Second Sunday in Advent – Second Coming!!!!
Timing itself beautifully with the second sunday in Advent is this excellent diagram, courtesy of Reformation Theology, showing what an amillennialist (read "biblical") eschatology looks like. Click for a larger version.
I find Diagrams are great when you constructed them yourself and you know what they mean.Â Here is an example of one that needs interpretation and doesn’t get it. In the original web page they did say it meant that all events happened at the same time.Â But what do all the arrows mean? Why isn’t every ‘event’ (which is presumably what the bubbles, including the event called ‘perfection’,Â mean) connected to every other event, or just to the central one?Â Methinks there is some other information in the diagram which is unexplained.Â Also do the shadows pointing in different directions have a meaning?Â What is the significance of the colour coding?Â
But I’m being picky.Â The major issue here is that this diagram in no way ‘proves’ that these events happened at the same time. In fact, reason suggests that they couldn’t.Â The resurrections must have happened before the judgements, surely?Â What is needed is the explanation of why these verses show the concurrence.Â In addition, isn’t there a major event missing?Â What happened to the Rapture (1 Thess 4:13-18, 1 Cor 15:51-55)?
The verses chosen are almost entirely from the New Testament when there is probably more to be found in the Old Testment.Â Take the Day of the Lord. This gets one reference in the diagram – and there is an error here! The verse in 2 Peter Chapter 3 with the expression ‘Day of the Lord’ is verse 10, not 4.Â There are however 18 relevant verses in the OT which use this expression, and 6 in the NT (it’s very useful having the Bible on one’s computer!).Â The ‘day of the Lord’ was plainly a well-known Jewish expression and the prophet Amos comments on this (Amos 5:18-20) castigating those who are looking forward to the ‘Day of the Lord’: “Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?”Â Again the descriptions in Isaiah Chapter 13 are horrific v9 “Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.” v12 “I will make men more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir.” This is not some localised event, it affects the whole earth. I could multiply these descriptions.Â It is these that give rise to the notion of the Tribulation.Â There is no need to go to the Book of Revelation to find descriptions of the Tribulation, but what it does do is make clear that this happens before the return of our Lord. In the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24, the only OT prophet Jesus mentions by name is Daniel and He alludes specifically to Daniel 9:24-27.Â It is therefore important to understand this difficult passage and the 70 weeks of years.Â The Tribulation fits into the last of these weeks.Â It’s too much to go into it here, but this provides the key to the premillenial view of prophecy.Â I find it interesting that Leon Morris’ book on ‘Apocalyptic’ originally ignored Daniel, yet the book of Daniel is the key to understanding the Book of Revelation. It’s amusing calling the amillenial view ‘biblical’ when the very term suggests denial of what is clearly stated 6 times in Rev Ch 20.
I find the premillenial view very satisfying.Â Before, there were large areas of the Bible which were no-go areas.Â I just couldn’t make sense of them.Â The whole Bible now makes sense to me in a way it did not before, and it is consistent with the present world situation and the way it has developed and continues to develop.
Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s ‘The Footsteps of the Messiah’,Â I consider to be a masterful synthesis of practically all the prophetic passages in the Old and New Testaments.Â A new edition has recently come out after 25 years and he’s hardly had to change a thing.
Recently, the world financial situation changed radically and abruptly, in a single day. Whatever view one takes of the events around the Second Coming we have to keep in mind the Saviour’s warning:Â be ready, because you don’t know the day and the time of day.