• For users new and old: the forum rules were streamlined when we transitioned to the new software. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. Continued use of the forum means that you (a) know the rules, and (b) pledge that you'll abide by them. For more information, check out the OrthodoxChristianity.Net Rules section. (There are only 2 threads there - Rules, and Administrative Structure.)

End times questions

Doubting Thomas

High Elder
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Messages
887
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
50
Location
Georgia
Apparently there is a new evangelical, end-times fiction frachise upon us brought to us by Hank Hannegraf, the "Bible Answer Man" himself. However, this presents a decidely different view than that of LaHaye--it supports partial preterism as opposed to pretribulationism. You can read about the new evangelical end-times fiction feud here:
http://www.endtimeinsights.com/site/v1/content/view/72/28/
(Note: I don't necessarily endorse this website)

I realize that Orthodox eschatology can generally be characterized as amillenial, but are there Orthodox theologians who also subscribe to partial preterism (ie that most events prophesied in Revelation have already taken place during the time of Nero, who was the "beast")? More specifically, is the beast and the antichrist the same person? Is he yet to come? Has the Great Tribulation already occured (around the time of the Temple's destruction) or is it a future period or both? Was Revelation written by John during Nero's persecution (as believed by partial preterists) or during Domitian's (as traditionally believed)

What say ye?
 

the_grip

Newbie
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
45
Location
Dallas, TX, USA
To add to the mix, i've also heard that the Great Babylon in Revelation was Jewish Jerusalem (at least as John would have understood it).

Mind you, i'm no authority.  i'm merely passing along information to fuel discussion.

Yours,
the_grip
 

BJohnD

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2003
Messages
213
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
55
Location
NorCal
I know that when I was ECUSA, it was accepted that Babylon the Great was code for the Roman Empire, and that the number 666 worked out (somehow) to be a reference to "Neron Caesar." These passages were meant as comfort to persecuted Christians of the day (see, e.g., The Oxford Study Bible). Is that the Orthodox take? As for its age, I think the OC holds to the traditional dating of c. 96 AD.

I used to listen to Hannegraf (sp?) in the 90s, while driving home from work. Certainly a very confident fellow. ::) I recall he used to express great sadness at the fact that all Orthodox were doomed. I also recall that he talked a lot about the End Times (what Evangelical radio guy doesn't?), but was actually not all that worked up about the details. He used to say there were the "pre-Tribs" and the "post-Tribs," while he was a "pan-Trib," "as in, however it all pans out." :laugh:

BJohnD
 

icxn

Elder
Joined
Jan 28, 2004
Messages
251
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
USA
Here's a quote from St. Symeon the New Theologian that kind of summarizes the Orthodox stand on the Second Coming:

Woe to those who say, "When shall the day of the Lord come?" and they don't care to know and understand that day. For the Lord's Presence in the faithful has already come, and is continuously coming, and to all those who wish for it, has arrived and is firm. Because, if He is indeed the light of the world (John 8.12) and to His Apostles has said, that with us until the end of time will be (Matt. 28.20, cf. Matt. 1.23), how, with us being, will come? Not at all. For we are not sons of darkness and sons of night, in order for the light to overtake us, but sons of light and sons of the Lord's day, hence and living in the Lord we are, and dying in Him and with Him will live, as Paul says (Acts 17.28). About this also the Theologian thus speaks, Gregory: "This exactly that the sun is to sensible things, this is God to spiritual." He will be the future age and the eternal day and kingdom of heavens, brideroom and bed and earth of the peaceful and divine paradise and king and servant, as himself has thus spoke: "Blessed are those servants, their Lord will come and find awake. Verily I say to you, He will lie them in comfort and He will be prepared to serve them" (Luke 12.37).
And to understand it better here's another quote from St. Gregory Palamas:
“There be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste death, till they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1). The King of all is everywhere, and so is Kingdom, so the coming of His Kingdom does not mean it arrives here from somewhere else, but it is revealed through the power of the divine Spirit. That is why He said it would come with power. But this power is not for just anyone, but for those who have stood with the Lord, those who have been established in His faith, men like Peter, James and John, who, as the scripture tells us, were first brought up a high mountain, that is to say, above the lowliness of our nature. That is why God is imagined to be on a mountain, coming down from His heights and leading us up from the depths of our abasement, that He Who cannot be contained might, to an extent compatible with our human nature and our safety, be contained. The idea is not something inferior to man’s mind, but far superior and more exalted that it, being instilled in it by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The light of the Lord’s Transfiguration does not come into being or cease to be, nor is it circumscribed or perceptible to the senses, even though for a short time on the narrow mountaintop it was seen by human eyes. Rather, at that moment the initiated disciples of the Lord ‘passed’, as we have been taught, ‘from flesh to spirit’ by the transformation of their senses, which the Spirit wrought in them, and so they saw that ineffable light, when and as much as the Holy Spirit’s power granted them to do so. Those who are not aware of this light and who now blaspheme against it think that the chosen Apostles saw the light of the Lord’s Transfiguration with their created faculty of sight, and in this way they endeavor to bring down to the level of a created object not just the light - God’s power and Kingdom - but even the power of the Holy Spirit, by which divine things are revealed to the worthy. They have not heard, or have not believed, Paul’s words, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2:9-10).
And if the above is not enough here's St. Maximus take:
The text, 'The kingdom of heaven has drawn near' (Matt. 3:2; 4:17), does not in my judgment imply any temporal limitation. For the kingdom 'does not come in a way that can be observed: one cannot say, "Look, it is here" or "Look, it is there'" (Luke 17:20-21). The phrase has reference to the relationship which the saints have with the kingdom, each according to his or her inner state. For 'the kingdom of God', says Scripture, 'is within you' (Luke 17:21).

The kingdom of God the Father is present in all believers in potentiality; it is present in actuality in those who, after totally expelling all natural life of soul and body from their inner state, have attained the life of the Spirit alone and are able to say, 'I no longer live, but Christ lives in me' (Gal. 2:20).

Some say that the kingdom of heaven is the way of life which the saints lead in heaven; others that it is a state similar to that of the angels, attained by those who are saved; others that it is the very form of the divine beauty of those who 'wear the image of Him who is from heaven' (1 Cor. 15:49). In my judgment each of these three views is correct. For the grace of the kingdom is given to all according to the quality and quantity of the righteousness that is in them.
So the bottom line is that the Kingdom of God and most of Revelation takes place mystically in the soul of the faithful. The great tribulation is nothing else but the temptations the Saints go through in this life following Christ. Revelation is also a prophetic book, in that God in various (perhaps each) generation fulfills visibly parts of it, so that people, moved by fear - since love for God or rewards did not compel them - to repentant and seek the Kingdom of God. Of course eventually Christ will come to judge the World and that will be the second coming also of the unbelievers. As for the famous 666 it has a mystical interpretation too, which isGǪ (to be continued).  ;)

icxn
 

BJohnD

Sr. Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2003
Messages
213
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
55
Location
NorCal
When I got home last night I took a look at the Orthodox Study Bible and found that the notes take the same positions as the ones I mentioned yesterday:  1) that "666" likely means Nero (and could be further code for Domitian, emperor at the time), with the caveat that St. Ignatius (?) just a few decades later said he didn't know who 666 referred to; and 2) that Bablyon the Great meant Rome.

No great revelation there (sorry, couldn't resist), but I have to admit I was somewhat surprised that the Oxford and Orthodox study bibles were of one mind on this point.
 

Arystarcus

High Elder
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
836
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
41
Location
A suburb outside of Chicago
I have to admit I was somewhat surprised that the Oxford and Orthodox study bibles were of one mind on this point.
If I'm not mistaken, I do believe that Orthodox theologions played a part in the creation of the Oxford Study Bible.

in Christ,
Aaron
 

icxn

Elder
Joined
Jan 28, 2004
Messages
251
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
USA
Well, here's a quote from Elder Cleopa on the spiritual meaning of 666:

Brother: "Father, the Apocalypse speaks about the seal of the antichrist, 666, which is the power of the antichrist."
Elder: "Brother do you really believe that this is literally the numerals 666? These three successive sixes symbolize the three horrible passions that will reign over the world in the last days. These passions are:

  • "Uncontrollable fleshly desires for fornication, adultery and drunkenness as has never before been seen.
  • "Careless conjectures which lead to adherence to heresies, all kinds of confusions, spiritual sicknesses, witchcraft, despair and suicides.
  • "The third six refers to unjustified anger, or hatred among mankind-wars, revolutions, all sorts of violent crimes, arguments, unrest between Christians, between parents and children, as it is written in the Holy Gospel.

"All these passions, which are symbolized through the number 666, rule over the earth today and will continue to do so until the end of the world and the final judgment. Then every person will be judged according to his deeds.
"Do you think that there will be an actual stamp with the number 666? Stupid! If you insist on the literal 666 as in the Apocalypse, then I will ask you to show me the dragon, and the fiery red horse, the pale yellow horse, the black- horse and the city that gave birth-literally became a woman and gave birth.
"Now you tell me what these are? What are the seven cups of God's anger, or the seven trumpets? Come on, tell me!

NOTE: The soul according to the fathers is tripartite. These parts are the desiring (fleshly passions infect this part), the incensive (subject to anger and hatred) and the intelligent (heresy steams from this when not rooted in humblemindedness). It seems that Elder Cleopa assinged the number six to each part of the soul.

Also something from St. Maximus on the meaning of the number six:

...A hexagonal number, whether it is the sum of single, two, three or more digit numbers, it signifies, depending on the context, the habitual practice of either virtue or vice.

NOTE: A Hexagonal number is one that equals to the sum of consecutive numbers starting from 1. The number 6 is hexagonal since 1+2+3=6. BTW the number 666 as a whole is also hexagonal, it is the sum of all the numbers up to 36.
And something from the marriage at Cana:

The number six signifies the natural potentiality to act (create), not only because God made (completed/perfected) everything in haven and on earth in six days, but also because among the single digit numbers, six is the only one that is perfect (GǪ)

The most comprehensive of all the virtues is love, of which logos (reason), the most comprehensive faculty of human nature, is said to be its creative force. When logos purposely activates love it is expressed in six different ways, as scripture says, to feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, welcome strangers, cloth the naked, attend the sick and visit those in prison. These expressions of love can be carried out both literally and spiritually when we suffer hunger, thirst, etc, for the sake of Christ.(...)

When God created human nature, He conferred to it not only the ability to will but also the potentiality to carry out its duties. The six jars represent the natural power to fulfill the divine commandments, which knowledge men wasted, by pursuing the vanities of this world and therefore rendered empty and waterless, i.e. inactive. Lacking this knowledge (water) they could not, by themselves, cure the evil that stained our nature. Those who are ignorant of the ways of virtue are unable to cure their vices. Therefore the Logos and creator of our nature, having visited us, filled the jars, which is to say, He restored the potentiality of carrying out our duties according to nature and not only that but He also transformed the water into wine, that is, He also imparted to us the ability to transcend nature. Those who drink of this wine go out of their minds so to speak, that is, from what is natural, and are caught up into the divine realm. In this state they become recipients of ineffable joy and, intoxicated (deified) by the good wine, they drink (acquire spiritual knowledge of) the mystical logos of God’s providential economy towards human kind.
So the writing of the number on your forehead means the habitual ascent of the mind (forehead) to what is sinful, while the writing on your hand denotes the habitual practice of sin since hands signify action.

And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, "This is done because of what the LORD did for me when I came up from Egypt.' It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD's law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt. You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year. (Exod. 13:8-10)

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deut. 6:6-9)

Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. Then the LORD's anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (Deut. 11:16-18)
icxn
 

TomS

Archon
Joined
Apr 6, 2003
Messages
3,186
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
63
Location
Maryland
Elder Cleopa is great. I love his book The Truth of Our Faith
 

Arystarcus

High Elder
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
836
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
41
Location
A suburb outside of Chicago
icxn,

Where did you get that quote of Elder Cleopa from? Or has TomS already answered the question for me?

I would like to see if I can't locate some more information about him and his writings. Anyone know where I can find this online?

In Christ,
Aaron
 

sunny

Jr. Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Hello all,
This has been a very enlightening post. I didn't know what the Orthodox understanding of the book of Revelation was. I do wonder though-is it possible that along with the Orthodox teaching of 666 there might be more to it than originally thought? As a convert from evangelicalism, I heard for years about the marking on the hands and foreheads to indicate 'ownership' by the evil one. That those who didn't stand 'with' Christ agreed to have the mark and their fate (to not choose God) was sealed. I have read about some companies that are experimenting with implanted chips in people (similar to those they implant in dogs). It was even featured on the "Today " show, and in an interview with Matt Lauer they were discussing having children implanted (in case they went missing). And like the global tracking systems now in cars, the monitoring companies could find the implanted person. Is it impossible to think that this might also refer to the 'Mark' of the beast? Or are some evangelicals just suffering from paranoia? ???
It's hard as a new convert to try to weed through things and toss out the error when it's located. This is a topic that has just come up with me. Please be patience with a newbie!
Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me!
sunny
 

icxn

Elder
Joined
Jan 28, 2004
Messages
251
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
USA
Arystarcus said:
icxn,

Where did you get that quote of Elder Cleopa from? Or has TomS already answered the question for me?
No, not the book that TomS mentioned but this one:

http://www.svspress.com/product_info.php?products_id=2598

icxn
 

Pedro

Archon
Joined
Apr 28, 2004
Messages
2,833
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
41
Location
Greenville, SC
sunny said:
As a convert from evangelicalism, I heard for years about the marking on the hands and foreheads to indicate 'ownership' by the evil one. That those who didn't stand 'with' Christ agreed to have the mark and their fate (to not choose God) was sealed...are some evangelicals just suffering from paranoia? ???
Hey, sunny!

I don't claim to be able to talk about specifics here, but the Church has pretty much consistently seen many things depicted in Revelation as either already having occurred or continually occurring within the Church and World...the tendency to perform "newspaper eisegesis" on Daniel, Revelation and other books is a tradition that's only about 150-200 years old.  People had the same fear of bar codes and credit cards as they do about a GPS/medical info/personal bank account chip in the hand.
 
Top