I have been doing a great deal of study, especially about the end times. My Orthodox Priest says any sort of rapture is a heresy one which can not be forgiven if you consider it true. It also comes with the St Augustine’s view of Rev 20 and they say the 1000 year reign which is allegorical and started with Christ’s crucifixion (the ruler of this world being bound, in John) and ended with the murder of the Czar who was head of the Orthodox church.
I agree the reason for the attack was to wipe out Orthodoxy, Albert Pike in a letter about the agenda said so. The freemasons who I know about (since my parents were part of that sick satanic group). Freemasonry / Illuminati has always worked to destroy all Christianity especially the Orthodox.
Further reading of the book “Ultimate Things” giving an Orthodox perspective, says Satan was set free at that time (when the Czar was killed in the revolution). They also indicated that at that time the restrainer who restrains was taken away (they say this was the Czar the head of the Orthodox Church at the time) and we live today without the benefit of the Holy Spirit. They say it is not in any Orthodox monastery or church. Only in a very few “Catacomb Churches” will the real church be found with the Holy Spirit.
The implications of the official Orthodox view are substantial.
1st being that most are practicing their faith in vain and the vast majority are unsaved period.
2nd St Augustine basically said that the church replaced Israel and that was accepted during the 2nd ecumenical counsel. Meaning God is done with Israel . The only Israelites that will be saved are the 144,000 who will be protected from Gods wrath.
3rd Yes, the Christians have and will endure persecution, but I have been told that we will also endure all of Gods Wrath and we rightly deserve it. I thought Paul as well as old testament writers, I read that the Church was to be protected from Gods Wrath.
The promise of not enduring Gods Wrath is part of the reasoning for a Pre-Tribulation Harpazo (rapture) (BTW it is the word Paul uses in the Greek which says a nonvoluntary snatching away. There is much more scriptural support than what is mentioned in the rebuttals. Further, it was discussed in much older documents St. Irenaeus of Lyons: Against the Heresies in book V chapter 25 I think. It is not a defense of it the statement just presumes the church will be taken out of the way. Ephraem of Nisibis as well in recently translated documents and he was Eastern Orthodox and not heretical. He was well-known for his poetry, exegetical and theological writings, and many of the hymns of the early Byzantine church. So popular were his works that in the fifth and sixth centuries he was adopted by several Christian communities as a spiritual leader and role model.
This sermon is deemed to be one of the most interesting apocalyptic texts of the early Middle Ages. The translation of the sermon includes the following segment:
"For all the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins."
Further, If we do not agree with the Churches view, all of it, then any baptism you have had, chrismation, confession, and communion are invalid and further you have committed the unpardonable sin and are Damned forever no matter how much you love Christ. This according to the priest I asked who said to put the question ou of my mind. It is said that even considering the question of when He might come is the unpardonable sin.
Meaning that my thinking about the idea and reading and considering the scriptures has guaranteed my place in Hell. Although conversation on this blog might condemn us. However, I don't think that studying and considering it is unpardonable. It might be why not much is written about it.
I think while Saint Augustine did a great job getting rid of many heresies, I think the a-millennial view requires allegorizing too much. So much so that many things lose their meaning and it becomes, whatever the Council says it is. In fact, if that is truly the case there is no reason to read your bible lest you question a view of the Church and lose salvation.
I don’t think even many Orthodox Priests will agree with this but some do. I can see why you need the Church to help understand the bible, but I think what the church says needs to line up with Scripture. Otherwise, many people can get mislead they way the Orthodox church says the roman catholic church has been lead astray by the pope.
Lastly, in the creed, it says His kingdom shall have no end do not rule out his rule for a time on earth and an additional testing of people with his rule continuing forever. God is in charge now and always has been and always will be. It is us who are being tested and asked to join His Kingdom where ever it is on earth and in Heaven.
Rev 20 does not imply any end to the Kingdom of Christ and the intent it seems to me is clear. It does not make sense to me to say that it started at the crucifixion. While Satan was bound, Jesus says so. It doesn't mean that this is Rev 20.
Doing that raises more questions which, if you stick to that position, more things have to get allegorized away. IMHO It is better to say what Eusebius said. He did not understand it (Revelation all of it), but may it is not for him to understand but someone in the distant future. They (church fathers) did not focus on it or obsess about it because it is a minor thing. Focusing on Christ and your walk with Him was number 1 and still is. Yeah keep watch for the signs, but take care of following Him first since everything else will be in place if you do that. The Orthodox focus on being clean and confessing and doing good works primarily. I know not all of them believe in the stated eschatological views.
the 4th Problem I see that a millennialism brings is the notion of replacement theology. In allegorizing, one has to deal the with the direct promises made to Israel. The promises made to Mary, Abraham, Jacob, Issac that are unconditional become a problem. The solution fo Augustine was to replace Israel with the church. It implies God is done with Israel, with the exception of the 144,000 in Revelation. Further, the reason for the Great Tribulation goes away. The reason for it is to drive Israel to seek Jesus (corporately to the wall so that in their affliction they will acknowledge their offense and seek Him earnestly). I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction, they will seek me earnestly. -Hosea 5:15
To "return," He must have left His place! The offense referred to is singular and specific: their rejection of Him. In "their affliction" they will ultimately repent and He will respond.
The Great Tribulation also involves more than the wrath of the world or the wrath of Satan: it involves the indignation and wrath of God. In contrast, the Church has been promised:For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,-1 Thessalonians 5:9
And,Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. -Romans 5:9
And, specifically,Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour [time] of temptation [trial], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.-Revelation 3:10
Peter also emphasizes,The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: -2 Peter 2:9
Here, Peter is using the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah "as an example," as Jesus also did, in which the prior removal of Lot was a precondition before
the angels could do their work.
The complete study of this issue involves the careful and diligent study of both the Church (ecclesiology) as well as the eschatology (end time aspects) of the Great Tribulation, which, of course, far exceeds the focus of this post. It requires precise definitions of the terms used, and great care to understand how each of the elements of the revealed truth and how they relate to each other.
the fundamental doctrine of imminence has to be forfeited with any view that requires the Great Tribulation - or any other precedent event - to occur prior to the Rapture (or coming of Christ). The doctrine of Imminence has been held in the Eastern Orthodox Church and indeed in all Churches Orthodox and otherwise.Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. -Luke 21:36
Are you going to escape these things that shall come to pass? If so, how? Or are you relying on the notion that the Lord is "delaying His coming?" or that we along with all the world must first endure the birth pangs and then the revealing of the Anti-Christ (when he is 30 something) and once prominent on the world stage, there is an agreement with Israel to agree to and also a building of a temple and then 3.1/2 ( or whenever since no times can be definite in the allegorical view), then another 3 1/2 years or so along with some really horrible things happening, then after all this, Jesus comes in Glory, which he will.
The a-millennial and necessary allegorical hermeneutics, make a doctrine of Imminence kinda illogical. it is said that God is not the author of confusion.
1 Corinthians 14:33New King James Version (NKJV)
33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
If the Church is not taken out of the way (Harpazo) as Paul says, then there is really no reason for this in the presence of the church IMHO. If however, the church was taken and is with the Lord (the 24 Elders and company who are there before the opening of the seals), things fall into place. The Jews can't run to the Church (in this view, they missed the opportunity to do that while the Church was here and now they are dealing with the anti-Christ and earnestly need the help of the true Christ. The holocaust took 1 out of 3 Jews and the Great Tribulation will take 2 out of 3 before the acknowledge What they did and accept Jesus.
I do not agree with many things the protestants assert I think that the pre-trib harpazo makes sense and the narrative in Revelation makes sense along with the subtle technology statements. http://khouse.org
who is a nondenominational Christian think tank presents a good solid case for the view. That said there is way too much focus on it in the mega churches and many protestant denominations. Satan is using them to distract people and lead them away and promotes the date setters and rapture-itis . He can break people's faith with false prophets and leaders being wrong time and again and atheists, in turn, hold them up as idiots and say Christian faith is idiotic.
I do apologetic work and have led some to Orthodoxy including some atheists. One of the things I have to address is hermeneutics and people's lack of ecclesiology knowledge.
A further problem is many in the West and in the Eastern Church is a lack of understanding Prophies and that Pattern is Prolog. It is not just prediction and fulfillment. You can understand types and patterns that are fulfilling in our time. If you understand Jewish customs as well you can see these patterns emerge. Dr Ivan Panin (who is orthodox) did great work in recognizing mathematical patterns in the text that are statistically orthogonal ( see http://www.bereanpublishers.com/bible-numerics-the-works-of-ivan-panin/
for his book and you can download most of them for free and no it is not about bible codes!). God has use patterns and typological patterns all through the bible. On this issue, the Jewish wedding is a model for the coming of Christ for his Bride. Saint Paul goes into detail about that and then throws an ellipsis and says I speak of Christ and his Church. It points to a pattern we should be paying attention to.
With all due respect to the Councils and to the Priests, Bishops, Monks and the Church, this position could be a very dangerous presumption. IMHO I think it is important to reconsider it. Doing so will not alter or be in conflict with the creed and the core doctrine of the Church. I think it is good for us to study diligently and have a robust debate as well. Certainly, the laity of which I am a member should be reading church history and the Doctrines of the church and the Bible if for nothing else to defend the faith.
I think we can run into serious danger if we dismiss things out of hand before an investigation of the matter. That is in the wisdom os Soloman. We should also examine our preconceptions as well. As well meaning and filled with the Holy Spirit as the church fathers were, we should be able to go back read and examine opinion and see if these be true as Paul complements the Bereans in doing. Those people were not just Priests or monks, they were lay people checking verifying and correcting.
Forgive the lengthy post but I think it deserves more than a few words and not dismissing a view as just plain nonsense or crazy. For the record
I am Orthodox and not protestant for the very reasons of thier theology being lacking etc.