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This area of the forum is primarily for Christian theists to discuss orthodox views of Eschatology. Other theist participation is welcome within that framework, but only within orthodoxy. Posts from nontheists that do not promote atheism or seek to undermine the faith of others will be permitted at the Moderator's discretion - such posters should contact the area moderators before posting.


Without turning this forum into a 'hill of foreskins' (Joshua 5:3), I believe we can still have fun with this 'sensitive' topic.

However, don't be misled, dispensationalism has only partly to do with circumcision issues. So, let's not forget about Innocence, Conscience, Promises, Kingdoms and so on.

End time -isms within orthodox Christianity also discussed here. Clearly unorthodox doctrines, such as those advocating "pantelism/full preterism/Neo-Hymenaeanism" or the denial of any essential of the historic Christian faith are not permitted in this section but can be discussed in Comparative Religions 101 without restriction. Any such threads, as well as any that within the moderator's discretions fall outside mainstream evangelical belief, will be moved to the appropriate area.

Millennialism- post-, pre- a-

Futurism, Historicism, Idealism, and Preterism, or just your garden variety Zionism.

From the tribulation to the anichrist. Whether your tastes run from Gary DeMar to Tim LaHaye or anywhere in between, your input is welcome here.

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666 Before Revelation

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  • #16
    Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the apostle John. Your private interpretation isn't anything like the one found in the apostolic tradition. The fact is that Irenaeus' explanation is very much like the one given by Philo before the book of Revelation was written. John infers that the explanation is already known when he says:

    13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
    In the ancient world philosophy was the love of wisdom, not historical knowledge.
    The Capitol Insurrection And Religion

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...t_bibl_vppi_i0

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    • #17
      Hi eschaton,

      The church fathers such as Irenaeus and their "traditions" are not necessarily sacrosanct. The mere fact that they differ so widely should tell you that. Irenaeus was not infallible. And some of today's interpretations of Irenaeus' writings even less so. And Polycarp I believe was NOT the disciple of the APOSTLE JOHN (son of Zebedee), nor even of the "beloved disciple" (which was the beloved Lazarus / John Eleazar). I believe Polycarp was the disciple of "John surnamed Mark". Let's not get all those named "John" in the first century confused with each other. There were several, as you well know.

      And this is not a totally "private" interpretation I've presented. I first encountered the mention of 666 YEARS being the likely interpretation of Rev. 13:18 in a book written by Jack Lunsford, "An Overview of the Book of Revelation". He did not follow through on his point to the extent that I have studied it, but he certainly prompted my thoughts in that direction.

      The most important point is the question, "Does this interpretation of 666 YEARS align with all the scripture context wrapped around the mention of this Six-hundred-and-sixty-six calculated number?" Remember, this Sea Beast was pictured in Rev. 13:2 with the same features that originally came from Daniel's first three Beast empires: Chaldean, Medo-Persian, and Greek; namely, the lion, bear, and leopard empires respectively. Somehow, ALL of these former empires became part and parcel of the Sea Beast that John saw in Rev. 13. In other words, the Sea Beast's entire biography is MUCH OLDER than many consider it to be. Its characteristics coming from the Chaldean (lion) empire should tell you that.

      And there is absolutely no way possible that this Rev. 13 Sea Beast could become a modern-day reality in our future. Remember, Rev. 13:2 said that the Dragon gave his own power, AND THRONE, and great authority to that Sea Beast. That "THRONE" of the Dragon (who is Satan) was IN THE CITY OF PERGAMOS, as Rev. 2:13 already told us. We know from records of the Roman Senate that the entire kingdom of Pergamos (including Satan's throne in the city of Pergamos) was given as a bequest by the dying King Attalus in 133 BC to his ally, the Roman Republic, since the king had no heir to whom he could pass the Pergamos kingdom. That means the Sea Beast's final manifestation in John's days was connected to ancient Rome. All former empirical powers had been "left to other people", as Daniel 2:44 described, and were finally subsumed into that last Roman manifestation of the Sea Beast.

      That was six hundred and sixty-six years of empirical powers that the nation of Israel had been exposed to, as of the time John was writing Revelation, somewhere between late AD 59 and early AD 60. The 666-years number was definitely "the number of A MAN", because Daniel's image beginning with the lion kingdom was "made stand upon the feet AS A MAN, AND A MAN'S HEART WAS GIVEN TO IT." (Dan. 7:4). Daniel's statue of A MAN was meant to represent the collective power behind all those empires, all subsumed into the final phase of that Sea Beast present in John's days, 666 years later.

      Last edited by 3 Resurrections; 03-11-2021, 02:18 PM.

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      • #18

        I would guess that Irenaeus is a little more infallible than Jack Lunsford, or at least he was a couple of thousand years closer to the writing. His was the first Christian interpretation of 666. Philo wrote before the book of Revelation was written, in the first century. Irenaeus lived in the second-century soon after the apostolic teaching had gone out in the world. Many first and second-century Christians were martyred for their faith.

        I think it is important to place these writings in context and not concordant with modern readings.
        The Capitol Insurrection And Religion

        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...t_bibl_vppi_i0

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        • #19
          EXACTLY, eschaton. I agree. That's why I am emphasizing the CONTEXT of Rev. 13 itself, as it compares to those very same empire kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 2 and 7. Those contexts predate Irenaeus, of course, who was only giving his own thoughts on the subject. Those thoughts are not inspired, nor should they be regarded as infallible. Gematria is NOT the way to go with interpreting this number Six hundred and sixty-six, no matter how early the practice of using gematria may have developed.

          Martyrdom in the first and second centuries cannot be used to put a date stamp on the beginning of the Sea Beast's existence. Persecution and murder of the children of faith has always been and always will be an ongoing reality, ever since Abel was slain, since Christ said that "in the world ye shall have tribulation..." with no time limits given.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by 3 Resurrections View Post
            EXACTLY, eschaton. I agree. That's why I am emphasizing the CONTEXT of Rev. 13 itself, as it compares to those very same empire kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 2 and 7. Those contexts predate Irenaeus, of course, who was only giving his own thoughts on the subject. Those thoughts are not inspired, nor should they be regarded as infallible. Gematria is NOT the way to go with interpreting this number Six hundred and sixty-six, no matter how early the practice of using gematria may have developed.

            Martyrdom in the first and second centuries cannot be used to put a date stamp on the beginning of the Sea Beast's existence. Persecution and murder of the children of faith has always been and always will be an ongoing reality, ever since Abel was slain, since Christ said that "in the world ye shall have tribulation..." with no time limits given.


            Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
            To truly understand these things you have to go back to creation and nature. Jesus explained that in his parables.

            Mat 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
            38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
            39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
            40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
            The end of the world isn't different from what Jesus taught, whether it is Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, or Revelation. These things are a spiritual reality, not earthly history. Before Revelation was Philo, before Philo was Daniel, before Daniel was Plato, and before Plato there were other wise men. (Prov 1:6) God revealed these things in the creation. Consider Plato. He gave the ages of man.

            Gold
            Silver
            Bronze
            Heroic
            Iron

            Does it sound familiar? He wrote before the king had his dream. We all go through the tribulation of life. The seed is planted and the enemy challenges faith. That's what Jesus said.
            The Capitol Insurrection And Religion

            https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...t_bibl_vppi_i0

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            • #21
              EXACTLY, eschaton...

              As you said, "These things are a spiritual reality...", but those spiritual realities played out over human history in the physical realm as well. Are you at all familiar with the concept of the "divine council" in scripture? God setting up angelic "Watchers" in oversight of the nation's affairs, in order to bring about His purposes within those nations? Not that God needed "help" in doing this, but the angelic realm was designed by God to serve their Creator in this delegated manner. Some of those "divine council" members fell to the temptation to accept human worship, and thus became "fallen". Satan was their fallen leader. In Daniel 10, we are shown the conflict between some of the righteous members of this "divine council", and some of the evil, fallen members (like the "prince of Persia", and the "prince of Greece" fighting with Michael, "one of the chief princes").

              Satan himself boasted to Christ in the wilderness temptation that "all the kingdoms of the world" were under his power (Luke 4:5-6). That was no lie. "And the devil taking Him up into an high mountain, showed unto Him *all the kingdoms of the world* in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this POWER will I give thee, and the glory of them: *for that is delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will I give it." Adam's forfeiture of his God-given dominion over the world was handed over to Satan on a silver platter the moment he knowingly obeyed Satan's temptation in the Garden of Eden. "His servants ye are to whom ye yield yourselves to obey", we are told.

              In Revelation 13:2, we are told that Satan gave HIS POWER along with that throne of his in Pergamos, and great authority to that Sea Beast . When the 666-year old power structure behind all those former empires collapsed TOGETHER AT ONE TIME (as pictured in Daniel 2), this was NOT the physical empires themselves that were being destroyed all at one time. That's impossible, because we know that before John was writing Revelation, that the Chaldean empire had passed away long ago back in Belshazzar's day, and the Greek empire had already been subsumed into the Roman one. Likewise, that Roman empire lingered LONG after John's writing of Revelation. So, the "Rock Kingdom" striking Daniel's entire statue with one single blow and destroying ALL of it "TOGETHER" had to be describing a "spiritual reality", as you have hinted at above, eschaton.

              The "Rock" (Christ) destroying Daniel 2's entire statue all at once (and itself growing to gradually fill the earth afterwards) was a depiction of Christ crushing the Satanic realm entirely and exterminating it from this planet. All those evil "divine council" members under Satan who had operated with evil intent behind the scenes in all those ancient kingdoms - these were all going to be destroyed all at once. This happened in AD 70 at Christ's return. We read the promise of this in places like Romans 16:20. "And the God of peace shall crush Satan under your feet SHORTLY." (written around AD 60).

              We read in Ezekiel 28 of the total destruction to ashes of the "anointed cherub" who had been in Eden. Satan's final extinction is pronounced in Ezekiel 28:18-19, among other places in scripture. God said "...I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ASHES upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and NEVER SHALT THOU BE ANYMORE." The LXX is even more definite when it translates this "And never shalt thou EXIST anymore." Satan was going to be completely exterminated by God burning him to ashes upon the earth. His "celestial body" (as Paul termed it in I Cor. 15:40) would be totally consumed by the fire of God.

              The Apostle Paul warned his readers of the spiritual conflict the saints were dealing with in THAT generation in Ephesians 6:12. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against POWERS, against the RULERS of the darkness of this world" (the evil members of the divine council), "against SPIRITUAL wickedness in HIGH PLACES." In other words, the spiritual Satanic realm was their great foe at that time, because Satan had been "loosed" to operate in "great wrath" for a "SHORT TIME" in those days (as Rev. 12:12 proves John's generation was experiencing at that time). That "short time" expired in AD 70, when Christ exterminated the entire demonic realm and confiscated all the divine council powers over the nations. That's why we see Christ pictured as wearing "MANY crowns" when He was riding that white horse of victory in Rev. 19:12. He is presently wearing those "many crowns" of the kingdoms of the world in heaven today. Along with His single high priestly crown given to Him at His ascension on His resurrection day.

              Christ's return in AD 70 rid the world of Satan and his noxious demon's presence for all time. What we are left to contend with now is the human "children of the devil" as Christ termed them, and the remaining tendency to sin present in our own hearts. This is bad enough to explain any present manifestations of wickedness in the world since AD 70, without having the actual presence of the Satanic realm around to instigate it.

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              • #22
                The association of God's created order and 666 is found in this section found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jesus associated the rebellion of angels before the flood with Sodom and Gomorrah Luke 17:26-30.

                THE TESTAMENT OF NAPHTALI
                3 1 Be ye, therefore, not eager to corrupt your doings through covetousness or with vain words to beguile your souls; because if ye keep silence in purity of heart, ye shall understand how to hold 2 fast the will of God, and to cast away the will of Beliar. Sun and moon and stars change not their 3 order; so do ye also change not the law of God in the disorderliness of your doings. The Gentiles went astray, and forsook the Lord, and changed their order, and obeyed stocks and stones, spirits of 4 deceit. But ye shall not be so, my children, recognizing in the firmament, in the earth, and in the sea, and in all created things, the Lord who made all things, that ye become not as Sodom, which 5 changed the order of nature. In like manner the Watchers also changed the order of their nature, whom the Lord cursed at the flood, on whose account He made the earth without inhabitants and fruitless.

                666 indicates the name Beliar 2 Corinthians 6:15, 2 Thes 2:4, as in

                Judges 19:22
                Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.
                The Capitol Insurrection And Religion

                https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...t_bibl_vppi_i0

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