BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
THE RETURN OF THE LORD
|1.||Watchfulness||Mt. 24:42-44; 25:13; Mk. 13:32-37; etc.|
|2.||Sobriety||1 Thes. 5:2-6; 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8|
|3.||Repentance||Acts 3:19-21; Rev. 3:3|
|4.||Fidelity||Mt. 25:19-21; Lk. 12:42-44; 19:12-13|
|5.||Not to be ashamed of Christ||Mk. 8:38|
|6.||Against worldliness||Mt. 16:26-27|
|7.||Patience||Heb. 10:36-37; Jas. 6:7-8|
|9.||Mortification (of flesh)||Col. 3:3-5|
|11.||Sanctification||1 Thes. 5:23|
|12.||Ministerial faithfulness||2 Tim. 4:1-2|
|13.||Obedience||1 Tim. 6:13-14|
|14.||Pastoral diligence & purity||1 Pet. 5:2-4|
|15.||Purity of Christians||1 Jn. 3:2-3|
|16.||Abiding in Christ||1 Jn. 2:28|
|17.||Endurance under trial||1 Pet. 1:7|
|18.||Bearing persecution||1 Pet. 4:13|
|19.||Godliness||2 Pet. 3:11-13|
|20.||Love of brethren||1 Thes. 3:12-13|
|21.||Heavenly mindedness||Phil. 3:20-21|
|22.||Love Second Coming||2 Tim. 4:7-8|
|23.||Look for Him||Heb. 9:27-28|
|25.||Steadfastness||Rev. 2:25; 3:11|
|27.||Watchfulness (because of suddenness)||Lk. 17:24-30|
|28.||Non-judging||1 Cor. 4:5|
|30.||Assurance of rejoicing||2 Cor. 1:14; Phil. 2:16|
|31.||Comfort||Jn. 14:3; Acts 1:11|
|32.||Assurance||1 Cor. 1:4-8|
|33.||Hope||1 Thes. 1:9-10|
|34.||Time of reckoning||Mt. 25:19|
|35.||Judgment of nations||Mt. 25:31-46|
|36.||Resurrection||1 Cor. 15:23|
|37.||Manifestation of saints||2 Cor. 5:10; Col. 3:4|
|38.||Consolation||1 Thes. 4:14-18|
|39.||Tribulation||2 Thes. 1:7-9|
|40.||Lord's Supper||1 Cor. 11:26|
Clement of Rome: Mentioned in Phil. 4:3 as a fellow-laborer of Paul: wrote in A.D. 95. Note his First Epistle to the Corinthians.
Hermas: Mentioned In
Rom. 16:14 (possibly); he wrote "The Shepherd" which has whole chapters in
common with the "Didache." He wrote about A. D. 100. A part of it was
found by Tischendorf in 1859 with Sinaitic Manuscript. Called: "Pilgrim's
Progress" of the Church of the Second Century.
"You (1) have escaped from the great tribulation on account of your faith, and because you did not doubt in the presence of the beast.. .God, therefore, and tell the elect of the Lord His mighty deeds, and say to them that (2) this beast is a type of the great tribulation that is coming. If (3) ye then prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart, and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of your life serving the Lord blamelessly." (Fathers, Vol. n, p. 18)
It is noted here that the (1) church escapes the great tribulation, (2) recognizes beast opposition, (3) incentive to holiness is second coming.
Ignatius of Antioch:
Disciple of John and Peter; ordained by the Apostles. He wrote letters to
the early churches. He was thrown to the lions in A.D. 107. He wrote to
"Be every day better than another; consider the times, and (1) expect Him who is above all time." (Fathers, Vol. I, p. 94)
To the Ephesians he wrote: "The (2) last times are come upon us; (3) let us therefore be very reverent and fear the longsuffering of God, that it be not to us condemnation." (Taylor, "Voice, " p. 53)
It is noted here that: (1) it speaks of expecting Christ's coming, (2) incentive to holiness, (3) recognizes times are evil.
Polycarp: (A.D. 69-155) Died at the martyr's stake; probably he is one referred to in Rev. 2:8-11. He was a very holy man. (Bishop of Smyrna) trenaeus mentions him as teaching that the earth will be marvelously fertile and fruitful during the Millennium, and he was the one that confirms Papias.
Papias: Died A.D.
165. Bishop of Hierapolis and a companion of Polycarp and the most
important witness to the authenticity of John's Gospel. He wrote in A.D.
116 "A Narrative of the Sayings of our Lord."
When (1) any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, "I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me." (Taylor, p. 153)
"There will be a (2) millennium after the resurrection from the dead, (3) when the personal reign of Christ will be established on the earth." (Fathers, Vol. I, p. 154)
It is to be noted: (1) Used hyperbole in description of fruitage of one thousand year period, grapes as big as ships; not prose but figure. (2) Millennium after resurrection; (3) Personal reign of Christ on earth.
Tertullian: Born at Carthage, Africa, A.D. 160; and died in A.D. 240.
Cyprian: He was Bishop of Carthage, which was his birthplace. Flourished as a writer A.D. 220-250, and was martyred in 258.
Commodianus: A Christian historian; wrote about A.D. 250. He was a teacher of holiness. and an ardent Chiliast. First Christian poet; wrote in Latin.
Lactantius: Full name: Lucius Gaelius Firminanus Lactantius. Lived 260-330. Was a pupil of Arnobius, who gave lectures in rhetoric at Suia in Africa. May have been born at Firmium on the Adriatic. Others say he was a native of Africa. "The most learned of the Latin Fathers, " called the Christian Cicero (Fathers, Vol. VII, p. 4), was the instructor of Crispus, son of Constantine. He wrote about A. D. 300 and died about 330.
(1) Other 2nd century advocates include:
Almost all of them were martyrs. Not a single writer can be presented who opposed premillennialism in this period or who taught any other view. This shows Chiliasm was:
(2) Other 3rd century advocates include:
They arose in Asia Minor in the second century. They were spiritual people--cruelly persecuted. They were Chiliasts.
Flourished in the third century.
The founder was a very learned, heavenly-minded man.
The founder was a Chiliast and a Presbyter of the Church of Rome.
Postmillennial literature reveals two ideas relative to the time of Christ's return, both of which say Christ will return after (post) the millennium begins:
Summary of the teachings of postmillennialism:
Note the following
Postmillennialism differs from premillennialism which teaches that the millennium is a future event which shall be ushered in by the second coming of Christ.
Postmillennialism differs from amillennialism in its optimistic outlook, assuring us that the Kingdom of God will ultimately triumph in the world through the spread of the gospel.
Reasons for the present decline of postmillennialism:
Another problem confronting amillennialists concerns whether the kingdom prophecies were ever intended to be taken literally. Some maintain that they were never intended to be taken literally (e.g., Calvin), while others 'declare that they originally were to be taken literally but Israel failed to meet the conditions for fulfilment so the promises were transferred to the Church which fulfills them in a spiritualized sense (Allis).
It is evident from these
facts that amillennialism as such is not a unified and constructive
system of theology, but its treatment of the kingdom passages
consists largely in explaining away the literal sense, ignoring the
literal sense, or assigning to the literal sense some other meaning (cp.
Walvoord, The Millennial Kingdom, for an excellent treatment of
the millennial issue).
Excellent summaries of
and answers to these views, especially ii, iii, and iv have been made
by a number of men:
John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question
Gerald B. Stanton, Kept From the Hour
Similar title pamphlets on the theme Will the Church Pass Through the (Great) Tribulation by C. I. ScofieldT'William R. Newell,
H. A. Ironside, and Henry C. Thiessen (the best).
|RAPTURE (TRANSLATION)||RETURN TO EARTH (INVASION)|
|Christ comes in the air for His saints. Jn. 14:3. The Church is caught up to meet Him in the air, 1 Thes. 4:16-17.||Christ comes to the earth with His saints at end of tribulation to execute His righteous judgments upon the earth, 2 Thes. 1:7-10; Jude 14-15; Mt. 25:31-46.|
|It was not a subject of O.T. revelation ("a mystery," 1 Cor. 15:51).||It was a major subject of O.T. revelation, Zech. 14:3-4; etc.|
|It relates only to the Church -- those "in Christ," 1 Thes. 4:16-17||It relates primarily to the culmination of God's program for Israel and the Gentiles, Rom. 11:26-27; Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 19:1 ff|
|It occurs before Israel's 70th Week, because the Church is not related to Israel's program, and is exempt from God's wrath, Rom. 11:1-26; 1 Thes. 5:1-10.||It occurs after Israel's 70th Week, Dan. 9:24; Rom. 11:26-27; Jer. 30:7-9; 33:15-16. The everlasting righteousness promised in Dan. 9 is brought in by the second coming to the earth.|
|It terminates "the fulness of the Gentiles," Rom. 11:1-25.||It terminates "the times of the Gentiles." Lk. 21:24.|
|It ushers in the judgment seat of Christ -- the service of the saints judged in heaven, 1 cor. 3:11 ff.||It results in the judgment of Israel and the Gentiles at the end of the tribulation, Ezk. 20:33-44; Mt. 24:29-31; 25:31-46.|
|The NT views the rapture as an imminent event, Jn. 14:1-3; Rom. 13:11-12; 1 Cor. 1:4-7; 15:51-53; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thes. 4:16-17.||Both the OT and NT view the second coming to earth as being after the predicted events of the tribulation, Mt. 24:29-31; Lk. 21:25-31.|
|Christ is viewed as the Morning Star in reference to His coming for the Church, Rev. 2:28; 22:16.||Christ is viewed as the Sun of Righteousness in reference to His second coming to the earth, Mal. 4:2.|
|The rapture is presented as a message of comfort to the Church -- a promise to escape the tribulation, 1 Thes. 4:18; 5:9-11; Rev. 3:10.||The return to earth is pictured as a coming in judgment after the tribulation to execute His wrath upon an unbelieving world, Zech. 12:1-10; 14:1-9; Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 10:11 ff.|
|No personal judgment of unbelievers by Christ at this time.||A personal judgment of all (believers and unbelievers) who are alive at the time of His coming to the earth.|
|Christ comes alone, "Himself," 1 Thes. 4:16.||Christ comes with "armies" of heaven following Him, Rev. 19:11 ff.|
|Creation unchanged.||Creation affected -- the curse lifted from physical creation and from the beast, Rom. 8:19-23; Isa. 65:25.|
Key to above Chart:
It will be seen by the chart above that the coming of the Lord to take the Church out of the earth is followed by an extended period known in Scripture as the Day of the Lord, which is a condensation of the full title, "The Day of our Lord Jesus Christ." This period extends from the rapture of the Church to the creation of the new heavens and new earth at the end of the millennial age, and includes the period of the tribulation, the whole millennium, and the judgments following the millennium. The Day of the Lord is always associated with judgment in Scripture. Beginning at Psalm 2:9 the student may trace the related Scriptures by following the references in the margin of the New Scofield Reference Bible.
The Day of Christ, of Jesus Christ, or of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 1:8; 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; Phil, 1:6, 10; 2:16; 2 Thes. 2:2 (marg.) is that portion within the Day of the Lord in which the Lord is particularly dealing with the Church in heaven while the judgments of the tribulation period are being poured out on the earth.
The Day of God (2 Pet. 3:12) is that portion of the Day of the Lord in which God is judging the eaith to remove the curse of sin from the universe.
Thus, we see that the coming of Christ for the Church releases all the judgments within that period known as the Day of the Lord.
As further evidence that there are not just three or four mutually exclusive titles for "days," listed in the chart on page 139, the following listing will indicate many phrases (20 in fact) which show a number of variations for the periods shown on our chart, with the first of these ("my day") referring to Christ prior to His cross, as well as His cross:
VARIOUS "DAYS" MENTIONED BY
THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. my day (i.e., Christ speaking, 'Abraham saw my day"), Jn. 8:56
2. man's day (lit.), 1 Cor. 4:3
3. day of redemption, Eph, 4:30
4. day of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 1:8 (cp. v.7) 1:14
5. day of the Lord Jesus, 1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor.
6. day of Jesus Christ, Phil. 1:6
7. day of Christ, Phil. 1:10; 2:16; (2 Thes. 2:2?)
8. day of the LORD (cp. O.T. day of Jehovah), 1 Thes. 5:2; 2 Thes. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:10
9. the day, Lk. 17:30; Rom. 2:16; 13:12; 1 Cor. 3:13
10. that day, Mt. 24:36; 26:29; Mk. 13:32; 14:25; Lk. 10:12; 17:31; 21:34; 1 Thes. 5:4; 2 Thes. 1:10; 2 Tim. 1:12,18; 4:8
11. a day (when He shall judge the world). Acts 17:31
12. last day, Jn. 6:39-40,44,54; 11:24; 12:48, cp. No. 8; (last days: Acts 2:17; 2 Tim. 3:1; Heb. 1:2; James 5:3; 1 Pet. 1:5; 2 Pet. 3:3)
13. the great day, Jude 1:6 (cp. No. 8)
14. the day of judgment, Mt. 11:22,24; 12:36; Mk. 6:11; 2 Pet. 2:9; 3:7; 1 Jn. 4:17
15. His (i.e., Christ's) day, Lk. 17:24
16. great and notable day of the LORD, Acts 2:20
17. great day of His wrath, Rev. 6:17
18. day of wrath and revelation, Rom. 2:5
19. great day of God Almighty, Rev. 16:14
20. day of God, 2 Pet. 3:12
The validity and practicality of this view illustrated from the Thessalonian Epistles
Quite apart from its overall interest and enlightenment, an application to the Thessalonian Epistles is in order.
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