Jesus returns twice.

CrowCross

Super Member
Lutherans are amillennialists for good reason. The thousand year reign of Christ on earth is probably the most misunderstood passage in Revelation. It comes in a passage that is entirely symbolic.

This passage used to drive me crazy, when I was much younger. Why would Jesus reign physically on earth for 1000 years, then allow evil to get worse? I couldn't figure it out--until someone wrote to the Lutheran Witness about this decades ago, and the editor explained that it is symbolic of a very long, complete period of time, and not meant to be taken literally. In most societies, 10 is a number of completeness. 1000 is a multiple of 10. So, it just means a very long, complete period of time. A light bulb exploded in my mind and everything then fell into place and made sense with this passage.

The 1000 year reign will be a world of trib survivors....things will be somewhat good, so to speak, until Satan is released near the end. Perhaps the reasoning is to show the world that even when Satan is not present our sin nature still causes us to sin.
The rest of the passage this comes from:




Now, why would the 1000 years be literal and the rest of the first paragraph be symbolic? Look at the passages. Is Satan a REAL dragon? Does he wear a REAL chain? Is he in a LITERAL pit now?

Is Jesus a real lamb? a real lion? In a represenative sense, Yes. Same with Satan. Real chain made of steel I doubt it...but some form of spiritual chan, yes. Is Satan in the pit now, no.
The mark on hand or forehead most likely denotes ownership, those who have given themselves over to Satan and his lies. It can be anything that denotes this "ownership."

Such as a mark on the forehead of right hand. Perhaps located on the skin over some sort of information carring transceiver. Technology is arriving.
The 1000 year reign is the NT times, since Jesus lived upon the earth, suffered, died, and rose again. In the second paragraph, those that came to life and reigned with Christ are those who have been "born again" by the Gospel message and are a new creation. Sinners are dead in their trespasses and sins until the HS makes them alive via the Gospel message (Eph. 2). Physical death has no power over these who are in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I see it kinda hard getting there as the death and destruction of the worlds population, trees, fish etc. has not occurred as of yet. There is much that need to occur prior to the 1,000 yerar reign.
ALL NT believers reign in the Kingdom of God. Revelation 1 says that Jesus has made us "a kingdom, priests" unto God the Father.

In Rev the church is not mentioned after chapter 5. The reason is the church has been removed along with with the restrainor. The trib period is pretty much the completion of the Jewish history.....that is what would have happened if there was no "Church age" as some call it.
this is off the top of my head, as we studied Revelation at Wednesday night Bible study in 2012. We used videos about it from Dr. Louis Brighton, who wrote a book about it and was one of the world's leading authorities on Revelation. He could read and understand biblical Greek as easily as we can English. He was also allowed by a few museums to read the ancient manuscripts of parts of the NT that they possessed.

Sounds interesting. When I have time, I can post passages about some parts of Revelation from the People's Commentary on Revelation. It jives mostly with Brighton's commentary, but it easier to use.
Oh, this gives a good review of the 1000 years:


I don't agree 100% with it, especially near the bottom about what the "First resurrection" may mean, but overall, it explains about why this 1000 years is meant to be taken symbolically.

Your link said...."In short, I believe that the most reasonable interpretation of the 1000 years is that we are in the 1000 years now, as the end days have already begun."

I see too much needs to happen in Revelation prior to the 1,000 years beginning.


I somewhat go along with this theory...can't say if it's true or not but makes some sense...and it is supported by Barnabas....God allowed 1,000 years of earth history for each day of creation.
If the world was made around 4,000 BC and we've been around 2,000 years since Christ....6,000 years there is one more day or 1,000 years that needs to occur to get to 7,000 years....that last 1,000 years is the reign.
 

Tertiumquid

Active member
You're making a claim...and not supporting what you say. How am I interpreting symbolic language literally???
What makes you think the mark is symbolic and will not be a literal mark of some curently unknown source placed on the forehead or right hand?
I would augment my previous comment to read "apocalyptic language" rather than "symbolic language." The book of Revelation is in a literary genre.

The more pressing issue that thrusts me to avoid your eschatology is your method does not use Scripture to interpret Scripture. Your method looks for things in the world to define what the Bible means (i.e. the mark of the beast). That's not a method I use, especially as a committed Protestant to the fundamentals of the Reformation.

But, believe what you will. Unlike others, I don't want to convince you to change your mind, nor do I need to be like those people here that simply need to demonstrate they're right. Rather, enjoy your Bible and your newspaper... and enjoy using the later to interpret the former!
 
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CrowCross

Super Member
I would augment my previous comment to read "apocalyptic language" rather than "symbolic language." The book of Revelation is in a literary genre.

The more pressing issue that thrusts me to avoid your eschatology is your method does not use Scripture to interpret Scripture. Your method looks for things in the world to define what the Bible means (i.e. the mark of the beast). That's not a method I use, especially as a committed Protestant to the fundamentals of the Reformation.

But, believe what you will. Unlike others, I don't want to convince you to change your mind, nor do I need to be like those people here that simply need to demonstrate they're right. Rather, enjoy your Bible and your newspaper... and enjoy using the later to interpret the former!
I most certainly look at scripture to interpret scripture...then look at events and see if they line up.

As an example a preacher was asked back in the 1800's if he thought this was the last days...his answer was no. When asked why he said Israel has not returned. When one looks at events they see what happened in 1948.

Another example would be, if we turned on the news and learned 1/3 of the trees of the world had been consumed by fire we might say the following has happened....
7 Then the first angel sounded his trumpet, and hail and fire mixed with blood were hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, along with a third of the trees and all the green grass.

We also know the above has not happened....so we have not reached that portion of Revelation.

As to the mark of the beast...never, never in history has a system been set up that controls the world in that fashion. Never.

In Matt 16 jesus tells us....
1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came and tested Jesus by asking Him to show them a sign from heaven.

2 But He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘The weather will be fair, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but not the signs of the times.a 4 A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Then He left them and went away.

Are you ignoring the signs of the time? This may very well be centuries away...but we should look at what's happening now in the light of the bible.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
The 1000 year reign will be a world of trib survivors....things will be somewhat good, so to speak, until Satan is released near the end. Perhaps the reasoning is to show the world that even when Satan is not present our sin nature still causes us to sin.

The 1000 years is figurative, of a long, complete period of time. Numbers in Revelation are highly significant, in most cases. Same here.
Is Jesus a real lamb? a real lion? In a represenative sense, Yes. Same with Satan. Real chain made of steel I doubt it...but some form of spiritual chan, yes. Is Satan in the pit now, no.

No, Jesus isn't a literal lamb. The title is figurative. So, Satan is not a literal dragon, nor held by a literal chain, but by God's command to limit his influence for a time. So, the 1000 years is figurative and not literal.
Such as a mark on the forehead of right hand. Perhaps located on the skin over some sort of information carring transceiver. Technology is arriving.

Could be...OR it could be figurative to mean that person "belongs" to the devil and his ways. Such marks denote ownership. And they could be spiritual marks.
I see it kinda hard getting there as the death and destruction of the worlds population, trees, fish etc. has not occurred as of yet. There is much that need to occur prior to the 1,000 yerar reign.

There is much that needs to occur prior to Jesus' SECOND AND FINAL COMING.
In Rev the church is not mentioned after chapter 5. The reason is the church has been removed along with with the restrainor. The trib period is pretty much the completion of the Jewish history.....that is what would have happened if there was no "Church age" as some call it.

Uh, yes the church IS mentioned after Revelation 5....have you forgotten Revelation 21? But the focus of Revelation shifts as it goes along. And don't forget--this letter was written initially to seven real churches in Asia Minor.
Sounds interesting. When I have time, I can post passages about some parts of Revelation from the People's Commentary on Revelation. It jives mostly with Brighton's commentary, but it easier to use.


Your link said...."In short, I believe that the most reasonable interpretation of the 1000 years is that we are in the 1000 years now, as the end days have already begun."

I see too much needs to happen in Revelation prior to the 1,000 years beginning.

See above what I wrote.
I somewhat go along with this theory...can't say if it's true or not but makes some sense...and it is supported by Barnabas....God allowed 1,000 years of earth history for each day of creation.
If the world was made around 4,000 BC and we've been around 2,000 years since Christ....6,000 years there is one more day or 1,000 years that needs to occur to get to 7,000 years....that last 1,000 years is the reign.
I think the world is somewhat older than that, but not ancient as evolutionists believe. But thanks for being willing to consider what I wrote.
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
Here is the commentary from the People's Commentary on Revelation, by Rev. Wayne D. Mueller. Fortunately, I archived this months ago, when this discussion cropped up on CARM on another thread:

From P. 192:

How can we be sure that this 1000 years must not be understood literally? First, everyplace in vs. 1 and 2 is figurative. John is in the middle of a vision. He pictures Jesus as an angel. He introduces the devil as a dragon. He speaks of Hell as a deep pit, the Abyss....John envisions Jesus holding a key. Satan is an evil spirit who cannot be held with chains, yet John pictures Jesus holding back Satan with a great chain. To take the 1000 years at the end of vs.2 literally violates the way Jesus is speaking here through John.

There is a second reason why we cannot understand this 1000 years literally. If here is any doubt about the meaning of a passage of scripture, a believer allows the Bible to interpret itself. If there is any doubt about the meaning of the 1000 years in this figurative passage, we must go back to Jesus' literal descriptions of the last days in the Gospel. Our Lord's words there speak against a literal 1000 years of Christian domination and a universal peace....Jesus said that the last days would be characterized by "wars and rumors of wars...Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24:6-7). Jesus would not rule the earth, Jesus said, but would be turned over to rulers to "be persecuted and put to death." (Matt. 24:9) Instead of the mass conversions that millennialists predict, Jesus said there will be "many false prophets" and the "love of most will grow cold." (Matt. 24:11-12)

The rest of Scripture also rules out a literal 1000 years of "heaven on earth." Paul wrote, "Now, brothers, about the times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying 'peace and safety!' destruction will will come on them suddenly." (1 Thess. 5:1-3)Peter also pointed his readers away from an earthly paradise, "In keeping with HIs promise," he wrote, "we are looking forward to a new heaven an a new earth, the home of righteousness." (1Peter 3:13)

from pp. 193-194:

What is the 1000 years of verse 2? Since it begins with the binding of Satan (vs. 2) and ends with the devil's release for a short time (vs. 3), the 1000 years is the NT age. The NT age began with the coming of Christ. "the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work". (1 John 3:8) During His earthly ministry, Jesus announced, "the prince of this world now stands condemned. (john 16:11) By His death and resurrection Jesus "disarmed the pow3r and authorities" (Col. 2:15). The binding of Satan--the limiting of his ability to hurt God's people--marked the beginning of the 1000 years, the beginning of the NT age.

Millennium was the name of the largest number in a Greek's vocabulary {they had higher numbers, just not separate names for them, I take this to mean}. A "1000" seemed like an interminable number. IN verse 3 "a thousand" symbolizes the undspecified length of the NT age during which Satan would be bound. At the beginning of the world, Jude wrote, God limited the activity of evil angels when he expelled them from heaven. They were "bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day" (Jude 6). The story of Job illustrates how God--already in the OT--restrained Satan's power.

The sealing of the abyss in vs. 3 indicates the grater restriction on demonic activity that Jesus' victory ushered in for the NT age.....the chain and the pit serve as a leash that holds in check Satan's attacks against the church.

The rest will follow in the next post, so as not to break the rules about limiting the amount of cut and paste we can do in one post.
 
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CrowCross

Super Member
The 1000 years is figurative, of a long, complete period of time. Numbers in Revelation are highly significant, in most cases. Same here.


No, Jesus isn't a literal lamb. The title is figurative. So, Satan is not a literal dragon, nor held by a literal chain, but by God's command to limit his influence for a time. So, the 1000 years is figurative and not literal.


Could be...OR it could be figurative to mean that person "belongs" to the devil and his ways. Such marks denote ownership. And they could be spiritual marks.


There is much that needs to occur prior to Jesus' SECOND AND FINAL COMING.


Uh, yes the church IS mentioned after Revelation 5....have you forgotten Revelation 21? But the focus of Revelation shifts as it goes along. And don't forget--this letter was written initially to seven real churches in Asia Minor.


See above what I wrote.

I think the world is somewhat older than that, but not ancient as evolutionists believe. But thanks for being willing to consider what I wrote.
Thanks for the reply...it seemed to loose.

Rev 21 is post trip.

Revelation is Gods completion of the Jews. The saints have been removed. (yes, some people will be converted during the trib.)
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Part 2, from the People's Commentary:

p. 195-198, in part:

In vs. 4-6 John's attention is drawn to thrones of judgment in heaven. Seated on these thrones were the saints and martyrs. These are the faithful who "had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark on their foreheads or hands" (vs. 4)....in vs. 4, John records no passing of time between Satan's binding and the activity around the thrones. So, those sitting on thrones of judgment represent those who died in faith during the NT age....They were "beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. (vs. 4) We, along with Revelation's first readers in Asia Minor, may have the comfort that those who die in faith are alive in heaven now. Even before the final judgment, they rule with Christ.

This truth is reinforced for us when John writes that he saw the "souls of those who had been beheaded (vs. 4) . He saw ONLY the souls of departed believers on thrones of judgment because their bodies would not b raised to life and reunited with their souls until the Resurrection.

At the end of vs. 4, we read that "they came to life and reigned with Christ a 1000 years." John's actual words are not "they CAME to life", but simply, "they LIVED and reigned with Christ." This more careful translation contradicts the view of some millennialists that there will be 2 physical Resurrections....Jesus also spoke about coming to faith as coming to life (John 5:25). At the end of vs 5, John speaks of the "first resurrection". Since John saw ONLY the souls of the believers in heaven, this first resurrection cannot mean bodily resurrection of believers before the Last Days....The first death was the spiritual death into which we are born. "Your were DEAD in your transgressions and sins" (Eph. 2:1) The second death is what unbelievers will face when they die. Physical death without faith ends in eternal death. The second death has no power over believers. They go from living and reigning with Christ in this world to living and reigning with Christ on thrones of judgment in heaven.

This last paragraph is what I wrote about already.

To continue:

The 1000 years in vs. 6 refers to is not eternity. It is the same reign and rule of the souls of believers with Christ until the end of the NT age that is described in verses 4 and 5. For those who die in faith, the priestly work and reign that begin at conversion (1:5-6) continue uninterrupted until the Last Day....

The 1000 year reign that began at vs. 1 ends at verse 7. The dragon "would be set free for a short time." NOW we get the details: "Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations" (vs. 7-8). These are the last terrible days on earth. Paul described the results of Satan's release:

"There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God."...(2 Tim. 3:1-5)

...Even this horrible scene provides comfort for the unbeliever. John views the final destruction of Satan and the church's enemies as an accomplished fact. He records in in the past tense, as though it had already taken place....we need not doubt that we are "the camp of God's people, the city He loves." (vs. 9)

Anyway, there is a lot more, but this should suffice. I am glad I archived this, as it saved me a heap of typing-time! :)

But anyway, this helps to illustrate why Lutherans do NOT believe in a literal 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth, or that Jesus will come back twice.
 
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CrowCross

Super Member
Here is the commentary from the People's Commentary on Revelation, by Rev. Wayne D. Mueller. Fortunately, I archived this months ago, when this discussion cropped up on CARM on another thread:

From P. 192:



from pp. 193-194:



The rest will follow in the next post, so as not to break the rules about limiting the amount of cut and paste we can do in one post.
From your post:
Jesus said that the last days would be characterized by "wars and rumors of wars...Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24:6-7). Jesus would not rule the earth, Jesus said, but would be turned over to rulers to "be persecuted and put to death." (Matt. 24:9) Instead of the mass conversions that millennialists predict, Jesus said there will be "many false prophets" and the "love of most will grow cold." (Matt. 24:11-12)

Jesus said "These things must happen, but the end is still to come." The end is the tribulation...7 years. Jesus points to the signs that lead up to the tribulation. Jesus says...
All these are the beginning of birth pains.

We are currently in the birth pangs.....rapture will be the next event when the restrainer is removed.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Thanks for the reply...it seemed to loose.

Too loose?
Rev 21 is post trip.

It is still about the church but no, I don't think it is post-Trib. It describes the bride of Christ, the new Jerusalem, which even Paul referred to as the "bride of Christ" in the here and now. In God's eyes, she is full of splendor and beauty, even on earth, though I think this may be describing believers, the church, in heaven, since the New Jerusalem came down out of heaven, in Revelation 21, since Revelation goes on to say that John said he didn't see a temple in the City, because there was no need for one, since God the Father and Jesus Christ are the temple. God's glory gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. So, this passage could be about both the church on earth, but also, and mostly, about the believers in heaven.
Revelation is Gods completion of the Jews. The saints have been removed. (yes, some people will be converted during the trib.)
It is God's completion for everyone, since it was initially written to the 7 churches in Asia Minor, which were comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. I would suspect more of the latter.

The only "Rapture" will be when Jesus comes again, and those in the graves will be "caught up" to heaven, resurrected first, as Paul stated, then Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats of those alive upon the earth, and take the Sheep with Him to heaven, which God had planned long before to inherit.

Now,, I must go get my flu shot. Take care. :)
 
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Tertiumquid

Active member
I most certainly look at scripture to interpret scripture...then look at events and see if they line up.



Are you ignoring the signs of the time? This may very well be centuries away...but we should look at what's happening now in the light of the bible.
I see all of reality through the light of the Bible. People are enslaved to sin and creation groans waiting for final redemption.

I ignore looking at news events to use those invents to explain what the Bible means. That's a fundamental denial of sola scriptura. I'm too afraid of the holiness of God to misinterpret divine scripture. I do though certainly admire your bravery.
 
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CrowCross

Super Member
Too loose?

Yeah, not a whole lot of info.
It is still about the church but no, I don't think it is post-Trib. It describes the bride of Christ, the new Jerusalem, which even Paul referred to as the "bride of Christ" in the here and now. In God's eyes, she is full of splendor and beauty, even on earth, though I think this may be describing believers, the church, in heaven, since the New Jerusalem came down out of heaven, in Revelation 21, since Revelation goes on to say that John said he didn't see a temple in the City, because there was no need for one, since God the Father and Jesus Christ are the temple. God's glory gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. So, this passage could be about both the church on earth, but also, and mostly, about the believers in heaven.

In the marriage supper the christians are in heaven.
It is God's completion for everyone, since it was initially written to the 7 churches in Asia Minor, which were comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. I would suspect more of the latter.

Then the churches are no longer mention....
The only "Rapture" will be when Jesus comes again, and those in the graves will be "caught up" to heaven, resurrected first, as Paul stated, then Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats of those alive upon the earth, and take the Sheep with Him to heaven, which God had planned long before to inherit.

I don't disagree.
Now,, I must go get my flu shot. Take care. :)
long sigh.
 

Tertiumquid

Active member
I only have a limited second hand knowledge of some of that stuff, and personally I think I'd be better off, at least a little bit, by going the medieval self flagellation route.

I'm curious. In what way do you think Luther was wrong in this regard?

Since Christ was bodily raised and He is the first fruits doesn't that indicate that the "season" of the resurrection of the living and the dead has begun?
Without delving into my notes (or my blog)... so from memory:

Luther was convinced his generation was living right at the end of the world and judgment day was soon to occur, like... really soon. This provoked his harsh rhetoric against the papacy and the Jews in his later written output, as well as the Turks and the radicals. See his revised commentary / intro to Revelation. Early in his career he hardly dealt with it in his intros, a few paragraphs if I recall. Later he revised it and really expounded on it and applied it to his own generation and world.

So, Luther was wrong. The world did not end during his lifetime or shortly thereafter. He read the signs of the times incorrectly.
 
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BJ Bear

Well-known member
Part 2, from the People's Commentary:
Re: the first resurrection and only one physical resurrection.

Ja, and the commentator could have also easily cited the Lord's reference to Abraham and the resurrection in His refutation of the Sadducees. He is the God of the living.

'“31. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,32. 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." 33. And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”" (Mat 22:31-33, EMTV)
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
Re: the first resurrection and only one physical resurrection.

Ja, and the commentator could have also easily cited the Lord's reference to Abraham and the resurrection in His refutation of the Sadducees. He is the God of the living.

'“31. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying,32. 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB'? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." 33. And when the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”" (Mat 22:31-33, EMTV)
Yep. If there was no life after death and we cease to exist after death--as JWs teach--then God would have said to Moses, "I WAS the God of Abraham...." etc.
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Without delving into my notes (or my blog)... so from memory:

Luther was convinced his generation was living right at the end of the world and judgment day was soon to occur, like... really soon. This provoked his harsh rhetoric against the papacy and the Jews in his later written output, as well as the Turks and the radicals. See his revised commentary / intro to Revelation. Early in his career he hardly dealt with it in his intros, a few paragraphs if I recall. Later he revised it and really expounded on it and applied it to his own generation and world.

So, Luther was wrong. The world did not end during his lifetime or shortly thereafter. He read the signs of the times incorrectly.
Hmmmm....I seem to remember reading years ago--I have no idea where--that Luther, while thinking the end was sorta near, didn't think it was imminent, due to the Revelation passage where the two witnesses who were killed and all the world saw their dead bodies. He didn't know how that was possible so figured the end wasn't THAT near. Have you read anything about that?
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
Yeah, not a whole lot of info.


In the marriage supper the christians are in heaven.

I agree.
Then the churches are no longer mention....

So? But the entire Revelation is written FOR the churches. In the here and now.
I don't disagree.

long sigh.
Flu, not covid. :) Next month I get my second Shingrix shot. No way do I want to get shingles and go through what my poor husband went through for 2 months!
 
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Tertiumquid

Active member
Hmmmm....I seem to remember reading years ago--I have no idea where--that Luther, while thinking the end was sorta near, didn't think it was imminent, due to the Revelation passage where the two witnesses who were killed and all the world saw their dead bodies. He didn't know how that was possible so figured the end wasn't THAT near. Have you read anything about that?
Not familiar with that. While Luther thought the end was near, it wasn't like he was Harold Camping or the Jehovah's Witnesses, so he isn't remembered for his eschatology.
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
Not familiar with that. While Luther thought the end was near, it wasn't like he was Harold Camping or the Jehovah's Witnesses, so he isn't remembered for his eschatology.
Thanks. I don't recall Luther making any actual predictions.
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
I checked this same commentary on Revelation, about the "mark" on the hand or forehead. This could mean, in context, that the person with one or both of these marks has their work--represented by the hand--and minds--represented by the forehead--dedicated to and controlled by the Beast mentioned earlier in Revelation 13. I had not thought of that, before.
 
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