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From a biblical perspective, the notion that God will one day establish His kingdom on earth is extremely well-attested, enjoying support from both Old and New Testaments, from both historical books and the prophets, from Paul’s epistles and the Gospels, and especially from the Bible’s last book. God’s plan is to make everything wrong with the world right, to restore creation back to its original Edenic glory, to defeat evil and death once and for all, and to usher in an eternal age of peace and joy on earth. Rather than exploding, nuking, or dissolving the earth, God wants to fix it up—like an antique car—until it shines with its original glory.

He intends to accomplish this task through His agent, Jesus the King, whom He will send to establish his reign on the last day. Jesus is uniquely qualified to administer the world’s government because of his proven character and track record, having always resisted temptation and obeyed his Father. He is of royal blood, having descended from the great Kings of Judah and Israel like David and Hezekiah. Even so, God’s grand idea is not limited to reestablishing the Davidic dynasty in Israel; rather, Israel will become the chief of nations and the center of a new global system. Jesus will sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem, but his reign will extend over all nations, tribes, peoples, and languages.

When Jesus returns, he will defeat evil and resurrect the people of God who are presently sleeping in their graves. Thus the righteous will stand up once more and enjoy life on earth once again—this time in a resurrected body. That is not to say they will be in a different body; it will be their body but with some significant upgrades. Although Scripture does not spell out the capabilities of the resurrected body in detail, we do know it will neither break down nor suffer death (two major problems in our current experience). Resurrected people will be able to eat, recognize one another, and enjoy the delights of earth as it was in the beginning. The citizens of God’s kingdom will live in harmony with one another and the earth and participate in God’s grand restoration project until everything is fit for God Himself to come down and dwell here forever.

God’s dream for the future is not to hold disembodied souls in a tractor beam stare for all eternity or to be locked into a never ending song service. In contrast, the kingdom of God is much more “down to earth” than that. People will till the ground, plant crops, and enjoy the harvest. The prophets talk about how the earth will produce bountifully and even the deserts will become lush with sundry plants and flowers. The world will still experience time, and people will move through space using standard bipedal locomotion (i.e. walking, running, etc.). The goal is not to become conglomerated and melted into one collective consciousness, nor does the Bible ever mention teleportation or flying around. No, the kingdom is simply the same as our present world minus all of the problems. God will fix war, disease, famine, death, earthquakes, oppression, domestic violence, corrupt governments, and sin of all kinds.

Although this vision of the future is biblical, logical, and incredibly attractive, many ancient Christians did not like it. Sadly, the kingdom of God was rejected by a small group of educated, affluent, and influential Christian thinkers. The first time the historical records provide us with a glimpse of non-kingdom believers is in the middle of the second century—more than a century after Christ—when the Christian Platonist philosopher Justin Martyr writes of some who do not believe God will restore Jerusalem to its former glory. He says such non-kingdom believers are not mainstream or orthodox but that they are still considered fellow Christians. From at least the second century up until at least the fifth century, Christians of both opinions lived side by side and occasionally engaged in dialogue over this important issue.

By analyzing the arguments of Christians who contest the kingdom, I have identified their three primary reasons for rejecting an earthly hope: they thought it was too crude, too hedonistic, and too Jewish. These rationales are significant since they are largely to blame for Christianity going astray on this issue and embracing instead the heaven-at-death idea. If we can overcome these objections, we will be on solid ground to reclaim God’s original hope for the world and to help others see what happened. Sometimes a biblical argument is not enough to convince someone. However, if we can tell the story of how the Church got off track on this issue as well, heaven-at-death believers may find themselves more persuaded to believe in the kingdom.

The first of the three reasons why some Christians rejected the kingdom of God was because they regarded it as crude, unsophisticated, and unworthy of God. From Origen of Alexandria to Augustine of Hippo, educated, elite Christian thinkers routinely derided an earthly hope as foolish. This was probably because ancient science, heavily influenced by Plato’s philosophy, thought of the world as an inferior copy of a higher eternal realm. According to them, change was one of the most significant problems with the world and human experience. Ancient thinkers had a strong bias against transience, preferring instead immutability. Based on Aristotle and Ptolemy’s astronomy, they thought of the universe as a series of concentric circles, the center of which was the earth. We occupy the lowest level of being where coarse and unrefined matter undergoes constant flux. From hourly temperature variation to daily day and night cycles to monthly seasonal changes, this lower realm is characterized by instability and unpredictability. However, as one looks up to the higher orbits of the moon and sun and beyond, he notices that the farther one moves away from the earth, the more stability objects appear to enjoy. The stars in particular were lauded for their fixed nature, never moving with respect to each other, but rotating as a whole in an utterly predictable manner. They thought the stars were made of finer, thinner matter, which gave rise to their characteristic fixed nature. Beyond the stars exists the realm of God and the forms, the blueprint for every type of object on earth. Since education in the Greco-Roman world was essentially the same as studying the works of Greek philosophers along with the myths of old, wealthy Christians—who could afford such training—were predisposed to reject an earthly hope. The idea seemed crass—as if God would imprison His people in the lowest level of existence, composed of the thickest matter and subject to constant flux forever. Because this seemed incoherent, they developed a variety of interpretational strategies to deal with the passages that seemed to identify earth as the site of ultimate redemption.

As with the science of the universe so with the science of the body, privileged Christians of antiquity generally disparaged the human body and regarded pleasure as inherently suspect. Christians from Gaius of Rome to Jerome of Bethlehem indicted kingdom believers on the charge of hedonism (i.e. believing pleasure is the primary aim). Heaven defenders appealed to the hope of eating rich foods and drinking aged wine at the banquet feast as evidence that fleshly appetites rather than spiritual aspirations motivated kingdom believers. Such rhetoric found traction in the culture of the time, at least among educated people, because everyone just “knew” that seeking pleasure was problematic whereas denying one’s carnal impulses was virtuous. Furthermore, they regarded the body itself as the prime culprit since it was from the body, not the mind, that desires welled up and temptations sprang forth. At least since the time when Plato wrote about Socrates’ death, philosophers have regarded the body as a prison for the soul, a constant source of interruption, and the prime problem in this life. The goal is to escape the body with all of its attendant vices and flit off to the realm of pure knowledge to contemplate God and matters of importance without interruption forever. This is not to say that everyone in the Roman Empire routinely denied themselves pleasure, but an incredibly wide swath of educated thinkers believed indulging in pleasure was not ideal, and they admired those few ascetics who led consecrated lives devoid of all gratification. Philosophers like Plotinus and his disciple Porphyry repeatedly derided the body as the source of carnal desires. Furthermore, the Stoics, the most influential of the philosophical schools of antiquity, based their whole approach to life on denying and detaching themselves from personal desire of all kinds. Christianity from the second century onward imbibed this tonic of austerity and set about outdoing the pagans in strict discipline and asceticism. As a result, many elite Christians found the idea of living in physical bodies forever, eating quality meat, and enjoying the fruit of the vine, singularly unpalatable. Those who believed in the kingdom were labeled pleasure seekers (hedonists) and summarily dismissed as immature carnal Christians who had not yet ascended beyond the lusts of the flesh to the higher plane of spiritual satisfaction.

Beyond cosmology and hedonism, the kingdom was also rejected on the grounds that it was too Jewish. Although the situation is much different today, in the first few centuries after Christ, Jews greatly outnumbered Christians and generally enjoyed more social acceptance in society. By the third century the unhappy memories of the failed Jewish revolts had given way to economic growth and optimism. However, for Christians, the Jews’ very existence confronted them with two major questions. If Jesus really was the prophesied Jewish Messiah, then why did his own people still reject him? If Jesus was the king then why did he not establish the messianic kingdom and rescue the Jews from their oppressors? The standard Christian strategy—at least from the third century onwards—was to accuse the Jews of hardheartedness and allege that they read Scripture according to the letter rather than the spirit. Origen, who heavily endorsed this stereotype, claimed that Jews interpreted prophecies according to the surface meaning whereas Christians penetrated deeper to gain spiritual insight. Allegory, the way of reading sacred texts where everything represents something else, had been pioneered centuries earlier as a way to read Homer’s epic works: the Iliad and the Odyssey. By the time Christianity was in a dead-lock with Judaism, allegory had become a standard strategy the educated employed to smooth out otherwise embarrassing texts. However, those Christians—and there were many—who believed in the coming kingdom of God were a major roadblock to this approach since they read the biblical prophecies literally. One pastor in Lower Egypt even wrote a book called Against the Allegorists wherein he demonstrated the superiority of reading the Bible literally and defended the kingdom. However, to the allegorists the notion that a Jewish king would rule in Jerusalem over a restored Israel appeared too Jewish since it played right into the objection that Jesus could not have been the Christ because he did not bring a physical, political kingdom. Eventually, Christians who believed in biblical hope were labeled Judaizers. (In the Bible, Judaizers were those who strove to make Gentile converts keep the Law of Moses.) By the late fourth century, anyone who believed in an earthly kingdom was lambasted and libeled for Judaizing, even though there is no evidence that kingdom believers advocated Torah observance.

What I find so fascinating, living more than a millennium later, is that although these three reasons are completely obsolete, Christianity still retains the heaven-at-death doctrine instead of believing in the coming kingdom on earth. We no longer have a bias against change—as if transience is inherently flawed; we no longer assume all pleasure is inherently tainted—as if having a glass of wine would be a sin; we no longer repudiate an idea for being too Jewish—as if to read Scripture according to its surface meaning was inferior to making up our own “deeper” private interpretations. These objections to the kingdom are now hopelessly outdated. If anything, culture has so shifted that the opposite of each of them is favored today. So if the Bible supports the kingdom, at least when we assume it means what it says, and no one any longer takes the reasons for rejecting it seriously, then why does mainstream Christianity hold to an anti-change, anti-pleasure, anti-Jewish understanding of the hope? Why not return to the ancient conception so well expressed by the prophets of old like Isaiah and Daniel—a dream of the future where the wolf dwells with the lamb, where the Son of Man is King of over all nations, where the people of God enjoy quality food and wine on His sacred mountain, where the saints are empowered to reign with the Son of Man forever. Why not dream along with the seers, allow ourselves to be wooed by God’s grand vision, and return to the original plan of global restoration and redemption?

134 Responses to “Rejecting the Kingdom: Three Reasons”

  1. on 17 May 2012 at 11:31 amMike

    Good post Sean.

    I’ve encountered some of these arguments in my own studies, primarily the “too Jewish” one. I’ve noticed some of this thinking in the preterist interpretation of eschatology. I think the truth lies somewhere in between the “kingdom now” and the “future kingdom” theologies. There is no question, even among orthodox preterists, that some day Jesus is going to literally return to the earth. There should also be no question among futurists that in a sense we are in the Kingdom now. We recognize Jesus as our King today, even though the rest of the world does not, and we have been “transferred into the Kingdom of His (God’s) dear Son” (Col. 1:13).

    There is a sense in which “the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”, and yet it is also true that we await the reality of the Kingdom being established on the earth, where we will in fact sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

    As far as I’m concerned, Jesus reigns supreme now in my life. But there is coming a day when the whole world will come under His reign, when true peace will exist in this world. I for one appreciate the “Jewishness” of belief in the literal Kingdom and it’s down to earth message.

  2. on 17 May 2012 at 2:18 pmWolfgang

    Mike,

    do the Scriptures really teach such a “double natured kingdom” as you mention in your comment ?

    That is, what you describe above as “kingdom now” and “future kingdom”, and what you note as “kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy spirit” and “also true that we await the reality of the kingdom being established on earth ” (in other words, a kingdom that is in meant and drink and earthly glory) ?

    It seems to me that the biblical TRUTH of the kingdom of God is NOT such a “double / dual” construct

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  3. on 17 May 2012 at 2:27 pmWolfgang

    Sean,

    it seems to me that your article here is based largely on a particular assumptions and/or interpretation regarding the nature of the kingdom of God … and thus it fails to objectively understand both the Scripture testimony regarding the kingdom of God (which is NOT a double/dual phased or natured kingdom of God) as well as historic doctrinal developments and current beliefs regarding the kingdom of God in various Christian circles.

    Actually, I do not reject the kingdom of God, and I certainly do not fall into any of the 3 reasons categories … and yet, I most definitely do not see a political kingdom with Jesus as a Davidic king residing at earthly Jerusalem and basically acting as a world wide dictator (“ruling with a rod if iron”) over all nations …

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  4. on 19 May 2012 at 7:55 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    you mention above

    What I find so fascinating, living more than a millennium later, is that although these three reasons are completely obsolete, Christianity still retains the heaven-at-death doctrine instead of believing in the coming kingdom on earth.

    Indeed, what most of Christianity teaches and believes regarding these matters is unbiblical and in error.

    Their “heaven at death” doctrines are in error because they teach that such happens without the resurrection from the dead having become a reality, and some or even many of them maintain that there will be a yet future resurrection … However, the Scriptures are clear that prior to the resurrection being a reality the dead are not in some way “alive” anywhere.

    Paul describes that prior to the time of the resurrection taking place, all dead are dead and are held in gravedom (hades). At the time of the resurrection taking place (and afterwards), believers do no longer first go to hades upon taking their last breath, but rather are changed in a moment and thus “never die” … even as Jesus already prophesied and mentioned in his statement to Lazarus’ sister Martha (cp. Joh 11)

    As for the kingdom of God topic, at least some of those Christian circles seem to recognize from various scriptures that the kingdom was already a reality in the early church … and that it was NOT about Jesus setting up a political kingdom state of Israel and then even ruling the world in a political sense. Since they do not believe in a “double/dual nature or double/dual phase kingdom of God”, they rather believe that the nature of the kingdom of God is spiritual (rather than political) and that it already has come (rather than it being future … which others teach, just because there has not been a political kingdom set up by Jesus as of yet)

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  5. on 19 May 2012 at 9:05 amSarah

    Hi Wolfgang,

    Their “heaven at death” doctrines are in error because they teach that such happens without the resurrection from the dead having become a reality,

    Can you please explain what you mean by the resurrection “having become a reality”? And where this reality takes place?

  6. on 19 May 2012 at 10:45 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    according to the teaching about “heaven at death” of mainstream Christianity, they claim that the dead believers are immediately going to heaven, while at the same time they teach that the resurrection from the dead has not happened and is still future.

    I would say that the Scriptures teach rather clearly that without the resurrection having taken place there can’t be a “heaven at death” (or as the Scriptures describe it as “will be changed”, rather than “will be raised from the dead”).

  7. on 19 May 2012 at 8:00 pmDoubting Thomas

    Thanks for another good article Sean…. 🙂

  8. on 14 Jun 2012 at 6:25 amMike

    Wolfgang,

    At this point in my Christian walk I understand the Kingdom of God to be a literal, physical kingdom to be established on the earth at the return of Jesus, at which time the whole world will recognize and honor Him as King. At the same time, I understand that the church currently recognizes and honors Him as King, and so in a sense the kingdom is a reality now for Christians.

    I gather from reading other posts on this blog that you are an orthodox preterist (please correct me if I have misunderstood). This is a fairly new teaching to me, and although I see difficulties with it, (as I also do with futurism), I find it fascinating.

    I have come a long way to truth over the last two years and have set aside many false teachings. If I am wrong about the literal fulfillment of the OT prophecies concerning Messiah’s kingdom, then I would certainly appreciate being corrected.

    Would you mind outlining for me how you see the Kingdom of God/Messiah, and in what sense the many prophecies (Is. 2:4, Mic. 4:3, Is. 11:1-10, Luke 1:32-33, Rev. 20:1-3 etc.) have been spiritually fulfilled? Also, what level of importance would you place on a correct understanding of the nature of the kingdom and why?

    Thanks for your thoughts, looking forward to some discussion. Hopefully others on this blog who are more studied than I will take part.

    God bless.

  9. on 14 Jun 2012 at 7:02 amWolfgang

    Mike,

    I gather from reading other posts on this blog that you are an orthodox preterist (please correct me if I have misunderstood).

    actually, I don’t even know what “an orthodox preterist” is … I do know that there are various views/understandings among those who are labelled by others as “preterist” (those who hold that prophecy has already been fulfilled, either partially or fully, etc), just as there are various views among those who hold to a “futurist” understanding.

    I currently understand matters regarding so-called “eschatology” / “end time prophecy” / etc. in light of them having come to pass within the time frame mentioned in the teaching of the lord Jesus and the apostles as well as OT prophets … cp. end of the age, destruction of Jerusalem, in the then present generation, during the lifetime of some who heard Jesus teach and read Paul’s epistles, etc.

    Futurist views endeavor to “explain” this time frame dilemma somehow and insist on the manner of fulfillment of the prophecies being earthly, political, literal throne (whatever that may be), state/country of Israel w/ possibly another temple needing to be established first, etc… since the pre-requisites they thus put on the fulfillment of the prophecies obviously have not come to pass nor have been fulfilled, they simply place the fulfillment as a possibility into the future … which of course nobody can really “prove wrong”, seeing that nobody knows the future! But then, by the same token, at least they should no longer teach their futurist ideas as a “given or sure fact” but rather as nothing better than their own assumptions, hypothesis, fantasy or imagination!

    On the other hand, preterist views can look back on historical events which actually do fulfill exactly things which Jesus and his apostles as well as OT prophets (even from the time of Moses!) taught and prophesied. Jesus was rather plainly linking “the coming of the Son of Man”, “the end of the age”, “last day”, “when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies”, “destruction of the temple”, etc … The destruction of the temple, the siege of Jerusalem are established historical facts … these did happen within the time frame given in Jesus’ teaching and prophecy. So then, since these visible points of his prophecy came to pass as prophesied, why would anyone want to question or doubt or even deny that the other (invisible) points of his prophecy associated and linked with these visible have come to pass?

    Does it not make more sense to believe that the coming of the Christ, the establishment of the kingdom, the end of the age with the resurrection of the dead, etc. have come to pass at the time of those events with which they were linked in Jesus’ prophecies than wanting to insist on nothing of Jesus’ prophecies having come to pass even 2000 years later, just because the fulfillment did not happen in the manner in which readers, theologians, etc. teach they should or must happen? Was Jesus really that unclear in his teaching and prophecy?

    I find it rather unfortunate and almost strange how quite many here who have already experienced a similar situation with facing well established false orthodox doctrine (that is, facing the trinity doctrine) somehow could manage to see through the error of that doctrine, and yet when it comes to this matter, they continue to insist on the traditional doctrine, even if it basically makes Jesus and his apostles to have been wrong and/or even been liars in regards to the time frame they taught for the end of the age, the coming of the Lord in his kingdom, etc …

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  10. on 14 Jun 2012 at 8:55 amWolfgang

    Hi Mike,

    continuing with replying to your above post … you wrote

    Would you mind outlining for me how you see the Kingdom of God/Messiah, and in what sense the many prophecies (Is. 2:4, Mic. 4:3, Is. 11:1-10, Luke 1:32-33, Rev. 20:1-3 etc.) have been spiritually fulfilled?

    I am not sure I understand what you mean with “spiritually fulfilled”. There are not multiple ways or manners of fulfillment of the same prophecy, are there?

    From my study of the matter over some years, I have found that some prophecies which are commonly used as proof for a yet future fulfillment (such as those regarding the earthly land, return of Jews to the land, etc.) have actually already been fulfilled during OT times … even some where the term “day of the Lord” is used and where people interpret them to be a reference to the day of the Lord at the end of the world, when the context is speaking of a day of God’s judgment which happened during those days of old.

    Sometimes, it is taught that passages had a rather immediate fulfillment and also have a yet far future fulfillment … how can such “double fulfillment” be true? Either the matter has come to pass or else it has not come to pass as of yet … with such “double” talk, it would be impossible to determine a true prophet ! Cp. what John wrote in the opening passage in Rev 1 “… which must shortly (soon, quickly) come to pass” !! Or do we read there “… which must come to pass quickly and also will come to pass in the far distant future” ?

    Now, it is obvious that IF what Jesus prophesied regarding his kingdom was in fact fulfilled within the time frame which he set forth, then what he meant with the term “kingdom” (“rule”) cannot have been the type of earthly political kingdom country as had been existing in the type of the OT kingdom of Israel or our modern day “kingdoms” with a king as a political ruler over a certain country, etc. Now, incidentally, as regarding his kingdom (his rule) Jesus was asked and when he acknowledged that he indeed was a king / a ruler, he emphasized that “my kingdom / rule is NOT of this world” !! Could it be any more plain? Do those words not plainly tell that Jesus’ rule or kingdom is NOT of the kind of “kingdoms of the world” to which we might be used and which almost all Christian “kingdom” theologians of today want to make it?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  11. on 14 Jun 2012 at 11:40 amMike

    Wolfgang,

    Thank you for outlining your beliefs for me.

    Does it not make more sense to believe that the coming of the Christ, the establishment of the kingdom, the end of the age with the resurrection of the dead, etc. have come to pass at the time of those events with which they were linked in Jesus’ prophecies than wanting to insist on nothing of Jesus’ prophecies having come to pass even 2000 years later, just because the fulfillment did not happen in the manner in which readers, theologians, etc. teach they should or must happen? Was Jesus really that unclear in his teaching and prophecy?

    So you believe that the resurrection of the dead is past?

    “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” – Rev. 20:1-5

    Am I correct in assuming that you believe the first resurrection mentioned here in Revelation occurred near 70 A.D, and that Paul, Peter, etc. are all reigning in heaven with Christ presently, while the rest of Christianity of the past 2000 years comprise “the rest of the dead” who live not again until the thousand years were finished?

    I find it rather unfortunate and almost strange how quite many here who have already experienced a similar situation with facing well established false orthodox doctrine (that is, facing the trinity doctrine) somehow could manage to see through the error of that doctrine, and yet when it comes to this matter, they continue to insist on the traditional doctrine, even if it basically makes Jesus and his apostles to have been wrong and/or even been liars in regards to the time frame they taught for the end of the age, the coming of the Lord in his kingdom, etc …

    One thing that I have had to face over the last two years is that I have many blind spots in my walk with God, that is, things that are completely clear and obvious to someone else that I had either never been exposed to or which made little sense to me at first glance. Having become a Christian as a Oneness Pentecostal, Biblical Unitarianism was a blind spot that I had to face and deal with, as well as a host of others. Another thing I learned is that it is impossible (for me anyway) to overcome them all overnight. If what you’re saying regarding eschatology is true, regardless of how clear it may be to you, I am sure that it will take me at least a little while (and much study and prayer) to accept it. This is why I asked you how important you believe this doctrine to be. If you believe that being a futurist makes Jesus a liar, does this mean that you believe futurists are not saved? Is a preterist understanding of prophecy a fundamental and essential tenet of the Christian faith?

    I am not sure I understand what you mean with “spiritually fulfilled”.

    By “spiritually fulfilled” I mean as opposed to literally fulfilled. Perhaps “spiritually” was the wrong choice of word here. What I mean is that these and other Scriptures promise a time of peace, nations beating their weapons into plowshares and not learning war anymore, the lion lying down with the lamb, Jesus (the Branch) slaying the wicked, and lions eating straw like an ox. Do you believe that these prophecies were fulfilled literally? If not, in what way were they fulfilled?

    Now, incidentally, as regarding his kingdom (his rule) Jesus was asked and when he acknowledged that he indeed was a king / a ruler, he emphasized that “my kingdom / rule is NOT of this world” !! Could it be any more plain? Do those words not plainly tell that Jesus’ rule or kingdom is NOT of the kind of “kingdoms of the world” to which we might be used and which almost all Christian “kingdom” theologians of today want to make it?

    I have always understood Jesus’ words as meaning that the source of His kingdom is not of this world, but from heaven. To me this statement of Jesus does not mean that the kingdom will not be the same “kind of” kingdom as those present in the world, but rather that God Himself is the source of His kingdom, not man.

    I really enjoy discussing this with you, and my questions are sincere. Perhaps you have something here that I need, perhaps not. But I hope you don’t feel as though I am somehow “baiting” you or anything. I really would like to know how you answer these questions so that I can evaluate them with as little bias as I can muster.

    God bless.

  12. on 14 Jun 2012 at 11:41 amMike

    Sorry, first paragraph is a quote from Wolfgang. Formatting didn’t come through.

  13. on 14 Jun 2012 at 1:30 pmWolfgang

    Mike,

    I will try and reply to certain points in your post above and separate these so that the posts hopefully will not be too long …

    So you believe that the resurrection of the dead is past?

    I do believe that the age (world) in which the OT prophets as well as Jesus and the apostles lived has come to its end with the judgment upon Jerusalem and apostate Israel, and with “the end of the age” therefore must also have come to pass the prophesied resurrection of the dead (the emptying of hades, which was a resurrection to eternal life for the righteous and a resurrection to judgment (and second death) for the unrighteous.

    I do believe that the statement that some of the believers to whom Jesus was speaking and some of those to whom Paul was writing were indeed alive at the time of the lord’s coming and the time of the resurrection, is in fact true. Thus, ever since we have the situation as described in 1Co 15, that believers from the time of the lord’s coming did and do not die (in the sense that they go to hades, awaiting a yet future resurrection) but rather are changed and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, immediately receive eternal life at the end of their earthly life.

    As for the NT passage which talks about some deceivers falsely claiming that “the resurrection is past already”, I would like to point out that AT THE TIME OF WRITING of that epistle, the resurrection had not yet happened, and therefore such claims that the resurrection was past already were indeed false! However, we should note, that these mockers of course were only “dangerous” to the faith of believers because the time for the end of the age was drawing near as that generation was coming to its close … had the believers not expected the end of the age and the coming of the lord with the resurrection to be imminent, such mockers’ talk would have easily been declared to be “luny tunes” …. but since the time was indeed near and since quite obviously the believers expected not a visible physical body resurrection but rather a resurrection “in a spiritual (invisible to the natural eye) body”, there was a genuine concern that the mockeries and false claims of the resurrection being past already causing some of the believers to doubt and forsake their faith.

    One should not take that passage about the “resurrection being past already” and teach that it still even almost 2000 years later is a false claim … the situation has changed, and only a few years later, the end of the age indeed did come and now the resurrection is indeed past already and ever since believers do no longer go to hades at the end of their earthly life to be held captive there until some undefined time in the far future to be raised … but rather they are changed and receive eternal life to really “ever be with the Lord” and in God’s presence.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  14. on 14 Jun 2012 at 1:55 pmWolfgang

    Hi Mike,

    as for Jesus’ testimony about his kingdom not being of this world, you write above

    I have always understood Jesus’ words as meaning that the source of His kingdom is not of this world, but from heaven. To me this statement of Jesus does not mean that the kingdom will not be the same “kind of” kingdom as those present in the world, but rather that God Himself is the source of His kingdom, not man.

    well, so did I understand this for a long time … until I asked myself a few questions concerning this belief of mine …. such as, What does this mean, “The source of this kingdom is from heaven” ?

    In light of the question Jesus was asked, why would he answer by pointing to the source of his kingdom? Also, and perhaps most important (!), Jesus was not asked about a yet far future political kingdom, but whether he was a king or not (!) Jesus did acknowledge that he was in fact a king, but that his kingdom, his rule was “not of this world” … now, what would that answer have meant to Pilate who had asked him? Furthermore, Jesus explained a bit what he meant with “not of this world” by declaring that if it were of this world, his disciples would fight, etc. … does this point to any source of his kingdom or rather point to the kind of or manner of his kingdom?

    Here too, it is important that we read and understand the Scriptures from the perspective of the author and writer, and not from the perspective of a reader 2000 years later with all kinds of theological ideas based on experiences and conclusions drawn from what has happened or has not happened in 2 millenniums ….

  15. on 14 Jun 2012 at 2:07 pmWolfgang

    Hi Mike,

    Another thing I learned is that it is impossible (for me anyway) to overcome them all overnight. If what you’re saying regarding eschatology is true, regardless of how clear it may be to you, I am sure that it will take me at least a little while (and much study and prayer) to accept it.

    I have been evaluating my previous beliefs on these matters and doing study from a more “fulfilled prophecy” perspective for more than a decade now … and I still won’t claim that I understand and or have no more questions about certain passages in the Scriptures relating to prophecy, end of the age times, coming of the Lord, etc.

    This is why I asked you how important you believe this doctrine to be. If you believe that being a futurist makes Jesus a liar, does this mean that you believe futurists are not saved? Is a preterist understanding of prophecy a fundamental and essential tenet of the Christian faith?

    I do believe that this topic is as important as any other doctrine may be … I won’t nor can’t make any statements about others and their beliefs,, since there are many points in terms of motives, background, reasons, etc. involved when it comes to what a person believes and the question whether or not a person is saved, etc ….

    I think there may be many who believe in the trinity, and yet they live a God fearing life … then there are those who know better and purposely teach a false doctrine for whatever reasons … then there are those who are more or less ignorant just repeating after someone else … etc etc

    I would not say that any particular understanding or belief is a fundamental or essential tenet of the Christian faith … the truth certainly is. Now we all are hopefully more or less questing for the truth and have the desire to know and live the truth. In our search, we all are at different levels of achievement and our aim would hopefully be to continue to grow in a knowledge of the truth.

  16. on 14 Jun 2012 at 4:24 pmtimothy

    Hello Wolfgang,

    I really need to stop and get my breath after to above exchange. There are a lot of beliefs and doctrines zig zag crossing and i need to think it over a while.

    What I really want to know Wolfgang, is, why has your name changed to GREEN ?

    Timoteus 8)

  17. on 14 Jun 2012 at 10:54 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    You said previously:

    Now, it is obvious that IF what Jesus prophesied regarding his kingdom was in fact fulfilled within the time frame which he set forth, then what he meant with the term “kingdom” (“rule”) cannot have been the type of earthly political kingdom country as had been existing in the type of the OT kingdom of Israel or our modern day “kingdoms” with a king as a political ruler over a certain country, etc.

    Curious to know if your belief in a non-earthly kingdom is directly tied to the time frame issue mentioned above? Suppose the problems you see with the futurist view can be reconciled differently than you assume they must be. IF that were the case, would you be open to viewing all the OT statements regarding a physical, earthly future as literal rather than figurative?

  18. on 15 Jun 2012 at 1:23 amRon S.

    timothy,

    When a person’s name is green, it means their name is a live clickable link – usually to their own website. If you click Wolfgang’s name you are taken to his German “Bible Center” site.

  19. on 15 Jun 2012 at 1:34 amRon S.

    Hey Wolfgang!

    So in your preterist viewpoint, is there never a real victory over sin/evil here on the earth? God and Jesus never have true rule on earth – they only have rule away from this world/in heaven and mankind here on earth is forever doomed to remain in a cycle of living in sin from birth to death?

  20. on 15 Jun 2012 at 2:50 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    Curious to know if your belief in a non-earthly kingdom is directly tied to the time frame issue mentioned above? Suppose the problems you see with the futurist view can be reconciled differently than you assume they must be. IF that were the case, would you be open to viewing all the OT statements regarding a physical, earthly future as literal rather than figurative?

    As I have pointed out previously, my understanding of the nature of kingdom is most definitely linked to the time frame matter. The rather plain and clear statements establishing the time frame with the end of the age, the coming of the Lord, establishing of the kingdom, etc. being near, imminent, expected soon, etc. necessitate that the nature or manner of the kingdom can’t be political, earthly, physical, etc. seeing that there was no political earthly kingdom established within such time frame.

    Now, I would say that I know most likely just about all endeavors to reconcile the time factor related statements with the view of an earthly political world wide kingdom based on a literal interpretation of the OT scripture passages which you might have in mind. I’ve been there … I have taught what is usually promoted when a futurist view of the kingdom is assumed.

    However, from early on in my life as a Christian, I also recognized a certain dilemma when I was teaching on one side that the coming of the Lord was near, that the early church was taught by Jesus and his apostles that he would come soon, that they thus had reason to have such wonderful and firm hope, etc etc … and then had to turn around in my teaching and admit that what they had hoped for did not come to pass, quickly brushing over the dilemma by saying “but we too now can have this same hope, because he will be coming soon, and we are closer than they were, and – boys and girls – it could be today!” You know, after a while, this type of trying “to cover up an obvious dilemma”, did not satisfyy my desire for wanting to know the truth and wanting to teach truth.

    The straw which broke my camel’s back came when a young person, older child, came to me after a teaching one day and asked me, “How can it be that what Jesus said was not true?” I tried to point the attention to, “But it was true and actually it is still true, because it will be soon!”, but was taken out by “But, Mr. Schneider, it was not true for the people then! It did not come to pass like the people were taught. Why should I believe that it now will be soon when you teach it will be soon? Are you a better prophet than Jesus?” For whatever reason, I said, “You are right, I am definitely not a better prophet than Jesus … it looks like there is something not right then with what I have learned and thought was right until now … I need to re-study this and maybe I can find an answer.”

    See, in my re-study, I soon realized that my explanations for “soon” and “at hand” not really meaning “soon” but supposedly could mean “in the far future” were ludicrous …. because the time frame Jesus gave was not just dependent on the meaning of the word “soon” (which, for example, I had conveniently re-interpreted as “quickly = with high speed”), but was established by other means as well. For example, his famous “end of the age” discourse about the end of the age and his coming is directly linked to the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem … simple question: Is the temple still standing or has it been destroyed? Was the city of Jerusalem besieged and did believers adhere to the advice Jesus gave so they could escape with their lives? Are some of those who heard Jesus speak still alive after almost 2000 years because Jesus said, some of those who heard him would experience his coming in his kingdom (oh, yeah, I also taught that Jesus wasn’t talking about them not having died before his coming, but that he was talking about some seeing the vision of the transfiguration a few days later … which is a non-sense attempt of an explanation, because at that time still ALL who heard him had not seen death, and not just “SOME” !)

    I thus doubt, you will have some explanations and reconciliatory interpretations of the OT passages (or NT passages) which I have not already at one time considered and had to dismiss on the basis of rather plain and very clear and simple points given in other statements in Scripture relating to the topic.

  21. on 15 Jun 2012 at 3:12 amWolfgang

    Ron S.,

    So in your preterist viewpoint, is there never a real victory over sin/evil here on the earth? God and Jesus never have true rule on earth – they only have rule away from this world/in heaven and mankind here on earth is forever doomed to remain in a cycle of living in sin from birth to death?

    in the beginning man was placed in the garden by God … did God have a true rule on earth then? was there a real victory over sin/evil here on earth at that time? Did God exercise a political rule (or however else one would want to call the type of kingdom reign) at that time over man in paradise?

    I know, those who promote a future millennial and even eternal rule of God and Jesus on earth usually speak of Paradise being re-established at that time here on earth (“restoration of all things”), that God then will have what He had originally in mind for mankind. Are you thinking along the same lines?

    I would point out that man succumbed to sin in paradise! What implications would that truth have on the ideas of a future paradise on earth ? Why would God in the original paradise not exercise a true rule and subdue His and man’s enemy, but supposedly would do exercise such political true absolute rule in a yet future rule on earth?

    Eh, ever given it a thought, that there is no Scripture which clearly says that God and/with Jesus will ever establish a political absolute rule on earth over a country or even the whole world? Maybe the all too simple “my kingdom is NOT OF THIS WORLD” begins to make better sense when understood as being a clear statement that Jesus was not and is not a world type political ruler over a country or the world as a whole?

  22. on 15 Jun 2012 at 6:52 amMike

    Wolfgang,

    Thank you again for your thoughts on this.

    “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” – Rev. 20:1-5

    Am I correct in assuming that you believe the first resurrection mentioned here in Revelation occurred near 70 A.D, and that Paul, Peter, etc. are all reigning in heaven with Christ presently, while the rest of Christianity of the past 2000 years comprise “the rest
    of the dead” who live not again until the thousand years were finished?

    Could you please tell me if my assumption is correct concerning the rest of the dead? You indicate that “believers from the time of the lord’s coming did and do not die (in the sense that they go to hades, awaiting a yet future resurrection) but rather are changed and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, immediately receive eternal life at the end of their earthly life” . If my assumption above is correct, then how does this square with the statement that the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished?

    As for the NT passage which talks about some deceivers falsely claiming that “the resurrection is past already”, I would like to point out that AT THE TIME OF WRITING of that epistle, the resurrection had not yet happened, and therefore such claims that the resurrection was past already were indeed false!

    I didn’t raise this Scripture as an objection, and I agree that if your viewpoint is correct then this passage poses no threat to it.

    Furthermore, Jesus explained a bit what he meant with “not of this world” by declaring that if it were of this world, his disciples would fight, etc. … does this point to any source of his kingdom or rather point to the kind of or manner of his kingdom?

    For me, this does in fact point to the source of His kingdom or better His kingship. He was not just an ambitious man looking to be crowned King. If He were, and if His only hope of obtaining a kingdom were through human means, then His disciples would fight. However, Jesus understood that His kingship and authority was derived solely from God, and because of this His disciples had no need to fight for its establishment. God Himself will establish it in due time. I have no problem understanding the passage to mean that His kingdom is not of/from this world, but rather has its source in Heaven. Jesus also said “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” – John 8:23. Clearly this doesn’t mean that He was some kind of an alien or a pre-existent being, as he was human in every way that we are, yet without sin. It does mean that His Messiahship, authority, purpose, etc. has its source in God. If you insist that John’s usage of “not of this world” in 18:36 proves that his kingdom is not the same kind of kingdom as those in the world, would consistency not dictate that John meant here that Jesus Himself was not the same kind of human as the men He was speaking with in 8:23?

    I do believe that this topic is as important as any other doctrine may be … I won’t nor can’t make any statements about others and their beliefs,, since there are many points in terms of motives, background, reasons, etc. involved when it comes to what a person believes and the question whether or not a person is saved, etc ….

    Fair enough, thank God we are not the ultimate judge of such things.

    Perhaps I am missing something, but it appears that there are two sides to this discussion:

    1) The Old Testament prophecies will come to pass literally, therefore the New Testament timing passages need to be understood differently.

    2) The New Testament timing passages were meant to be taken literally, therefore the Old Testament prophecies need to be understood differently.

    Would you agree that this is the case, or have I missed something?

    I do believe that the age (world) in which the OT prophets as well as Jesus and the apostles lived has come to its end with the judgment upon Jerusalem and apostate Israel, and with “the end of the age” therefore must also have come to pass the prophesied resurrection of the dead (the emptying of hades, which was a resurrection to eternal life for the righteous and a resurrection to judgment (and second death) for the unrighteous.

    If the early disciples of Christ have already been raised from the dead, what is your understanding of how they were raised? Did the graves open up, and did they physically ascend to heaven as Jesus did? Or are their bodies still in their graves?

    “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Cor. 15:44-49

    It seems to me that in this passage Paul is contrasting Adam/living soul/natural body with Last Adam/quickening spirit/spiritual body and that as we are first given a natural body, so shall we receive a spiritual body. Jesus received this spiritual body, which was obviously quite different than His natural body given that He could appear in a locked room and disappear as quickly. We might be inclined to believe that it wasn’t a “body” at all, but rather a spirit if Jesus hadn’t said “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” What is my point in all this? Simply that I believe that I will one day receive the same type of body that Jesus received, or at the very least that the early disciples who in your view already experienced the resurrection have received the same type of body that Jesus received. Since Jesus actually walked out of the tomb, and He was not found there, it follows that the Christian resurrection would be after the same manner. So if your understanding is correct then I would expect that the resurrection the early disciples experienced was physical, that their bodies are no longer in their graves. Would you agree with that assesment? If so, does history record such an event taking place?

    Sorry for all of the questions, but I do need to ask them in order to better understand your position. Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer them.

    God bless

  23. on 15 Jun 2012 at 8:09 amWolfgang

    Mike,

    Could you please tell me if my assumption is correct concerning the rest of the dead? You indicate that “believers from the time of the lord’s coming did and do not die (in the sense that they go to hades, awaiting a yet future resurrection) but rather are changed and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, immediately receive eternal life at the end of their earthly life” . If my assumption above is correct, then how does this square with the statement that the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished?

    the assumption is not correct. I believe that all the things spoken of in the revelation which John saw to have been matters “which soon must come to pass”, and thus they would have come to pass already.

    If He were, and if His only hope of obtaining a kingdom were through human means, then His disciples would fight. However, Jesus understood that His kingship and authority was derived solely from God, and because of this His disciples had no need to fight for its establishment. God Himself will establish it in due time.

    So, God Himself will establish this political earthly kingdom … how do you think that will be? there won’t be any disciples involved in establishing and/or governing this earthly kingdom? Jesus will be sitting on his throne chair at Jerusalem and any enemies will “just fall over” as they are hit by some “God’s spirit power”, etc ? I used to believe in this “source” theory as well for … until I gave the matter a little more thought and recognized that I was basically “just talking but not knowing really what I was even saying” …

    Perhaps I am missing something, but it appears that there are two sides to this discussion:

    1) The Old Testament prophecies will come to pass literally, therefore the New Testament timing passages need to be understood differently.

    2) The New Testament timing passages were meant to be taken literally, therefore the Old Testament prophecies need to be understood differently.

    Would you agree that this is the case, or have I missed something?

    This sums up what the dilemma is all about … those who understand the passages about the nature of the kingdom etc literally are facing a problem with timing; for those who understand the passages about the timing straight forward it is impossible to have a yet future an earthly political kingdom.

    Jesus received this spiritual body, which was obviously quite different than His natural body given that He could appear in a locked room and disappear as quickly.

    Indeed, Jesus did receive this spiritual body with the resurrection … BUT we must note that he showed himself (!) for 40 days at various times in his previous body, the one which had the wounds !! Or do you think that the new spiritual body had the same kind of wounds as the previous natural body at the time of death? See, Jesus is “a special case” in regards to the resurrection, in that he was raised from the dead BEFORE his natural body had seen corruption (something which is not the case with most or all others who have died … Jesus was the first to be resurrected to eternal life, and it was necessary that the resurrection “be documented” / “be witnessed to” by others, for which exact purpose Jesus showed himself in his previous body, so that the witnesses could identify that indeed it was he who had been dead and who had been raised from the dead … without this, there could not have been any proof or witness that Jesus had indeed been raised from the dead.

    So if your understanding is correct then I would expect that the resurrection the early disciples experienced was physical, that their bodies are no longer in their graves. Would you agree with that assesment?

    No, the fault in this assessment is in the assumption that the resurrection will be “a physical body resurrection” … the (visible) natural body remains in the earth and turns into dust, the person was raised with an (invisible) spirit body. Their bodies had corrupted and turned to dust and remained wherever they had been buried.

    I have tried to shorten my reply so that the post would not become too long … I trust the remarks will nevertheless be helpful for your further considerations

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  24. on 15 Jun 2012 at 8:47 amMike

    Wolfgang,

    the assumption is not correct. I believe that all the things spoken of in the revelation which John saw to have been matters “which soon must come to pass”, and thus they would have come to pass already.

    Can you please explain to me your understanding of Rev. 20:5. If the early disciples and the wicked have received their resurrection as you say, and since then the dead experience the second death immediately after their first death, while believers are instantly changed and transported to heaven, then who are “the rest of the dead” that “lived not again until the thousand years were finished”?

    So, God Himself will establish this political earthly kingdom … how do you think that will be? there won’t be any disciples involved in establishing and/or governing this earthly kingdom?

    I never indicated that disciples won’t be “involved in establishing and/or governing this earhly kingdom”. To the contrary I do believe that we will be. However, it will be accomplished in God’s time in accordance with His will. It was not accomplished in the early disciples’ time in accordance with their will (or ours).

    I used to believe in this “source” theory as well for … until I gave the matter a little more thought and recognized that I was basically “just talking but not knowing really what I was even saying” …

    This statement is fine with me if you are solely referencing yourself, but if you are implying that I am “just talking but not really knowing what I am even saying” then I would take exception to it. I am not a scholar, granted. But there are many scholars who would agree with my understanding of eschatology. Are they all “talking without really knowing what they are saying”? If I have been disrespectful to you in any way during this discussion, then please forgive me, as I have tried to maintain a humble and respectful attitude, questioning your understanding and interpretation, not your intelligence. Can you please deal with my argument concerning John 8:23?

    Or do you think that the new spiritual body had the same kind of wounds as the previous natural body at the time of death?

    I don’t know.

    No, the fault in this assessment is in the assumption that the resurrection will be “a physical body resurrection” … the (visible) natural body remains in the earth and turns into dust, the person was raised with an (invisible) spirit body.

    Then, in your understanding, after Jesus received His spiritual body (presumably at some point after the forty days) what happened to His natural body that he had been walking around (and through walls) in? And how did He manage to do that (appear and disappear I mean) in His natural body? Did he then shed it somehow so that He could ascend to heaven in His spiritual body?

    God bless.

  25. on 15 Jun 2012 at 9:24 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    I see where you’re coming from, and there are aspects of the timing problems that I fully agree haven’t been resolved satisfactorily by standard futurist models. I won’t rehash the verses about the literal nature of the kingdom – you’re clearly aware of them – but for me these have take presedence over some of the apparent timing problems. God has sworn on oath certain things about our future on this earth and hasn’t reneged his promise yet.

    Your point about Jesus coming “soon” not really meaning what it says within the futurist model is perfectly understandable. However, I don’t think you answered the point I posed a while ago: the OT regularly warned the Israelites that the great day of the Lord is coming soon. That didn’t day didn’t come in their lifetimes. Was God lying when he had the prophets write those words? Of course not. But rather than question whether the rest of scripture is really talking about literal things or not, this leads me to question our standard assumptions about time, and how prophetic things unfold within it.

  26. on 15 Jun 2012 at 11:00 amWolfgang

    Mike,

    sorry if my shortness of reply caused some ripples … I can’t explain everything since I don’t have neither skill nor time nor full understanding of all things, but try my best to provide you with requested answers as best as I can.

    Can you please explain to me your understanding of Rev. 20:5. If the early disciples and the wicked have received their resurrection as you say, and since then the dead experience the second death immediately after their first death, while believers are instantly changed and transported to heaven, then who are “the rest of the dead” that “lived not again until the thousand years were finished”?

    I regard the passage in Rev 20 as recoding a vision which John saw. There were a few who had suffered violent death for their witness of Jesus who were part of “the first (former) resurrection” and who prior to the rest of the dead being raised reigned with Christ and executed judgment (cp. Rev 20:4) during the period described as “a 1000 years”, after this period the resurrection of the last day (the end of the age) happened with the rest of the dead being raised.

    I never indicated that disciples won’t be “involved in establishing and/or governing this earhly kingdom”. To the contrary I do believe that we will be.

    Sorry, it seemed from your earlier comment that you regarded involvement of disciples and them fighting for Jesus as indicative of “of the world” and in contrast mentioned that “not of this world” would indicate that God Himself was going to set up things, etc ….

    Can you please deal with my argument concerning John 8:23?

    Jesus contrasted his godly walk with their sinful walk … cp. the very next verse where Jesus said “ye shall die in your sins” !

    Or do you think that the new spiritual body had the same kind of wounds as the previous natural body at the time of death?

    I don’t know.

    you sure were writing earlier as if you definitely did know about the resurrection body, and in particular, that Jesus’ “spiritual body” was apparently that same body which had those wounds …

    Then, in your understanding, after Jesus received His spiritual body (presumably at some point after the forty days) what happened to His natural body that he had been walking around (and through walls) in? …

    Jesus – as anyone else – received his spiritual body at the resurrection … NOT “presumably at some point after the forty days”! As for his natural body, we are not told what happened to it … except that Jesus did obviously show himself in it during the time of 40 days after having been raised.

  27. on 15 Jun 2012 at 11:15 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    God has sworn on oath certain things about our future on this earth and hasn’t reneged his promise yet.

    where has God sworn on oath something about our future on this earth?
    What God promised on oath to Abraham and his descendants, God did already keep and the land promise was already fulfilled after his descendants took possession of the land (cp Joshua 21: 43 — ” And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.”) I do not read of any sworn promises for my future on this earth in the Scriptures …

    However, I don’t think you answered the point I posed a while ago: the OT regularly warned the Israelites that the great day of the Lord is coming soon. That didn’t day didn’t come in their lifetimes.

    Where God did announce or pronounce “soon” to come judgment on His people or others (using the expression “day of the LORD” as emphatic description of His judgement) it did come soon. When I held a futurist view of things, and then read those scripture passages I made the mistake of interpreting every place I read “day of the LORD” as a reference to the “day of the LORD” at “the end of the age” (which I understood to be the end of the world at some time in the future).

    Thus God was not lying when he inspired the prophets to pronounce a soon coming day of the LORD in those particular passages, nor was God lying when he had John the baptist, Jesus and his apostles proclaim that the kingdom of God was at hand, and that the end of the age was soon, that the time for Israel to repent was short, that the night was far spent and the day approaching, that the judge was already standing at the door (eh, folks have him standing at the door for already almost 2 millenniums – double the time they have him reign! – and yet it seems not to bother them at all ), etc.

  28. on 15 Jun 2012 at 11:47 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    Thus God was not lying when he inspired the prophets to pronounce a soon coming day of the LORD in those particular passages,

    So, then, you presently understand the “day of the LORD” in the OT as refering to different situations in different periods in history rather than one singular “day of the LORD”? And if this is the case, what did Mary mean when she told Jesus she believed Lazarus would be raised at the “last day” – what day was she referring to if not the OT “day of the LORD”?

  29. on 15 Jun 2012 at 11:58 amMike

    Wolfgang,

    I regard the passage in Rev 20 as recoding a vision which John saw. There were a few who had suffered violent death for their witness of Jesus who were part of “the first (former) resurrection” and who prior to the rest of the dead being raised reigned with Christ and executed judgment (cp. Rev 20:4) during the period described as “a 1000 years”, after this period the resurrection of the last day (the end of the age) happened with the rest of the dead being raised.

    So just to be clear: Those who suffered a violent death in their witness for Jesus (say Stephen for example) were part of the first resurrection (which is spiritual and invisible) and reigned with Christ for approximately 40 years (described by the Bible as 1000 years), at which time Abraham and Jacob etc. were resurrected (spiritually and invisibly). I just want to make sure I understand you correctly, as I have never heard this taught anywhere before.

    Can you please deal with my argument concerning John 8:23?

    Jesus contrasted his godly walk with their sinful walk … cp. the very next verse where Jesus said “ye shall die in your sins” !

    I retain my understanding of the two “not of this world” passages we have discussed.

    you sure were writing earlier as if you definitely did know about the resurrection body, and in particular, that Jesus’ “spiritual body” was apparently that same body which had those wounds …

    I was trying to obtain your understanding of the spiritual body. While I may not know whether or not Jesus still has His scars today, I do have a hard time believing that He could walk through walls in His natural body.

    Jesus – as anyone else – received his spiritual body at the resurrection … NOT “presumably at some point after the forty days”! As for his natural body, we are not told what happened to it … except that Jesus did obviously show himself in it during the time of 40 days after having been raised.

    You’ve completely lost me here. I thought that you were arguing that Jesus was still in His natural body during His forty day post-resurrection revelation, but now you are saying that He received His spiritual body at the resurrection (which I also believe). I presume you mean His own resuerrection to life after spending three days in the tomb.

    While I find myself being sympathetic towards orthodox or “partial” preterism, there is no way my mind can reconcile full preterism with the Bible. I also cannot understand why so much emphasis can be placed upon the words “soon” and “shortly” etc. , while in the same book 1000 years can mean 40 years.

    I think I’ll bow out of this one. Thanks for the discussion Wolfgang, and God bless.

  30. on 15 Jun 2012 at 12:11 pmSarah

    I also cannot understand why so much emphasis can be placed upon the words “soon” and “shortly” etc. , while in the same book 1000 years can mean 40 years.

    Good point, Mike. I agree.

  31. on 15 Jun 2012 at 12:31 pmMike

    I also cannot understand why so much emphasis can be placed upon the words “soon” and “shortly” etc. , while in the same book 1000 years can mean 40 years.

    Good point, Mike. I agree.

    Especially if these terms “soon” and “thousand years” are supposedly referencing the same event, i.e. the end of the age/resurrection of the dead. I just don’t get it.

  32. on 15 Jun 2012 at 1:19 pmWolfgang

    Sarah,

    And if this is the case, what did Mary mean when she told Jesus she believed Lazarus would be raised at the “last day” – what day was she referring to if not the OT “day of the LORD”?

    she was referencing the day of the LORD which was then future and predicted to be at the end of the age … one which some OT prophets had prophesied of as well … however, those prophets were not claiming in those prophecies hundreds of years before that it would happen “soon”

  33. on 15 Jun 2012 at 1:24 pmWolfgang

    Mike,

    While I may not know whether or not Jesus still has His scars today, I do have a hard time believing that He could walk through walls in His natural body.

    I not only have a hard time believing that, I deem it impossible that Jesus walked through walls in his natural body. Please note, I have now repeatedly stated that Jesus received at the resurrection his spiritual body in which he then lived.

    Actually, have you read anywhere that Jesus in fact “walked through walls”? or have you read that he showed himself inside a room where the doors were locked? Could it be that your idea of “walking through walls” is imagination rather than careful reading of what the records state?

  34. on 15 Jun 2012 at 1:36 pmWolfgang

    Mike,

    I thought that you were arguing that Jesus was still in His natural body during His forty day post-resurrection revelation, but now you are saying that He received His spiritual body at the resurrection (which I also believe)

    see above …

    I also cannot understand why so much emphasis can be placed upon the words “soon” and “shortly” etc. , while in the same book 1000 years can mean 40 years.

    It seems to me that the early church placed a lot of emphasis on it because that is what they were taught and it certainly provided encouragement and stamina in the face of persecution! Also, please note, it is not some readers who place a lot of emphasis on this …. as you read the NT scriptures, you should be able to recognize rather easily that Jesus and his apostles, the writers of the NT scriptures, were the ones who gave it this emphasis !

    Even those who hold to a futurist belief (at least all those I have known) all teach that the early church believers RIGHTFULLY believed (that is, they were correctly taught that the coming of the Lord was imminent) in a soon coming of the Lord and soon coming of the kingdom, etc. They even use those believers as examples for us to follow and that we too can and should have such hope and eager expectation for the coming of the Lord, etc.

    And yet, all of them then continue with teaching that the coming of the Lord did in fact not happen and what the believers hoped for did not come to pass. At least, if they believed that Jesus and the apostles did not really mean “soon”, they should teach that the early church believers were not taught correctly or misunderstood (because they did not have the hind sight of 2000 years?) or some other reason why what was prophesied did not come to pass without causing the prophet to be a false prophet …

  35. on 15 Jun 2012 at 6:09 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    a starting point

    Matthew 26:
    61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

    Mark 14:
    58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.

    John 2:
    19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

    20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

    21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

    22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

    Jesus Christ was speaking/prophetical about:

    The temple being his human body.

    GOD would raise him from dead, after three days, thus rebuilding the spiritual temple.

    After Pentecost those who believe/manifest become members in particular of his body/church(he,Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone)

    1 Corinthians 12:……….
    12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

    13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

    14 For the body is not one member, but many.

    18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

    19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

    20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

    27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

    Ephesians 1:
    22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

    23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

    IMHO the temple destroyed in 70AD, was destroyed, not by Jesus Christ, but by the Roman Empire.

    Timothy 🙂

  36. on 15 Jun 2012 at 6:40 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Next point:

    Matthew 16: (nasb)
    26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

    Jesus prophetical:

    28 *“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”*

    Matthew 17:
    17 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. **2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “ This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”** 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

    NOTE: Moses and Elijah were dead and only seen in a vision. So don’t get any ideas that they were alive living in heaven.

    9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “ Tell the **vision** to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.

    2 Peter 1:
    16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, **but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.**

    Why were Peter, James and John shown a vision. Was it so that the author of confusion, the devil, could misuse GODs word to confuse YOU about the state of those who are asleep. Or was it to do as in Matthew 16:28 and 2 Peter 1:16, 17, 18.

    Matthew 16:
    28 *“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”*

    Jesus Christ made this prophesy(above) and it came to pass as a vision to Peter, James and John just as he said: they would see him coming in his kingdom before they died.

    Timothy 🙂

  37. on 15 Jun 2012 at 7:30 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Also:

    1 Corinthians 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) we still are having Prophecies in our Church worship services.

    B) I can still speak in tongues(after 31 years) and still have my comforter to lead me. And continue to have the ability to operate the other 8 manifestations of the spirit as my comforter wills.

    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.

    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.

    There has been no blink of an eye, # 7 trumpet, the last trumpet has not sounded and no one other than Jesus Christ is fruit from the dead. No one else has been resurrected and or simultaneously changed to immortal.

    Let me repeat…I believe GOD is the author of all 66 books of the Judo/Christian bible. When I read the condescending remarks about the writer/author being influenced by this or that…I want to stand up on my hind legs. I still haven’t figured out the meaning for majority of names assigned to various belief differences here on KR.

    Being a Christian of the Pro Testes(protestant/evangelistic =witness for) type with the ministry of reconciliation as one of my son ship rights.(redeemed, sanctified, justified and righteousness are the other four)

    I just finished watching KR’s new book of revelations class “The Final Words” and recommend seeing the completed 65 books of the bible.

    http://lhim.org/resources/classes.php?id=32

    Timothy 🙂

  38. on 15 Jun 2012 at 10:37 pmSarah

    timothy,

    NOTE: Moses and Elijah were dead and only seen in a vision. So don’t get any ideas that they were alive living in heaven.

    This cracked me up 😀

  39. on 15 Jun 2012 at 11:06 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Jesus Christ’ resurrected body.

    1 Corinthians 15:
    35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

    36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

    37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

    38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

    39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

    40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

    41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

    42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

    43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

    **The resurrected Jesus Christ is raised as a spiritual body/man.**

    44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

    **first man Earthy/natural(red clay); second man spiritual/heavenly**

    47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

    48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

    **We are Earthy/natural/human men and we shall be resurrected/spiritual/heavenly men.**

    49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

    50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

    53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    John3:
    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.

    **Right now we are Earthy/natural/flesh; Jesus Christ is the first fruits raised from the dead spiritual/heavenly**

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

    **Jesus Christ is first fruits/spiritual/heavenly/born again and has entered the Kingdom of GOD

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

    (note verses 5 and 6 make a dilemma for me as I was taught that the natural human birth came with water thus *born of water*. Now there appears to be another view where it would be a water baptism(born of water) and that does not go with the grain as John said that Jesus Christ would baptize instead with holy spirit=the lesser replaced by the greater.
    “Washing with water through the word” makes it even more unclear at the moment. So I am putting it this way:

    “must be born a human being(one must be born to begin with) and born of the spirit”

    “must be born of flesh and born of spirit”

    Jesus Christ was born again when he became the first fruits from the dead.

    At his Resurrection he became a new spiritual flesh and bones(no blood) resurrected human being; he has a spiritual body. Christian too, will have the same body as his at the first resurrection when they see him as he is.

    Jesus Christ then ascended to GODs heavenly kingdom as a born again human being.

    JCING*

    Timothy 🙂

  40. on 16 Jun 2012 at 12:09 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    You said:

    one which some OT prophets had prophesied of as well … however, those prophets were not claiming in those prophecies hundreds of years before that it would happen “soon”

    Joel 2:31: “The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

    Joel 3:14: “Multitudes, mutitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”

    Peter quoted Joel 2:31 and applied it to his day. Yet God said that the day of the LORD was near for the people in Joel’s day. Joel additionally addresses his own audience as though they will be partcipants in this event. Jesus simply continued what the prophets were already doing when he said the day of judgment was coming quickly and addressed his audience as if they will be participants. So if you are going claim that Jesus’ statement about coming “soon” requires a fully preterist fulfillment, then you have to explain why the great day of the LORD was “soon” long before the advent of Christ.

  41. on 16 Jun 2012 at 1:48 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    as regards “the temple” … it would be a good idea to keep the respective contexts in mind. When you read the end of Mt 23 and continue on into Mt 24, it should be very clear to what passage of Scripture I was referring when I mentioned Jesus prophesying about the end of the age, destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

    as regards Mt 16 & 17 … I already mentioned that I used to teach the very same thing “to explain” things … yet, making the transfiguration of Jesus to be the fulfillment of what Jesus had prophesied about some not dying before they would see the son of man coming in his kingdom I now regard as “a illogical and rather poor attempt” for “trying to help keep Jesus’ face”

    as for resurrection & resurrection body … again, I’ve read those scriptures a few times over and taught not only once on them, interpreting them in the same manner as you point out …

    I’ve been at those theological positions … and they were nevertheless unsatisfactory and did not solve what I perceived to be an obvious dilemma.

    You know, this matter reminds me very much of the time in my early Christian life when I believed in the trinity and also was unsatisfied with how trinitarian interpretations tried to solve what I perceived as a dilemma with “three in one”. I tried to even “improve” on certain of those trinitarian explanations by “refining” them … but the dilemma I had did not really get solved …. until I decided that there must be something wrong with the basis of that whole trinity doctrine. After I decided to take a look at the dilemma from the viewpoint that my previous basis (“God is a trinity”) could perhaps be the real problem, the matters causing the dilemma began to be solved and disappear. After a while, I asked myself how I could have been so blind to not see this from the start …

    For many years I held to the belief in the doctrine of a future return of Christ, future coming earthly millennial kingdom of peace on earth, bodily resurrection at end of the world, believers then finally enjoying kicking the devil’s head, etc. etc. etc. … but all that “nice and promising sounding stuff” could not eliminate the constantly nagging problems with the dilemma I faced when teaching that the early church believers were taught that all that was to happen even in their lifetime and then it did not come to pass …. (cp, my earlier posts where I mentioned some more about this) All attempts at trying to explain how such actually contradictory teaching could be true and that we should believe as the early church did eventually became as frustrating to me as had been the case years before when I faced my “trinity” dilemma. You know, what happens when a father tells his children, we will be going “soon” to the zoo … and 2 days pass and nothing happens, 2 weeks pass and nothing happens, 2 years pass and nothing happens, 2 decades pass and nothing happens … ??? At what time do you think the children would rightfully call their father a liar and leave him??? How much “excuse” do we want to make for God and Jesus not having fulfilled their “soon” coming in even 2 millenniums?
    Now then, since we believe that God and Jesus are not liars, perhaps we should take a better look at what we have been taught for centuries and which others have claimed was what happened? Eh, maybe the father took the children “soon” to an “animal park” but others claimed that that was not the visit to the “zoo” ??

  42. on 16 Jun 2012 at 2:00 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    I forgot to mention another point:

    Perhaps the hardest point with my change in the trinity matter years ago was the fact that I had taught and defended the trinity doctrine … and then had to admit that I had been wrong. Had I not leaned myself as far out of the window as I did, it most likely would have been a little easier and not as uncomfortable when the time came to change.

    The change from “not really soon” to “indeed soon” for me was less difficult … because at the time I realized that perhaps my car was stuck in the mud, I did not decide “to put the pedal to the metal” and thereby dig it even deeper into the ditch, but leave it as is and begin to evaluate the possibilities until I began to solutions which did help to solve the dilemma.

  43. on 16 Jun 2012 at 6:02 amtimothy

    good morning Wolfgang.

    I can understand much of your view point about “being impatient” and was soll ich jetz tun.(what should I do now)

    For now something I know I can count on.

    You write:
    “The change from “not really soon” to “indeed soon” for me was less difficult … because at the time I realized that perhaps my car was stuck in the mud, I did not decide “to put the pedal to the metal” and thereby dig it even deeper into the ditch, but leave it as is and begin to evaluate the possibilities until I began to solutions which did help to solve the dilemma.”

    Well….. I imported a surplus Bundeswehr 404 Unimog/MZKFZ.
    (MZKFZ=mehrzweckkraftfahrzeug=multi purpose power driving thing) It has 2 wd, 4 wd and 4 wd locked (virtually will not get stuck), and leads the way for the Leopard ll Panzer(Leopard ll battle tank) and we have Christ in us, spirit of truth, our comforter.

    I will think the thing through further, about time, “GODs time table”.

    My post # 37 (I tried to explain) shows a quick sketch of what I think about (gegenteil=on other side{of the coin}) of your hypothesis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgPePk3kGZk

    Timothy 8)

  44. on 16 Jun 2012 at 7:06 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Here is a simple(possibly American) idiom explanation:

    **Rome wasn’t built in a day**=meaning=valuable projects take time

    Why haven’t these things prophesied happen yet after 2000 years ?—-**well Rome wasn’t built in a day**

    Timothy 🙂

  45. on 16 Jun 2012 at 8:26 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    I have been waiting for 30 some years for the return of Jesus Christ and when the 7th trumpet sounds.

    We have faith that GOD will do as prophesies explain…these are not predictions, but promises of GOD.

    Hope is believing that you have things unseen as though you already have them.

    How long has Abraham been waiting for what he hoped for.

    Faith, Hope, Agape love:

    1 Corinthians 13:
    7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, *hopeth all things*, endureth all things.

    Galations 5:
    5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

    Noah was patient while waiting for rain and taking about 120 years to build the Ark.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
    *longsuffering*(patients), gentleness, goodness, faith,

    23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

    Revelations 22:
    20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, ***come, Lord Jesus***.

    Be patient and wait.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LARIpPXEZY

    Timothy 🙂

  46. on 16 Jun 2012 at 6:13 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    for your post #41

    Matthew 23: (kjv)
    39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

    Matthew 24:
    1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

    2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

    That very temple Jesus Christ is gesturing towards was torn down in 70AD by the occupying Roman army. And its foundations are to be seen even today. His prophesy about the temple actually happened already some 2000 years ago.

    All that follows(Matt 24:3….) is a prophesy/prophesy/prophesy and is beginning to happen *right now today*.
    (OT prophesy/Jesus Christs prophesy/book of Revelations prophesy)

    Hitlers, third Reichs, combined Wehr…Macht military machine was a pussycat compared to the Muslim nations sworn to turn today’s Israel into dust. These countries are fully equipped with, oil revenue purchased, Soviet and Nato weapons. Iran(the giant geographic enemy of OT Israel) has a complete high tech arms industry that would put Albert Speer’s WWll Ruhr valley industry to shame. They do have a nuclear development industry and their leader has sworn to destroy Israel.

    Reading the Book of Daniel and Matthew 24…25…is required reading for the current “The Final Words” class. There in, all of these still to be fulfilled prophesies, are expounded upon from the book of revelations. I personally am pondering all of the end times scary stuff being taught and that I am reading in the word.

    http://lhim.org/resources/classes.php?id=32

    When you write about your teaching GODs word, my mind questions:
    are you the brave twi/Europe person who risk his life(just like apostle Paul) to venture behind the “iron curtain” and raise a fellowship of Christians??? Teaching them the same things that are my foundation for what and how I still believe. But I differ from you current changed beliefs and notice from scripture:

    James 5:
    19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

    20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

    The valuable knowledge for Christians, is to know from the scriptures about the church of Jesus Christ, that we physically/spiritually are members of. Together we stand, with Hearts Knit together in love, Jesus Christ the head of the church body and the cornerstone for this temple made without human hands.

    Our temple has survived 2000 years and the Romans, try as they may and still trying with their “Trojan Horse” trinity/weapon doctrine”, have not destroyed the church/temple of which we are members in particular.

    Wolfgang, what are the consequences?

    A) That I believe the prophecies are still to be fulfilled and “I am wrong”.

    B) What you believe as these thing are past and “you are wrong”.

    C) Dr. Ali’s Muslim beliefs are not from YAHWEH and
    “Mohammad was wrong”.

    Timothy 🙂

  47. on 17 Jun 2012 at 3:28 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    All that follows(Matt 24:3….) is a prophesy/prophesy/prophesy and is beginning to happen *right now today*.
    (OT prophesy/Jesus Christs prophesy/book of Revelations prophesy)

    why would Jesus not answer the apostles’ questions, but instead talk about something thousands of years later? how do you know that Jesus’ prophecy “is beginning to happen *right now today*”?
    Wolfgang, what are the consequences?
    A) That I believe the prophecies are still to be fulfilled and “I am wrong”.
    B) What you believe as these thing are past and “you are wrong”.
    C) Dr. Ali’s Muslim beliefs are not from YAHWEH and “Mohammad was wrong”.
    So far, I have not read about Dr. Ali’s Muslim beliefs here on the blog … thus I would not comment on that.

    As far as consequences of what one’s beliefs regarding the topic at hand, I can only tell you that I was frustrated and not did not have joy or peace regarding those matters when I adhered to a futurist belief, because I myself was “divided” claiming the early church believed and hoped correctly and at the same time claiming that what they believed and hoped did not come to pass. The consequence was like that which a child experiences when parents say they will take them to the zoo soon and then don’t do so for decades until the children finally are out of the house without that “soon” visit to the zoo ever having come to pass … rightfully a child should question the truthfulness of the parents.
    Now, after having realized that the things prophesied in fact did come to pass as prophesied, I am no longer frustrated and I do have joy and peace regarding those matters in my believing … nor am I “divided”, claiming two things in teaching which contradict each other.

  48. on 17 Jun 2012 at 3:29 amWolfgang

    oops …. somehow the quote was missed in the above, which should have been

    A) That I believe the prophecies are still to be fulfilled and “I am wrong”.
    B) What you believe as these thing are past and “you are wrong”.
    C) Dr. Ali’s Muslim beliefs are not from YAHWEH and “Mohammad was wrong”.

  49. on 17 Jun 2012 at 7:49 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Consider the trinity…

    three blind mice 8) 8) 8) three blind mice 8) 8) 8)
    three blind mice 8) 8) 8)

    2 Corinthians 4: (kjv)
    4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAP0RuIjIvM

    Now the 3X hoax is revealed.

    So move on to the father of our FAITH, as in Faith-Hope-Agape Love.

    Faithful Abraham.

    Hebrews 11: (kjv)
    1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

    8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

    13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

    17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

    18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

    19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

    29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

    30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

    32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

    33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

    34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

    39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

    40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

    Hebrews 12:
    1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

    2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

    How do you re-new your FAITH…..maybe click on your green name and consider your work, you were faithful to complete, so others could have faith and HOPE for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Wolfgang, i know you have read all the above scriptures, and a lot more times than me myself.

    Again, think about Abraham and how he endured with his long-suffering having FAITH that GOD would keep his word. And Abraham died still hoping for the promises of GOD.

    My heart is for you to enjoy the new “The Final Words” class and see/and find the answer to you dilemma. I am having hope.

    agapao se’

    Timothy 🙂

  50. on 17 Jun 2012 at 8:29 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    It is finally daylight here in Florida.

    Today is the day to overcome:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykIUCHCxJ38&feature=relmfu

    Have a wonderful day.

    Timothy 🙂

  51. on 17 Jun 2012 at 12:17 pmRay

    Not only will the kingdom of God be upon earth, it will also be in heaven, for their will be a new heaven as well as a new earth. Satan is being thrown out of heaven and he will be overcome by those who will be inhabiting the new earth. Satan was given a hearing in heaven in the book of Job but it won’t be that way in the future Kingdom as he will have no place in it. As long as he is in the lake of fire that will burn forever, he will have no part in the new heaven, nor in the new earth. Rev 20,21.

    I trust that the new heaven will be a part of the new earth even though there is a distinction between them.

    Won’t the presence of God be in heaven just as it will be on earth in that day? Since God has given the earth to the children of men,
    I trust they will be the ones inhabiting it. (Psalm 115) The worship of God upon this new earth is really going to be something.

  52. on 17 Jun 2012 at 12:35 pmRay

    Timothy, When the Lord descended and proclaimed the name of the Lord (Ex 34:5-7), the Word of God was declared. Isn’t this the same which Paul wrote of in Eph 4:10?

  53. on 17 Jun 2012 at 4:19 pmtimothy

    Ray,

    No not the same. Ephesians 4:10 is about this:

    http://htwins.net/scale2/?bordercolor=white

    Timothy 😉

  54. on 17 Jun 2012 at 5:05 pmRay

    It seems to me that Jesus is the Lord God in person. It also seems to me that it very well could have been Christ who declared unto Moses the name of God.

  55. on 17 Jun 2012 at 5:59 pmtimothy

    Ray,

    1) What do you mean by “seems to me”? Do you mean “if it stands to reason that something happens or is true, it is what you would expect”?

    2) You write: “It seems to me that[A] Jesus is the Lord God in person. It also seems to me that it very well[B] could have been Christ who declared unto Moses the name of God.

    [A] JCING*=Jesus Christ is not GOD

    [B] Jesus Christ was not even born until “September 11,3 BC”
    (google the date)

    3) Can not you see/perceive that Jesus Died “door nail dead” (To be dead, with no chance for recovery) *descended* and was raised to spiritual life filling all the universe as illustrated in “the link given to you in post # 53 ? GOD, who is not Jesus Christ, raised Jesus Christ(a pure mans man) from the dead. Jesus was as dead as could be and has been raised as alive as can be, a spiritual human being. Christians shall also be raised/changed at the first Resurrection.

    4) Are you, *Ray*, Kingdom Ready(KR) for the first Resurrection when the 7th and last trumpet sounds?
    Or are you still one of the blind mice 8) ?

    Timothy 🙂

    Timothy

  56. on 17 Jun 2012 at 9:39 pmRay

    It seems possible to me that God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the holy Spirit were together glorified at the time the Word was given to Moses in Ex 34:5.

    Certainly Jesus is according to the name of Almighty God and certainly did declare his name as we read of in the gospels.

    Jesus certainly is God by comparison.

  57. on 17 Jun 2012 at 9:54 pmRay

    Timothy,

    In answer to one of your question about the death of Jesus above,
    I perceive that shortly after the gave up the ghost, (commending his spirit unto God) his flesh died. (Luke 23:46,47)

  58. on 18 Jun 2012 at 4:18 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    How do you re-new your FAITH…..maybe click on your green name and consider your work, you were faithful to complete, so others could have faith and HOPE for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    what do you mean with “re-new your FAITH” ? are you suggesting to go back to former beliefs after one has found out that those were false?

    Do you think Scripture indicates that there will be a time when believers will no longer need hope for the return of Christ?

    Again, think about Abraham and how he endured with his long-suffering having FAITH that GOD would keep his word. And Abraham died still hoping for the promises of GOD.

    Are you suggesting we still live in the same age as Abraham (for example, an age when the Messiah had not been born, not fulfilled his work of redemption, etc) ?

    My heart is for you to enjoy the new “The Final Words” class and see/and find the answer to you dilemma. I am having hope.

    It seems that you think that I have no longer hope ? That would be a false assumption. I have the same hope regards eternal life as Abraham had, namely, entering that heavenly country …

  59. on 18 Jun 2012 at 4:31 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    I apologize for having missed your post about Joel until now … somehow was too busy with replying to other posts in this thread

    As for Joel, I would point you to the context of Joel 2 & 3 … Joel clearly sets the time frame for when the things he mentioned will be coming to pass and when indeed they will be “near”. Joel rather emphatically points the audience away from his own time ( the time when he gave and wrote the prophecy) to a future time

    Joel 3,1-2 (NASB)
    1 “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
    2 I will gather all the nations, …

    “Those days” and “that time” did indeed arrive several centuries later, in the days of the 1st century AD (as we learn from the record in Acts 2). Now, when Joel’s prophecy of the things given in Joel 2 were fulfilled at the day of Pentecost (“in those days and at that time”), what was further prophesied in Joel 3 was indeed “near”!

    One should be careful to understand and interpret Scripture within their context and within the overal scope so as to not produce contradictions … not recognizing the “in those days and at that time” and interpreting “near” as possibly meaning “centuries later” makes Joel to look like a false prophet

  60. on 18 Jun 2012 at 5:58 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    Hello and GOD bless you and a belated Fathers Day greeting.

    I am about to *faint*. My wishes are that we could be like minded and I never considered defending a belief such as the one you now have. Abraham never got to go to the tierpark(zoo) either and is asleep awaiting the same thing I am waiting for(asleep/or alive). But he did, while living, continue with his faith and hope for GOD to do what he said he would do. Jesus Christ came after his death and came before our birth. UZW and still shall come when the # 7 trumpet sounds.

    You write:
    what do you mean with “re-new your FAITH” ? are you suggesting to go back to former beliefs after one has found out that those were false?

    this is what I mean/was thinking(I have the same former beliefs less E.W. Bullinger companion bible Dispensationalism and once saved always saved):

    2 Corinthians 4:
    13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

    14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

    15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

    16 For which cause we *faint* not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is [renewed] day by day.
    [renewed=anakainoo=to make new again]

    17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

    18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    For now, I am back to working the new “The Last Words” class and minding my own business: believing/Faith/Hope/Agape Love.

    There are many I know who agapao/love you Wolfgang, especially GOD and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Timothy 🙂

  61. on 18 Jun 2012 at 6:25 amWolfgang

    Timothy

    You write:

    what do you mean with “re-new your FAITH” ? are you suggesting to go back to former beliefs after one has found out that those were false?

    this is what I mean/was thinking(I have the same former beliefs less E.W. Bullinger companion bible Dispensationalism and once saved always saved):

    but then, dear Timothy, you have – at least partly – forsaken your former faith, and IF you were true to yourself and your above statement, you should be going back to those former beliefs as well.

    Interestingly, you quote from 2Co 4 ….

    18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    Why is it that those who hold to a yet future earthly kingdom (which they say will not only last a millennium, but will then continue on in perfection into eternity) are basically contradicting what the above verse has to say with “things which are NOT SEEN are eternal”? They rather boldly teach that eternal things will be here on earth and thus obviously, since they are physical in nature, one WILL SEE them.

    I trust that there are some who still love me … despite differences in understanding on such matters. I love many who have a different understanding on various topics and matters from the Scriptures.

    Now, I am planning to stop commenting here for a while (do I hear some distant “Thank God, finally ….” ? ) Enjoy your reading and study of the class which you are currently involved in.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  62. on 18 Jun 2012 at 12:52 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    In post #59 you said:

    Joel rather emphatically points the audience away from his own time ( the time when he gave and wrote the prophecy) to a future time

    I disagree. Look further back, to Joel 1:

    (2) Hear this, you elders; give ear, all inhabitants of the land! Has such a thing happened in your days, or in the days of your fathers?
    (13) Put on sackcloth and lament, O priests; wail, O ministers of the altar. Go in, pass the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! Because grain offering and drink offering are withheld from the house of your God.
    (15) Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

    Joel most certainly does address his immediate audience about the soon approaching day of the LORD. I imagine you will say that “in those days and at that time” is proof that the “day of the LORD” in chapter 3 is a different one from the “day of the LORD” in chapter 1. And yet, both the subject matter and the group of people he addressed remain the same throughout the book. The rebellious priests are called to mourn from beginning to end, because the singular “day of the LORD” is described as fast approaching. Thus Joel was preaching about the great future judgment to those in his own generation.

    Peter confirms that this judgment also applied to his generation, so there is both a present AND future sense to the singular “day of the LORD”. But of course Peter also hinted at an extended period of time before the “day of the LORD” is fully consummated (2 Peter 3). The hope of God’s people has always been in the resurrection, which is when he will fulfill the things which appear to have gone unfulfilled. And the judgment of God’s enemies past, present, and future will also be fulfilled via the resurrection into the great “day of the LORD”.

  63. on 19 Jun 2012 at 2:27 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    Nice, Correcting and exacting post # 62.

    A week ago, The Final Words class ended, for the summer, with the 7th trumpet sounding and will continue on September 11, our Lords birthday.

    On fathers day, the teacher gave a great Sunday sermon which was like extra material for the TFW class. The summer homework is to read/study the book of Daniel and other prophesy that are related to end times “time”.

    I know you are always detailed concerning days, years, and periods of time and what they really actually stand for when concerning us. The teacher does a complete, detailed presentation of the many OT numbers and how they apply to: from Daniels prophesy forward. And to the future which we should be concerned about, to understand where we are now and how GOD will continue to protect use and that nothing can separate us from his love.

    Sarah, from my heart I want to write to you the obvious. As my position, my believing is that our *Faith* in GOD to preform and *Hope* that he will keep his word, as he *still* is keeping his word, to all the great”cloud of witnesses” tally in Hebrews 11.

    2 Corinthians 4:
    17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

    18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    Our *Hope* is for the Kingdom of GOD, which after a series of events will be “eternal” and here on Earth with our Lord Jesus Christ ruling.

    Right now, is only for a moment compared to what we hope for(and faithful Abraham, now asleep, sleeps in hope) At the 7th trumpet sounding, Jesus Christ will gather the Christians and together we will be part of his conquering the last enemy “death”.

    The Fathers Day service/teaching at lhim. The teaching begin at 29:30m.

    http://lhim.org/sunday/teaching_notes.php?id=425&mode=video

    Timothy 🙂

  64. on 19 Jun 2012 at 4:04 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    Seems that there is another way to listen to the teaching and get the notes too.

    http://lhim.org/sunday/teaching_notes.php?id=425&mode=audio

    agapao se’

    Timothy 8)

  65. on 19 Jun 2012 at 4:49 pmSarah

    Timothy,

    Our *Hope* is for the Kingdom of GOD, which after a series of events will be “eternal” and here on Earth with our Lord Jesus Christ ruling.

    Hallelujah and amen!

    The Final Words class you mention is on my “to listen” list. I am incredibly grateful for the abundant resources LHIM have provided. I can also recommend the One God Conference recordings – particularly Sean’s presentations on early Christianity.

  66. on 20 Jun 2012 at 2:16 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Sarah – just finished reading Rubenstein’s book “When Jesus Became God’, my first dive into that era. Found it amazing and echoed what Sean presented – widespread debate about the relationship of Father and Son. Not at all what the trinity apologists I’ve heard present – that Arius was a flash in the pan heresy that was quickly put to bed.

    Good book for painting a picture of the era and the personalities in play.

  67. on 20 Jun 2012 at 10:20 amSarah

    Tim,

    I bought & read Rubenstein’s book this year. Definitely a good read. And I just recently ordered three different church history books that Sean recommended during his presentation.

    Like you, I’ve just been totally amazed to discover that history is quite the opposite of how the mainstream church paints it. I’m sure some of that is ignorance rather than intentional misrepresentation, but it really bothers me all the same. To think that the average layperson is relying so heavily on what turns out to be revisionist history!

  68. on 20 Jun 2012 at 11:17 amtimothy

    Sarah & Tim(AKAA),

    GOD bless you two.

    Have started listening to Sean’s presentations too.

    Sarah writes:” I’m sure some of that is ignorance rather than intentional misrepresentation, but it really bothers me all the same. To think that the average layperson is relying so heavily on what turns out to be revisionist history! ”

    IMHO the ignorance is because of the scripture: 3 blind mice 8) 8) 8)

    Timothy

  69. on 21 Jun 2012 at 11:13 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    I imagine you will say that “in those days and at that time” is proof that the “day of the LORD” in chapter 3 is a different one from the “day of the LORD” in chapter 1. And yet, both the subject matter and the group of people he addressed remain the same throughout the book.

    indeed … the subject matter is similar, as it is in each case … a judgment of God upon His rebellious people.
    There was a day of the LORD in Joel’s time … and – as Joel prophesied further – there would be “in those days and at that time” another day of the LORD.

  70. on 21 Jun 2012 at 12:55 pmWolfgang

    Sean,

    you mention in the introductory part of your article

    God’s plan is to make everything wrong with the world right, to restore creation back to its original Edenic glory, to defeat evil and death once and for all, and to usher in an eternal age of peace and joy on earth.

    (1) On what is the understanding that there was “restoring creation back to its original Edenic glory” based? As we read the record in Gen 1 – 3, do we not read that there was evil present in in Eden (cp. the serpent) and that actually sin and death entered the history of mankind in Eden?

    (2) Where do we learn about “an eternal age of peace and joy on earth” being promised to be ushered in? When will this “eternal age of peace and joy” begin?

    This brings up another question: When were/are/will be the beginning and end of the age, which you and others speak of as “this age” or “the present age”?

  71. on 21 Jun 2012 at 1:20 pmWolfgang

    Sean,

    re-reading my above post after it showed up, I noticed that I should perhaps have simply asked, “Would you please sort of outline the Biblical ages which are in view in relation to your understanding of the kingdom, the coming of the Lord, etc …?”

    I would deem it quite helpful to understand your time frame(s) in which you see the different other matters happening.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  72. on 21 Jun 2012 at 5:22 pmtimothy

    Doubting Thomas,

    Isaiah 35:5
    Then the eyes of the blind 8) shall be opened 🙂 , and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

    Isaiah 42:18
    Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind 8) , that ye may see 🙂 .

    John 9:39
    And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not 8) might see 🙂 ; and that they which see 🙂 might be made blind 8) .

    2 Peter 1:9
    But he that lacketh these things is blind 8) , and cannot see 8) afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

    Romans 11:25
    For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness 8) in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    Will the 7 year period begin when the *fulness* of the Gentiles is come in? Or will it begin at the 7 trumpet(the last) sounding? Or better yet, will it begin when *GOD* decides it should begin?

    Timothy 😉

  73. on 21 Jun 2012 at 10:18 pmDoubting Thomas

    Hi timothy,
    I believe it will begin when God decides it should begin. I believe Y’shua’s return will be a like a thief coming in the night and that no-one knows, but the Father alone. That’s why I don’t spend much time studying end times prophecies… 🙂

  74. on 22 Jun 2012 at 4:25 pmtimothy

    Doubting Thomas,

    Thank you for the correct answer:

    “I believe it will begin when God decides it should begin.”

    Timothy 🙂

  75. on 23 Jun 2012 at 7:12 amWolfgang

    Hi Timothy and everyone,

    to what 7 year period are you making reference above?

    Can’t be any of the 70 year-weeks (490 years) of Daniel, since from the time the command to re-build the city of Jerusalem until the time of Christ 490 years had passed … Daniel is obviously speaking about 490 consecutive years, not of separate 69 weeks (483 years) and then 1 totally independent isolated week ( 7 years) which would together span a totally undetermined period of time of unknown length. Rather, the overall span is 490 years, and this time period was broken down in Daniel’s prophecy into 69 weeks (483 years) plus 1 week (7 years), with the 69 weeks being divided up further into 7 weeks (49 years) from the start covering the time of the re-building of the city of Jerusalem plus 62 weeks (434 years) after that to the time of the Messiah, and 1 week (7 years) to follow at the close of the total of the 70 weeks (490 years).

    I know, some interpretations based on so-called “dispensationalism” isolate the last of the 70 weeks from the other 69 weeks and claim that the church dispensation (grace dispensation) is found in between this “gap”; in addition this interpretation usually uses a “mystery”-theology as explanation and reason for Daniel himself not mentioning such “a gap” (“since it was a mystery, it was not known to Daniel, etc …”).

    Yet, this interpretation neglects the simple truth that the information about the 490 years did not originate with Daniel who would be unaware of a yet unrevealed mystery, but rather it originated with God Himself and was declared by Him, Who most certainly would know … and Who would have purposely given a false impression or flat out lied to Daniel by leaving him with the impression that the whole time period in question was 490 years.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  76. on 23 Jun 2012 at 7:28 amSean

    Wolfgang,

    The alternative is to say the “end” happened 7 years after the crucifixion. Since nothing happened in a.d. 38, how do you propose to interpret the prophecy?

  77. on 23 Jun 2012 at 8:20 amtimothy

    Exactly!

    Timothy 8)

  78. on 23 Jun 2012 at 11:36 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    there are some who understand the last week to have started with Christ’s public ministry, then understand his being cut off at the end of 3,5 years at the end of his 3,5 year ministry. Furthermore then, there was an interlude of approx 40 years during which Israel was given an opportunity to repent from their evil ways and accept the Messiah.

    After their measure was full, the final end of the remaining 3,5 years began and lasted the 3,5 years of the siege of Jerusalem until the city and temple was destroyed. The “last day” of that “age” had come to its end.

    Perhaps there are other possibilities … they would certainly have to be within the overall time frame work, but not 2 milleniums removed.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  79. on 23 Jun 2012 at 11:40 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    I refer to my posts #70 & #71 … would you share your understanding of the Biblical “ages” on which you base your understanding of related events and fulfillment of prophecy?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  80. on 23 Jun 2012 at 12:27 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    You said of the futurist view in post #75:

    … this interpretation usually uses a “mystery”-theology as explanation and reason for Daniel himself not mentioning such “a gap”

    And you said of the preterist view in post #78:

    There was an interlude of approx 40 years during which Israel was given an opportunity to repent…

    Isn’t your “interlude” also a gap? Why did Daniel fail to mention the 40 year gap?

  81. on 23 Jun 2012 at 12:57 pmWolfgang

    Sarah,

    I mentioned how some understand and interpret the 490 year time frame given in Daniel, I also mentioned that there may be some other possibilities. As for me, I am sure that any understanding (whether with or without a gap or interlude ) would have to fit within the overall time frame and most certainly can NOT involve a time gap of 2 millenniums, but would have to come to its end within the 1st century AD …

    As for the so-called “mystery”, I think that the dispensational view of it being an “age” / “dispensation” of unknown length is not what the NT Scriptures teach. Yes, there were truths not revealed and kept secret until they were revealed after the beginning of the NT Age (which overlapped with the end of the OT Age for approx 40 years) which concerned what God’s plan involves for believers of the NT Age (in particular the truth that not only Israelites by natural descent may become members of the body of God’s called out, but Gentiles as well).

    By the way, beween which Biblical Ages would this “Mystery Age” as a time gap come? between OT Age and NT Age? between OT Age and “end of” OT Age? between NT Age and some further also yet future Age?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  82. on 23 Jun 2012 at 4:28 pmRay

    I think the mystery of Christ has always been, though to most it has not been much revealed. As time went on, God began to reveal more of it. The greatest revealing of it began to come about when the Lord came to this earth in the flesh and began his ministry.

  83. on 23 Jun 2012 at 5:24 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    Some would say that this age was specified by God in Hosea, where he predicted God’s rejection of Israel for rejecting Christ. The two days refers to two thousand years, as Peter alluded to in 2 Peter 3.

    Hsa 6:1 “Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.

    Hsa 6:2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

    They would say that Christ prefigured this punishment of Israel by being in the ground two days and raised on the third. Which also gives great symbolic significance to the length of time Jesus was in the grave.

    Of course, I don’t expect you to agree with any of that 🙂

    But personally I am inclined to agree with the general thrust of this argument. If correct, we would be wise to pay heed, because we are now closing in on 2000 years since Israel’s rejection of Christ.

  84. on 23 Jun 2012 at 7:23 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    I agree that I agree !!!!! 🙂

    Thanks to your persistent study, you have uncovered more treasured pieces of the puzzle.

    Thanks for your fellowship.

    Timothy

  85. on 24 Jun 2012 at 1:13 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    you refer to His 6:1-2 … did you note that what is spoken there is not what God promised but what the people said / suggested / mentioned as their idea (“let us … so that he will ….”) ? did they even follow up on their idea? or did it remain an idea?

    Also, I would like to learn your answers to the “Ages” questions I asked you in post #81 … evading the questions by moving on to some other supposed point (your references to Hos 6) doesn’t really help finding answers

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  86. on 24 Jun 2012 at 6:17 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    Various eschtologies assign ages in various ways. My starting point is scripture’s distinction between the present age and the kingdom age (the “age to come” Jesus referred to).

    My point earlier is that the “mystery gap” isn’t necessarily a mystery at all. There is scripture to account for it. I find millennial eschtology, at its high level, very compelling. This is the view that the 7 days of creation are a prophetic parallel of God’s 7,000 year plan for redemption. Man will toil for 6 “days” – 6000 years – under the curse, and rest on the 7th “day” of 1000 years. We are fast approaching the close of both 6000 yeras of human history according to Bible chronology, and 2000 years since the crucifixion of Christ. The seventh millennium is due to start very soon.

    We find scripture repeatedly talking about a particular “day” of Christ, and we find Hebrews talking about a future “rest” of God. This seventh day rest is clearly specified in Revelation to be 1000 years. So I find that scripture cohesively supports such a view.

    By the way, it seems to me that the gap dilemma in Daniel isn’t unique to the futurist view. You have yet to adequately explain from scripture the missing 40 years from a preterist perspective.

  87. on 24 Jun 2012 at 9:22 pmSarah

    For those interested in studying historic millennial week eschatology, this is a very well-researched article. Wolfgang, you probably won’t care too much for it. I’m directing this link more toward anyone else who may be reading.

    http://www.oasischristianchurch.org/air/chiliasm.pdf

  88. on 25 Jun 2012 at 2:39 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    Various eschtologies assign ages in various ways. My starting point is scripture’s distinction between the present age and the kingdom age (the “age to come” Jesus referred to).

    so then, what are beginning and end of “the present age” ?

    Scripture makes such distinction … must we understand the term “present” in the expression “the present age” as “currently present” in the time of the reader (in our case, our day and time now) or in the time of the writer (at the time of writing, when the particular epistle etc was written)?

    You equate “age to come” with “kingdom age” … what are beginning and end to this “age to come” / “kingdom age”?

  89. on 25 Jun 2012 at 4:46 amtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    I am losing sleep over the semantic contortions.

    Right now is the present age! This is when it began:

    Acts 1: (nasb)
    1 When the day of Pentecost [a]had come, they were all together in one place.

    2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

    3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire [b]distributing themselves, and [c]they [d]rested on each one of them.

    4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other [e]tongues, as the Spirit was giving them [f]utterance.

    [a] 2:1 Lit was being fulfilled
    [b] 2:3 Or being distributed
    [c] 2:3 Lit it
    [d] 2:3 Or sat
    [e] 2:4 Or languages
    [f] 2:4 Or ability to speak out

    You have written:
    ” You equate “age to come” with “kingdom age” … what are beginning and end to this “age to come” / “kingdom age”? ”

    Some have already ask this question(about the beginning). Your question is a loaded question

    Acts 1: (nasb)
    6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

    7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;

    8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

    The beginning will be when it begins and it, the kingdom, will last for ~.

    In the mean time Christians have power from on high and five son-ship rights:

    1) redeemed
    2) sanctified
    3) justified
    4) righteous
    5) ministry of reconciliation:

    to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole planet.

    Apparently when the GOD and father of our Lord Jesus Christ is satisfied that everyone has been called, then he will nudge Jesus and say GO!!!!!!!

    Timothy

  90. on 25 Jun 2012 at 4:58 amtimothy

    Hello….oooops

    corrections needed:

    First Acts is actually Acts 2: and belongs where the second Acts, Acts 1 is.

    or

    swap the sets of scripture.

    Timothy

  91. on 25 Jun 2012 at 6:21 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    you mention above in answer to my question about the beginning of “the present age”

    Right now is the present age! This is when it began:

    Acts 1: (nasb)
    1 When the day of Pentecost [a]had come, they were all together in one place.

    So you understand the beginning of “the present age” to be at the day of Pentecost in Acts 2?

    So then, any references of Jesus concerning “the end of the age” would obviously be about the end of that age prior to “the present age” (since “the present age” was not in existence at the time Jesus spoke) ? What biblical age would that have been? Surely, Jesus would not give his audience purposely a false impression by not telling them that he was talking about the end of an age which had not even yet begun ?

    Also, did Jesus’ prophecies about “the end of the age” come to pass prior to the day of Pentecost?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  92. on 25 Jun 2012 at 1:20 pmWolfgang

    Timothy,

    Jesus mentions the following (cp. Mt 12:32):

    Mt 12:32 (NASB)
    32 Whoever 1speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

    In which age (“this age”) did Jesus live and which age at that time “is about to come” (so literally the wording for what is translated in NASB as “to come”)?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  93. on 25 Jun 2012 at 3:20 pmtimothy

    Wolfgang,

    written in your earlier post:

    ” I forgot to mention another point:

    Perhaps the hardest point with my change in the trinity matter years ago was the fact that I had taught and defended the trinity doctrine … and then had to admit that I had been wrong. Had I not leaned myself as far out of the window{American idiom=stretched my neck} as I did, it most likely would have been a little easier and not as uncomfortable when the time came to change. ”

    and

    ” years before when I faced my “trinity” dilemma. You know, what happens when a father tells his children, we will be going “soon” to the zoo … and 2 days pass and nothing happens, 2 weeks pass and nothing happens, 2 years pass and nothing happens, 2 decades pass and nothing happens … ??? At what time do you think the children would rightfully call their father a liar and leave him??? How much “excuse” do we want to make for God and Jesus not having fulfilled their “soon” coming in even 2 millenniums?
    Now then, since we believe that God and Jesus are not liars, perhaps we should take a better look at what we have been taught for centuries and which others have claimed was what happened? Eh, maybe the father took the children “soon” to an “animal park” but others claimed that that was not the visit to the “zoo” ?? ”

    The apostle Paul explained(by revelation from Jesus Christ):

    Philippians 3:
    13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it(the return) yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead(the return),

    14 I press on toward the goal(the return) for the prize(being resurrected/changed) of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    I understand your reasoning, however I do not agree with your *schimphen auf*{grumble about} the return not being to your satisfaction.

    I am afraid for your seeing/observing(not experiencing) *eine unvorhergesehene Abreise*{an unexpected departure} while you continue to reject what the scriptures are revealing.(idios epilusis)

    Ich habe mir das Rauchen abgewohnt{I have given up smoking}! So can one give up, as you explained with the trinity.

    Timothy

  94. on 25 Jun 2012 at 3:35 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    I am working subject of your post # 87 and agree there may be some not interested in the “one=thousand” formula.

    Here is an extensive timeline chart that reveals the six thousand twenty years period you brought to light:

    http://www.enlightener.org/TimeTable.htm

    Timothy 8)

  95. on 26 Jun 2012 at 12:43 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    I understand your reasoning, however I do not agree with your *schimphen auf*{grumble about} the return not being to your satisfaction.

    I am not grumbling about the return not being to my satisfaction … it seems far more that those who hold to futurist earthly expectations do so because a return of Christ in a different manner would not be satisfactory to their expectations.

    I have read a few times how some expressed that they would not be satisfied with being in a spirit body ever present in heaven with the Lord and living in the presence of God … such would not be “good enough”, seeing that they would like to live on earth for eternity in a physical body not unlike in shape and form as the one they have now …

  96. on 26 Jun 2012 at 8:06 amSarah

    Wolfgang,

    seeing that they would like to live on earth for eternity in a physical body not unlike in shape and form as the one they have now …

    And with good reason, since scripture says quite explicitly that this is exactly what will take place.

  97. on 26 Jun 2012 at 8:22 amtimothy

    Sarah,

    *******

    “The Resurrection People”
    Sean Finnegan 6-24-12
    this past Sunday
    teaching starts at: 44:30

    http://www.facebook.com/LivingHopeIM

    Timothy 🙂

  98. on 26 Jun 2012 at 9:06 amSarah

    Thanks, Timothy 🙂

    Wolfgang,

    I am very curious to know why it doesn’t bother you that there isn’t even one passage in the Bible plainly teaching us Christians will one day live somewhere other than earth for eternity. Seems like this would be an important point of doctrine for the NT, if it’s going to overturn all the plain OT statements that the righteous will dwell on the earth forever.

    Your singular proof text in Hebrews is suspect precisely because it is singular. And because it is not a direct claim that Abraham was looking to dwell in heaven. That must be inferred, and doesn’t follow the normal usage of “heavenly”.

    If I said to you that Elijah the prophet had heavenly power, you’d say he had power from heaven. If I said that the apostle Paul had heavenly wisdom, you’d say he had wisdom from heaven. If Abraham was looking for a heavenly country, then it we know he was looking for a country from heaven.

  99. on 26 Jun 2012 at 10:16 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    I am very curious to know why it doesn’t bother you that there isn’t even one passage in the Bible plainly teaching us Christians will one day live somewhere other than earth for eternity.

    well, where is the passage in the Bible which plainly teaches us Christians will one day live on earth for eternity? Even at the time I used to teach exactly what you and others are promoting for our future life, I noticed that all I was doing was inferring from mostly certain OT passages that this would be the case … now, that I have realized that this inference contradicts flat out what the Scripture tells about the ages and the imminence of the coming of the Lord, etc., I am rather going by what the overall scope of the Scriptures (the real big picture, earthly, physical and temporal matters being foreshadows of heavenly, spiritual and eternal realities)

    If I said to you that Elijah the prophet had heavenly power, you’d say he had power from heaven. If I said that the apostle Paul had heavenly wisdom, you’d say he had wisdom from heaven. If Abraham was looking for a heavenly country, then it we know he was looking for a country from heaven.

    Actually, I would say Elijah was given divine power (that is “divine” power, power greater than human, or other known earthly power); I would say that Paul was given divine wisdom, not only wisdom from God but spiritual and therefore of an entirely different quality than human wisdom; I would say that Abraham was looking not for a physical earthly country, but a heavenly, therefore in its nature spiritual, country. Anyways, how is a country supposed to be “FROM heaven”?

    It seems very clear to me that you are the one who doesn’t follow the normal usage of the adjective “heavenly” as describing the quality or nature of something, and you actually make a far less frequent and more unusual usage (adjective referring to place of origin) out to be your “normal usage”. Yes, included in the meaning is to some degree also “heaven” as place of origin, but – please note – neither Elijah’s power, nor Paul’s wisdom (and thus also not Abraham’s country) were of a “non-heavenly” or “normal earthly” quality but of “heavenly origin”. That heavenly power was SPIRITUAL and not “natural”, the wisdom was SPIRITUAL and not “5 sense natural”, the country therefore also not “political, earthly” but SPIRITUAL.

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  100. on 26 Jun 2012 at 2:55 pmSean

    Wolfgang,

    You asked:

    well, where is the passage in the Bible which plainly teaches us Christians will one day live on earth for eternity?

    Here are a few:

    Matthew 5.5
    Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

    Revelation 5.10
    You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.

    Daniel 7.27
    Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.

    Isaiah 60.20-21
    20 Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over. 21 Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.

    Jeremiah 23.5-6, 8
    5 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. 6 “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; …8 Then they will live on their own soil.”

    Isaiah 35.1-10
    1 The wilderness and the desert will be glad, And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; Like the crocus 2 It will blossom profusely And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, The majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the LORD, The majesty of our God. 3 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. 4 Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. 6 Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah. 7 The scorched land will become a pool And the thirsty ground springs of water; In the haunt of jackals, its resting place, Grass becomes reeds and rushes. 8 A highway will be there, a roadway, And it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, But it will be for him who walks that way, And fools will not wander on it. 9 No lion will be there, Nor will any vicious beast go up on it; These will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk there, 10 And the ransomed of the LORD will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

    Isaiah 2.2-4
    2 Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.

    Isaiah 11.6-10
    6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. 7 Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea. 10 Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse, Who will stand as a signal for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.

    Ezekiel 36.24-28
    24 “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 “You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God.

    Ezekiel 37.24-27
    24 “My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd; and they will walk in My ordinances and keep My statutes and observe them. 25 “They will live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons and their sons’ sons, forever; and David My servant will be their prince forever. 26 “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27 “My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.

    Ezekiel 37.12-14
    “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.'”

    Daniel 2.35, 44
    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. …44 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.

  101. on 26 Jun 2012 at 3:59 pmtimothy

    Sean,

    wunderbar/wonderful

    Romans 15:
    4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction[didaskalia], so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

    Matthew 4:
    7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again…………….

    Thank you

    Timothy 🙂

  102. on 29 Jun 2012 at 2:46 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    you mention a whole list of scripture passages … yet, they do NOT plainly teach us that Christians will one day live on earth for eternity.

    A few examples:
    Eze 36:24-28 … is this talking about Christians? or is this talking about Israel and the proper understanding and interpretation is found when comparing it with Jer 29:10-14 & Ezr 1:1-5?

    Eze 37:24-27 … is this talking about Christians ? or does this have reference to Gen 28:10-15?

    As for “covenant of peace … will be an everlasting covenant”, I would refer to Eze 34:25-31 and also point out that the point about it being “everlasting” depended on them (cp. also Deu 11:26-28 & 28:1ff )

    Eze 37:12-14 … how does this have anything to do with Christians? does the “coming out of their graves” not rather use symbolic language to emphatically point out how the people of Judah/Israel were coming to life again after their 70 year captivity in Babylon (cp context of Ezekiel’s and Jeremiah’s prophetic ministries) ?

    Similar considerations (such as application to a time and a people not really in view) apply to other passages mentioned in your list of scriptures ….

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  103. on 29 Jun 2012 at 6:44 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    some more info on your reference to Dan 2:35,44 … Daniel explains the matter of the dream and its meaning to the king, and the important point to properly understand the nature of the kingdom which would be set up by God in the days of the 4th empire (the one represented by iron and clay) is given in 2:34 => mention is made of “a stone cut out without hands“, indicating a spiritual nature. I trust it is clear to you that the pictures in the dream and the language used here are not literal.

    Now then, 2:44 says “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, … it shall stand forever. ” Note, the text does NOT say (a) “And many centuries or even millenniums after the days of these kings …”, nor does it say (b)” it shall last for one millennium”, neither does it say (c) “it will be spiritual for an unknown amount of time, but then become political for a millennium and then become (what?) forever more”

    Actually, during the time of the 11 emperor of the 4th empire, the earthly kingdom of Israel (or what remained of it) with its earthly temple and its system of earthly worship was destroyed forever and the eternal kingdom of God (spiritual in nature, with God and His Messiah on a heavenly throne) with a new spiritual system of worship was established. Yes, influence of this heavenly kingdom certainly extends to believers living on earth … but the influence and power are NOT political or in any sense of “worldly kingdoms”

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  104. on 29 Jun 2012 at 8:37 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    as for Isaiah 2.2-4 “2 Now it will come about that In the last days ….”

    Which last days of what are here in view? when were or are these “last days”? Are these the same “last days” mentioned as in Heb 1:2 and Acts 2:17? Are these last days equivalent to “the end of the age” mentioned in other places?

    How long a time span do you think “last days” span in relation to the overall time span of which they are the last days? How long do you think is “the end” of a certain period of time or age in relation to the total length of the particular period of time in question?

    Example: We speak of the beginning and the end of a football game … does “beginning” or “end” in such a case mean “half” of the game? If we speak about people and that they did such and such or lived here and there toward “the end” of their life … do we use “end” to mean 3/4 of their life, half of their life, or perhaps a relatively much shorter period of time in relation to their overall lifetime?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  105. on 29 Jun 2012 at 9:54 amMike Gantt

    I find it impossible to read the New Testament without acknowledging that they (i.e. the Lord, the apostles, and the disciples that followed them) expected the kingdom of God in that era (i.e. before their generation entirely passed away). Modern Christianity lives in denial of this reality – either ignoring, absurdly, the eschatological dimension entirely or else asserting, absurdly, that while the end did not occur in the timetable given it is still imminent.

    It is absurd to say that the New Testament is true yet erroneous on one of the points about which it was so utterly clear – that is, the timing of the coming of the kingdom.

    For my part, I have concluded that Jesus and His apostles were right about the timetable and that we’ve been wrong about precisely what it was they were predicting. For which is more likely: that we have understood correctly and they were wrong about the timing, or that we have misunderstood what they were describing and they were right about the timing?

  106. on 29 Jun 2012 at 10:07 amSarah

    Hi Mike,

    You said:

    I find it impossible to read the New Testament without acknowledging that they (i.e. the Lord, the apostles, and the disciples that followed them) expected the kingdom of God in that era (i.e. before their generation entirely passed away).

    On this I agree with you and Wolfgang.

    However, I strongly disagree with Wolfgang that amillennialism and a non-earthly future is the inevitable conclusion.

  107. on 29 Jun 2012 at 11:44 amWolfgang

    Hi Mike

    For which is more likely: that we have understood correctly and they were wrong about the timing, or that we have misunderstood what they were describing and they were right about the timing?

    For little more than a decade now, I have come to the same conclusion which you mention above … Certainly, Jesus and the apostles were correct in what they taught concerning the timing of the coming of the Son of man, the coming of the kingdom of God, etc. and thus it did come to pass as they taught and as the believers then believed and expected … and most of Christianity from early on having misunderstood and trying to find “a solution” to their “self-made problem” (that it did not happen as prophesied)

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  108. on 29 Jun 2012 at 2:30 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    We are endeavoring to be *Kingdom Ready*, for ourselves and for others whose behavior/mind opposes themselves.

    The first promise was to all mankind:

    Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and *her seed*; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

    *Her seed*: Jesus Christ

    Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

    Jesus Christ came from Isaac’s seed.

    From Isaac came Jacob/Israel and the twelve tribes/Hebrews.

    Israel was GODs chosen people and all the OT prophesy/promises were made to those peoples. The other seed of Abraham, through Hagar, did not get the same promise. Isaac’s seed and Ishmael’s seed were not joint heirs.

    There was a mystery hidden in GODs heart.

    Even Jesus Christ did not know the mystery. Then after Pentecost he revealed it to the Apostle Paul by revelation.

    Romans 11:
    25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    Romans 16:
    25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

    26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

    Ephesians 1:
    9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

    10 (nasb) so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

    11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

    12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

    Ephesians 3:
    3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

    4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

    5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

    6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

    7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

    The point is that all written in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All the OT prophesy, forth-telling and prophesy foretelling were written to Israel, the Hebrew people and/or Judah.

    The coming Kingdom Of GOD to Earth prophesy, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, was being given to Israel. Only after Pentecost was it revealed,
    first, by Cornelius lambano of the holy spirit and then Apostle Paul’s ministry of reconciliation.

    The point is that, all details about the future Kingdom of God coming to and being on Earth are now written to Israel and their *Joint Heirs*.

    Romans 15: (nasb)
    4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction[didaskalia], so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we *might have hope*.

    [didaskalia]=teaching, instruction and doctrine

    Having *HOPE* is a *Prerequisite* of *being Kingdom Ready*.

    Faith, Hope, Charity(agape love)

    Having *Faith* that GOD is faithful and will do what he promised with His Kingdom coming to Earth.

    *Hope* for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and the first resurrection. Hope that he is coming when GOD decides it is the time.

    Repenting, changing, being transformed by the renewing of your mind and manifesting the agapao *Love of GOD*.

    1 Corinthians 13:
    4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

    Being puffed up with your ego?

    To be *Kingdom Ready* one needs to have all their ducks in a row: Faith, Hope and Charity(agape love).

    Sean was kind enough to bring more aid, by citing scripture, to our quest to help one to be Kingdom Ready. Grieves me that contentious ego can stand in the path to being Kingdom Ready.

    agapao se’

    Timothy

  109. on 29 Jun 2012 at 2:49 pmSarah

    Timothy,

    You said:

    The point is that, all details about the future Kingdom of God coming to and being on Earth are now written to Israel and their *Joint Heirs*.

    Exactly. This is truly the bottom line. The promises given to Israel regarding her glorious future on this earth were also extended to the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. That most assuredly includes us!

  110. on 29 Jun 2012 at 5:16 pmMike

    Timothy,

    While I disagree with Wolfgang’s full preterist views (I am sympathetic to partial preterism) I do not think he is just arguing with “contentious ego”. He is bringing up valid scriptural and logical points that can and should be addressed without resorting to ad hominem. What is to stop him or anyone else reading this blog from saying the same about you or I?

    Again, though I disagree with his views, I have also learned that the more I think I know, the less I find I do. I value his comments here because they are forcing me to think and learn.

  111. on 29 Jun 2012 at 9:13 pmtimothy

    Mike Gantt or Mike,

    The purpose of this blog:

    “Kingdom Ready Blog
    promoting the gospel of the kingdom and the creed of Jesus”

    “Preterism” is completely contray to:

    “the gospel of the kingdom and the creed of Jesus”

    Therefore bringing “Preterist beliefs”(full or partial) to the table is being fully “quarrelsome – controversial – moot – litigious” to KR promoting the future Kingdom of GOD coming to Earth.

    Perhaps, if you would rewind back to post # 1 and study all that has been written up to the now post #111, you would understand at least the “contentious” statement. And also consider 1 Corinthians 13 description about Faith, Hope and Charity(agape Love of GOD) as described in post # 108(read 1 Corinthians 13 again)

  112. on 30 Jun 2012 at 1:33 amWolfgang

    Timothy,
    you mention above

    The purpose of this blog:
    “Kingdom Ready Blog
    promoting the gospel of the kingdom and the creed of Jesus”

    I would think that I am doing exactly what is stated as the purpose of this blog!

    “Preterism” is completely contray to:
    “the gospel of the kingdom and the creed of Jesus”

    Such a claim is plain false … I would say that an understanding of fulfilled eschatology is more in agreement with the teaching of Jesus than any claims made that what the Lord plainly taught did not come to pass as prophesied.

    Therefore bringing “Preterist beliefs”(full or partial) to the table is being fully “quarrelsome – controversial – moot – litigious” to KR promoting the future Kingdom of GOD coming to Earth.

    See above …
    Also, the understanding of fulfilled eschatology understands the the kingdom of God als already in existence, and extending to the earth as well, whereas other beliefs concerning the kingdom of God create a dilemma for themselves in that they do not agree with what Christ and his apostles rather plainly taught.

    Now, is pointing out what one perceives to be an error, and doing so by supporting one’s arguments with Scripture and logical points, indeed “quarrelsome – controversial – moot – litigious” or the expression of a “contentious ego”? Or is it more likely the expression of the kind of love to which you point with your reference to 1Co 13?

  113. on 30 Jun 2012 at 5:20 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    [Mike had written]:

    I find it impossible to read the New Testament without acknowledging that they (i.e. the Lord, the apostles, and the disciples that followed them) expected the kingdom of God in that era (i.e. before their generation entirely passed away).

    On this I agree with you and Wolfgang.

    However, I strongly disagree with Wolfgang that amillennialism and a non-earthly future is the inevitable conclusion.

    So you agree that Jesus, the apostles and his disciples who followed them expected the kingdom of God (and linked with it, the coming of the Son of man, end of the age, last day, etc.) in their era?
    Do you also agree with us that indeed this is what Jesus and his apostles taught? or do you propose that they (maybe ignorantly? ) actually did not teach such expectation and perhaps were (for what reason? ) mistaken in their expectation?

    I definitely see it to be an inevitable conclusion that IF the Lord and his apostles did teach an imminent coming of the Son of man and coming of the kingdom, then it must have come to pass and there won’t be yet another and still future “millennial kingdom (i.e. a political type kingdom) with Jesus as political ruler on earth”.

  114. on 30 Jun 2012 at 1:42 pmMike Gantt

    Timothy,

    Your blog title attracted me because I care very much about Jesus and His kingdom.

    If you don’t want anyone to express any opinions here with which you might disagree, why is it an open site? Password-protect it and have people fill out a questionnaire before you grant them access.

    Blogs are for taking thoughts public. And whatever is public is a two-way street.

  115. on 30 Jun 2012 at 1:44 pmMike Gantt

    Timothy,

    Wolfgang’s comment 112 makes a lot of sense to me.

    And here I quote from the bottom of your page: “Feel free to disagree with us as we all work together to discover the truth of Scripture.”

    Are we not all here on earth to learn from each other?

  116. on 30 Jun 2012 at 4:30 pmtimothy

    Mike Gantt,

    This blog is not anymore mine than yours.

    There are rules of engagement: “Communication Policy”.

    Sometimes, to disagree can only be settled by “I agree to disagree”!

    However, there are some extreme beliefs/doctrines that are contrary and harmful for maintaining fellowship with GOD. GODs will is that all will be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    We have the word of GOD for:

    2 Timothy 3:
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine[didaskalia], for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

    I prefer to copy/past scripture, so that you, the reader, will read the verses. When only the book/chapter/verse are listed then one has to stop and look up/read and continue.

    Here is the link I used for the above verses:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/King-James-Version-KJV-Bible/#booklist

  117. on 30 Jun 2012 at 6:31 pmMike

    Timothy,

    However, there are some extreme beliefs/doctrines that are contrary and harmful for maintaining fellowship with GOD.

    Do you decide which beliefs/doctrines are too extreme to discuss? Most Christians would consider the Trinity untouchable, yes?

    Wolfgang and Mike Gantt are, in my opinion, still writing in the spirit of this blog. They are not trying to convince us to leave Jesus and follow Buddha or Mohammed. They are writing about the Kingdom of God how they understand it, and they are raising valid questions that have yet to be answered adequately. Obviously the “agree to disagree” option is on the table, but up until now that point has not been reached. I bowed out of the conversation with Wolfgang some time ago (because I disagree with him concerning the nature of the resurrection) but others, like Sarah, are still in active discussion with him.

    You do quote a lot of Scripture, which is good. But perhaps our collective learning would be furthered if somebody would directly answer Wolfgang’s questions from post #104.

    Bottom line: I currently (and I stress currently because I have been humbled too much these last two years to say anything else) disagree with Wolfgang’s position, but that fact does not mean it is harmful to discuss. Let’s let iron sharpen iron until such time as one is convinced, or both parties agree to disagree. I for one am enjoying following the discussion.

  118. on 30 Jun 2012 at 7:17 pmtimothy

    Mike,

    Thank you for your input.

    For now I too feel like just following along the discussion.

    More important is to me, for me, to continue studying/working GODs word with the new “The Final Words” class. The position of preterits contradicts all that I believe and nullifies the HOPE for return of Jesus Christ, the first resurrection and GODs kingdom coming to Earth.

    I do not know what you HOPE for.

    The class is taught on line….real easy to at least listen:

    http://lhim.org/resources/classes.php?id=32

    Timothy 🙂

  119. on 30 Jun 2012 at 7:36 pmMike Gantt

    Timothy,

    I read your communication policy and it seems reasonable to me.

    I also re-read the 2 Tim 3:16-17. It is one of my favorites, so this marks yet another point of agreement between us.

    Jesus is Lord! (I love to hear people genuinely rejoice in that fact as much as I do.)

  120. on 01 Jul 2012 at 4:25 amMike Gantt

    For what it’s worth, I don’t call myself a preterist. Neither do I espouse preterism. It is true that I believe that God’s kingdom is here as promised. However, I came to this belief without knowing there was such a thing as preterism or preterists. And even now when I visit web sites or read material labeled as such, I do not feel “at home.”

    Too often we think in terms of making a decision and joining a group. We make a decision for Christ and become a Christian. Then we make a decision about some aspect of theology and join a sub-group of Christians. We’re on a constant search to find the “right” Christian sub-group (Calvinists versus Arminianians, Catholics versus Protestants, Pre-mills versus post-mills, etc.). This approach is distracting to our faith in Christ at best, and toxic to it at worst.

    I believe in Jesus Christ. I love Him and seek to serve Him every day that I live. What I want is to be more and more pleasing to Him. My identity is found in Him – not in any human group, no matter how “theologically correct.”

  121. on 01 Jul 2012 at 7:57 amtimothy

    Mike,

    Happy Sunday Sabbath!

    GOD bless you in the name of Jesus Christ!

    *It is written* so that you may see: see:

    Jeremiah 2: (kjv)
    13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

    Luke 6: (kjv)
    38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

    And with singing so that you may hear(8th song):

    http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_songs/1440546

    Timothy 🙂

  122. on 01 Jul 2012 at 9:50 amtimothy

    Sarah,

    You are the best KR writer.

    I am still working with the Tim Warner/chiliasm article. A while back the 1000 year subject came up and now I see why you are so interested.

    There are all the Daniel Sabbath numbers/formulas to contemplate too.

    The *mystery* seems to have put the countdown on hold. Perhaps because GOD now wants the whole world to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have the opportunity to read, hear and heed.

    When the clock start ticking again, will we then have 3 1/2 years until the 7th trumpet blows?????

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVMiZAqTWQ0&feature=related

    I still hold to what Jesus Christ said while his feet were still on the ground: *He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority”*

    agapao se’

    Timothy

  123. on 01 Jul 2012 at 10:59 amTim (aka Antioch)

    Mike Gantt – post #120 – a big AMEN!

    Hmm – maybe we should start a church of people with like minded beliefs 🙂

  124. on 01 Jul 2012 at 2:08 pmSarah

    Hi Mike,

    You said in post #117:

    Let’s let iron sharpen iron until such time as one is convinced, or both parties agree to disagree.

    I very much agree. I’ve been sharpened by my own participation in this debate with Wolfgang. He certainly does bring up many good points. This discussion drives me to scripture to confirm what I do and don’t believe about the kingdom of Christ. And it has sparked new thoughts and insights as a result. So I’m grateful!

    I know many on this blog take a neutral postion on eschatology. I can understand it, given the complexity of the subject and the wide range of views. But I am persuaded that God calls us to actively seek an accurate understanding of what the Bible says about the coming of Christ. There is just too much scripture on the subject for it to be a minor issue. And besides, God promises to reward those who diligently seek him (James 1:5) – so it’s worth the investment!

    I think there are grains of truth in all the eschatological views. But rather than being a particular “ist”, or conforming to a certain “ism”, I believe we need to revisit the scriptures holistically and seek God’s wisdom for the truth. Keep the good and sift out the bad. The days are growing dark with alarming speed. I believe we will need that truth – which will in turn provide wisdom and protection – as we face the challenging time ahead.

  125. on 01 Jul 2012 at 2:14 pmSarah

    Timothy,

    I am still working with the Tim Warner/chiliasm article. A while back the 1000 year subject came up and now I see why you are so interested.

    So glad you found the article useful. Tim’s scholarship is exceptional and has contributed much to my own understanding of eschatology.

  126. on 01 Jul 2012 at 10:45 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    FYI…When I was a young 39 years, living in my Hometown Miami, Florida, I took a class on how to study the bible. This class was also being taught in West Germany by the then legendary Wolfgang(click green name). He had translated the class and all collateral books into High German and I first saw him at the then yearly ROA festival. This person had gone behind the Iron Curtain and pastured an underground Christian fellowship, teaching them the word of GOD and how to receive/manifest/lambano holy spirit power.

    What Wolfgang taught and believed then is the same as my doctrine now. The teachings were all the word of GOD, which teaches for our doctrine[didashalia] to have the same mind each.*to be like-minded*

    A)=GOD in Christ in You~B)=You in Christ in GOD
    A) is constant
    B) fluctuates

    One can be taught, from GODs word, how to maintain AB/being in fellowship.

    Christians together are the Body of Christ and it only will work for one when we/you have the same mind of Christ, which he gave by revelation to: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter and Jude. By reading and studying revelations given to these NT writers Christians should be thinking the same things. Because of private interpretation, resulting in non like mindedness, there are thousands of different denominations today. Many “winds of doctrines” to blow one about.

    1 Corinthians 1:
    10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

    Philippians 2:
    2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

    Philippians 4:
    2 I beseech Euodias{Timothy}, and beseech Syntyche{Sarah}, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

    I completely agree with what you wrote and add that we are commanded to be like-minded about the results:

    “I know many on this blog take a neutral postion on eschatology. I can understand it, given the complexity of the subject and the wide range of views. But I am persuaded that God calls us to actively seek an accurate understanding of what the Bible says about the coming of Christ. There is just too much scripture on the subject for it to be a minor issue. And besides, God promises to reward those who diligently seek him (James 1:5) – so it’s worth the investment!”

    Amen

    We(Wolfgang and I) were required to retemorize(retain and memorize) scripture and this was my first:

    Ephesians 1:
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

    4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

    6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

    Verse five….We are adopted as children into GODs family. This means that when you go back to Genesis and read about faithful Abrm/Abraham, think about how you are reading your own “real family” history.

    Timothy 🙂

  127. on 02 Jul 2012 at 7:13 pmRay

    Yes, Jesus is the grace of God and yet there is a distinction between the grace of God and him. (Eph 1)

    I suppose what I am saying is that Jesus is the grace of God by comparision.

    There is nothing I know of that compares to the grace of God as much as Jesus who is the Word of God. Certainly nothing can compare to God’s grace more than Jesus.

  128. on 02 Jul 2012 at 9:10 pmDoubting Thomas

    I agree Ray… 🙂

  129. on 03 Jul 2012 at 2:00 amWolfgang

    Timothy,

    you mention above

    What Wolfgang taught and believed then is the same as my doctrine now. The teachings were all the word of GOD, which teaches for our doctrine[didashalia] to have the same mind each.*to be like-minded*

    one should note, that the teachings were NOT all the word of God … they were only the word of God in as much as they were in harmony with the truth of the Scriptures. Even then, this was acknowledged, and often it was declared that “we would correct error, if and when we detect it and learn better … we are a research ministry”, remember? Sadly, this intention was not carried out in general, and the few who did take it to heart and corrected understandings once they recognized an error were oftentimes even mistreated by others and marked as “heretics” …. (btw, not unlike what happens in larger denominations)

    In truth, any teaching from the Scriptures by any teacher is his or her interpretation – unless the person was speaking by direct revelation / inspiration of the same kind as the original prophets and apostles, etc. Therefore, anyone’s teaching is suspect to reflect misunderstanding, or only partial understanding, or mistakes in interpretation of a passage due to lack of knowledge of language, lack of knowledge of customs and manners that are referenced in the Scriptures, etc. etc

    The mention of the encouragement from the Scriptures “to be like minded” is often used as “a push power” to keep followers in line with the doctrine promoted by the particular church, denomination or group … but is this what the Scriptural encouragement for being like minded is about? Often this is coupled with the command “to remain faithful in and not deviate from what you have been taught” … well, all those who left denominations to follow the teachings of some other teacher or group should “repent” and return to where they came from, if not then why not ?

    Cheers,
    Wolfgang

  130. on 04 Jul 2012 at 5:13 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    you mention above

    The days are growing dark with alarming speed. I believe we will need that truth – which will in turn provide wisdom and protection – as we face the challenging time ahead.

    Days have been growing dark sort of all the time and ever repeatedly … I’ve read some articles and books in which authors were describing how things were growing worse and worse … and then someone else 2 generations later was writing the same thing … followed by the next one a generation or two later.

    We think times are growing dark with alarming speed ? … what would we have said if we had been living a century ago? what about life in the middle ages or in other times when famine or the plague were spreading? what about living in Jerusalem in the days when zealots and others incited the revolt against Rome and caused life in the city to be more like “plain hell” ?

    Our days are still rather comfortable compared to the trials and tribulation (“such as there had never been or never would be”) which those people encountered then?

  131. on 04 Jul 2012 at 12:20 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    We think times are growing dark with alarming speed ? … what would we have said if we had been living a century ago? what about life in the middle ages or in other times when famine or the plague were spreading?

    Which brings up a question. If the climax of wickedness took place in AD 70, “such as there had never been or would ever be”, how do YOU explain all of these post-AD 70 atrocities that have continued right up to the present day? Shouldn’t we be blissfully existing in a peaceful world if the kingdom is already fully arrived?

    Our days are still rather comfortable…

    Really? That depends heavily upon where in the world you live, and what your life circumstances are – as it always has. The difference in our era is that technological advances have enabled evil to spread more rapidly, more pervasively, and more severely than ever before. Thanks be to the Lord, we can spread goodness and truth more effectively also.

  132. on 04 Jul 2012 at 2:19 pmtimothy

    Sarah,

    Despite GODs trying to prevent man from getting “carried away”… “watz going on”?

    Genesis 11:
    6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

    7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&cp=4&gs_id=g&xhr=t&q=dubai&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=636&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=OvXyT5rKAobe9AT3xZTOCQ

    Timothy 🙂

  133. on 05 Jul 2012 at 3:51 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    Wolfgang,

    We think times are growing dark with alarming speed ? … what would we have said if we had been living a century ago? what about life in the middle ages or in other times when famine or the plague were spreading?

    Which brings up a question. If the climax of wickedness took place in AD 70, “such as there had never been or would ever be”, how do YOU explain all of these post-AD 70 atrocities that have continued right up to the present day?

    I understand and leave the passages of Scripture within their context …. rather than taking them out of their context and projecting them to times and situations to which they have no reference. To whom and about whom were the prophecies spoken? To whom do the OT prophecies regarding blessing and curses etc. refer? Over whom did Jesus weep and prophesy their calamity? See, you are pointing out a dilemma which only arises when Scripture is interpreted in a way which “includes” things which the Scriptures do NOT address …
    When understanding the matters within their context, it becomes clear why Jesus could prophesy of tribulation “such as had not been nor ever would be” … consider this: The final end of Israel as a nation came upon them, the temple was destroyed … and as Jesus also prophesied, their house would be left desolate! The finality of what happened to Israel as a nation and its OT system of temple worship, etc is what is in view … and what Judah and Jerusalem suffered in those days was and has thus remained unparalleled and will remain unparalleled.
    The problem arises when people do not accept such and bring tribulation suffered by who knows who centuries later in entirely different circumstances into the story, then invent theories that another temple has to first be built before the prophetic passages of Scripture can come to pass, etc etc …

    Shouldn’t we be blissfully existing in a peaceful world if the kingdom is already fully arrived?

    This is another misunderstanding caused by the assumption of a “millennial (economically?) blissful and (politically?) peace kingdom on earth”? Where does Scripture even speak about such “a millennial earthly kingdom”? You know, some who hold to such a view in their understanding see the millennial kingdom as a time of war, when the lord will “with a rod of iron” subdue all other kingdoms of the world, etc …. so what would that be about?

    Believers will indeed enter their time of rest and everlasting peace, followers of Christ have and do after having fulfilled their course of sojourn and lived faithfully … the place however is not on planet earth in a physical manner, but in heaven, with God and in His presence …

  134. on 08 Jul 2012 at 2:27 amWolfgang

    Sean,

    you write above

    Although this vision of the future is biblical, logical, and incredibly attractive, many ancient Christians did not like it.

    it seems to me that toward the end of the 1st century AD and with the expectations of an earthly kingdom (as had been propagated by the Jewish leadership, and emphatically so during the time of their revolt and war) not having come to pass as expected … a dilemma arose in the early church as well. To those who had been thinking of the kingdom as a liberation of the political nation of Israel and its expansion to a world power overtaking the world’s kingdoms under a Messiah king, it seemed that the mockers (cp 2Pe 3) with their “Where is the promise of his coming?” had been correct and that Jesus and his followers with their teaching and expectation of an imminent coming had been wrong … seeing that such understanding and expectation did not come to pass and Messiah Jesus did not fulfill these expectations.

    Now then, was the teaching of Jesus and his apostles incorrect and thus Jesus was proven to be a false prophet and not the true Messiah, because what they taught did not come to pass as prophesied? Or was the expectation of an earthly kingdom of a liberated Israel with an expanded world wide dominion incorrect, and what Jesus and his apostles taught in fact did come to pass as prophesied, but did not match the earthly political ideas and expecations of some?

    Did Messiah Jesus and his apostles ever teach anything about a political liberation of the nation of Israel? was there ever even a hint at a political overtaking of all the kingdoms of the world? How, in what regard or manner, has the teaching of Jesus and his apostles overtaken all kingdoms of the world in the millenniums since? Did Jesus prophesy an “incredibly attractive future” for his followers on earth? Did he ever point his own mind or his disciples’ attention to an earthly political kingdom or world dominion as goal or fulfillment of prophecy? Or did he and his apostles point in their teaching to God Almighty and his heavenly rule and heavenly rewards?
    Did Jesus teach that his followers should “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (cp Mt 6:30)? Did he then explain that those treasures actually would be physical and earthy and to be of benefit to them in their future on earth in the ages to come?

    While I do agree with your inclinations about some early church fathers and their ideas about “heaven” and “spiritual solutions” as being the starting points for introducing false doctrines into the church, I see however that those who propagated an earthly political kingdom of God (re-established political nation of Israel with expansion to a world wide political dominion) were just as incorrect from the start.

    Why is it so difficult (and I speak from my own experience) to see through the errors on both these sides and get a glimpse of what indeed would be the “vision of the future” that indeed “is biblical, logical, and incredibly attractive” ?

  

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