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Coming to you live from Anthony Buzzards’ 19th Annual Theological Conference in Atalanta GA… I’m on the laptop and wirelessly connecting to the web.  Yeah, isn’t technology great!

Anyway, here’s an article I’ve been trying to write forever it seems.  Finally, I got around to getting it done over some downtimes over the past couple of days.  The subject is the 11th Chapter of John and the wonderful truths I believe that can be learned from it.

 

Life after death – according to Martha & Jesus

By Ron Shockley

The 11th chapter of John’s Gospel has deeply intrigued me for some time due to the powerful truths it tells us about death.  I’ve often thought that if more people truly examined what is said and shown in the little details of that chapter, the more prominent belief of an innate immortal soul might be more willingly discarded in favor of the actual truth of Scripture. One can find some surprising revelations in the story of the sibling family at Bethany if you’re willing to simply open your eyes to it.

To be sure, a good many students of the New Testament are aware of the basic events of John Chapter 11.  John tells the story of what is probably the greatest miracle that Jesus performed.  It is the story of the resurrection of Jesus’ friend Lazarus from the dead.  Before this, Jesus had brought others who had died back to life – the widow’s son (Luke 7) and Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5), but these were individuals who had very recently died.  When Jesus finally came to help Lazarus, he had been dead and buried for FOUR days. Such a miracle would leave no doubt that Jesus was the Messiah because people just don’t come back once they’re dead and buried. A person who had just died, could be viewed by skeptics as possibly being miss-diagnosed – that they were not really dead and then they were somehow healed/revived by Jesus.  But a mere “healer” could not bring someone who was totally and absolutely dead for FOUR whole days – not to mention had their body wrapped/prepared for the grave and then placed in their burial tomb.  No, such an event could only be a bona-fide miracle – the power of God causing the impossible to occur.  And this is precisely the reason that Jesus did not rush to “heal” Lazarus once he heard that he was very ill.  Jesus waited an extra two days before going to see him.  He knew that Lazarus would die before he could get there anyway.  Therefore it would magnify the miracle if he was dead for such a time as to be undisputable.  It would prove that Jesus was indeed the Son of God – God’s chosen/sent Messiah.

Everyone is familiar with the results of the story. After delaying his departure, Jesus goes to Bethany, visits Lazarus’ sisters, gets caught up in their grief and is moved to tears (thereby giving us the shortest verse in the Bible – “Jesus wept.” – John 11:35), and then ultimately Jesus does the awe-inspiring miracle of calling the previously dead Lazarus to “come forth” – resulting in Lazarus returning to life and shuffling out of his burial tomb still bound up in his burial clothing.

Though that is what most everyone if familiar with, there are several great nuggets of truth that lie in the details of this story.  These simple truths can be recognized when one examines with an open mind what Jesus himself says about Lazarus, what Jesus and Lazarus’ sister Martha say to one another in conversation, and finally the total “silence” that occurs once Lazarus is resurrected.
 
First let’s look at how Jesus talks about Lazarus’ condition to the disciples.

When Jesus was ready to head back to Judea and told them the reason for the trip, Jesus said to them “Our Friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep” (John 11:11).  The disciples must have heard the message that Jesus received “Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.” (John 11:3) because they naturally thought that sleep would do a sick man some good since they replied “Lord if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”  However like many people today, the disciples were not fully grasping that Jesus was using the Biblical “sleep metaphor” in describing death.  So Jesus had to spell it out for them by plainly saying “Lazarus is dead.” (John 11:14).

Why would Jesus use such a metaphor about death?  The answer is quite simple.  It is because that is just what the entire Hebrew Bible says about death many, many times over.  Both of the books of 1st & 2nd Kings repeatedly tell of King after King that upon dying “slept with their fathers”.  Job himself said “man lies down and does not rise. Until the heavens be no more, He will not AWAKE nor be aroused out of his SLEEP” (Job 14:12).  And of course the prophet Daniel presented the vital resurrection truth of “”many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will AWAKE, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.” (Dan 12:2).  Jesus used this exact same language. Almost the exact same language that Job used centuries before – “I go that I may AWAKEN him out of SLEEP”.  Notice that Jesus never made a mention about Lazarus’ body or soul.  Jesus just talked about Lazarus the person. He wanted to go wake Lazarus up from death – not reunite a soul with a body.  The truth is just what is presented.  Jesus wanted to awaken Lazarus from the sleep of death.

Next comes an extremely important conversation that Jesus has with Lazarus’ sister Martha. 

This occurs when Martha hears of Jesus getting close to Bethany and goes out to meet him while her 2nd sister Mary stayed at home with the other mourners that had come to console them on the loss of their brother.  When Martha comes up to Jesus the first thing she tells him is “Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21).  Martha knew that Jesus had the power to save him.  Her very next statement testifies to that – “Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” (John 11:22). 

Now here is where things get VERY interesting. Jesus responds to her by saying “Your brother shall RISE again” (John 11:23). This is significant.  Jesus’ very first words to the devastated Martha are that her brother will RISE again. Jesus does not say that her brother was more alive than ever as a disembodied soul up in heaven (as I recently heard at a good Baptist funeral).  He simply says that her brother will “RISE” again. Now pay close attention to Martha’s exact response to that.  She says “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection ON THE LAST DAY.” (John 11:24).  Martha isn’t a Greek philosophy student. She doesn’t offer up anything steeped in Platonic Dualism.  She doesn’t say she thinks she’ll meet him again as a conscious, body-less, spirit in heaven.  No, she too understood the Hebrew Scriptures and knew that at the end of the age – on the last day, her brother would be resurrected from the dead.  This was the Hebrew expectation.

Of course if that was wrong or not totally accurate, here was THE perfect opportunity for Jesus to correct her if indeed her brother’s soul immediately went on living someplace else.  If Lazarus’ conscious soul had been shipped off to the good place or even the bad place, Jesus should have at the very least appended her statement with “his body will be resurrected one future day”.  Then Jesus could have consoled her with something along the lines “but before that day, you will be reunited with him up in heaven”.  At least that would match up to what is commonly heard today when someone is offering consolation to another who has recently lost a loved one.  In that vein it should be a “Lazarus is now happily reunited with your parents” (I’m guessing they’re dead at this point since they’re not mentioned in the story). 

But Jesus does nothing of the sort.  Jesus doesn’t adjust, correct, or append her statement of her brother coming to life again in the resurrection on the last day.  He just checks with her to see if she understands fully who he is and his connection with that resurrection.  Jesus says to her “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”  And without skipping a beat Martha instantly says “Yes, Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, even he who comes into the world.”  Martha understood that Jesus was the Messiah. She knew that he would be the one to resurrect the dead on that final day.

Finally let’s examine in detail the conclusion of the story.

What happens after Jesus (through the power of God) brings Lazarus back to life? Well, we are told that Lazarus shuffles out of the tomb and Jesus tells everyone to “Unbind him and let him go.”?  But what does Lazarus have to say about his trip through the Netherworld?  What does Scripture report concerning the first man to be brought back to life after being dead for four days? Nothing you say?  Well shouldn’t that cause one pause?  There is not a peep said about Lazarus after that time.  Why not?  If Lazarus had just been pulled down out of heaven why wasn’t he a little upset at Jesus for taking him out of a place of eternal bliss? And if Lazarus had just spent four days in Hell suffering torment (and now had a reprieve – a chance to make amends), why wasn’t he falling at Jesus’ feet thanking him profusely for pulling him out of there and giving him another chance.  This would have been THE opportunity for someone to give first-hand details of what heaven or hell were like.  Lazarus’ experiences on either side would provide the ideal “in-person” testimony about those places. What a witness Lazarus would have made!  What a grand opportunity in Scripture to record all the details of those four days of having his soul living on past the death of his body. Lazarus would have been able to detail what to either look forward to – or what to avoid at all costs.  But what do are we told in Scripture? NOTHING.  The question of “why is this” is huge.  Why is nothing reported about Lazarus’ four days in death? 

To me the answer is glaringly obvious. Simply deductive reasoning should tell us that since Scripture uses the sleep metaphor for death, then a resurrection from death is simply an “awakening” (as both Job & Jesus indicate). All Lazarus knew when Jesus woke him up was that it was the next conscious moment for him since he drifted off into unconsciousness before dying.  He didn’t have anything to report because there was nothing to report.  He didn’t know anything about his experience because that is just what Scripture describes – “the dead do not know anything” (Eccl 9:5), “there is NO activity or planning or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” (Eccl 9:10), “the dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into SILENCE.” Psalms 115:17.   Lazarus was just like a light bulb that was switched back to “on” from being “off”.  He didn’t go anywhere just as the light doesn’t “go” anywhere. It just doesn’t exist until the power is restored.  Jesus restored the power of God’s animating life energy to Lazarus and Lazarus lived/existed once again.

This simple truth is the true hope that Scripture presents. This is the reason for using the sleep metaphor for death.  When we die our brain dies.  Our brain is the center of our consciousness.  Without a living brain, we have no consciousness.  We have to have our body resurrected back to life in order to have conscious existence once again.  This is THE reason for a future resurrection from the dead.  Bringing bodiless souls from heaven to be put back into a resurrected body at Jesus’ 2nd coming is nonsense.  The Scriptural language used never describes such a thing.  The concept of souls being re-inserted into freshly resurrected bodies just isn’t anywhere to be found in Scripture.   The sleep metaphor doesn’t work at all in such a scenario. Think about it. Human beings when in literal sleep are not “more awake and active than ever”! Such a statement would be absurd. Being asleep means you are not conscious. You are not aware of what is going on around you.  So it is in death.  Your light bulb is off.  Your light does not exist.  The dead have to wait for Jesus to return and turn the electricity back on.  He has to resurrect us as whole body/brain/spirit possessing beings in order for us to live once again.  That is the message presented in the Bible as a whole.

The details of John 11 paint a picture far different from the all-too popular view of immediate immortal life after death.  Jesus’ usage of the sleep metaphor, Martha’s understanding of when her brother would exist again, and the utter silence of Lazarus’ experience while dead for four days does not provide a view of a soul immediately escaping the death of the body to live on past death.  On the contrary, it gives solid evidence that death is a period of inactivity – the dead “know not anything” (Eccl 9:5) and that they “sleep in the dust of the earth” (Dan 12:2).  And this period of sleep-like inactivity continues until the day that Jesus returns and brings them out of that sleep state.  This is the powerful beauty of John 5:25 & 28-29 – “Truly, truly I say to you, an hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear shall live. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”

80 Responses to “Life after Death – According to Jesus & Martha”

  1. on 26 Apr 2010 at 5:52 amFiona

    Hi Ron S
    I wish I was at the conference too! I hope your spiritual batteries are recharged when you leave!
    What an excellent article. You are quite right, it is all about giving attention to the detail. While wondering why I had never done exactly that before, I realized why. It is simply as you say- Martha’s response, and Lazarus’s lack of response were because of their total acceptance and belief in the resurrection. (As is mine, which is why I never questioned it). The bible is full of such simple truths, which some religions spend ages twisting into the most ridiculous, tortuous teachings ever.
    Many thanks, you made me read this miraculous event with new eyes.
    Fiona

  2. on 26 Apr 2010 at 11:43 amRon S.

    Fiona,

    Thank you. Yes it is great to be with so many of like faith here at the conference. Maybe you can make it next time. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my fellow KingdomReady blog contributor Angela Moore and her husband are also here for the conference! I know we will certainly come back with fully-charged faith/theological batteries!!!

  3. on 26 Apr 2010 at 4:47 pmAngela

    Excellent article, Ron S.!

    Fiona ~ you will have to plan to attend sometime! It’s very encouraging, indeed! It’s my first time here, and am so glad I came. 🙂

  4. on 09 May 2010 at 12:32 pmWolfgang

    Hi there,

    this article appears unclear to me … it almost seems as if the author is promoting the idea that Lazarus experienced the resurrection from the dead and received eternal life?

    One would pretty much have to conclude this from what the author writes and the comparisons he makes … he seems to make no notice of decisive differences between (a) someone being raised from the dead as coming back to this earthly life, and (b) being raised from the dead to receive eternal life.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  5. on 09 May 2010 at 6:14 pmRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    “The author” of this would be me. So let’s see if I can clear things up for you – especially since I don’t see how you came up with the conclusion you mention.

    First of all I never intended to promote any idea that Lazarus was raised to eternal life. He’s not like Christopher Lambert’s character from the 1986 movie “Highlander” that walks the earth as a human immortal hiding among us. That makes for a cool Sci-Fi/Fantasy story, but is not what I was saying is the case with Lazarus.

    All I meant to show was the truth there in the details of the story. First, Jesus used the exact same “sleep metaphor” that Job and others in the Hebrew Scriptures used. And this was to show that Lazarus was dead and not anywhere else “more alive than ever”. Then in her own statement, Martha showed her Hebraic beliefs that the resurrection “at the last day” was what would enable her to be with her brother again in the future. And finally – if the standard belief of orthodoxy today about humans possessing an immortal soul that goes on living instantly after death was true, then why the complete silence here? Why isn’t there any record of him telling about what happened to him during those four days in death? This would have been THE perfect moment to give real evidence of that. But alas, nothing of the sort is there.

    Of course now when I think about it, perhaps there are no differences between Lazarus’ resurrection back to mortal life by Jesus (circa A.D. 33) and his future resurrection to eternal life – at least TO LAZARUS. To be dead and non-conscious means that your life, your consciousness gets returned to you at the moment of being resurrected from the dead. What would be the difference (other than coming alive in a mortal body vs. an immortal body)? I think your mind wouldn’t perceive the difference instantly, your conscious thoughts would have to tell you that you’re “not in Kansas anymore” (to use another famous movie analogy).

  6. on 22 Mar 2011 at 3:28 pmClay U.

    Ron.

    Super article. Your logic makes perfect sense to me, and you do a nice job backing it up with Scripture. The Word of God cannot be false, so I relinquish my former belief that our souls immediately leave our bodies and the next moment we end up at the pearly gates.
    My confusion I suppose rests in the personal account of a congregation member and my cousin reporting about a long time chior member and my uncle (saved 60 years ago) at the moment of death, raising up or raising their hands outstretched to receive someone and smiling. I’ve read a first hand account that Joseph Stalin rose up on his death bed and had a horrified look on his face. Maybe we are escorted to death by an angel from on high or below before our lights go out. Who knows? I’m just glad to be able to rest in the knowledge that you and I both accept and love Jesus Christ. We know the truth, and the truth shall set us free (already has). We will live with God for eternity.

    Keep up the superb writing.

    Clay U.

  7. on 23 Mar 2011 at 1:04 pmRon S.

    Hey Clay!

    Thanks so much for the nice compliments. I really appreciate it – especially coming from a good old friend and fellow brother in Christ! (A little public disclosure – Clay & I are high school pals – though we rarely get to see each other these days from living in different parts of the US.)

    I’m very glad to hear you are willing to let the immortal soul belief go and embrace the true Biblical view that eternal life doesn’t begin until Jesus returns and resurrects the dead. That’s a big step. And you’re doing better than most if you’re willing to lay old beliefs aside in favor of what God’s word really says.

    However be prepared that this isn’t what the majority of the world believes. Most people blindly follow the traditions that have been passed down to them through their families and churches. Even society inundates us with the belief in an immediate immortal existence after death. Remember the cartoons we watched as kids? When a character died (of course to only show up alive again later) they were shown as becoming and angel or floating up and away as an alive spirit being. This view is everywhere in almost every culture on the planet. It is on TV, in movies, in popular books (current NYTimes #1 non-fiction bestseller), and in the everyday venacular of society.

    But it just isn’t the view of the Bible. To see this with great clarity, check out this paper that brother Sean & Dustin put together that lists the numerous biblical quotes that show these facts: http://kingdomready.org/Verse%20List%20-%20Sleep%20of%20Death.pdf

    Also be sure to check out the multimedia section on the KR site titled “Death is Sleep“.

    And here’s this very blog’s archive on the same:
    http://kingdomready.org/blog/category/death-is-sleep/

    Reminds me of what Morpheus said to Neo in “The Matrix“:

    “You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I’ll show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember that all I am offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

    Clay, be sure and swallow that RED pill good and be prepared for the fall down the rabbit-hole of truth! 🙂

  8. on 16 Feb 2012 at 6:24 pmtimothy

    Ron S,

    thank you for directing me to your wonderful well written article. you certainly carefully researched all the detail about Lazarus’ death and revival.

    i agree that seeing what was not written is very important to show that he did not go to heaven upon death. also being logical is important when
    understanding what is being said.

    thanks for the other links as well and GOD bless you.

  9. on 17 Feb 2012 at 3:14 amWolfgang

    Hi,

    you mention above what Jesus asked Martha, but you do not further comment on this detail of the story … Jesus said:

    “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. …

    What did Jesus mean with
    (a) he who believes in me shall live even if he dies?
    (b) everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die ?

    To which 2 groups/ categories of people is Jesus making reference?
    What is the meaning of “SHALL LIVE … even if he DIES” in (a)?
    What is the meaning of”LIVES … SHALL NEVER DIE” in (b)?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  10. on 17 Feb 2012 at 3:20 amWolfgang

    Hi,

    is the use of the term “sleep” in regards to “death” really a metaphor? or is this rather a euphemism?

    If the term “sleep” was used in a metaphor would it not rather emphasize that the person is not really dead, but in some invisible manner alive, seeing that “sleep” is normally an activity of a living person?
    If “sleep” is used as a euphemism, then death is regarded as really dead, and the harshness of this is softened by means of the term sleep, which also points already to an “awakening” (resurrection) of the dead.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  11. on 17 Feb 2012 at 1:33 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    that is a good point about “euphemism”, it is listed as a figure of speech in the “tropes” list…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure_of_speech

  12. on 18 Feb 2012 at 5:51 amWolfgang

    Hi,

    the article above closes with the following:

    This is the powerful beauty of John 5:25 & 28-29 – “Truly, truly I say to you, an hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear shall live. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his voice and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”

    What did Jesus mean with “an hour is coming AND NOW IS when the dead shall hear ….”? “now” … when?
    Also, Jesus mentions that “AN HOUR is coming in which ALL who are in the tombs shall hear his voice ….those who did good => resurrection of life, those who committed evil deeds => resurrection of judgment” … did Jesus mean that “TWO hours (separated by a literal 1000 years) would be coming, in which two different resurrection events would take place”?
    Or did Jesus mean that there would be only one resurrection event [at the last day], in which all would be resurrected, and depending on how they had done it would be a resurrection to [eternal] life or a resurrection of [eternal] judgment (cp. Dan 12:2)?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  13. on 18 Feb 2012 at 10:26 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    you ask really good and difficult to answer questions. i use the KJV since i have learned its language as a dialect today’s american English.

    i observe a figure of speech with
    (which name i do not know) “an hour is coming”. Jesus could have said a
    day is coming, a time is coming and it would mean the same as an hour is coming. Luther used werden in all three verses which would correspond with “is coming” meaning future.

    perhaps “and now is” is like(Luther “wahrlich, wahrlich”), “verily, verily”, “truly, truly i say to you, meaning right now i am telling you.

    there will be the resurrection of the just and resurrection of unjust(of life or to judgement).

    revelations 20:
    5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

    6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

  14. on 18 Feb 2012 at 12:43 pmWolfgang

    Timothy,

    I would agree that there is a figure involved in the “an hour is coming”, where “hour” doesn’t literally mean exactly 60 minutes, but a relatively short period of time. As for the “and now is”, it seems like this phrase would be adding emphasis that the time spoken of was really imminent.

    I am familiar with the very common theology of 2 different resurrection events, separated by a literal 1000 year period of time. Yet, Jesus did not here and nowhere else indicate different resurrection events at two different times, separated by a rather large period of time.

    The words of Jesus in Joh 5, in connection with the prophecy in Dan 12, seem to tell a different story, namely, that there is one time of a resurrection event, in which all dead in the grave will rise, but depending on their works, they will be either resurrected to life eternal or to judgment.

    Further thoughts?

    Wolfgang

  15. on 18 Feb 2012 at 4:38 pmRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    I would disagree with your metaphor vs. euphemism point, or at least say that while both can be correct in refering to death,”metaphor” is the better descriptor for how the Bible uses the term sleep in reference to death.

    A metaphor replaces a literal reality with things, ideas, modifiers, or actions which are somewhat similar in such as way as to describe the basic facts in terms of something else.

    And this is exactly what God communicates to his through his written word. Death is like “sleep” because (as I detailed in my article) it is a state of unconscious inactivity followed by an “awakening” at the resurrection at the return of Jesus. While we are dead and non-existent in terms of our own consciousness and that of other human beings, to God and his power to one day resurrect us through his son Jesus we are only “asleep” to them.

    A euphemism is basically a more pleasant, inoffensive term that is used to refer to something that could be offensive or unpleasant. While sleep can be used in such a way when talking about death, it just isn’t intended to only be a euphemism when used in Scripture.

    So I stand by my original statement that “sleep” is a metahpor for death in the mind and plan of God.

    BTW, if you’re having trouble reconciling this with your preteristic viewpoint, then perhaps you should consider that as another reason you might be on the wrong track with preterism. 🙂

  16. on 18 Feb 2012 at 4:47 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Jesus spoke the words in John 5:25-28 some two thousands years ago and i am quite sure he was speaking figuratively about a then future event.
    another example where he fore told of a future event is found in Luke.

    Luke 23:
    43 And Jesus said unto him Verily I say unto thee Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

    On that day he died and was buried and GOD raised him from the dead three days later. after forty days he ascended to heaven and sat down on the right hand side of GOD. ten days later he sent the comforter to the 12 and next to those who do Romans 10:9 & 10 and receive the spirit of truth too.

    we have the four gospels with the words Jesus Christ spoke while he was present here on earth. both as a natural man with holy spirit and with his resurrected spiritual body.

    we have acts through revelations where Luke, James, Peter, Jude, John and Paul wrote what Jesus gave them by revelations. remember:

    2 Timothy 3:
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    Wolfgang and Timothy have all this scripture so that they may be perfect.

    Galatians 1:
    11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
    12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    So all the NT scripture is from Jesus Christ and the resurrections are written about in many places. we do know the terms “just and unjust” which does suggest two resurrections.

    Wolfgang, to be honest with you, believe me i am still working on this subject and will make another post.

    One thing i wish to convey to you. Christians have been given a comforter, the spirit of truth which is inside. Christians have Christ inside. Christians have the mind of Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 2:
    16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

    Philippians 2:
    5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:….

    Colossians 1:
    27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:…..

    Wolfgang this is the real deal. all of these words were not given in vain. Ask Jesus to help you understand. Follow these instructions from Jesus:

    Luke 11:
    9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
    10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

  17. on 18 Feb 2012 at 6:27 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    I am familiar with the very common theology of 2 different resurrection events, separated by a literal 1000 year period of time. Yet, Jesus did not here and nowhere else indicate different resurrection events at two different times, separated by a rather large period of time.

    You make a legitimate point that Jesus never explicitly mentioned a time separation between the resurrections. I’m curious to know what you think John meant by Revelation 20:4-13, if not what it appears to say?

  18. on 19 Feb 2012 at 2:22 amWolfgang

    @ Ron S.,

    you comment above:

    While we are dead and non-existent in terms of our own consciousness and that of other human beings, to God and his power to one day resurrect us through his son Jesus we are only “asleep” to them.

    So you are actually saying that the dead are only “dead” in terms of their own consciousness and that of other human beings, but they are only “asleep” (that is, not really dead but in some manner alive, just “asleep”) to God and His power?
    This does sound a bit like “the dead are not really dead” … ?

    Your comment about my supposedly “preterist view” is irrelevant, but it does show to me a little more about your way of interpreting the Scriptures …

    I have no problem with the topics of “death” and “resurrectoin” in the Scriptures … I do have a problem with your interpretation of the use of the term “asleep” in regards to “dead” .. however, NOT because of any preterist, futurist or whatever “…ist” views, but solely because of the use of figures of speech in language considerations

    Wolfgang

  19. on 19 Feb 2012 at 2:35 amWolfgang

    @Sarah

    as far as Rev 20:4-13 are concerned, I think that one should read what the passage actually says, instead of interpreting into it what it does not say.
    For example, what does Rev 20:4-5 say?

    Rev 20:4-5 (NASB)
    4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
    5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.

    Does v.4 mention “the just” or indicate that it is referring to “all the just”? Does v.5 mention or indicate that those are “all the unjust”?
    Yet, those do who interpret this passage as “proof” for their 2 resurrections theory (resurrection of the just at the beginning of the 1000 years’ reign, resurrection of the unjust at the end or after the 1000 years) claim that v. 4 is speaking about “the just” and “the rest of the dead” (in v.5) are “the unjust”. But, where does the text say anything like it?

    Does the text explicitly mention in v. 4 who has part in this “first resurrection” and who “reigned with Christ a thousand years”? Does the text in v.4 speak about all believers of all time/all ages? Does the text speak about all believers of a certain time/age? Does the text speak about certain believers of a certain time/age?

    I would think you can see for yourself what the text indeed not only appears to say but what it actually does say …

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  20. on 19 Feb 2012 at 2:55 amWolfgang

    @Timothy

    Jesus spoke the words in John 5:25-28 some two thousands years ago and i am quite sure he was speaking figuratively about a then future event. ….

    obviously Jesus was referring to a then future event … Would his emphatic use of the words “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, …” point toward a far distant future or a more near future?

    So all the NT scripture is from Jesus Christ and the resurrections are written about in many places. we do know the terms “just and unjust” which does suggest two resurrections.

    Why do those terms suggest two resurrections? Have you noticed that the text in Acts 24:15 (from where the phrase about resurrection of the just and the unjust is taken) only mentions “a resurrection” and not “resurrections” ?

    Acts 24:15 (KJV)
    And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

    Mention is made of a resurrection of the dead … not “resurrections of the dead. Then the text further explains that this resurrection of the dead involves both the just and the unjust.

    Why would you give the impression with your encouragement that you think that thus far I have not asked God for understanding?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  21. on 19 Feb 2012 at 10:31 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    Does the text explicitly mention in v. 4 who has part in this “first resurrection” and who “reigned with Christ a thousand years”? Does the text in v.4 speak about all believers of all time/all ages? Does the text speak about all believers of a certain time/age? Does the text speak about certain believers of a certain time/age?

    I agree, this passage doesn’t provide specifics and is therefore vulnerable to incorrect assumptions.

    You haven’t mentioned how you view the 1000 yrs. Do you take it figuratively, and if so, on what basis?

    Secondly, do you view the resurrection as a future bodily resurrection of people who subsequently inhabit the earth?

  22. on 19 Feb 2012 at 10:50 amWolfgang

    @Sarah,

    I agree, this passage doesn’t provide specifics and is therefore vulnerable to incorrect assumptions.

    hmn … it seems to me that v. 4 does mention people with certain specifics, does it not? The passage does not include all believers of all ages, not even all believers of a certain age … but only certain believers who had lost their lives in a violent manner as witnesses of Christ.

    You haven’t mentioned how you view the 1000 yrs. Do you take it figuratively, and if so, on what basis?

    I do not believe that the period of 1000 years mentioned here is meant literally, as in “exactly 1000 years, not 999, nor 1001, etc.
    The overall scope of the book of Revelation, in particular the opening and closing passages of the book do not allow for such a view. In addition, there are other uses of “1000” in the Scriptures, where the number of not meant in a literal sense … cp. “the cattle on a 1000 hills”, are we to take this literally, that the cattle on the 1001st hill do not belong to the LORD?

    Secondly, do you view the resurrection as a future bodily resurrection of people who subsequently inhabit the earth?

    I view the resurrection not as bodily resurrection (in the sense of people receiving another physical body), nor do I believe that resurrected people will subsequently inhabit the earth … The basis for my understanding are the overall scope of Scripture, in particular what they say re planet earth; the various passages in Scripture which speak about the nature of the resurrection as well as the nature of the kingdom of God/kingdom of heaven.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  23. on 19 Feb 2012 at 3:43 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    i am reading chapter eight in the red book.

    Timothy

  24. on 19 Feb 2012 at 3:54 pmRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    “So you are actually saying that the dead are only “dead” in terms of their own consciousness and that of other human beings, but they are only “asleep” (that is, not really dead but in some manner alive, just “asleep”) to God and His power?
    This does sound a bit like “the dead are not really dead” … ?”

    NO, that’s not what I’m saying. The dead are REALLY Dead and are not in any manner “alive”. Again, (and it seems you’re not getting this part), since God remembers us and has the power to resurrect us back to life and will do when He sends His Messiah (Jesus) to do so, we will be awakend from the “sleep of death”. The use of the sleep metaphor is there because when a person physically/literally sleeps they eventually wake up at some point. So it will be with the dead. They will awake/return to life again at the resurrection because that is God’s plan. It is a simple concept and I don’t understand why you’re not getting this.

    “Your comment about my supposedly “preterist view” is irrelevant, but it does show to me a little more about your way of interpreting the Scriptures … “

    If it shows you that I do not interpret the Bible to support preterism, then you’d be right. Otherwise you’d be just making your own assumptions about my interpretations.

    And how is your “preterist view” something I’m supposing? Don’t you believe that Jesus returned in 70AD and that he resurrected the dead back then? And by extension that Jesus and all the dead that were resurrcted now all live/exist immortally off in heaven?? Why don’t you come out and say what you believe about all of this instead of being vague and always answering in questions?

    “I do have a problem with your interpretation of the use of the term “asleep” in regards to “dead” .. however, NOT because of any preterist, futurist or whatever “…ist” views, but solely because of the use of figures of speech in language considerations”.

    Then show me how I’m wrong. Provide a logical & Scriptural better explanation of what the term “sleep” means when used in relation to death.

  25. on 19 Feb 2012 at 9:55 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    The passage does not include all believers of all ages, not even all believers of a certain age …

     

    What about certain believers of all ages? 🙂

    I do not believe that the period of 1000 years mentioned here is meant literally, as in “exactly 1000 years, not 999, nor 1001, etc. 

    I can agree that 1,000 may be a close approximation rather than a precise number. But I think it refers to approximately 1,000 literal years. The best parallel is the first Adam, who was told that he would die “in the day” he ate of the fruit. He lived 930 years. So too scripture refers to the “day of Christ”, when the last Adam will oversee the restoration of creation over the course of approximately 1,000 years. 

    nor do I believe that resurrected people will subsequently inhabit the earth … The basis for my understanding are the overall scope of Scripture, in particular what they say re planet earth;

    How then would you explain verses like these?

    Ps  37:29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

    Ps 78:69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has founded forever.

    Ecc 1:4  A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever.

    Ps 2:8  Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.

    Rev 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

  26. on 20 Feb 2012 at 2:29 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    The best parallel is the first Adam, who was told that he would die “in the day” he ate of the fruit. He lived 930 years. So too scripture refers to the “day of Christ”, when the last Adam will oversee the restoration of creation over the course of approximately 1,000 years.

    I have not heard or read anyone mention this as a supportive argument for understanding the “1000 years” mentioned in Rev 20 as meaning a literal “approximate 1000 years”.
    Your argument re God’s warning to Adam in Gen 3 is based on interpreting “in THE DAY (when you eat of the fruit of the tree)” not meaning that day when he ate, but “day” meaning an indefinite period of time, and “surely die” referring to his biological, physical death (end of his earthly life at age 930 years) rather than what happened on the day he ate of the fruit of the tree.

    Where is “the day of Christ” referred to in Scriptureas the time when the last Adam will oversee the restoration of creation over the course of approx 1000 years? Even though I have read the entire Bible a few times over the years, I do not remember reading what you are claiming here … (and I don’t mean, that these exact words of your sentence are not in the Bible, I have not read about the “concept” of how you are interpreting several different sections and how you are linking them together

    Ps 78:69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has founded forever.

    Ecc 1:4 A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever.

    I understand these verses that the earth has been established forever and will remain forever … thus we can know that the idea about this earth being “burned up or destroyed” and a “new planet” being established is incorrect. Some say that the destruction and restoration will be of the same planet earth, to conform with such verses as these here. The earth continues to exist and man’s life on earth continues to be the “testing ground” where man can chose whether or not he/she will chose life and go God’s way, resulting in eternal life, or chose death.
    “A generation goes and a generation comes …” — where can we read that there will be an end to this and that there will be a sudden stop to this at some time and there will be no more of “a generation comes” ? However, if there continues to come a generation, then there cannot be some kind of “an end” to mankind with no more people in need of a savior, etc …. as is postulated by those who propose that “the number of believers will be full” at some time in the future and things will come to a full stop, with some kind of destruction by fire, and then there will only the resurrected folks from all the generations before be living in glory on earth ….

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  27. on 20 Feb 2012 at 2:34 amWolfgang

    Hi everybody,

    it seems nobody who commented here has replied to my earlier questions (cp. comment #9) … I would like to come back to those questions about Joh 11 and Jesus’ words to Martha:

    What did Jesus mean with
    (a) he who believes in me shall live even if he dies?
    (b) everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die ?

    To which 2 groups/ categories of people is Jesus making reference?
    What is the meaning of “SHALL LIVE … even if he DIES” in (a)?
    What is the meaning of”LIVES … SHALL NEVER DIE” in (b)?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  28. on 20 Feb 2012 at 10:13 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    Where is “the day of Christ” referred to in Scriptureas the time when the last Adam will oversee the restoration of creation over the course of approx 1000 years?

    This is a summary of how I understand several scriptures. Paul lays out the comparison between Christ and Adam several times including 1 Cr 15:21. We also see a contrast between the tree of which Adam ate vs the tree of life which Christ gives us to eat. We eat of the tree of life in the kingdom (Rev 22:14), and Christ reigns for 1,000 yrs in that kingdom. Adam ate the tree of “death” and died nearly 1000 yrs later. No coindicence that 1,000 yrs are connected to the two different trees of the two Adams.

    My view is not exactly new or unique. It was also the view of the early church that Christ would return and reign on the “seventh day”, the seven thousandth millennium from creation. This is the true sabbath day of which the seventh day of creation was a sign. Below is an exceprt from the Epistle of Barnabas, written around 100 AD:

    “The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]: “And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.” Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, “He finished in six days.” This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth, saying, “Behold, to-day will be as a thousand years.” Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. “And He rested on the seventh day.” This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the-sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day. Moreover, He says, “Thou shalt sanctify it with pure hands and a pure heart.”

  29. on 20 Feb 2012 at 10:51 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    here you have john 11:25,26 clearly written in a family of languages. to understand and find an answer to you questions (a) & (b) and your comment # 9……..read the links, Ron so lovingly left, in comment # 7.

    Johannes 11: (Luther 1545)
    25 Jesus spricht zu ihr: Ich bin die Auferstehung und das Leben. Wer an mich glaubt, der wird leben, ob er gleich stürbe;
    26 und wer da lebet und glaubet an mich, der wird nimmermehr sterben. Glaubst du das?

    John 11: (kjv 1611)
    25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
    26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

    the following verses give Jesus’ revelation to paul about the subject you are seeking to understand.

    1 Thessalonians 4:
    13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

    15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not ‘prevent’ them which are asleep. prevent=zuvorkommen

    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  30. on 20 Feb 2012 at 10:52 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    We also see a contrast between the tree of which Adam ate vs the tree of life which Christ gives us to eat. We eat of the tree of life in the kingdom (Rev 22:14), and Christ reigns for 1,000 yrs in that kingdom. Adam ate the tree of “death” and died nearly 1000 yrs later.

    I don’t see that contrast …

    For one, the contrast switches … Adam eating is contrasted with US (not the second Adam) eating; furthermore, even though Adam lived for 930 years, he did not “reign” for that period of time, yet is contrasted to a Christ reigning 1000 years, etc …

    Also, we should notice that Christ’s kingdom or reign is not 1000 years … it is “without end” (cp. Lk 1:33 (NASB) – “33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”) Are two kingdoms of Christ spoken of in the Bible … (a) one that is for 1000 years, and (b) one that is without end ? I don’t think so.

    As far as the epistle of Barnabas is concerned, I would regard this as a testimony to the kind of interpretations and deviations from what the Lord and his apostles taught which already existed quite early on …

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  31. on 20 Feb 2012 at 11:02 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    thanks for your further note with some more translations of the verses in Joh 11,25-26. These have basically the same as the translations that were mentioned before.

    Now, I do not understand how the articles linked in Ron S., ( comment #7) answer the questions which I asked concerning what Jesus said and what is recorded in those verses … they contain some good information in the same vein as this article has about the general topic of death and resurrection. My questions were simple:

    What did Jesus mean with
    (a) he who believes in me shall live even if he dies?
    (b) everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die ?

    To which 2 groups/ categories of people is Jesus making reference?
    What is the meaning of “SHALL LIVE … even if he DIES” in (a)?
    What is the meaning of”LIVES … SHALL NEVER DIE” in (b)?

    Anyone have insights / answers ?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  32. on 20 Feb 2012 at 11:23 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    yes your questions are simple and the answers will be even more simple. carefully read the answer from GODS word….the answer i quoted from Jesus via Paul in Thessalonians 4:13-18.

  33. on 20 Feb 2012 at 11:43 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    1 Thessalonicher (Luther 1545)

    (a) he who believes in me shall live even if he dies:

    16 denn er selbst, der HERR, wird mit einem Feldgeschrei und der Stimme des Erzengels und mit der Posaune Gottes herniederkommen vom Himmel, und die Toten in Christo werden auferstehen zuerst.

    (b) everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die:

    17 Darnach wir, die wir leben und übrig bleiben, werden zugleich mit ihnen hingerückt werden in den Wolken, dem HERRN entgegen in der Luft, und werden also bei dem HERRN sein allezeit.

    “A”…..ask
    “S”…..seek
    “K”…..knock

  34. on 20 Feb 2012 at 11:44 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    as you can imagine, I am not unfamiliar with the passage in 1Th 4:13-18 …
    Now, then … how does what is stated in 1Th 4:13-18 answer the questions I had in reference to Joh 11:25-26?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  35. on 20 Feb 2012 at 11:52 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    ooops …. while I was typing my comment above, your further note arrived in which you already detailed things further

    Also, I agree with your understanding. I do have difficulties putting all this into a yet future time after almost 2000 years have already come and gone…
    Especially Paul’s words in 1Th 4 seem to indicate that the epistle is not addressed to folks living thousands of years later, but was addressed and immediately applicable at the time to those at Thessalonica who received it and who heard it read in their assembly. Consider yourself attending the assembly at Thessalonica and an epistle from the apostle Paul arrives and is read to those assembled there, and then you hear that passage “WE who are alive and remain …”

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  36. on 20 Feb 2012 at 11:58 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    As far as the epistle of Barnabas is concerned, I would regard this as a testimony to the kind of interpretations and deviations from what the Lord and his apostles taught which already existed quite early on …

    Does Barnabas deviate from or align with the sermon on the mount, where Jesus quoted Psalm 37:11: “The meek shall inherit the earth”? And what about when we read in that very same Psalm that “the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever”?

    I’m still unclear about your beliefs regarding what sort of body (physical vs immaterial) believers will possess, where they dwell after the resurrection, and what role Jesus will play after the resurrection.

  37. on 20 Feb 2012 at 1:23 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    YAHWEH bless you.

    Revelations 20: (kjv)
    5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

    the first resurrection has taken place as in 1 Thes 4:16-17 and after 1000 years the other dead(perhaps one could call this the 2nd Resurrection) will live.

    6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    Christians are resurrected at the first resurrection and will not die again and shall be priest of GOD and of Christ for one thousand years.

    7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
    8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

    at the end of 1000 years the unjust have been resurrected and satan is released….UZW…and so forth…..

    GOD is not vague with his numbers….6 th day…40 days of rain…40 years…3rd hour…9th hour…dead 3 days and 3 nights…50 days = Pentecost…1000 years…

    Acts 1:15And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)….

    here is an example where the number 120 is not exact…

  38. on 20 Feb 2012 at 1:38 pmRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    Even though you’re choosing to ingnore my challenge to you and my request for you to disclose your beliefs, I will answer your question on John 11:25.

    The first part of Jesus’ statement there (what you have labeled as “a”) is easy. The “he who believes in me shall live even if he dies” part is Jesus saying that believers who die before his return will be resurrected again to life. Plain and simple.

    The second part of his statement (you labeled as “b”) is also not that hard. Though some think it could have two meanings. Some regard it to be talking about the righteous believers that are resurrected and enter the Kingdom of God on earth and as such they will never die again.

    I think a greater majority view Jesus as referring to a different class of believers in this second statement – those that are alive at his return. That they will not taste death, but be transformed into immortal beings to live in the kingdom – as Paul outlines in 1 Cor. 15:51-54 & 1 Thes. 4:17.

    Our Christadelphian brothers shared this view in one of their “Wrested Scriptures” presentations with this:

    Jesus said “whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” He refers to living believers who will be transformed directly from mortality to immortality without experiencing death.

    This interpretation is supported from the context:
    Verse 24 – speaks of the resurrection at the last day.
    Verse 25 – refers to believers who die before the last day, “though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
    Verse 26 – completes the picture. Disciples alive at the Lord’s return will put on immortality without experiencing the sleep of death.

    So there you have an answer.

    Now let’s have yours. You’ve baited to have an answer. Let’s have your interpretation on what Jesus meant.

  39. on 20 Feb 2012 at 1:51 pmWolfgang

    Sarah,

    Barnabas propagates a “one day = 1000 years” theory with further ramifications which are not really biblical nor what the early church initially was taught and believed.

    As far as “the land” mentioned in prophecy, one needs to first realize that the word used should be translated “land” rather than “earth” (which is misleading, especially so to the modern day mind).

    Next, one needs to realize from the overall scope of the Scriptures that the OT physical and earthly realities were a foreshadow of and pointed to spiritual and heavenly realities. As far as “the land” is concerned, the record in Heb 11:13-16 clearly points to this, and even mentions what “better country” believers desire.

    I can well imagine that someone quickly will have an interpretation which will turn a “heavenly” country into an “earthly country” … but such only causes people to have a different hope from what we read those believers mentioned in Heb 11 had

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  40. on 20 Feb 2012 at 1:59 pmWolfgang

    Sarah,

    I’m still unclear about your beliefs regarding what sort of body (physical vs immaterial) believers will possess, where they dwell after the resurrection, and what role Jesus will play after the resurrection.

    I understand believers to have “a spiritual (immaterial) body” (cp 1Co 15, as well as Jesus’ glorious / resurrected body), which enables them to dwell in God’s presence in the heavenly kingdom (seeing that physical/material [>”flesh and blood”] cannot inherit the kingdom of God) where Christ reigns.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  41. on 20 Feb 2012 at 10:32 pmSarah

    Timothy,

    Thank you for the verses.

    GOD is not vague with his numbers….6 th day…40 days of rain…40 years…3rd hour…9th hour…dead 3 days and 3 nights…50 days = Pentecost…1000 years…

    It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to find that the 1000 years is exact. I agree with you that there is plenty of evidence for God’s numeric precision, particularly as it relates to duration of time.

  42. on 21 Feb 2012 at 1:53 amtimothy

    Sarah,

    Yes our GOD is wonderful.

    he made the roosters to crow during the night so that mankind had a “time piece”. I live in the boon docks and many neighbors have chickens. the roosters actually crow just before daylight and adjust for the daylight saving time too.

    Mark 14:
    30) And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice

    68) But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.

    69) And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

    70) And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

    71) But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

    72) And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

    just like Jesus told peter, twice X thrice.

    denied…..cock-a-doodle-do…..
    denied
    denied…..cock-a-doodle-do…..

  43. on 21 Feb 2012 at 5:55 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to find that the 1000 years is exact. I agree with you that there is plenty of evidence for God’s numeric precision, particularly as it relates to duration of time.

    I don’t think that anybody questions God’s “numeric precision” when He reveals something about a time period with numeric figures that are meant to be literal. The question at times is whether or not a numeric figure is meant to be literal, or whether it is meant figuratively. The context and overall scope of the Scriptures will provide the necessary indications how numbers must be understood in order to fit correctly.

    Looking at the passage of “shall reign 1000 years …” the reader should easily recognize that this is NOT giving the duration of Christ’s reign in the first place. Neither the passage nor the context speak of these “1000 years” as being the kingdom of God / kingdom of heaven. The passage mentions only certain believers who suffered violent death under particular circumstances … there are no grounds on which to base a claim that the passage includes all believers of all time (which is the claim made by those who identify this 1000 year period as “real beginning” or whatever of the kingdom of God on earth. Do you see how such kingdom teaching is based on what the “proof” passage doesn’t even say?

    Also, considering the kingdom to be a literal period of 1000 years, it would be rather strange that the “waiting period” since Jesus’ teachings until now
    has been almost double the time which the kingdom eventually will last … and yet, the kingdom was to be “at hand” almost 2000 years ago! If 2000 years are such a short period of time described with “at hand” and “soon” and “shortly”, the Lord’s kingdom would need to be called “very short” …

    However, I am not surprised how such considerations are put aside and a teaching of the kingdom could come now, even today, etc. … I used to believe and teach such concepts for more than 2 decades (during times of “dispensational influence” as much as during times after having set aside dispensationalism)
    It most likely does take quite some time for most people to re-evaluate and possibly change beliefs on what some describe “a holy cow” … what is a bit surprising to me is that folks who already have experienced such a major change previously in their life as believers (for example, changing from belief in the holy trinity to belief in God being only One and not Three) would have such great difficulty with other topics, such as this one.

  44. on 21 Feb 2012 at 11:41 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    Looking at the passage of “shall reign 1000 years …” the reader should easily recognize that this is NOT giving the duration of Christ’s reign in the first place. Neither the passage nor the context speak of these “1000 years” as being the kingdom of God / kingdom of heaven.

    Your conclusion isn’t quite as obvious to me as it is you. The same passage is very comfortable telling us Satan will be released for a “short time”, so John can be vague with his time periods when he wants to be. In nearly the same breath, he refers to a specific duration of time, and I find no reason in the context to deny such an explicit statement.

    The proof that Christ will reign for 1000 years doesn’t rest solely on this passage. It is based on the apostles’ own interpretation of numerous Old Testament passages predicting the coming kingdom of God’s messiah. The purpose for the 1000 years is most clearly spelled out by Paul in 1 Cor 15:25 – the eradication of death throughout creation. In contrast to the 1000 year “fall” of the first Adam, who God had commissioned to reign over the earth (Gen 1:28), Christ will reign for 1000 years during which he will reverse death completely.

    The passage mentions only certain believers who suffered violent death under particular circumstances … there are no grounds on which to base a claim that the passage includes all believers of all time (which is the claim made by those who identify this 1000 year period as “real beginning” or whatever of the kingdom of God on earth.

    I actually agree with you in that I see several problems with the standard interpretation about the outworking of the resurrection, especially in terms of timing and grouping. But those problems don’t in any way exclude a literal 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth.

    Barnabas propagates a “one day = 1000 years” theory with further ramifications which are not really biblical nor what the early church initially was taught and believed.

    Banabas is teaching from Hebrews 4. That’s not theory. The Bible explicitly provides the prophetic understanding that each creation day represented 1000 years. The seventh creation day, when God rested, is representative of the seventh millennium, when the creation will enter into a period of rest and restoration.

    “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” (Ps 90:4)

    “(4) For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”;
    (5) and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” (6) Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it,
    and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,
    (7) He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”
    (8) For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.
    (9) So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
    ” (Hbr 4:3-9 NASB)

  45. on 21 Feb 2012 at 12:35 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    IMHO……..the one thousand year period is a warning:

    *to unsaved* that after the saved have been resurrected to glory, and a period of one thousand years has passed, they shall be resurrected to judgement and thrown into the lake of fire.

    *to saved* that one thousand years after their resurrection the devil aka “satan” will be released and it is best to learn and practice GODs word now in preparation for that time.

  46. on 21 Feb 2012 at 1:12 pmRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    So are you going to answer my questions to you (in my post #24 & #38)???

  47. on 21 Feb 2012 at 1:15 pmRon S.

    Sarah & Timothy,

    In case you haven’t figured it out yet from Wolfgang’s comments or my comments to him about what he’s been posting here….our friend Wolfgang is a preterist. Meaning that he believes that most if not all of Bible prophecy in Daniel and Revelation has already occured. And that Jesus’ 2nd Coming was back in 70AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and that was when the resurrection happened and the Kingdom of God started.

    There are several forms of preterism (partial, moderate, full, etc.) and I’m not sure which one one Wolfgang subscribes to or even if he has his own hybrid form of preteristic beliefs (he is unitarian in his Christology like the rest of us). Don’t know if we’ll find out either since you can see above he has so far refused to answer me and state what he fully believes in this area. He and I have debated this before (as have Sean and others here on KR) in the past so perhaps he doesn’t want to go into it again with us. But you two are KR “newbies” and I guess he is bringing up the subject with you guys to see if he can intice you to consider his preteristic viewpoint.

    Just thought I’d give you the heads up in case you’ve been a little baffled by some of his questions.

  48. on 21 Feb 2012 at 2:53 pmtimothy

    Ron S,

    I am a native Floridian with christian Seminole indian friends who have a name in their native tongue, Hitchiti, chintmigum called the rattlesnake thunder’s necklace, and characterized deceitful people as speaking with a snake’s forked tongue.

    they still use this concept today for the whiteman who never kept his treaties.

    The Seminoles have never surrendered to the usa and consider themselves as unconquered.

    On the Big Cypress reservation there are two southern baptist churches across the road from each other. The sermons are given in three languages one after the other–Muskogee, Hitchiti and English.

    hulapata chobee…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDl4U9ZiZzk&feature=fvsr

  49. on 21 Feb 2012 at 5:15 pmWolfgang

    Ron,

    in the meantime and course of the exchange answers have already been given … and you seem to be rather eager to put forth answers on my behalf

    I believe that the Scriptures reveal the truths concerning such matters as death, resurrection, coming of the Son of man, kingdom of heaven, etc. and I endeavor to understand what the Scriptures say on their own merit and within their context and the overall scope of the Scriptures … as I have mentioned and shown by my questions as well as further comments.

    Btw, I am not trying to entice anyone … I have no need to “convert” someone to what I or anyone else believes. I can share what I have come to understand or what I have questions about … and if during the course of an exchange further details come to light, then I am thankful and praise God. See, I am asking questions relating to the biblical text, make comments regarding the biblical text … and don’t resort to labeling others in some way or shape as “such and such” as you do with me. I would have thought that you would know that labeling people like you do and linking them to some group makes a person then look like others should “mark and avoid ” them … is that really your aim ?

    Perhaps I am too old by now for going about an exchange on biblical topics with others as you do … See, when I read “soon” 20 years ago, I somehow managed to convince myself and others that 2 millenniums were “soon” … now, 20 years later, I just know that “soon” is not 2 millenniums and counting. It’s as simple as that … and the rest falls into place more and more, whereas 20 years ago my own fantasy and assumptions about the future were presented as if they were the truth and fact, almost giving people the impression that I knew what it would be like in the future. I no longer try and give the impression that I know the future … instead, I have come to know that it is much better and safer to see how the past actually fits with what has been stated.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  50. on 21 Feb 2012 at 10:28 pmSarah

    Ron,

    I have enjoyed discussing eschatology with Wolfgang, disagreements notwithstanding.

    Wolfgang,

    Many of our presuppositions are different and therefore many of our conclusions are different. But nonetheless I think you have accurately identified some weaknesses in the futurist view.

    However even with these weaknesses I cannot reach amillennialist conclusions, because there is too much evidence in scripture – corroborated by the beliefs of the very early church – for a bodily resurrection in which the righteous will be rewarded by Christ on this earth during a literal millennium. So on this aspect we will have to agree to disagree.

  51. on 21 Feb 2012 at 11:24 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    Matthew 5:
    9) Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

  52. on 22 Feb 2012 at 12:13 amDoubting Thomas

    timothy,
    Amen!!! Matthew 5:9 is one of my favorite verses… 🙂

  53. on 22 Feb 2012 at 2:52 amRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    “in the meantime and course of the exchange answers have already been given …”

    Not to the questions I have asked you.

    “and you seem to be rather eager to put forth answers on my behalf “

    If you’d give the answers I asked for, then I wouldn’t have to make guesses as to what you really believe on the subject.

    “I believe that the Scriptures reveal the truths concerning such matters as death, resurrection, coming of the Son of man, kingdom of heaven, etc. and I endeavor to understand what the Scriptures say on their own merit and within their context and the overall scope of the Scriptures … “

    Great! I do too. This at least is something that you and I can agree on!

    “Btw, I am not trying to entice anyone … I have no need to “convert” someone to what I or anyone else believes. I can share what I have come to understand or what I have questions about …”

    Okay fair enough. But it does seem that you want to “share” your understanding most each and everytime the subject of the Kingdom of God comes up here on KR – which for a blog that has the mantra of “promoting the gospel of the kingdom” is one that naturally comes up a LOT. We’ve had this conversation before Wolfgang. It’s not that we never want you to speak of preterism here. We allow others to freely express their viewpoints. But everytime we discuss anything about the kingdom being future, you startup with the leading questions and other comments suggesting we’re wrong and it is/was in the past. Again, haven’t we had the “beating a dead horse” conversation(s) regarding this before?

    “I would have thought that you would know that labeling people like you do and linking them to some group makes a person then look like others should “mark and avoid ” them … is that really your aim ? “

    Wolfgang, I’m certainly not trying to get others to avoid you. And you’re protesting the labeling issue way too much for someone that refuses to step up and answer questions about his actual beliefs. Me taking guesses at your eschatological viewpoints is a direct result at you being more than a little vague and not answering the questions I’ve asked you.

    “I just know that “soon” is not 2 millenniums and counting. It’s as simple as that … and the rest falls into place more and more”

    I get that you’re locked into holding Jesus and the Disciples literally to those time statements (“soon” and “generation”). But yet you’re not holding Jesus to his statement that he did not know the day or the hour of his return – that only his Father knew. Was Jesus just not sure of the day/date, yet knew he’d be back just 40 years later? That doesn’t make sense. He didn’t know but he really did??

    “I have come to know that it is much better and safer to see how the past actually fits with what has been stated.”

    Okay, then why won’t you explain what you have “come to know” about “how the past actually fits with what has been stated”?

    How about starting with an answer to these questions Wolfgang?

    Do you believe that Jesus’ 2nd coming happened back in 70AD?
    Did the Resurrection of the Dead occur then too?
    If so, what happens to people who have died/continue to die after then?
    What and where is the Kingdom of God if it occurred in the past?
    And how was the commision for the Kingdom to be preached unto the WHOLE WORLD remotely fullfilled by 70AD?

    Thanks.

  54. on 22 Feb 2012 at 3:17 amWolfgang

    Ron,

    I get that you’re locked into holding Jesus and the Disciples literally to those time statements (“soon” and “generation”). But yet you’re not holding Jesus to his statement that he did not know the day or the hour of his return – that only his Father knew. Was Jesus just not sure of the day/date, yet knew he’d be back just 40 years later? That doesn’t make sense. He didn’t know but he really did??

    who says I don’t hold Jesus to his statement that he did not know the day or the hour of his return? I certainly do.
    But perhaps it is you who doesn’t hold Jesus to his statements that it would be “soon” and even in “this generation (his contemporaries)” and at a time that some of those who heard him would live to see?

    Obviously Jesus knew that the end of the age and the coming of the Son of man in judgment on the last day and the coming of the kingdom was near, was to happen soon … or was he lying when he taught such and prophesied about it in such a way? Now, Jesus also made clear that he did not know day or hour (that is, more specific time details) of his coming … therefore the warning to his disciples about being ready … ready for what? for following his instructions pertaining to that time, such as leaving the city to escape with their lives, etc … !!

    When you take into account that Jesus compared this matter to a woman with child, you could be able to understand the above in a rather simple way … does the woman know something about the time of the birth? Yes, she knows the general time frame as to when the child will be born. No, she does not know day or hour when labor will set in and when a short time later she will deliver the baby. You seem to understand things as if the fact that she knows not about day and hour means that she knows nothing about the time of the end of the pregnancy and the birth? At least, this is how you view Jesus’ understanding of the time of his coming from the time statements he made in reference to that event.

  55. on 22 Feb 2012 at 3:30 amWolfgang

    Ron,

    Do you believe that Jesus’ 2nd coming happened back in 70AD?

    If Jesus told the truth in his prophetic utterances as recorded in various places in the gospels, especially so in Mt 24, Mk13 and Lk 21, then his coming as the Son of man happened in the events involving the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, the dispersion of the Jews, the final end of that old covenant age.

    Did the Resurrection of the Dead occur then too?

    Since the resurrection is said to happen in the last day of the then existing age at the time of the coming of the Son of man, I certainly believe that the resurrection (resurrection of all the dead in hades) happened then.

    If so, what happens to people who have died/continue to die after then?

    They are in the same category as those who were alive and had not died at the time of the coming of the Son of man … as 1Th 4 and 1Co 15 indicate, they do not go to hades and are changed at the moment of the end of their natural life and receive their spiritual body to ever be in the presence of God (that is, the believers), or they experience the second death and no longer exist at all (that is, the unbelievers)

    What and where is the Kingdom of God if it occurred in the past?

    It is what Jesus declared … his reign on God’s behalf which is spiritual in nature and not political and earthly

    And how was the commision for the Kingdom to be preached unto the WHOLE WORLD remotely fullfilled by 70AD?

    Reading Col 1:23 or Rom 16:26, and keeping a very important principle for interpretation in mind — namely, that we must read the text from the perspective of the author/writer and not our own perspective as a reader 2000 years later ! — you will understand how this was fulfilled.
    If you hold to the idea that the commission to preach the gospel of the kingdom to all the world means to every living person who lives on planet earth, you can then also preach that the Lord will never come … because it is impossible to have the gospel preached that way, there are always some new babies born somewhere which then still would need to hear the gospel, etc ….

  56. on 22 Feb 2012 at 9:32 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    You are disclosing: you believe Jesus has returned, the kingdom of GOD
    /heaven now is present, both resurrections have taken place, and one should preach Jesus……..UZW (this is not a question)

    1Corinthians 13:
    8) Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    8) Die Liebe höret nimmer auf, so doch die Weissagungen aufhören werden und die Sprachen aufhören werden und die Erkenntnis aufhören wird.

    [A]
    *Can you still speak in tongues, do you have knowledge and speak for GOD? (this is a question)*

    9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

    10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    10 Wenn aber kommen wird das Vollkommene, so wird das Stückwerk aufhören.

    [B]
    *What part has been done away with? (this is a question)

    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    12 Wir sehen jetzt durch einen Spiegel in einem dunkeln Wort; dann aber von Angesicht zu Angesicht. Jetzt erkenne ich’s stückweise; dann aber werde ich erkennen, gleichwie ich erkannt bin.

    [C]
    *Who are you seeing face to face, how are you known and what do you know? (this is a question)*

    Wolfgang *please* answer questions [A], [B], and[C] and please do not answer questions with questions.

    Timothy

  57. on 22 Feb 2012 at 9:36 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    However even with these weaknesses I cannot reach amillennialist conclusions, because there is too much evidence in scripture – corroborated by the beliefs of the very early church – for a bodily resurrection in which the righteous will be rewarded by Christ on this earth during a literal millennium.

    I am wondering to what evidence in scripture you are making reference for a “bodily” resurrection?

    I am actually not even sure what folks here really mean with “bodily” when speaking of a bodily resurrection … Also, do you mean a physical body as we have now? do you mean a physical body with an outward fixed shape so as to be visible, touchable, etc.? do you mean a spiritual body, invisible to our natural eyes? do you mean something different altogether?

    Where does Scripture declare that the righteous will be rewarded by Christ here on earth during a literal millennium? Is the believers’ reward an earthly reward? what would that reward be? is the reward only for the duration of the millennium?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  58. on 22 Feb 2012 at 11:05 amtimothy

    Sarah,

    s’agapo

    We will have the same body as Jesus has now, when we too are born again!
    He is the first fruits from the dead, Sarah and her brethren will be the next fruits at his return. *hooah*

    John3: (kjv)
    3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

    5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    1 Corinthians 15: (kjv)
    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

    21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

    chapter ten ‘new birth’ page 206 http://kingdomready.us/pdfs/kingdomstudies/bk-livingsacrifice.pdf

    Luke 24: (kjv)
    38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

    39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit(ghost) hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

    40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

    41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

    42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

    43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

    Jesus gave his life(blood) as an atonement for our lives. So his resurrected, born again body is spiritual flesh and bone, not flesh and blood as our current carnal body. (imho)

    Leviticus 17: (kjv)
    11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

    Timotheos

  59. on 23 Feb 2012 at 2:51 amRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    Alright! Now we’re getting somewhere! Thank you for you answers. I appreciate you actually saying what you believe.

    Of course I have some more questions to ask you.

    What about the whole binding of Satan? Has that been literal? Or do you even believe that Satan was ever a literal supernatural being at all (like the Christadelphians)? If he’s never been real, what was the prophecy about then? If he was/is real, then is he still being bound or has the 1000 years of binding ended? Has he been destroyed for ever already?

    What about death? 1 Cor. 15:26 says that death is the last enemy and it will be destroyed. Obviously people still die today, why is that if the kingdom is in place?

    Why wasn’t Christianity wiped out in AD70? If all of Jesus’ followers that were alive then were changed “in the twinkling of an eye” and taken off to heaven to be with Jesus and God, then who was left to carry it on down to us today?

    Did God lie to Abraham? God showed Abraham the land he would possess forever, yet he never owned one inch of it. If Abraham was resurrected and now lives off the earth in heaven, then Abraham STILL doesn’t possess the land even post-resurrection. Did God fail to tell Abraham that what he promised was just “allegorical” or “spiritual” land?

    How does Jesus reign on David’s throne – which was on the earth, if Jesus’ throne and reign are off in heaven and will always only be off in heaven? That seems like a king of Israel who never gets to actually be king Israel.

    And speaking of being on earth, hasn’t God really given us a wrong picture of things if at death we leave the earth and are resurrected to heaven? What about “inheriting the earth”? And God making the earth to be “inhabited”?? Is that just for an endless cycle of people living and dying here in order to get there (wherever there is)? Why give texts about the new Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven from God” (twice mentioned in Rev. 21)?

    Wolfgang, can you not see the multitude of logic problems with Scripture that a full-on preteristic view of eschatology presents???

  60. on 23 Feb 2012 at 7:53 amWolfgang

    Ron,

    Wolfgang, can you not see the multitude of logic problems with Scripture that a full-on preteristic view of eschatology presents???

    I see a lot more problems with the various assumptions presented as fact by proponents of a futurist view … See, all of the claims of futurist views are only assumptions and guesswork, because none does actually know what will happen in the future.

    You need not try to defend your futurist view as if it were indeed “fact” and not “guesswork” … I’ve been there and have embraced your (and other) futurist views for over two decades of my Christian life and study of the Scriptures. I know by personal experience how I had all kinds of things regarding Biblical prophecy and its future fulfilment quite figured out, perhaps for some time was even convinced that my guesses were indeed what it would be like … sort of like you and others here seem to think.

    But then, in a smiliar way to my experiences with the trinity doctrine some years before, certain rather simple truths that more or less obviously told a different story from my teaching “bothered” me to the degree that I acknowledged that my futurist ideas were nothing but guesswork and assumption and that I therefore would no longer present such as if it were “what the Bible tells”. Instead, I put aside my “futurist theological system” and began to re-evaluate things with the few very simple and plain statements about when Jesus said he would come. In other words, I was willing to perhaps end up with only this much, that I knew Jesus said he would come “soon”, that he connected his coming with the judgment on Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, and that I might never get to understand anything further beyond that.

    See, I rather have questions with no answers on a number of details and various more difficult scriptures, but know and understand those simple statements in the Bible, then claim to understand the more difficult scriptures (while in reality only guessing and assuming and not really understanding) and contradicting the few simple and plain verses.

    If I were still holding to a futurist view, I at least would be honest and make sure readers would understand that I would only be putting forth guesses and assumptions; in addition, I would also make sure they understand that I did not believe that Jesus, his apostles and the early church were correct in teaching and believing that the coming of the son of man and the kingdom of God would be “at hand” or “soon”.

    As for your questions above, I can only suggest that you for yourself consider possible answers … I can assure you it will be difficult as long as you are unable to look at something from someone else’s perspective; as long as you look at things from your current theological understanding, you will not get very far and you will constantly think that the other person’s view is terribly wrong (because you measure against your view which you take to be unquestionably true).

    I will answer in general that God certainly did not lie, nor did He make mistakes, nor did He give wrong pictures, etc. I will say that Christ and his apostles did not lie or teach wrong information.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  61. on 23 Feb 2012 at 9:21 amWolfgang

    Ron,

    a few further comments after all to some of your questions

    What about the whole binding of Satan? Has that been literal?

    I have not much of a clue what this is about … I do know that quite obviously Satan was not bound by literal “chains” (such as chains of iron).

    What about death? 1 Cor. 15:26 says that death is the last enemy and it will be destroyed. Obviously people still die today, why is that if the kingdom is in place?

    Since this was to happen with the coming of the Son of man, it must have happened. And, obviously, the “death” spoken of in the passage has nothing to do with people dying (physical or natural death at the end of the natural life) … just as “death” in God’s warning to Adam was not about the end of Adam’s natural life (because he did not physically die on that day)

    Why wasn’t Christianity wiped out in AD70? If all of Jesus’ followers that were alive then were changed “in the twinkling of an eye” and taken off to heaven to be with Jesus and God, then who was left to carry it on down to us today?

    These questions are based on the false assumption that Christianity / body of Christ / etc. would come to an end with Christ’s coming … and on the assumption that Christians living at the time would “literally be lifted up off the ground” and disappear into the air etc … such ideas used to be promoted by “bumper stickers” in years past, but they have no biblical basis

    Did God lie to Abraham? God showed Abraham the land he would possess forever, yet he never owned one inch of it. If Abraham was resurrected and now lives off the earth in heaven, then Abraham STILL doesn’t possess the land even post-resurrection.

    God did not lie … but people may have a wrong understanding. Abraham’s descendants did indeed inherit the physical land which Adam was shown. As for the ultimate fulfillment of “the land of promise”, cp. Heb 11:13ff and you will see that Abraham as well as the other heroes of faith mentioned in Heb 11 were not looking for an earthly country, but rather a heavenly .

    How does Jesus reign on David’s throne – which was on the earth, if Jesus’ throne and reign are off in heaven and will always only be off in heaven? That seems like a king of Israel who never gets to actually be king Israel.

    Again, failure to keep the overall scope of the Scriptures in view leads to the kind of assumptions suggested in those questions. There is no scripture which speaks of Christ reigning from Jerusalem as a political king or ruer over a political nation Israel …

    And speaking of being on earth, hasn’t God really given us a wrong picture of things if at death we leave the earth and are resurrected to heaven? What about “inheriting the earth”? And God making the earth to be “inhabited”?? Is that just for an endless cycle of people living and dying here in order to get there (wherever there is)? Why give texts about the new Jerusalem “coming down out of heaven from God” (twice mentioned in Rev. 21)?

    Once again, it is not that God has given anyone a wrong picture but that people are misinterpreting what God has revealed by not keeping context and overall scope of God’s plan in proper perspective. As I mentioned previously, translate “earth” as “land” and consider what is mentioned in Heb 11 about the land or country to which these believers were looking and for which they were hoping.
    About “new Jerusalem coming down from heaven” … it should be obvious that this cannot be speaking about a literal physical city (walls and buildings, etc.) coming down from the sky sort of like an airplane landing. Taking the record in Gal 4:25ff into consideration, it should become clear what is meant with “Jerusalem which now is” and “Jerusalem which is above [the new Jerusalem]”

    Perhaps this information will be helpful fur further considerations and re-evaluation of current beliefs that are based on assumptions and guesswork about the future.

  62. on 23 Feb 2012 at 10:34 amtimothy

    Sarah,

    agapo se (ancient Greek)

    Matthew 13: (kjv)
    45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

    46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gs_nf=1&cp=19&gs_id=22&xhr=t&q=south+sea+island+pearls&gs_upl=&bav=on.2%2cor.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.%2ccf.osb&biw=960&bih=477&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=dEFGT7jZBIiJtwe8yfSwDg

  63. on 23 Feb 2012 at 12:48 pmWolfgang

    Timothy,
    in reply to your above comment with questions:

    1Corinthians 13:
    8) Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
    [A]*Can you still speak in tongues, do you have knowledge and speak for GOD? (this is a question)*

    Even though what I did at one time learn about tongues and other manifestations of the spirit was different from what is often practised in so-called charismatic circles, I have for some time (even during the time of being still actively involved in that group/TWI) wondered about the teachings concerning tongues, prophecy, revelation, miracles etc. … mainly because there was no way of showing that what I was doing was indeed genuine and that of which the Bible spoke. How do you want to show me from Scripture that what you are doing and what you call “speaking in tongues” is actually that speaking in tongues which we read about in the Scriptures?
    The verses here are speaking about specific items relating to the manifestation of the spirit, and I tend to believe that these indeed have ceased … and what is done today is not that which we read about in the Scriptures.

    9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
    10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
    [B]*What part has been done away with? (this is a question)

    The verses are not speaking about a certain part having been done away with and other parts still being there …. your question seems to me to be worded incorrectly.
    To understand the passage I regard to be necessary to recognize the old covenant and new covenant situations …. during the old covenant age and the overlapping time of the 40 years of the end of the OT age, knowledge and other matters were present “in part” (even with that which became known via the manifestation of the spirit), while the new covenant age makes available to the believer a situation of “knowing face to face”, having access to God’s throne etc …

    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    [C]*Who are you seeing face to face, how are you known and what do you know? (this is a question)*

    See above … I see the old covenant with what it had available as being compared to “seeing through a glass darkly”, while I see the new covenant and what it has available to the believer as “seeing face to face”.

    I don’t know how to convey these things any better at this time … thus I would encourage you to ponder and consider these things to gain further insights on your own.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  64. on 24 Feb 2012 at 1:36 amtimothy

    Wolfgang

    *****GRACE*****

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DNJTEuGimA&feature=related

    Timothy

  65. on 24 Feb 2012 at 12:25 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    It seems to me that Hebrews 11 is one of your keystone supports for viewing the future of believers as immaterial and located somewhere other than earth. And yet if I look at the passages in Daniel that predict the coming kingdom, I don’t see the saints departing earth for heaven, I see God’s heavenly dominion coming to the earth.

    (34) “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them.
    (35) “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
    – (Dan 2:34-35 NASB)

    Daniel 7 simlarly talks in detail about a great battle for dominion that clearly takes place on earth (vs 21-23). The heavenly court scene depicted here in not unlike the one that takes place in the book of Job. In both cases, God’s heavenly court comes to the earth to pronounce judgment, not the other way around. In Daniel 7 the saints are granted by God to wield heaven’s dominion on the earth.

    This concept of heavenly dominion enforced on the earth carries over to Hebrews 11:15-16. The sense of the Greek word for “heavenly” found in Hebrews 11:15-16 is explained by the HELPS lexicon as follows:

    “2032 epouránios (an adjective, derived from 1909 /epí, “on, fitting,” which intensifies 3772 /ouranós, “heaven”) – properly, heavenly, referring to the impact of heaven’s influence on the particular situation or person.”

    Abraham was looking for the kingdom not built by human hands, that is, not built upon earthly dominion. He was looking for the Day of Christ (Jn 8:56-57) which ushers in a kingdom of heavenly dominion on the earth. This is the kingdom is prophesied in Dan 2, where Christ, the foundational stone, launches a kingdom that will fill the whole earth.

    Keep in mind I am not making any arguments at this point with respect to timing of the second coming. I am making the case that the kingdom is material, visible, and takes place on this earth at some point.

  66. on 25 Feb 2012 at 5:41 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    as far as Dan 2, etc are concerned, I would understand what is revealed there along the following lines:

    (a) I would say that the vision of the dream and its interpretation given by Daniel shows clearly that the kingdom of God was to be set up during the time period of the 4th kingdom (which I understand to be a reference to the Roman Empire) … not thousands of years later after the Roman Empire has long been gone.

    (b) To me, the expression “stone cut out without hands” is using a figurative expression to point out that this was not a man made “stone”, as well as not a earthly / physical “stone” … rather, it pointed to a kingdom / rule which was heavenly and spiritual, in contrast to the other kingdoms metioned before which all had been political and earthly.

    (c) The expression “became a mountain and filled the whole earth” to me is an indication that its influence would encompass or have bearing on people of all nations, all races, etc. … not, that this would be a political worldwide (global) kingdom.

    (d) Sure, the influence of the heavenly kingdom is on people on earth, but the kingdom itself is not set up as an earthly political kingdom with Jesus as a political ruler, who reigns as a king or president or the like from a throne or “white house” at the earthly city of Jerusalem. The saints enter the eternal kingdom (not a 1000 years political kingdom) when they are changed in a moment at the time of the end of their natural life on earth, during which life they placed themselves by faith in God and His Christ under the influence or promise of the heavenly kingdom of Christ.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  67. on 26 Feb 2012 at 3:41 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    some further thoughts on Dan 2 ….

    The 4th kingdom (Roman Empire) would be divided during the time of the original Roman kingdom, not in some future revitalized kingdom thousands of years later.
    In Mt 4:17 (which was during the midst of Caesar Tiberius’ reign), Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God “is at hand”. Interestingly, the verb is not present tense, but rather perfect active indicative, which could better be translated “has drawn near” (as we can see for example in J.P. Green’s literal translation). The perfect tense gives a sense of completion in the past with a continuance into the present. Thus, it was certainly happening in the time of the original Roman Empire.

    Now, the question is, when was the Empire divided? It seems to be during the time of the “feet and toes” … When Nero killed himself in 68 AD, the Empire was thrown into a civil war, and 4 generals were fighting for control of the Empire. Rome was burned again but survived with Vespasian as victor. Also, Rome was not only divided within itself, but with its subjects as well, specifically Judah. Judah is the clay as is depicted from the beginning with the word “Adam” or red clay. And Rome is depicted as the iron. The two do not cleave to one another. While the Empire is divided – during the time of the ten toes and feet crisis – the kingdom of God is established during the time of the division.

    So then, “…in the days of these kings (the original ten kings) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.” Dan 2:44-45.

    Considering the history of the Roman Empire, those ten kings were: 1) Julius, 2) Augustus, 3) Tiberius, 4) Caligula, 5) Claudius, 6) Nero, 7) Galba, 8) Otho, 9) Vitellius, and 10) Vespasian.

    It was under Vespasian, that Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed, which was still in “this generation”, and, as Jesus had prophesied, was linked to the coming of the Son of man as well as the establishing of the kingdom of God, which some who heard his teaching would like to see it happen.

  68. on 26 Feb 2012 at 3:43 amWolfgang

    oops … in the above the “number 8 plus )” was turned into a smilie … can one of the administrators change that?
    Thanks …
    Wolfgang

  69. on 26 Feb 2012 at 3:44 amtimothy

    Sarah,

    —–“CORRECTION POST # 58”

    I apologies, there is an error with Leviticus 17:11.(kjv)
    I have been reproved and here is the correction:

    blood is not the life=chay(Hebrew)
    blood is the soul=nephesh(Hebrew)

    Leviticus 17:…..(kjv)
    11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

    Leviticus 17:…..(nasb)
    11 For the [e]life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the [f]life that makes atonement.

    [e]=soul
    [f]=soul

    This opens the door for some great word study to find out more about Jesus Christ’s Resurrection body.

  70. on 26 Feb 2012 at 6:51 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    I want to reiterate that agree with you – at least in a broad sense – on some of the futurist weaknesses. These are issues I am still pondering as I study eschatology. But my point with Dan 2 & 7 was not related to preterism vs futurism, but material vs immaterial.

    With regard to your point (c) about the mountain filling the earth, what scriptural support can you offer for your opinion? I say that scripture explains the mountain that eventually fills the earth in other prophetic books such as Zechariah:

    Zec 8:3 This is what the LORD says: “I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.”

    Zec 8:4 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age.

    Now Dan 2 clearly isn’t a literal mountain filling the whole earth. It’s obviously a literary device, but that doesn’t mean it points to something strictly immaterial. When taken with other prophecies such as those in Zechariah, Isaiah, and Ezekiel, we find that Jerusalem is the source for the literal renewal of creation that spreads like a river out to the rest of the world.

    Additionally, the witness of Jesus own resurrection is the biggest proof that our own resurrection is not nebulous and immaterial, but tangible and located on planet earth.

    The first Adam said:

    Gen  2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

    The last Adam said:

    Luk 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

    The last Adam isn’t going to exist in some other immaterial realm any more than the first Adam did. Both Adams have bodies of flesh and bone. The difference is the last Adam unites heaven with earth to renew God’s good, but fallen, creation.

    So the question I have for you is, are you open to considering the weaknesses in your immaterial/heavenly future conclusions? It’s not like there are just one or two explicit statments made in the Bible about the future of the earth and mankind. There are scores and scores. And these are not just relegated to the OT. The amill perspective must allegorize a huge percentage of the Bible to escape the straightforward implications. When you approach the text assuming allegory, everything is vulnerable to subjective opinions. It seems rather convenient to decide that any verse not fitting your schema is actually just allegorical…

  71. on 27 Feb 2012 at 3:32 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    So the question I have for you is, are you open to considering the weaknesses in your immaterial/heavenly future conclusions? It’s not like there are just one or two explicit statments made in the Bible about the future of the earth and mankind. There are scores and scores.

    I thought I already made mention that I have held the type of futurist beliefs you and others here propose for 2 decades of my life as a Christian and student of the Scriptures … thus, I am quite familiar with the arguments based on a literal interpretation of statements in the Scriptures which use terminology that seem to indicate a future “material/earthly” (which would be the opposite of “immaterial/heavenly”) eternal life and future of earth and mankind. Having taken almost 12 years to consider the different views and see where and why their respective “weaknesses” are, I have come to the conclusion that the matter can be condensed into this:

    Either the Scripture statements concerning the timing are literal and the statements about the nature are figurative and point to spiritual/heavenly, or else the statements about the nature are literal and indicate a material/earthly and the time statements are figurative.

    Having considered the matter extensively from both sides (which most likely none of you have done … or are there some who now hold a futurist belief who have previously held a preterist view?), it seems to me that the time statements — which are worded in different ways — are definitely literal (or else, they make no sense or even make those who prophesied about these matters to be liars and false prophets), and of necessity therefore statements about the nature of the future matters can not be literal, but must be — by the way, in accordance with the overall scope of the Scriptures, which teach a view of temporal/material/earthly “foreshadow” pointing to an eternal/spiritual/heavenly “reality — using figurative language.

    Perhaps I will find some time to write some more about the section regarding Jesus’ resurrection in your above comment

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  72. on 27 Feb 2012 at 6:10 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    Additionally, the witness of Jesus own resurrection is the biggest proof that our own resurrection is not nebulous and immaterial, but tangible and located on planet earth.

    It is necessary to observe some rather important details in regards to Jesus’ resurrection in order to not make false assumptions and transfer details which only pertained to Jesus to all other people.

    Yes, Jesus’ resurrection is as the “firstfruits” showing what also will be the case with the rest of the fruit that follows later. However, with Jesus there was the need to provide visible proof (cp. Acts 1,3: “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, ….”) that Jesus had indeed been raised from among the dead to eternal life (and not as other people before had been re-vitalized to continue their earthly life).

    Cp 1Co 15, we learn that the “resurrection body” is a spiritual body (and not a physical, not a material, not a visible body), that is, it is non-physical, non-material, invisible. How then could there be a proof provided that indeed the resurrection from the dead to eternal life had taken place in Jesus’ case? The answer is given in the fact that Jesus was raised prior to his physical body (the one he had prior to his death) corrupting (cp. what Peter declared as recorded in Acts 2:31 “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.”)

    We know from the records in the gospels and Acts 1, that when Jesus appeared / showed himself after the resurrection, the body he took on so that they could see him and recognize him was his previous body … even down to the details of still having the wound marks in his hands and feet and side! Jesus manifested himself in his earlier body … but his “real” resurrection body was not that physical visible body which he had previously at the time of his death with the wounds, etc. !

    IF Jesus’ real resurrection body was that physical visible tangible body, it becomes very odd that for (by far) most of the time of those 40 days after the resurrection, Jesus was nowhere seen … the records in the Scriptures indicate that Jesus’ “normal state” after the resurrection was obviously “invisible” … or do you want to claim that he went to a cave somewhere to stay in hiding except for those few times when he showed himself alive?

    Jesus’ resurrected body is indeed a spiritual, immaterial and invisible body, just as all other believers receive. Only for the time of 40 days, during which Jesus needed to show himself alive with infallible proof did he on few occasions and only certain times show himself in his body to provide proof of his resurrection, so that others could indeed identify him as that same person they had known prior to his death.

    The first Adam said:
    Gen 2:23 The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”

    The last Adam said:
    Luk 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

    I don’t think that one can make such a comparison in order to prove what you are trying to prove … just because in both places the words “bones” and “flesh” are used, one cannot draw any parallel or whatever one would like.

    The last Adam isn’t going to exist in some other immaterial realm any more than the first Adam did.
    Both Adams have bodies of flesh and bone.

    Well, the last Adam DID exist in the same realm with a same body of flesh and bone and blood as the first Adam !!!
    However, you are wrongly comparing quite different periods of life of each Adam … Adam’s life prior to his death with Jesus’ life after his resurrection.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  73. on 27 Feb 2012 at 9:07 amtimothy

    wolfgang,

    Galations 1:
    6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:…..

    6 Mich wundert, dass ihr euch so schnell abwenden lasst von dem, der euch durch die Gnade des Christus berufen hat, zu einem anderen Evangelium…..

  74. on 27 Feb 2012 at 10:33 amWolfgang

    Timothy

    perhaps you sould refrain from using quotes from German Bible translations here since most folks who participate here don’t understand German. As for me, I do understand English quite well …

    Now, even though I do understand English quite well, I do not quite understand how your quote from Gal 1 relates to the topics we are discussing here ….

  75. on 27 Feb 2012 at 1:37 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    Aren’t you re-interpreting all the other explicit statments about a literal, material future for mankind on the earth to fit your understanding of a small handful of NT verses like 1 Cr 15? Paul was not taking a dualist view, such that natural vs spiritual meant material vs immaterial. He was referring to corruptible physicality vs incorruptible physicality. His writings in Romans clearly supports this:

    (21) that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
    (23) Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. – (Rom 8:21, 23 NIV)

    He talks about creation and our bodies in the sense of being in slavery to corruptibility. We have the indewelling of the spirit in decaying bodies, and we await the day when the spirit will redeem our bodies from that decay. He’s drawing from passage like Ez 37 to make his “natural/spritual” contrast. The new body is spiritual in the sense that God’s spirit resurrects the flesh and bone body and inhabits it permanently.

    (5) This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
    (6) I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'” – (Eze 37:5-6 NIV)

    As for Jesus’ resurrection, the facts we can be certain of are (1) he was seen by his followers but not his enemies (2) he affirmed having physical body (3) he denied being a spirit (4) he never said that he would later possess a different body from the one he had at that time.

    Acts 1 shows that something related to the timing of Christ assuming his reign over Israel was different than the apostles had expected. Being hidden from sight, whether for 40 days or for 2000 years, does not necessitate that Jesus was immaterial. Look at the account of Lot in Sodom (Gen 19). The angels with Lot caused the wicked men to become blind in such a way that they could no longer see the house Lot was in. The physicality of the house did not change. It was simply hidden from wicked men.

    So a hidden body is not an immaterial body. What is the very definition of “body” if not something corporeal, material and tangible? What is a resurrection if not the revival of something that used to exist?

  76. on 27 Feb 2012 at 2:04 pmSarah

    p.s. Wolfgang – As much as I would like to continue this debate, I will have to set it aside for now due to time constraints. But I’ll be happy to discuss it with you further in the future…

  77. on 27 Feb 2012 at 5:51 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    you wrote:

    “You need not try to defend your futurist view as if it were indeed “fact” and not “guesswork” … I’ve been there and have embraced your (and other) futurist views for over two decades of my Christian life and study of the Scriptures. I know by personal experience how I had all kinds of things regarding Biblical prophecy and its future fulfilment quite figured out, perhaps for some time was even convinced that my guesses were indeed what it would be like … sort of like you and others here seem to think.

    But then, in a smiliar way to my experiences with the trinity doctrine some years before, certain rather simple truths that more or less obviously told a different story from my teaching “bothered” me to the degree that I acknowledged that my futurist ideas were nothing but guesswork and assumption and that I therefore would no longer present such as if it were “what the Bible tells”. Instead, I put aside my “futurist theological system” and began to re-evaluate things with the few very simple and plain statements about when Jesus said he would come. In other words, I was willing to perhaps end up with only this much, that I knew Jesus said he would come “soon”, that he connected his coming with the judgment on Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, and that I might never get to understand anything further beyond that.

    See, I rather have questions with no answers on a number of details and various more difficult scriptures, but know and understand those simple statements in the Bible, then claim to understand the more difficult scriptures (while in reality only guessing and assuming and not really understanding) and contradicting the few simple and plain verses.

    If I were still holding to a futurist view, I at least would be honest and make sure readers would understand that I would only be putting forth guesses and assumptions; in addition, I would also make sure they understand that I did not believe that Jesus, his apostles and the early church were correct in teaching and believing that the coming of the son of man and the kingdom of God would be “at hand” or “soon”.

    and then you wrote:

    “I thought I already made mention that I have held the type of futurist beliefs you and others here propose for 2 decades of my life as a Christian and student of the Scriptures … thus, I am quite familiar with the arguments based on a literal interpretation of statements in the Scriptures which use terminology that seem to indicate a future “material/earthly” (which would be the opposite of “immaterial/heavenly”) eternal life and future of earth and mankind. Having taken almost 12 years to consider the different views and see where and why their respective “weaknesses” are, I have come to the conclusion that the matter can be condensed into this:……….”

    tsch’u’ss

  78. on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:32 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    and what’s your point with the above comment ?

  79. on 28 Feb 2012 at 1:45 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    <

    As for Jesus’ resurrection, the facts we can be certain of are (1) he was seen by his followers but not his enemies (2) he affirmed having physical body (3) he denied being a spirit (4) he never said that he would later possess a different body from the one he had at that time.

    I would rather say, that Jesus was
    (1) seen when he showed himself (cp the summary type statement in Acts 1); (2) he showed himself in his previous physical body with the wounds testifying that it was indeed him; (3) yes, he was/is not “a ghost”, nor a heavenly angelic being; (4) he did not need to say anything about later possessing a different body from the one he had at the time … he already was resurrected with and had his spiritual body even at the time, but he showed himself not in this resurrected glorious body, but in his previous physical body, which he apparently “took on” for providing proof for his identity (else, no one could have seen him, no one could have identified him, there would not be first hand witness proof for the reality of the resurrection from the dead).
    Jesus’ case is different from the rest of the dead … no further proof is needed. For the purpose of providing evidence and show proof Jesus was raised prior to his body seeing corruption … which is not the case with the rest of the dead who had died, since their bodies have corrupted.

  80. on 09 Mar 2012 at 3:00 amRon S.

    Wolfgang,

    I’m sorry I haven’t been able to get back to our (now a couple of weeks or more old) discussion. I’ve just been snowed in with projects at work. So busy in fact I hardly have time to hop online for fun stuff like this! 🙂

    Maybe this weekend I can get back here and find where we were and get back into it all!

  

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