Revelation As Historical Or Future Prophecy

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Hi L____,
You say there will be three thousand years between Christ’s resurrection and His return.

Nowhere in scripture does it state that the day of the Lord is one thousand years. We reign with Him a thousand years, but that is neither the beginning nor the end of “the day of the Lord.” Peter said that the events of Pentecost were the “day of the Lord” spoken of in Joe 2:

Act 2:16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
Act 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
Act 2:19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
Act 2:20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Here is the verse to which you refer:

2Pe 3:5  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Pe 3:6  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2Pe 3:7  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The latter part of that verse is just as true as the first part. So we can reverse the order and not change the message at all. A thousand years is as one day and one day with God is as a thousand years. Time is not dragging by with God, neither is it rushed. For example, the holy spirit tells us the devil showed Christ the kingdoms of this world and all of their glory “in a moment.”

Luk 4:5  And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

That is physically impossible, but if one lives outside of time, it is not impossible. If one is “in the spirit” it is not impossible. When we say “My whole life passed before me” in a time of crisis, that is much more than a figure of speech. We also have dreams that span many years, but they take place in mere moments.
A thousand years is as much a symbol as is the word ‘day’ or any other word in scripture. What Peter is saying is that God lives outside of physical time. He is not rushed to do anything, and everything is taking place exactly as he has preordained it to happen. A day with God is not a literal thousand years any more than Christ is a literal lamb or lion. And a thousand years is not a literal day. The word ‘thousand’ is used in scripture as something that is all inclusive of all things physical. Consider this verse:

Psa 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

I think you and I will both agree that God owns the cattle upon 10,000 hills, and it is clear to me that a day with God could just as easily be 10,000 years. “The cattle on a thousand hills” means all things, not a specific number of hills or cows, and “a thousand years” in 2Pe 3:8 means all time is the same to God. Peter is not giving us a specific number of years.

You say:

The book of revelation “reads as a historical/ future prophecy only to those who forget the Biblical definition of ‘prophecy,’ and those who forget the directions given at the beginning and the end of this ‘prophecy.’ Those directions fit perfectly with the definition of prophecy and with Christ’s words to Satan:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The word of God is spirit (Joh 6:63), and it is “the testimony of Jesus,” and it is “the spirit of prophecy.”

Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [ thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: f or the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

‘Prophecy” is defined in scripture, and it is not defined as ‘future events’ except inasmuch as “there is one event to all men” (Ecc 9:2). Here is what all prophecy is and does:

1Co 14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
1Co 14:4  He that speaketh in an [ unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

Where are we ever told that prophecy is anything other than this? Sure God knows and foretells the future, simply because He tells the Truth, and that truth edifies, exhorts and comforts those who pay attention to what it says. This is what is said at the very beginning and at the very end of the book of “the Revelation of Jesus Christ, who Jesus Christ says we are:

Act 9:4  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Here are the instructions we are given at the very beginning of this book. If anything seems otherwise we have simply forgotten our instructions which agree with Christ that we must all “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

“Read, hear and keep the things written therein,” because the time was at hand two thousand years ago, and it is at hand for everyone given eyes that see and ears that hear that we are to keep the things written therein and live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Because the spirit knows the inclination of our flesh to think that earthquakes, heavenly signs, the sea, every man small and great rich and poor free and bond, mountains, kings, cities, harlots, stars, horses, locusts and angels, all sound like they must be outward and historical, we are again reminded at the very end of this prophecy which edifies, exhorts and comforts us, that we must “keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book, because “I come quickly” which is just the same as saying, “the time is at hand.”

Rev 22:6  And he said unto me, These sayings [ are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
Rev 22:7  Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

What was John to do, and what are we to do with this prophecy? We “keep the saying of the prophecy of this book.” When was John to do so? When are we to do that? Is it to be done 2,000 years hence for John, or two years hence for us? No, absolutely not. It is to be done “shortly… behold I come quickly… to destroy the man of sin with the brightness of His coming” in each of us in every generation since Christ, of those in whom is the kingdom of God.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, ( whoso readeth, let him understand:) [ That these are words which “edify, exhort, and comfort and never pass away”].
Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Any time we forget any of these instructions, we too, will be led to the physical and the outward historical approach which will take our spiritual eyes of the man of sin within, and we will miss the very point of what is the kingdom of God, and we will then miss out on ruling the kingdoms of this world when those in whom is that kingdom of God are given that rod of iron with which to rule the kingdoms of this world. Here is the only “abomination of desolation” with which we need to concern ourselves. “Let him that readeth understand.”

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth same Greek word translated ‘withhold’ in the previous verse]  will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

What had Paul told these Thessalonians “when he was with them?” He told them the same thing about the temple of God and what that temple was, as he told the Corinthians and you and me.

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

That is where the “man of sin” sits on the throne of God, declaring that he is God.

It is a terrible mistake to try to decide what part of God’s word is physical and what part is spiritual. It all has a physical application which is specifically designed to distract those who are not granted eyes that see and ears that hear… the things of the spirit,” because we are specifically told “the words I speak unto you are spirit,” and that “the holy spirit teaches comparing spiritual with spiritual,” and that the natural minded man cannot see any of this.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
1Co 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 No man knows the day or the hour of Christ’s coming, and He does and will always come as a thief in the night. Both of those statements are clear.

Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

Now notice what you say here:

The Father holds his cards very close to His chest. He gives us the beginning and the end, or the outcome, but He makes it very clear that He had no intention of taking us into His confidence to the extent of knowing exactly what tomorrow has in store for us:

Jas 4:13  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Jas 4:14  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what [ is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Jas 4:15  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Jas 4:16  But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil

All who boast otherwise “are evil” and are to be avoided.
“Christ in you” is made manifest to only very few at this time. He certainly is not being “made known to all” the world at this time. The world is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, just as each of us do until the redemption of the purchased possession (Eph 1:13-15).

Rom 8:19  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2Co 4:8  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
2Co 4:10  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
2Co 4:11  For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

While Christ is made manifest in our mortal flesh, or “earthen vessels,” the manifestation of the sons of God who have “endured to the end” will be manifested only after the resurrection.

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Peter, Paul and John all used personal pronouns when referring to themselves as God’s elect, as we to ought to be willing to do, but that does not contradict the fact that we still have to “endure to the end” in order to be saved.

1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1Jn 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

John is not speaking of himself as an individual, but as one who “tries the spirits to see whether they are of God.” We are also told that heresies among us serve to ” make manifest those who are approved.”

1Jn 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Co 11:19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

I hope this is all of some help to both of us. But I especially hope that it is clear that prophecy, and every word out of the mouth of God, is to be kept and lived and experienced within us. That is where the kingdom of God is to be found, that is where the abomination of desolation takes place, that is where judgment first must begin, and that is where we “keep the things written therein” and live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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