Barjona On September - 26 - 2015

John 15_18

As I sat, waiting for my oncologist to make his appearance, I was reading Dr. H. A. Ironside’s commentary of Revelation.  In particular, Revelation chapters 2 and 3, and the letters to the churches of Asia.

There are 3 main types of eschatology (study of end times) in Christianity.  ”Post-Millennials” believe that we are already in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, that the world will continue to get better and better until Jesus’ return.  World War 1 and World War 2 made this view very unpopular, as you can imagine, but it is today seeing a small comeback.  ”A-Millennials” view the wording of a millennial reign as only symbolic for being a LONG time (as in, forever) and that when Jesus returns, his reign begins, and never ends.  ”Pre-Millennials” believe that when Jesus returns, he will reign for 1,000 years, then Satan will be released for a short time to do whatever he can, and then finally be banished for the rest of eternity, and Jesus will reign forever.  That’s the short and scruffy version of the three positions.  There are positions within those positions, and folks can get rather touchy on their views of eschatology.  It is all well and good, as long as we keep the mindset of “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  You can’t sharpen anything with huffs and puffs of indignation.  Remain civil, and delve into a brother’s thoughts on eschatology, and share your own.  ”Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”

Dr. Ironside was a Pre-Millennial.  He also held to the view of Revelation 2 and 3 as being historical prophecy, meaning that the letters given to the churches were prophecy (then) for the coming eras of the church.  Dr. Ironside gave a small history lesson within his commentary on the letter to the church of Pergamos (Revelation 2: 12-17) , and I would like to share some of it with you.  To understand the context, let me explain a little bit first, but only just the basics (to get in depth would take many, many, many pages).  Arianism denied the eternity of the Word (the Son).  The Word (the Son) was the first created “being”, and was first among all things.  ”There was a time when the Word was not,” was the popular saying.  This was called “the Arian controversy” or later, “the Arian heresy.”  It denies the Trinity of God.  Jehovah’s Witnesses could be considered Arians, as they believe Jesus is an angel.  Well, Arianism raised it’s ugly head, and was smacked down by the Council of Nicaea (325 AD).  It didn’t stay down though.  It rebounded, and grew in strength once again, until it was, arguably, the prevailing theological thought of the Christian church.  Now, for Dr. Ironside:

“We have no record as to who the Antipas referred to in the latter part of the preceding quoted verses was, but it is singular that the word means “against all.”  Many years after the Council of Nicea, when the Arian party was again largely in the ascendancy, Athanasius, that doughty old champion of the truth, was summoned before the Arian emperor Theodosius, who demanded that he cease his opposition to the teaching of Arius — who, by the way, had long since died — and admit the Arians to the Lord’s Table.  This Athanasius refused to do.  Theodosius reproved him bitterly for what he considered his rebellious spirit and asked sternly, “Do you not realize that all the world is against you?”  The champion of the truth drew himself up and answered the emperor, “Then I am against all the world.”  He was a true Antipas, a faithful witness to the end of his days, despite banishment and opposition of various kinds.

“Oh my brethren, God wants just such men today, men of God, who, for the truth’s sake, are willing to stand, if need be, against all the world!”

For further reading, I would suggest “On the Incarnation” by Saint Athanasius.  Here’s a link to read it for free!  (Make sure to use the “next” button)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.ii.html

Categories: Spiritual

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