My Conscience is Captive to the Word of God

by Mike Ratliff

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:18-20 ESV)

I had an aside conversation for several days a few weeks ago via email with a person claiming that he wasn’t emergent. However he continually proclaimed their teachings while trying to cast doubt about what I proclaim as the pure unadulterated doctrine from the Word of God. His point that he kept trying to pound into me was that it wrong for me to be associated with the Christian Research Network. Why? He kept trying to show me how divisive everyone one at CRN was and that I shouldn’t associate with them.

His point of contention was that the posts and comments from the writers and researchers at CRN were causing disunity in the Body of Christ. My counterpoint to all of his arguments was that it was wrong to compromise the truth for the sake of unity. I suppose it finally became obvious that I would not budge from my stand on the truth being the truth because he finally stopped emailing me. Then I posted What my Obedience to God Costs Other People. That resulted in a few days of conflict with several other people who also claimed not to be emergent, all the while proclaiming emergent teachings. They were determined to get me to back off of my position on the truth that genuine Christians are those who are called to obey God in all things. Then I heard from the one that initially contacted me. He claimed that I was a lost cause. He repented of wasting his time with me and trying to get me to change.

It was through these conflicts that I realized that the battle I was in was spiritual. For example, when I read that last message there was a voice in me that tried to blame me for hurting his and all those other fellows feelings. It was trying to get me to compromise. However, I did not let that “thought” take root. I prayed. I asked God for help. I prayed for wisdom. I was led to examine my motives. Was I resisting these people for my sake or was it for the purity of the truth and the Holiness of God and His Word? I did that and my conscience did not blame me. That voice or whatever it was in my Soul could not stand against that. With a clear conscience we can stand and not fall. Our helmet of salvation, our assurance, combined with a clear conscience will keep those “doubts” from causing us to be deceived then stumbling into despair.

Our conscience is a wonderful gift from our creator. God designed it to be our Heart’s warning system. It allows us to contemplate our motives and actions along with making moral evaluations of what is right and wrong. The conscience operates with the highest moral standards it can grasp. There are no higher standards than God’s. Therefore, if a Christian becomes Spirit-led or Spirit-filled it is because he or she has drawn near unto God, while being immersed in the Word of God and dedicated to praying continually. Along with this, he or she will obey God by submitting to others as God directs. Their character is humble and Christlike. What do you suppose happens to the conscience during this? Isn’t it being exposed to God’s truths and values and standards continually? This makes it’s standards as high as they can get. As the Spirit-led believer walks through the day their hearts are tender towards God so both the warnings and commendations from the conscience work to direct them down paths of edification and God glorification. On the other hand, if a Christian is in rebellion a callous layer of hardness grows to separate the conscience from their perception. This causes the warnings from it to be muted and dulled and so their rebellion becomes easier and easier. However, since that Christian is hard hearted there is little, if any, commendation coming from it to the Heart. This means little, or no, joy of the Lord for them.

The Spirit-led believer is strong in the Lord and can fight spiritual battles and not fall. The Joy of Lord is his or her strength. Doubts can always be quickly checked out via the conscience and the Word of God. Behaviour that can cause others to rant and rave at them for their stands of righteousness can definitely cause those doubts to rise, but their conscience is clear and vibrant and it’s commendations override that voice pretending to be the conscience. Here is a Biblical example.

12 For our boast is this: the testimony of our conscience that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. (2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV)

Paul was continually having to explain his motivations for how he addressed some people. He was very direct and could easily be misunderstood if people did not know why he said what he said. The Corinthian Church was a mess. The book of 1 Corinthians is one long rebuke and correction of their behaviour. Some were claiming that Paul was not a real Apostle and he was writing severely to them because he was jealous or simply mean-spirited. He was causing disunity in their body by his divisive writings. In 2 Corinthians he explains much of what motivates him and what doesn’t. In 1:12 we see that Paul tells them that he has a clear conscience with all he has done for them. Is he clear in his conscience because his actions were evaluated in light of human reason? No! It is by the grace of God that he evaluates his motives. We should do the same thing. When people accuse us of being divisive and destroying unity in the Body we must not simply back away. Instead, we must go to God, seek His face and check out our motives via His grace. This means that if our conscience blames us then we have a motive problem, but if it doesn’t then our motives are pure.

God used Martin Luther to get the Protestant Reformation started in Europe. Others had come before, but Luther was the first one to take on the Roman Catholic Church, not recant, and still survive. At the Diet of Worms in 1521 Luther was called to the court of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V by ecclesiastical prosecutors to recant of his writings or face martyrdom. The Pope threatened excommunication. Charles V demanded a complete recantation. Luther’s writings were called divisive. It was causing turmoil in the Church because many who read them were questioning the veracity of Roman Catholic Church and the system of popery. He was pointing everyone to the authority of scripture and away from a corrupt religious system.

On the first day of his trial he agreed that the books in question were his, but he asked for time to pray before answering the charges against him. He was not defiant and he definitely had fears and doubts. He was human. The next day he was called back to court. His prosecutor demanded to know if Luther would recant or not. Here is his response.

Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by evident reason-for I can believe neither pope nor councils alone, as it is clear that they have erred repeatedly and contradicted themselves-I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen. – Martin Luther 1521

He faced certain death and fully expected to be burned. However, he was kidnapped and hid away for a year. During that year he translated the Bible into German. The Protestant Reformation was on and there was nothing the Roman Catholic Church could do to stop it.

Look at Luther’s statement. No argument from anyone about our faith should be accepted as valid if it is not backed up by scripture or by evident reason. That evident reason means in light of Holy Scripture not outside of it. The Bible never errs. People are not perfect and do err. It is the authority of the Word, which bears the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, that gives us a perfect plum line in which to check out whether an argument or stance or doctrine is Biblically sound or not. When our conscience is captive to the Word of God it will never blame or condemn us when we are obedient to God. Instead, it will commend us and bring joy and fulfillment to our hearts no matter who rants and raves at us.

I am convinced that most people aren’t even aware they have a conscience. It wasn’t until God turned me around and pulled me from darkness in 2004 that I even considered it. It was through that revival or restoration or whatever it was that I learned about it and how God uses it in His children’s Hearts to enable them to obey Him and be fulfilled. It is as I battle my own “doubts” and bad attitudes that I understand that I am actually in a spiritual war. It is as we tell the truth to all even though they may condemn us and do all they can to discredit our testimonies, that we learn the cost of obedience. A clear conscience is a wonderful thing and one that is Captive to the Word of God is one that will enable us to obey our Lord no matter what.

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29 thoughts on “My Conscience is Captive to the Word of God

  1. Greetings Mike,

    I have read many many of your posts since you appeared on CRN. I also read the site you are referring to.

    Your posts are edifying and encouraging and theirs are not. Your doing a great job and keep pressing on.

    Your sister in Christ, Deborah


  2. Deborah,

    Thank you for the encouragement. I am deeply humbled that you are reading what God gives me to write and that you are blessed and edified through it. Soli Deo Gloria.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  3. I am glad that CRN directed me to your site. Ever since I started reading your posts I have been blessed! It is wonderful that you can relate to this 24 year old without offending me with course language or conforming to the world. God bless you!


  4. This was an interesting perspective on the role of the conscience, Mike. I recently read an engaging counterpoint on this subject wherein the author ascribed the true motivation of the wicked to “silence” the faithful (true Christians) through censorship, legislation, and old fashioned bullying to their abject hatred and inescapable awareness of the knowledge of good and evil (i.e. their own conscience). Quite simply the heathen’s rage against Christ is a spiritual projection of their own self-loathing.

    The relatively recent phenomenon of rampant political correctness in this country, nay worldwide, is not mere serendipity but is in fact the fruit of an intentional, methodical, and deliberate campaign by the forces of spiritual darkness to silence those who hold fast to Christian morality and dare to speak out against these pompous purveyors who are pimping perversion. In this light we see the faithful Christian is nothing less than an external representative, a living reminder, of these disobedient children’s own jaded consciences.

    Since these rebellious children have long since cauterized their own consciences with their lifestyles of debased debauchery and unrighteous suppression of God’s word, they now seek to silence the dissenting voices of the opposition, by force of law if necessary.

    These children of darkness loathe the light and therefore utterly hate God’s authority, and by extension utterly hate those who are faithfully submitted to Him. They hate God’s Word and His ambassadors because they serve as an unwelcome reminder of the conscience they so desperately attempt to silence within themselves. It’s unwelcome. It’s intolerable. It’s THREATENING.

    This is why we see something as absurd as a faculty professor suing a colleague for “emotional distress” and “harassment” when all the “perp” was doing was sharing the Gospel of Christ! Also, recently in Australia two Christian pastors were charged under newly passed “religious tolerance” laws for vilifying Islam. Their crime? They lectured their congregations against the false religion of Islam in the light of blessed scripture! This sin sick and dying world calls good evil, and calls evil good. They’ve rejected the truth for a lie. They’ve altogether gone astray. God Almighty has promised to turn these over to the lusts of their hearts and to send them a strong delusion that they would believe a lie. Friend, I for one am convinced that time is now.

    Can there be any doubt that “His coming is nigh, even at the door”?


  5. alxxndria,

    Thank you for the encouragement.

    You have hit on a very important topic. One of the markers of a person being “of the world” is that he or she will attempt to use worldly wisdom to communicate whatever it is they are trying to say. That worldly wisdom says that things must be sold in a way that persuades people by being relevant to their value system.

    I heard John MacArthur say the other day that he never considers what people may think about what he preaches. He simply obeys God in speaking what is right. The Holy Spirit does the rest.

    I try to do that, but I’m not at John’s level. I still am concerned that what I write will be understood. I suppose I just need to stop doing that and just tell the truth. 🙂

    Thank you for bringing this up and I pray that God will continue to lead and guide you down the narrow way to Him.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  6. Coram Deo,

    Before God drew me into the light in 2004 I very much hated being put in a position in Church where I had to make a decision. I just wanted to be left alone. I wanted to be silent. It was during this period that I hated for evangelists to come to our church because they always seemed to be wanting everyone to commit to doing things that meant taking risks and not being silent.

    Isn’t it interesting that once my conscience became cleansed and vibrant and fully captured by the Word of God that none of those things bothered me at all. In fact, being obedient is a Joy!

    No, there is little doubt about that. He is right at the door. That’s why we must never stop telling the truth until He comes.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  7. “I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me. Amen.”



  8. Mike,

    You have made a number of references in your writings to the transformation God performed in your life within the last four years. My question is this: What (if anything) would have hleped you prior to 2004 to recognize your spiritual condition? Different preaching? A different congregation of believers? Better examples of discipleship? I ask because the modern evangelical approach (the one we who frequent your blog bemoan) seems to be: get worldings to mentally accept the truth of the gospel and let God do the rest. How is that any different from what happened to you? I ask in all sincerity, with an interest in answering our critics.



  9. David,

    Please forgive me for not explaining this. I make the error of assuming everyone has read about my journey. That transformation took about 7 to 8 months of God working in my heart as I drew nearer and nearer to Him during that time. I simply spent more and more time with Him, worhsipping, praying, reading the Bible, etc. That is really all that happened. My love for God grew as well. I remember a day in August 2004 that I woke up in the morning, bounded out of bed worshipping God continually as I showered and had my morning devotion. As I started reading my Bible it occurred to me that my entire Value System had been altered from what it had been before all of that. I no longer cared about anything except loving God and obeying God.

    My journey was God drawing and me obeying. I was working out my salvation (I still am) with fear and trembling. I am so in love with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that I cannot contain it. This ministry and all that I do is fruit from that Love. Jesus said that if we love Him will keep His commandments. I profess that my ministry, my transformation, everything I do is summed up in that statement. I love God and I obey God and He gives me the grace to do it. I must still DO IT, but as I obey I am always amazed at how He works in and through me to help others and glorify Himself.

    I hope that answers you question brother.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

    I just realized that I forgot to mention the catalyst that God used to start me seeking Him. I was not teaching because I had been given a Sabbatical for a year at the church we were attending at that time. As that year came to a close, I was asked to start a new Sunday School class for young Adults. For some reason this terrified me and made me see how inadequate I was to do that. I agreed to do it, but this caused me to start having morning devotions again for the first time in over 10 years. I knew I was a mess and I knew that for that class to work, God had to do it.


  10. Ben,

    I fear that most Christians are clueless about this. I know I was before God helped me turn from self to Him. As I grew and matured and became transformed (Romans 12:1-2) I also learned how vital it is for us to keep a clear conscience.

    Our walk is active not passive. God empowers and we respond by obeying Him because we love Him. When we do this we are in such close contact with Him that we are actually controlled by the Holy Spirit in our submission to His Lordship. This is being Spirit-filled. A Spirit-filled believer obeys God and can stand before accusers and say things like that.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  11. Mike,

    Great article! In the spirit of Martin Luther I must ask the following question. My personal journey has led me to believe that I followed a system of theology for over 20 years. To my shame, the system became my authority rather than the Scriptures. So I now ask you to put your theological presuppositions aside to understand what the Spirit says in these seven verses:

    Rev 1:1 – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

    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.

    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.

    Rev 22:10 – And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for THE TIME IS AT HAND. (Compare with Daniel 12:4)

    Rev 22:12 – And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

    Rev 22:20 – He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I COME QUICKLY. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    You are now faced with the clear understanding of Scripture versus your present theological system which explains away every one of these versus concerning the TIME FRAME of fulfillment.

    THERE ARE HUNDREDS MORE that are again explained away by our presuppositions… If I can be of any service to you to develop this thought further I would be glad to do so.

    May you truly consider the ramifications of these Scriptures in the spirit of Martin Luther knowing that he, too, went against the Holy Mother Church and their councils in his quest for truth. My persoanl experience is that people will cling to their traditions (previous teachings passed down from one uninspired man to another) rather than cling to the pure Words of God.

    Blessings my brother, Ted


  12. Ted,

    I’m not sure what you mean about putting aside my Bible knowledge, etc in order to understand these passages. I have studied them. The Greek words used for these phrases are not “cut and dried” meaning that our Lord’s return will be in a few days or in few minutes, etc. The grammar tells us that Jesus return in imminent. It can happen at any time. That is what the message from these verses tell us.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  13. Mike, could it be that Ted is addressing your amil beliefs? I am a premil and believe that is true to God’s whole of scripture. I just can’t see amil beliefs as anything but a system of man – made theology. I don’t care much for the history of amil theology. And as I read the works of the early church fathers, Ireneaus and Hippolytus especially, I see that they talked much of the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth in Jerusalem. I would go against my conscience and the plain reading of scripture if I adopted amil beliefs. Just because the book of Revelation is highly symbolic, it has much in it that is not, so I can’t see permission to allegorize the Millenial reign.


  14. I apologize if this posting is too long and also for the ALL-CAPS to stress emphasis. I would have used underline or bold text but that is not possible with this “reply feature. I do not mean to scream at all.

    Mike, I am familiar with your doctrine of “imminence.” I believe it states that nothing more in the way of fulfilled prophecy needs to happen before the rapture. Is this correct? If my definition is true, then several things always bothered me concerning this:

    1) What are the SCRIPTURES used to determine this theological meaning?
    2) If nothing needs to occur, why is so much made about Israel’s so-called return to the land in 1948?
    3) The special significance of 1967 (due to all the failed predictions for 1988 as the rapture year)
    4) If there truly is a 2,000 year gap (and ticking) between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week where God deals ONLY with the church, since the “prophetic clock” has been stopped concerning Israel and won’t start up again until AFTER the rapture, why then do ANY current events regarding Israel have ANYTHING to do with your end time structure?
    5) If Christ was cut off (crucified, as I understand it) AFTER the 69th week, would it not obviously be intended that it would occur SOMETIME WITHIN the 70th week? This is how ANY numbering system of ANY nation works. And if this is true, according to your theology we should still be waiting for Jesus Christ to present His sacrifice for our sins at Calvary, but only after the rapture!

    Concerning “shortly” in Rev 1:1 and Rev 22:6 the Greek word used is “takei” Strong’s 5034. This SAME EXACT IDENTICAL word is used in Luke 18:8; Acts 12:7, 22:18, 25:4; Romans 16:20 and Revelation 2:5. Now taking your theological meaning for “takei” and applying it to these texts produces some very interesting results. Luke 18:8 again speaks of the second coming, so I am sure you will keep your meaning here. But don’t you find it interesting that in this parable the avenging was done WITHIN the widow’s lifetime, one of the points Christ was addressing? In Acts 12:7, according to your definition for this word, Peter is still imminently waiting to be released from prison, Paul, in Acts 22:18, is still imminently expecting to get out of Jerusalem and Festus, in Acts 25:4, is still planning to visit Paul in Caesarea. In Romans 16:20 there is reference once again to the 2nd coming in the bruising of Satan. Don’t you find it interesting that Satan was going to be bruised under THEIR first century feet not literal feet), once again referring to THEIR generation expressed in Matthew 23:36 and Matthew 24:34?

    The hardest thing for me to accept was the inconsistency for definition of words. The same words were given different definitions when they referred to ESCHATOLOGICAL passages. The same words do not vary in meaning when it comes to soteriology, ecclesiology, angelology and Christology. Why the difference? The answer is simple. Because of a preconceived theological belief that the second coming is yet a future event, the Scriptures referring to these same events as “at hand,” “drawing nigh,” “shortly coming to pass,” “coming quickly,” “at the door” or “last hour,” must be changed to match this theology. Ask any common fisherman what these words mean and you will get the truth. Try asking a six year old and you will hear the truth from out of the mouth of babes. I believe your theology prides itself in their literal interpretation of Scripture EXCEPT when it comes to understanding the plain meaning of the time frame for these eschatological passages.

    May I suggest a study of the “stoicheion,” Strong’s 4747 in the New Testament? And if you do the study you will once again be faced with choosing between God’s definition of the “elements” and your system of theology’s definition. For the record, I chose God’s. Although not agreeing with everything Martin Luther proposed, it took GREAT faith for him to stand against the church’s theology. He should have been burnt at the stake as a supposed heretic but I think God stepped in, don’t you?


  15. Ted,

    Before I answer you I need to clarify something. I am Amil. I do not believe that a rapture is imminent. I believe that Jesus returns at the end of the age.

    Now, are you a Preterist? That is what I am reading into you words, but I want to be sure.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  16. Mike,

    If a label is to be required then yes, I am a preterist. Unfortunately there are many “species” of preterists as there are discrepancies within each theological system (Charismatics, faith-healers, tongue speaking, etc in dispensationalism). I was a dispensationalist for 22 years. Most people (North America specifically) are waiting for the “imminent” return of the Lord. That is the main point I was addressing. I am surprised to learn that you seem to express the same doctrine of imminence as the dispensationalists except that it relates to the final return of the Lord. Correct me if I am wrong. I am glad that you are not expecting a future rapture. Philip Mauro was very helpful in my journey. I have read his “Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and the Tribulation,” “The Gospel of the Kingdom” and “The Hope of Israel.”

    I have tried to tell my futurists friends that if they desire to “truthfully” learn of preterism they should ask a preterist (me for instance). But none of them do – they go to the internet (still within their own biased theological box) to “learn” of preterism. It is no wonder that after their “detailed study” they come away opposed. My previous theological box of dispensationalism was opposed to ANYTHING other than dispensationalism. Should I be surprised of their “study” results? No.

    When I realized that the Scriptures were very clear about the time frame, I knew that a chocie had to be made. It was either going to be my theological system or the Word of God. It was a very difficult decision to make, because I knew the consequences.

    Like I said similarly, if one wants to learn carpentry, they should ask a carpenter and not an engineer, lawyer, architect or systems analyst albeit the intelligence of the other choices can not be neglected – they just do not understand “ultimate carpentry.”

    Preterism is based on Sola Scriptura and absolutely will not refer to creeds or church history as PROOF for a doctrine.

    May I suggest that you post the results of your study on the “elements,” Strong’s 4747 before or soon after engaging our discussion? I promise you a mature and non-slanderous discussion and would be willing to address any question you ask as long as you continue to answer mine.

    May I also suggest that you list “in full” the Scriptures used to form your present “imminence” doctrine. I asked this same request of a futurist and all I got is “I believe this and I believe that.” He didn’t seem to realize that he hadn’t answered the question…

    Concerning God’s ability to express time correctly and certain people’s inability to accept what God has clearly said I strongly urge the 5 minute reading of Ezekiel 12:17 to Ezekiel 13:23. The false prophets had adopted the same view being espoused by futurists today…

    Perhaps your viewers would be interested in the exchange. Perhaps not. I guess that decision is entirely in your hands…

    Blessings, Ted


  17. Ted,

    While I would enjoy this discussion a great deal, I really do not have the time right now to uphold my part of it. This is serious business and I do not want to do this without full attention. I have to post several articles a week on Christian Research Network and that pretty well takes all of my research and writing time.

    I have no imminence doctrine. Amil teaches that the age we are in now is the same age that was instituted at coming of our Lord. It will continue until He returns. There will be tribulation before He returns, but He is coming back in glory. My job is to obey Him in all things and focus only on doing all for His glory alone. I am to point all to Christ and away from the flesh and this world.

    I do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign like dispensationalists.

    I will try to get back with you on this soon, but, as I said, my time to work on this is very limited.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  18. Mike,

    Fair enough. I understand the obligations of a writing ministry. I would really like to know if the study of the elements, Strong’s 4747 of the New Testament has any impact on amillennialism. It is only about a 15 minute study to examine the seven N.T. verses involved. I must admit I am weak in amil theology and I am certain a greater knowledge of amilennialism could have been attained.

    You have my email address. Just write me direct if you ever wish to pursue an avenue of thought. I hope it doesn’t end up in my junk email box since it will be the first time you have sent something to me…

    Many continued blessings, Ted


  19. Mike,

    Will you be posting the results of your study on the elements, Strong’s 4747? I really am curious as to how it mingles (or is contrary) to Amillennial theology. Perhaps your readership could do the study and post them; it might be interesting to compare the differences (and similarities) of their findings.

    These are the verses involved:

    Galatians 4:3 (elements)
    Galatians 4:9 (elements)
    Colossians 2:8 (rudiments)
    Colossians 2:20 (rudiments)
    Hebrews 5:12 (principles)
    2 Peter 3:10 (elements)
    2 Peter 3:12 (elements)

    Is there perhaps a better place for the question and answer posting for this topic?

    Blesssings, Ted


  20. Ted,

    Here is the definition for “Stoicheion” from my Vines Greek Dictionary.

    STOICHEION, used in the plural, primarily signifies any first things from which others in a series, or a composite whole, take their rise; the word denotes an element, first principle (from stoichos, a row, rank, series; cp. the verb stoicheo, to walk or march in rank;… it was used of the letters of the alphabet, as elements of speech. In the N.T. it is used of

    (a) the substance of the material world, 2 Peter 3:10, 12;
    (b) the delusive speculations of Gentile cults and of Jewish theories, treated as elementary principles, “the rudiments of the world,” Colossians 2:8, spoken of as “philosophy and vain deceit;” these were presented as superior to the faith in Christ; at Colossae the worship of angels, mentioned in ver. 18, is explicable by the supposition, held by both Jews and Gentiles in that district, that the constellations were either themselves animated heavenly beings or were governed by them;
    (c) the rudimentary principles of religion, Jewish or Gentile, or described as “the rudiments of the world,” Colossians 2:20, and as “weak and beggarly rudiments, ” Galatians 4:3,9,R.V., constituting a yoke of bondage;
    (d) the elementary principles (the A.B.C.) of the O.T., as a revelation from God, Hebrews 5:12, R.V., “rudiments,” lit., ‘the rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of God,’ such as are taught to spiritual babes.

    I assume that you are objecting to the translation of “Stoicheon” as the elements of the world in 2 Peter 3:10,12. Before I get into why I believe that the translation of this word as “elements” is correct here, we must look at why it is. It is not translated this way because it is referring to the time of the end, but because of the context. Here is the entire passage in context.

    “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2Peter 3:10-13 KJV)

    The day of the Lord is a technical term pointing to the special interventions of God in human history for judgment. Peter’s reference to this is that it will come as a thief in the night, i.e. it will be a surprise arrival, sudden, unexpected, and disastrous to the unprepared. The next thing Peter mentions is, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise…” The Greek word for “heavens” here refers to the physical universe. The “great noise” refers to a whistling or crackling sound as of objects being burned up by flames. God is going to incinerate the universe. The very next phrase contains the word Stoicheion. Peter said, “and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Most Bible scholars agree that the elements here, “stoicheion,” refers to the atomic components into which matter is ultimately divisible, which make up the composition of all the created matter. Peter means that the atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons are all going to disintegrate.

    The next part of this passage, vv11-12, is a rhetorical question about how Christians should live in reference to all holy conversation and godliness in light of the fact that its all going to burn up. “we should be looking for the hasting unto the coming of the day of God.” Peter then relates the coming of the day of God with the heavens being on fire and dissolved and the elements melting with fervent heat.

    I believe it is a mistake to insist on a translation for “stoicheion” as “rudiments” here in this context since Peter is speaking of the day of the Lord in the context of the world and the heavens being burned up with fervent heat.

    Greek words can have multiple meanings in different contexts just like English words do. As far as this translation having any bearing on Amillenialism, I see no problems here. The Amil view is one of two ages. Jesus spoke of this age and the age to come. Prophecy throughout the Bible is divided into two types, the already and the not yet. Some is fulfilled while some is not. Also, some that is fulfilled is not fulfilled completely so there is a tension there of further fulfillment.

    We believe that we are in “this age,” which will continue until Jesus returns. When He returns, we will enter the “age to come.” We believe that the first resurrection is our salvation and the book of Revelation is not in sequential order. I suggest a book by Dr. Kim Riddlebarger titled, “A Case for Amillenialism.”

    Also, I suggest a Greek word study of the passages you listed in CONTEXT of the surrounding verses.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  21. Mike, (because of this article’s length and its content it might not get posted. I hope I am wrong.)

    I would have expected that kind of reply from a futurist. I did not realize until now that your stand as an amillennialist was the same – at least in this respect.

    Sorry for all the UPPER CASE, it is the only way to express emphasis – I am not yelling or screaming. I truly hope that you are searching for truth and not just trying to tow a theological stance. For 22 years I did but was severely wrong.

    Let me state first of all that Mr. W. E. Vine was a dispensationalist and a Plymouth Brethren. He is listed in the “Notable Members” section from As a result he carries a future bias of the 2nd coming into his writings.

    Second, I do not use things external to the Word of God to PROVE an exegesis of the Scriptures. I simply believe that God is the best expositor of His Word and use His Scriptures to establish what He says. Vine’s Expository Dictionary is an external resource. It may be very beneficial in many areas but his future bias is definitely reflected. This is to be expected.

    Vine’s definition (b, c and d) represents quite correctly that they, the stoicheon, are elementary or rudimentary principles because he sticks with Scripture. But in his first definition (a) Vine says that the stoicheon has now changed its meaning. (I find it interesting that he places his future bias FIRST even though the references of 2 Peter 3 occur LAST).

    I completely agree with your view on the Day of the Lord and the thief in the night. However, you said “heavens” had to be the physical universe. You said the “great noise” refers to a whistling or crackling sound as of objects being burned up by flames. You said the “stoicheion,” refers to the atomic components into which matter is ultimately divisible, which make up the composition of all the created matter. Peter means that the atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons are all going to disintegrate. What I can’t understand is why you would quote John MacArthur’s and not give him the credit. Perhaps you got your source from someone else who did not give the proper credit.

    Here is the exact quote from John Macarthur’s study Bible page 1959:

    “The heavens will pass away with a great noise. The “heavens” refer to the physical universe. The “great noise” connotes whistling or a crackling sound as of objects being consumed by flames. God will incinerate the universe, probably in an atomic reaction that disintegrates all matter as we know it (vv.7, 11, 12, 13). the elements will melt with fervent heat. The “elements” are the atomic components into which matter is ultimately divisible, which make up the composition of all the created matter. Peter means that the atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons are all going to disintegrate (v.11).”

    The trouble with these kinds of definitions is that they are not biblically based from Scripture but come from a presupposed eisegetical bias. John MacArthur is a futurists and the alleged future 2nd coming MUST be supported.

    A simple study on previous Days of the Lord reveals a lot concerning the activities of the heavens – that is, of course, if SCRIPTURE is to be accepted as being able to interpret God’s Word.

    First example:

    Isaiah 13:9-17 – Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
    10 For the stars of HEAVEN and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
    11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
    12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
    13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
    14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
    15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
    16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
    17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.

    In verse 1 (not shown) the judgment is upon Babylon. Verse 9 states that this was a Day of the Lord. Verse 10, says that the heavens (ouranos from the LXX) AND constellations (stars) shall not give their light, the sun will be darkened and the moon won’t work right either. If this is to be taken LITERALLY (as you do in 2 Peter 3) then the world, as we know it, should have disintegrated a long time ago! Verse 17 says that the Medes would be the instruments in God’s judgment during this Day of the Lord.

    Second example:

    Isaiah 34:4-8 – And all the host of HEAVEN shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
    5 For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
    6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.
    7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
    8 For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

    In verse 4 the host of HEAVEN (ouranos from the LXX) is COMPLETELY DISSOLVED and the heavens shall be rolled up and the host shall fall down. If the events in Isaiah 13 didn’t quite finish off the planet earth then surely the events in this passage will do it, IF the passage is to be taken LITERALLY. In verse 5 we learn that this day of the Lord judgment is upon Idumea. Verse 3 (not shown) says that the mountains will melt with their blood. These and many others passages simply represent apocalyptic language. The sun, moon and stars often represent the ruling authorities of a nation. See Genesis 37:9-10 where Joseph father is represented as the sun, his mother as the moon and the eleven stars as his brothers. This in turn represents the nation of Israel and the twelve tribes. Whenever the “sun, moon and stars” go dark (or similar expression) it is a bad time. However, when these “cosmic” things are shining bright, then all is well and prosperous as Isaiah 30:26 demonstrates:

    Isaiah 30:26 – Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

    Do you have any idea what would happen to our present solar system (let alone the planet earth) if the moon behaved like our present sun and our present sun became 7 times brighter? But once again, this is figurative language to express God’s goodness. “Binding up the breach” and “Healing the stroke of the wound” are good things.

    This is the context that must be understood, not futuristic biases. The “elements” that were to be destroyed in 2 Peter 3 were like all the other elements, rudiments, principles. These simply referred to religious thought and doctrine and philosophy – the Old Testament temple worship and practice. There is absolutely no reason to change the definition to suit a preconceived notion. The temple was destroyed in 70 AD and biblical Judaism was wiped out. The new temple became the believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Old Jerusalem was destroyed and the New Jerusalem put into effect. The old heaven and earth was to be destroyed and the new heavens and earth to be implemented. The old covenant was getting ready to be replaced by the new covenant. The old tabernacle was to be replaced by the new tabernacle (indwelling). The old creation (symbolic to the OT temple) was being replaced by the new creation (being born again 2 Cor 5:17)

    Hebrews 8:13 – In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    Hebrews 9:8 – The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

    Hebrews 10:37 – For yet a LITTLE WHILE, and he that shall come will come, and WILL NOT TARRY. (The Greek reveals a much stronger emphasis on the shortness of the time!)

    Do not forget that Peter had already written (1 Peter 4:7) “the end of all things is AT HAND: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” The end of all things was at hand in Peter’s day not some 2,000 plus years into the future! Notice the same similar admonition to be serious.

    If you understand that the “last days” refer to Israel’s old covenant temple system (Judaism), then the Scriptures will open up like they never have before! In Acts 2:16-17 Peter, under inspiration, made it abundantly clear that the last days HAD ARRIVED! The last days of ANY EVENT cannot possibly be longer in duration than the event itself. To most (maybe amils too) the church was in its infancy and had just gotten started! How the last days could be associated with the very first days is an absolute wonder!

    As for Matthew 12:32 – “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come,” I hope you realize that “world” is the Greek “aion” and represents “age.” Actually I am pretty sure you agree. So Christ said that “this age” (the one He was in) represented the times of the old covenant because, to most, the church age had NOT yet begun. Christ was born under the law (Gal 4:4). Hebrews 1:2 says that God “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” The “world (age) to come” was the new covenant age – the Messianic age. It came via the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. Unbelieving Jews rejected the message and held to the old covenant type. The “world (age) to come DOES NOT represent a new planet after the destruction of the first.

    This “age” was the same age the disciples questioned Jesus about in Matthew 24:3 after just hearing Christ’s harsh renouncement on the scribes and Pharisees. The disciples heard Jesus say in Mt 23:38 that “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” The disciples were there when Jesus said to these same unbelieving Jews concerning the judgment that was to befall them that “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon THIS GENERATION.” This was reiterated in Matthew 24:34 “Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” And before you go and say that this generation refers to a future generation, I suggest that a study on the Greek “genea,” Strong’s 1074 be undertaken on the entire New Testament. It always referred to the contemporary people of the day and many times it continued to refer them as a wicked, adulterous, sinful, evil and perverse generation, closely resembling the same characteristics expressed by the Lord in Matthew 23.

    The judgment was coming and it was coming soon. Judaism and the old temple worship system were going to be wiped out and it was way back in 70 AD. Remember when Christ spoke to the lady from Samaria? He told HER in John 4:21 “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when YE shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father” a very distinct reference to the coming destruction AND the fact that it would occur in HER generation, true to Scripture.

    There are so many Scriptures to support the “at hand, draweth nigh, quickly, shortly come to pass, near, last hour” 2nd coming. When you read the New Testament they should start to pop out at you if you have heeded anything in this post. I should think it would be difficult not to.

    And in closing I would like to reiterate the Apostle John’s words of Revelation 1:1 – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”

    Blessings, Ted


  22. Ted,

    I simply exgeted the word “elements.” I was not relying on Vine’s definitions at all. I was showing you that the context of those verses in 2 Peter are what determines what that word means.

    Do I believe that the Jews were judged in 70AD? Yes! Is that what the book of Revelation is about? No!

    Do I believe that the Jews have a special dispensation than Christians? No! Therefore, I am not a Dispensationalist and I believe that the Millennium that everyone refers to is the age we are in now.

    Do I believe that Nero was the AntiChrist? He was an antichrist, but so was Hitler and so was Mussolini and Pope Leo X.

    Also, the book of Revelation was not written prior to 70AD, therefore, to say that all of it was fulfilled then is not supportable.

    There was a time, back in 2005 when I studying the various Eschatological views that I discovered Preterism. I like it. I really do. I think that it would be awesome if it were true, but there is way to much false evidence that Preterists use to support their view and way to much solid evidence against it for me to support it, at least in full-Preterist form.

    Amillinialsim and Preterism are very similar except for timing.

    Much of Jesus’ speech to his disciples during the Temple/Olivette discourse does refer to 70 AD while much of it doesn’t. For instance, did Jesus appear bodily in the Heavens in 70 AD and ressurect the dead? Not hardly.

    The closest I can come to being Preterist is what is called Partial-Preterism. Jesus has not returned, that is still future.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff


  23. Revelation 1:7
    Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail[1] on account of him. Even so. Amen.

    Do you suppose that with his coming the bodies will be resurrected? How else would every eye see him even those who pierced him? Now if he slipped in unnoticed in 70 AD, every eye did not see him. The ONLY way EVERY eye can see him would be on the last day. Just my pennies worth. 🙂


  24. Hi Deb
    Hi Mike

    It looks like it is two against one. I promise to do my best. One thing I have learned in my journey from dispensationalism through progressive dispensationalism through amillennialism through postmillennialism through partial preterism is that we must have an open mind to search the Scriptures for TRUTH. We are to prove all things and hold fast that which is good. Arguing/discussing just for the sake of defending a theological system is pointless. It is truth that we are to seek for! Surely all of us have held to ideas that have since been proven false from the Scriptures.

    Kenneth Gentry, a partial preterist, has written the book “Before Jerusalem Fell – Dating the Book of Revelation” that obliterates the traditional view of a mid 90’s dating. Highly recommended reading!
    It is available online at:
    So before you continue to accept the futurist’s view on the dating of Revelation, it is best to read the other side, in this case a partial preterist view of things.

    If a wrong context has been established then defining words within the passage according to the wrong context will yield wrong meanings. We must stick to what the Scriptures say. The planetary destruction context of 2 Peter 3 is incorrect. The last days refer to the end of Judaism and temple worship not the end of all time. There are no passages in Scripture that reflect an end of human history. Eph 3:21 expresses just the opposite. We have discussed the heavens aspect and how they were destroyed, dissolved, etc. in the OT and yet it is ignored in favor of tradition. Matthew 24:39 is the same kind of figurative Old Testament expression, yet it also is taken as a literal physical cosmic disturbance of earth shattering proportions.

    Let me ask a question. I am sure that you believe we are in the new covenant age where adherence to the ceremonial aspects of the law is non-existent. Actually, if you even believed that we are still to do such things, there is no temple to carry out the sacrifices. Also, since the genealogies were destroyed almost 2,000 years ago, no one knows who would be from the tribe of Levi to perform the sacrifices. Anyway, the question according to:

    Matthew 5:18 – For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    If heaven and earth have NOT passed, then we should STILL be fulfilling ALL aspects (even the jots and tittles) of the Mosaic Law according to your literal cosmic understanding the heavens have NOT passed. According to my figurative understanding that heavens and earth represented the old temple worship system (ceremony, priest, sacrifices, etc.), then we are free to proceed with the new covenant in Christ. This is a very serious concern. These same heavens and earth in 2 Peter 3 are the ones that are predicted to pass away – and they did in order for the true High Priest to become functioning.

    Hebrews 9:8 – The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

    Hebrews 9:11 – But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

    Hebrews 9:24 – For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
    Hebrews 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    Remember the Day of Atonement ceremony? The priest would take the blood into the holy of holies within the temple complex and sprinkle the blood everywhere. Only when the priest appeared again, did the people know for sure that the blood sacrifice was accepted. Christ performed this same ceremony as the final sacrifice. He shed His blood at Calvary. He ascended to His Father where the True Holy of Holies (not made with hands) existed. All the believers on the earth at that time were admonished to watch for His return to complete the atonement. That is why the whole New Testament is littered with imminent time statements as to the second appearing! If He did not appear when He said He would then they still do not know if Christ’s blood offering was accepted by God!!! This is why the destruction of Jerusalem (judgment) and the whole taking away of the temple system are crucial to our understanding of salvation.

    Now just a couple of comments on a “physical bodily” return… (well more than a couple )

    1 Corinthians 15:40 – There are also CELESTIAL bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
    1 Corinthians 15:44 – It is sown a natural body; it is raised a SPIRITUAL body. There is a natural body, and there is a SPIRITUAL body.
    1 Corinthians 15:45 – And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; THE LAST ADAM was made a QUICKENING SPIRIT.
    1 Corinthians 15:46 – Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is SPIRITUAL.
    1 Corinthians 15:47 – The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    1 Corinthians 15:48 – As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the HEAVENLY, such are they also that are HEAVENLY.
    1 Corinthians 15:49 – And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the HEAVENLY.
    1 Corinthians 15:50 – Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

    These verses compare and contrast the earthly (corrupt) body. They also speak of the kind of body that will be (and has been) given to believers. If we believe that Christ’s heavenly reign is in a physical body RIGHT NOW, we are mistaken. While it is possible for Him to revert to a physical body (first advent) at His second appearing there is really nothing that supports this change at His coming. Let’s say He did revert back to a physical body at His return. You say that “not hardly” did this happen. What proof do you have of that comment? And even worse, why would you require historical proof to validate your faith? Is not faith the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen? What physical proof do we have that Jesus was born of a virgin? Of His resurrection? Of Lazarus being raised from the dead? Everything we believe need only be substantiated by His Word. This is the essence of faith – that we believe in Christ and what He said, not what the world system or tradition says…

    But I digress. It was NOT a physical bodily return for the following reasons:

    1st reason – his coming was the same as His father’s previous comings…

    Matthew 16:27 – For the Son of man shall come in the GLORY OF HIS FATHER with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

    Mark 8:38 – Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the GLORY OF HIS FATHER with the holy angels.

    Luke 9:26 – For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, AND IN HIS FATHER’S, and of the holy angels.

    I believe that you are aware of how the Father came in clouds and in judgment in OT times. I do not believe that you hold to a physical body being present at those times. I don’t believe we should expect anything different from Christ, especially since He says that is the same manner of His coming.

    2nd reason – the manner of His ascension into heaven…

    Acts 1:9 – And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and A CLOUD RECEIVED HIM OUT OF THEIR SIGHT.

    Acts 1:11 – Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him GO INTO HEAVEN

    I realize that a “standard” case has been built from these verses that since He left the earth in a physical body then so shall He come again in a physical body, but a legitimate case can be stated for Him to return in clouds. This not only matches how He went into heaven, how His Father previously came, but is verified by the many Scriptures specifying that Jesus’ return will be in clouds. Mt 24:30, Mt 26:64, Mk 13:26, Mk 14:62, Rev 1:7, Rev 10:1, Rev 14:15-16. There are no verses that conclusively state that He will come in a physical body – the point is inferred.

    3rd reason –Christ as first fruits of the resurrection…

    If Christ is the FIRST FRUITS of the resurrection, then His resurrection body must have been different than Lazarus’ body since he had been raised from the dead BEFORE Christ as others were too.

    Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, RAISE THE DEAD, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

    Matthew 11:5 – The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, THE DEAD ARE RAISED UP, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

    Luke 7:22 – Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, THE DEAD ARE RAISED, to the poor the gospel is preached.

    4th reason –Christ’s resurrected body did not behave like a physical body.

    Jesus’ resurrection body exhibited characteristics of both the spiritual and physical. Christ would have to fulfill the same requirements of 1 Cor 15:44-50 as previously mentioned. Just because He was still on earth (post-resurrection) does not mean He still had to have His mortal physical body. Do the words “spiritual,” “quickening spirit,” “heavenly,” and “celestial” sound like descriptions of a physical body? Christ’s body could be transformed into heavenly form because it was NOT tainted by sin. Angels were spirit beings as well, yet they had the ability to have physical form and do physical acts. They rescued Lot by physical means (Gen 19:16), Apostles were freed from prison (Ac 5:19), Peter was freed from prison (Ac 12:7), etc. Jesus acted in the same manner…

    Luke 24:31 – And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
    Luke 24:36-37 – And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
    37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
    John 20:19 19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, WHEN THE DOORS WERE SHUT where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

    5th reason – the whole illogical resurrection process…

    At Christian funerals all over the country the dead believer is expressed as being at home with the Lord in heaven. According to the “standard” resurrection, these same saints must leave heaven, get back into their corrupt physical (and might I add disintegrated) bodies to await resurrection and judgment. Then after this time of judging they are given an immortal body and moved back into heaven. Does not this sound a little hokey? Think about it. If the saints are to be reunited with their disintegrated physical bodies and all of present creation partakes of the disintegrated body via eating of the earth, whether it is eating animals that have eaten of the earth or via fruits and vegetables that “eat” directly from the earth, what happens to the living creation when the “supposed” molecules from the previously dead are ripped out of them. Vegetation, animals and humans would be severely damaged. Are physical bodies are FORETOLD to return to the ground from which they were taken (Gen 3:19, Ps 146:4).

    2 Corinthians 5:8 – We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

    6th reason – It is not the body that is saved, it is the soul – the spiritual portion of the body. The flesh is always expressed as an enemy of God and fights against the spiritual. Why do we insist that this flesh has to be part of the resurrection body? It is this flesh we are to put off. Why are we even considering putting it back on?

    2 Peter 1:14 – Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. (John 21:19)

    2 Cor 5:8 would apply equally well here too…

    I would strongly recommend reading “Overcoming Sproul’s Resurrection Obstacles” by Daniel E. Harden.

    Your view concerning antichrist is correct – it is simply anything that 1 and 2 John discusses.

    Did it ever occur to you that the Gospel account of John does not contain the prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple system? Nor does he even mention the most significant Jewish event in history (if you believe that it was written later than 70 AD like most futurists). I personally believe he devoted an entire book concerning the last days of Jerusalem, the tribulation, etc. It is called Revelation.

    If one places an improper eisegetical context (planetary destruction) into a passage, one can redefine words at will. I have kept within the Scriptural limitations of its meanings and the context matches perfectly. It is your view of the heavens and earth that is wrong. How are the “works” burnt up according to 2 Peter 3? Every 108 reference to “works” in the New Testament (KJV) refer to ABSTRACT things such as “works of righteousness,” “works of Christ,” “works of the devil,” etc.

    I am curious. You said you looked into the preterist view back in 2005. What did you consult? What books did you read, etc? The reason I ask is because most people tend to research from within their own perspective. A personal example being I don’t like to tell my futurist friends that I am labeled a full-preterist. Most have never even heard of preterism, full or partial. What they will do is go to the Internet to find out about “Full Preterism” from their own trusted sources. These trusted sources are completely biased in their opinion and must protect their own futurist theology at all costs. We are labeled heretics by the futurist community. I dare say that Amillennialism does not fare to well in their eyes either! If a person wants to learn of carpentry, should they ask an engineer, architect, lawyer, fireman, plumber or astronaut? Clearly the answer is no. One must ask a carpenter and hopefully an experienced one. If one is truly inquiring into a doctrine he should learn from those who believe it, not from those that are opposed to it.

    Some good websites dealing with Full Preterism are:

    International Preterist Association (Ed Stevens) –
    Preterist Central (Kurt Simmons) –
    Preterist ABC’s (J. E. Gautier Jr. and Daniel Harden ) –
    Berean Bible Church (David Curtis) –
    Preterist Research Institute (Don Preston) –

    And just one last thing in response to what Deb said:

    The very fact that John said “even those who pierced him” would see (perceive) Him is evidence to the first century (Mt 26:64, etc.). God was not physically seen at His comings in judgment, but everyone was quite aware that He had indeed come. It is more of a perception, an understanding that something has happened, rather than a physical seeing. For example, “Do you SEE what I mean?” Check out Strong’s 3700 and see the differences it has to the physical.
    “The tribes of the earth” (land – Strong’s 1093, ge) indicates local Jewish, rather than global flavour.

    Actually Deb, He did not slip in unnoticed. Even partial preterists believe He came in judgment and was not seen physically. But that is the whole issue isn’t it? And you are quite right about “that with his coming the bodies will be resurrected.” They are resurrected from Hades. Both compartments are released – the ones from Paradise containing all believers from the past, and the other nasty compartment (hell, Gehenna, I am not sure about the name) and are judged.

    Just remember that Christ said He would come with His angels and his rewards before all of His audience had died off in Mt 16:27-28.

    Matthew 16:27-28 – For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
    28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
    I think that just about covers all of the main points. I have been open and up front as much as possible. I have tried to use only Scripture to support my claims. I have not used blanket statements without support from Scripture. To say that Revelation was written after 70 AD without support is not in the best interests of discussion. If wrong, and you are, you will be responsible for swaying others into a wrong belief. People trust you Mike for what you say. I am quite sure that most of what you say is accurate and truthful and for that God will bless you. But the other stuff, well let’s just say you should do some more diligent inquiry from the perspective of a full preterist.

    As for the only difference between amillennialism and preterism being timing, you are only partially correct. It involves the nature as well – specifically the resurrection and the so-called bodily return.

    I truly hope that you will take these Scriptures to heart, pray and ask God for guidance and to be protected from error while you search for more truth.

    Many blessings, Ted

    P.S. – I don’t think I can respond in large amounts like this again. It is very time consuming and it interrupts (although gladly so) from my own book. I would be glad to entertain very specific questions, so I shall check back to this site address every so often to see if any are asked. My aim is to only answer from Scripture; nothing else is of any benefit.


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