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Prophecy Questions Futurists Cannot Really Answer
Prophecy Questions for Christians ^ | January 20, 2014 | Charles S. Meek

Posted on 01/20/2014 7:30:29 PM PST by grumpa

There is astounding disagreement among Christians on Bible prophecy. About a dozen years ago I decided that I could no longer blindly listen to my pastoral staff on this subject, and I became determined to get to the bottom of this subject. There were too many questions I had that the church just could not answer adequately.

I became a preterist. Preterism is the view that most if not all prophetic events happened with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It appears to be the fastest growing view of eschatology as other systems are being discredited. I see a dramatic upheaval coming in the church on eschatology.

Over one-fourth of the New Testament is concerned with eschatology. If you are willing to consider a different viewpoint from the one you may now hold, below are some of the questions I could not honestly answer as a futurist:

If time means nothing to God, why does God constantly use time-restricted statements about the fulfillment of prophecy—such as: shortly, at hand, near, quickly, soon, last times, last hour, last days, this generation, etc.?

Why did Jesus frequently insist that his PAROUSIA (Second Coming) and indeed the fulfillment of all prophecy would be fulfilled while some of his disciples were still alive (Matthew 10:23; Matthew 16:27-28; Mathew 26:64; Luke 21:22, 28, 32; Revelation 1:1-3; Revelation 22:20)? Was Jesus simply wrong? If so, can we trust Him on other things He said?

If the teaching 1 day=1000 yrs and a 1000 yrs = 1 day to the Lord...DOES THAT MEAN?—1000 yrs in Revelation is a single 24 hr day?

If any of the New Testament was written after AD 70, why is there no mention anywhere in the New Testament IN THE PAST TENSE about the incredible events surrounding the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in that year?

If the Great Tribulation is still future to us, why did Jesus tell the first century Christians that they could avoid it by fleeing to the mountains (Luke 21:21; ref. Matthew 24:21)? And why did the Apostle John tell his readers a few years later that THEY were in the tribulation (Revelation 1:9)?

If the book of Revelation is for us today, why would John write to the 7 churches if it had nothing to do with them? Why would John torture these first-century Christians with impossible and intricate symbolic labyrinths that applied only to people 2,000 years later? Why does Revelation say some 30 times that the events MUST be fulfilled SOON?

Why does Hebrews 10:37 say that in a VERY VERY (it’s there twice in the Greek) LITTLE WHILE Jesus would return and not delay? Were the writer of Hebrews and the other biblical writers that expressed the same thing FALSE PROPHETS?

If the biblical “last days” are in the 21st century, why does Peter and Paul both say the last days were in their time (Acts 2:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-2)?

John said it was the “last hour” (1 John 2:18). Does that mean that its fulfillment is now 17 million hours late?

If the GREAT COMMISSION is not yet fulfilled, why did Paul say it had been fulfilled when he was writing (Roman 1:8; 10:18; Colossians 1:5-6)?

If “heaven and earth” have not yet passed away, does that mean that not one jot or tittle has passed from the law and Jesus has not fulfilled it yet (Matthew 5:17-18)?

If the NEW JERUSALEM is a future physical location, how is it possible that the Hebrews in the first century were already there (Hebrews 12:22)?

If Jesus was going to return literally and physically (Acts 1:11), why do we read that his ascension was hidden from view by a cloud? If Jesus is going to return LITERALLY “in like manner” (Acts 1:11), does that also mean that He will return riding a white horse (Revelation 19:11)?

If Jesus was to be returning in a physical visible appearance to the whole world, why did He tell his first-century disciples (John 14:19) that the world would never see him again?

If the King James Version of the Bible really speaks of an end to the physical universe, why is “end of the world” found there consistently translated as “end of the AGE” in modern translations?

If the prophetic passages were fulfilled once in the first century, and then again thousands of years later, why is there no hint of this by Jesus and the biblical writers?

Mr. Meek is the author of a new book CHRISTIAN HOPE THROUGH FULFILLED PROPHECY: IS YOUR CHURCH TEACHING ERROR ABOUT THE LAST DAYS AND SECOND COMING?


TOPICS: Religion
KEYWORDS: bible; eschatology; preterism; prophecy
Mr. Meek is also the editor and chief writer of one of the oldest apologetics sites on the Internet: www.faithfacts.org.
1 posted on 01/20/2014 7:30:29 PM PST by grumpa
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To: grumpa

Lots of questions like history channel trying to prove bigfoot and UFOs.


2 posted on 01/20/2014 7:35:53 PM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: grumpa

The problem with preterism is that so many events clearly described in Revelation just did not happen in 70 AD.


3 posted on 01/20/2014 7:38:53 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: grumpa
There is astounding disagreement among Christians on Bible prophecy. About a dozen years ago I decided that I could no longer blindly listen to my pastoral staff on this subject, and I became determined to get to the bottom of this subject. There were too many questions I had that the church just could not answer adequately. I became a preterist. Preterism is the view that most if not all prophetic events happened with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It appears to be the fastest growing view of eschatology as other systems are being discredited. I see a dramatic upheaval coming in the church on eschatology.
WHEATON — A broad coalition of evangelical theologians has cracked the code of the Book of Revelation, solving its mysteries, metaphors and messages in what is being called a watershed moment in Christian history.

"To get this kind of across-the-board agreement is phenomenal," said a spokesman. "Moments like this come along once in a millenium."

The key to understanding the book's puzzling enigmas and fundamental message was "hidden in plain sight," say the scholars. The book's purpose and message can be summed up for lay readers as

(Excerpt - read more at Evangelical scholars solve Book of Revelation's mysteries


4 posted on 01/20/2014 7:44:58 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: grumpa

I think he’d better just stay a Preterist. He is obviously clueless as to what scripture prophesy really says. I sure hope he doesn’t try to teach that crap to anyone who truly has studied prophesies.


5 posted on 01/20/2014 7:48:32 PM PST by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: grumpa

So, when Meek can exegete Zechariah 8: 20-23, Luke 21:24, Ezekiel 37, Romans 11, I’m all ears. Nothing he spews makes sense in light of plain reading of the Word.


6 posted on 01/20/2014 7:53:00 PM PST by fahraint (git theah fuhstest with the mostest)
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To: Alex Murphy

Links appear to lead to a ( humorous) dead end?


7 posted on 01/20/2014 7:53:54 PM PST by faithhopecharity (C)
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To: grumpa

I became a preterist.

/////////

Yeah. That’s the ticket. Localize the Second Coming.... the same way that the Libs try to localize the worldwide flood of Noah’s day.

Okay, so R.C. Sproule is also a preterist. He is as wrong as this guy (about eschatology, though he is outstanding in virtually every other area of theology).

I still love my preterist brethren, however! Eschatology divides believers into several different camps, due to our imperfect understanding of he prophetic Scriptures.

The biggest separator, however, is this: Is the LORD going to give the Jews a literal (earthly-based) Millennial Kingdom with Christ ruling from Jerusalem — or not?

If not, then the Amils, preterists, and/or Post-Mils are probably on the right track.

I tend to disagree with them on this point, however, and anticipate a literal (post-Rapture/pre-Second Coming) Jerusalem-centered Millennium! So call me a wooden-headed literalist. (I have been called worse!)


8 posted on 01/20/2014 7:54:51 PM PST by man_in_tx (Blowback (Faithfully farting twowards Mecca five times daily).)
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To: man_in_tx

correction: I should rather say that I believe the Millennium will be ushered in by the LORD at His Second Coming (but after the Rapture and after the Tribulation).

Apologies... open to comments, criticisms.


9 posted on 01/20/2014 8:01:21 PM PST by man_in_tx (Blowback (Faithfully farting twowards Mecca five times daily).)
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To: grumpa

Bttt.


10 posted on 01/20/2014 8:02:05 PM PST by Inyo-Mono (NRA)
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To: grumpa
You may find some answers to your questions in the following teachings. Jump to the 1 hour mark of each.

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: November 1, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: November 8, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: November 15, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: November 22, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: November 29, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: December 13, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: December 20, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: December 27, 2013

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: January 3, 2014

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: January 10, 2014

Shabbat Night Live with Michael Rood: January 17, 2014

11 posted on 01/20/2014 8:08:02 PM PST by Errant (Surround yourself with intelligent and industrious people who help and support each other.)
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To: grumpa

Eschatology is often worthless, a vanity, and a distraction. Beyond the idea that a Christian ought to live as if Christ is coming in the next hour, every hour of their lives, none of the eschatalogical doctrines affect my Christian testimony or walk.


12 posted on 01/20/2014 8:22:40 PM PST by FateAmenableToChange
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To: grumpa

I laugh in this guys face. Hopefully with enough spittle to ruin his day. I wonder how many people he’s deflated and caused to leave the faith?


13 posted on 01/20/2014 8:23:52 PM PST by Dogbert41 (Up yours NSA !)
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To: grumpa

So many straw men, so little time!


14 posted on 01/20/2014 8:25:45 PM PST by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: SkyPilot
The problem with preterism is that so many events clearly described in Revelation just did not happen in 70 AD.

I thought the preterism book was closed in 1948, and then nailed shut in 1967.

15 posted on 01/20/2014 9:38:23 PM PST by D Rider (Don't give sharp objects to small children)
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To: SubMareener

Exactly! I could probably argue or show his misguidedness in every instance he sites, but who has the time to waste in proving him wrong when I already know he is wrong.


16 posted on 01/20/2014 10:13:27 PM PST by faucetman ( Just the facts, ma'am, Just the facts)
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To: grumpa
These questions are all easily answered with scripture but when one has made up his/her mind, no answer is suitable...What is far, far tougher (impossible) is for Preterists to answer the questions posed to them...

What is interesting is that there are millions upon millions of Christians who believe scripture HAS answered these questions but the author acts as tho they have never been answered by anyone...Apparently the author just doesn't care for the biblical answers given...

17 posted on 01/20/2014 10:41:48 PM PST by Iscool
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To: man_in_tx
Apologies... open to comments, criticisms.

None from me...

18 posted on 01/20/2014 10:43:53 PM PST by Iscool
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To: FateAmenableToChange

AMEN! The truth summed up in one sentence! Have said this for years......


19 posted on 01/20/2014 11:12:43 PM PST by Arlis
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To: SkyPilot

A lot of prophecy cannot be determined until after it has passed and looking back it can be recognized.

Looking forward, it often doesn’t make much sense.

It happened with Jesus when He came.


20 posted on 01/21/2014 12:43:10 AM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: grumpa

bfl


21 posted on 01/21/2014 6:53:20 AM PST by NWHawk (Not Quirky)
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To: grumpa; metmom; SubMareener; FateAmenableToChange
It was said on this thread, "Eschatology is often worthless, a vanity, and a distraction. Beyond the idea that a Christian ought to live as if Christ is coming in the next hour, every hour of their lives, none of the eschatalogical doctrines affect my Christian testimony or walk."

Also, "A lot of prophecy cannot be determined until after it has passed and looking back it can be recognized. Looking forward, it often doesn’t make much sense. It happened with Jesus when He came."

And, "So many straw men, so little time!"

I tend to agree with all 3 of these sentiments, and indeed, while I'm careful not to suggest any study of Scripture for any reason is profit-LESS, this subject (eschatology) to me never truly seems to be worth the time. Indeed, all we are really being called toward, in any of the warnings in Scripture, is to live a life of holiness, and be ready for His Coming at any time. Indeed, He can "come" at any time, to each of us individually, as no one can ever know what exact day AND hour, we will DIE.

This is truly the first point I'd like to dwell on now. Many of these passages (I will examine one to demonstrate this point) can be and should be looked at in this context: personal death. Many times what is often overlooked in such discussion, is exactly who such passages were written for, that is, what their life was like and what they could expect merely by reaching adulthood (age 20 onward).

In those times, unlike today, if someone lived to be 20, they had made it past a whole lot of hurdles. Also, while age 30 could perhaps be reasonably expected (that wasn't still virtually guaranteed, as it is today), if one reached 30, much less 40, well, to put it plainly, one's life was almost over. It was very rare for anyone to live past 40, and still more rare past 50.

Keep that in mind as I examine this passage (as that proper context will apply to the other passages not mentioned in this post, as the examination of those will be the same). Before I begin, a word about my methodology here: While I am loathe to rely on Biblical Commentary, here I believe it is quite educational and helpful to do so, and such, I will rely upon the reader's desire for further explanation to go to the site(s) I list to read more of which I quote, for again, it is quite helpful in this instance (IMO).

Why does Hebrews 10:37 say that in a VERY VERY (it’s there twice in the Greek) LITTLE WHILE Jesus would return and not delay? Were the writer of Hebrews and the other biblical writers that expressed the same thing FALSE PROPHETS?

To answer the question (which is a straw man by the way): No, the authors of Scripture were not "false prophets"

As I mention above, I believe the commentary found here is most useful in this regard, specifically:

In these verses, after the manner of the Epistle, what is being urged is supported by an Old Testament quotation (Habakkuk 2:3, 4), its drift being

(1) the certainty, notwithstanding delay, of the fulfillment of the Divine promise;

(2) the necessity meanwhile of continuance in faith and perseverance.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie [rather, 'but it hasteth to the end, and doth not lie']: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, and not tarry [or, 'be behindhand'].

That the person spoken of is the Lord Jesus Christ, is evident from the prophecy in Habakkuk 2:3 here referred to, and from the character of him that is to come, Matthew 11:3 and from parallel places, James 5:7 and this is to be understood, not of his coming in the flesh, for he was come in the flesh already; though Habakkuk indeed refers to his first coming(note, this reflects metmom's point re prophecy yet to be fulfilled, and how it may not be understood until it IS fulfilled), yet not to that only, but including his second coming also; but of his coming in his kingdom and power to destroy Jerusalem, and take vengeance on the Jews, for their rejection of him:(note, again here, certainly possible that this prophecy was seen, in a certain sense, by the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, but, as we have already seen, prophecies in Scripture may have dual, and even triple meanings or intent, i.e., past, present and still future applications and fulfillments, again as metmom implied) the kingdom of Christ was at hand, when he began to preach; upon his ascension to heaven, it began to appear more visible; but still the temple was standing, and that worship continued, which stood in the way of the glory of his kingdom; during which time the saints suffered much: but in a little while from the writing of this epistle, he, who was to come, did come, even within about ten years after this, and showed his power and his glory, in delivering his people, and destroying his enemies; see Matthew 16:28. It may be applied to his coming to help his people in time of need; the afflictions of the saints are many; they are all for an appointed time, and but for a while; and Christ has promised to come, and visit them; and which he does often, and speedily, and seasonably: it may also be accommodated to Christ coming to take his people to himself by death; Christ may be said to come in this sense, and he will certainly come; and this will be in a little while; man is but of few days; death is certain, and should be patiently expected: and it may likewise be suitably improved, with respect to Christ's coming to judgment; that he will come is certain, from prophecies, particularly from the prophecy of Enoch, from his own words, from the testimony of angels, from the institution of the Lord's supper, till he comes, and from the general expectation of the saints; and this coming of his is desirable, because it will be the marriage of the Lamb, and the redemption of the saints, and because of the grace and glory that will be brought unto them, and because they shall then be for ever with him; and this will be quickly, in a little time, in comparison of the time that went before his first coming, and of the eternity that will follow after this; and though it may seem long, yet with God it is but a little while, with whom a thousand years are as one day; and however, since it is certain that he will come,

and will not tarry, beyond the appointed time, patience should be exercised.

Here now, it should be clear, that for this and all similar verses that seem to imply His Second Coming (to the world, that is, the Judgement of the World) will be "soon" or "near", by our standards and understanding of "soon" and "near" may not necessarily be so, even for the people 2,000 years ago. Indeed, what can we even see when one studies the issue from an historical perspective: the disciples of Christ, after He did not (apparently) return in glory "in this generation", did not surrender their faith in Him, NOR did they become Preterists in the sense they ascribed His Second Coming to the destruction of the Temple. That is, one WILL find early faith in the Church of the Apostles and disciples of same, who DID believe in a "literal" return of Jesus "in this generation". But what one will NOT find, is a "conversion" of sorts by these same people (when the truth became obvious by the mere passage of time), "Well then, He didn't return in a literal generation as we expected, therefore, He must have 'returned' when the Temple was destroyed"

No, this is not found in history. What is found, in all historical, patriarchal writings, is a continued, firm belief in a glorious Second Coming that will be visible to every human on the Earth; the fact that the literal interpretation of "in this generation" was thrown out is irrelevant.

What therefore should be understood when reading such verses (even those that say "in this generation") is that, the Scriptures are assuring the faithful that when they die, which again, for them would be a "short" time (or, in the "generation" of the believer, because again, they didn't live that long back then) that they would see Christ in all His Glory (at their particular judgement). This is how the Church understands it now, because again, the literal interpretation makes no sense, a "return" via the destruction of the Temple notwithstanding.

Now, a word about the following question:

If the teaching 1 day=1000 yrs and a 1000 yrs = 1 day to the Lord...DOES THAT MEAN?—1000 yrs in Revelation is a single 24 hr day?

Again, another straw man argument, but to answer directly: No, the 1000 years in Revelation is not a single 24 hour day (at least one can't be assured this is the case).

The preceding question refers to 2 Peter 3:8, which is clearly a metaphor, an expression, to illustrate the timelessness of God. It's not meant to be some kind of equation, some key to unlocking the mystery that is God's timetable.

It's not that time "doesn't matter" to God (as was asked elsewhere in the OP), but rather that our finite existence can NOT be used to predict God's actions, to discern God's timetable. Clearly time DOES matter to God, or else He wouldn't have created it, and entered into it (via the Incarnation). It's just that we can't assume that our concept of time, no matter how "long" for us, means anything to God.

If any of the New Testament was written after AD 70, why is there no mention anywhere in the New Testament IN THE PAST TENSE about the incredible events surrounding the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in that year?

Well, this is a surprising question, I must admit, and I'm not sure what point is being made here. Because indeed, the question could be turned around and asked, "If the destruction of the Temple was when Jesus returned, why didn't St. John mention the destruction of the Temple, IN THE PAST TENSE, in Revelation? IOW, if St. John felt that the destruction of the Temple was clear and unmistakable evidence of Jesus' Second Coming, why didn't he SAY that, CLEARLY, in the book of Revelation? Don't you think he would have mentioned that, if indeed such an important event occurred?" Indeed, when viewed that way, this question becomes even more troublesome for the Preterist, I'd say, rather than the "futurist".

If the Great Tribulation is still future to us, why did Jesus tell the first century Christians that they could avoid it by fleeing to the mountains (Luke 21:21; ref. Matthew 24:21)? And why did the Apostle John tell his readers a few years later that THEY were in the tribulation (Revelation 1:9)? If the book of Revelation is for us today, why would John write to the 7 churches if it had nothing to do with them? Why would John torture these first-century Christians with impossible and intricate symbolic labyrinths that applied only to people 2,000 years later? Why does Revelation say some 30 times that the events MUST be fulfilled SOON?

These questions again demonstrate metmom's point, to whit: That prophecy can have a mysterious, still future meaning yet not understood. That's reply number one. Secondly, I'd add also that these pieces of advice also served a function at that time, as indeed: What would be the best place to avoid persecution (fleeing to the mountains). What could the early Christians at that time expect (persecution, or IOW, certainly a Tribulation of their own).

So again, simply because these events were seen back then, makes no difference wrt Christ's Second Coming, because they very well could (and probably WILL) be seen AGAIN

If the GREAT COMMISSION is not yet fulfilled, why did Paul say it had been fulfilled when he was writing (Roman 1:8; 10:18; Colossians 1:5-6)?

Here, the questioner is confusing the GREAT COMMISSION with the testimony all of creation shouts out (with joy) of the great God who created them. In this way, the "Gospel" HAS been "heard" by all the world already, and indeed, all of man will be judged by this fact. See Psa 19:4. Was the "GREAT COMMISSION" spread throughout the whole world BEFORE JESUS? Psa 19:4 is what St. Paul is clearly alluding to in Rom 10:18 (and elsewhere, where the sentiment of the entire world "hearing the Gospel" is mentioned). This is again, the point he is making, that creation itself speaks of its Creator DAILY, and it's our woe if we ignore this testimony.

This testimony, the testimony of creation, is NOT the "great commission". I think that simple statement of fact should be self-evident.

If “heaven and earth” have not yet passed away, does that mean that not one jot or tittle has passed from the law and Jesus has not fulfilled it yet (Matthew 5:17-18)?

See here. The answer to the question, which apparently would be surprising for the author, is "No, not one jot or tittle has passed from the law". Indeed, "abolish" does NOT mean "fulfill" (necessarily), and also, even when He does return, the Law won't be "abolished". There will simply be no more sin, as death itself is finally destroyed, we will have no desire to sin (just as those in Heaven now have no desire to sin, yet the Law is still present). We will perfectly serve the Law at that time.

The main point here is, actually, one I and other Catholics have made to Protestants re the perpetual virginity of Mary (cf Matt 1:25). The word "until" does NOT always, necessarily imply a ceasing of the event in question. Do not get hung up on the word "until" in Matt 5:17, this is my point here.

If the NEW JERUSALEM is a future physical location, how is it possible that the Hebrews in the first century were already there (Hebrews 12:22)?

I have honestly read this question 10 times (if not more) and I still don't see how this is an issue. After all, the words "new Jerusalem" do not appear in Heb 12:22, that I can see. Jerusalem was (and is) a perpetual city, it's never "fallen" in the respect that people have always lived there. So the "heavenly Jerusalem" in Heb 12:22 is not the "New Jerusalem", rather it's "heavenly" because that's precisely how Jews at the time viewed Jerusalem. They did so because God dwelled in the Temple, (cf Isa 24:23), and therefore was a "heavenly" place, where God and His Angels dwelt.

If Jesus was going to return literally and physically (Acts 1:11), why do we read that his ascension was hidden from view by a cloud? If Jesus is going to return LITERALLY “in like manner” (Acts 1:11), does that also mean that He will return riding a white horse (Revelation 19:11)?

Why are these questions so controversial? Or really, why is the answer, "He will return on a white horse, from a cloud" so difficult for the "futurist"? It's not for me. Sounds pretty glorious to me, to be surrounded by a mighty cloud, riding on a thunderous white horse! Doesn't sound, to me, like that contradicts the claim of a "glorious return" at all (if indeed that's what's implied by those questions. Otherwise, I have no idea what the questions are meant to ask).

If Jesus was to be returning in a physical visible appearance to the whole world, why did He tell his first-century disciples (John 14:19) that the world would never see him again?

See here. Again, this is written to the reader, the believer, who's time is short. Here, Jesus is comforting his followers, because He knows they will not see him again (indeed, in this way, this passage is actually harmful to the preterits position, as it arguably demonstrates Jesus knows he would NOT return within a literal generation to the entire world, all at once).

He's saying here that when He goes back to be with His Father, He's going to send (and has now sent) His Holy Spirit to "teach us" (meaning the Church) to be our "comforter". Today, we can also see fulfillment of this at each of our peculiar judgements (this is when we see Him, but not the world).

The world "will not see [him] again" in the sense that He will not be coming again to teach the world, to give the world a chance to come to him (that's our job now, that's the "great commission"), rather, the next time the entire world sees Him, He will be judge of it (and woe to anyone who resisted the Gospel then!)

This is the point here: That Jesus, as a man, as a clearly identifiable human being like the rest of us, remains "unseen" in the sense that He's not some guy walking down the street that we could therefore encounter. This is why it is said, "To those who do not see, yet still believe are blessed". One CAN encounter Christ today in His Church, but only those who have "eyes to see" will have such an encounter. To the rest of the world, He remains and will remain hidden, hidden by their own stubborn blindness, not because He doesn't intend to return in glory.

This is the message of John 14, the entire chapter. Don't take one verse out of context and build an entire theology around it.

If the King James Version of the Bible really speaks of an end to the physical universe, why is “end of the world” found there consistently translated as “end of the AGE” in modern translations?

This is no more concerning than a better translation is closer to the truth. Here we can see that indeed, we are living in an "age" different than the one before the Incarnation. Before, the entirety of the faith was not revealed, now it is. The age to come is the final defeat of death. Nothing more "complicated" than that.

If the prophetic passages were fulfilled once in the first century, and then again thousands of years later, why is there no hint of this by Jesus and the biblical writers?

Here is where I was tempted to let metmom's reply stand as a reply to the entire work of Mr. Meeks, but I had some extra time today (the reader can thank the snow God sent for that, if this work of mine was appreciated), so I replied as above.

However to make it clear and to conclude, this is (apparently) PRECISELY Mr. Meek's mistake: He seems to believe, for whatever reason, that once a prophecy is fulfilled, it can have no further future applications. I submit, there is NO reason to believe this, other than simple eisegesis.

22 posted on 01/21/2014 9:49:56 AM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven

Wow. That was good. Thanks.


23 posted on 01/21/2014 10:34:10 AM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: metmom
That is true. However, the preterist stance that Revelation was mostly fulfilled in 70 AD does not stand up to scrutiny, i.e. Preterism holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70."

There are just too many holes in that argument. Chapter 1 makes clear that is prophecy, and the rest of the book makes it clear that the bowls, seals, and judgments are worldwide events. They either have already happened, or they didn't happen yet. 1/3rd of all fresh water over the whole earth was not destroyed in 70 AD. The asteroid Wormwood did not fall to the earth in 70 AD. Hail, fire, and blood did not destroy 1/3rd of all trees and grass throughout the world in 70 AD.

Moreover, God makes clear to the Church in Philadelphia that they are spared from the wrath to come in Chapter 3:10. Since the wrath of God is to punish nonbelievers and those who sin against Him, what purpose would God have for inflicting wrath on believers? Jewish tradition also says that the bridegroom goes away to prepare a place for his bride (i.e. build a house) and returns for her at a time she does not know. Christ used this very same parallel with His bride - the Church. The Church is also never mentioned in the entire book of Revelation. There are believers who come to Christ during those terrible last days, but not the Church, because it is taken out and spared.

In any case, I know of your great faith. You and I know that Christ has us in the palm of His hand, and nothing can separates us from Him.

24 posted on 01/21/2014 10:39:13 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
I agree completely.

You and I know that Christ has us in the palm of His hand, and nothing can separates us from Him.

And thanks for that comment. I'm in the midst of some Spiritual struggles and that really speaks to the situation.

25 posted on 01/21/2014 10:56:03 AM PST by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: metmom

Thank you.


26 posted on 01/21/2014 11:45:03 AM PST by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Iscool

Thank you for the kind word!


27 posted on 01/21/2014 6:13:25 PM PST by man_in_tx (Blowback (Faithfully farting twowards Mecca five times daily).)
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To: SkyPilot
>>>Moreover, God makes clear to the Church in Philadelphia that they are spared from the wrath to come in Chapter 3:10.<<<

I am puzzled where your definition of temptation came from. The verse says nothing of wrath or tribulation: the definition you ascribe. It speaks only of temptation:

"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Rev 3:10)

The underlying Greek word for temptation means, simply, " by implication adversity: -- temptation, x try ".

Therefore, unlike Jesus and his disciples, who were tempted with earthly pleasures and things, the Lord said he would keep that church from temptation. This verse provides a general understanding of the use of temptation in the New Testament:

"And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mat 26:40-41)

The words temptation and tempted are used many times in the New Testament, and not once, that I can find, do they relate to anything other than the normal, everyday use of the word(s).

Wrath and tribulation, on the other hand, have entirely different meanings and uses. The underlying Greek word for wrath in Rev 19:15 means "by implication punishment: -- anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath."

"And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." (Rev 19:15)

The underlying Greek word for wrath in Rev 18:3 means: "fierceness, indignation, wrath."

"For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of [Babylon the Great's] fornication…" (Rev 18:3)

The word for tribulation, in Matthew 24:21, means: "anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble."

"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matthew 24:21)

Getting back to Rev 3:10, the context seems to imply that the Church was being tempted by the local synagogue, maybe to revert back to Judaism. Read the entire passage in context:

"Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Rev 3:9)

The words about the Jews sound harsh; but they are no different than what had been said by the Lord and the apostles all along. Recall Jesus' response to those in the temple who claimed to be Abraham's seed:

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

Jesus had been explaining that if they were Abraham's seed, they would believe Him; but they would not hear him:

"He that is not with me is against me. . ." (Matt 12:30)

And Moses said this about the future of those who would not hear Christ:

"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." (Acts 3:22-23, also Deut 18:18-19)

In this verse Paul explains who is a Jew, and who is not:

"But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." (Rom 2:29)

This in no way implies that a Gentile can ever be a Jew. It simply means that, of the Jews, only those who have the spirit of Christ are truly Jews. The others are the children of the devil.

Therefore, the term, synagogue of Satan, applies to any synagogue that does not believe that Christ is the Messiah, and in those days it was virtually all of them.

Philip

28 posted on 01/22/2014 3:12:22 PM PST by PhilipFreneau
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To: FourtySeven

>>>What is found, in all historical, patriarchal writings, is a continued, firm belief in a glorious Second Coming that will be visible to every human on the Earth; the fact that the literal interpretation of “in this generation” was thrown out is irrelevant.<<<

So, are we to ignore the plain language of the Lord and his apostles because we don’t happen to agree with what he says?

And how do we know He didn’t return in a literal generation as He stated, and as was anticipated by all his apostles and the early Church? Did any of the early Church members write anything stating one way or the other? Why is that? Were they raptured? Were they all part of the first resurrection and were therefore no longer around to write anything?

What about the 1.1 million slaughtered in the city of Jerusalem alone? Can you recall a time in modern or ancient history when another single city lost that many people? What about the internal civil war among the three factions, where each of the three parts destroyed the food supplies of the other parts, leading to massive starvation and cannibalism; all the while dodging the huge stones the weight of a talent (100 pounds) the Roman armies were catapulting into the city?

That was forty and two months of tribulation beyond our imaginations. It was 100% pure Hell on Earth. Even their dead bodies were left to the fowls and beasts to consume because there was no one left to bury them.

I would not be so quick to write off the plain words of our Lord, particularly when He and his apostles implied, or directly stated, over and over and over again, that “the time is at hand.”

Philip


29 posted on 01/22/2014 5:46:30 PM PST by PhilipFreneau
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To: PhilipFreneau
New International Version - Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

New Living Translation - "Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.

English Standard Version - Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

New American Standard Bible - Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

I am not a Bible scholar, but I believe John was not describing ordinary temptation as in sexual or other sin, but trial.

From Biblehub.com: "the hour of temptation—the appointed season of affliction and temptation (so in De 4:34 the plagues are called "the temptations of Egypt"), literally, "the temptation": the sore temptation which is coming on: the time of great tribulation before Christ's second coming.....Here it has the article, as if "the temptation" were to be of no ordinary kind. The word does not occur elsewhere in St. John's writings. In order to bring substantive and verb into harmony, the Revised Version renders πειρασμός "trial," the word for "to try" being πειράσαι.

30 posted on 01/22/2014 5:52:47 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
>>>I am not a Bible scholar, but I believe John was not describing ordinary temptation as in sexual or other sin, but trial.<<<

I agree. As aforementioned, I believe it had something to do with the synagogue referenced in the previous verse: vs. 9. Members of the Church may have been coaxed (or even threatened) to rejoin the synagogue or re-convert back to Judaism (that happened a lot in those days.)

Verse 2:9 has a similar reference to the synagogue of satan. But notice in the verse that follows that there is no nonchalant promise about temptation. There is this warning:

" I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Rev 2:9-10)

Those two verses, by themselves, are enough to completely discredit any "temptation = tribulation" arguments for verse 3:10. If Jesus had intended to use the word "tribulation," he would have used it.

>>>In order to bring substantive and verb into harmony, the Revised Version renders πειρασμός "trial," the word for "to try" being πειράσαι.<<<

Whatever the case, the Greek word you gave is the same one I quoted. The "pronunciation" provided is pi-ras-mos in Strong's Concordance, and pierasmos in Young's Analytical Concordance.

Youngs also gives the definition as "trial," as you seem to recommend. But that is all hair-splitting. The usage in the New Testament is the important part, and, as the old saying goes, no matter how you squeeze that lemon, you will not get any orange juice.

These are the usages of the Greek word "pierasmos" according to Young's:

Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Luke 22:28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.

Luke 22:40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

Luke 22:46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Acts 20:19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:

1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Gal 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

1 Tim 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Heb 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Jam 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Jam 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

1 Pet 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

2 Pet 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Strong's has all those, and adds this one; but as the Greek for the word try, not for trial:

1 Pet 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

Philip

31 posted on 01/22/2014 8:36:00 PM PST by PhilipFreneau
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To: FourtySeven
>>>That the person spoken of is the Lord Jesus Christ, is evident from the prophecy in Habakkuk 2:3 here referred to, and from the character of him that is to come, Matthew 11:3 and from parallel places, James 5:7 and this is to be understood, not of his coming in the flesh, for he was come in the flesh already; though Habakkuk indeed refers to his first coming(note, this reflects metmom's point re prophecy yet to be fulfilled, and how it may not be understood until it IS fulfilled),<<<

 

I am happy to see you posting excerpts from John Gill's commentary.  He has an excellent, comprehensive commentary on Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, at:

http://www.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=024

While I tend to like John Gill's work, I prefer Adam Clarke's commentary on Habakkuk:

http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?bk=34&ch=2

Matthew Henry also has an excellent commentary on Habakkuk:

http://www.studylight.org/com/mhm/

Philip

32 posted on 01/22/2014 11:19:56 PM PST by PhilipFreneau
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