Full Text for Notes on Chiliasm, part 3 (Text)

(ttnurnrbta lUqrnlngtrnl anutqly Continuing LEHRE UND WEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. VI May, 1935 No.5 CONTENTS Page Notes on Chiliasm. Th. En&,e1der ••••••••••••••••••••••• 321 Der Zeitgeist und die zeitgemaesse Predigt. J. H. C. Fritz •• 335 Das Verhaeltnis der Apokalypse zu den prophetischen Schriften des Alten Testaments. P. E. KretzmaDD • • • • • •• 340 Der Schriftgrnnd fuer die Lehre von der satisfactio vicaria. P. E. Kretzmann • • • • • • • • •• 347 An Anniversary We Forgot. Theo. Hoyer • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• 349 Sermon Study on 1 Tim. 2, 1--6. Theo. Laetach • • • • • • • • • •• 356 Dispositionen ueber die altkirchliche Evangelienreihe ..... 365 Miscellanea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 376 Theological Observer. - Kirchlich-Zeitgeschichtliches. . . .. 379 Book Review. - Literatur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 391 EID Predlger muss nlcht aIleID tociden, also daaa er die Scbafe unterweise, wle .Ie rechte Obrl~ lOlleD aelD, 80ndem auch daDeben den Woellen toehr,"" daaa ale die Scbafe nloot angreifen und mit blocher Lehre veduebren und Jrrtum eln· fuebren. - wIlier. E. 1st kelD Ding, daa die Leate mehr bel der Klrche bebaelt denn die &'Ute Prediljt. - Apologie, Arl. 4 Ii the trumpet give an UDcertaln sound, who shaU prepare hlmaelf to the battle ' 10or • .q,8. Published for the Ev. Luth. Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE, St. Louis, Mo. Concordia Theological Monthly Vol. VI MAY, 1935 No.5 Notes on Chiliasm. (Continued.) The doctrine that the saints will be raised from the grave at the beginning of the millennium and the wicked at the end of that period is not found in 1 Thess. 4, 16 and 1 001'. 15, 23 f., but only in the chiliastic glossaries of these texts. Nor can it be found in Rev. 20.1-6. The chiliasts indeed insist that this text distinctly teaches it. Most of them consider it their strongest proof-text. "Oh, then let us earnestly entreat you to heed this one passage, even though it may pierce through your established opinions! Only one text, one place indeed! But is not that enough?" (Jesus Is Coming, p. 57 f.) But even though we look at the text very closely, we are unable to see the chiliastic first and second resurrection. We indeed see the words "first resurrection." But what does the text tell us about it? 1) Rev. 20 is very clear on one point - this chapter nowhere indicates that the alleged events of the millennium are ushered in by the mil- lennial second coming of Jesus. Whatever the "first resurrection" may be, the holy writer does not say that it comes to pass as the result of Ohrist's second coming. 2) Rev. 20 is very clear on another point - it does not speak of a bodily resurrection. "This is the first resurrection" - "this" refers to "They lived and reigned with Ohrist." "They" - who? "I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Ohrist . .. . They lived." St. John is not speaking of bodies, but of souls. 3) Since St. John speaks of a first resurrection, what second resurrection could he have in mind? Two possibilities here present themselves. The words, in themselves, might mean that the resur- rection of the bodies of the just comes first and the resurrection of the wicked at a later time. But here the words cannot bear that meaning; for the souls are the subject of this resurrection. The second possibility is that the first resurrection concerns the souls of the believers and the second their bodies, these to be raised at the 21 322 Notes on Chiliasm. Last Day. This second meaning fits the words absolutely, conforms to the uniform teaching of Scripture, and, as far as the souls are concerned, is absolutely demanded by the context ("I saw the souls ... they lived and reigned")1) and, as far as the bodies are concerned, absolutely demanded by the context, vv. 12. 13. The "second resur- rection" (the resurrection of the body) is not treated v. 5 a ("the rest of the dead"); see Point 5), but vv.12.13; see Point 4). 4) Rev. 20 is very clear on another point: vv. 13. 14 speak of a bodily resurrection, of the bodily resurrection of the wicked, which takes place at the time of the final Judgment, and of the bodily resur- rection of the believers, which takes place at the time of the final Judgment. "The dead" is a term indicating universality, of the same force as the term used John 5, 28. It is a penersion of Scripture to make this term mean "the wicked dead," as the chiliastic commen- tators do. And the term "the Book of Life" enjoins the chiliasts from restricting this J udgrnent to the wicked. "The Book of Life" contains the names of the believers. The bodily resurrection of the believers and the final Judgment conceming them (which is a gra- cious Judgment) does not take place one thousand years before the end, but is contemporaneous with that of the wicked.2) 1) Some take the first resurrection - which in any case can refer only to tbe souls - to mean conversion, the raising of the spiritually dead soul to life; others as follows: "So wird die erste Auferstehtmg nichts ande1'cs so-in als die Versctzung del' Seelen der Frommen in das himmlische Wesen 1md 1,eben." (G. Stoeckhardt, 33d Report of Cent. District., p. 88.) "Der tote Ghrist ist nicht tot. E1' lebt und regi61't und hat seinen Scharf- richter ueberwunden. Und viele fuehlen sioh duroh sein standhaftes Zeug- nis gestae1'kt, ja wir heutigestags, die wiT 1ms an den ]Jlaertyrergesohiohten der alten Zeit e1'bauen, ve1'spueren ihren lebendigen Geist. Das mag 100hZ cine Auferstehung heissen: tot und doch nicht tot, tot und doek immer-: fort kraeftige Wirkungen hervorbringend." (J. P. Meyer, 34th Report of Syn. Conf., p. 61.) "In Rev. 20, 6 'the first resurrection' uses 'resurrection' symbolically of 'soul,' v. 4. The transfer of these 'souls' into heaven is called 'the first resurrection.' Nothing is said about 'the second resur- rection,' but the implication is that the final transfer of the bodies of these blessed 'souls' into heaven constitutes in the same symbolism 'the second resurrection.''' (R. Lenski, on John 5,28.) It will do no harm to quote also A Ne.w Oommentary (Gore, etc.), p.702: "This is the first resurreo- tion: the spiritual resurrection of Christians, of which the present posi- tion of the martyrs is the most striking example. Thus the teaching of the seer is not to be contrasted with that of John 5,24-29, but identical with it. . .. The fi1'st 1'esu1"rcction must not be pressed as a bodily resur- rection to precede that of the 1'est of the dead. It was their souls and not their bodies that were seen, v.4, suggesting a spiritual line of inter- pretation." 2) The only recourse left to the chiliast is to substitute his glossary for the text. vVeidner's Annotations: "John sees 'the rest of the dead' of v.5, who rose as described in v. 13, standing before the throne." But John says "the dead." Then vVeidner quotes Milligan: "The dead are here the wicked dead alone; and the books contain a record of no deeds but theirs." Granted, for the sake of the argument only. Then what of "the Book of Life"? "There is not the slightest indication that the Book of Life was Notes on Chiliasm. 323 5) The premillennialists are not clear on the meaning of "until," v. 5: "The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." According to the premillennialists this can mean only that the rest, the unbelievers, the wicked, will rise from the dead after the thousand years. Even Zahn takes this view. au eber den Zeit- punkt, in welchem sie [die zweite A uferstehung ] eintreten wird, sagen die W orte: a[ Aama! 7:WV ve>e!;!wv av>e EC'7oav, aX!;!' 7:BASO{}fj 7:0. XtAta 87:'7, dass am Schluss des Millenniums aIle Menschen, deren Leiber bis dahin noch in ihren Grabstactten liegen, werden aufenuec7ct werden." That cannot be proved from the "until." This word or phrase simply indicates the terminus ad quem. See Acts 7, 17 f. The people grew and multiplied till another king arose. And then no longer ~ That other king did not find it so. See Rev. 2, 25. Shall they cease holding fast what they have when "I come"? See also 2 Sam. 6,23 and 1 Sam. 15, 35; also Ps. 110, 1. aIn manchen FaeZlen deutet das dem ax!;!'; a~ synonyme 8W; a~ odel' 8we; sa,', das hebraeische "1 ~ oder ~-'1! auf einen Wendepunld, an welchcm die betreffende Handlung odM' Begebenheit nicld anfhoeFt, wohl aber in ein neues Stad'illm e'in- tritt." (G. Stoeckhardt, on Rom. 11, 25.) "This clause (Matt. 1, 25: 'Knew her not till'), like all similar clauses in the New Testament, itself neither states nor implies what occurred afterwards." (R. Lenski, Interpr. of Matt.) And on John 9,18: "'Until' never itself implies that afterwards the reverse follows." The Expositor's Greek Testa- ment remarks on Matt. 1, 25: "It is easy to cite instances of its (80)e;) use as fixing a limit up to which a specified event did not occur, when as a matter of fact it did not occur at all, e. g., Gen. 8, 7." (Op. F. Pieper, Chr. Dog., III, 595.) Applying this well-known rule to Matt. 5, 18, we get: The Word of God shall abide not only "till heaven and earth pass," but forever after, and applying it to our present passage, we get: The souls of the departed saints enjoy the bliss of the heavenly life during these thousand years (the time of the New Testament) and forever afterwards, while the rest of the dead, who remain in spiritual death, in unbelief, during the period of grace, remain in the condition of death, (which has changed into eternal death) forever afterwards. Finally, it is clear that, if the premillennialists are right in their interpretation of Rev. 20 (Luthardt-Weidner: "The words 'they lived' can only be understood of a bodily resurrection"), Holy Scripture is the most unclear, contradictory, unreliable book that ever was written. What is asserted in John 5, 28. 29; Matt. 25, 31-46 ; John 6, 40; opened for Judgment. The only purpose for which it is used is that men- tioned in v. 15." Ruling out the just from the final Judgment on the basis of v. 15 is an act of pure desperation. The Book of Life, in which the names of the just are written, was opened at the Judgment and cer- tainly had a bearing on the Judgment as to the just. 324 Notes on Chiliasm. 1 001'. 15, 52, etc., is absolutely denied in Rev. 20. When Paul wrote, 1 001'. 15, 23. 24: "Then the end," he did not mean the end. He ex- pressed his thoughts in the loosest, vaguest, most misleading language possible. Most two-resurrection men rely chiefly on Rev. 20. Ouriously enough Dr. Weidner thinks he has found a stronger passage in Phil. 3, 11. "The most definite reference, however, to the first resur- rection of believel's is found in Phil. 3, 11: 'if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead.' If St. Paul was refer- ring simply to the general resurrection, he need not have been so anxious or made any sacrifice to attain to that, for to it all men must come. . .. This peculiar expression suggests very plainly the first resurrection, which includes only true believers." (Gp. cit., p. 361 f.) 3) Oertainly Paul is speaking of the' resurrection to life. But where does he say that that is the first resurrection ~ So the case stands thus: If Paul here speaks of the resurrection of the believers as the first resurrection, this is a very strong text for the chiliasts I And that illustrates their exegetical method they find their doc- trines in those texts into which they have first read their notions. And on the strength of these processed texts they apply the process of plain perversion of terms to John 5,28. 29 and the related passages. A second example of the ease with which the chiliastic spirit brushes aside clear teachings of Scripture is its denial that the day of the final Judgment is at hand. We choose to discuss just this error here because it plays a pl'ominent part in Dr. Frost's book. He de- votes two chapters to it: chapter XI, "The Ooming Impending"; and chapter XII, "The Ooming Posttribulational." The whole body of the premillennialists denies the imminence of the Last Day. They all teach the imminence of the second coming, but place a period of a thousand years between that event and the last Judgment. All of them thus foster the thought in the heart of the evil servant: My lord delayeth his coming; the final Judgment cannot set in till the millennium has been established by Jesus and has run its course of one thousand years. Dr. Frost's school accepts this feature of the premillennialist teaching, but raises the error to a higher degree by teaching that the chiliastic Great Tribulation must set in before the second coming. Hence the clash between the antetribulationists and the posttribulationists. Hence the two chapters. It would serve no good purpose to examine the various arguments and counter arguments the two schools exchange. Both are wrong. Our sole purpose at present is to exemplify the attitude towards Scripture of one who is dominated by the chiliastic spirit. 3) Even Wohlenberg (in Zahn's Kommentar, on 1 Thess.4, 14) refers to Phil. 3, 11 as teaching the twofold resurrection. He even refers to Luke 14, 14. Others, again, quote Matt. 24, 31. We have not the time to dis- cuss all these passages. N ores on Chiliasm. 325 Scripture clearly teaches that the Last Day is imminent. We are to look for the coming of Ohrist for the final Judgment and our deliverance day by day. That day may come any moment. "Behold, I come quickly," Rev. 3, 11. "Surely I come quickly," Rev. 22, 20. "It is near, even at the doors," Matt. 24,33. "The Lord is at hand," Phil. 4, 5. "The Judge standeth before the door," Jas. 5, 9. "The end of all things is at hand," 1 Pet. 4, 7. "Little children, it is the last time," 1 John 2, 18. "Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock- crowing, or in the morning, lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch," Mark 13, 35 ff. From whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Ohrist," Phil. 3, 20, "waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Ohrist," 1 Oor. 1, 7.4) The posttribulationalist premillennialists deny this teaching most emphatically. ''1 was brought up upon the usual premillennial teach- ing concerning the second coming of Ohrist to the effect that He might come at any moment of time and hence that Ohristians were to watch for His coming moment by moment. But a prolonged study of the New Testament has led me to change my view. . .. The coming is not imminent, but is impending. . .. The second Advent, accord- ing to the Scriptures, may not momentarily be expected, as it will not take place until God has fulfilled certain large purposes of His and has brought to pass the last great testing and purifying of His people in the midst of furnace fires. . .. How can we suppose that Christians were expected to look for Ohrist's return moment by mo- ment or even in their generation? . .. The Ohurch has never been able to look momentarily for the return." The closing words are: "So far as I can judge, the theory of Ohrist's immediate return and a momentary expectation of Him held by many persons in the past have not been in accordance with these requirements. And also, so far as I can judge, it is not this at the present time, the Scriptures seeming to make it plain that a further tarrying win continue until various predicted events have been fulfilled." (P. 227.) So, then, Rev. 3, 11 should read: Behold, I come after a long time. And Phil. 4,5: The Lord's coming will not soon take place. And Mark 13, 35ff.: vVatch, that is, do not look for the coming of the master at any moment of time. Yes, Dr. Frost explicitly asks the Ohristians to read that meaning into Mark 13, 35 ff. "The passages quoted containing the word 4) "Aut die Fmge: 'Be7cennst du mit der ganzen Ohristenheit, dass der Herr Jesus OhristuB jeden Augenblic7c zum endlichen Weltgericht kommen 7coenne?' (Ber. d. 9. Allg. Synode, S. 341), forderten die VaeteT unserer Synode eine bejahende Antwort." (Syn. Rep., West. Dist., 1903, p. IS.) 326 Notes on Chiliasm. 'watch' do not teach a watching for an event which may occur at any moment of time." (P.173.) He denies a clear teaching of Scripture, and the arguments supporting such denial are of the same general character as those employed by the advocates of the two resurrections. He employs violent and piecemeal exegesis in order to give the words of Scripture the required meaning. ~. "Watch" does not mean that "Ohristians are to watch for His coming moment by moment." It would seem indeed that Jesus is asking His disciples to be ready for His coming "at even, or at mid- night, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning," Mark 13, 35-37, that is, at all times, at any moment of time. But the Lord did not mean to express that thought. What He meant, was: "Keep watch- ful unto each prophetic event, place it in its rightful sequence, note specially when the last of the last days have come." (P.175.) The meaning of Dr. Frost is that the exhortation to look for the coming as an event which might occur at any moment of time applies only after the occurrence of the Great Tribulation (whatever the Great Tribulation may be). But Jesus addressed this exhortation to His disciples, including the apostles. True enough, says our posttribulationalist premillen- nialist, but He did not exactly mean the apostles. "He was speaking of them conditionally, that is, He was making the fulfilling of the prophesied events dependent upon the Jews' accepting Him as their King and His thus being able at once to set up the Kingdom. The Jews rejected Him, and the Kingdom receded." (This is the post- ponement theory, set up by the Dispensationalists.) "vve must con- clude therefore that Ohrist looked upon the apostles as representing other disciples who are to live in the last days. . .. The apostles represented other disciples of another and later time; for in spite of the fact that Ohrist said that they would see the events detailed, they did not do so, which means that others like them were to expe- rience what they did not." According to this view the exhortation of Mark 13,35-37 was not meant for those men who heard it. And the words of Jesus: "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch," mean: I do not say it unto all. I do not say it unto you apostles. Nor do I say it to all Ohristians of all succeeding generations. Dr. Frost assures us: "Momentary watching for Ohrist as expressed in the gospels is a doctrine which now pertains to the particular time which lies immediately before the millennium and not one which has to do with the presemt church period.» (P.179.) "}'fomentary watching for Ohrist as expressed in the gQspels/' etc. Did we, then, after all, understand Mark 13 and the parallel passages correctly? Yes; but we were ignorant of another chiliastic principle of Bible interpretation, and so we misapplied the passage. Our chiliast tells us that, if we would interpret the Bible correctly, we must, on the Notes on Chiliasm. 327 basis of the truth of the "postponement"-doctrine, pay attention to whether the passage occurs in the gospels or in the epistles. That makes a world of difference. The principle is thus applied: "One of the first things which one notices in reading through the New Testa- ment is the fact that the exhortations to be prepared for a sudden and unexpected coming of Ohrist are found in the gospels and never in the epistles." To the non-chiliastic Ohristian it is i=aterial whether an exhortation is found in the gospels or in the epistles. The fact that it is found only in the gospels does not compel or authorize us to change its meaning. Under the spell of the post- ponement theory, howcver, these chiliasts thus interpret: "That is, Ohrist gave these exhortations when He was on earth and was offering the promised kingdom to the Jewish nation, but did not repeat the same after He had gone to heaven and was sending His messages to the Ohurch. This implies that the exhortations mentioned had special application to the conditions which prevailed when the King- dom was first in offering' and which will prevail when it is again in offering, just prior to its establishment." And so the exhortation of Mark 13, 35-37 does not apply to all Ohristians of all generations. "In other words, momentary watching for Ohrist, as expressed in the gospels, is a doctrine which now pertains to the particular time which lies i=ediately before the millennium." (P. 179.) And all this monstrous juggling of Scripture is due to the monstrous conception that Ohrist first offered the kingdom (the earthly kingdom expected by the Jews) to the Jewish nation, postponed, on their refusal of His message, its establishment to the last dispensation, and uttered His directions to the intervening generations particularly in the epistles, so that a great part of the four gospels does not concern us.5) Besides, even if Dr. Frost's canon of hermeneutics were Scrip- tural, it would not al1ply here. It is not true that the exhortations to be prcpared for a sudden coming of Obist are found only in the gospels and never in the epistles. What about Rev. 3, 3? "If there- fOTe thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." And Phil. 4, 5 ? 5) For instance, is the Sermon on the Mount meant for us, the present generation? No, says the postponement-theory section of the premillen- nialists. "We have seen tllat the Sermon on the Mount is primarily for the future. . .. It does not fit into any phase of our civilization. . . . When will it become effective? The answer is not hard to find. It will take the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ, coming not as the meek and lowly Savior, but as the Lord of power and glory, to enforce righteous principles upon this earth. . .. The detailed rule of the life of the believer is to be found in the epistles, which were addressed to the churches. . .. There is one principle in the Sermon on the Mount which is reversed for us in the epistles, the prayer: 'Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,' Matt. 6, 12," etc., etc. (D. G. Barnhouse, His 011)n Received Him Not, But -, p. 45 ff.) 328 Notes on Chiliasm. "Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." And J as. 5, 9? "Behold, the Judge standeth before the door." And what about 1 Thess. 5, 1-6? It takes up the exhortation of Mark 13,35 ff. and Matt. 24, 42 ff.6) The doctrine "that Ohristians are to look for the return of Ohrist as an event which may occur at any moment" is found, we are told, only in the gospels. And now we are told, in addition, that it is found practically only once. Dr. Frost does not put his main reliance on this fact. He is willing to "pass by this thought." But he con- siders it important enough to mention it. It might help his case. He writes: "As the :Mark 13 verses are a duplicate of those in :Matt. 24, 42 and :Matt. 25, 13, it would be correct to say that the conception mentioned is based upon one set of Scripture. On the face of it this is a slight foundation upon which to build the interpretation of so large and weighty a doctrine." (P.173.) There is, as is well known, another duplicate - Luke 21. True, all these passages form "one set of Scripture." But it is a large set. The inspired writers made much of this exhortation of Jesus. It seemed good to the Holy Ghost to give it to us in triplicate. :Men are cautioned not to pass it by heedlessly. And the maxim that a doctrine cannot well be derived from only "one set of Scripture" has no place in Ohristian theology, in Bible theology. Why, one single passage of Scripture is all- sufficient for the establishment of a doctrine. If we had only the Mark 13 passage, our attitude would have to be one of watchfulness, constant preparedness, and expectancy. God needs to say a thing but once, and the matter is settled for all eternity. The Ohristian must not speak of "one set of Scripture," of one passage, as "a slight foundation" for believing a doctrine. The Ohristian says: "Ein klarer Spruch aus der Schrift sollte sie so viel bewegen, als waere die Welt voll Schrift. . .. Denn mir ist also, dass mir ein jeglicher Spruch die Welt zu enge macht." (Luther, XX, 788.) 7) 6) "Paul here corrects both impatient expectancy and drowsy security, choosing such words as may convey the idea of length and repeated alter- nation of periods as well as of crises which might be expected very soon .... They should never forget the words of the Lord which they had been taught, Matt. 24,44; 25,13." (P. Kretzmann, Popular Oommentary.) 7) Mark 13, 35 fr. is a clear passage. The unbiased interpreter finds it so. It needs no interpretation. The "interpreter" cannot but say: "What Jesus tells the Twelye about watching and being constantly ready is not for them alone, but for all His followers. 'Be watching!' is for everyone of us." (R. Lenski, Interpr. of Mark.) "To all generations of His disciples our Savior says: 'When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors,' Matt. 24, 33. . .. Hence from that day to this God's people have been ready for the coming of their King, 'waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,' 1 Cor. 1,7." (A. Graebner, Theol. Quart., V, 74 f.) "Scripture warns men not to commit another folly, namely, to argue from the delay of Christ's coming that He will not come at all, 2 Pet. 3, 3fr., or not soon, Matt. 24, 43 fr. For Christ's return N ores on Chiliasm. 329 There is another set of Scripture which precludes the posttribu- lationist view. But our book makes short work of it. "The concep- tion that Ohristians are to look momentarily for the return of Ohrist is derived, in the second place, from the use of the word 'quickly' as it occurs in Rev. 2, 16; 3, 11; 22, 7. 12. 20. . .. The Greek adverb translated in the passages mentioned by the English word 'quickly' is tachtt. It occurs in the New Testament eleven times (Matt. 5, 25; 28,7.8; Mark 16,8; John 11, 29; Rev. 2, 16; 3,11; 11, 14; 22,7. 12.20). . .. The fact is plain that the significance of the adverb is speedily or swiftly. Thus it is to be noted that its implication is not that of immediacy, but rather of rapidity. In other words, tachu, as used in the New Testament, does not imply that the action with which it is connected will occur at once or soon, but rather, when once begun, it will be bronght to an immediate conclusion." (P. 175ff.) (Italics our own.) Surely the concept expressed by the adverb Taxv is that of rapidity. However, this rapidity pertains not only (and not necessarily) to the progress and accomplishment of the action expressed by the verb, but also (and sometimes exclusively) to the inauguration of said action. The latter is absolutely denied by our author. His contention is that, when the Savior says: "Behold, I come TaXV," He cannot mean to say that He is coming soon, shortly; the word TaXV has not, and never had, that meaning. We are reluctant to waste good printing-paper in proving what everybody - nearly everybody - admits. But in the interest of the scope of the present section of our paper (which is to show that the words of Scripture, their natural, native meaning, mean nothing to the chiliast if they conflict with his preconceived opinions) it shall be done; the paper will not be wasted, after all. So what does Taxv mean? What say the Greek authorities? Luther knew his Greek, and he translates: "Siehe, ich komme bald," Rev. 3, 11. "Ja, ich lcomme bald," Rev. 22, 20. Th. Zahn, an- other Greek scholar, cannot improve on Luther. dEs spricht der dies Bezeugende [Jesus]: 'Ich komme bald.' Die Gemeinde antwortet: 'Amen, komme bald, Herr Jesus!'" Rev. 22, 20. And on page 307 of may be expected at any moment, and Scripture exhorts men to 'watch,' Matt. 24, 42; Luke 21, 36, to be wide awake, alert, like a sentinel on duty, who is constantly on the qui vive against approaching danger (Ye'l'}yoee,rs), to be sleepless (a"eW",BtU). Both verbs enjoin Christians not to give them- selves over to security lest they be taken unawares, but to practise sober- mindedness and to cultivate prayerful intercourse with God. Luke adds: iv nani ,wll?rp, at every season, and Matthe,v affixes the reason: for ye know not what time your Lord cometh.' This indicates that the second advent is close at hand. Accordingly Luke urges men in another place (so there is, after all, more than "one set of Scripture" that contains this exhortation) "to be 'ready,' Luke 12,40, like travelers who may receive the word to march at any moment, and he adds this reason: 'The Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.''' (W. Dau, Leotures, II, p. 170.) 330 Notes on Chiliasm. his commentary he writes unhesitatingly: u Oh1.wtU8 spricht oftmals: lexoflal r:axv (2, 16; 3, 11; 22, 7); a,ber den Ohristen wird die Zeit lang . .. , Die Naehe der Parttsie Ohristi (im Gegensatz zu dem Irr- tum, dass es damit noch gute TV eile habe) macht die N[ ahnung [3, 10. 11] um so dringlicher." James Moffatt (Exposit01"S Gl'eelc Testament) can qualify as an expert. "'I come quickly' - you have not long to wait and suffer now," Rev. 3, 11. "The second character- istic motif dominating the entire passage [Rev. 22, 6-21] is the near- ness of the end .... It is voiced thrice in a personal (7. 12. 20: 'I come quickly') and twice in an impersonal (6, 10) form. It is as a crucial revelation of the near future . . . that this apocalypse claims to be read and honored in the churches." Let Thayer take the stand (Lexicon of the N. T.): "r:axv: quickly, speedily, (without delay)." (Thayer adds three passages to Dr. Frost's list, one of them being Mark 9, 39: "Forthwith, i. e., while in the use of My name he is per- forming mighty works.") And Suhle and Schneidewin (Handwoerter- buch fuer die ganze griechische Literatur): IIr:aXV: schnell; bald, als- bald, sogleich." The authorities agree. And they agree with the Bible, the chief authority. The use of the word in the New Testament does not follow the rule laid down by Dr. Frost. "Agree with thine adversary quickly," Matt. 5, 25, does not mean merely that the action (reconciliation), "when once begun, should be brought to an immediate conclusion," but also that this action should be begun, instituted, without delay, promptly, soon, at once. The sense of Rev. 11, 14 is missed if TaXV carries the posttribulational meaning. And according to Rev. 22, 20 the Ohurch is not praying that, when the coming of Jesus once sets in, it should be brought to an immediate conclusion (which indeed will be the case), but that it might set in shortly,S) Let us study the cognates of r:axv. It will not be a waste of good printing-paper, but will establish our thesis that a thoroughgoing chiliast makes little of the precise meaning of Scripture words. Thayer: "TaXa: hastily, quickly, soon; -raxiw,: quickly, shortly; 'faxIVO,: swift, quick; of events soon to come to pass or just im- pending, 2 Pet. 1, 14; 2, 1; TaXIO": more swiftly, more quickly. Heb. 13, 19: sooner, sc., than would be the case without your prayers for me; v. 23; John 13, 27; 1 Tim. 3, 14; dk TaX£lna, as quickly as possible, Acts 17, 15; ev raXE<: quickly, shortly, Acts 12, 7; 22, 18; Rom. 16, 20; speedily, soon (Germ., in Baelde); Luke 18, 8; 1 Tim. 3, 14 ('hoping to come unto thee shortly'); Rev. 1, 1 ('which must shortly come to pass'); 22. 6." The chiliast might reply that he is concerned only with r:axv, not with its cognates. However, Scripture 8) Why does not the English Bible translate -.axv with a word equiv- alent to Luther's bald? It does just that. Quickly, according to Webster, means "in a quick manner; promptly; rapidly; speedily; without delay." Notes on Chiliasm. 331 uses these words as synonyms. What 8'1' TaX'" means mxv means. Rev. 22, 7: "Behold, I come quickly" takes up the statements of Rev. 22, 6: "the things which must shortly (BY TaXEt) be done." So also in Luke 18, 8 the coming of the Son of Man is described as taking place £v raxu = mxv. But what comfort would the harassed children of God find in the thought that, when the Son of Man comes, that action will be begun and finished in a moment ~ The comfort lies in the thought that their deliverance is at hand. "vill it try the reader's patience too severely if we invite him to study the meaning of the common word eyyvr;.':' Thayer: "2. of time; concerning things imminent and soon to come to pass: Matt. 24, 32. ('summer is nigh'); etc., etc.; of the near advent of persons: of Ohrist's return from heaven, Phil. 4, 5, etc., etc." It will not do to say that this is a foreign matter, mxv being the only subject of our study. No, the context brings these two words into very close re- lation. The passage which describes the coming of Jesus with mxv also states that this "time is errv~," at hand, Rev. 22, 10. "The near- ness of the end is voiced thrice in a personal (7. 12. 20) and twice in an impersonal form (6. 10)." According to Scripture mxv means "quickly," and it means "soon," "shortly"; and it has that meaning in Rev. 22, 20 and the related passages. Dr. Frost reads this meaning into the word: When the Savior declared that He would come "quickly," He was not saying that His return was to be looked for momentarily. "What He was declaring, according to the etymological and Scriptural use of the adverb, was this, that the advent, whenever it would occur, would take place with a rush, or in a flash, that is, its beginning would almost be its ending; for its beginning and ending would be prac- tically at the same moment of time." And what is the Scriptural use of the adverb according to Frost? "We find it illustrated by Ohrist's statement in Matt. 24,27: 'For as the lightning cometh out of the east,' etc., and by Paul's statement in 1 Oor. 15, 52: 'in a mo- ment, in the twinkling of an eye.' In these utterances the time when the advent will take place is not in mind, but only the rapidity or haste of its procedure." That and nothing more is offered as proof. We must waste some more printing-paper. These two passages prove absolutely nothing as to the question whether raxv can mean shortly. They certainly prove the rapidity of the process of the Last Day. On that there is no difference of opinion between him and us. We also agree with him absolutely that in these two utterances "the time when the advent will take place is not in mind." But other passages speak of the time, its nearness, its imminence. And these other passages are simply ignored. The basis, then, for this chiliast's asser- tion that mxv cannot mean shortly is 1) his bare assertion to that effect and 2) two irrelevant passages from Scripture. 332 Notes on Chiliasm. Having eviscerated the terms "watch" and "quickly," Dr. Frost is ready to offer positive Scripture statements establishing his teaching. The passage which he offers is, however, irrelevant. "He did not promise to come back soon. On the contrary, He said that He would be gone a 'long time,' Luke 20,9." (P.178.) Nothing further is said in el~boration of this proof. - It is not a proof. Jesus never said that He would be gone a long time. What He said was that the owner of the vineyard went into a far country for a long time, just as He said, in another parable, that "the lord of these servants" returned "after a long time," Matt. 25,14-30. (We are surprised that this last passage is not quoted; for this parable at least speaks of the return of Ohrist to Judgment.) What is wrong with Dr. Frost's argument? In the first place, you cannot offer a parable as a primary proof for a doctrine. Parables and examples can only illustrate. Doctrines are always revealed and set forth in so many direct state- ments of Scripture.9) That leads us to our second point. Where Scripture itself makes the application of the parable, a teaching is established. Not otherwise. Now, Scripture nowhere says that this feature of the parables, the return of the master after a long time, is meant to teach that the return of Jesus for Judgment will take place after a long time. So, while Scripture contains many un- equivocal statements to the effect that Jesus is coming quickly, shortly, there is here no statement to the effect that He will not come shortly. In other words, the scope of our parables, is not the time of the Judgment, its proximity or distance, but the certainty and severity of the Judgment that will overtake the unfaithful and wicked. It may be that the Savior had a purpose in specifying the "long time" in these two parables. Or it may be that this specifica- tion belongs to the parabolic drapery and ornament. I do not know. If the former is the case, we need plain and direct Scripture to tell us what part the "long time" plays in the thoughts of men. And that Scripture tells us. There are wicked servants who rejoice that the master is a long time returning, feel safe and secure, and begin to smite their fellow-servants, Matt. 24, 48 f., and scoffers, who, on the basis of the long delay, deny that the Lord will come at all. And there are the Ohristians, who are prone to grow impatient at the 9) "The parables may not be made primary sources of doctrine and seats of it. Doctrines otherwise and already established may be illus- trated or indeed further confirmed by them; but it is not allowable to constitute doctrine first by their aid. This rule finds its expression in the recognized axiom 'In theology parables do not count as arguments,' and again: 'Only from the literal meaning can arguments of weight be sought.' (See Gerhard, Lac. Theol., II, 13, 202.) This rule, however, has been often forgotten, and controversialists looking round for arguments with which to sustain some weak position, for which they can find no other support in Scripture, often invent for themselves support in these." (R. C. French, Notes on the Parables, p. 40.) Notes on Chiliasm. 333 ''long time." It seems to them the Lord is tarrying too long. Scrip- ture takes account of this mistaken attitude of the Ohristians, warns them against sharing the view of the scoffers, 2 Pet. 3, 9, and revives their patience with the assurance that the Lord is not slack, is not delaying, but that He is coming quickly. Just in view of the com- plaint of the Ohristian that the time is too long Heb. 10, 37 assures them: "For yet a little - a very little - while" (Exp. Gr. Test.- Riggenbach: "Denn noch eine kleine, ganz kleine Weile"), and He that shall come will come and will not tarry"; in the words of Hab. 2, 3: "Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry." Scripture tells us very plainly what to make of the "long time." But never are the good servants exhorted to put the coming of the Master into the far future. And nowhere does Scripture make the statement that the Lord Jesus will not return "for a long time." - Dr. Frost's use of Luke 20, 9 is a typical example of what has been called the "atomistic interpretation of Scripture," the piecemeal exegesis, in favor with the chiliasts. They will operate with any disjointed statement that serves their purpose and ignore all else that Scripture says on that very point. The tabernacle of David shall be raised up, Amos 9, 11. So the Temple will be rebuilt in the millennium-in spite of Acts 15,14-16. "A certain man went into a far country for a long time," - therefore the words of Rev. 22, 20 and Rev. 22, 10 and Rev. 22, 6, etc., etc., cannot mean what they say.10) 10) What Dr. Frost considers his strongest argument, devoting the greater part of his two chapters to it, does not strictly belong in the realm of chiliastic thought, but is derived from rationalistic considerations; hence we discuss it in this footnote. Dr. Frost rejects the common, constant teaching of the Church regarding the imminence of Christ's promised return because of the fact (which is absolutely a fact) that nearly two thousand years have elapsed since that promise was given, and because of the truth (which is an absolute truth) that the Last Day will not set in before all the signs that herald its coming are fulfilled. We here face a real difficulty. How shall we harmonize the fact that the inspired writers urged constant watchfulness and expectancy on the Christians with the fact that -let us put it this way - the Holy Ghost, who inspired them, knew that Christ would not return at least for 1900 years? Carnal reason employs one of two ways to solve the difficulty. One way is to say that the apostles - and Christ Himself - erred in this matter. They thought tl1e day was close, but were mistaken. It is put this way - to quote one statement out of a thousand -: "The apostle therefore exclaims with fatherly affection: 'Little children, it is the last hour,' 1 John 2, 18 .... It is supposed to derogate from the divine mission of the apostles if we admit that they might be mistaken as to the chronology of the closing hour of time." (Wm . .Alexander, The Epistles of St. John.) We cannot accept this explanation. We believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Nor will Dr. Frost accept this explanation. He believes in the inspiration of the Bible. But he solves the difficulty in the second way. He simply denies that Christ and the apostles taught the imminence of the Second Coming, and we have seen how he treats the inspired ''lord in order to get his meaning into it - all for the purpose of solving the difficulty. He puts 334 Notes on Ohiliasm. it thus: "The glorified Ohrist knew exactly the hour, minute, and second of His return. This being the case, he was aware of the fact that He would not return for over 1900 years; for this time, since His departure, has already passed away. vVhat, then, shall we say in reference to His use of the word 'quickly'? . .. Still others have said that Ohrist knew the time of His coming and hence that He would be long absent, but that He designedly us cd a word which would keep His waiting saints, spiritually speaking, on the q1ti vive, that is, momentarily expecting His return, in order that they might have the benefit of being constantly in a heavenly frame of mind. . .. Let me frankly say that I deem their conception perilously near to blasphemy; for it is not far from charging Ohrist with moral turpitude. . .. This means that we must seek for the meaning of the word 'quickly' in some other direction." (P. 176 f.) We cannot accept this second solution. Scripture refuses to have its words thus altered, emasculated, murdered. Then how shall we solve the seem- ing contradiction? Let it remain unsolved! It is not our business to harmonize the teachings of Scripture. For example: Is the grace of God universal? Yes. Is the election of grace particular? Yes. Then God's grace is not universal! "Thou liest," we say to carnal reason. Answers then carnal reason: "Solve me the difficulty!" "That is not our business," say we. - Does the Ohristian take heed lest he fall, knowing that he might fall? Yes. 1 001'.10, 12. Is he persuaded that nothing shall be able to separate him from the love of God? Yes. Rom. 8, 38 f. That is non- sense, says carnal reason. Nay, say we, that is the psychology of the Ohristian, which thou, 0 reason, canst not understand. There is in the same heart fear and trembling and, concerning the same thing, glad assurance. Just so here. The apostles knew that Ohrist would not return before all signs were fulfilled, and yet they, like all other Ohristians, lived in momentary expectation of that return. We shall not delete either one of these Scriptural truths on the plea that both cannot be true. The Ohristian grasps both truths even if he cannot make the workings of the Ohristian psychology plain to carnal reason and to himself. Nor will he say with Dr. Frost and the great exegete Meyer that it is "not far from charging Ohrist with moral turpitude" to teach that, while He the om- niscient God knew the end was 1900 years in the future, He yet asked His disciples to watch day by day for it. "Meyer ist hier siitlioh ent- nwstet. Er sagt (Kom. ilium ];Iatthaeusev. 6, S. 504) gegen Olshausen: 'Wollte der Herr, -wie Olshausen meint, dass seine Pantsie bestaendig fuer moegliah, ja -wah!rsoheinlioh gehalten wuerde, und sp1'ach er deshalb so, 'Wie er na,ch Matthaeus gesproohen, so hat er fuer einen sittlichen Z-weok ein ttnwahres Mittel angewende-t." (F. Pieper, Ghr. Dog., III, 584.) No, God knows how to deal with the Ohristian mind. He created it and endowed it with the faculty to believe what He says, and where two truths seem contradictory to let both of them exercise their full power. .As Dr. Pieper points out: The nature of the signs predicted and of their fulfilment serves the watchfulness, readiness, and preparedness needful in view of the certainty of the Second Ooming and the uncertainty of the exact time of it, Matt. 24, 42. We are at no moment able to say that all the signs have been fulfilled and that that is the moment of the Second Ooming. Nor may we declare at any moment that, since the signs have not been fulfilled, the Lord is delaying His coming, Matt. 24, 48. By a wise economy the Lord has arranged for such a state of affairs as leads the Ohristians of all times, faithfully observing the signs appointed, to await His coming always and momentarily. (Ghr. Dog., l. c.) This, of course, does not remove the difficulty. We are still puzzled: How could the first Ohristians, th1'ough the -working of the Holy Ghost, look daily for the Second Ooming, since all the signs, as -we now kno-w, were not ful- filled? How could the inspired writers, while predicting these signs, at the same time believe in, and ask the first Ohristians to believe in, the imminence of the Last Day? We cannot harmonize these things, and we are not called upon to do so. The Expositor's Greek Testament puts it thus: "Christians are on the alert, open-eyed; they do not know when it )Del ,8eitgeift unb bie 3eitgemiijie !j:lrebigt. 335 [the Last Day] is to come, but they are alive to any signs of its coming. Thus there is no incompatibility between this emphasis on the instan- taneous character of the advent and the emphasis in 2 Thess. 2, 3 f. on the preliminary conditions." (First Ep. to the Thess., p. 39.) .And better still, admitting the seeming in'2ompatibility, but refusing to construct doctrines on the strength of it, is this statement: "The close and sudden aspect of the end loomed out ... before the Christian Church at this period, but it was held together with calculations which anticipated a certain process and progress of history." And now: "The juxtaposition of this ardent hope and an apocalyptic program, here as in Mark 13, 5-37 and 4 Esd. 14,11. 12, is one of the antinomies of the religious oonsoiousness, which is illogical only on lJaper." (Italics our own. - The Revelation of St. John, p. 493.) - "W,il' sagen: TVeder die P1'opheten des Alten Testaments noch die A,postel des N etwn :l'estaments haben sich geirrt in bezttg aUf die Naeho der Wiederkunft ahristi, sondern die Stollen, die so klinge1t, sind, abgesehen von der per-spektivischen Ausdrucksweise, so zu ve1'stehen, dus-s eben beiderlei Sohreiber sich so ausdruecken, wie diejenigen sich aus- dl'uecke1t, die in dem Glauben und in der Hoffnung leben, dass der Juengste Tag jeden Tag kommen koenne." (L. Fuerbringer, aonc. Theol. Mthly., V,573.) To sum up, in the words of Ph. Mauro: Dispensationalism, and chiliasm in general, "is a humanly contrived system that has been imposed upon the Bible and not a scheme of doctrine derived from it." (The Gospel of the Kinqdom,. p.21.) The deleterious effect of this chiliastic treatment of Scripture will be pointed out in our next article. (To be continued.) TH. ENGELDER. ::Der ,3eitgeift nub bie 5citgcmiific ~rcbigt. BeitgemaB foIl bie ~rebigt fein. ~Hdjt nur foIl bie ~teb1gt im @inffang fteqen mit bem SHtdjeniaqr, toa? bei un? felbftbetftanbIidj ift, fonbern bie ~tebigt fall fie±£; ben jetoeiIigen mebiirfniffen bet Buqiitet entfpredjen. SDie IDlenfdjen qaben fidj im Eauf bet Beit nidji toefentHdj bet" anberi, audj bie [fjtifien aITet Beiten qaben biefelben geiftIidjen me" biitfniffe; fa mU13 iljnen fiet§ ba§feIbe ill30tt @otie§ betfiinbigi toetben. SDodj fann uub mU13 man bon bet a e i i gem a 13 e n ~tebigi teben, infofern namIidj aI§ au cinet getuiffen Beit biefe abet jene falfdje Eefjte gana befonbet§ bie Wufmedfamfeit bet Eeuie beanfptudjt abet getoiffe ®iinben befonber? qerrfdjenb finb abet gto13e§ llngIiid Eanb unb Eeuie be±roffen qat obet @oti ein Q50If befonbet§ mit IewIidjen abet geiftHdjen @iitern gefegne± qat, fa baB e§ bem ~tebiget aUt ~fIidjt toirb, im Wnfdjlu13 baran gana befonber? au toarnen, au fhafen, au beleqten, au itiifien abet aum Eoben unb SDanfen au etmuntetn. SDarau§ gefjt f djon qetbOt, baB bief dbe ~tebigt in bet 9't e g eI nidjt toiebet geqaIten toetben foIIte, toenigfien§ nidjt ofjne bie niitigen Q5etanbetungen. SDa§ gUt audj bon bet Eefjtpteb1gt. SDie ®djtiftrefjte ift ia feinet Q5etanbetung uniettootfcn; fie vIeib± fiet§ biefeIbe. ®ie ift eben ill3aqtqeit, giitiIidje ill3aq:x:qeit; unb toa§ toaq:x: ift, blewt imme:x: