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#81 roohif

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 05:49 AM

Your worldview will not allow you to accept any proof of Jesus. But, just curious, do you see Jesus in any of the OT writings?


My worldview allows me to accept anything that has met its burden of proof. The evidence for Jesus' resurrection (and the Bible in general for that matter) is not strong enough to convince me to believe it. It is so far from convincing that I really have to question whether everyone else is sane, and I'm the crazy one :P

But to answer your question - no I don't see Jesus in the Old Testament. What I see in the New Testament however, are a lot of ham-fisted and/or fraudulent attempts to build a messianic portrait around him. Psalm 22 springs to mind - don't you think it's rather obvious that Mark had his scriptures open at that page when he was writing his passion narrative?

Why couldn't matter/energy have always existed? A simple answer is that a fire will not burn forever.


Conservation of energy - it can neither be created nor destroyed. You're right, a fire will not burn forever, but the energy in the fuel will be converted into another form of energy (mostly heat). I freely admit that the (probable?) heat death of the universe is a cause for mild consternation. We've only theorised about dark energy for what, ten years or something? The science is far from settled.

Questions: Do you believe that only the physical/material world exists? Is atheism logical?


I have no reason to believe that anything apart from the material world exists - so that's a yes.

And yes, atheism is logical: I have the ability to believe or disbelieve any particular claim about anything, based on the evidence I have. I reject the claim that the Christian God exists. And please, if you are going to go down the path of logic necessitating a god, then I beg of you to read some of the responses out there. I don't know what it is, but there are some arguments that just make me cringe, and that is one of them. The ontological argument is another ...

#82 Teejay

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 08:38 AM

[quote] name='roohif' timestamp='1318078166' post='75470']
My worldview allows me to accept anything that has met its burden of proof. The evidence for Jesus' resurrection (and the Bible in general for that matter) is not strong enough to convince me to believe it. It is so far from convincing that I really have to question whether everyone else is sane, and I'm the crazy one :P

But to answer your question - no I don't see Jesus in the Old Testament. What I see in the New Testament however, are a lot of ham-fisted and/or fraudulent attempts to build a messianic portrait around him. Psalm 22 springs to mind - don't you think it's rather obvious that Mark had his scriptures open at that page when he was writing his passion narrative?



Conservation of energy - it can neither be created nor destroyed. You're right, a fire will not burn forever, but the energy in the fuel will be converted into another form of energy (mostly heat). I freely admit that the (probable?) heat death of the universe is a cause for mild consternation. We've only theorised about dark energy for what, ten years or something? The science is far from settled.

I have no reason to believe that anything apart from the material world exists - so that's a yes.

And yes, atheism is logical: I have the ability to believe or disbelieve any particular claim about anything, based on the evidence I have. I reject the claim that the Christian God exists. And please, if you are going to go down the path of logic necessitating a god, then I beg of you to read some of the responses out there. I don't know what it is, but there are some arguments that just make me cringe, and that is one of them. The ontological argument is another ...
[/quote]

roohif,

You posted that nothing but the material world exists. But then you used the immaterial laws of logic to make your argument. Can you see your inconsistency? If you were loyal to your worldview, you couldn't really make an argument. To make your argument you must borrow laws of logic and rational thought from the God you deny.

And your understanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics is flawed. You need to read Isaac Asimov's "You can't even break even." When matter is burned, it produces energy, but some of the energy is always lost and becomes unuseable energy. The universe is constantly losing enegy and order is going from order to disorder. There is no getting aroung or behind this.

So if the tank is not full now, then it must have been full in the past, and Someone had to have filled it.

You answered that atheism is logical. Okay! Are the laws of logic absolute or has society only agreed upon them by convention?

TeeJay

#83 Salsa

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:49 AM

I'm of the opinion that the New Testament is quite clear that Jesus was meant to return within the first century, and basically I'd like anyone here (be they preterist, futurist, historicist, whatever!) to explain to me why this interpretation is incorrect. The key passages for me are in the gospels, and I'll try not to get into too much detail:

  • Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21 - The coming of the Son of Man occurs within the same generation as the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.
  • Matthew 16:27-28 - The coming of the Son of Man will occur before some standing here taste death (I know that some apologists try to split these verses, and point verse 28 to the transfiguration)
  • Matthew 25 - The Son of Man comes and separates the sheep from the goats.
  • Matthew 26:64 - Jesus tells the Sanhedrin that they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.
  • Matthew 10:16-23/Matthew 23:34-36 - The apostles will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
I assume there must be some "trick" to interpret these verses - I need to know what it is :)/>/>/>/>/> Also, it seems clear to me that all of the New Testament authors were under the impression that Jesus would return "soon". What do Christians think of this? Happy to provide the passages that are evidence of this if required.


Many skeptics don't seem to have any problem believing that the first part of the prophecy, i.e. the destruction of the temple, was fulfilled exactly as Jesus said it would. You would think that foretelling such an unlikely event would cause them to question whether or not they had missunderstood the rest of the prophecy, but I guess it is more important for them to focus on the apparent "failure" of the prophecy than anything else.

But did the prophecy fail, or have we all missed something?

Different eschatological explanations have attempted to "fix" something that obviously wasn't broken to begin with. Preterists try to spiritualize the return of Jesus, and futurists try to clumbsily "move" the generation forward in time, simply because they both adopt the skeptic's assumption that a "generation" is always to be interpreted as a timespan.

To illustrate this roohif actually says something here as though he was quoting the very words of Jesus:

"The coming of the Son of Man occurs within the same generation as the destruction of the temple in 70 AD."

But Jesus never used the word "within".

Recently when challenged on YouTube about this prophecy, something occurred to me that caused me lose quite a lot of sleep, because although it was just a simple thing that popped into my head, the implications were enormous and so I had to take the time to think things through.

What if Jesus actually was referring to the "generation" that crucified him, but rather than referring to its physical death, he was pointing towards an event that is actually scheduled to happen in another prophecy?

Assuming physical death and the viewpoint of a futurist, think for a minute how strange it would be for Jesus to refer to some unknown generation 2000 years in the future, the start and end of which is largely open to speculation. And speculating about the length of a generation has caused many people to try to figure out when the second coming and the end of the age will occur.

But Jesus actually told us to look for the signs and not to calculate!

And are we all just waiting here for some guy in modern day Israel to die, or that a period that we don't even know the length of will end? It not only doesn't make sense, it doesn't even have any particular relevance to the prophecy, which is a bit worrying.

Consider now the fact that the word "generation" has two meanings. It is often interpreted as a timespan, but it could also refer to a "lineage", or a "strain". After checking things up a little I discovered that a church father by the name of Jerome believed that Jesus was referring to the "offspring of Jacob", rather than a specific generation.

Even though I don't think he was right about the identity of the generation, which I'll get to later on, I think he may have been on the right track.

As I hinted at earlier on, I believe that the generation in question would "pass away" (or "perish" as it is also translated) according to an event that is described in scripture. And where is it found? Exactly where you would expect it - at the very end of the age:

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the s*xually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Revelation 21:8

I believe that the generation that crucified Jesus was part of the lineage of evil. This generation will meet its end, but not until "all these things have happened", just as Jesus said:

"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."

Given this interpretation, the Olivet prophecy and the book of Revelation are both in agreement with each other.
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#84 Calypsis4

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

Many skeptics don't seem to have any problem believing that the first part of the prophecy, i.e. the destruction of the temple, was fulfilled exactly as Jesus said it would. You would think that foretelling such an unlikely event would cause them to question whether or not they had missunderstood the rest of the prophecy, but I guess it is more important for them to focus on the apparent "failure" of the prophecy than anything else. But did the prophecy fail, or have we all missed something? Different eschatological explanations have attempted to "fix" something that obviously wasn't broken to begin with. Preterists try to spiritualize the return of Jesus, and futurists try to clumbsily "move" the generation forward in time, simply because they both adopt the skeptic's assumption that a "generation" is always to be interpreted as a timespan. To illustrate this roohif actually says something here as though he was quoting the very words of Jesus: "The coming of the Son of Man occurs within the same generation as the destruction of the temple in 70 AD." But Jesus never used the word "within". Recently when challenged on YouTube about this prophecy, something occurred to me that caused me lose quite a lot of sleep, because although it was just a simple thing that popped into my head, the implications were enormous and so I had to take the time to think things through. What if Jesus actually was referring to the "generation" that crucified him, but rather than referring to its physical death, he was pointing towards an event that is actually scheduled to happen in another prophecy? Assuming physical death and the viewpoint of a futurist, think for a minute how strange it would be for Jesus to refer to some unknown generation 2000 years in the future, the start and end of which is largely open to speculation. And speculating about the length of a generation has caused many people to try to figure out when the second coming and the end of the age will occur. But Jesus actually told us to look for the signs and not to calculate! And are we all just waiting here for some guy in modern day Israel to die, or that a period that we don't even know the length of will end? It not only doesn't make sense, it doesn't even have any particular relevance to the prophecy, which is a bit worrying. Consider now the fact that the word "generation" has two meanings. It is often interpreted as a timespan, but it could also refer to a "lineage", or a "strain". After checking things up a little I discovered that a church father by the name of Jerome believed that Jesus was referring to the "offspring of Jacob", rather than a specific generation. Even though I don't think he was right about the identity of the generation, which I'll get to later on, I think he may have been on the right track. As I hinted at earlier on, I believe that the generation in question would "pass away" (or "perish" as it is also translated) according to an event that is described in scripture. And where is it found? Exactly where you would expect it - at the very end of the age: "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the s*xually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." Revelation 21:8 I believe that the generation that crucified Jesus was part of the lineage of evil. This generation will meet its end, but not until "all these things have happened", just as Jesus said: "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." Given this interpretation, the Olivet prophecy and the book of Revelation are both in agreement with each other.


Thanks for those enlightening comments, Uppsala.

Let me add this: I see that some prophecies are partially fulfilled because the Jews were offered but rejected the kingdom. So the promises were postponed to a later time of complete fulfillment. For instance, Elijah was promised to come before the great and terrible day of the Lord(Malachi 4:5-6)....and Jesus said that if they believed the word of John the Baptist, "And if ye will receive it(e.g. the message of John), this is Elias, which was for to come." Matthew 11:14. In other words had the Jews received the message of John the Baptist, THAT prophecy would have been fulfilled and the other related prophecies concerning the kingdom would have been fulfilled in the first century. But the Jews rejected him and the Messiah John spoke of...so the kingdom and therefore the prophecies were postponed. All will be fulfilled eventually but God's timing and man's timing are not the same things. Not only so but 'this generation' that Jesus spoke of may be double appointed; pertaining to BOTH the unbelieving Jews of the 1st century and the Jews of the end times who likewise reject Jesus for the same reasons.

The secret here is understanding that God is an eternal Being and His time clock is different from man's. Also His eternal will is multi-faceted.

#85 Dig4gold

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:04 PM

Different eschatological explanations have attempted to "fix" something that obviously wasn't broken to begin with. Preterists try to spiritualize the return of Jesus, and futurists try to clumbsily "move" the generation forward in time, simply because they both adopt the skeptic's assumption that a "generation" is always to be interpreted as a timespan. Dragby


There may be another explanation:
Matthew 24 32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, [u]recognize that [v]He is near, right at the [w]door. 34 Truly I say to you, this [x]generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. NASB [emphasis mine]
The meaning? The generation that sees all of the signs will not pass away. Not the generation that He was speaking to at the time.

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#86 Salsa

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 01:08 AM

Different eschatological explanations have attempted to "fix" something that obviously wasn't broken to begin with. Preterists try to spiritualize the return of Jesus, and futurists try to clumbsily "move" the generation forward in time, simply because they both adopt the skeptic's assumption that a "generation" is always to be interpreted as a timespan. Dragby There may be another explanation: Matthew 24 32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, [u]recognize that [v]He is near, right at the [w]door. 34 Truly I say to you, this [x]generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. NASB [emphasis mine] The meaning? The generation that sees all of the signs will not pass away. Not the generation that He was speaking to at the time.


Sure, but that would only make sense if "you" and "this generation" were one and the same. However, I think v.34 clearly separates them:

Truly I say to you, this generation ...

#87 Air-run

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

The coming of the Son of Man occurs within the same generation as the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. [*]Matthew 16:27-28 - The coming of the Son of Man will occur before some standing here taste death (I know that some apologists try to split these verses, and point verse 28 to the transfiguration) [*]Matthew 25 - The Son of Man comes and separates the sheep from the goats. [*]Matthew 26:64 - Jesus tells the Sanhedrin that they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. [*]Matthew 10:16-23/Matthew 23:34-36 - The apostles will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. [/list]

I've recently turned to partial preterism - and I think it satisfactorily addresses these concerns.

The central issue to these questions is what it means for Jesus to "come on the clouds of heaven."

It is rather easy to demonstrate that not every instance of Jesus "coming" refers to the same event.

According to dispensationalists, I Thessalonians 4:13-17 refers to the rapture, which is something entirely different from Jesus' second coming. Yet, the passage uses the phrase "we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who fall asleep." If you believe this passage refers to the rapture (which I don't) then you must agree that not every reference to Jesus' "coming" refers to the same event.

In Revelation 2:5 Jesus says "repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will remove your lampstand out of its place-unless you repent."

Was this a reference to Jesus second coming? No - it was a coming in judgement, which must have happened because the church fell apart in the 2nd century.

Revelation 2:16 also says "Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them (the Nicolations) with the sword of my mouth."

Again, Jesus was warning of a coming in judgement to that church - not the second coming. This is evident based on the contingent nature of this warning. If they don't repent, Jesus is coming quickly.

Contrast this to Revelation 3:11 where Jesus says "I am coming quickly..." There is no contingency to this coming, therefore it must be a different coming.

The imagery of God coming on the clouds in judgement can be seen in the OT.

Isaiah 19:1,4 says "Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud, and is about to come to Egypt...I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master, and a mighty king will rule over them."

God came to Egypt in judgement. He did not physically enter Egypt, but used another nation to conquer Egypt - probably a reference to the Medo-Persian conquer of Egypt.

David sung about God coming down to rescue him from his enemies. (2 Sam 22:10-12) "He bowed the heavens also, and came down with thick darkness under His feet. And he rode to a cherub and flew; and he appeared on the wings of the wind. And He made darkness canopies around Him, a mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky."

When David speaks of God riding on clouds and coming down to rescue him from his enemies, he is using figurative phrases that his audience would be familiar with.

I think that is what is going on in the Matthew passages concerning Jesus coming before some of those around him tasted death - Jesus "coming on the clouds with power and glory" (Matt. 24:30). Jesus came in judgement through the destruction of the Romans on unbelieving Jews who rejected him as Messiah, just as he predicted "The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

If Jesus was speaking to a group of Americans he probably wouldn't have used this imagery - but he was speaking to Jews who were intimately acquainted with the OT and its use of language.

#88 JoshuaJacob

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 05:01 AM

My understanding is when Jesus comes again, it is for the final judgement. In Revelations, it speaks of a "1000 year reign" and Satan will be bound for "1000 years". Since Revelations was written symbolically, we must understand what the 1000 years really means.What does the number 1,000 mean in Revelation? 1,000 is 10x10x10. 10 is the number of completeness. After you count from 1 to 10 you start over. 10x10=100. 100x10=1,000. 1,000 is the number of completeness 3 times over so the message here is satan's binding is complete and so is Jesus reign. So, We must realize that the number 1000 is a symbolic number that didn't mean a literal 1000 years. This is My opinion and I do not expect people who believe in a literal 1000 reign to be convinced. I never could get the whole Rapture doctrine but that's just Me I guess.



#89 AFJ

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 05:24 AM

I'm of the opinion that the New Testament is quite clear that Jesus was meant to return within the first century, and basically I'd like anyone here (be they preterist, futurist, historicist, whatever!) to explain to me why this interpretation is incorrect.

The key passages for me are in the gospels, and I'll try not to get into too much detail:
 

  • Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21 - The coming of the Son of Man occurs within the same generation as the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.
  • Matthew 16:27-28 - The coming of the Son of Man will occur before some standing here taste death (I know that some apologists try to split these verses, and point verse 28 to the transfiguration)
  • Matthew 25 - The Son of Man comes and separates the sheep from the goats.
  • Matthew 26:64 - Jesus tells the Sanhedrin that they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.
  • Matthew 10:16-23/Matthew 23:34-36 - The apostles will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

I assume there must be some "trick" to interpret these verses - I need to know what it is smile.gif

Also, it seems clear to me that all of the New Testament authors were under the impression that Jesus would return "soon". What do Christians think of this? Happy to provide the passages that are evidence of this if required.

This is an amillennialist view gone awry.  If you want to have a foundational understanding of eschatology you need to study the seventy weeks of Daniel found in Daniel chapter nine. There is a gap of time after messiah is cut off.  The seventy weeks is exclusively for physical Israel as far as time goes, in that Israel will be under Gentile powers until the times of the gentiles (Romans 9-11) be fulfilled.   You need to understand and know the historical fulfillments of the book of Daniel, and how that Daniel and Revelation go together.  The seventy weeks is the basis for the seven year (or three and a half) time period for Jacob's trouble--the great tribulation. You also need to understand that eschatological prophecy has an interpretation that is paritally sealed up by God himself.  In other words, God decides when to give understanding to his people at certain times.    He told Daniel to "seal up the book until the time of the end..."  The seals in Revelation show us the same principle,  

 

For example, the interpretation of Israel's return to their land has been unsealed in our time.  Before 1948, these prophecies were spiritualized by many Christains as pertaining to the church, but now have been "unsealed" by their fulfillment.  That's why we are to watch.

 

Yes, you are completely correct about the attitude of the imminent return of the Lord.  And they had a wish for his return.  And so do I,  Come quickly Lord Jesus.



#90 Bonedigger

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 11:15 PM

(Sorry, but this is a rather lengthy post I have been working on for a while. smile.png I have also red-lettered exact quotations of the words of Jesus)

I must say that I don't find my position on "this generation" anywhere in this thread, but the post by Uppsala as quoted by Dig4gold alludes to it in a different way. Although there may have been a play on words, which frequently happens in the New Testament but doesn't always come out in translation, where both meanings of the word "generation" were intended--the generation that was alive at the time did see the destruction of the temple, which was the prediction by Jesus that started the whole discourse in Matthew 24 & 25--the other (and primary) meaning for the Greek word γενεά (genea) is progeny/offspring/race. And, I think, that appears to be the intended meaning in Matthew 24.

According to Vine's "Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words", γενεά is "connected with ginomai, to become, primarily signifies a begetting or birth; then that which has been begotten, a family; or successive members of a genealogy, Matthew 1:17, or of a race of people, possessed of similar characteristics, pursuits, etc." According to my Gesenius' "Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament", the Hebrew equivalent דּוֹר (dor) refers to "an age, generation of men, as if the period and circuit of the years of life, from the root דּוּר (dur)...The idea of age, or generation being neglected, it often means a race of men [vice versa, Gr. γενεά, primarily race, hence generation]". So the term in both languages has the same dual meaning, but in Greek the primary meaning is offspring or race of men, whereas in Hebrew that is the secondary meaning.

I have no intention of doing a complete exegesis of Matthew 24 & 25 here, but I'll hit on some of the highlights relevant to the question of "this generation". Let's step back and take a look at the context. In verses 1-2, Jesus came out of the temple, the disciples were showing off the buildings of the temple, and Jesus said, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Matthew 24:2) Obviously, Jesus is predicting the upcoming destruction of the temple, and all of the associated buildings. Historically, the temple has been directly tied to the status of the nation of Israel/Judea. The first temple was destroyed when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem and carried most of Israel off into captivity in Babylon. The second temple was destroyed in 70 AD, and, eventually, following the Simon Bar Kochba revolt in the 2nd century, the Jews were mostly scattered throughout the world. We can see what the disciples inferred from that prediction by the question they later asked him privately, saying "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3). Notice that in Matthew their question is composed of three parts:
1. When will these things be (i.e. the destruction of the temple predicted by Jesus)?
2. What will be the sign of your coming (or presence, Gr= παρουσία)?
3. What will be the sign of the end (Gr.= συντέλεια, consummation) of the age?
From the way that they phrased their question, it is also obvious that they (wrongly, with the benefit of hindsight) assumed all three events were tied together. Jesus' response in Matthew is predicated in part on correcting that erroneous conflation.

Jumping down to verse 11:
11 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many."
12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."
13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."
(Matthew 24:11-14, Emphasis added).
In contrast to the term used by the disciples in their question, the Greek word translated end in both instances above is τέλος (telos), which, without the prefix συν (=with, or together), indicates simply an end, rather than a consummation, or a coming together of things to an end.
15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand),
16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (Matthew 24:15-16, Emphasis added).

This is consistent with Daniel's "Seventy Weeks" as described in Daniel 9:24-27.
24 "Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy."
25 "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times."
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined."
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate." (Emphasis added)

I emphasized several key words and phrases in the above passage. This is Gabriel speaking to Daniel saying these seventy weeks (sevens) are determined for your people (the Jews) and your holy city (Jerusalem). After the sixty-two weeks that follow the first seven weeks, Messiah is cut off. Then, the people of the prince who is to come (not the prince who is to come) destroy the city and the sanctuary (i.e. 70 AD). Then (after the destruction of the city and sanctuary) he (the prince who is to come) confirms a covenant for one week (the last week determined for your people and your holy city), and in the middle of that week performs the "abomination of desolation" referred to by Jesus.

So, the whole focus of this "abomination of desolation" and the surrounding circumstances is those who are in Judea. So then, why does Jesus tell those who are in Judea to flee to mountains when this "abomination of desolation" happens?
Matthew 24:21.
21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Tribulation for whom? For those who are in Judea!!

Skipping down (I'm skipping a lot of exegesis about the "Coming of the Lord", i.e. the Rapture):
29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."
30 "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
(Matthew 24:29-30, Emphasis added)

There is a clearly defined sequence of events here. First, the "abomination of desolation" occurs, which, from Daniel, we learn happens in the middle of the last "week" determined for your people and your holy city. Following that is this "great tribulation" for those who are in Judea, and then, immediately following that tribulation, ...the Son of Man comes on clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

32 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
33 "So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near-- at the doors!
34 "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place
. (Matthew 24:32-34, Emphasis added)

In terms of modern eschatology, this has been one of the most abused passages in the New Testament. The standard modern eschatology explanation is that the fig tree represents Israel, the fig tree putting forth leaves represents Israel becoming a nation again in 1948, and the Lord will return within a generation of that event. Nothing could be further from the truth!! It's like (to give an interpretation current with semi-modern events) taking the parable of the sower, declaring that the sower is Saddam Hussein, the seed represents SCUD missiles, and, blah blah blah. Any such interpretation would be immediately ridiculed because Jesus already interpreted the parable of the sower! In the same way, He has already interpreted the parable of the fig tree in verse 33. In fact, I've seen plenty of current eschatology books where they quote verses 32 and 34 right in sequence as if verse 33 isn't even there! Let me rephrase it slightly with some emphasis.

Verse 32-Parable: When you see a fig tree sprouting leaves, you know summer is near.
Verse 33-Interpretation: When you see all these things, know that it is near.

So then, what does "all these things" refer to, and what is "it" that is near? "All these things" includes--the abomination of desolation, the great tribulation for those in Judea that follows, the sun and moon being darkened that immediately follows that great tribulation, the sign of the Son of Man appearing in heaven, and the Son of Man coming on clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Now, if the "Son of Man coming on clouds..." is part of "all these things", then "it" must not refer to Him. (That would be silly...when you see Him, know that He is near think.gif ). So, what does "it" refer to? What was the third part of their question? "What will be the sign of the end of the age?" When you see all these things, know that the end of the age is near.

34 "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place."
35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."

Matt 24:34-35

Keep in mind the context. Jesus' prediction of the destruction of the temple precipitated the disciples' question and this whole discourse. Jesus just predicted great tribulation for those who are in Judea "such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be." (v. 21) In that context, His reassuring promise that "this generation (progeny/offspring/race) will by no means pass away" makes perfect sense. One of the classic Bible evidences is the continued existence of the Jews, despite the attempts of many including Inquisitors, Hitler, and, in the future, "the prince who is to come". In fact, Fred gives the existence of the Jewish Nation as an example on his Bible evidences site. The promise by Jesus above is the reason for that, and the guaranty that He gave is more sure than the existence of heaven and earth.

Just a final thought.
Skipping down:
31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory."
32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats."
33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left."
34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:"
35 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
43 'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'
44 "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'
45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
46 "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Matt 25:31-46 (Emphasis added)

Jesus finishes the discourse with the well known separation of the sheep and the goats. If you grew up in the Lutheran church as I did with their amillenialist eschatology, then this is just another account of "Judgement Day", which equates to the White Throne Judgement, the Judgement Seat of Christ, etc., and it all just happens suddenly one day, and all the rest is just metaphor/allegory/symbolism/figurative/etc. That always perplexed me. If this is the final judgement, then salvation by grace through faith is out the window. The only specified difference between the sheep and the goats is what they did, or didn't, do.
May I submit an alternative view of the sheep and the goats? Let's take another look at this. In context, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory" (v. 31) alludes back to "the Son of Man coming on clouds of heaven with power and great glory" immediately following the great tribulation for those who are in Judea. The Greek word translated "nations" here is έθνος (ethnos), from which we get our English term ethnic. The word is variably translated as nation or Gentile, in one instance translated both ways in the same verse (Luke 21:24). An example of it being translated as Gentiles can be found in Matthew 10:5-6.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans."
6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
(Emphasis added)

 

If we translate it as Gentiles, rather than nations, we get an interesting insight into the division between the sheep and the goats that is perfectly in line with the context. The Son of Man sitting on the throne of His glory immediately follows this great tribulation for those who are in Judea. The Gentiles are gathered before Him, and He separates them based on how they treated the least of these My brethren (notice He said My brethren, not your brethren--this is a Jew, speaking to Gentiles). The goats are sent into everlasting fire, but the sheep stay around for the "kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (i.e. the Millennium). In light of the current political situation, it sounds like a thorough house-cleaning for the Middle/Near East. smile.png

 



#91 Teejay

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 09:54 PM

My understanding is when Jesus comes again, it is for the final judgement. In Revelations, it speaks of a "1000 year reign" and Satan will be bound for "1000 years". Since Revelations was written symbolically, we must understand what the 1000 years really means.What does the number 1,000 mean in Revelation? 1,000 is 10x10x10. 10 is the number of completeness. After you count from 1 to 10 you start over. 10x10=100. 100x10=1,000. 1,000 is the number of completeness 3 times over so the message here is satan's binding is complete and so is Jesus reign. So, We must realize that the number 1000 is a symbolic number that didn't mean a literal 1000 years. This is My opinion and I do not expect people who believe in a literal 1000 reign to be convinced. I never could get the whole Rapture doctrine but that's just Me I guess.

 
Joshua,

You're mostly correct.  But understand that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is to the nation of Israel (His people).  The Thousand Year Kingdom that He could not give to Israel 2,000 years due to their failure to accept their risen Christ, will begin on His return.  While He said to Israel on His first coming, "I did not come to judge," this time He is coming in judgment:  "Bring those enemies of mine who refused to have Me rule over them and slay them with the sword.  Jesus will sit on King David's throne in Jerusalem with the Twelve sitting on twelve thrones ruling over the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  He will judge nations, putting the goats on His left hand and the sheep on His right.  He will send His angels to pick the tares (sinners) out of the wheat (the righteous).

The kingdom will be a literal 1,000 years.  Then He will give a new heaven and new earth.  

But you have to ask yourself where do we, members of the Body of Christ, fit into this picture? We don't fit.  We are raptured out before Jesus's second coming.  And I can give Scripture to prove this.
 
TeeJay

#92 Bonedigger

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:41 PM

My understanding is when Jesus comes again, it is for the final judgement. In Revelations, it speaks of a "1000 year reign" and Satan will be bound for "1000 years". Since Revelations was written symbolically, we must understand what the 1000 years really means.What does the number 1,000 mean in Revelation? 1,000 is 10x10x10. 10 is the number of completeness. After you count from 1 to 10 you start over. 10x10=100. 100x10=1,000. 1,000 is the number of completeness 3 times over so the message here is satan's binding is complete and so is Jesus reign. So, We must realize that the number 1000 is a symbolic number that didn't mean a literal 1000 years. This is My opinion and I do not expect people who believe in a literal 1000 reign to be convinced. I never could get the whole Rapture doctrine but that's just Me I guess.



(Again I apologize for the length of this post, but I don't want to short change the subject)

In my previous post I focused on what "this generation" refers to, and deliberately ignored references to the Rapture, as found in Matthew's account in this discourse in Matthew 24 & 25. This post will focus on the Rapture, as expounded by Jesus in Matthew 24.

Although I consider myself a dispensationalist, I don't necessarily agree with everything that is taught under that umbrella. Several times I have heard dispensationalists claim that you will not find the Rapture in the Gospels because it has to do solely with the church, which didn't exist yet at the time of the events of the Gospels, and therefore the Rapture can only be found in the epistles of Paul. Of course, the quickest rebuttal to that claim is to declare that the Rapture will occur on "such and such day and hour", and the response will inevitably be that "no one knows the day nor the hour", a statement that you find in the Gospels, and, in particular, in Matthew 24.

In describing the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Paul uses the Greek word παρουσία (parousia=coming or presence) to refer to the event. Interestingly, the only place in the Gospels that you will find the word parousia is in Matthew 24. It is the Greek word that is translated "coming" in Matthew 24:3, 27, 37, and 39 (but not in Matthew 24:30 where he uses the Greek verb erchomai). Matthew's account of this discourse is also more than twice as long as that of Mark or Luke, and it is the only one that includes the middle part of their three part question asking "what will be the sign of your coming" in Matthew 24:3.

As I outlined above in my previous post, Jesus lays out a very specific sequence of events for the end of the age (the third part of the disciples question):

1. The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet which occurs in the midst of Daniel's seventieth "week".
2. The great tribulation for those in Judea that follows that abomination of desolation.
3. The Son of Man coming on clouds of heaven with power and great glory immediately following that great tribulation.

However, Jesus paints a completely opposite scenario for the events that precede His coming (GK=parousia). (I will address the ambiguous passages in Matthew 24:25-28 after I have covered the later usages of parousia).

In Matthew 24:36-38, Jesus states:
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,"

Keep in mind the disciples' question "what will be the sign of Your coming?" He is addressing that question here. Each subsequent verse is a further explanation of the previous verse. "As the days of Noah were" is a further explanation of what He means by "no one knows", and clarifies that He is referring to His coming (parousia) when he says "no one knows". "As in the days before the flood" is a further explanation of what He means by "as the days of Noah". Too often I have heard this description of "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" as being a description of sin. A comparison is then made between the abundance of sin at the time of Noah, and an abundance of sin today. However, that analogy is false. "Eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" is not a description of sin, but ties back to verse 36. Jesus did not say "for as in the days before the flood they were gluttonizing and getting drunk, adulterating and fornicating", which would be a description of sin. So then what is "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" describing. It is a description of normal, everyday life, as if the world as you know it is going to continue indefinitely, with no idea that something is about to happen. This is further confirmed by the next verse.

39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." (Emphasis added)

Not knowing is tied together with eating and drinking, etc. So then, to whom does this description of "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" and "not knowing" apply? The answer is in verse 36, "no one knows". This description of the days of Noah applies to everyone.

Matthew 24:40-41
40 "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left."

This is a further description of normal, everyday, 1st century, agrarian life. The two men are working in the field, with no idea something is about to happen. The two women are grinding at the mill, with no idea that something is about to happen. Yet there is a difference between them. One is taken, the other is left. But neither one suspects that something is about to happen. Now compare this with the circumstances that Jesus describes as preceding His return on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory in verse 30. You have the abomination of desolation that occurs in the middle of Daniel's seventieth week, the great tribulation that follows and that, with a little simple arithmetic you can determine lasts for three and a half years, and immediately after the tribulation of those days, Jesus returns. Unlike the circumstances He describes as preceding His parousia, you could literally count down the days until His return. Furthermore, what did Jesus say in verse 18 to him who is in the field when this abomination of desolation occurs? He said "flee to the mountains". Why? "For then there will be great tribulation." Immediately after that tribulation, Jesus returns. So then, if this event described in verse 40 where two are in the field and one is taken is synonymous with when Jesus returns in verse 30, when would the two who are in the field have had time to return to the field and resume normal, everyday life? They wouldn't. The answer is, these are two entirely different and opposite events. His parousia must, at the very least, precede the abomination of desolation. From that point on, the two being in the field is not a feasible scenario.

Matthew 24:23-28
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

In this section, Jesus seems to be needlessly repeating Himself, giving warnings about false christs and false prophets twice. However, in verse 23 He says "Then, if anyone says to you." What does "then" refer to? If you look at the verses before, He is referring to the time of the great tribulation. At that time false christs and false prophets will rise. Now, it stands to reason, if false christs and false prophets will rise during the tribulation, then they will also rise at other times. So, He is not just repeating Himself, but is expanding His warning about false christs and false prophets to cover any time, and gives His reasons to not believe those reports in verses 27 and 28. "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be". Many times I have heard this verse compared to Revelation 1:7 saying "every eye will see Him", the idea being that He is talking about lightning being seen from far away. However, in light of the dichotomy between His parousia and His coming at the end of the age, may I offer a different explanation. How long does it take lightning in the east to flash to the west? At 186,000 miles per second, it is virtually instantaneous. In other words, if they say to ""Look, He is in the desert!", do not go out", because you will not have time to go out and meet Me. And then in verse 28: "wherever the carcass is, there the eagles (vultures) will be gathered together." Many times I have heard this claimed to be a reference to Armageddon and Revelation 19:17-18, where the birds of heaven are called to feast on the flesh of kings and captains, etc. Notice, however, that carcass is singular. There is only one carcass He is referring to, not a mass of people killed at Armageddon. In other words, Jesus is saying that not only will you not have time to go out to meet Me at my parousia, you will not even need to do so. You will be gathered to Me. The similarity between this and Paul's statement in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 about us being caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and especially his admonition in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 "concerning the coming of our Lord, and our gathering together to Him", is not a coincidence. Having digressed to start to explain to the disciples that looking for a sign of His coming is pointless, Jesus then resumes His narrative of the end of the Tribulation in verse 29. By itself, this interpretation of Matthew 24:26-28 would be tenuous. However, in light of the clear dichotomy that Jesus draws between His parousia and His return at the end of the Tribulation later in the chapter, it is more than feasible.

In summary, a close reading of Matthew 24 paints a picture that is consistent with a dispensationalist view of end times. The parousia of the Lord is when He comes to gather His body (the Church) to Him, with no hint that it is about to occur, and then the focus shifts back to Israel once again. In contrast, His return at the end of the Tribulation is to bring in a new age and establish an earthly kingdom in fulfillment of the promises of God toward Israel, and it is preceded by extremely troublesome times, not normal, everyday life.

When I first studied this out some 25+ years ago, and I realized that parousia is referring only to what is classically called the Rapture, I didn't just stop with Matthew 24 & 25. There are a few instances in the rest of the New Testament where the word parousia is used, that would seem to contradict that distinction. A good example is 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9, which would seem to indicate that the antichrist is destroyed at the coming (parousia) of the Lord. However, I will deal with that objection in a later post if necessary, as it requires an in depth exposition of the grammar and syntax of that passage in the Greek.
 

#93 Fred Williams

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 10:07 PM

Thanks, that's an interesting read, and good food for thought. Looks like you and TJ diverge on this some, but not by much. For those who don't agree with pre-trib rapture,  I like what Chuck Missler said... "That's fine, we'll explain it to you on the way up". :)



#94 Bonedigger

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 12:07 AM

Thanks, that's an interesting read, and good food for thought. Looks like you and TJ diverge on this some, but not by much. For those who don't agree with pre-trib rapture,  I like what Chuck Missler said... "That's fine, we'll explain it to you on the way up". smile.png

 

Thanks Fred. I did read TJ's latest post in the Two Gospels thread, and I agree with him about much. I was particularly pleased to see that he recognized the current poor translation of the Greek word ἀποστασία (apostasia). Prior to the Authorized Version (i.e. King James), the Greek word apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was translated as departing or departure in the Great Bible, the Tyndale Bible, and the Geneva Bible. Here is a direct quote from the Geneva Bible from my E-Sword software:

 

(2Th 2:3)  Let no man deceiue you by any meanes: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sinne be disclosed, euen the sonne of perdition,
 

Even without the semantic arguments, there is a contextual argument. Twice Paul repeats the same sequence of events. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 he states:

 

"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,."

 

In other words:

 

1. Departure (i.e. falling away--apostasia)

2. Man of sin (son of perdition) revealed.

3. Day of the Lord comes

 

Then, in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8:

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the wayAnd then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume..."

 

In other words:

 

1. He who restrains taken out of the way.

2. Lawless one revealed.

3. The Lord consumes...

 

The inevitable conclusion is, that the one restraining must depart before the man of sin can be revealed.

 

I will, however, take issue with TJ on the question of whether Jesus taught the Rapture in the Gospels. The presumption in hardcore dispensationalism is that Jesus couldn't teach any such thing because the Church was stilll a mystery yet to be revealed. I would prefer to debate that topic here, and keep the Two Gospels thread focused on the issue of Two Gospels.

 

So, for starters, TJ repeats the dogmatic dispensationalist claim that the Rapture cannot be found in the Gospels. He engages in the usual argument that the two in the field is a case of God removing the sinner at the return of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation, and uses the "days of Noah" analogy to justify that claim. However, I will challenge him to justify that claim in context, rather than, (to throw his own arguments back against him smile.png), engaging in eisegetical reinterpretation of the passage. Jesus clearly describes an entirely contradictory sequence of events preceding His return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation in Matthew 24, compared to the circumstances that precede His parousia.

 

TeeJay, when would those who are in the field have had the chance to return to the field at the parousia of the Lord if that event occurs at the end of the Tribulation? Furthermore, how can no one know "the day nor the hour" for the return of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation if it occurs at the end of Daniel's seventieth week and follows three and a half years after the abomination of desolation?



#95 Teejay

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:10 PM

Thanks Fred. I did read TJ's latest post in the Two Gospels thread, and I agree with him about much. I was particularly pleased to see that he recognized the current poor translation of the Greek word ἀποστασία (apostasia). Prior to the Authorized Version (i.e. King James), the Greek word apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was translated as departing or departure in the Great Bible, the Tyndale Bible, and the Geneva Bible. Here is a direct quote from the Geneva Bible from my E-Sword software:

 

(2Th 2:3)  Let no man deceiue you by any meanes: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sinne be disclosed, euen the sonne of perdition,
 

Even without the semantic arguments, there is a contextual argument. Twice Paul repeats the same sequence of events. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 he states:

 

"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,."

 

In other words:

 

1. Departure (i.e. falling away--apostasia)

2. Man of sin (son of perdition) revealed.

3. Day of the Lord comes

 

Then, in 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8:

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume..."

 

In other words:

 

1. He who restrains taken out of the way.

2. Lawless one revealed.

3. The Lord consumes...

 

The inevitable conclusion is, that the one restraining must depart before the man of sin can be revealed.

 

I will, however, take issue with TJ on the question of whether Jesus taught the Rapture in the Gospels. The presumption in hardcore dispensationalism is that Jesus couldn't teach any such thing because the Church was stilll a mystery yet to be revealed. I would prefer to debate that topic here, and keep the Two Gospels thread focused on the issue of Two Gospels.

 

So, for starters, TJ repeats the dogmatic dispensationalist claim that the Rapture cannot be found in the Gospels. He engages in the usual argument that the two in the field is a case of God removing the sinner at the return of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation, and uses the "days of Noah" analogy to justify that claim. However, I will challenge him to justify that claim in context, rather than, (to throw his own arguments back against him smile.png), engaging in eisegetical reinterpretation of the passage. Jesus clearly describes an entirely contradictory sequence of events preceding His return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation in Matthew 24, compared to the circumstances that precede His parousia.

 

TeeJay, when would those who are in the field have had the chance to return to the field at the parousia of the Lord if that event occurs at the end of the Tribulation? Furthermore, how can no one know "the day nor the hour" for the return of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation if it occurs at the end of Daniel's seventieth week and follows three and a half years after the abomination of desolation?


Bone,

I'm sorry I did not get to this sooner.  You posted quite a bit of info here, and I want to read your posts carefully to be sure I understand your position.  I will respond.

 

TeeJay



#96 Bonedigger

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:13 PM


Bone,

I'm sorry I did not get to this sooner.  You posted quite a bit of info here, and I want to read your posts carefully to be sure I understand your position.  I will respond.

 

TeeJay

 

No hurry, TeeJay. It is a lot of info.



#97 Teejay

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 08:22 PM


Bone,

I’m sure you’re not surprised that I disagree.  Jesus Christ is not referring to the Rapture in Matthew 24.  For starters, Rapture teachings do not appear anywhere in the Old Testament.  Nor is the Rapture mentioned anywhere but in the writings of Paul.  The Body of Christ was a “mystery” (Eph. 3:9; Eph. 3:2-3; Eph. 3:5; 1 Cor. 2:7, 10; Col 1:27; Rom. 16:25-26) and was not prophesied in the OT nor was it mentioned by Jesus or any of the Twelve.  It was given to Paul only.  Paul even called it my gospel to distinguish the “dispensation of the grace of God" (Eph. 3:2) from the gospel of the kingdom (Mat. 4:23).

The Body of Christ was not the only mystery.  God’s plans for the Body of Christ were also a mystery, which includes Rapture—which had never before been revealed or prophied.

Behold, I tell you a mystery:  We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51-52).

If Paul claims that the Rapture is a mystery, then Jesus could not have taught it in the NT; nor could it have been prophesied in the OT.  Otherwise, Paul could be accused a false prophet.

But Paul is not a false prophet, for God kept secret the establishment of the Body of Christ and the Rapture.  Of those saved by the Gospel of the Uncircumcision “we shall not all sleep.”  This means that some members of the Body will not die.  The “last trumpet” here is not the last trump for Israel which will still have seven more trumpet blasts to endure in the Great Tribulation (Rev. 8:6).  This is the last trumpet for the Body of Christ.

Recall that the Great Tribulation is “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), that is Israel’s Tribulation.  So, the seven trumpet blasts of Revelation are part of the purification of the nation of Israel (Isa. 4:3; Zech. 12:14; 13:9; Luke 21:20-24; Mat. 24:9) to prepare them to inherit their Kingdom (Mat. 25:34; Dan. 9:24).

The great mystery is that God broke down the wall (symbolized by the partition in the Temple between the Court of the Gentilesand the inner courts) beween Jew and Gentile, which was the law (Eph. 2:14-15), to create the Body of Christ.  Consequently, God did not intend to submit this new Body to His old plans for Israel (i.e. an earthly kingdom).  God’s plans for Israel do no comport with His plans for the Body.

God saved the Gentiles in part “to provoke them [Israel] to jealousy” (Rom. 11:11).  Therefore, God gave the Body a heavenly calling (Eph. 1:3; 2:6; Phil. 3:20) rather than a calling to an earthly kingdom (Mat. 6:10). (Understanding these differences is crucial to understanding the Rapture.)

Thus, the Last Days prophecy for the Body of Christ is not filled with trouble and terror as Israel’s is, but as Paul writes, “these things will comfort” (1 Thes. 4:18) the Body.  After God finishes His work with the Body, He will return to His plans for Israel (Rom. 11:25).  When God returns to Israel, the Body will have completed its ministry on earth.  God will then Rapture His Church just prior to rejoining the program for Israel where He left off, toward the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

Bone, please consider the difference between Israel’s earthly kingdom and the Body’s heavenly calling.  God Rapturing a Jew from his promised kingdom would not be a reward but a punishment.  Leaving a member of the Body here on earth would not be a reward.  But the Rapture for the Body fits perfectly with their heavenly calling.  It does not fit with Israel’s earthly calling of a promised earthly kingdom.


Theologians have always pondered why Jesus did not know the day or hour of His coming.  And every so many years, we see on TV where some pastor talks his flock into selling their homes because the Rapture is coming.  Why didn’t Jesus know the time of His coming?  I think I have a plausible answer:  Buckle up and put your tray and seat in the upright position.  Not even the Father knew the time of Jesus coming—either to Israel or to Rature the Body.

I think you agree with me that Daniel’s 70th week was to immediately follow the 69th week.  But it did not immediately follow and Israel is still waiting.  Jesus told His apostles that the Father had put this decision under His own authority.  Thus, Jesus’ return to Israel was contingent on Israel, as a nation, accepting their risen Messiah.  Thus we see the Twelve in the first half of Acts pleading with their brethren:

“[Peter preaching] Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He [Father God] may send Jesus, who was preached to you before” (Acts. 3:19-20).

The return of Jesus to Rapture the Body is also under the authority of Father God, because our Rapture immediately precedes the Second Coming of Jesus to His people Israel.

“… hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved…” (Rom. 11:25-26).

There are times, talking to my wife over breakfast, and after watching the news on TV, that I’m astonished as to why God the Father has not had enough.  Surely He must be reaching a point of diminishing returns with all the wickedness on earth.  But then I reason that perhaps He can see the big picture all over the earth and we can’t.  I hear that people are coming into the Body of Christ by the thousands in China and Russia, etc.  Jesus could come tonight, tomorrow or in 3,000 years?????  So, no one know the time or the hour.  But I must respectfully ask why this is a rebuttal of the Rapture being mentioned only by Paul? 

For in the time of Noah:

 

“…the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”  Mat. 24:39

 

Those in unbelief are taken away in judgment in this context.  Further, concerning the Kingdom Christ earlier taught:

 

“The Son of Man will send out His angels and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness and will cast them into the furnace of fire.”  Mat. 13:41-42

 

The angels will take away evil men in judgment (see also Mat. 13:49-50), leaving righteous men remaining (Isa. 4:3; Zech. 12:14; 13:9), rooted in “good ground” (Mat. 13:23).  So the angels do not rapture, but take away in judgment the man “in the field” and the woman “at the mill.”  Luke gives additional proof of this by recording the disciples’ question, “Where [will they be taken], Lord?”  Like students today, they wondered where those people would be “taken.”  Jesus replied, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles [vultures] will be gathered together” (Luke 17:37).  The Lord thus quoted Job about “the eagle [vulture]” (Job 39:27) and “where the slain are, there it is” (Job 39:30).  (This also shows that “the coming of the Son of Man” as “lightning comes from the east” (Mat. 24:27) refers to a coming in judgment (and not for rapture) because Matthew immediately adds Christ’s same quote about “the carcass” and “the eagles” (Mat. 24:28).  So Jesus spoke of judgment and not of Rapture.  After all,, the Rapture was also a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) which God revealed only through the Apostle Paul for the Body of Christ.

My response to your argument that eating and drinking and marrying are not sins:  True!  But ignoring God is.  And apparently, as far as the Bible reveals, God did not save anyone except Noah and his family.  All others (except children under the age of consent) were taken in judgment.  And this is what Jesus is referring to when He says that one will be taken and the other left.  The one taken (as in the Flood) will be taken in judgment.  The one left is the one that will inherit the kingdom promised to Israel.

 

Bone, I’m not a Greek scholar.  I can look up words in the Greek and Hebrew when I think I need to.  Your post is very long.  If we can, let’s take one argument at a time.  We can start with my post here if you like?

 

TeeJay



#98 Bonedigger

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:06 AM

Bone,

I’m sure you’re not surprised that I disagree.

 

I'm not at all surprised that you disagree, TeeJay. smile.png However, you did not address my first question, so I will repeat it here before I address your post.

 

TeeJay, when would those who are in the field have had the chance to return to the field at the parousia of the Lord if that event occurs at the end of the Tribulation?

 

As I noted in my earlier post, when the abomination of desolation occurs, in Matthew 24:18 Jesus tells "him who is in the field" to flee to the mountains because of the great tribulation about to come. Immediately after the tribulation of those days (Matthew 24:29), Jesus returns on clouds of heaven with power and great glory. So how could the two even be in the field if the situation described in Matthew 24:40 occurs at the end of the Tribulation? You can not reconcile those two without jumping out of context.

 

Jesus Christ is not referring to the Rapture in Matthew 24. For starters, Rapture teachings do not appear anywhere in the Old Testament. Nor is the Rapture mentioned anywhere but in the writings of Paul. The Body of Christ was a “mystery” (Eph. 3:9; Eph. 3:2-3; Eph. 3:5; 1 Cor. 2:7, 10; Col 1:27; Rom. 16:25-26) and was not prophesied in the OT nor was it mentioned by Jesus or any of the Twelve. It was given to Paul only. Paul even called it my gospel to distinguish the “dispensation of the grace of God" (Eph. 3:2) from the gospel of the kingdom (Mat. 4:23).

 

In Ephesians 5:29-30, Paul equates the Church to the Body of Christ. If that was a mystery that could not be mentioned by Jesus, then how could he mention it in Matthew 16:18?

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

 

The Body of Christ was not the only mystery. God’s plans for the Body of Christ were also a mystery, which includes Rapture—which had never before been revealed or prophied.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51-52).

If Paul claims that the Rapture is a mystery, then Jesus could not have taught it in the NT; nor could it have been prophesied in the OT. Otherwise, Paul could be accused a false prophet.

But Paul is not a false prophet, for God kept secret the establishment of the Body of Christ and the Rapture. Of those saved by the Gospel of the Uncircumcision “we shall not all sleep.” This means that some members of the Body will not die. The “last trumpet” here is not the last trump for Israel which will still have seven more trumpet blasts to endure in the Great Tribulation (Rev. 8:6). This is the last trumpet for the Body of Christ.

 

Paul did not claim that the Rapture (catching up) was a mystery here. There is no mention of the catching up in 1 Corinthians 15. The mystery he describes here is the fact that we shall not all sleep. While he is certainly referring to the resurrection/change that will occur for the Body of Christ at the Rapture, you cannot claim he is referring to the catching up as a mystery without reading that into the text (eisegesis).

 

Recall that the Great Tribulation is “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), that is Israel’s Tribulation. So, the seven trumpet blasts of Revelation are part of the purification of the nation of Israel (Isa. 4:3; Zech. 12:14; 13:9; Luke 21:20-24; Mat. 24:9) to prepare them to inherit their Kingdom (Mat. 25:34; Dan. 9:24).

The great mystery is that God broke down the wall (symbolized by the partition in the Temple between the Court of the Gentiles and the inner courts) beween Jew and Gentile, which was the law (Eph. 2:14-15), to create the Body of Christ. Consequently, God did not intend to submit this new Body to His old plans for Israel (i.e. an earthly kingdom). God’s plans for Israel do no comport with His plans for the Body.

God saved the Gentiles in part “to provoke them [Israel] to jealousy” (Rom. 11:11). Therefore, God gave the Body a heavenly calling (Eph. 1:3; 2:6; Phil. 3:20) rather than a calling to an earthly kingdom (Mat. 6:10). (Understanding these differences is crucial to understanding the Rapture.)

Thus, the Last Days prophecy for the Body of Christ is not filled with trouble and terror as Israel’s is, but as Paul writes, “these things will comfort” (1 Thes. 4:18) the Body. After God finishes His work with the Body, He will return to His plans for Israel (Rom. 11:25). When God returns to Israel, the Body will have completed its ministry on earth. God will then Rapture His Church just prior to rejoining the program for Israel where He left off, toward the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

Bone, please consider the difference between Israel’s earthly kingdom and the Body’s heavenly calling. God Rapturing a Jew from his promised kingdom would not be a reward but a punishment. Leaving a member of the Body here on earth would not be a reward. But the Rapture for the Body fits perfectly with their heavenly calling. It does not fit with Israel’s earthly calling of a promised earthly kingdom.

 

TeeJay, there isn't much here, if any, that I disagree with, so I don't see any point in responding to any of it.

 

Theologians have always pondered why Jesus did not know the day or hour of His coming. And every so many years, we see on TV where some pastor talks his flock into selling their homes because the Rapture is coming. Why didn’t Jesus know the time of His coming? I think I have a plausible answer: Buckle up and put your tray and seat in the upright position. Not even the Father knew the time of Jesus coming—either to Israel or to Rapture the Body.

I think you agree with me that Daniel’s 70th week was to immediately follow the 69th week. But it did not immediately follow and Israel is still waiting. Jesus told His apostles that the Father had put this decision under His own authority. Thus, Jesus’ return to Israel was contingent on Israel, as a nation, accepting their risen Messiah. Thus we see the Twelve in the first half of Acts pleading with their brethren:

“[Peter preaching] Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He [Father God] may send Jesus, who was preached to you before” (Acts. 3:19-20).

The return of Jesus to Rapture the Body is also under the authority of Father God, because our Rapture immediately precedes the Second Coming of Jesus to His people Israel.

“… hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved…” (Rom. 11:25-26).

There are times, talking to my wife over breakfast, and after watching the news on TV, that I’m astonished as to why God the Father has not had enough. Surely He must be reaching a point of diminishing returns with all the wickedness on earth. But then I reason that perhaps He can see the big picture all over the earth and we can’t. I hear that people are coming into the Body of Christ by the thousands in China and Russia, etc. Jesus could come tonight, tomorrow or in 3,000 years????? So, no one know the time or the hour. But I must respectfully ask why this is a rebuttal of the Rapture being mentioned only by Paul?

For in the time of Noah:

“…the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Mat. 24:39

Those in unbelief are taken away in judgment in this context. Further, concerning the Kingdom Christ earlier taught:

“The Son of Man will send out His angels and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness and will cast them into the furnace of fire.” Mat. 13:41-42

The angels will take away evil men in judgment (see also Mat. 13:49-50), leaving righteous men remaining (Isa. 4:3; Zech. 12:14; 13:9), rooted in “good ground” (Mat. 13:23). So the angels do not rapture, but take away in judgment the man “in the field” and the woman “at the mill.” Luke gives additional proof of this by recording the disciples’ question, “Where [will they be taken], Lord?” Like students today, they wondered where those people would be “taken.” Jesus replied, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles [vultures] will be gathered together” (Luke 17:37). The Lord thus quoted Job about “the eagle [vulture]” (Job 39:27) and “where the slain are, there it is” (Job 39:30). (This also shows that “the coming of the Son of Man” as “lightning comes from the east” (Mat. 24:27) refers to a coming in judgment (and not for rapture) because Matthew immediately adds Christ’s same quote about “the carcass” and “the eagles” (Mat. 24:28). So Jesus spoke of judgment and not of Rapture. After all,, the Rapture was also a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) which God revealed only through the Apostle Paul for the Body of Christ.

My response to your argument that eating and drinking and marrying are not sins: True! But ignoring God is. And apparently, as far as the Bible reveals, God did not save anyone except Noah and his family. All others (except children under the age of consent) were taken in judgment. And this is what Jesus is referring to when He says that one will be taken and the other left. The one taken (as in the Flood) will be taken in judgment. The one left is the one that will inherit the kingdom promised to Israel.

Bone, I’m not a Greek scholar. I can look up words in the Greek and Hebrew when I think I need to. Your post is very long. If we can, let’s take one argument at a time. We can start with my post here if you like?

TeeJay

 

Now here is where we get to the meat of my argument. First of all, your statement that not even the Father knew the day nor the hour is a flat contradiction of Jesus' own statement in Matthew 24:36

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only."

So any argument based on the premise that "no one knows" that day and hour because it has not yet been determined is flawed. The Father clearly already knows (Hmm. That could be an argument for GOT in the "God is outside of time" thread).

Second, the fact that no knows the day nor the hour is a rebuttal to the Rapture only being mentioned by Paul because it establishes that Jesus is talking about two entirely different and opposite events in Matthew 24. His parousia (specifically mentioned by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:15) is preceded by normal, everyday life (i.e. no one knows something is about to happen), but His return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation is preceded by a clear countdown and anything but normal, everyday life. Once the abomination of desolation occurs, anyone with a Bible could count down the days to the end of the Tribulation (three and a half years=42 months=1260 days). So, there will be no surprise for those paying attention to Scripture when the Tribulation is ended by the return of Christ to establish the kingdom for Israel. Jesus draws a clear contrast to that regarding His parousia in Matthew 24:36-41.

TeeJay, you quoted Matthew 24:39 thus:

“…the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

as support that He was talking about judgement. However, you left out the most important part of the verse, and the reason for His comparison of His parousia to the days of Noah:

"39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."

In verse 36, Jesus consigned all (except the Father) under the condition of not knowing, not just the unrighteous. He then compared the days of Noah to His parousia as a further explanation of that. This description of "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" and "not knowing" is being applied to all, not just the unrighteous, so if the comparison He is making is to judgement, then all would be removed, not just the unrighteous. As I pointed out in my earlier post, this is a response to their question asking "what will be the sign of your parousia?" The answer is...there is no sign.

The parables in Matthew 13 are clearly talking about the end of the age, and Jesus specifically states that in Matthew 13:39-40. The situation is analogous to the "sheep and the goats" in Matthew 25:31-46. The goats are cast into eternal fire, while the sheep are allowed to stay on the earth and inherit the kingdom. I find it interesting that you tied that together with Luke 17:37. Let's look at the entire section in Luke 17.

22 Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’[e] Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” 37 And they answered and said to Him, “Where, Lord?” So He said to them, “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

As I mentioned in my earlier post, body (Gk=σῶμα) here in Luke, and carcass (Gk=πτῶμα) in Matthew, are both in the singular. There is only one body to which the "eagles" will be gathered (1 Thessalonians 4:17, 2 Thessalonians 2:1), not many as is the case at Armageddon. But notice, in particular, who is displaced in Jesus' comparison to Noah and Lot in the above passage from Luke. Noah entered the ark, and then judgement fell on the world. Lot left Sodom, and then judgement fell on it. In each case it was the righteous who left, and then the unrighteous left behind suffered judgement. This is the complete opposite of the scenario in Matthew 13 at the end of the age where the unrighteous are removed, and the righteous are left behind.

I think that's enough for this post. It's long enough. smile.png



#99 Teejay

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:16 PM

Bone,

I must admit you're really challenging me.  I now know I must commit more time to answering you.  But presently, I am up to my hips in alligators.  I've leased my 100 + acre ranch to another cattleman and he is getting ready to move a large herd onto the acreage.  (I got out of the cattle business.)  But, I have about 600 feet of fence that needs to be replaced.  At my age, that is quite an undertaking.  As soon as I get it finished and I am able to devote more time, I will be ready to go a few rounds with you.

I do have one question to ask you in the mean time:  In Matthew 24:28, Jesus says, "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together."  Now I interpret eagles to be Texas vultures that eat carcasses or dead flesh. The Lord quoted Job about “the eagle [vulture]” (Job 39:27) and “where the slain are, there it is” (Job 39:30). What is your take on this?

In Luke it is clear, to me anyway, that Jesus is talking about the "one will be taken and the the other left" scenario.  At the end of Jesus' teaching on this, His apostles asked Him where they would be taken?  Jesus answered:  "Wherever the body is, there the eagles [vultures?] will be gathered together."  If the one taken is Raptured, then there would be no carcass or a gathering of vultures.  His apostles could not have been asking where the man left was taken, for he is not taken anywhere.  He is left.  What's your take on this?

TeeJay

 

#100 Dig4gold

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:26 PM

Bonedigger, I'm glad you pointed the Scripture out in Luke 17, most people overlook the clear implications of what it says:

 

until the day that Noah entered the ark   v.27

on the day that Lot went out   v.29

on the day that the Son of Man is revealed  v.30

 

It is very clear that when the righteous are removed the wrath comes on the same day. However, there are still His people on earth, namely the 144,000 who are hiding out in the desert. These are the ones, the re-joined 12 tribes of Israel, who will enter into the millennium in their physical bodies. Maybe this answers the question as to how the body of Messiah can be removed first and also seem like the wicked are destroyed first.

 

 

After looking at Mat 13 I began to wonder if it does really indicate that the wicked are removed first.

 

36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the [t]tares of the field.” 37 And He said, The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the [u]end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the [v]end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom [w]all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, [x]let him hear.

 

There doesn't seem to be a mention of the timing of the righteous being dealt with in regards to the tares being gathered up and burned. It only mentions them after the wicked are dealt with. We could assume that the righteous are removed and then the wicked are dealt with to leave the righteous to shine forth.

 

I also looked up the reference in the Tanach to "the righteous will shine forth as the sun" and interestingly enough it is a reference to Daniel 12:1-3.






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