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125 Responses

  1. Dallas says:

    Ok, I admit/warn you that there are some political thoughts on this one, but there’s some other stuff too.

    Thoughts (Stolen and Otherwise)

  2. Em ... again says:

    “Come to Me…and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29) today it is our SOULS that find REST in Christ… the scripture from the scheduled morning meditation from the late Bob Hoekstra

    just seemed like a good way to start the day in this troubled world … praying as i type for the safety of Louisiana folk

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So, it is time to solicit input for my Bible class study in Matthew which eventually shows up on these pages. Right now I am on a 5 week hiatus from class and when I resume on Sept 11th I will begin in chapter 23. I am prepping the end of Matt 27 now and will be finished prepping Matthew by the end of next weekend. (So I won’t get to this section of Matthew until right before Thanksgiving – almost 2 years at this point.)

    So, I am at 27:51-52 – “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”

    I have 2 questions to raise this fine Saturday morning – I have not made up my mind and solicit the opinions of the many. If you read a commentary on it, put the results of your research into your own words to show that you understand the position you are taking.

    1.) Is this an actual event or is it a poetic way to make a point about the death and resurrection of Jesus? There is a great debate going on these past couple of years between Michael Licona and Norman Geisler.

    2.) What were these raised corpses doing between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?

    This should keep Trump and Hillary off the page for a while.

  4. Dallas says:

    MLD, it has never really occurred to me to think of that as anything other than literal. I could easily be wrong, there may be something in the underlying language that suggests otherwise, but in the English it seems to be suggesting a literal event.

    I have kind of framed it as the death of Jesus being such a powerful event in itself that some pretty wild things happen as a result.

    The earthquake imagery seems to come up connected to God’s wrath if I remember correctly.

  5. Michael says:


    It’s an incredibly problematic passage…I never came to a conclusion, just presented the alternatives.

  6. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Dallas – there is definitely wrath there as God pours out the totality of his wrath on Jesus. The cataclysms that follow would seem to reflect that.

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, I guess what I am searching out is why is this passage 51-53 is found only in Matthew.

  8. Michael says:

    My guess would be that it’s because this passage pronounces judgment on the Temple and Matthew was writing primarily to a Jewish audience.

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Which could lend itself to a symbolic / poetic description of what God is doing.
    Matthew could be saying – “let me draw you a picture.”

  10. Michael says:


    It’s possible.
    Calvin didn’t believe that these people were resurrected before Christ…he is the first fruits of those who will rise from the dead.
    If it’s not poetic we have a significant number of people walking about in immortal bodies…

  11. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, note it says they came out of the tombs AFTER His resurrection….(though it’s placement in the text of the gospel is before)

  12. Michael says:

    I forgot about the poopstorm about Licona…

    James White said this…and I only repost it to to make a point.

    “We have no reason to believe that these individuals continued on beyond a particular period of time. That is, just as Lazarus experienced a second physical death and does not continue to live somewhere in hiding to this day, (unlike the three Nephite apostles according to Mormonism!) so these individuals would live for another period of time and then pass away. We also should not miss the fact that these were righteous people. They are called saints. Hence, this blessing upon them, no matter how long it lasted, would allow them to testify of God’s goodness, and his justice.”

    That commentary is taken wholly from the white spaces between verses…

  13. Em ... again says:

    many bodies raised… why not all the saints who had fallen asleep?
    did they return from Paradise to do this and where did they go next?
    it says first, they were raised and then after Christ’s resurrection they went into Jerusalem and made their presence known – is the sequencing critical?
    were they raised incorruptible and are even now walking among us? 🙂

    i always just figured that they were a sign to the Jews and went on with Christ when He ascended … dunno … not sure i care, since i’m not a theologian

  14. Muff Potter says:

    MLD @ #3:

    I believe the account in its most literal sense. People were bodily raised from the dead by the supernatural power of the Almighty. Every carbon atom, every electron, and every double helix of their genome. If it’s a question of logistics from there, what happened to them hence, and what have you, I don’t care. I don’t require a full linearization. I choose to believe in God’s supernatural agency.

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “MLD, note it says they came out of the tombs AFTER His resurrection….(though it’s placement in the text of the gospel is before)”

    That was my question #2 above when I asked “2.) What were these raised corpses doing between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?”

    They were raised on Friday but did not come out of the tomb until Sunday (and it could have been any number of days after his resurrection – it doesn’t say.) So what do we all think they were doing in the interim?

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – if you can, hold off on my Weekend word until Sunday – not to hog up Open Blogging – but perhaps we can explore this.

  17. Michael says:


    As you wish…

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – you are right about White’s commentary being from the white spaces on the page (as I think most are). When he says “Hence, this blessing upon them, no matter how long it lasted, would allow them to testify of God’s goodness, and his justice.”

    This seems to be contrary to Luke 16.

  19. Steve Wright says:

    They arose and came out simultaneously (after His resurrection), the conjunction connects both participles with an unfortunate verse split (and as you know the verse divisions are not inspired and have no direct connection to punctuation either)

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “If it’s a question of logistics from there, ” – I don’t have an issue with logistics as much as I do silence. All of these things seem to be of the magnitude of large headlines in the Jerusalem Post of the day.

    The tearing of the curtain – did they have a back up curtain in the storage room? No one standing around saying “well shut my mouth – what the heck just happened? Or the Apostle Paul, who wrote before the Gospels stating – hey you Galatians, you won’t believe what happened when I was a Jew 5 yrs ago.” – or something like that 🙂

    It could be real and literal but it seems that the things that are make it into either the 3 synoptics or even all 4 Gospels.

    I have to run out for a while – keep discussing. I have something that links this to the writing of Revelation.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, before I run – then the whole sequence does not fit – Jesus cries out, gives up his spirit, that events happen and then we have the proclamation of the centurion and the others.

    But it could be.

  22. Steve Wright says:

    Admittedly, it is pretty tough to be too dogmatic on such an enigmatic passage that appears with such brief commentary. In summary, I believe all the Old Testament saints are in heaven right now, with Jesus, including these guys. I believe Jesus led them all there. Some debate this but I think there is strong textual support for this view (plus the common sense test – why would the OT saints be forced to stay in Abraham’s bosom after Jesus’ victory?)

    These guys did not arise until after Jesus did (the text does say that) – Jesus is clearly the first to rise (as noted in Scripture).

    Since Jesus rose on the feast of firstfruits (celebrated in Israel the day after the Sabbath after Passover), there would seem to be some connection to a “sheaf” of believers being connected to this feast. We know the feasts are prophetic of Jesus, He is the firstfruits (and yes, no “sheaf” is required of course) but that is my only conclusion as to why Matthew includes this detail.

    I do note they did not testify of Jesus, they just “appeared” (maybe they did not even talk, we just do not know) and I have no idea how they went to heaven though if I had to guess it would be more a translation than a Christlike ascension. But I would argue they did not hang around after the Lord ascended, and I see no reason to think they had to die a second time (like Lazarus), in fact I think the text would argue strongly against such a view. Unless you have God striking them dead quickly because if multiple people like Lazarus came back from the grave and hung around for years until they died again, that would be quite a testimony and would have caused quite a ruckus (like Lazarus caused a ruckus). I see no evidence for that at all.

    That’s what I have, and that’s all I seek to pass on with this detail.

  23. Steve Wright says:

    then the whole sequence does not fit
    Yes. Like I said before. Matthew includes something here before it happened in actual time. Probably to connect it to the tearing of the temple and the symbolism of all this.

  24. Dallas says:

    I am out of town and away from commentaries and the like, but is the “his” of his resurrection definitely pointed at Jesus, or is it pointed at those resurrected in the tombs?

    If it was the latter it would clear up the time-line a bit.

  25. Jean says:

    The way I read this is that Matthew is giving his readers a sign that Christ’s death (not his resurrection) defeated death. That is the theological teaching from Matthew from this event.

    There was a second earthquake on the 3rd day. Matthew could have placed the event on the 3rd day associated with the 2nd earthquake, if Matthew wanted to connect these raisings with Christ’s.

  26. Em ... again says:

    i have a hunch – dunno – that there was quite an upheaval in both the seen and the unseen world which occurred all at once when God the Son achieved that victory … we know the sky became dark, there was a tomb opening earthquake, the temple veil (a thick, carpet-like materiel was it not?) split clear down the middle top to bottom (beautiful statement of victory) … and then there were dead men walking around town?
    folks were probably not in a frame of mind to sit down and document events during those days…
    then came denial? old timers exaggerate you know… we had bigger things to worry about with all those hostile Romans around… they utterly destroyed that beautiful temple, took everything – as to that veil? – i’m guessing they took it and used it for a rug somewhere up there in Rome

    what happened to those saints up out of the tombs? hmmm… not sure… could they be the 144,000 of Rev 14? have to think on that, but for now i think i’ll just accept that it happened and it was not a normal and historically repeatable event

  27. Linnea says:

    MLD…Matthew 27:51-52 seems to be related, at least tangentially, to Revelation 11:1-14 and the two witnesses. You ask the question, “what were those raised corpses doing between Good Friday and Easter Sunday?” Witnessing to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, I presume, and providing a foretelling of Christ’s resurrection, and our eventual resurrection.

  28. Michael says:


    Good to see you jump in !

  29. Michael says:

    Here’s Licona’s defense of his position against Heisler.

    I will be upfront and say that I agree with his take on this, and not just because I think Geisler is a “bleep”.
    Which I also do…

  30. Babylon's Dread says:

    “I don’t know,” works well at my church and encourages everyone.

    “But this is what I think,” helps the faint to not get insecure.

    The fact is that those risen ones were at very least a witness to the resurrection from the dead and the fact that Jesus had indeed defeated death FOR all who believe.

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am glad that I was able to ask a question that would bring you back here. We need more of the old warriors from years ago to rejoin the conversation. Makes me feel like I am working in a big tent.

  32. Michael says:

    “I don’t know,” works well at my church and encourages everyone.

    “But this is what I think,” helps the faint to not get insecure.”

    Amen, BD….

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – thanks for finding that link to Licona’s paper. I too tend to agree with him, but most run away because it is not what has been taught for a long time.

    I like Geisler – I know you have issues with him because of his book Chosen but Free, which I think I have both editions. In my library I have 30 Geisler books – but I do think he is a bit narrow on this position as he will not even consider it even for a scholarly debate.

    When Licona first brought this up I think in 2010, it made my eyeballs big wondering what he was talking about.

    As a recommendation he has done a great work on the resurrection – over 700 pages rivals NT Wright’s work.

  34. Michael says:

    I dislike Geisler for that piece of crap and for his sustained support of Ergun Caner.

    I hate that book so much that after i gave it to the Salvation Army I went back in and bought it back so no one else would be deceived.

    Put it in the dumpster with all of Dave Hunts books…

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Like I said – I knew you had an issue with that book. 😉

    Look, Geisler is old and old people start to lose their marbles – I am well on my way. It’s like Barry Goldwater, when he got in his 80s he became so liberal, he would have made Obama look like Ronald Reagan

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    For anyone one who does not know the background, Geisler denied one of the five points of Calvinism and he did it in front of James White (which is like denying a point of Calvinism in front of Calvin himself.) 🙂

  37. Michael says:

    Geisler denied all the points of Calvinism…while calling himself a “moderate” Calvinist.
    James White left him wearing his ass for a hat.

    I have no problems with people like Roger Olson and Jerry Walls who “refute” Calvinism…we’ve linked to Olson in particular a lot.

    I object to caricatures and vicious stupidity…
    Calvin would never, ever,have boiled his theology down to those five points,by the way…

  38. I think Geisler’s confusion of Calvinism comes fro his DTS background. Those boys make everything confusing.

    To help you and I think this is your position, if you deny 1 point you have denied all 5 as they are inter connected.

  39. Michael says:


    At this point I object strenuously to boiling down a great theologians work to a five point checklist to see if you’re in or out.

    I am among those who believe after actually reading Calvin ( in contrast with those who came after him) that he probably was at best a four pointer himself.

    Get back to our text…what is the connection to Revelation you found?

  40. Michael says:

    Last comment on Calvin… to me, his primary doctrine was union with Christ.
    That’s not one of the points people are familiar with…

  41. Jean says:

    “Last comment on Calvin… to me, his primary doctrine was union with Christ.”


    Could you multi-task a explanation of Calvin’s “union with Christ” into this thread. I would like to see if there is any correlation with anything Luther might have taught.

  42. Michael says:


    I have gifts…but boiling down Calvin’s doctrine of union with Christ on a blog isn’t one of them.

    The doctrine is throughout everything he wrote…and to get the whole picture you have to read everything he wrote.

    There are no doubt some differences…but you will also find Calvin quoting large chunks of Luther in some of these discussions.

    For a bit of a sample ,book three of the Institutes where he debates Osiander is good.

  43. Jean says:


    I think you can do better.

    Imagine you have just been appointed Mr. Trump’s co-spiritual advisor along side Pastor Paula White. Mr. Trump’s promise to make religion great again rests in your 4 capable hands.

    Monday morning your task is to give Mr. Trump a 15 minute executive briefing on Calvin.

    What would you say? 🙂

  44. Em ... again says:

    gotta say, i love your ESV link to Scripture here, Michael – the cross references are so easy that i’m ashamed of not digging in and studying (a quick check of cross references and i don’t think that the 144,000 of ch 14 have anything to do with those released from the grave at the crucifixion) … never was sure if that Mt. Zion referenced was on earth, but i don’t think so…

  45. Em ... again says:

    #43- Trump being briefed on the theology of Calvin – now that produces the funniest mental picture that i’ve had for days… 🙂
    thank you, Jean

  46. Michael says:

    “Faith enables us to put on the righteousness of Christ so that it becomes ours. Faith enables us to partake of the life made available through the death of Christ. But all this is possible only because faith actually unites us to Christ and inserts us into his body, creating the bond that enables us to receive, possess, and enjoy Christ himself – for the blessings which are his gifts cannot be received and enjoyed by us apart from communion with himself by faith.”


  47. Jean says:

    Well done #46.

    By “body” is Calvin speaking of the Church, Christ’s crucifixion, both, or neither?

  48. Michael says:

    Without further enraging my carpal tunnel I would say that in this passage he is speaking of the church, though he often speaks of our “mystical union” with Christ through the Holy Spirit.

    For MLD…and your “big tent”…. one of my favorite profs immediately corrected me on my assertion about Calvin’s primary doctrine being union with Christ…it’s a big tent out there…

  49. Jean says:

    I’m not surprised, but happy you could accent Calvin’s ecclesiology. It’s something many contemporary Christian expressions should reconsider.

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As for my linking this to Revelation – it goes back to my question, why do we see all of these apocalyptic, catalytic events so much and with such force in Matthew and not in the others?

    I think, and I know it is a minority opinion (although I hope not mine alone) that John’s writing of Revelation was either his first Gospel account (written earlier than the Gospel of John) or was written as an excursus to the final chapters of John.

    Those of us who see the story of redemption told over and over again in Revelation should see that this is John’s rendering of Matthew’s ending chapters, especially 23, 24, & 27.

    I think that would help adjust our thought to the poetic side of some of the language just as in Revelation I don’t think anyone expects a third of the sun to burn out and that we have life still on earth or expect literal stars to fall into the sea.

    I will probably make mention of that here in my class when we get to the end of 27 in late November and save the fleshing out of that later as my plans call for me to teach in Revelation next. (I told my class years ago the only way we would go through Revelation was if we went through Hebrews, Daniel and Matthew first – dang, were almost there.

  51. Michael says:

    I’ve never heard that one before…doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but it is unique,I think.

  52. Michael says:

    My long time online friend Randy Davis has had his home lost in the floods in Louisiana…keep him and his wife in your prayers…

  53. nathan says:


    This is not the first time the dead returned. Both Samuel and Jonah returned from the grave. They both then exited the story at some point.

    Samuel told Saul: “and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me.” Samuel and Saul were both in the Abyss in roughly twenty four hours or less.

  54. Eric says:

    Last Tuesday in Australia was the census, which we have every 5 years. In 2006 and 2011 it was possible to complete the form online; this year online was the default option. Unfortunately when millions of people were trying to use the site at once (and possibly an attack), the site was taken down. It went up again on Thursday, hundreds of facebook memes later.

  55. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Nathan, I am not discounting that folks have been raised from the dead. But hey, perhaps 500 zombies walking through town like the old New Years Do Dah parade – seems like it would have been noticed,noted and oral testimonies.

    I am finding it a fascinating passage and as I said above I find it has close fellowship with the passages of Revelation … but my final conclusions won’t post here on the Weekend Word for a year as we are only in chapter 7 😉

    I do appreciate each person’s input.

  56. nathan says:

    @55 It’s a fascinating story and it is even more strange in that it just drops from the account, as though it never happened.

    I remember Abraham saying: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

    Maybe they came out of the grave as proof of what he said, and those they appeared unto rejected the message. A hostile reception?

    For me personally, I don’t really think of them as resurrected in the same way as a believer today might expect to be resurrected from the dead.

  57. Surfer51 says:

    I once heard a rabbi say that the veil of the temple was woven of lambs wool and that it was almost a foot thick and that at the earth Quake it was torn asunder starting from top to bottom by G_d Himself.

    Signifying that now all Could come into the presence of G_d through Jesus Christ who was the ultimate sacrifice.

    Between this event and once dead people heading back into the city it must of been quite shocking to say the least.

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Nathan -I said something similar back in my #18 – but I said that it would be contrary to Luke 16.

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    We know from testimony of some of the Apostles that in their experience the Temple was up and running as always. So a question I asked above was did they have a back up curtain in storage that they just called down to maintenance to have the new one brought out and used that until the Temple’s destruction?

    That seems like an event that perhaps Josephus would have written about. That does bring to mind – perhaps I should find a Jewish blog and see what their history of the temple teaches them – do they have a note in their history of the time the curtain was mysteriously torn in two. Perhaps I will find something on Tvia Singer’s Jews for Judaism website.

  60. Jean says:

    Where do you find a potential conflict with Luke 18? Specifically what?

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The end of Luke 16
    “27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    Seems to indicate that God will not send the dead to witness to the living. But my original comment in my #18 was in response to something Michael posted in a James White quote.

  62. Em ... again says:

    #59 – the curtain split down the middle – doesn’t say it fell, does it? no duct tape, but they knew how to sew/mend back then…

    FWIW – i never thought that those undead folk were risen with a specific purpose, it does say they were saints… maybe, they were just an enormous “hallelujah” moment? like the lightening and the thunder and the earthquake – Satan’s grip was broken? but the play must go on to its intended conclusion … there had to be a Martin Luther and a John Calvin and a Napoleon and a Michael and a Xenia etc… all part of God’s plan – He wrote the script and it will play out

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em, or Matthew was using poetic language 😉

  64. Em ... again says:

    nah, MLD, it was all real… 🙂

  65. Jean says:


    To keep us (or you) from stumbling into the Jesus Seminar, please tell us your criteria for determining whether a text is poetic vs. prosaic.

  66. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    1.) I have not yet determined anything – but as I study I do say “huh?” quite a bit and don’t just buy the mainline thought on a passage. I take the Bible literally, but I do not take it literalisticly (or however you spell that word) – so, when Peter quotes Joel in Acts 2 and says that the moon will turn to blood – I can literally understand Joel / God’s point that he is making — without having NASA send the moon rover to the moon to get composition samples. So also with Matt 27. I also think I stand on solid minority opinion ground with Michael Licona and Paul Copan on this issue
    2.) I should use the world apocalyptic instead of poetic, but most people, although they have heard it, don’t usually have a good handle on it.

    If you have not read the link that Michael posted at his #29 I suggest you do. I am going to search, I remember there was a paper out of a round table discussion –

    I don’t know – do we lose anything one way or the other?

  67. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I knew it was there from several years ago when this became an issue. Here is the link to the round table discussion.

    You may want to look at PDF page 9 towards the bottom when STR questions Paul Copan and his reply to the inerrancy question and lists others who hold this position – even you guy Ben Witherington.- R.T. France – Leon Morris – Michael Green and how he even involves J.I Packer’s view of early Genesis in the same light.

    Hey, this is better than just passing over the passages as we read and nod our heads 😉

  68. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, continuing from the other thread.

    It’s not that we need to spiritualize etc – we need to contextualize. John wrote both John 5 24 and Rev.. 20

    “Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” are these not the same people who have passed from death to life in J 5? The people who now face no judgement? If not, what is John saying in ch 5?

    Note that it say will reign in the 1,000 yrs – where are the verse before said after the 1,000 yrs.

    the 1,000 yrs is symbolic as are all numbers in Rev – it is God’s number of perfect completion 10 x trinity = 10X10X10 = 1,000

    How many cows does God own on how many hills – only the cows on the first 1,000 hills and the rest are mine?
    In God’s timelessness is one day like a literal 1,000 yrs and the next 1,000 are day 2?

  69. Em ... again says:

    context is prime … 🙂

  70. Josh the Baptist says:

    Mld – Continuing that Revelation chapter – So we are reigning with Christ now. Are you expecting a massive Satanic rebellion to break out at the end of this period?

  71. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Hi Josh,
    1.) “So we are reigning with Christ now.” – I am, aren’t the Baptists?
    2.) “Are you expecting a massive Satanic rebellion to break out at the end of this period?” You have read too many Left Behind books – what the text says, “Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations…” and then it says he gathers the nations, surrounds the camp of the saints and before they can do anything – poof, they are destroyed. The best I can figure is that they don’t even get off a shot and there are no injuries or casualties for the good guys.

    So I guess I am expecting that satan will be released, fool some people into rejecting Christ and planning a rebellion that never gets carried out – just another form of judgement as we read in Matt 25.

  72. Josh the Baptist says:

    The number of Left Behind books I have read stands at a solid zero.

    I just kept reading in Revelation 20. Given that 1,000 doesn’t mean 1,000 here, couldn’t it also be that the Satanic Rebellion lasts for thousands of years? Why are we sure we aren’t living in the Satanic rebellion now?

  73. Josh the Baptist says:

    ” He threw him into the abyss, closed it, and put a seal on it so that he would no longer deceive the nations until the 1,000 years were completed. After that, he must be released for a short time.”

    Is it also your assertion that we are living in the times when the nations will not be deceived?

  74. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, before we go to far afield – are there other literal numbers in Revelation.

    All of the 7s at the beginning are always symbolic. The 144,000 the 12 tribes X 12 Apostles X that 10X10X10 number I just spoke of = 144,000

    1,000 years of satanic rebellion to get absolutely nothing done – not a single shot fired in those 1,000 yrs? But hey, in a contingent universe, I guess anything is possible except getting toothpaste back in the tube. 🙂

  75. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Is it also your assertion that we are living in the times when the nations will not be deceived?”

    Yes, that is why the kingdom of God has been able to expand from the land of Israel only for the most part to be the worldwide kingdom that it is today. It is why Jesus could say “go into all the world…”

  76. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I can reference exactly, but Jesus said, I think in Matt 12 that he bound satan when he said he bound the strong man – someone can look it up.

  77. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

    Satan is the strongman and Jesus is the plunderer. He plundered you and me from satan – by first binding him.

  78. Josh the Baptist says:

    It really stretches the limits of the imagination to look at the world today and say, yep, we live in times when the nations are no longer deceived.

    But it fits your theological box, so you accept it. Truly, I don’t have any problem with that. It isn’t convincing in the least, but it also isn’t damning, so have at it.

  79. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “It really stretches the limits of the imagination to look at the world today ”

    It is why we are commanded to walk by faith and not by sight.

    So are you saying that Jesus did not claim to bind Satan in Matthew 12? Sure sounds like that was his point is answering how he was able to cast out demons. What do you think he was saying?

    This was my point to em earlier – the book of revelation is just laying out several repeated accounts of the totality of redemptive history.

  80. Josh the Baptist says:

    Revelation gives more detail than “bound”. To make it work you have to ignore “nations will no longer be deceived”, just like you’d have to ignore 1,000 meaning anything that is possibly understood.

    Imagine a travel guide sold you a trip to a place where the nations were no longer deceived. You arrive to see that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president. You don’t sue for false advertising?

    I guess I’m hoping for something better.

  81. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    How are we t5o go into all nations making disciples, baptizing and teaching if satan has not been restricted from deceiving the people. Sounds pretty futile if Jesus has not first cleared the way for the Holy Spirit to do his work.

    Back to Matt 12 – what is Jesus speaking of? I think this is key to understanding that part of Rev 20.

  82. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “just like you’d have to ignore 1,000 meaning anything that is possibly understood.”

    Do you have trouble understanding any other symbolic numbers in scripture?

    Is the cattle on a 1,000 hills literal?
    Is one day like a 1,000 years – is the 1,000 to 1 ratio literal?

    You want to make the 1,000 years of Revelation the one exception because it feeds a theological point of yours

  83. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Do you have trouble understanding any other symbolic numbers in scripture?”

    Of course. And anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.

  84. Josh the Baptist says:

    “You want to make the 1,000 years of Revelation”

    I haven’t said that at all. I’ve only discussed the problems I see with your view.

    There are problems with the premillenial view as well, but it makes more sense to me.

  85. Em ... again says:

    MLD, you build all your arguments on the premise that all of Revelation and much of the content of the rest of the Bible is allegory

    that makes discussion impossible – some things are clearly symbolic, but when a scenario is logical and sequentially possible and fits with what is playing out on the world stage, your premise isn’t so easily acceded to … “come up here and I will show you things which must be hereafter…” KJV
    the 12th chapter is clearly parenthetical and fits your theory quite well – i can’t comment on the 11th chapter because my approach to the book was not one of interpretation – i am qualified to flowchart what John wrote, but i am not remotely qualified to teach it

    what i know is that the book, after the warnings to the churches, is sequential and logical (yes, the warnings to the churches are applicable down through time)
    the binding of the strong man is accomplished some 2,000 years ago – but when Satan is chained up, i don’t think that means that he is just “hampered” as he is today while God the Holy Spirit works among us … and when he is loosed again as related in Rev 20:7-10 and gathers the rebels to fight, it is quite logical to accept the literal portrayal – not a stretch at all to make it fit
    be that as it may, you will teach what fits into your premise as do all the other teachers – we examine the Book with faith and that’s a good thing

    (FWIW – i also think old Ezekiel had to go out and lie on his side every day for a year… i wonder how many symbolic Ezekiels we, the more enlightened, are ignoring today )

    God keep

  86. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Of course. And anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.”

    My question was really do you make demands that other numbers be taken literally. Do you demand the 1,000 hills be taken literally?

  87. Josh the Baptist says:

    Each theological box requires some things be taken literally and some be seen as symbolic.

    Personally, I just need it to mean something. To say we are living in the 1,000 year period where nations are no longer deceived…really just means nothing. If I can say that with a straight face, I can say any passage of Scripture means anything I want it to mean.

  88. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, I have never once said any passage of scripture was allegory – not once.

    Apocalptic literature is very unique to us and common to the writers and readers in their day. Just as I do not demand a literal reading of the sun loosing 1/3 of its power and life will continue on earth – and I do not demand that literal stars will fall into the ocean – I don’t require a literal reading in Rev 20 — otherwise I would be asking how a literal chain could bind a spirit being like Satan – or I would ask what gauge chain it takes to hold the devil in one place.

    I have been very open in the past about my view of Revelation – after 1:9 I don’t think anything is literal – it s a vision language. Right off the bat begining in v 10 it is all symbolism and at the end of ch 1 the symbols get explained … there are no lampstands.

    But that is for a different study – but know this – no being literal does not mean not being real.

  89. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I would believe that you were serious in your comments and not being guarded if you would address Matthew 12. If you have taught theough Matthew (I don’t know if you have) how did you address it?

    What was Jesus speaking of if it was not the binding of Satan. If it was a different binding, did Jesus set him free? If not that, did the crucifixion do anything to bind or restrict the power of Satan?

    We won’t get to my Matthew 12 study for quite a while – I wonder if Steve Wright has gotten to ch 12 yet in his current series?

    Michael – you went through Matthew – how did you handle the binding of the strongman?

  90. Josh the Baptist says:

    I did address Matthew 12 in my # 80.

  91. Michael says:


    When He speaks of binding the strong man He does so in the context of casting demons out of an afflicted person.
    He is defending Himself against the claim of being satanic Himself…and He speaks of how he binds the strong man so that He can cast Him out.
    I don’t think this means that in general that the devil has been bound…there were still more demon afflicted people to heal in His ministry and people who are still healed today…

  92. Steve Wright says:

    Just finished ch 13. Took 3 weeks to do the parables

  93. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – you addressed Rev in your #80 – but that’s OK.

  94. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I see Jesus continually binding Satan – at the end of the temptation when he dismisses Satan, Here in Matt 12 and on the cross.

    Demon possession is not what he bound from. Revelation 20 states “so that he might not deceive the nations any longer…” There is nothing that does nor can stop the gospel from going out – we saw that when Jesus sent out the 72 and a couple of other places. How were they able to do that?

    This does not mean that Satan does not have a presence. I have always used the example of John Gotti in prison, he was bound in prison (not wrapped in duct tape) but he was still able to be a player in the mob community — just not in the same way.

  95. Josh the Baptist says:

    Sorry – No, that was in answer to your question about Matthew 12-

    Revelation 20 and Matthew 12 say different things. Revelation 20 goes as far as to say the nations will nations will no longer be deceived. Matthew doesn’t say anything like that.

  96. Em ... again says:

    “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.” …
    first verses of the 20th chapter… just don’t read the way you see them, MLD … at least not to me

    i admit to a bias here as i love the picture of our Lord reigning here on earth for 1,000 years giving humanity a clear picture of His rule of Law and Grace – no excuses; no gee, i just didn’t understand and You didn’t give me Faith

  97. Michael says:


    As difficult as it is to buy into a literal millennial age, it’s even harder to buy the amill definition of Satan being bound.
    No normal use of the terms would mean “bound,but free to roam about as a roaring lion”…

  98. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t know why we get bent out of shape one way or the other. None of us know when the end will be, or what it’s going to be like. We look at Scripture and then speculate the best we can. I think deep down we all know that one day Jesus will show up, and then we’ll understand. And it won’t matter that we were wrong.

  99. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    In a literal sense, did the angel put the key in his pocket when he finish locking up the devil?

    I have a good sense that the angel really did not have a key. Was the lock one of the great Master locks that they used to shoot at with a rifle to show how strong they were? I could stay up all night wondering about this literal stuff – like how long was that piece of chain?

    And is that really what the view of the 1,000 year rule on earth is all about – to prove to people that he meant what he said? and I thought that the people in the kingdom were already believers – that’s how they got in as opposed to those left out when they had big boulders dropped on their heads etc.

    Believers are going to go into the kingdom questioning God and his motives?

  100. Josh the Baptist says:

    Like bread and wine?

  101. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “No normal use of the terms would mean “bound,but free to roam about as a roaring lion”…

    This is the point – Satan as the roaring Lion WAS restricted from getting at, who was it Peter? Although he was wandering and wanting Peter – he could not get to him. Why, Jesus bound him, like the dog on the short chain who cannot reach the people walking by on the sidewalk — but he can scare the crap out of them as he charges the length of the chain. That dog still wants those people, but he is bound.

    Back to what I asked earlier – how did the 72 go out and have the success they did, if Jesus had not first bound satan? Did he spray them with satan repellent? 😉

  102. Steve Wright says:

    If the devil is still our enemy, and we are warned that he is prowling around, looking for someone to devour….then that ends any serious discussion of Satan being bound to me. We must interpret Scripture with Scripture, and the clear verses must have priority over the challenging ones (as in a book like Revelation)

    We see demon possession in Acts, after the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord. Yes, we see it today as well.

    We are told (at least the Ephesians were and I include us too) that we all had our manner of living according to the prince of this world (before Christ) and that the unbelievers are still under that influence…I know I sure was (and still fight his influence in my life, daily)

    And of course, we know there were saints in the Old Testament. The idea that people could not believe the gospel and get saved if Satan was not bound sure falls flat when people were getting saved throughout history before Christ.

    Every person since Adam and Eve has had to choose God’s way or Satan’s way. Adam and Eve were in God’s way by default (i.e. created sinless) and fell, we all are in Satan’s way by default (i.e. physical birth with the sin nature we inherit)

    If one allows for an earthly kingdom, where Jesus rules and Satan is bound, then there will be those who never have to make that choice. Jesus is all they know, and He rules with a rod of iron so who knows where their loyalty lies. So Satan MUST (must is in the text – literally “it is necessary”) be released for a short season, and he is able to organize a rebellion which is put down quickly.

    The throne of David is not the same as His heavenly throne. Yet it is the throne of David that was prophesied, both in the OT and to Mary herself.

    I won’t debate the point here with MLD, just laying out the view.

  103. Steve Wright says:

    Why would Satan “scare the crap out of me” if I know he can’t get me?

    In point of fact, once kids know the dog is on a chain and can’t get them, that’s when the kids often begin to mock and torture the dog. They know there are no consequences, they are safe. They laugh, throw rocks at the poor dog. Pretend to get near him so he goes crazy only to stay safely away and yell at him.

    Now, I’ve heard some crazy TV preachers on occasion say all sorts of nutty stuff as if they were talking to Satan and goading him…but I sure don’t see that advised in Scripture (nor most of the other things these same crazy TV preachers might be doing)

    Lousy illustration there MLD

  104. Steve Wright says:

    Hit send too soon.

    In summary, the dog on the chain is only scary when people don’t know he is on the chain.

    Likewise, there is no need to warn anyone about a dog on a chain that can’t possibly cause any harm.

    But God has told us in His word, told all Christians, that Satan is on this chain (if MLD’s view were accurate)…yet He warns us repeatedly as well.

  105. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why does everyone ignore the clear words of the scripture. The binding is specific – in fact very specific – it just says that he is bound to not deceive the nations. Nothing else.

    So much for all of you who claim a “literal” take on scripture.

  106. Michael says:

    MLD…weren’t you just telling us that another literal passage may not be literal?

  107. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    MLD…weren’t you just telling us that another literal passage may not be literal?refresh me – I am working and get distracted.

    I am saying that the words are clear – I didn’t say literal – that the binding is specific.

    My challenge was to those who claim Rev is literal and logical should use that to see what the binding covers.

    Back to Peter – why was he not consumed by the roaring lion is he (the devil, the roaring lion) was not bound?

  108. Michael says:

    What does it mean to get devoured by the devil? Maybe getting crucified upside down by Christ haters…

  109. Em ... again says:

    MLD’s questioning of the 1,000 year reign seems predicated on the earth during those years being populated only with the resurrected Saints who accompany Christ on His return to earth (this return is not IMV the event that triggers the new heavens and earth)…

    my understanding is that, when Christ returns to reign – the (fair and just) dictator ruling with a rod of iron – there is a remnant (call them Jews or Gentile Believers, no matter to me or the point) of human mortals here… under our Lord’s administration (i assume MLD will have an administrative office during this time – doing what i don’t know 🙂 ) the earth will be a rather lovely place for those folk who are still marrying, giving birth and, occasionally burying… for a thousand years (make that 1,000 a figurative figure, if you wish) and then Satan will be loosed (God’s design again) and attempt to lead a final rebellion as described in Rev 20:7-10
    am i right? dunno, but it makes all the sense in the world to this mortal

  110. Em ... again says:

    btw – MLD lying awake at night trying to visualize the length and the size of the links of that chain and just where that key came from and went to … a very humorous picture – as i know he intended it lol

  111. Steve Wright says:

    1. I have no problem with figurative language in Revelation as some demons are said to have been bound centuries ago. I doubt they are on metal chains either.

    2. As MLD knows, even as he asks about believers in the kingdom, yes, everyone who enters is saved but people will populate the kingdom and those new lives are the ones who will only know the rule of Jesus, until Satan is loosed. See my earlier point.

    3. Direct question to MLD. Why is it necessary for Satan to be unloosed sometime in the future and what will that look like that is different than how Satan works today, bound.

  112. Em ... again says:

    #108 – reminds me of John 2:17 … consume and devour …?…

  113. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    first we are not told why he will be released – but we are told what he will do – which is the something he was bound for “… And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations…”

    But I say you cannot write a dozen books on this episode – the text clearly tells us whatever he tries to do, he does not even get his gun out of the holster before he and all of his followers are destroyed.

    As I said, I see the whole retelling of redemptive history in Revelation and I have pointed out how we see both John 5_25 and Matthew_12 rolling through this.

    Steve, what do you think is happening – here, you have a whole paragraph to work with.

  114. Steve Wright says:

    I already explained above. It makes perfect sense why “it is necessary” for him to be released after being bound – not writing a dozen books. Just teaching God’s word. The Bible is a massive mosaic and this is just one tile in a very consistent, logical, understanding of both Old and New Testament revelation.

    If you want to throw up your hands and say you have no idea, that’s fine too.

  115. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    First off I have no picture of what the earthly kingdom will look like upon Jesus’ return as I deny there is any evidence of this kingdom – Jesus never said anything about a return to set up a kingdom for any length of time. He did say that he was going to prepare a place for his saints and in Matt 25:31-46 he describes that return for judgement – where he tosses all the baddies into the lake of fire and takes the saints to eternal life in heaven.

    I see no stop over. Now I did teach for over 20 years the story of those with glorified bodies populating the kingdom with those in their mortal bodies and breeding a “new” race” (just kidding) and all living happily ever after. Then I realized that was not only a fairy tale but was…. well I am too nice to say. 😉

    So the question – is David’s throne stored in that same warehouse where we saw them put the Ark of the Covenant. Will they send over a forklift to pull the throne out of storage and prep up for Jesus’ return? I have read wackier stuff.

  116. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve – point me to where you gave the explanation. I am working and may miss something.

  117. Steve Wright says:

    See post 102.

    And note the “not looking to debate” – just wanted to hear your take after I gave mine.

  118. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve we do not need to debate. I have always said that the divide is clear.
    Decision theology would bring you to your conclusion in #102

    What was that old saying? God has cast his choice for you and Satan has cast his choice against you and now it is you who casts the final vote. Ah, I am sure that I taught the same in my day.

  119. Em ... again says:

    “Now I did teach for over 20 years the story of those with glorified bodies populating the kingdom …..”
    well, you do need an interpretation that fits your theology…

    glad you’re not teaching it anymore as i sense that you really didn’t quite have a good grip on it… maybe too much “Late Great Planet” excitement?

    it isn’t necessary to accept any end times scenario to find yourself playing a part in it whichever way it pans out … accept Christ, wait and see and, if we run into each other, i promise not to say, “i told you so” 🙂

  120. Steve Wright says:

    I’ve never taught that “old saying” in my life.

  121. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, I did mis speak in the flurry of typing and answering calls at work. What you all imagine is a kingdom populated by people in their spiritual bodies, having not yet received that glorified body and those in their same old human bodies.

    That is totally weird in itself. I always compare it to the 80s movie Cocoon – where spirit people from another planet who live forever live in zip up human costums and get involved with people at the senior home who want to live forever and go back with them. I can’t find a youtube video of it.

  122. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I’ve never taught that “old saying” in my life.”

    Yes you have – you taught it to me in your #102 in the 6th paragraph. God has been making his offer to unsaved people for a 1,000 yrs through his Law and Gospel reign and he will release Satan at his appointed time to make his offer to people (“hey want an apple?”) and then we are left to weigh the offers and choose.

    Don’t feel bad – in America more people hold to that position than to mine.

  123. Em ... again says:

    “What you all imagine is a kingdom populated by people in their spiritual bodies, having not yet received that glorified body and those in their same old human bodies.” NO
    like i said, it’s a good thing that you’re not teaching “the story of those with glorified bodies populating the kingdom with those in their mortal bodies” your view then sounds like a strange view to me also 🙂

  124. Em ... again says:

    one thing that should be noted is that there are scores, if not most, of Believers out there without confidence that their understanding of the unfolding of prophetic depiction of the end is spot on and i suspect that is God’s design… we can search the hidden things, building a frame of reference to one degree or another and trust God to do the revealing as He will and in His time… or so it seems to me

  125. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So Em, help me along here. My understanding of this 1,000 yr kingdom view is that the kingdom is populated by those saints who return with Jesus with no physical bodies that we can tell – or at the very most with some type of temporary immortal body and by those who are alive at the end of the tribulation period – all believers who still remain in their mortal bodies (they reproduce and they die during this kingdom time.

    Is this not what you believe? I will take the hit for not describing this position very well very well since there is no mention of this happening in the Bible. You are right, I can find it only in my Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye books – and I have all of them from both writers.

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