (e.g. infants). But neither have they met God’s condition for immortality—faith in Christ. The wording of Daniel 12, I think, supports this view: it says that “many of those …”  Typically, the expression “many of x” strongly implied “not all of x”.

As a historical point, the expression “second death” was sometimes used in intertestimental literature to describe those excluded from the resurrection. I can look up the citations when I get home.

I agree that Daniel 12 describes a limited resurrection, but is this a final resurrection? It seems to me that it is too closely associated with the victory over Antiochus Epiphanes and the restoration of Israel.

I would be interested to see the “second death” citations. Are you home yet?

Sorry for the delay. From the 3rd edition of The Fire that Consumes, page 250:

In non-Christian Jewish literature, Houtman and van de Weg* found the expression “second death” in six official Targums (Aramaic paraphrases/commentaries used in synagogue), where it sometimes refers to “a refusal of resurrection, which means annihilation,” and sometimes to resurrection “followed by the decision about who will live for eternal life and who will die an eternal death.”

*Houtman and van de Weg, “The Fate of the Wicked”

The six Targums are found in the official Targums Onkelos and Jonathan, on Duet 33:6; Isa 22:14; 65:6, 15 and Jer 51:39, 57.

I’m trusting the scholarship of Edward Fudge here, and have not checked out the references myself.

I’ll need to dig through my notes, because I could have sworn there were citations from sources dated prior to the writing of John’s Apocalypse.

I’m way over my head here with y’all, but the consideration that has me wondering about a general resurrection for a subsequent judgement is the fact that Christ’s resurrection was his justification. If Christ’s ‘first fruit’ resurrection was God’s judgment, then oughtn’t we expect the same to be true for the rest of mankind?

I do appreciate the difficulty of the referenced passages, though. Look forward to the promised citations regarding the second death.

Andrew, thank you for what you do.

Yes, Jesus was vindicated for his faithful obedience to YHWH by his resurrection, but also by how things worked out—that, I think, is the “coming of the Son of Man” theme. I think we can also say that the martyr church was vindicated for its faithful obedience to Jesus by resurrection and by how things worked out. My argument would then be that Christ is understood as the first fruits of the martyrs—they specifically participate in his suffering and vindication during the period of eschatological renewal. We could also say that Jesus is also the first fruits of the general resurrection of all the dead, but I don’t think this is the point that is being made in the New Testament. Humanity is not raised for vindication but for judgment, but this is not the main storyline of the New Testament.

Andrew,

It seems to me that it is only in Revelation 20:11-15 that we have an unequivocal account of a resurrection of all the dead,”

All the dead of what?  Are these reference to be applied universally or within the context of Israel?  I think so much of the Scriptures are applied universally(to all mankind) when most of the time they are actually speaking of a limited “all”.  After all, prior to Jesus the Gentile was at that time, “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Eph. 2:12

 

Something to ponder a bit.

 

I agree with the basic point, that we import an unintended universality into much of the New Testament. But it still looks to me as though Revelation 20:11-15 is meant to describe a final resurrection of all the dead. There is no place left for earth and sky. Hades and the sea give up all the dead that are found in them. Death and Hades are then destroyed. Then there is a new heaven and new earth from which all wickedness, suffering and death have been abolished. It’s difficult to see how in the terms of a visionary apocalypticism the completeness of the event could have been asserted more clearly.

Andrew,

“Then there is a new heaven and new earth from which all wickedness, suffering and death have been abolished”

Given the presense of sin and death in the New Heavens and New Earth as described in Isaiah 65-66 and Revelation 21-22 I don’t think you can prove your assertion.  I would agree that within the New Jerusalem as seen in both of these passages all wickedness, suffereing, and death have been abolished.  The New Jerusalem exists within the New Heaven and New Earth, but they are not the same thing in my opinion.

Doug

Hi Doug,

Can you expand on your assertion of sin and death being present in the New Heaven and New Earth as based on the Isaiah and Revelation passages?

It would appear from Isaiah 66, that people in the New Heaven and the New Earth will be able to see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled; which lines up with Luke 16:26.

In Revelation, the New Heaven, New Earth, and access to the New Jerusalem are the inheritence of those who overcome. To those who don’t, their inheritence is laid out in 21:8. However, I don’t believe these are outside the New Jerusalem, but inside the New Heaven and New Earth. 

With the New Jerusalem being a city coming out of the New Heaven to the New Earth (one of what I believe to be many cities), Rev 22:15 also refers to those who are outside the New Heaven and New Earth. 

This is simply my justification for Andrews comment, although I would be very interested into hearing what you have to add, and how Andrew would answer you. 

-Stephen

 

A detailed answer is not suitable for this format, but I’ll give you a quick synopsis of my point.  I’m not going to go into detail about what I think all of these pieces mean, but I’ll try to point out how they relate to each other.

In Rev. 21:1 we see that the establishment of the New Heaven and New Earth completely eliminates the Old Heaven and Old Earth (so they are not parallel systems or overlapping after the full establishment of the NHNE).  In Isaiah’s description of it starting in 65:17 and in Rev. 21:1-2 we see that the New Jerusalem is a component of the NHNE (meaning that they are not the same thing).  In 65:20 we see that people are still born and still die.  In 66:19-21 we see that there is an ongoing evangelistic effort outside of the NJ, but during the NHNE.  This means that there are people who still need to repent who exist during that time.  Because only some of them will be made “priests and Levites” that strongly implies that not all will eventually believe.

Starting in Rev. 21:2 we see that the NJ is described like a bride.  Blessings parallel to Isaiah 65 and elsewhere belong to people who dwell with God, though this dwelling seems to be associated more directly with the NJ than the NHNE per se.  The bad people’s portion is the Lake of Fire (not the same as Gehenna per Andrew’s paradigm).  Recapitulating in v.9 we see a more detailed version of the NJ and God’s dwelling there.  Again, everywhere that we see a detailed explanation of blessing it is associated directly with the city, not necessarily the whole NHNE.  Verses 24-27 are important and are parallel to Zech 13-14.  Kings of nations on earth bring gifts to the city periodically (in the Zech. version those who rebel against this mandate are punished).  Those Kings may bring honor and gifts to the city, but no one who is unclean (which presumes that there are such people) may enter in.  In Rev. 22:1-2 we see a river of water, the purpose of which is the healing of the nations.  This would be pointless if there weren’t healing to be done, which indicates that there is corruption present that needs to be eliminated.  In v.3, again, God is seen inside of the city, but not necessarily outside of it.  In v.14 only those who wash their robes may enter the city.  If only perfection existed throughout the entire creation at this point in history there would be no point to this concept.  But, I think this whole section clearly shows that perfection only exists inside of the NJ.  Verse 15 describes those sinners outside of the gates.  

I think that the gates being opened 24/7 and the perpetual invitation to enter declares clearly that this is a bona fide option (as opposed to some sort of simple comparison and contrasting of two destinies of people in general).  There seem to only be two options then:  Restorationism (I think Rob Bell’s position, though I don’t think he calls it that) or one in which as a part of ongoing history in the NHNE there are sinners and rebellious people who need to be healed.

I know that we commonly assume that at some point in history there will be a complete elimination of sin in any context.  But, I think this probably comes from the Stoics, Plato, and eventually the Gnostics as opposed to the Bible itself.

Hey Doug, Andrew, and others,

 

What of the New Jerusalem descent in Pentecost?  Why does Rev 21 neccessarily have to follow Rev 20? Rev 20 begins with the binding of Satan, reminiscnet of Christ’s minsterial “biinding” of the strong man, and in essence Rev 21, in the passing of the old heavens and earth could be exclusively directed at the cross and resurrection - Matt 5:17;Luke 24:44 in lieu of Col 2;14 and 2 Cor 5:17.  I would be more inclined to see this marriage occuring then, and concurrent since then.  Blessings.

Ken,

You’re starting to see the picture.  What you’re missing the fact that the covenants (old and new) overlapped for a period of time (40 years; AD 30 to AD 70).

You can see this painted clearly in Gal. 4:21-31.  Pay attention to what the Sarah and Hagar represent (the two covenants), and what their children represent (children of the two covenants).  Now, remember the story from the OT that they lived together for a period of time and during that period one son (Ishmael) persecuted the other son (Isaac).  Paul sets this whole analogy up as an example of his current day; see Gal. 4:29, “so also it is now”.  But the persecution only lasted until Hagar and her son were kicked out.  Notice Paul’s statement in Gal. 4:30.

Also consider what Heb. 8:13 says about the OC.

“…And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away”.

Just as the new was coming in, the old was in the process of being done away with.  When was the old finally done away with?  AD 70 when God destroyed it all using Rome.

So the picture is this: the new Covenant was established at either Christ’s Resurrection or Pentecost (case can be made for either), and the old became obsolete but not gone, it was “growing” old and ready to vanish away.  Then at a future point in time the new covenant would be consumated and the old would finally be away with.

So, understanding that the two covenants overlapped for a period of time, one can now understand that the new Jerusalem came at Pentecost (the reason it’s present tense in Heb. 12:22, which is prior to AD 70), and then it was consummated in AD 70 which is Rev. 21.

On a side note, it is important to see that if the new was not consummated fully when the old was finally and completely done away with, Israel would have been “naked” before her God.  Naked is a state of having no covering, thus Israel’s sin would be exposed before God requiring judgment.  This is what Israel feared.  Under the old Covenant the sacrifices made in the temple served as Israel’s “covering”.  If that is done way with, they wouldn’t have a covering, they were “naked”.  In fact, in 2 Cor. 5 Paul addresses this.

For we know that if the tent (temple/tabernacle in Jerusalem) that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building (new Jerusalem) from God, a house not made with hands  (in constrasted to what was made with hands ie. the temple), eternal in the heavens. For in this tent (temple) we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:1-4 ESV)

So much to point out in this text it is funny.

“not made with hands”.  Whatever was being replaced was made with hands.  Obvisouly our physical bodies were not made with hands.  This text has nothing to do with some resurrection of our physical body.  Actually nothing the entire Bible addresses the resurrection of our physical body.  It’s made up and imported into many text, like this one.

Concerning nakedness.  Notice what picture Paul is painting.  See my comments above.

One can also now understand Genesis’ reference to Adam and Eve being “naked” in the garden.  Their nakedness has nothing to do with physical nakedness.  It has to do with them having no “covering” (they never required one prior to breaking the covenant; God’s command not to eat.  Until they ate from the tree of “knowledge” they knew they had sin vs. they had sin prior but did not know it nor were they held accountable for it (see Romans 5:13).  But once they knew they had sin, what did they seek to do.  They tried to “cover” themselves.  Them attempting to make their own covering (fig leafs) represents their attempt to hide their sin.  But, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  Thus, God stepped in and did provide a blood sacrifice for their sin.  Thus the reference in Gen. 3:21 of God making “garments skins and clothed them”.

This is all metaphor for God instituting the sacrificial system to temporarily cover Israel’s sin until Christ came, not references to physical things; actual animal skin for clothing.

Ok, I’ve gone on too long.  There is just so many connections to make it isn’t funny.  I can’t recommend the book “Beyond Creation Science” enough if you wish further insights and analysis.

“Until they ate from the tree of “knowledge” they knew they had sin vs. they had sin prior but did not know it nor were they held accountable for it (see Romans 5:13).”

That should say and better worded, “until they ate from the tree of “knowledge” they didn’t know they had sin.  They did have sin prior to eating, but they didn’t know it, nor were they held accountable for it.”

Hi Rich,

 

I used to be a full preterist, and spoke some with you on DID in the past.  Thank you for the lengthy reply, although much of what you have written, I would like to respond to as I have pondered it greatly in the past few months, and find it in error.  I would be better considered a AD 30 preterist, not and AD 70 preterist.  The emphasis I put on 70 AD, was merely God enacting his judgement on a nation that rejected his 30 AD sacrfice. Thus, this presupposition, places no theological or soteriological weight on the year for Christainty. If it was anything of the above, it was merely a sign to the Jewish Christains still practicing elements of the law, to stop.

The key to the allegory in Gal 4 is verse 21 “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?” Hagar and Ishmael were no part of God’s promise to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham – even temporarily. In fact, Ishmael is specifically excluded from being a part of that promise.  (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-6; 17:18-21; 21:12,13.)  The two mothers (two covenants) and two sons (two products):

(a) Hagar – represented the Old Covenant, Sarah – the New Covenant. (b) Ishmael – represented Jews under the Old, Isaac – represented Christians (both Jews and Gentiles) under the New.

 

Hagar never represented the New Covenant and Ishmael never represented Christians under the New, even for a little while. The only heirs of the promise are Christians (Gal 3:28,29). Christians were not given the inheritance of the Jews, because they never had it, except in Christ, just as Gentiles did. Paul did not tell the Galatians to “hang on until 70 AD when you will fully inherit something.” He said “the Jerusalem above is free, which is  the mother of us all” (Gal 4:26; cf. Heb. 12:22).  Judaizers were confused about the Old Covenant. The allegory taught them that to go back under the Old would be to go back to the bondage of sin (Gal 4:31-5:4). This was true before 70 AD as well as after 70 AD.  “The faith” had been revealed and the Galatians were no longer “under the tutor” (Gal 3:24,25); they were already “sons of God,” and the “Jerusalem above” had already come (Gal 4:26). There is nothing in the passage about an overlapping of the Old Covenant with the New for 40 years. Thanks for your time.

 

Ken,

Sorry I do not remember you.  Haven’t been to DID in a while.  I do provide links once in a while to some great articles they’ve collected on Covenant Creation, but outside that I don’t visit.  The Admin’s (two people specifically) aren’t very nice/tolerant people, and I’m even an Covenant Creationist.  I disagreed with one point and that was that.  Banned.  Found it quite amazing.  And then after I was banned and not able to post anymore the two even continued to mock me.  I was really flabbergasted then.  Anyway, that’s all in the past and don’t really care.

You stated:

Hagar and Ishmael were no part of God’s promise to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham – even temporarily. In fact, Ishmael is specifically excluded from being a part of that promise.  (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-6; 17:18-21; 21:12,13.)  The two mothers (two covenants) and two sons (two products):

(a) Hagar – represented the Old Covenant, Sarah – the New Covenant. (b) Ishmael – represented Jews under the Old, Isaac – represented Christians (both Jews and Gentiles) under the New.

I agree 100%.  Is that not exactly what I stated?  Or I’m misunderstand what you’re saying.

There is nothing in the passage about an overlapping of the Old Covenant

Uh?  You just stated Hagar represented the Old Covenant, and her son, Ishmael, represented OC Jews.  And that Sarah represented the New Covenant, and her son, Isaac, represented NC Jews (which also includes Gentiles by extension, but Paul’s audience are Jews struggling the temptation of returning back to the OC).

Paul then states in verse 29, “But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh (Ishmael) persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit (Isaac), so also it is now (in Paul’s day when he wrote the epistle -post AD 30 & pre AD 70)

What is “at the time”?  He defines it as the time when they both lived under the same house; when Ishmael was persecuting Isaac.  And, just so you don’t miss it, Paul even stated “so also it is now”.  I’m not sure how it can get any clearer.  The analogy of them living together is the type of the two sons living together in Paul’s day.  A time where one “son” persecuted the other “son”.  When unbelieving Jews persecuted believing Jews (and Gentiles).

Persecuted them until when?  Paul, then states in the very next verse (30), “But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.”

Cast out (1) the “slave women”, Hagar, which you admit is OC, AND (2) her “son”, Ishmael, which you admit is OC (unbelieving) Jews.  They were both “cast out” together!

Paul wrote this post AD 30 but pre AD 70.  The casting out had not happened yet.  That is the whole point of him using the analogy.  But, when the casting out was accomplished, then they would be able to inherit, which Paul even stated in verse 30.   So, your statement, “Paul did not tell the Galatians to “hang on until 70 AD when you will fully inherit something” is false.  Paul clearly states that when the casting out happen THEN they could inherit.  AND even the story in Genesis Isaac didn’t inherit until after Hagar was cast out.

Christ came in judgment in AD 70 against who?  Unbelieving OC Jews!  That is when he judged/destroyed them.  That was the casting out.

This is also confirmed in many other NT passages, like the Hebrew passage I quoted from. The Old did not pass until AD 70 when physical Jerusalem, the temple and everything related to the OC was done away with.

You also stated, “they were already “sons of God,” and the “Jerusalem above” had already come (Gal 4:26).”

Again, I don’t disagree.  I even showed in my other post the New Jerusalem was already present (AD 30), because the New Covenant was already present.  But, it had not been consummated yet, which is shown in passages such as:

Heb. 9:28 - so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

“Christ, having been offered” - in Paul’s past.

“will appear a second time…to save…those…waiting” - in Paul’s future.  ie. AD 70

Unless you say hasn’t appeared a second time, thus, you would still be waiting for salvation.

If you can’t see this simply analogy by Paul and its application to those to whom Paul is writting, then I’m not sure what else I can say. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

 

Hi Rich,

I think you misunderstood me.  My point was simply this.

Hagar and Ishameal were not part fo the promise, yet they were described in Galatians as the old covenant.  This simply means that when Paul was writing this letter, post cruxifiction, that OC Israel was NOT part of the promise.  As Andrew clearly esatblishes in the future people of God, that Romans 11 gives two possible outcomes, based on Isaiah 59, among others.  Accept Christ, and be saved, don’t, and don’t be saved. What happened?  All Israel was NOT saved. If the OC was still giving God that sweet smell every time they killed a bull for Him, what was the point of Christ?

It is good to talk with you again. I still hold to most CC views, even though I have broken from FP. I have found CC is benign of FP. I now consider myself a historical preterist, not partial.

Ken

Ken,

It was good to talk to you too.  Sorry you have move from FP, but no worries, God still loves even people like you.  :) LOL   Seriously, hope you find what you’re looking for.  If where you are now brings you comfort then great for you.

I think we agree completely on Galatians but I still fail to see what you put forth has to do with the over lapping of the Covenants.

As Andrew clearly esatblishes in the future people of God, that Romans 11 gives two possible outcomes, based on Isaiah 59, among others.  Accept Christ, and be saved, don’t, and don’t be saved

I’ve not read Andrew’s book.  But, I agree 100% with that statement.

What happened?  All Israel was NOT saved

I don’t agree here at all.  “all Israel” was saved in AD 70.  Ez. is clear that God was going to bring back together both houses (thus “all” Israel) in her last days.  And that is exactly what He did!  The reference to “all Israel” is not presented on an all individual bases.  The entire context is Paul dealing with the two houses (corporate bodies).  Israel had two, so the bringing of the two together is saving “all” Israel.  Paul’s old testament references show this clearly.  If you want a detailed analysis of this Max King wrote a very good paper entitled “And So All Israel Will Be Saved”.  You (and Andrew) can read it here

http://wiki.ad70.net/index.php?title=And_So_All_Israel_Will_Be_Saved_by_Max_R._King

If the OC was still giving God that sweet smell every time they killed a bull for Him, what was the point of Christ?”

Not really sure why you would think this.  Who said anything about God still looking for animal sacrifices?  Paul’s entire teaching shows him trying to show that Christ was their once for all sacrifice.  They didn’t need the “old” anymore.  That is what he was doing his best to call Israel out from under, and at the same time trying to keep the Gentiles from being dragged into/under it.  But there were those who were clinging to it and rejecting Christ, and trying to drag the Gentiles under it.  These are John’s antichrists.  They were OC unbelieving Jews (Judaizers).

Anyway, take care.  I’m sure I’ll see ya around here or there.

-Rich

Andrew,

Without going into great detail I will add some short comments.

But it still looks to me as though Revelation 20:11-15 is meant to describe a final resurrection of all the dead.”

I agree.  I should not have used that particular verse to make my point. I have read too many of your articles (or others.  they are all starting to blend together my mind) where I’ve seen references universally appled but should have been limited to Israel (although I must admit you don’t seem to do it often, if at all, which is a breath of fresh air).  As I read this post of yours it was in the forefront of my mind and it just kicked in.  My error. But, like you pointed out, my point is in fact true. 

I would like to add a comment though concerning your implied meaning when you say ”final resurrection”.  To me, this does not mean some final event and then the space time continuum and the physical universe ends and there are no more resurrections.  This was an event for sure, however, ”resurrections” continue every time a person (post AD 70) comes to Christ. Prior to AD 70 (or the Resurrection) all men, both Jew and Gentile, whether alive or dead, were not “resurrected” and therefore couldn’t enter into God’s presence.  They remained outside God’s presence, thus the references to Death, Hades and sea where the dead positionaly existed.  Post AD 70 (or Resurrection) the picture is changed.  People can come immediately and directly into the presence of God via Christ.  They can now boldly enter into the holy of holies (Heb 10).

There is no place left for earth and sky.”

yes, but what is this earth and sky?  My studies show it not to be in relation to the physical world, but OC fleshly Israel and the old Heaven and Earth.

Hades and the sea give up all the dead that are found in them. Death and Hades are then destroyed.”

yes, but to answer this a bit more precise the text is required with my inserts.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky (old covenant Israel) fled away (destroyed by Roman army), and no place was found for them (new spiritual Israel was being resurrected thus the old had no place anymore). And I saw the dead (Israel), great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead (Israel) were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea (Gentile world) gave up the dead who were in it, Death (Israel’s physically alive) and Hades (Israel’s physically dead) gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-14 ESV)

Then “Death” and “Hades” were thrown into the lake of fire.  What about the “sea”???  Why was it not thrown into the lake of fire?  Death and Hades relate to Israel.  The sea relates to the gentile.  There is no more “sea”, because the distinction between Jew and Gentile (Genesis’ separation of land and water) no longer exist.  The reference to death takes us back to Genesis and Adam.  Adam was Israel’s first covenant man who sinned, which allowed the death to enter in and reign over him and his descendents (Israel).  This is a very specific death (not related to physical death), thus the reason you’ll usually find a definite article preceding it (see Romans 5 and 6).  While this “death” was past to “all men” (two corporate bodies - Jew and Gentile; Romans 5) it primarily relates in the story to Israel.  It was Israel that was to be resurrected, brought out from under its reign.  The OT promises were to her.  She had to be resurrected inorder for the Gentile to be grafted into her; see Paul’s olive tree analogy in Romans 11.  That was the mystery.  God was making one man out of the two ([1] Adam/Isreal and [2] the Gentile man) see Eph 1-2.

The problem that exist in Christendom is she keeps trying to incorporate the physical into the texts (both Genesis and Revelation).  The Bible is a covenant story dealing with primarily Israel, which God used on behalf of all man to bring all men into covenant with Him.  The physical (both physical man and the earth) is not in the picture.  It is not cursed and does not need “fixed”.  The dead being raised in 1 Cor. 15 is OC faithful Israel being raised in the body of Christ.  The sooner Christendom lets go of its gnostic tendencies by dragging the physical into the story the better.

See Doug’s comments too as they directly related and provide some good information.

Ok, that wasn’t so short.  There’s just too much to address.  And when people like me who are not very articulate try things get very long and winded.  Sorry.

Hi Rich,

 

It all boils down to who Gog is.  Many in FP say it is apostate Israel, attacking Israel saints in the city of Jerusalem. Does that even make any sense? N it doesn’t. That is why it must be rejected.

Some say it is Rome, which is more likely, because Gog was a ID for an outside and gentile force from Israel, apostate or not. But, Rome wasn’t destroyed in 70 AD. This leaves FP out in the open in regards to the resurrection of the dead.

Andrew,

You touched on a topic in the Future People of God, that I would like to explore with you about the resurrection of the dead.  Could it be that Matt 27:52-53 is a fuliflment of Hos 6:2-3;Isa 28:19 and Eze 37:12-13? The pharisee believed that upon the messiah advent, Israel would be restored and reusrrected, and those that have died would take part from the heavenlies in the messianic age, and each in their own order and time, when someone would die, they would be resurrected from the dead.  This concept was coalesced into a one time event, yet spanned over hundreds if not thousands of years. This would make sense in light of Acts 26.  Thanks.

Ken,

It all boils down to who Gog is.  Many in FP say it is apostate Israel, attacking Israel saints in the city of Jerusalem. Does that even make any sense? N it doesn’t.”

It makes perfect sense, not to mention historically accurate.  The entire NT records the persecution of the saints (the true spiritual Israel) by the unbelieving apostate OC fleshly Israel.  One can’t read the NT and get away from it, so not sure how you can charge it with not making sense.

The reference to Gog was apostate Israel.  This is no different than apostate Israel becoming/referred to as a beast, or Sodom and Egypt (see Rev. 11:8).  Sodom was used because Jerusalem (fleshly apostate Israel) had become morally corrupt, Egypt (an outside force), because it persecuted Israel (the same as Gog).  So, the fact that Gog was an outside force that persecuted Israel in the OT is important.  That served as the type for fleshly Israel now being the outside force which was persecuting God’s people.  And the irony, oh my.

Some say it is Rome

Yes, some do.  But, this is the reason why eschatology is so confused today.  The Bible is a covenant story about Israel.  Other nations such as Rome, are secondary to the story; usually just a tool that God used to bring judgment on his covenant people as he deals with his covenant people.  You, and I see Andrews do this all the time, make nations like Rome a main character.  This universalizing of the story puts the context of things where it shouldn’t be, which leads to looking for Rome in everything.  The story is not about Rome.  This same mistake is also present, and finally today being addressed (by people like Andrew), when reading the Gospels.  Jesus came and preached to the house of Judah in Israel.  The Church for the longest time read it from the context of Jesus preaching to the world.  So, for example, when Jesus would speak on things such as “gehenna”, the Church imported a universal application to it, thus we have the unbiblical doctrine of “Hell”.  In reality, Jesus was making reference to gehenna and Israel’s judgment in AD70.  Andrew has been writing some great articles showing this very mistake.

Another perfect example is Jesus’ words is John 10:14-16

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:14-16 ESV)

How long has this been seen as Jesus laying down his life for Israel (his sheep).  And the “other sheep” as a reference to the rest of the world (gentiles)?  In reality, the context is, again, limited to within and about Israel.

Jesus was telling the house of Judah, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep (the house of Judah). And I have other sheep (the scattered house of Israel) that are not of this fold (the fold of Judah). I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd

The one flock being the two houses (thus “all” Israel) restored (resurrected) per Ez. and Jer.. 

But, Rome wasn’t destroyed in 70 AD.”

Exactly, which is why it must be rejected.  Another reason is because Rome as Gog doesn’t fit the story of Revelation.

-Rich

Rich,

I disagree.  Gog was never used in Israel’s history as an inside force.  Therefore the presuppostinon of it being Apostate IOsraeel must be rejected at the onset.

Ezekiel is plain. So is John.  The Beast from the Sea/Gog is Rome, and Nero dies, in Rev 13, and is revived in who?  Vespasian, Titus?  Not. You must remember, the churches in Asia never even saw, nor experienced any wrath from the wars in Judea.  They were thousands of miles away.  They were being warned about what was coming.  After 70 AD, persecution of the saints quadrupled that which was under the disorganized, juvenile Nero.

It is a presuppostion you are working with Rich, disregarding the internal evidence and pigeonholing this unsupported paradigm of all fulfilled in 70 AD, which in fact, there were plenty of iprophecies et al Dan 2 and most of Revelaiton, that hadn’t been fulfilled.

Once you see all this, and the grave errors of Max Kingism, you too will reject the FP paradigm. Hopefully Andrew can help you see this as well.

It isn’t all about 70 AD.  Blessings to you.

Ken,

“Gog was never used in Israel’s history as an inside force”

Never said it was.

“After 70 AD, persecution of the saints quadrupled”???

Where do you get this from?

“It isn’t all about 70 AD

You’re right.  It’s about Christ and what he accomplished. It’s just that he accomplished it all in AD 70.

We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Peace,

Rich

Hi Rich,

 

THat’s cool.  I just think this was one of the major foul ups for full preterism.  When we go into the scriptrues with a presuppostion, we tend to want to cram everytihng into, for example, the 70 AD paradigm, and really do lots of damage to the overall message, prophecy, or wahtever is being considered.  However, as for Christ acconplisheing everything he said he would, I feel that was done in on the cross and resurrecrion, for Israel, and humanity in general.  The years between the cross and wrath in Judea, in my opnion, had no soteriologiucal effect on Christanty as a faith, or the Christain body wholly and individually.  What it did have an effect on, was Israel as a national theocracy as it had stood for 2 milennia. The text will always tell us, contextaully, whether it is considering the covenant people, or it isn’t.

Rev 11:8 is a good example you used that esablishes that exegetcial support. But Rev 20:8 being related just because 8:11 tells us who Sosm and Egytpt is spiritually, is eisegesis.  The text will always tell us, and historicall and internally, Gog has always been an outside force to Israel as a theocratic nation, so thus, making it (apostate) Israel without any due diligence to support it, would do much harm.  As a historical preterist, I am not asking you to consider that Gog is somehow in the future, but consider it just as it is, an outside force to Israel, a message the churches in Asia - the Roman Empire, to whom it was directed to that lived in the already established New Jerusalem of the spirit under a new enemy, Roman deified worship.  This is the warning to the churches, a type of worship that didn’t make serious headway, until after the fall of Judea, almost ten years after.

“Where do you get this from?”

From the ecclesiatstic, historical records. Nero was small time compared to those who followed him.  This is a good place to start:

http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/history/persecution.htm

Blessings to you.