O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
It seems that preterists of all stripes rush to call Protestant Historicism a "discredited" notion. Who "discredited" Protestant Historicism? What parts of it are invalid? Does that mean that the whole notion of the Papacy being Anti-Christ or "the man of sin" is discredited?
Books that I would recommend, in order to gain understanding of current church-culture trends AND historicism:
"End Time Delusions" by Steve Wohlberg
"The Final Trumpet" by R.W.Mills
"Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola
"The Normal Christian Church Life" by Watchman Nee
...there are more books about Postmillenialism and such... but I think those 4 books help illustrate the least-understood areas of the tectonic culture-shift that is currently happening, in how we VIEW the church in history and society.
"Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola does NOT single out Catholics.
ALL denominations are criticised for having departed from the faith
The notion of the Papacy being (The?) Anti-Christ or 'the man of sin' never did have any credit . The Pope never had any control over the Mosaic Temple worship system. 'Historicism' is about dispensations (ages) and timelines. 'Men' were stretching and stretching the timeline of 'Christs return'. What 'dates' are 'real' and what are not in the Historicism timeline. It is a guess and another guess and another guess. The only constant is the Jesus Christ has not/did not return and govern in The/A Flesh and Blood body on the Temple mound. The book of 1 John makes it very clear that Jesus was "Manifested" in the flesh to take away the Sins of The world (if you wish to make 'world' as narrow or broad you may do so). 'The Word' became flesh, this is not His True nature, but manifested nature. Historicism is proven false because 'they' are 'looking' for YHWH/Christ to come as a manifestation and not as Their/His Real self. God/Christ is with us. How can He 'come' if He is already here?
The 'Protesting' movement had to 'protest' against someone/thing. What better one than the 'head' of what you (they) are protesting from?
Protestant Historicism does have a lot of guesswork and mystery involved. But the same can be said of most doctrines, including that of "predestination" and the ways that we choose to describe the "Godhead."
Well... I know that many Protestant Historicists adopted a premillenial view of the return of Jesus Christ. However, ... I believe that one can be a Postmillenial Historicist without doing damage to any of the main ideas. I believe that the last enemy to be defeated (chronologically, in this material world) will be death. And Jesus will return to earth, when we are ready and mature enough to accept him as an eldest brother...because we will have learned to lean on the Jesus' Spirit instead of his body.
To the contrary of your assertion, there are 2 main anchors that make Protestant Historicism what it is, and without these anchors, Historicism fails to be what it is. These two anchors are directly related, and reciprocal. THE temple OF GOD (there is only ONE) in the New Covenant... is The Body of Christ on Earth. We are the Body of Christ on earth. WE ARE The Temple Of God... we HOUSE the Holy Spirit, and Jesus' Spirit (Holy Spirit) directs us. This is the meaning behind the Organic House Church theology, by the way. (Frank Viola champions this.) ...so with a PROPER reading of 2 Thess 2... there is only one understanding: it's talking about THE (one) New Covenant Temple. And "The Man of Sin" (generic wording, similar to "the Old Man") sits in authority IN the temple of God...but isn't completely recognized for what he is... for he IS sitting in the temple (Body of Christ) after all! It was given to him by God to overcome the saints (and disrupt their communication), with a sophisticated marketing/propaganda ploy. It was the patience of the saints to continue to live and minister, while all of this was going on. The saints would have to endure and wait it out...as they continued to spread the message. Sooner or later, the saints did get enough copies of the Bible into the hands of everyday saints...in order to strip power away from "the heirarchy" that was CALLING itself "the church" but was in fact more of a prostitute to the civil sword and politics, than anything truly spiritual.
Jesus served people. He taught them and healed them, keeping things as Personal as possible with every interaction. This is not the way that the Papacy (in Jesus' name!) lorded it over the saints. Paul recognized this spirit at work in his own day. There was a falling away getting ready to occur. There were too many wolves getting ready to exalt themselves (for gain), as soon as the civil sword stopped butting bulls-eyes on the church leadership. It's human nature, the old man, IN THE CHURCH... that is the problem called 'antichrist'. It causes apostasy from the purity of the ways of Christ, all while hijacking his name for practically any purpose!
The early protestant reformers recognized the nature of the beast. And they began realizing it wasn't of Christ. But in order to COUNTER-act Luther, in the COUNTER-Reformation the Papacy rubber-stamped two conflicting doctrines. The Council of Trent rubber stamped both Futurism AND Preterism as two valid doctrines, to stem the exodus from the Roman Catholic Heirarchy. Futurism said that 'Antichrist' was one man, all in the future, after a great apostasy that will take people away from the Roman Catholic church. Preterism said that it was either Nero or some other emperor before Constantine who was a one-man 'antichrist'. But either way, don't look to the present!!! Don't look to the papacy!!! Don't examine the church, and look for anything wrong, and examine the scriptures to see if your leadership may be leading you astray!!! No. Everything is 'ok' in the present.
Protestant Historicists saw right through this. It wasn't until Protestants began relaxing their opposition to the Catholic PEOPLE in the presence of a weakened papacy, that they began to re-accept the papacy (and all denominations) as generically christian. While it is true that a believer can be a christian, no matter what office they hold... the DOCTRINES used to uphold an office (any office) can be called anti-Christ, if the doctrines are against the Way that Jesus Moves within His People.
Nero is plainly 'The Beast', but he was not the 'Anti-Christ'. Josephus shows who the 'Anti-Christ' was
WHO? Now this is interesting.
Have you read Josphus the Jews wars? Who is responceable for that war. He had to be a Jew and he had to be connected to The Temple. Do a little study and see if you can find that person. If I give you a few names, then you lose all of the learning that would go with those names by not reading the full background of all of the 'players' involved and what those 'players' do. Jerusalem Never should have fallen. The Temple never should have been burned and one stone did not remain on another (don't bring up the mountain retaining wall as 'part' of the buildings) Over 1 million Jews never should have died, but it all happened. Find the 'players' and see what they all did and 'see' who is the MOST Anti-Christ among them and Why it is 'he'.....
Sounds like a movie trailer. I think you missed your calling, Bro Les! The email version of your post was even more dramatic! It reads: "Why it is 'he'..... and could be no other." The last few words got cut off of the posted version...someone should look into that.
Nothing was 'cut off'... that is how I type.... :)
The email of the post had 5 more words at the end after the ....., that were not in the post. Unless maybe you modified the post a bit... I'm just keeping my eyes out for technical glitches.
I't interesting for us to keep in mind that the four "beast" out of the Sea in Daniel do not represent just one inividual at a time but represent kingdoms. The individual's like King Neb may have been like a "Beast" at one time but he was feed plant material like the OX (Priest) and regained his "manhood" :)
Rome as the fourth and last Beast had 10 horns though. A lot of these descriptors are often corporate applications with individual players within that corporate body.
Thought I would just throw that in there. ;-)
Hello Norm, Blessings to you.
We agree. In saying that 'Nero' is 'The Beast'.... Rome is The Beast of the the fourth Empire of Daniel. As Caesar, Nero is the head and is the Empire. He had the full backing of the Roman Empire as that head. (we know that he did not have the full backing as many of his subjects would have gladly killed him, before he killed his subjects). The woman who cried "I am no widow", rode the Beast.... until it killed her. I don't think there is a lot that we do not agree about, typing a few words on a post delutes a lot of thought and hampers what one wants to say.
Nice to see you again, Norm