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Making Bad Prophecy Predictions Vanish
American Vision ^ | August 4, 2009 | Gary DeMar

Posted on 08/04/2009 7:20:37 AM PDT by topcat54

Ehrich Weiss (1874–1926), best known as the master magician Harry Houdini, lived in Appleton, Wisconsin, as a young boy where his father served as rabbi of the Zion Reform Jewish Congregation. Over the years, Houdini astounded audiences with his artful showmanship and his ability to escape from any contrivance. One of Houdini’s most famous non-escape stage illusions was performed at New York’s Hippodrome Theater when he made a full-grown elephant (with its trainer) disappear from the stage. The act was called “The Vanishing Elephant.”[1]

There’s going to be another vanishing act held, this time appropriately in Houdini’s hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin, at the 2009 Great Lakes Prophecy Conference. Some of the speakers include David Hocking, T.A. McMahon, Dave Hunt, and Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapter, Costa Mesa, California. What will disappear are the many false predictions made by Smith over the years. I suspect that very few people in attendance at this conference and the other Calvary Chapel prophecy conferences that are scheduled are aware of Smith’s long history of date setting.

arWhile cleaning up my office (a never ending task), I came across a cassette tape of a sermon Smith preached on December 31, 1979. He told his very accepting audience on that day that the rapture would take place in 1981. The former Soviet Republic going into Afghanistan in August of 1978 was the prelude to what Smith considered to be a full-force invasion of the Middle East. It would not be long before “Russia” would invade Israel, Smith told his audience. All of this was said to have been “predicted” by Ezekiel 2600 years ago.

Smith went on to claim in his end-of-the-year message of 30 years ago that because of ozone depletion Revelation 16:8 would be fulfilled during the soon-coming Great Tribulation: “And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to scorch men with fire.” According to Smith, Halley’s Comet would pass near the Earth in 1986 and would wreck atmospheric havoc for those left behind as debris from its million-mile tail pummeled the earth. Halley’s Comet did appear in 1986 with no damage done to our planet. (A similar prelude to the end had been predicted based on the so-called Jupiter Effect.[2]) If Halley’s Comet has had any prophetic import, it was in A.D. 66 when it passed over Jerusalem “just a few years before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70 (see Storms from the Sun, 37). And just in case you haven’t noticed, contrary to Smith, the rapture did not take place in 1981 as he and others (e.g., Hal Lindsey in The Late Great Planet Earth).

In his 1976 book The Soon to be Revealed Antichrist Smith wrote, “we are living in the last generation which began with the rebirth of Israel in 1948 (see Matt. 24:32–34).” You will search in vain in the three verses Smith references to find any mention of “the rebirth of Israel.” He repeats the claim in his 1978 book End Times: “If I understand Scripture correctly, Jesus taught us that the generation which sees the ‘budding of the fig tree,’ the birth of the nation of Israel, will be the generation that sees the Lord’s return. I believe that the generation of 1948 is the last generation. Since a generation of judgment is forty years and the Tribulation period lasts seven years, I believe the Lord could come back for His Church any time before the Tribulation starts, which would mean any time before 1981. (1948 + 40 – 7 = 1981).”[3] If this prophetic math sounds familiar, it’s because the same end-time logic was used by Hal Lindsey in The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970.

In order to cover himself against charges of date setting, Smith wrote that “it is possible that Jesus is dating the beginning of the generation from 1967, when Jerusalem was again under Israeli control for the first time since 587 B.C. We don’t know for sure which year actually marks the beginning of the last generation.”[4] A 1967 starting point plus a 40-year generation would mean the rapture should have taken place around the year 2000. While it sounds like Smith is simply engaging in conjecture, in his book Future Survival, which was first published in 1978 and updated in 1980, his prophetic dogmatism is retained:

We’re the generation that saw the fig tree bud forth, as Israel became a nation again in 1948. As a rule, a generation in the Bible lasts 40 years. . . . Forty years after 1948 would bring us to 1988.[5]

Keep in mind that it’s not only important to show where Smith was wrong in his predictions, it’s crucial that we understand that he is using an interpretive model that leads him to make these predictions.

Smith wrote in 1980 that from his “understanding of biblical prophecies, he was “convinced that the Lord [would come] for His Church before the end of 1981.” He did add that he “could be wrong” but went on to say in the same sentence that “it’s a deep conviction in my heart, and all my plans are predicated upon that belief.”[6] On these and other prophetic claims, the test of time has proved Smith to be wrong over and over again. This has not stopped him and others from dogmatizing that the end is near. Mark Hitchcock, following in the footsteps of Hal Lindsey, has written The Late Great United States: What the Bible Reveals about America’s Last Days (2009). Like Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth, Hitchcock’s new prophecy book is another exercise in newspaper exegesis.[7]

In the book Dateline Earth: Countdown to Eternity, Smith criticized Edgar Whisenant for predicting Jesus would return in September 1988: “He was certainly well-intentioned — including about his revised prediction of September 1989, when September 1988 came and went — but he was also dead wrong.”[8] This would have been a perfect opportunity for Smith to admit his own mistaken foray into predicting the end-point of “this generation,” but he did not take it.

To be fair, in a March 30, 1989 interview with William Alnor, Smith admitted that he “was guilty of coming close” to “date setting,” and this was wrong.[9] But when we look back over Smith’s statements about the timing of specific prophetic events, we can see that he did more than come close to date setting. He wrote, “We’re the generation that saw the fig tree bud forth, as Israel became a nation again in 1948.” We are now more than 60 years removed from the 1948 founding of Israel. The interpretive methodology used by Smith, Lindsey, Dave Hunt, and others making the 1948–1988 connection was fundamental to their claim that they were following a literal hermeneutic. If a literal hermeneutic results in near certainty of when prophetic events will take place but ends in a colossal miscalculation on a key element of their system, how should the interpretive methodology that brought them to that calculation be evaluated? To paraphrase Jesus, “An interpretive tree is known by its fruit, and the 1948–1988 timetable has turned out to be rotten fruit no matter how you slice it.”

In addition to some very specific prophetic predictions, Smith claimed that “the rapture is at hand.”[10] His 1976 book on the antichrist states that he will be revealed “soon.” Early in Dateline Earth, Smith stated, “Very soon there are going to be some strange and terrible things happening on this planet of ours.”[11] These “very soon” happenings are based on his futuristic reading of Revelation. He reinforces this argument when he states, “ Jesus is coming back, and He’s coming back soon.”[12] In his book The End, he writes, “It is later than you think. It is time to wake up from your lethargy and realize that the coming of the Lord is at hand!”[13]

What do you think Smith wants to convey to his readers when he uses words like “soon,” “close,”[14] and “at hand”? When the New Testament uses time words like “at hand,” “near,” and “shortly,” generally futurists like Smith argue that these words are non-specific and do not relate to the timing of prophetic events.

As a futurist, Smith “believes that Revelation says what it means and means what it says, and he or she does not need to twist its words to make them fit any particular doctrine. The futurist believes this book is to be taken at face value. . . .”[15] Earlier in Dateline Earth Smith argues that much of Revelation is “symbolic in nature,” so “the seven churches are used to signify that the message is for the complete Church — for all of God’s people, in every country and in every age.[16] If Revelation says what it means and means what it says, then why don’t the seven churches mean seven literal named churches in Asia Minor (Rev. 2–3) that were in existence in John’s day in the first century? Where does Revelation say, as Smith tells it, that “these churches are representative of the universal church,” each representing “a particular period of Church history”?[17] How does he know, for example, that the church at Pergamum “represents the beginning of the church-state system that developed under Constantine”[18] or the church at Sardis is the church of the Protestant Reformation?[19] Revelation doesn’t say any such thing. Smith is reading his interpretive system into the Bible.

Endnotes
[1] Jim Steinmeyer, Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 2003), 269–272
[2] Astronomers John Gribben and Setphen Plagemann predicted the “Jupiter Effect” in 1974 in their book The Jupiter Effect: A Scientific Exploration of the Plants as Triggers of Major Earthquakes. They wrote that when various planets were aligned on the same side of the sun in 1982, tidal forces would create solar flares, radio interruptions, rainfall and temperature disturbances and massive earthquakes. The planets did align as seen from earth, as they do regularly. Nothing unusual happened. In his 1999 book The Little Book of Science, Gribbin wrote that he was sorry he “ever had anything to do with it.”
[3] Chuck Smith, End Times (Costa Mesa, CA: The Word for Today, 1978), 35. Dispensationalists like Smith, Hocking, and Hunt believe that the rapture takes place seven years before the return of Christ.
[4] End Times, 36.
[5] Chuck Smith, Future Survival (Costa Mesa, CA: The Word for Today, [1978] 1980), 17.
[6] Smith, Future Survival, 20.
[7] Here’s what one reviewer wrote about the book: “Years ago, I used to read Dr. Hitchcock’s books with great eagerness. As his new books continued to roll off the presses, I began to see a repeated theme emerging. Hitchcock no longer writes to teach the Body of Christ but rather to fleece them and make a buck off of the booming prophecy industry. There are many excellent books out there on the subject, but they are often not published by the mainstream book publishers. After Hitchcock’s last book which as a transparent effort to jump on the Iranian President’s prominence in the news, I was disappointed to say the least. But I still chose to give him the benefit of the doubt and I purchased this book as well. My worst fears were realized. With the United States in a serious financial and moral crisis, Hitchcock has proven to me that he is simply capitalizing on the latest events in the news and the anxieties of the sheep for the purpose of making a quick buck. Mr. Hitchcock and the Christian publishing world should be greatly ashamed. It is not about growing one’s own little empire, but about proclaiming the coming Kingdom of Christ. This will be the last book written by Mr. Hitchcock that I will ever purchase or read.”
[8] Chuck Smith with David Wimbish, Dateline Earth: Countdown to Eternity (Old Tappan, NJ: Chosen Books, 1989), 26.
[9] Chuck Smith’s interview with William M. Alnor in Soothsayers of the Second Advent (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1989.
[10] Smith, Dateline Earth, 38.
[11] Smith, Dateline Earth, 21.
[12] Smith, Dateline Earth, 25. Emphasis in original.
[13] Smith, The End, 46.
[14] “We’re getting close to the Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ in glory!” (Smith, Future Survival, 21). Emphasis in original.
[15] Smith, Dateline Earth, 20.
[16] Smith, Dateline Earth, 20
[17] Smith, Dateline Earth, 28.
[18] Smith, Dateline Earth, 28–29.
[19] Smith, Dateline Earth, 33.


Permission to reprint granted by American Vision, P.O. Box 220, Powder Springs, GA 30127, 800-628-9460.


TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: eschatology; futurism
"We are now more than 60 years removed from the 1948 founding of Israel. The interpretive methodology used by Smith, Lindsey, Dave Hunt, and others making the 1948–1988 connection was fundamental to their claim that they were following a literal hermeneutic. If a literal hermeneutic results in near certainty of when prophetic events will take place but ends in a colossal miscalculation on a key element of their system, how should the interpretive methodology that brought them to that calculation be evaluated? To paraphrase Jesus, 'An interpretive tree is known by its fruit, and the 1948–1988 timetable has turned out to be rotten fruit no matter how you slice it.'"
1 posted on 08/04/2009 7:20:37 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: ItsOurTimeNow; HarleyD; suzyjaruki; nobdysfool; jkl1122; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Dr. Eckleburg; ...
Reformed Eschatology Ping List (REPL)
Biblically Optimistic and Gospel-Based

"For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22)

2 posted on 08/04/2009 7:21:30 AM PDT by topcat54 (Don't believe in a pre-anything rapture? Join "Naysayers for Jesus")
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To: All

“Keep in mind that it’s not only important to show where Smith was wrong in his predictions, it’s crucial that we understand that he is using an interpretive model that leads him to make these predictions.”


3 posted on 08/04/2009 7:24:13 AM PDT by topcat54 (Don't believe in a pre-anything rapture? Join "Naysayers for Jesus")
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To: topcat54
To paraphrase Jesus, 'An interpretive tree is known by its fruit, and the 1948–1988 timetable has turned out to be rotten fruit no matter how you slice it.'"

Great analysis of Chuck Smith's failed date-setting. Thanks for the ping, TC!

4 posted on 08/04/2009 7:26:46 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("I always longed for repose and quiet" - John Calvin)
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To: topcat54
Down the Memory Hole.
5 posted on 08/04/2009 7:45:01 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalists say the darndest things!")
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To: topcat54
Years ago, I found, in the local K-Mart, a book titled "Christ Returns by 1988, 101 Reasons Why." At least one of those reasons was Jimmy Carter's election to the Presidency!

Shoulda bought that book, but I was very broke in those days. It remained on sale until sometime in 1985, and then it quietly disappeared.

6 posted on 08/04/2009 7:47:43 AM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: topcat54
I first came to faith under the teaching of Chuck Smith back in 1974, and was even baptized in the ocean at "pirates cove" in Corona del Mar. I, and A LOT of folks like me were really searching for something better than the drug culture of southern California. I cannot fault a lot of "pastor Chuck's" teaching as it points to Jesus as being the only way to salvation. God used Chuck and Calvary Chapel (CC) as a tool to bring many of us to him, and I praise Him for the work He performed in me during that period of my life. Chuck was also a personal friend. We surfed together more than once.

Nevertheless, I always had a problem with the dogmatic eschatology espoused by CC, and I let Chuck know that I believed that it was contray to the teaching of scripture, and was risky business, specially when those predictions failed to materialize. He listened to what I had to say, and never made me feel that I was any less of a Christian for believing the way I did (and still do). It seemed to me during that time that Chuck was not really setting dates or prophesying events, but was rather conjecturing as to a possible scenario for the return of Christ. That fit with the dispensational premillennialism that was (and still is) prevalent in protestant circles. Personally, I was staunchly Calvinistic at the time (I am even moreso now), though I didn't know enough about it to realize it. It really didn't matter anyway back then, because all we cared about was loving and serving Jesus, and one another.

I cannot speak to the years since I left CC in 1982. About the only remnant I have of that time are a few Maranatha Music CDs and tapes.

You can fault Chuck Smith on his eschatology, but bear in mind that he is not the only practitioner of the form. His preaching that Jesus is the only way to God, falls right in line with scripture.

7 posted on 08/04/2009 9:35:56 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: P8riot; topcat54; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan
Conjecture: that is the key word. Conjecture is NOT date-setting.

Calvary Chapel tapes while I was overseas in the military as a young man in 1972 was the first Christian teaching I ever received after coming to Christ. Chuck Smith was line-by-line, clear, and convincing. He ably explained his model of eschatology, and I still consider it my favorite model.

The problem with conjecture is that those who disagree with your model and those who agree with your model can be your worst nightmares.

Those who disagree with you will not hear your use of modifiers like "might" or "maybe" or "possibly", and they will assert that you have taught that certain things WILL be, when you've really only said that they "might" be, as based on scripture.

Many of those who agree with your model also will not hear your "mights" and "maybes." They will then use your words to take them to outlandish biblical conclusions that you never would have supported.

The bottom line is that Christians must know and appreciate more than one model of biblical eschatology and keep track of them all. Future things have always involved a bit of interpretation.

8 posted on 08/04/2009 9:59:54 AM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: P8riot
Great post, P8riot. Yours is the kind of comment I can't wait to get to the end of to see who's writing it.

Surfing Calvinists! Righteous! 8~)

9 posted on 08/04/2009 10:16:25 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: xzins; P8riot; topcat54; P-Marlowe

“Conjecture is NOT date-setting”

The question of imminency has always been a problem in eschatology, starting with the prophets. Even the eminent Amillennial scholar, Oswald Allis, thought that Augustine had predicted the Second Coming taking place in 635 A.D. because of Augustine’s 7 millennium “dispensations”.


10 posted on 08/04/2009 10:20:21 AM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: xzins; P8riot; topcat54; Alex Murphy; Lee N. Field; 1000 silverlings; P-Marlowe
Eschatology is interesting and arguable, as you say. But the biggest error, imo, of dispensationalism is that it denies the church to be the new Israel. This upends the fact that the Gospel is the answer for ALL people, and has been since the world began.

"Neither Jew nor Greek...all one in Christ Jesus."

I'm a big backer of the idea that the counter Reformation never ended, but has continued to work its mayhem through the centuries.

Disrupt, divide and conquer.

11 posted on 08/04/2009 10:27:55 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: blue-duncan; P8riot; topcat54; Alex Murphy; Lee N. Field; 1000 silverlings; P-Marlowe; ...

Imminency.

Excellent point, b-d!!

Christ’s own instructions: “Watch!”


12 posted on 08/04/2009 10:41:49 AM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

The bottom line, DrE, with Israel and the Church is Romans 9-11 and Acts 15.

You find BOTH.


13 posted on 08/04/2009 10:43:44 AM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: xzins; P8riot; topcat54; Alex Murphy; Lee N. Field; 1000 silverlings; P-Marlowe; Dr. Eckleburg
I think we as Christians, need to get past the minutiae of eschatology, baptisms (infant, sprinkle, dunk or otherwise) and build one another up in our belief. The world is trying its damndest to tear us down, we don't need to help them along.

In Matthew 25:31 and following, Christ tells us that our actions reveal our faith. He is not the least concerned as tho whether we are pre-trib, post-trib, or pan-trib. It is all about the actions our faith inspires.

14 posted on 08/04/2009 10:57:38 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
But the biggest error, imo, of dispensationalism is that it denies the church to be the new Israel.

It really is comparable to the Jews waiting for their literal Messiah who was going to usher in their literal kingdom. Well the Messiah was literal, but He was also Spiritual, but as He told them, the kingdom is spiritual,not of this world, yet here they are still today,going to build that temple and they've convinced many Christians, that the kingdom is earthly.

15 posted on 08/04/2009 11:03:23 AM PDT by 1000 silverlings (Everything that deceives also enchants: Plato)
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To: xzins; topcat54; Alex Murphy
Future things have always involved a bit of interpretation

The only "future thing" we are to be concerned with is our heavenly destination while today we "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" as a good watchman. Today is our duty to serve God through worship and the preaching of the Gospel which will transform lives and nations.

But the time of Christ's return is not for us to know or even debate. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10)

Larger Catechism of the Westminster Confession of Faith - Question 45:

How doth Christ execute the office of a king?

The answer is Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace on his elect, rewarding them for their obedience, and correcting them for their sins; preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, and their good; and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel."

That's today, even if it's not always so obvious.

16 posted on 08/04/2009 11:27:27 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

I just used the 2 Pe 3 verse on a thread about global warming. :>)

DrE, I’m not going to agree on this one. I think Jesus does tell us both to watch and to watch for signs. Paul reiterates the same.

So, there is an element of negligence in not being a Berean on this subject. To be a Berean on the subject of eschatology requires interpretation.

It just does.

And I still love ya as a sister in Christ.

Grace & Peace,


17 posted on 08/04/2009 11:32:08 AM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: 1000 silverlings

I do not get in the slightest how Christians can think building that third temple makes sense for Chrisianity. Let the lost build whatever they want. But Christians should preach the Gospel to all men for the saving of their souls by the third and final temple, Jesus Christ.


18 posted on 08/04/2009 11:34:29 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: thulldud

***Shoulda bought that book, but I was very broke in those days. ***

BROKE? They only cost two dollars! I bought two and still have them. I keep them with my other “failed end times” prophecy books.


19 posted on 08/04/2009 11:36:19 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Tar and feather the sons of bi#ches!)
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To: xzins
But didn't Christ say the only sign of note is the sign of Jonah, His resurrection?

And right back at ya, brother/pastor/pal. 8~)

20 posted on 08/04/2009 11:39:33 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Especially when the NT is quite clear what the temple and the bricks are


21 posted on 08/04/2009 11:39:33 AM PDT by 1000 silverlings (Everything that deceives also enchants: Plato)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

That was to those asking a sign of HIS messiahship/authority.

Resurrection would certainly be a fitting sign.

Coincidentally, it would also have been proof that the sadducees hadn’t been Berean enough in their understanding of future events.

They should have been looking for one who would resurrect, as the scriptures foretold.


22 posted on 08/04/2009 11:42:58 AM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: xzins
The bottom line, DrE, with Israel and the Church is Romans 9-11 and Acts 15.

Re Acts 15, do you see James' quote of Amos as being about something else than the immediate cause of the Jerusalem council (", “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”"), and referring to an end times millennial situation?

13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me.
14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.
15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it,

17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, saysr> the Lord, who makes these things


23 posted on 08/04/2009 11:48:46 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Dispensationalists say the darndest things!")
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To: Lee N. Field

I’m not sure about your question, but I do see a Christian church comprised of both gentiles and a Jewish remnant.

Significantly, though, there are DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS for the 2 groups. That’s one of the dynamite revelations in Acts 15.


24 posted on 08/04/2009 11:56:55 AM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: xzins
There seem to be only two instances in the NT that pertain to "signs and wonders."

Mark 13:22 and John 4:48 refer to deceptions done by false Christs and false prophets, while Acts 4:30, Acts 5:12, Acts 14:3, Romans 15:19 and Hebrews 2:4 each speaks of the miracles performed by the Apostles which are no more being performed.

Beyond that, the resurrection.

25 posted on 08/04/2009 12:18:53 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Signs are from God....not from us.

See Mt 24 & 25


26 posted on 08/04/2009 12:24:11 PM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: xzins; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; Lee N. Field; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; P8riot
I do see a Christian church comprised of both gentiles and a Jewish remnant. Significantly, though, there are DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS for the 2 groups.

I don't see any "different expectations" for any Jew or Gentile who is brought to faith in Christ. It's the exact same path which each man walks accordng to the times and boundaries and circumstances God has set.

I don't know what God's plans are for the Jews who do not receive Christ. I trust in His perfect mercy for them while believing that in this life a man must be born again to Christ in order to be saved. Beyond that, it's God's business.

27 posted on 08/04/2009 12:32:45 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: topcat54
Hmmmm. Calvary Chapel is near my home. I just might have to check out this conference. Besides Smith, looks like an interesting line up. Joe Farah?
thinking.....
28 posted on 08/04/2009 12:38:43 PM PDT by 50cal Smokepole (Effective gun control involves effective recoil management)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Different allowances for the walk in Christ once in Christ.

Jews are not forbidden the continuing of their uniquely Jewish customs, and Gentiles are not required them.

Also, don’t you think the anti-you-know-who is also a prophecy requiring interpretation?


29 posted on 08/04/2009 12:46:29 PM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: xzins; Dr. Eckleburg
I do see a Christian church comprised of both gentiles and a Jewish remnant. Significantly, though, there are DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS for the 2 groups. That’s one of the dynamite revelations in Acts 15.
The apostles and elders met to consider this question.
After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.
God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.
He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?
No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are"....

...."It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.
For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

Peter speaking, in Acts 15:6-11, 19-21

I don't see two standards being advocated here, xzins. I certainly don't see the apostles placing or advocating a higher or different set of expectations on the Jewish believers.

"Dual Covenant" Christian theology basically says, "Yes to all of that ... except when it comes to the Jews." According to this theological variant, the Jews, based on their special status as God's Chosen People, have their own, separate, covenant with God. They can achieve salvation by faithfully following the Law of Moses....

....Dual Covenant adherents argue that there is no need to preach to the Jews or to convert them, because they have already been saved. It accepts Judaism as it is. All other religions must convert to Christianity in order to achieve salvation. Opponents maintain that ALL people must hear the Gospel of Jesus and must reject other beliefs....

....if you buy into the Dual Covenant theory, that’s fine. You just can’t ALSO then go around trying to convert Jews, inviting them to your church and telling them they need to be perfected. At least, not if your theology is to remain internally consistent.

From the thread Ann Coulter and Dual Covenant Theology

"The Jewish people have a relationship to God through the law of God as given through Moses," Hagee said. "I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption.

"The law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation. And God has not," said Hagee....

-- from the thread Hagee denies belief in 'dual covenant theology'

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.
- Galatians 3:26-29

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED."
That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.
- Romans 9:6-8


30 posted on 08/04/2009 12:51:33 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("I always longed for repose and quiet" - John Calvin)
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To: Alex Murphy
I don't see two standards being advocated here, xzins.

Expanded upon in #29 to Dr E with: Different allowances for the walk in Christ once in Christ.

Jews are not forbidden the continuing of their uniquely Jewish customs, and Gentiles are not required them.

28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things

Gentiles are not burdened "beyond."

These things with which they WERE burdened were not salvific. They were about post-salvation-by-grace-through-faith lifestyle.

Acts 21: 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality." 26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.

As you can see, Paul, had a greater appreciation for the allowances still available to him as a Jewish Christian.

31 posted on 08/04/2009 1:37:52 PM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: Alex Murphy; xzins; Dr. Eckleburg
Is Peter recommending that gentiles worship YHvH on Shabbat ?

As his Word, our salvation, is preached on Shabbat.

NAsbU Acts 15:21 "For Moses from ancient generations has in every city
those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath."
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

32 posted on 08/04/2009 1:54:56 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

I don’t see a recommendation in that passage. I see a statement of fact about Jewish reading that takes place on the Sabbath.


33 posted on 08/04/2009 2:00:01 PM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: xzins
Is there not one thought from vs 19 - 21 ?
shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

34 posted on 08/04/2009 2:07:21 PM PDT by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: 50cal Smokepole

I wish I were closer. I’d love to go and hand out copies of DeMar’s article.


35 posted on 08/04/2009 2:09:47 PM PDT by topcat54 (Don't believe in a pre-anything rapture? Join "Naysayers for Jesus")
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To: UriĀ’el-2012

The word “for” says that the Gentiles are encouraged to practice these 4 avoidances FOR Moses has been preached & read in synagogues for a long time.

In other words, these avoidances have universal merit, and can be recommended BECAUSE (FOR)they’re already well broadcast via the proliferation of Jewish synagogues around the Roman world.

Sabbath synagogue practice was not one of the 4 encouragements.

However, a Christian can worship on Saturday if he feels like it. (Or Tuesday, for that matter...or...Every Day.)


36 posted on 08/04/2009 2:22:38 PM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
Yeah, broke. As in single income, two kids, and sick wife broke.

That was then, this is now.

37 posted on 08/04/2009 8:22:08 PM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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To: thulldud
It's not only Christians who go a bit wacko. I remember one November day in the supermarket checkout line reading some new-age psychic's predictions for coming year. The big one? "Major new initiatives by President Kennedy". The coming year? You guessed it - 1964.

Would-be prophets should remember the wisdom of Daniel - prophesy only after the events have happened.

38 posted on 08/05/2009 2:01:55 AM PDT by John Locke
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To: xzins
However, a Christian can worship on Saturday if he feels like it. (Or Tuesday, for that matter...or...Every Day.)

Although I agree that we should worship the LORD every day of the week, it is very clear through Scripture that the Sabbath is something special.

The commandments given by God (the 10 primary) state specifically that we are to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. We are also reminded of this in Exodus 31:14 & 31:16 and Deuteronomy 5:12 & 5:15. It is so important to the LORD that the land was to keep the Sabbath rest as well Leviticus 25:2.

Exodus 20:8-11
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work; you, your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

The Sabbath is of the LORD and should be honored and set apart by all that honor Him. The Scrpitures do not state that the Sabbath is of the Jews or Hebrews but it is directly of, by and for the LORD.

Why is it that the 10 commandments are so revered and yet this particular one is poo-pooed away? This commandment is just as important as having no other gods before Him, not making idols or worshiping them, not stealing, or murdering, etc.

It is a joy to keep the Sabbath. This is a day set aside specifically by God to draw near to Him. He honors those who honor Him and do as He says.

39 posted on 08/05/2009 11:27:33 AM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: P8riot

I wish more Calvinists were as gentle and loving in disagreement as you are. Excellent writing.


40 posted on 08/05/2009 11:38:44 AM PDT by Luke21
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To: Luke21
I've mellowed with age.

Seriously though, I'm not sure who you've run into that has given you a bad impression of Calvinists, but I assure you we are very pleasant people to be around, but I am a little biased.

Like I said in my later post, I prefer not to get caught up in the minutiae, but prefer to keep the perspective that, but for the grace of God, we would all be bound for Hell. It is a great equalizer.

41 posted on 08/05/2009 12:57:34 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: JesusBmyGod

Did worship in the Temple in Jerusalem take place only on the Sabbath?


42 posted on 08/05/2009 6:28:08 PM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: xzins
Did worship in the Temple in Jerusalem take place only on the Sabbath?

That's not what I said.

What I said is:

Although I agree that we should worship the LORD every day of the week, it is very clear through Scripture that the Sabbath is something special.

Worship was a continual occurrence in the Temple of the Lord (and should be for us today since we are the Temple indwelt by the Holy Spirit).

The point I'm trying to make is that the Sabbath is special and should be treated as such. We are commanded to keep it holy and we honor the Lord by doing so.

43 posted on 08/05/2009 10:41:39 PM PDT by JesusBmyGod (Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai)
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To: JesusBmyGod

If you lived 5 kilometers from the Temple in pre-Christian days, would you have walked on the sabbath to the temple for worship? It’s not an unusually great distance.


44 posted on 08/06/2009 8:44:45 AM PDT by xzins (Chaplain Says: Jesus befriends all who ask Him for help.)
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To: John Locke
Would-be prophets should remember the wisdom of Daniel - prophesy only after the events have happened.

Except that this conclusion rests on shaky ground.

The real wisdom is in the root meaning of the word "prophet". Skipping intermediate steps, I could summarize it as, "Don't make stuff up, you WILL get caught."

45 posted on 08/07/2009 12:17:32 PM PDT by thulldud (It HAS happened here!)
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