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Date Posted:24/01/2005 6:29 PMCopy HTML

I am posting this portion of an article by Ed Babinski in the attempt to drum up some debate on the issue of whether the Bible writers expectedJesus' return to earth within the lifetimes of the 1st Apostles. I am keen to hear what anyone thinks (including Xians). 

One thing I do ask though is that we stick to the the Book of Revelation in this post and add new threads for other books and/or topics.

Many evangelical Christians tremble with excitement at the thought that they are the "last generation" and "Jesus is due to return soon." Others are less excitable and propose that Jesus' "return" might still be far off. Neither view appears to be correct judging by the plain words of the New Testament - words that armies of theologians have spent centuries trying to divide up and "conquer," or in this case, "explain away." Let's examine some of those words to discover exactly what it is about them that requires mountains of ingenious explanations from Dispensationalists, Preterists, and other varieties of evangelical Christian apologists.

Naturally, each has its "explanations," mountains of them, so unfortunately this paper can only provide a peek at the critical verses themselves, the verses that need "explaining" in order to fit them into this or that apologetic scheme and make the Bible "true" in all things. We shall begin with a peek at verses in the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation...The book of Revelation[1], the final book in the New Testament, begins:The revelation...which God gave to show...the things which must [dei][2] shortly take place.

[1:1]The author addressed his letter to several churches in Asia Minor, circa 65-95 A.D., and continued: He [Jesus] is coming with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, even those who pierced him... Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you [the church at Pergamum] quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth... [To the church at Thyatira] hold fast until I [Jesus] come... Because you [the church at Philadelphia] have kept the word of my perseverance,I will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come[mello][3]upon the whole world...I am comingquickly...hold fast what you [Philadelphia] have.[1:7; 2:16; 2:25; 3:10-11]

And in the last chapter of Revelation the author repeated:...God...sent His angel to show...the things which must shortly take place...I am coming quickly...do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near...I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to render toevery man according to what he has done...Yes, I am coming quickly...Come Lord Jesus. [22:6,7,10,12,20] 

Compare the Old Testament book of Daniel, whose author was commanded to "seal up the book until the end of time":...Conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time... 

...These words are concealed and sealed up until the end of time.[12:4,9]Daniel was composed from the alleged point of view of a Jew living in ancient Persia who had visions of "the end of time," or, "the end of the age," when all men would "rise again" and be judged [12:2,13]. "Seal up the book," he was commanded, until the day of final judgment. But the author of Revelation was told, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book," adding that what is revealed therein "must shortly take place." 

The intent of the author of Revelation in alluding to the "non-sealing" of his book is obvious. The author of Revelation believed that he was living at the "end of time" which Daniel predicted, and that Jesus "must shortly" "come" and judge the world "quickly." (The fact that the book of Daniel first came to light - or shall we say was "unsealed" - relatively soon before Jesus' own day, is further evidence that people expected the world to be judged then.)

Footnotes

[1]The New American Standard Bible will be the translation used throughout this article with the addition of A.J. Mattill Jr.'s translation of the Greek verb, mello [see note #3].
[2]Dei means "must," not "may." Dr. A.J. Mattill Jr., retired professor of New Testament at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, pointed out in his book, Luke and the Last Things (Dillsboro, NC: Western Carolina Press, 1979), pp. 152f, that dei was favored by apocalyptic writers. It stressed God's commitment to the plans He had revealed to them. Alas, such plans did not materialize "shortly" thereafter, as the author of Revelation predicted they "must."
[3]A.J. Mattill Jr. in The Art of Reading the Bible (Gordo, AL: The Flatwoods Free Press, 1988), p. 12, stated:I made an exhaustive study of the Greek verbmelloand found what is seldom recognized, and even seldomer proclaimed by preachers and professors, namely, that melloin the New Testament is used again and again to indicate the speedy coming of the end of the world: "Before long" God "will judge the world" (Acts 17:31); "before long there will be a resurrection" (Acts 24:15); "the age which is about to come" (Mat 12:32; Eph 1:21; Heb 6:5) to give a few examples. Needless to say, this imminent expectation failed to materialize.The "exhaustive study" made by Dr. Mattil can be found in his book (mentioned in note #2), chapter 4, "'Before long' (Acts 17:31): The Imminent Expectation in Acts," pp. 41-54; and in his article, "Naherwartung, Fernerwartung, and the Purpose of Luke-Acts: Weymouth Reconsidered," published inThe Catholic Biblical Quarterly, vol. 34, no. 3, July 1972, pp. 276-293. In personal correspondence, Dr. Mattill has also pointed out, "It's interesting to note that in the Jehovah's Witness interlinear Greek NT they translatemelloin the interlinear as 'about to,' but then in the English text to the right ignore their own translation...that would appear to be their way of escaping the imminent hope as expressed bymello." No doubt other Bible translators employ the same mental gymnastics as the Jehovah's Witnesses."
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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:24/01/2005 6:57 PMCopy HTML

I think it is easy to read these verses in light of our conditioning as Xians and think that "Yes, Jesus is coming soon."  But when you consider these verses were written two thousand years ago, the terms 'quickly', 'must shortly take place' , 'about to come' and 'must shortly take place' certainly sound a bit empty.  As is common in most exegesis today, we should well ask what these verses would have meant to their original audience?  If I were to write to you and say I was coming quicky, soon, etc, and then didn't turn up for 100 years then this would certainly make my words, in essence, untrue.  Now remember this is 2000 years later and apply the same logic to those verses in Revelation.  Don't read the verses as a book written 2000 years ago for the church today, rather see it as a book written 2000 years ago for the church of the 1st century.  I really believe that the author of Revelation meant what he said and believed that Jesus was coming soon (relative to him and his time).

I was thinking about it on the way to work today and thought that someone might try to use the story of Noah as an analogy for this issue.  Well may they say that Noah's peers probably harrassed and maligned Noah about his prediction of a flood.  The flood did evetually come and Noah was proven right and even saved.  My response to that would be that God didn't tell Noah to build an ark and then wait until he and all his family were dead before sending the flood.  In fact, make that 2000 years.  No, the Noah analogy doesn't fit .  Only in the Bible does 'soon' not mean soon, and 'quickly' not mean quickly.

TROY

 The author of James sought to address the impatience of some at the delay of Jesus' return. He reassured them that the "the coming of the Lord is at hand," "the Judge is standing right at the door." And consider these passages from the letter to the Hebrews:...In these last days... ...He [Jesus] would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.[4]...As you [the first century Christians being addressed] see the day drawing near... ...For yet a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. [1:2; 9:26; 10:25,37]Notice the statement, above, that "...He [Jesus] would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." "At the consummation" can also be translated, "at the end of the age." And Jesus, according to the gospel of Matthew, informed his listeners exactly what "the end of the age" referred to:...The harvest is the end of the age...at the end of the age...the Son of Man will send forth his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. [Matthew 13:40-41 - based on the description of "the end of the age" found in Daniel 12]The above verses demonstrate that no one has ever preached more explicitly that Jesus would return (even "must" return - Rev 1:1) in their lifetimes, than those "inspired" New Testament letter writers who addressed the churches throughout the Roman Empire in the first century A.D. Oddly enough, the fundamental meaning of the verses, pointed out above, is denied by "fundamentalist" Christians. They say that the authors of the letters to those first century churches could not have preached the erroneous message that Jesus' return was truly imminent. That would make the New Testament chock-full of "false prophets!" One attempt to divert attention from the false predictions we have examined is to say that despite the plain language they used, the apostles could not have predicted Jesus' return was so near, because even the apostles knew that certain things had to happen before before Jesus returned, and surely the New Testament authors recognized that those things had not yet occurred in their lifetimes, or in the first century. Therefore, they could not have truly believed nor predicted that Jesus' return was imminent." To which I would respond, "Au contraire! Those things, according to the New Testament authors, had already occurred in their lifetimes. The Bible tells us so." What "things" had to occur before Christ could return?1) The Gospel had to be preached to the "whole world." But Paul, and the author of Revelation, agreed that the gospel had already been preached to "the whole world," i.e., the Roman Empire, from Spain to Jerusalem.[6]Therefore nothing prevented Jesus from returning "shortly":Their voice [of first century Christian preachers] has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world... ...The revelation of the mystery...now is manifested and...According to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations. [Rom 10:18; 16:25-26]...The gospel, which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing... ...The gospel...which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. [Col 1:5-6,23]2) The Anti-Christ must first be revealed. But Paul and the author of the Johannine letters taught:The mystery of lawlessness is already at work... Pray...that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly... [2 Thes 2:7; 3:1]The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining...The world is passing away ["This world, as it is now, will not last much longer" - Today's English Version], and also its lusts...It is the last hour [circa 100 A.D.]; and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour. [1 John 2:17,18][7]How contemporary Christian evangelists and evangelical scholars can interpret the "last hour" as "2000 years hence" is beyond me. Maybe we should all chip in and mail such evangelists new watches. Speaking of feeble attempts to explain Jesus' delay, one often cited is found in 2nd Peter. That such an attempt was made at all in a late-dated letter that someone chose to compose in the name of an apostle, demonstrates to what lengths the church felt it had to resort in order to save face. But before examining the excuse for Jesus' delay in 2nd Peter it is important to point out the unequivocal words predicting the nearness of the end found in the previous letter, 1st Peter:...The glory that is soon [mello] to be revealed... [5:1]He [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times [or last days, or end of times]... [1:20]The end of all things is at hand. [4:7]Then in 2nd Peter 3:8 a feeble attempt is made to explain Jesus' delay by stating:With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.Such a late attempt to make excuses for Jesus' delay is an obvious failure. It makes a mockery of all the clear predictions made by earlier authors in the New Testament. Indeed, it is like saying that when God "inspired" the biblical authors to say they were living in the "last hour," or in the "last days," or when He inspired the author of Hebrews to write that it was only a "very little while" before the "Son of Man" would "come," God really meant "hours" and "days" and "very little whiles" that were "thousands" of years long. In other words, it implies that God was unable to put words into the minds of his earlier prophets that meant what He fundamentally intended them to mean, and had to cover His tracks at a later date (i.e., in a late-dated letter) by redefining a host of words. The excuse offered by the author of 2nd Peter even contradicted the predictions in 1st Peter that "the glory is soon to be revealed," and the "end of all things is at hand." Moreover, even the author of 2nd Peter did not suspect that the end was very far off, certainly he did not imagine it to be as far as 2000 years in the future, for he also wrote:God is not slack concerning his promise, the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night: what manner of persons ought you [the second century Christians he was addressing] to be...looking for, and hastening the coming of God...we are looking for new heavens, and a new earth. [2 Pet 3:9-13]And he added:...In the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." [2 Pet 3:3-4]Note that this applied to "mockers" who were disturbing the faithful at the time 2nd Peter was written, circa 130 A.D.! "For when they [note the use of the present tense] maintain this, it escapes their notice..." [2 Pet 3:5]. Obviously these "mockers" were asking, "Where is the promise of his coming," because the earliest Christians like Paul and James and the authors of the Johannine letters, and the author of Hebrews, and the author of Revelation all predicted the very soon return of Jesus in final judgment of the whole world. By the time 2nd Peter was written, these "fathers" had all "fallen asleep," including, one might add, Peter himself, the alleged author of this very late letter. So somebody in the church took it upon themselves to write (or should I say, felt inspired by God to make up excuses) a pseudonymous letter attributed to Peter and supposedly written before his death, as a last ditch effort to counter such "mockery." But it is this letter and the false predictions found in the New Testament which mock themselves. The author of the letter of Jude (a letter composed even later than the pseudonymous 2nd Peter) reproduced the above passage from 2 Peter to illustrate that the end could not be far off, since "mockers" were plaguing the church in his day with this very same question!Certain persons have [present tense, i.e., in Jude's day] crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for condemnation...these men revile the things they do not understand...about these Enoch prophesied saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment."...But you, beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, "In the last times there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." [Jude 4, 10, 14-15, 17-18]Thus, the authors of both Jude and 2nd Peter agreed that they were addressing mockers then plaguing the church. The "last times" for the authors of 2 Peter and Jude were their own - in the second century A.D.Now let's skip back in time to hear what John the Baptist had to say about how near the end was. Before Jesus began a ministry of his own, John the Baptist expected the end to arrive very soon.[8]He preached:Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [Matt 3:2]Now the ax is laid to the root of the trees: Therefore every tree that does not bring forth fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. [Matt 3:10]Who warned you [Pharisees] to flee from the wrath which is about to come [mello]? [Matt 3:7]=============================[4]Notice the logic behind the author of Hebrews argument. Since continuous sinning, year after year ["since the foundation of the world"], required blood sacrifices "often," then God must have foreseen to it that Jesus' perfect sacrifice occurred at a time when Jesus would not need to suffer again, i.e., at a time when sinners would soon be judged, and thus sinning had ended, and no more sacrifices would be required. That time could only be at the "consummation [of the world]" or "end of the age." Thus he hoped to persuade his readers of God's wonderful plan in having Jesus sacrifice himself "in these last days," and that it was only a "very little while" before "he who is coming will come."[6]Back then the Roman Empire was recognized as the "whole world," i.e., Lk 2:1, "Caeser took a census of the whole world," and Acts 11:28, "...a great famine all over the world...took place in the reign of Claudius." Naturally, this conception influenced the belief in how "soon" the Son of Man would return, since Jesus predicted: "...this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come." [Mat 24:14]. If the "whole world" according to the New Testament itself, referred to the Roman Empire, the "end" must have been expected very soon indeed! I wonder why God inspired the authors of the New Testament with such an archaic notion of the "whole world?" Even second century Christian fathers made the same identification of the Roman Empire with the "whole world." Irenaeus (125-202 A.D.), one of the earliest Fathers of the Church, wrote in his book, Revolution and Overthrow of False Knowledge (or Against Heresies), circa 180 A.D.:Now the Church, spread throughout all the world even to the ends of the earth, received from the apostles and their disciples her belief... [1.10.1]...the Church has carefully preserved it [itskerygmaand faith], as though dwelling in a single house, even though she has been spread over the entire world. [1.10.2]Anyone who wishes to see the truth can observe the apostle's traditions made manifest in every church throughout the whole world. [3.3.1-2]Augustine was another Church Father who was aware of Paul's belief that the Gospel "had" already been preached to the "whole world." Paul wrote in Romans, "Their line has gone out through all the world, and their words to the ends of the earth." Augustine dwelt with great force on the fact that St. Paul based one of his most powerful arguments upon this declaration regarding the earliest preachers of the gospel (Rom. 10:18), and that, as those preachers did not go to the opposite side of the earth to preach the gospel, no people must exist there; hence those who believe such things, "give the lie direct to King David and to St. Paul, and therefore to the Holy Ghost." Thus the great bishop of Hippo taught the whole world for over a thousand years that, as there was no preaching of the gospel on the opposite side of the earth, there could be no human beings there. [A. D. White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom, Vol. 1] If I may be forgiven for injecting levity there's a quotation by Mark Twain that also strikes me as relevant: "The Biblical prophets wrote book after book and epistle after epistle, yet never once hinted at the existence of a great continent on our side of the water; yet they must have known it was there, I should think." As for the argument that the apostles must have known that people existed beyond the boundaries of the "world" of the Roman Empire, yes, certainly, as "heathens" living outside of civilization (and for whom provision was made in Paul's letter to the Romans, chapters 1-2), so Rome remained the "whole world" to Paul who prayed that "the word" might spread "rapidly," from Jerusalem to Spain, before the day of final judgment.[7]Notice how John's certainty that "it is the last hour" was strengthened by his awareness that not just one, by "many" antichrists "have arisen!" That's exactly what Jesus predicted [see Mat 24:4,23-25; Mk 13:5-6,21-23 & Lk 21:8], i.e., "many false Christs shall arise" right before the Son of Man comes![8]John the Baptist may of course, have picked up his message - that the end of the world was imminent - from the sect at Qumran, the book of Enoch, or even the book of Daniel, which had been "unsealed" prior to his day, and whose "unsealing," according to that book's author, presaged the world's final judgment.

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:24/01/2005 10:01 PMCopy HTML

I work with a fellow that has written a book called "understanding the book of Revelation". I have been skimming through it of late, and for the sake of this post will drop a few of his points here... so not necessarily a 'cut and paste', because I've got to hand type it... and I'll simplify for the layman as much as possible. How does this hold to scutiny for some of you guys... it works for me.

A Covenant - He believes Revelation was written during 65-68 AD to warn the early church to get ready for the Jewish Wars that were about to take place and which would disperse the Jewish people for 1800 years (ie. the sacking of Jerusalem 70 AD... Jesus also warned Jerusalem of this coming tribulaton...). Otherwise much of the book becomes irrelevant and is seemingly focused on events that would occur in the very distant future. As already mentioned, Rev 1:1... (that's right at the start), of this true book tells its readers that the events must shortly take place. Not too dissimilar to the events of Noah, I suppose.

It is a book of covenants regulating God's promises to His people. God's first wife, Israel, became a harlot and the mother of prostitutes (Eze 16, 23). She breaks her sanctions and is brought down (ch 18) and in (ch 19) God takes on a new bride and a new covenant. The church!

Revelation as Prophecy - This final covenant with Israel was irrevocable (Mat 22-24) as Israel slips again. The axe was at the root (Mt 3:10) and Revelation was a full explanation as to how the tree would fall.

Revelation and Ezekiel - The first half of each book leads up to the destruction of earthly Jerusalem, while the second have of each book inaugurates the new Jerusalem/new earth/new creation. Revelation is the closest thing to an Old Testament book in the New Testament.

Author: John - (evidence) he used words only found in John's gospel; he has apostolic authority to address the seven Asian churches and had personal knowledge of priestly practices (Jn 18:15-16).

 

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:25/01/2005 7:19 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : WonbyONe

He believes Revelation was written during 65-68 AD to warn the early church to get ready for the Jewish Wars

Q: Why does he have such an early date for it? Most church historians agree it was written about 96 AD, during the persecutions of Domition. Apart from Rev12:13 which applies directly to the persecution of Jews the church had more than the Jewish wars ahead. The two main dangers the church faced were persecution and apostacy, the second a greater threat than the first.

It is a book of covenants. I agree. Unless you understand covenant you'll miss the point of the references to the harlot in ch 17. Ez 16 and 23 does refer to Jerusalem and Israel as harlots but not mother of harlots. I see these OT types as examples. Harlotry or unfaithfulness to God is a reference to idolatry.
The church failed to learn from those examples and fell into the same error. Rev 2:14 and 20 indicate that idolatry was already infecting the church. Rev 2:16 and 22 are respective warnings of tribualtion to churches for idolatry. The church of Thyatira didn't repent. Rev 2:21
Subsequent church history shows that paganism flooded the church in the 4th century. The church then had spread throughout the Roman empire. The prophecies were of wars (the sword - Rev 2:16) and disease (Rev 2:22) It also said they had time to repent. The flood of paganism escalated after 380 when Christianity was made the state religion of the Roman Empire. From 541 to 767 there were 15 successive plague epidemics that killed an estimated 40 million people. Not to mention the rise of Islam in 622 and the loss of 1/3 of the empire to the Arabs. Most of those so-called Christians turned Muslim. Because of that we have the present global tension.
They still did not repent and in 787 the empress Irene (Jezebel?) called the 2nd council of Nicaea to rule on the use of images in the church. In 843 the 'triumph of orthodoxy' when the Greek church finally silenced the opposition to idols was basically the triumph of idolatry. (BTW Jezebel died in 843 BC and the triumph of idolatry took place in 843 AD - maybe not relevent but curious) Rev 9:20-21 They still did not repent. What happened next?
The Crusades, the rise of the papacy (Rev 13:11-18) and the rise of the Ottoman empire(Rev 9:13-21). More war and more plague epidemics(Rev 16:2). The idolatry in the church was set against a continual backdrop of persecution of the Jews (Rev 12:13). I posted a few things about chapter 17 and 18 on the Christian page. (mystery Babylon - Rome?)
The Bible is full of warnings not to take God's covenant lightly. eg. Ps 50:16-23. to the wicked who take my covenant in their mouth - which is, of course, the reason this forum exists because of corrupt men who have violated God's covenant. (A modern example of an ancient problem)

Q:Israel slips again? In part. Israel failed to take hold of the new covenant as a nation so Paul turned to the gentiles who quickly began to outnumber Jewish believers. Gentiles became heirs of the new covenant with Israel.(clear from Rom 11:17-27) But many verses indicate Israel's fall wouldn't be permanent. (Rom 11:26; Rev 12:17)

The church would go through tribulation as well as Israel. Throughout history the two are interwoven but separate strands. Whoever persecuted the Jews has also persecuted true believers. It's a bit like the canary in the coal mine. Jews are the canary. Believers will be next.

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:25/01/2005 9:19 AMCopy HTML




Most church historians agree it was written about 96 AD, during the persecutions of Domition



Even if most do... doesn't necessarily make it so. Scholars give two possible dates for the writing of the Revelation (Swete, "Commentary on Revelation" 1911, 1977). These periods are 65-68AD and 95-97AD. Acceptance of either could lead to very different conclusions about the purpose and intent of the prophesy.  If it was 65-68AD then it was almost certainly a warning for the early church of imminent disaster and of things shortly to come. Alternatively I see merit in your view.

I'm not completely sold either way but do find a logic that works for me from David Chilton's book, "The Days of Vengeance", which Kevin Davis' commentry is based.

Jesus prophesied - All the signs listed in Matthew 24 have reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.70

Preterism view  - Interesting... but I don't have the time to explore this paradigm shift.

 The 70AD catastrophe results from Christ's prophetic word. 70AD proves His prophecy to be not only a true word from God but a judgment word against God's people. The disciples' request for a "sign" marking out "the end of the age" (Matt. 24:3) Matthew 24&25. Up through 24:34, Jesus focuses on Jerusalem's destruction & devastation of the holy city and conflagration of its holy house become "'the sign of the Son of man in heaven"' (v. 30, KJV).

Thus, when the first-century holocaust explodes upon Israel, it definitively signifies the divine authority of the One now in heaven (cf. Matt. 26:59-64; Luke 23:20-31). Too many Christians miss the meaning of Jesus' cloud-coming in Matthew 24:30 for two reasons. First, they are unfamiliar with Old Testament apocalyptic passages wherein divine judgments appear as cloud-comings (Isa. 19:1). Second, they overlook the interpretive clues in Matthew 24: mention of the temple's destruction (v. 2), the Judean focus (v. 16), and the temporal proximity of all the events between verses 4 and 34 (v. 34). Indeed, Jesus warns the very men who sit in judgment over Him: "'Here after you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven"' (Matt. 26:64b).  This is certainly how the ancient church read Matthew 24. Referring to A.D. 70, Eusebius highlights "the infallible forecast of our Saviour in which He prophetically expounded these very things" (Ecclesiastical History, 3:7:1)." (Tabletalk Mag., December 2001)
 

"The final collapse of Jerusalem and the Temple.. Through these events the Jews were to "see" the Son of Man in His judgment-coming in terrifying cloud-glory: clouds are symbols of divine majesty often entailing stormy destruction.   The members of the Sanhedrin and others would experience such in their life times (Matt. 26:64; Mark 9:1; cf. Rev 1:7 with Rev 1:1,3)." (ibid. 348)

"The nature of the event has to do with a ?Cloud-Coming' of Christ. It is necessary here to understand the Old Testament backdrop for a proper comprehension of the matter. The Old Testament frequently uses clouds as indicators of divine judgment."



God didn't tell Noah to build an ark and then wait until he and all his family were dead before sending the flood.


Like as in Noahs day - It's a good and valid reflection. "Noah's ark cannot be split according to scripture. The division in Matthew is unsupported, unsubstantiated and indefensible. Luke 17 links Noah with the fleeing event, all in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. A future coming of Christ that disregards these facts simply cannot be as it was in the days of Noah." the flood occurred during Noah's generation. "Then the Lord said to Noah, `Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation'" (7:1). For more on this...

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:25/01/2005 1:12 PMCopy HTML

Ok, those are good and thoughtful posts,  Thanks.

But now I ask again...

I will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come [mello] [3] upon the whole world...I am coming quickly...hold fast what you [Philadelphia] have.

If this event has occurred, what was the hour of testing that came upon the whole world?  Was the whole world only referring to the Roman Empire? 

And when did Jesus come (quickly)?

I am coming quickly...do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near...I am coming quickly, and my reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done...Yes, I am coming quickly...Come Lord Jesus. [22:6,7,10,12,20]

Again, if this has already been fulfulled, whaen did Jesus come and when and how did he reward every man?

TROY

 

 

 

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:25/01/2005 1:26 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : WonbyONe

Jesus prophesied - All the signs listed in Matthew 24 have reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D.70

Preterism view  - Interesting... but I don't have the time to explore this paradigm shift.

Ok, let;s open this one up then.  If you can forgive me for cutting and pasting and read through the following a respond to it the  that would be wonderful...

========================

Not only did Jesus, according to the gospel accounts, predict that the Son of Man would "come in power" before "some standing" there had "tasted death;" but he also predicted that the "Son of Man would come" to "gather his elect from the four winds" before "this generation," meaning Jesus' own, had "passed away," which coincides perfectly with his former statement. What were the circumstances of this prediction? According to Matthew, chapter 24 [see also Mark 13 and Luke 21] Jesus predicted that the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed. Whereupon his disciples asked him:

...When will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? [Mat 24:3] [12]

Jesus then laid out a number of events and signs, like false Christs arising, wars, earthquakes, famines [Luke added "pestilences" and "terrors and great signs from heaven"]; his followers would be persecuted and brought before kings and governors; the gospel would be preached to the whole world; a "desolating sacrilege" would be set up "in the holy place" [Instead of mentioning that "sacrilege," Luke substituted: "you will see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand"]; followed by a time of great tribulation when people in Judea should flee to the mountains; a time of tribulation so great that if it were not ended "no human being would be saved" [Luke alone adds, "great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people (the Jews)," they will fall by the sword, and be lead away as captives to "all the nations," and "Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."] [13]; then Jesus warned of "false Christs and false prophets" [plural, as opposed to a singular "anti-Christ"]; and pointed out how unmistakable the coming of the Son of Man would be ["as the lightning shines from the east to the west, lighting up the sky from one side to the other" Mat & Lk]. [14] Jesus added that "immediately" [Mat 24:29] after this time of tribulation the sun and moon would darken; stars would fall from heaven; "they will see the Son of Man coming;" and his angels would "gather the elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven" [Luke adds, "when these things begin to take place (including Jerusalem's fall in 70 A.D.), look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near"]. Jesus then spoke of the fig tree (the budding of its leaves tells you summer is near), "when you see these things happening [Matthew says, 'all these things...'], recognize that He is near" [Luke substitutes, "recognize that the kingdom of God is near"]; Matthew & Mark add, "...at the door." Followed by the prediction:

Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. [Mat 24:34 = Mk 13:30]

Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. [Lk 21:32]

I'll let David F. Strauss (1808-1874), the German philosopher and historian of religion, sum up the case thus far:

Thus in these discourses Jesus announces that shortly after that calamity, which (especially according to the representation in Luke's gospel) we must identify with the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple, and within the term of his own generation, he would visibly make his second advent in the clouds, and terminate the existing dispensation. Now as it will soon be eighteen centuries since the destruction of Jerusalem, and an equally long period since the generation contemporary with Jesus disappeared from the earth, while his visible return and the end of the world which he associated with it, have not taken place: the announcement of Jesus appears so far to have been erroneous... Such inferences from the discourse before us would inflict a fatal wound on Christianity; hence it is natural that exegetists should endeavor by all means to obviate them. [15]

Christian apologists have tried to sub-divide the context of this prediction, making, "this generation will not pass away until all these things take place," refer only to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and not also to "the coming of the Son of Man." They ignore the fact that Jesus' "this generation" prediction is preceded in all three gospels by Jesus' discussion of the "coming of the Son of Man" and intimately linked with it, contextually. Such apologists also ignore that Jesus said, "all these things," and divert attention to Jesus' other saying (which appears a few verses after Jesus' long disproved prediction), that "no man knows the day or the hour." However, they forget that "days and hours" imply nearness in time. "Days and hours" lie within a "generation." As Strauss pointed out over a century ago:

[Naturally there is a distinction] between an inexact indication of the space of time, beyond which the event will not be deferred (a "generation"), and the determination of the precise date and time (the "day and the hour") at which it will occur; the former Jesus gives, the latter he declares himself unable to give. [16]

Furthermore, having admitted that he did not know the precise "day or the hour," Jesus continued to address his listeners as though that "day or hour" could not be further than a mere "generation" away:

Therefore be on the alert, for you [his listeners, circa 30 A.D.] do not know which day your Lord is coming...at an hour when you do not think he will [Mat 24:36,42,44]

Definitely not a "day" or "hour" that was "two millenniums" from then! Compare Luke 21:36:

But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you [his first century listeners] may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Obviously, Jesus included the "coming of the Son of Man" among "all these things that are about to take place."

As professor James D. Tabor explains:

In the [end-times chapters of the gospels], Mk 13, Mat 24, and Lk 21, Jesus connects the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple to the more general "signs of the end of the age": false prophets, war and disruptions, earthquakes, famines, pestilence, persecution, and a world-wide proclamation of his message...The scheme is very tightly connected, and Jesus declares at the end that "this generation shall not pass away until all these thing are fulfilled" [Mk 13:30]. [17]

A.J. Mattill Jr. adds, concerning an important verse in Matthew's end-time chapter:

The eutheos of Matthew 24:29 should be translated "immediately" as elsewhere [in the New Testament] and means that at once after the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem there were to occur cosmic disasters and the coming of the Son of Man to write the finis to the world drama. [18]

To Dr. Mattill's argument may be added these observations of Dr. Strauss:

Not only does Mark in 13:24 [a parallel to Matthew 24:29], by the words, "in those days, after that tribulation," place the ["coming of the Son of Man"] in uninterrupted chronological succession with [the tribulation connected with the destruction of Jerusalem]; but also, shortly after the [coming of the Son of Man] is discussed in each of the narratives, we find the assurance that all this will be witnessed by the existing generation. [19]

Another attempt to save face by Christian apologists is to reinterpret "this generation" as "that generation," i.e., to say that Jesus was addressing a much later generation, not his own. But, this explanation is also unacceptable. Jesus used the phrase "this generation" many times, unmistakably in reference to his contemporaries. It does not refer to people born two thousand years hence:

It shall be required of this generation... [Lk 11:51]

The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation... [Mat 12:41 = Lk 11:32]

This is an evil generation... [Lk 11:29]

This adulterous and sinful generation... [Mk 8:38]

That upon you [the Pharisees] may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth. Truly, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. [Mat 23:35-36]

The final verse listed above is nearly identical to "Truly, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away until all these things take place," so there is no doubt which "generation" Jesus was addressing. As Christian theologian, Dewey M. Beegle, has reminded Hal Lindsey fans:

If Jesus was referring to a distant future, the least he could have done was to say "that generation" and thus give his hearers a clue that the events he was discussing would occur in some future generation, not theirs. But "this" is close to "that," and so [Hal Lindsey fans] just add a little filler. Cover things from this end and do not worry too much about how the disciples and early Christians understood things. [20]

Even the evangelical Christian scholar, F. F. Bruce, admitted:

The phrase "this generation" is found too often on Jesus' lips in this literal sense for us to suppose that it suddenly takes on a different meaning in the saying we are now examining. Moreover, if the generation of the end-time had been intended, 'that generation' would have been a more natural way of referring to it than 'this generation.' [21]

So, if words have any fundamental meaning at all, then the authors of the Gospels told their readers that Jesus predicted the world to end within a "generation" of his preaching. Besides which, people predicting "the end of the world" always complain loudly about the evils of their own generation, exactly as Jesus did in the many instances cited above!

 

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:26/01/2005 6:18 AMCopy HTML

Reprinted from the Sep/Oct 1995

Free Minds Journal

The Armageddon Syndrome By David L. Harvey

Since our common era began, every turn of the century has seen its share of apocalyptic prophets announcing the end of the world or "Armageddon." They claim to have special knowledge revealed to them alone. The termapocalypseis from the Greek and means "revealed" or "unveiled."

"Armageddon" is mentioned only once in the Bible- at Rev. 16:16. This Greek word translates "mountainofMegiddo." The ruins ofMegiddo(Tel el-Mutsellim), an ancient Canaanite city, occupy about twelve acres of a small plateau overlooking the Plain of Jezreel (Esdraelon). This plain was the scene of many decisive military victories throughout history. As there is no literal "mountainofMegiddo," the term "Armageddon" is most likely symbolic of God's great and final battle at the End Time. Entire theologies have been built around this single verse.

A number of abusive churches create afearof Armageddon, reinforced withguiltin order to dominate and maintain membership. Cults use this as a tool of emotional control. By implanting fear and creating guilt, abusive groups manipulate their members into performing free service.Fear is the major motivator. It binds in two ways: (1) it creates an outside enemy who threatens or persecutes the member. This results in the "us versus them" world view, and (2) fear of failing the organization or fear of discovery and punishment by the leaders if you are lax in doing your job. What job? Why, serving the organization, of course! "Are you REALLY doing all you can to serve God?" (A typical introduction to guilt.)

Guilt is a good enforcer, but it won't work unless you can make people feel guiltyaboutsomething. Note this subtle example: "Now that you have an understanding of God's purpose wouldn't you like to share it with others? We know God will destroy all wicked people shortly. Since we have knowledge of this we have a responsibility to warn others. If we don't do this God will find us blood guilty at Armageddon. You wouldn't want to be held blood guilty, would you?"

Cults need a bogeyman. The Watchtower's bogeyman is Armageddon. Fear of eternal annihilation and fear of being found blood guilty by God at Armageddon assures the continued service of the "faithful." Such fear adversely influences plans for marriage, college, careers, and the pursuit of happiness. It robs one's peace of mind and destroys one's quality of life.Fear is effectively used to attract new members as well. A little Bible prophecy, some statistics and current events, a few dates and the trap is set. Once the new convert buys into it,out jumps the bogeymanto motivate and manipulate.Cults don't offer a choice. Theonly choice is theirs. (Is sink or swimreally a choice?)

Groups using the Armageddon Syndrome sometimes even get physically dangerous. They may not wait for the apocalypse, but attempt to accelerate it, creating their own.Jim Jones' "People'sTemple" began as a normal Christian church, yet it later degenerated into an abusive cult that ended in 1978 with over 900 murder/suicides deep in the South American jungles.David Koresh's "Branch Davidians" met a fiery apocalypse onApril 20, 1993with 79 murder/suicides atWaco,Texas.Luc Jouret's "Order Of The Solar Temple" experienced 53 murder/ suicides inSwitzerlandandCanadain October 1994.Shoko Asahara's "Aum Shinri Kyo" is under investigation inJapanfor the recent nerve gas attack inTokyo's subway station that left 11 dead and 5,500 sickened.Of all groups, however, the Watchtower Society is perhaps best known for its Armageddon Syndrome.Charles Taze Russell, first president of the WT Society, predicted Armageddon for 1914: "...the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty', which will end in AD 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced." The Time Is At Hand, 1911 ed., p. 101.Russell thereafter altered his viewpoint and said the end might not come until 1916- surely no later than 1918: "Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions, ..."The Finished Mystery, 1917 ed., p. 485.The end came, but only for Pastor Russell-he died in 1916.Joseph "Judge"Rutherfordsucceeded Russell as president and predicted the end as well. He said post-Armageddon reconstruction would begin in 1925 marked by the resurrection of the patriarchs: "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old...."Millions Now Living Will Never Die, 1920, p. 89, 90.DidRutherfordgive up when the prophecies failed? No, in the true style of false prophets he forged ahead with new light. In 1931 he wrote: "His day of vengeance is here, and Armageddon is at hand and certain to fall upon Christendom, and that within an early date."Vindication I, p. 146, 147.Nine years later he felt impelled to write: "The Kingdom is here, the King is enthroned. Armageddon is just ahead."The Messenger,9/1/40, p. 6.I attended my first Assembly atSt. Louis,MOin 1941. On "Children's Day" we each received a copy ofRutherford's new release,Children. It was written up inThe WatchtowerofSept. 15, 1941: "Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon." (p. 288)For the next twenty five years the WT Society continued to warn of the nearness of the end. In 1966 they published the bookLife Everlasting In Freedom Of The Sons Of God, where the year 1975 was pegged to mark the beginning of the Millennium. Watchtower publications continued to hype 1975 right up to the final hour: "...God's heavenly kingdom will rule over the earth for one thousand years after the end of this system of things."Awake!,10/8/68, p.14.And, "...there are only about ninety months left before 6000 years of man's existence on earth is completed.... The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out, and there are no resurrection hopes for those who are destroyed then."Kingdom Ministry, 3/68, p. 4."In view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous."Kingdom Ministry, 6/69, p. 3."Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end."Kingdom Ministry, 5/74, p. 3.The Watchtower Society has always attached great significance to their "anchor date" 1914, promising that the generation of 1914 would still be alive at Armageddon. That generation has passed. Now they mustre-definethe significance of 1914. Which ever way they go, you can be sure that the threat of Armageddon will continue to be in the forefront of their theology.On the other hand, the Bible says: "Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night." (1 Th. 5:1,2)Any person or organization claiming to have special or exclusive knowledge is acharlatan--a false prophet. The Armageddon Syndrome is an identifying feature of many cult groups. The grief, misery and death they mete out to their member/ victims are immeasurable. Flee from them! We have God's living Word.
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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:26/01/2005 10:39 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : BraveBear

Remove the human concept of time and space and it makes perfect sense.

LOL!!!  Yeah right.  This idea of yours is:

1. Without any basis from the text;

 2. Contradictory to the text.  The words used emphatically denote time (quickly, hour of testing, about to come, time is near, shortly take place). 

3. Who in his right mnd would use these terms to describe an event that was to take place 2000 years+ from the time of writing?  If the Spirit of God knew these things to be 2000 years+ away then it seems a VERY misleading on his part to tell the readers it was all happening soon.  Why would God use humans to write to humans and then use words that denote time and then twist the concept of time?  This would only confuse and create the very errors we are discussing.  Well may you say that God is above time and space but then why write to humans who are confined by time and space and use words that describe time and space? 

Sorry but I think you're clutching at straws.  Let the text speak for itself.  The writer believed that Jesus was coming soon.  2000 years later, he is still a no-show.  If this was the Koran we were discussing then you, like me now, would be arguing for it's lack of Divine inspiration.  Open your eyes.

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:27/01/2005 5:18 PMCopy HTML

Yep Jesus is coming back. I know so because Jesus told me so in person!!. I was in my loungeroom and the anointing fell on me heavily, suddenly without warning I was out of my body soaring through the clouds into Heaven itself with angels beside me and Jesus spoke to me in a very very loud loud mega loud voice: "I am coming back..!!" So what I am telling you is truth. This did happen. Whether you believe me or not doesn't faze me but I tell you what such an experience is life challenge and I can stand with Paul when he said " for I know whom I have believed, "
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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:27/01/2005 5:55 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

Yep Jesus is coming back. I know so because Jesus told me so in person!!. I was in my loungeroom and the anointing fell on me heavily, suddenly without warning I was out of my body soaring through the clouds into Heaven itself with angels beside me and Jesus spoke to me in a very very loud loud mega loud voice: "I am coming back..!!" So what I am telling you is truth. This did happen. Whether you believe me or not doesn't faze me but I tell you what such an experience is life challenge and I can stand with Paul when he said " for I know whom I have believed, "

Man, that is fantastic...for you.  I have no way to prove or disprove your 'testimony' though.   I wish I could have the same experience and it all be settled for me too.  Lucky you...really (no sarcasm).

Now back to the texts in question...  Anyone got any answers for me?

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:27/01/2005 7:28 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : hojusaram

Reply to : BraveBearRemove the human concept of time and space and it makes perfect sense.LOL!!! Yeah right. This idea of yours is:1. Without any basis from the text;2. Contradictory to the text. The words used emphatically denotetime (quickly, hour of testing, about to come, time is near, shortly take place).3. Who in his right mnd would use these terms to describe an event that was to take place 2000 years+ from the time of writing? If the Spirit of God knew these things to be 2000 years+ away then it seems a VERY misleading on his part to tell the readers it was all happening soon. Why would God use humans to write to humans and then use words that denote time and then twist the concept of

You are absolutely correct. It has no basis from the text, neither is it contradictory.

My idea? What a pity you rely so heavily on text for your argument. The fact is, you have little concept of what I am talking about since you seem to be preoccupied with the value of man's writings and the impact it has on vulnerable people genuinely seeking the truth. No wonder there is so much conflict and confusion.

Without the confines of the our physical environment and its laws??, anything and everything is possible. To pass off anyones opinion as nonsense is not only ignorant but down right dangerous. Men and women have died because of narrow mindedness and fervent belief and adherence to this 'wonderful set of words' which some earth bound man says it means this that or the other. I have seen people physically saved from physical danger because of  'premonition'.

Would you call prophesy;  fortune telling, magic, predicition or what? The facts as I have experienced them is that whoever or whatever 'tells' us of the future and what it has in store , has already been there or experienced long before we can. Our mind is so restricted that we cannot possibly comprehend anything outside of our physical world, yet we accept that ancient writers somehow were able to do so by whatever means. Some have even started wars because of it.  I get sick and tired of so called scholars of scriptures spending valuable time deciphering and pronouncing that the word 'tannim' means whale, or lizard etc. or whatever. The fact is it is irrelevant.

I am alive now, not tomorrow or yesterday. This world would be a beautiful place if it werent for people proclaiming their experiences as the only way.  Me, I want to know the mind of God, not some mortals opinion and preoccupation with who did what to whom and when.

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:27/01/2005 8:40 PMCopy HTML

 



Yep Jesus is coming back. I know so because Jesus told me so in person!!.



Well, I can hardly argue with that... When the big guys uses his megaphone voice you know he's serious! Hoo boy, I live for statments such as this... I find it fascinating. How many genuine people have I spoken to or heard of that have experienced such visions. I rarely find consistencies between stories though. I suppose Jesus talks to different people in different ways. Me... well I'm sold on the idea of only reading the bible and in particular (to hear Jesus in a way that won't effect my ear drums) I read the words in red.  Does he have to shout..? I thought we were to listen for a small still voice?


He's coming back. That's great, 'cause He's gonna be really good for this planet... the current government sux. My question though - did He ever really leave? Isn't He and the Holy Spirit the same, and is not the Holy Spirit here and with us now? If he is coming back, in what form would that be? I Don't think He will want to come back in the flesh because he doesn't really need lungs, liver, kidneys, reproductive organs etc. And if he's coming back in a spiritual form... well, again I say, "isn't He already here?"



Me, I want to know the mind of God, not some mortals opinion


Unfortunately the eternal omnipotent deities are not signed up as users to this forum so you'll have to put up with the opinions and rationalisations of mere mortals. Come let us reason together. This melting pot is the place for sharing opinions, ideas and critical theology in a bid to break down the walls of tunnel vision. The bible is God's word to man and it is available for reproof and diligent study.

 

Funny you should use the word Selah Troy, that word was on my mind today.


 

 

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:03/02/2005 10:03 PMCopy HTML

Revelation, please consider... (an alternate view)

The purpose of Revelation was to reveal Christ as Lord to a suffering and persecuted church. It is not about the Second Coming of Christ. It is about the destruction of Israel and Christ's victory over His enemies in the establishment of the New Covenant Temple. It has a contemporary focus and account of events happening... and soon to happen during the Last Days - the period A.D. 30-70, from the ascension of Christ to the fall of Jerusalem.

  • The 7 sealed book is the New Convenant
  • The 144 000 are the remant, believing Jews of the first century
  • The Two witnesses: the faithful O.T. church (Law and prophets)
  • Woman clothed with the sun (faithful Israel, the Mother of Christ. (Despite the dragon, the Messiah rules)
  • Beast from the sea... the Roman Empire
  • Beast from the Land... Israel's religious leadership
  • Image of the Beast... the spostate Jewish Synagogue
  • New Jerusalem - the BrideCity, is the Church... the current church!
  • The New Heaven and the New Earth is the salvation age we now live in progressing throughout time to the consummaton of all things.

The vision of a new heaven and a new earth in not necessarily interpreted as wholly future but rather an absolute truth definitively and progressively true now.

The world has moved from darkness of law into the fullness of light. Christ's victory of Satan was the biggest thing in history. We were saved 2000 years ago. The church will have enough time to accomplish her complete assignment. There will be a future Second coming and final judgement and I believe that an overwhelming majority of people will be saved (Rom 11:11-12, 15, 23-32). When... well, don't set your watch to it. Relax, live life, love life, get on with it.

 

 

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:19/02/2005 1:09 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : this thread....


I will be the first top admit that my knowledge of the Book of Revelation is limited. But I think I'll go with Brave Bear on this one....

Besides, isn't the book of Rev a prophetic book, and in regard to Prophecy are we not supposed to treat " a thousand years as a day, and a day as a thousand years"??? Gods ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts..... who can know the mind of God.

Let me know...comments welcome.

Sorry if bringing logic in here upsets the apple cart.

Regards

Lost in the Sauce

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:19/02/2005 1:48 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Lost in the Sauce

Besides, isn't the book of Rev a prophetic book, and in regard to Prophecy are we not supposedto treat " a thousand years as a day, and a day as a thousand years"???

Ah yes.  The old thoudand years=a day argument.  So when 'God' does give more accurate dates and times then can we trust them?  Perhaps Jesus didn't rise from the dead on the third day but will in another thousand years (seeing as 2 thousand have already passed)?  If God spoke to us (people) then why speak to us in 'God-time' and not 'human-time'?  Why say anything at all?  It seems that time is a human confine and to speak to us using a non-human concept of time would only confuse us.  As I said above..

"Who in his right mnd would use these terms to describe an event that was to take place 2000 years+ from the time of writing?  If the Spirit of God knew these things to be 2000 years+ away then it seems a VERY misleading on his part to tell the readers it was all happening soon.  Why would God use humans to write to humans and then use words that denote time and then twist the concept of time?  This would only confuse and create the very errors we are discussing.  Well may you say that God is above time and space but then why write to humans who are confined by time and space and use words that describe time and space? "

Gods ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts..... who can know the mind of God

Another old loophole for Xians to escape from everytime their arguments break down.  "God id big, who can know the mind of God."  Well then why even try to understand then?  Or to put it back on God, if he is perfect and we are his cretins (oops, sorry...creations)  then he should be able to communicate his mind to us inspite of his immenseness.  Or is God limited in his ability to communicate to we small creations (or should that be 'cretins'?) by his own hugeness?  Why even write a Bible if we're not gonna 'get it' anyway?  But, Revelation was written by a human and so why oh why wouldn't he use words denoting time as he understood the words and the concept of time? 

As I have said before, I am not gonna let go of this based on the 'we are all stupid comared to God' argument. 

Sorry if bringing logic in here upsets the apple cart.

What?   

Please please bring logic.  It would be a refreshing change to meet a Xian who applies some to his faith.  So when will you bring it as opposed to your last post?

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:19/02/2005 1:55 PMCopy HTML

Footnotes

[12] Mark 13:4 and Luke 21:7 simply have the disciples asking Jesus about "the sign" when "all these things will be," or, "when they are about to take place." There is no "and" in their questions, connecting what some Christian apologists say may be two separate questions. This is important to remember, since many Christian apologists attempt to split the disciple's question [in Mat 24:3] in half, thereby dividing Jesus' predictions in these end-times chapters into: 1) predictions related to the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D., and 2) signs that can be used to predict when the Son of Man will come in power to judge the earth two thousand years later. Needless to say, such a dissection of Jesus' apocalyptic discourses (based only on Matthew's version of the disciples' question) does not take into consideration the beliefs and understanding of the audience to whom the discourse was originally addressed. As David F. Strauss pointed out in The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations":

The...attempt to discover in the discourse before us the immense interval which, looking from our position in the present day, is fixed between the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of all things, having failed; we are taught in a practical fashion that that interval lies only in our own conception, which we are not justified in introducing into the text. And when we consider that we owe our idea of that interval only to the experience of many centuries, which have elapsed since the destruction of Jerusalem: it cannot be difficult for us to imagine how the author of this discourse, who had not had this experience, might entertain the belief that shortly after the fall of the Jewish sanctuary, the world itself, of which, in the Jewish idea, that sanctuary was the center, would also come to an end, and the [Son of Man] appear in judgment.

[13] Luke 21:24. Does "the times of the Gentiles" refer to a lengthy period of time, perhaps thousands of years in the future? Dr. Mattill thinks not:

Luke was evidently mindful of the Gentile king of Dan 7:25 who would "wear out the saints of the Most High;...and they shall be given into his hand until the time and times and half a time" [see also Dan 8:13 & 12:7]...Nor would Luke have overlooked Ezek 30:3, "The day of Yahweh is near; it shall be...a time of the nations."...Luke may well have known something like the widely circulated prophecy that is now preserved in Rev 11:2, where John is commanded to measure the temple but not the temple court, "for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months." [None of these examples presumes a lengthy period lasting thousands of years, but rather, a few years, less than ten at most.]

The word "times" (kairoi) also has richer overtones than mere chronological time (chronos). It can also mean "opportunity," "eschatological opportunity," "the time of crisis," the "last times." Hence the phrase, "the times of the Gentiles" would seem to refer to more than their allotted time to occupy Jerusalem. It would include the "eschatological opportunities" that the Gentiles have to accept the Gospel...Paul wrote: "Now is the acceptable time (kairos); behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor 6:2)...Kairos denotes the "season when God visits people with the offer of salvation."...Luke uses kairos in just such a way in his gospel, which stated that Israel did not know the "time" (kairos) of its visitation (Lk 19:44), that is, "the time when God came to save you" (Today's English Version) [So, Luke depicted both the "time (kairos) of Israel" and "times (kairoi) of the Gentiles!"]

[Also note that Luke displays in Acts his knowledge of Paul's mission to the Gentiles, and must have been familiar with Paul's idea that the stubbornness of the people of Israel is not permanent but will last only until the complete number of Gentiles come to God]:

"...their voice [of Christian evangelists] has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the [predominantly Gentile] world." But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? At the first Moses says, "I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a [Gentile] nation without understanding will I anger you." [Rom 10:18-19]

...by their [the Jews'] transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their [the Jews'] fulfillment be? [Rom 11:11-12]...

...a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. [Rom 11:25]

Now look at the verse in Luke again, keeping Paul's verses (above) in mind:

Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. [Lk 21:24]

["The times of the Gentiles" refers to the Gentiles' opportunity to hear the gospel, and it would be "fulfilled" once a certain number of Gentiles, known only to God, had been saved. Neither did Paul or Luke seem to assume that this "time" would exceed a "generation."] The Gentile mission was well on the way toward completion with Paul's arrival in Rome: "...the Good News...has been proclaimed in the whole creation under Heaven..." [Col 1:23 (Weymouth)]. Were Paul to preach longer in Rome, where "all meet from every quarter [of the earth]" (Irenaeus), or in Spain [Rom 15:24; 1 Clem 5:7], or elsewhere [Pastoral Epistles], and were others to continue their labors [Acts 11:20; 1 Clem 42:3-4], they would need all the encouragement and support possible from the churches to give all men everywhere opportunity to repent [Acts 17:30]. As his part in this evangelistic effort Luke wrote to insure that the world mission would be completed during the "times of the Gentiles" [Lk 21:24] to prepare the way for the "consolation of Israel" [Lk 2:25] and the "restoration of all things" [Acts 3:21]. [Keep in mind that for Luke and Paul, the Roman Empire constituted "the whole world"]...we conclude with an impressive group of critics that "Luke does not give a date, but his gospel agrees with Matthew and Mark that Jesus said, 'the present generation will live to see it all!' [Lk 21:32]" - A.J. Mattill, Jr., Luke and the Last Things, pp. 134-135,233.

[14] Evangelical apologists sometimes try to divert attention away from the verses that plainly predict the soon "coming of the Son of Man" by emphasizing the following section in Luke that states, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed":

The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed: nor will they say "Look here it is!" or "There it is!" For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst [or, sometimes translated, "the kingdom of God is within you"]. And he said to the disciples, The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it... [Lk 17:20-22]

Does this divert sufficient attention away from what Jesus said about the "Son of Man coming" before "some standing there" had "tasted death," or within a "generation?" No. That "the kingdom of God is in your midst" does not refute that soon "the Son of Man will be revealed" [Lk 17:30], you just have to read a little further in the same chapter to see that. Neither does the above passage indicate that the disciples would not live to see the Son of Man return. Nothing about their "death" is mentioned or even hinted at. It just says they will "long to see one of the days of the Son of Man," and, "not seeing it," or, not being able to see it, as they had yearned to, others will say to them, "Look here, Look there," trying to entice Christians to run after false prophets. Therefore it is a warning to "keep the faith" and wait for the unmistakable revealing of the true Son of Man. The section in Luke continues:

...And they will say to you "Look here! Look there!" Do not run after them. [Many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Mat 24:11 And if anyone says, "Behold, here is the Christ, or there," do not believe him, for false Christs will arise. Mark 13:21] For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day...as it happened in the days of Noah...the flood came and destroyed them all...as happened in the days of Lot...it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed...one will be taken, and the other will be left. [Lk 17:23-35]

So, the passage in Luke is not a prediction that Jesus made to his disciples, telling them that they will not live to see the coming of the Son of Man, but rather, it is a warning to those who doubt they will, and go running off after "false Christ's!" "For just as the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day..." etc. And yes, the "kingdom of God" can refer to either an immediate reality or a future promise. It depends on whether or not the words "come," "near" or "at hand" are contextually related to the words, "kingdom of God." For instance, speaking of the future promise, there is the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come..." Or, "I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes" [Lk 22:18]. Or, "When you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place" [Lk 21:31-32]. Or, "The Kingdom of God is at hand." Naturally, the same goes for the "Son of Man," which is simply a name or title for Jesus. But combine that name with the word, "coming," and the only thing it can refer to is a future promise - a failed promise, since the Son of Man did not "come" within the time he and his inspired disciples predicted he would.

[15] David F. Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations."

[16] Ibid.

[17] James D. Tabor, "The Future," What the Bible Really Says, eds. Morton Smith and R. Joseph Hoffman (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989), p. 48. And notice how Jesus' end-times discourses described events that could easily apply to his own era:

False prophets and false Christs?

What about Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8, and Bar Kochba, leader of a messianic revolt (132-135 A.D.)? See Richard Horsley and John Hanson's Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements in the Time of Jesus (New York: Harpur & Row, Pub., Inc., 1985), and, Jacob Neusner, William Scott Green and Ernest S. Frerich, eds., Judaisms and their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Era (Cambridge: 1988). And of course, the New Testament's own obvious statements such as Paul's that "the mystery of lawlessness is already at work," and 1 John's, that "many antichrists have arisen," i.e., in their generation.

Rumors of War and Wars?

"War," along with some of the other "signs" described, was a standard apocalyptic stage prop. And, there was a first revolt of Palestinian Jews against their Roman occupiers in A.D. 66-70 that preceded Rome's war against Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

Earthquakes?

They occur continually all over the world. But most occur, as expected, along the coasts of continents that border the Pacific Ocean - the "ring of fire" - and are due to huge tectonic plates underlying each continent, pressing and buckling against each other. This no doubt has little to do with prophecy. According to geological studies conducted since the first highly sensitive seismographic instruments were installed on the earth's surface around the beginning of this century, the sizes and intervals of quakes world-wide do not display any discernable pattern of increase or decrease. Even the folks at the Institute for Creation Research have agreed with that fact, as evidenced in their Impact pamphlet #198, "Earthquakes in These Last Days."

Famines?

According to Luke, "...a great famine all over the world...took place in the reign of Claudius" [Acts 11:28], i.e., in Luke's own generation.

Persecution of Christians?

This occurred in Paul's generation too. He persecuted Christians. Stephen was stoned to death. Paul was also brought before magistrates and kings to give an account of his faith.

The World Wide Proclamation of Jesus' Message?

According to Paul and Luke the Roman Empire was the "whole world." Paul also wrote several times that the gospel "had" been preached to the "whole world," i.e., in his day.

So the "birth pangs" that Jesus (or the Gospel authors) claimed must occur first, before the end arrived, were already occurring, or had already occurred, in the days of the first Christians! Neither did any of the New Testament authors have any difficulty envisioning their own generation as the last, or predicting that the Son of Man would (or must) come soon.

[18] A.J. Mattill Jr., "A Zoo-Full of Monsters," The Journal of Faith and Thought (Montclair, N.J.: First Baptist Church of Montclair), Vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1986), p. 16.

[19] David F. Strauss, The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, chapter 115, "The Discourses of Jesus on His Second Advent. Criticism of the Different Interpretations."

[20] Dewey M. Beegle, Prophecy and Prediction (Ann Arbor, MI: Pryor Pettengill, 1978), pp. 212-213.

[21] F.F. Bruce, The Hard Sayings of Jesus (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1983), p. 227. Some Christian apologists point out that the word translated "generation" is derived from a Greek word whose root means "race." So, Jesus may have been saying that "this race" shall not pass away until all these things take place. But there is no point in Jesus addressing either the human race or the Jewish race since in neither case is there any hint in the Bible that either "race" may cease to exist before the end of the world. What point would there be in such a vague prediction? It would be like saying, "At some time in the indefinite future all these things will take place." It should also be noted that when the full word, not merely its root, is focused upon, Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament cites not a single instance where the word means, "race." And in the language that Jesus and his apostles were raised upon, Hebrew and Aramaic, there is not the least possibility of confusion between "generation" and "race." Lastly, as A.J. Mattill Jr. has ascertained:

Of the 38 appearances of the word in the New Testament all have the temporal meaning, primarily that of "contemporaries." Our check of every instance in the New Testament verifies Olshausen's contention that the word is not used once in the New Testament in the sense of "race." [A.J. Mattill Jr., Luke and the Last Things (Dillsboro, NC: Western Carolina Press, 1979), p. 100]

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:19/02/2005 3:15 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : hojusaram

Hmmm, maybe you have another "time" example in a prophetic situation because I don't think the situation of Christ speaking to his Disciples and others saying that in "3 days" he would rebuild the temple is so much prophetic as it was a simple statement or declaration.  At least, not prophetic in the sense of Daniel and Rev.

Our time here, be it 80 years or more (if ya lucky) is considered "but a vapour" by God (isn't that in Proverbs or Job?) then what,... constitutes a considerable length of time in God's perception??

Rev. written by a human? Yes. and maybe I'm showing my colours here but.... "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God..."

I accept this little scripture and am willing to reconcile the Bible against itself. If now I see through a glass darkly but then all will be revealed..... I'm not one to toss out anything just because it doesn't seem to fit my ideal of how the pattern should look or it "looks like a human got his two cents into the mix".

If God is big enough to get it written down in the first place, why would he not be big enough to ensure that it maintains accuracy throughout the ages?

I have often been told that the Bible is the best commentary on itself, which I find to be true. Another thing I have been told is always make sure you are reading the TEXT in CONTEXT..... just as you can't tell what a puzzle looks like by one piece neither can you judge what scripture is saying by a single verse. It all ties together.

I have read the rebuttal on the Case for Christ. I will consider this and get back to you later in the week with my thoughts.

Curious thought for you: Reading my Bible the other day I notice that God created everything and mentions most of it quite specifically. How is it then that the earth is without form and void yet the Spirit of God moves on the face of the waters? Is verse one, all encompassing? I think it was verse 4 he separates the waters on the earth from the waters of the heavens but still the act of creating "the waters" is not mentioned....

Regards

Lost in the Sauce

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:20/02/2005 1:43 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Lost in the Sauce

Hmmm, maybe you have another "time" example in a prophetic situation because I don't think the situation of Christ speaking to his Disciples and others saying that in "3 days" he would rebuild the temple is so much prophetic as it was a simple statement or declaration.  At least, not prophetic in the sense of Daniel and Rev.

Well, off the top of my head...no.  But maybe you have one showing your case?  You know, where someone says 'soon'. etc. and it doesn't happen for 2000 years (excluding other verses referring to the return of Christ)?  I am not being sarcastic here, I would like to know if there is a Biblical precedent elsewhere.

Our time here, be it 80 years or more (if ya lucky) is considered "but a vapour" by God (isn't that in Proverbs or Job?) then what,... constitutes a considerable length of time in God's perception??

Maybe Ecclesiastes?  But again, this was written by a man to other humans.  It isn't supposed to be the words of God (as opposed to the inspired Word of God). And in the scheme of time, his belief that man's existence is but a vapour in time is not at all the same as what we are discussing here in Revelation.  It is actually a good reference to a man's brief appearance on the earth before returning to the dust (at least physically).  I kind of feel that this argument of yours actually works against you.  If 80 years is just a vapour then why speak to people who would only live for a vapour (ie 1st Centrury Xians) and say 'soon'?  How long is 'soon' to a vapour?  Pretty bloody soon I'd say.

Rev. written by a human? Yes. and maybe I'm showing my colours here but.... "All scripture is given by the inspiration of God..."

That's fine.  You can believe that.

I accept this little scripture and am willing to reconcile the Bible against itself. If now I see through a glass darkly but then all will be revealed..... I'm not one to toss out anything just because it doesn't seem to fit my ideal of how the pattern should look or it "looks like a human got his two cents into the mix".

Sure.  Well maybe we could do that and look at other verses in the NT that state Jesus would be back 'soon'.  You could have a look at the MATT 24 thread and reply to that if you want.  I will also post another one about other verses.  I will post it 'soon'.

If God is big enough to get it written down in the first place, why would he not be big enough to ensure that it maintains accuracy throughout the ages?

And therein lies the conundrum.  It cannot be 'soon' (and all those other words) to all people throughout time.  To say 'soon' to those of a vapourish existence who are long dead is misleading.  If we are living in the 'end of the end times' then soon may apply to us.  But it certainly doesn't apply to those dead for over a thousand or two thousand years.  'Soon' to you and I is not 'soon' to them.  And God is outside of time so there is no such thing as 'soon' to God.  But again, we are not outside of time, so 'soon' has to mean 'soon' to us. (say that 3 times fast!!!)

I have often been told that the Bible is the best commentary on itself, which I find to be true. Another thing I have been told is always make sure you are reading the TEXT in CONTEXT..... just as you can't tell what a puzzle looks like by one piece neither can you judge what scripture is saying by a single verse. It all ties together.

Hey, I am posting this article slowly and only continuing as people reply.  There is plenty more to come.  But don't forget, while the Bible has been collected together for 2000 years now, they were and still are individual books that were written in time and for a purpose.    It is better to interpret the books from their own context first before applying a book separated by 10, 20 or 10000 years.  The rules for 'hermeneutics' (or Biblical interpretation) are all manmade.  Bible handbooks and study guides are 'after market' so to speak, so hard and fast rules on interpretation are all man made and not 'inspired of God' even if the Bible itself is.  So who interprets this inspired book?  But that is ANOTHER can of worms you'd better not open.

I have read the rebuttal on the Case for Christ. I will consider this and get back to you later in the week with my thoughts.

Don't bother with me on that one.  I have neither read the book or have access to it (I really am in China).  But if you want to send me a copy then I would be happy to discuss it with you.  I just shot you those links for your perusal.  I have read none of them either.

Curious thought for you: Reading my Bible the other day I notice that God created everything and mentions most of it quite specifically. How is it then that the earth is without form and void yet the Spirit of God moves on the face of the waters? Is verse one, all encompassing? I think it was verse 4 he separates the waters on the earth from the waters of the heavens but still the act of creating "the waters" is not mentioned....

Well, I am not so sure what that has to do with our discussion here.  I can see the obvious problem there but why would YOU highlight it?  Are you trying to set me up?  LOL!!!    Maybe you could start another thread for that and answer yourself? LOL!!!

TROY

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:26/02/2005 2:55 AMCopy HTML

Reply to : hojusaram

Firstly, this will probably be my last post for a while,...too much going on and I am not able currently to reply fast enough. Comments are welcome, but I may not get an answer back to you for a week or two (or 3).


In regard to the Water "Creation" question, I had brought this up with another friend of mine too but had no specific answer. So I thought about it for a long time this week and I think I came up with the answer. Which we find in John 1: 3 where it says that he created all things and without him was not anything made that WAS made.

If you really wanted to get down to semantics then I s'pose you could say that it still doesn't say that he actually created the water but I think in truth we can read this verse as being all encompassing and so God created everything whether mentioned explicitly or not.


As to the Rebuttal on the "Case for Christ" book, I would say that the rebuttal is void and moot simply on the basis that it takes the very stand that he complains of Lee Strobel.... that being,....." If so and so is such and such then this or that can be rejected or accepted. A great many of the arguments he presents are based on theoretical situations which is what he accuses Strobel of doing.

Theories, Theories, Theories. It neither proves nor disproves the book. Again it really all comes down to what I said to Snakey the other week.  Either you believe GOD IS or you believe GOD IS NOT and from that position you start making your frame of reference. There is much I personally cannot explain about GOD but I don't feel that this defeats the purpose of believing in him. Let's take a "for example"::   God said, "I created"..... okay, he said it .... can I prove it or disprove it?? NO

This is not backing away from a tough question but realising that there are some things that cannot be readily answered. I have heard secular scientists and others say several times that, the big bang theory is the equivalent of taking all the millions of pieces that go into making a 747 Jumbo and spinning it in a tornado for 1000 years and expecting that after this time a fully formed Jumbo will come out at the end. Is it possible? Maybe    Is it likely? No     Can I prove or disprove it?? No     So now I have a situation of either / or ::   EITHER I believe God OR I don't believe God.

God is not a man that he should lie...... "Let God be true and every man a liar".

I am not trying to insult your intelligence or my intelligence, I do not like people dodging the questions simply because they don't want to examine their hearts or their beliefs either. As I told a JW this week, I am open to reviewing my beliefs and traditions, comparing them to what he (or anyone) has to say and then looking at what the Bible has to say about it all. If at any time I am not willing to scutinize my beliefs just because "that's how it's always been" then I am in fear of no longer "Growing in the Spirit" which I recieved the day of my salvation. Salvation is a continual growth experience not a "one-time then forget about it thing".


As to the Question of Hermaneutics and scripture revealing scripture, I would say that you are correct. This is a humanly devised system whereby we can review scripture. I was not saying that this was the only way to review scripture but that I have found it to be of great benefit. I guess I take it from the view that, if the Bible is the one time authoritive word of God then I would say that it needs to match throughout the whole "statement".

Instead of saying, "here it says this and there it says that and these are completely contradictory statements so therefore the Bible is false or fiction", is to go to the ridiculous. By saying, Scripture reveals Scripture it shows that by looking into the Bible you find the subtilties and nuances of the text in its true CONTEXT. Also to be noted is that simply reading the Bible without the "anointing of the Spirit" will not "reveal" anything or how the Bible says about Knowledge for knowledge sake.... "forever learning but knowing nothing".


In regard to the "soon" or "vapour" discussion, let me give you this,... and please understand that I am not being trite or trying to avoid the issue. I had for some long time wondered about this myself and finally I came to this conclusion::

.....it is appointed unto man, once to die and then the resurrection.....

.....Christ says to the thief on the cross, "This day you shall be with me in Paradise".....

.....at the resurrection, "First the dead in Christ shall rise and then those who are still living and walking with him shall be taken in the twinkling of an eye"....

Consider this, How can the thief be in Paradise when Christ said THIS DAY,.... yet the 3rd reference says that in the day of resurrection first the dead and then the living?????   What I present to you here may be right or wrong but I see it as the only conclusive solution to this dilemma.

Solution:  Our time here is but a vapour, we mostly have a mere 80 years to make our choice for God, once we die that's it, there is no PURGATORY for second chances. (God said, either you are for me or against me, fence sitters ARE NOT FOR God.... therefore they are against him).

So the day SOON cometh (80 years) for each individual to meet their maker. "After this, the resurrection" implies an IMMEDIACY of Judgement. How can this be if I died 500 years ago, this is not an immediate situation!!!!! Yet we still have not seen the "Day of Judgement" come. How can I say this?? "Because when the Son of Man cometh, EVERY EYE shall behold him". I haven't seen him yet.

I suggest to you that after we die, "time", as we comprehend it in our feeble human minds, no longer exists because we have come before God (not Judgement mind, just before God) and in God's view of things "A day is as a thousand years and a 1000 years as a day". This expresses to us that time is simply a "blip" on the radar screen to God. (Even if we take it literally, a mere 2 days has passed since the death of Christ). When we die we are referred to as being "asleep" in Christ. Do you have any concept of literal time while you sleep naturally?  I know I don't.

No one knows when he or she will die and therefore should live for today as the Bible says, not in a morbid sense that "I might be dead tomorrow so better have fun today" but always ensuring that if God were to take us at any given moment we would be prepared in the spiritual. (I don't think that many people are ever prepared to go in the human physical sense, because it leaves behind so many "untied threads" and "hurts" and "heartaches"). This is what the Parable of the Ten Virgins is all about, being prepared spiritually for the day the Lord comes.

I do hereby step down from the soapbox and offer it to others to support or retort.

Thanks for listening

Lost in the Sauce

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:24/10/2006 2:31 AMCopy HTML

$%*'`[I could be a GOD!!!]%*'`@
Why There Almost Certainly Is No God
Posted Oct 23, 2006 09:58 PM PST
Category: RELIGION

Throughout history, a wide variety of religions worshiping Molech, Baal, Odin, Jupiter, Zeus, Ahura Mazda, Jehovah, Allah, Quetzalcoatl, Coatlicue, Vishna, and others far too numerous to elucidate here have come and gone.

The followers of each of these religions believed that theirs was the true faith and contained within it the correct answers to life's great questions. All too often, as will be seen below, followers of a faith were ever eager to cut the throats of those who disagreed with them.

But on many of the most basic aspects, mankind's multitude of religious thoughts contradict each other. On what would seem to be the most basic truth of all, just how many gods there are, the various religions throughout the world are in complete disagreement. It therefore follows that most of the world's religions, if indeed not all of them, do not have the correct answer to the basic question of how many gods there are. They cannot. For one to be correct means the others are incorrect. Yet the followers of each religion believe they are correct, even though this is impossible.

Ergo, belief that one is correct is not in and of itself proof that one is correct.

If one posits the existence of a god or gods able to communicate their presence to human minds, then as an inevitable result of the existence of that god or gods, it would be expected that all humans, or at least the priests who claim communications with the god(s), would have a unanimity of opinion as to how many gods there are.

Likewise, if one posits the existence of a god or gods able to communicate their existence to human minds, then as an inevitable result of the existence of that god or gods, able to communicate to human minds, all theologies would be in accord, and there would be no need for missionaries, let alone inquisitions and holy crusades.

But there is a diversity of opinions as to how many gods there are. And there are missionaries, crusades, the inquisition, and the burning of a million heretics.

The world is not as it would be if there was a god or gods which could communicate their existence to the minds of humankind. None of the conditions which must inevitably follow the existence of a god or gods able to communicate their existence to the minds of humankind can be found anywhere on Earth.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum, no such gods exist.
Anonymous Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #21
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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:24/10/2006 1:38 PMCopy HTML

M & R,

I personally have come to conclusion that a personality called God does not exist.  But still if you want to read bible, try replacing the word 'god' with 'Time' and all will make sense.  This is true not only in the case of Bible but all other religious books.  An interesting thought.  May be mankind never knew god (time) which is and always will be a part of their own existance.  

How about - In the begining time created heaven and earth.  And the time is good.  Behold time judges all things. Time does not let a rightous be ashamed. Every one has to submit themselves to time.  Wroth of time is dreadful.... so on  - It is amazing all will start to make sense.  And it will also explain how through out the ages mankind has tried to define God (time) and its attributes but they have always failed by connecting God (time) with fearmongering, bible is the classic example of this failure.  Scientific comunity have always struggled to define time, atleast they admit it as they do not have wasted interest to control masses, this is not true in case of religious community such as moses, jesus, peter, paul etc.  Time does not have begining nor the end.  Also God (time) is omnipotent, starts to make sense.  No existance can be explained without 4 dimensions - that is three dimentions of space (X,Y,Z axis) and time being the fourth dimention.  This way you will not have any problems with science / theory of evolution / archiology.

PS.-  I have not joined any religion or Guru, this is my own personal observation, and am open to debate.   

MothandRust Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #22
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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:24/10/2006 2:43 PMCopy HTML

Reply to : Anonymous

M & R, I personally have come to conclusion that a personality called God does not exist.  But still if you want to read bible, try replacing the word 'god' with 'Time' and all will make sense. 

Hi anon, It was interesting to go back through this thread and read it again. Keep in mind that I wrote my posts over two years ago and now find them mostly embarrasing and hard to read. I love your 'Time' angle and will be mulling over that for a while. Well done... you put in place an excellent contextual jigsaw puzzle piece.

PS.-  I have not joined any religion or Guru, this is my own personal observation, and am open to debate.   

I almost wish I could disagree with you, just to keep the discussion going (someone else might?), but I have to say that everything you've said rings true with me. It certainly lines up with my Universalism musings to some extent. If we personalise God in the ways of the traditionalists then he becomes a monstrous vengeful illogical being. If we read the bible with your slant, then it opens it up as a very insightful collection of writings by a succession of philosophers who grappled with time and chance.

I think there's a lot to be learnt from these ancient texts if we're mature enough to leave out the fairy-tales and hocus pocus leanings.

[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
david_wang Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #23
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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:03/06/2009 3:05 AMCopy HTML

Well,  when I was in Vancouver branch of GRC ( 2002 - 2003 ),  what I heard was :

Within 20-30 years around ( not knowing the exact timing ) ,  Russia will attack Arabian countries,  and then indirectly cause nuclear war in North America, and then Jesus came,  saved Christians raptured.

The pastor talked about this in several of his preaching sessions.....  Now I know it's taught by Pastor Hollins, probably  

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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:03/06/2009 3:38 AMCopy HTML

Before I went to GRC-Vancouver, I had been Christian actually for years, and had church to go to.  After hearing " GRC is the real church, while others are "so-called " churches ",  I stopped going to original church, and even wanted to "sever the tie "

One day,  one of the group leaders in my original church, who's also my friend ,  sit down together to had conversation with me, and I talked about GRC as well as the prophecy.

He said: " The verse says even Jesus doesn't know when the end time will be, ONLY GOD knows"

I said:"  They ( GRC ) don't say they know the exact timing,  they just say everyday ( not knowing which day ) is possible within 30 years, not contrary to the verse "ONLY GOD KNOWS " "

He said :"  Why the specific number 30 is mentioned "

Didaktikon Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #25
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Re:Is Jesus REALLY coming back 'soon'?

Date Posted:03/06/2009 3:42 AMCopy HTML

Good afternoon, David.

My advice to you is simple: ignore, disregard and attempt to forget everything that you were taught on the subject of the Parousia by your former associates, as the GRC simply hasn't the first idea.

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
RCI prophesies
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