Here is the rest of our talk. Some of isn't about eschatology. We actually got into talking about how likely the premillennial scenarios are to taking place. Not only are they false, but I think their scenarios aren't close to taking place anyway. This guy (homestarmy) claims he doesn't really know which camp (pre or postmillennial) he falls into, but he seems more accepting of the premillennial beliefs.
You are exactly right when you say that premillennialists have a "conspiratorial" view of history and the future. As you read on he more or less says it's possible that the antichrist has been secretly controlling people for a while now and it's just a matter of time before he arises.
Hmm, i've never debated anything about revelations before, it's just one of those things I dunno why we can't live and let live about :/. After all, did Christ ever command us to all have the same end-times theology? :) . You've said a whole lot of things that would likely take me a very long time to examine, (Some of which I don't think I agree with, such as there being no rapture and that verse about helping Israel being cancelled) but if I may be so bold, from what i've heard from Hagee's sermons and from people who give sermons like his, i'm not sure you're hearing them correctly. You say their looking forward to chaos and death, and that Hagee want's a pre-emptive strike, but the quote from him on his article here didn't actually give an adequate reference for that, (and, therefore, I removed it) for all I know, somebody just put that there to discredit him and cited a random conference thing he went to. And none of them ever seem to want chaos and death, they just seem to want people to really realize right quick that its happening and that it will get worse, probably so that they'll go and get saved....while they still have time. Homestarmy 23:59, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
First off, I didn't say that there isn't a rapture. There is a rapture, but it doesn't occur before the tribulation. The rapture will occur at the end of time at the Second Coming. The Bible nowhere explicitly talks of a "secret" coming or "Third" coming of Jesus before the Second Coming. Also, nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to support "God's chosen people"/Israel. God's chosen people are Christians. God does not work through Israel anymore and I don't believe we are commanded by God to support modern-day Israel. Again, I do not want you to get me wrong on this. I support Israel and they have every right to go after those who seek to destroy them. Although I do not believe that God has a very specific end times "plan" for them, He obviously remembers His relationship with them and watches over them as He does everyone else.
Of course Jesus wanted us to have the same end times theology. Division among Christians is the last thing He wants. In fact, dispensationalism and premillennialism are the "new kids on the block" when it comes to end times doctrines.
Second, have you ever visited raptureready.com and their message board? There are lots of people out there, Hagee included, who believe these events are at hand and maybe even welcome them. It is as if they believe the world is an awful place, they don't want to live on Earth anymore, and they want to escape as soon as possible. Personally, I would love to live a long life here on Earth before I die or before the Second Coming. Do you believe that all this stuff is coming soon, because we very well could be here another 1,000 years.
They are very anxious for these things to happen now because they believe Scripture says they are to happen now (from the Matthew 24:34 verse). If Hagee didn't really say that unsourced comment then obviously I won't hold him to that, but I wouldn't be surprised if he already has or will make a statement like that in the future. The man scares me with what he believes will shortly take place. He favorite phrase is "there will be a 'nuclear exchange' in the Middle East." That's not evangelism. It sounds like getting people to believe your opinion and buy all your ministry materials based on fear. Hagee's telecasts are part sermon, part advertisement. Clinevol98 02:18, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
While its true we are not to have any divisions, we are also told all be decided in our own minds concerning smaller things, and alot of times differences in end times theology really don't matter. However, I think in this case they might matter based on some of the things you're saying, for instance, you say you would love to live a long life here on earth, is that through love of life? Nextly, while its true the NT doesn't tell us to support Israel, the part of the OT that is recommending it so you'll be blessed wasn't part of the Law, it came from one of the prophets I think. Nextly, in revelations, surely you have to admit that Israel in particular is the scene of at least some things mentioned surrounding Armageddon, I mean, there's all that temple being rebuilt stuff, and even if you take it symbolically, why would the symbolism cite the temple in Israel when there's a whole world full of land it could of referred to? Nextly, dispensationalism and premillenialism as newly defined constructs may be making an entire series of doctrines in a new bundle, but even the apostles and people in the NT sure acted like they expected Jesus to come any day now, which is a big thing for premillenialism and whatnot. While it certainly doesn't make premillenialism or dispensationalism as a whole right, it does seem to cast doubt on the idea that there was widespread acceptance of a notion that Jesus wasn't coming for a very, very long time. On the rapture, I mean the rapture in the Left Behind series sense, what else could Christ's warnings about being ready for Him to return and those warnings about His arrival like "a theif in the night" refer to, a theif probably wouldn't take 1,000 years (or, as you say, a symbolic amount of time possibly countless millenia longer) upon arriving at the scene to do something. On Raptureready.com, i'm afraid I can't trust a site that says under its hell-fire preaching topic here that hell-fire preaching is a good thing, because it shows a lack of understanding that hell-fire preaching really barely says anything about the gospel, if it even mentions it period, and i'm fairly certain Hagee mentions Christ's name many times in his sermons. My favorite ministry is the one which runs The Way of the Master, and most of them seem fairly dispensationalist to a point, but they certainly aren't much like Raptureready.com. Hagee seems to believe that nuclear war will take place because, as i've told that editor on the Hagee talk page several times, Iran seems to hate us. A whole lot. From the antics their president (And really, much of their religion) cause, I wouldn't be surprised if nukes starting flying, and it would probably be from Iran first honestly. (And likely for lousy reasons to boot). I think we'd probably shoot most of them down first though, and besides, what's to be afraid about, we are commanded not to be afraid of war and talks of wars. And really, Hagee doesn't seem to be telling people to fear Iran and cower and tremble at the nukes to come, but he always seems to talk about things in the context of getting ready for Christ to come back, so even though its hardly a very direct form of evangelism, its probably much more effective than the touchy feely stuff going on in most big churches now. And while he does sell his things, he has to get funding somehow to run that show of his, that kind of stuff costs a very large amount of money, and even a pretty fair sized congregation probably couldn't be expected to tithe that much. (And yes, I know Hagee is a tithe person, and I don't like it either) Homestarmy 02:57, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I say I want to live a life here on Earth because that is what I want to do. Frankly I'm not looking forward to the same things that dispensationals look forward to. Jesus told us to keep on living for Him and preaching the Gospel until the end. He didn't say "become absorbed in prophecy and make it your all-consuming thought" (1 Thessalonians 5:2) as so many people do. Paul warned us against doing this (2 Thessalonians 1:1-2).
I really like Ecclesiastes 11:9-10. I don't quite know what you mean by that statement about "love of life".
I agree with you about Hagee's form of evangelism; it's not a direct form of evangelism at all. Jesus, Paul, and the apostles didn't evangelize people based on the fact that global chaos was about to erupt and there wasn't much time. The based their evangelism based on the truth that Jesus is the Son of God and he bore the sins of the world upon Himself so that we might have eternal life with Him. They didn't go around scaring people, which I believe is what Hagee does to a certain extent whether he means to do it or not. He shouldn't be scaring people into getting them to getting saved. He also shouldn't decree that we don't have much time before the nukes start flying and the rapture, because he doesn't know that. Only God does. He should show people the truth straight from the Bible on how to be saved rather than getting people to buy into his suspect prophecies.
Personally, there is no way Iran attacks Israel, at least in the next few years. As I said before, the man is crazy but not stupid. Besides, he doesn't even have a nuke yet. Also remember that he is in a very small minority in the Islamic world. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and other moderate Arab nations don't like to see a strong and especially nuclear Iran. It's not in our or their best interests.
I believe the reason Jesus' Second Coming is talked about in an imminent sense is because Jesus wants us to be ready. He could come at any instant. For example, you don't snooze off in class during a lecture because what if the teacher decides to have a pop quiz? We need to be prepared for it to happen at any instant, but the coming itself will come like a thief in the night. However, I do believe that the millennium represents a very long period of time. As you say, this fact doesn't discredit postmillennialism at all.
As for the rebuilding of the temple being talked about in Revelation, I'm not very familiar with that. I'll look into it. On raptureready.com, I was talking about looking at the message board and reading the statements that people make there. What did they say about hellfire preaching that you disagreed with? They frightened me so much that I have blocked that website from my computer! Clinevol98 05:14, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
On the life thing, I was simply concerned that you were loving your life, to the effect of violating John 12:25. I'm really more of an evangelism are-you-saved kind of a guy rather than a "Believe my end times theology/belief for/against predestination/believe my view concerning transubstantiation" sort of guy. On the apostles, it certainly is true they wern't evangelizing based solely on Revelations because, well, obviously, it probably hadn't even existed then, but I don't think I agree with you that they wern't scaring people another way, after all, they often used the Law in their sermons. While the Bible never tells us the people were really afraid of this, they did often preach about people being saved from the wrath to come, and after all, it is fearful to fall into the hands of the living God. Hagee does however seem a wee bit too confident in the timetable he's predicting though, but even though I do think he really ought to focus more on Jesus and the wrath to come, he's right about one thing, wars will start happening eventually (even if their not the one's he's thinking of). I gotta say though, on Iran, the reason alot of those other arab countries probably don't like what Iran is doing probably isn't because their more moderate, but because their all mostly Sunni and Iran is mostly Shiite :/. The second temple thing seems to be derived from Revelations 11:1, not necessarily explicitly, but because since the temple has been torn down ever since I think around 100 AD, it would logically have to be built back up sometime in the future before power can be given to the two witnesses. For Raptureready, as I looked at more of their site much of it seemed OK, but on the hell-fire bit, the article specifically said that it was a valid method of evangelizing. I don't think whoever wrote that (and there appears to be just one person who wrote all those articles) understands that hell-fire preaching almost never presents the gospel very well, and sometimes fails compleatly at the law too, so you're not only telling people of condemntation and not giving them a solution, but you're also not defending why people are condemned in the first place. I didn't look at their message board, but in my experience, looking at the people who post on forums isn't necessarily the best way to get the point of view of the website its hosted on, because alot of times really anybody can post on those things whether their with the website or not. Homestarmy 14:08, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Other Arab nations do not want to be intimidated by a nuclear Iran and it is not in their best interests to support Iran in their nuclear ambitions. As you said it also has to do with the Sunni/Shiite split.
I don't really think we are commanded by Jesus to hate our lives by John 12:25. God created us in His image. Does He really want us walking around beating ourselves up and hating the life that God has given us to serve Him? I think what Jesus is talking about there when he says "love his life" is excessive self-pride and self-gratification and not having God first in your life. Jesus also says other things that seem bizarre at first reading, such as Luke 14:26. I mean, do you "hate" your life? Clinevol98 19:15, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't mean like hating yourself for existing, I merely mean not loving your life, which doesn't necessarily mean hatred for it. It's an in the world vs. out of the world kind of thing, whereas you shouldn't love what's inside the world. However, you have to understand, the Arab world is a very complicated thing to deal with because its just so unlike the west due to Islamic rule everywhere, it is filled with all sorts of nasty propaganda and myths, and i've heard a report or two that many nations are starting to support Shia Islam more because Iran is more powerful. Both Iran and most other arab nations hate Israel pretty much, and as far as i've read, no arab nations (Well, maybe besides Egypt, but their special) really are against Iran a great deal on this. Homestarmy 19:51, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
The Arab world is complicated, but I can assure you that the Arab World does not want to see Iran get a nuclear weapon. They do not want to see Iran become the major power play in the Middle East. Remember Saudi Arabia's, Egypt's, and Jordan's stances on the Israel/Hezbollah war? They actually condemned Hezbollah! They saw that war (and rightly so) as Iran flexing its muscles in the region and became worried. Other Westernized Arab nations, like the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain, don't share Iran's hateful desires.
I think it's simplfying a situation to make this scenario "Arabs vs. the West." Some fellow Muslims have a hatred for fellow Muslims. A nuclear Iran is a huge threat to regional peace and security and Iran's Arab neighbors know that.
What surprises me is the fact that a lot of people are looking to a "Russian/Iranian" joint attack on Israel soon. Sure, Iran hates Israel, but Russia? They have helped Iran in the construction of one of their nuclear reactors, but an all-out invasion of Israel very soon? How likely do you see that? Clinevol98 21:40, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, alot of people i've read about seem to think the other Arab countries may of condemned that war with Lebanon because it was too soon for their liking, and while the simple existance of this theory alone certainly doesn't make it right, i'm not so certain other arab countries were against the fight based on Iran's participation, after all, Syria is perhaps an even bigger player in helping Hezbollah and those kinds of groups get weapons, and i'm fairly certain their dominated by Sunni islam rather than Shia. I don't think all the countries around there really care a good deal about Iran attacking them, and I don't think they'd really be eager to stop Iran or condemn them too much either if they attack Israel. On Russia, I gotta admit, i'm not really sure how that extrapolation came into being with Revelations, I think it has to do with some OT prophecy concerning people quite a distance to the north of Israel joining up with a bunch of other armies to try and beat Israel, and supposedly, this location is somewhere in modern day Russia. I gotta say though, I agree that Russia wouldn't be very high on my "list of people who want Israel to die" list. Another big thing that I wonder about with end times prophecies concerning this war is that no matter how many prophecies dispensationalist type people show as to how the end is nigh, I never see one of the most important things of all that needs to happen, namely, that the Antichrist will have to effectively rule the whole earth under one world government. There's just so many factions in world politics right now, I don't see how even the Antichrist has much hope of uniting them now in merely a single lifetime, even if he somehow takes, say, the whole Arab world or the whole European world, there's still Eastern countries, Africa (Which is split between a highly evangelical pentecostal Christian filled south and a hardline Muslim north) and Latin America to take into account. Homestarmy 22:32, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, Iran's biggest ally is Syria. I read somewhere that they have what they called a "mutual defense pact" with each other. An attack on one of them is considered an attack on both of them. Also keep in mind though that we have Iran, in effect, surrounded. We've got troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and warships/military bases all over the Persian Gulf and so do our allies. I really don't see Iran making any sort of dumb move until we begin bringing troops home from Iraq, which doesn't appear to be anytime soon. In fact, Iran is bogging us down in Iraq by fueling the insurgency. Also remember that Israel (or possibly the US) won't hesitate to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran if they feel they are close to getting a nuke. If this attack caught Iran off guard, Israel might cripple their defenses before they knew what hit them.
You say that you're not sure how the Russian invasion of Israel extrapolation came into Revelation; that's because it's not in Revelation. It's in Ezekiel 38-39, and to me it's just a theory. The nation to the north of Israel somehow automatically becomes 21st Century Russia. But couldn't it theoretically be Lebanon, Turkey, Ukraine, or any nation in Europe? Those nations are all north of Israel too. A 21st Century invasion being described in a book that was written in 500 BC (or thereabouts) cannot be inferred from that passage for the reasons I've already described. Besides, even if that is what it says, it's not close to taking place. As you said, Russia isn't very high up on the "people who want Israel to die" list and probably won't be anytime soon. They are helping Iran purely as a business interest, not because they share Iran's hate of Israel. Europe and the US are putting pressure on Russia to curb their modest "alliance" as well.
I totally agree with you regarding the antichrist. According to the dispensationals, this one man will unite the entire world. People are so skeptical of politicians now, so what makes people believe that the entire world will unite around a one-world government? People would become paranoid and never rally around a cause like that, at least not anytime soon. That is a nightmare scenario to most people and they would never support it or call for it. At this stage, is would be impossible to unite all different people groups as well. We are many generations away before a climate that would be receptive to a global government will come along.
Also remember that, according to the dispensationals, this antichrist will control all transactions between people and maybe even track them (Revelation 13:16). Many people (including Hagee) take this to mean that the antichrist will have everyone injected with some sort of RFID chip in their body that will literally track their every move. There would have to be some sort of supercomputer that would have to be able to keep track of the movements of billions of people all at the same time (Which apparently does exist, according to Jack Van Impe, because it can do 6 billion calculations per second. However, programming that computer to track microchips implanted in human beings is a different story, wouldn't you say?). Also keep in mind that people will apparently willingly be injected with this chip or somehow have it already in them when the antichrist arises (like if it becomes a societal norm over many years). Can you imagine that happening today? This would seemingly do away with cash and credit cards too. Again, we seem to be a long way away from that. Thoughts? Clinevol98 23:24, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, if Syria and Iran have something special between each other then I guess that's one thing, but think about it, in terms of how loud outcry has been against Iran, who has been more adament against them, the United States, or those middle eastern nations nearby? On Israel being able to defend itself, all of the wars Israel have fought so far have been near their own borders, and in some of them, their powerful airforce couldn't move into action until after their also powerful ground forces removed the enemies Anti-aircraft weapons. The fastest air route to Iran would be over Syria probably, and considering they probably still have forces on the other side of the Golan Heights, i'm not sure how Israel would really be able to hit Iran quickly, and I don't see how such a small country would have room for nuclear weapon silos to blow Iran up before Iran blew them up. On the Antichrist, its always possible we in the U.S. are somehow under some Orwellian goverment conspiracy deal and that the Antichrist has been secretly controlling the rest of the world for awhile now, but conspiracy theories like that are the only way it seems possible for the Antichrist to just take over really fast. The RFID chip thing isn't actually as silly as it may sound, there's been some news articles out recently about chips they can put in people's heads that people can use to literally play videogames using their brain as the controller, and there's also one which will re-route nerves to get around damaged tissue. (It can be re-programmed remotely.) So if they can do that with something as sensitive as the brain, it seems entirely possible for RFID chips to be the Antichrist's brand of choice, though of course, something metaphysically more evil is entirely possible. Wireless signals in something as tiny as a TomTom can reach up to GPS satellites, so it seems they could easily be re-programmed to the Antichrist's purposes. Homestarmy 13:57, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist. Remember that people will willingly have these chips put into them because they will adore this one-world ruler. That isn't happening anytime soon.
Middle Eastern nations aren't crying out against Iran because they are afraid to. Believe me, they don't want Iran to get a nuke. Israel also has nuclear weapons and complex missile defense systems that can shoot down most missiles. Germany also recently covered most of the costs on 2 nuclear submarines for Israel that nuclear missiles can be launched from. Having said that, I'm not a "nuclear war" doomsdayer. Iran knows they would be annhilated if they attack Israel.
Remember, the RFID stories you have heard are very isolated cases. It's not like everyone has a microchip in their head. I guess the base technology is there, but definitely not on a widespread scale. Besides, Revelation 13 isn't talking about a one-world ruler tracking people anyway. It's a parody of marks the Roman Empire put on people and isn't a literal mark. There is hardly anything meant to be taken literally in Revelation. Clinevol98 19:47, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
So what do you think?