Jump to content


Photo

The Second Coming


  • Please log in to reply
129 replies to this topic

#1 roohif

roohif

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 32
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 24 September 2011 - 04:32 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.

#2 MamaElephant

MamaElephant

    former JW

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1564 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Bible, Home-schooling, Education, Fitness, Young Earth Science, Evolution, Natural Medicine, Board Games, Video Games, Study of cult mind control and Counseling for those coming out of cult mind control.
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • I am His! 1/29/12

Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:11 AM

Looking forward to seeing the answer to this. It is something I have been wondering about.

#3 Fred Williams

Fred Williams

    Administrator / Forum Owner

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2479 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado
  • Interests:I enjoy going to Broncos games, my son's HS basketball & baseball games, and my daughter's piano & dance recitals. I enjoy playing basketball (when able). I occasionally play keyboards for my church's praise team. I am a Senior Staff Firmware Engineer at Micron, and am co-host of Real Science Radio.
  • Age: 52
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:52 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.


You ask a very good question. My response to you is that there is no "trick", you are extremely justified in seeing that it is very clear that the apostles thought Jesus was coming soon. It also explains why they were so willing to sell and share their positions.

The reason I have come to generally accept Open Theism over the last few years is because it accommodates ALL of scripture in a manner where PLAIN interpretation rules the day, including the challenge you present above. There are scores of verses throughout the old and new testament where it is clear, via plan language, that God changes His actions based on man's reactions to His tests, commands, warnings. There are many Christians, including likely most reading this, who disagree that God's plan was to send Jesus soon after the Resurrection but changed the plan when it became clear a vast number of Jews were going to reject their Messiah. I would ask these Christians to explain to Roohif why he is wrong to accept what was plainly written, and why he should accept your explanation. You can't blame his belief on him being blinded as an unbeliever, since, as MamaElephant has proven, this is an issue that also has believers asking for an explanation. I submit the excuses offered by traditional theologians to explain these verses are "spin". I believed and taught the spin for many years, until a more elegant view came along the accommodates this plus many other problem scriptures throughout the Bible.

For those interested, we have a pinned thread that discusses Open Theism. Here is a good article that sums up the position, and an excellent debate on the subject. If you take the time to read the debate, note who uses plain scripture, and note who far more often resorts to extra-Biblical references.

Fred

#4 roohif

roohif

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 32
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 24 September 2011 - 03:42 PM

You ask a very good question. My response to you is that there is no "trick", you are extremely justified in seeing that it is very clear that the apostles thought Jesus was coming soon. It also explains why they were so willing to sell and share their positions.


Wow. Certainly not the response that I was expecting :)

I had not heard of Open Theism before, but from the very little I have read of it so far, I like it. It gets around some of the objections that atheists make in regard to the Free Will vs Predestination/Determinism problem, but there is one issue I think that might still cause a problem:

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 - You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

I did a very quick search through the links you provided and couldn't find any references to that passage. Thoughts and feelings?

For what it's worth, I would still like people to respond to the original question - how exactly do you interpret these apocalyptic verses to come to a different conclusion?

#5 AFJ

AFJ

    AFJ

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baton Rouge, LA
  • Interests:Bible, molecular biology, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, eschatology, history, family
  • Age: 51
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Baton Rouge, LA

Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:06 PM

Wow. Certainly not the response that I was expecting :)

I had not heard of Open Theism before, but from the very little I have read of it so far, I like it. It gets around some of the objections that atheists make in regard to the Free Will vs Predestination/Determinism problem, but there is one issue I think that might still cause a problem:

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 - You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

I did a very quick search through the links you provided and couldn't find any references to that passage. Thoughts and feelings?

For what it's worth, I would still like people to respond to the original question - how exactly do you interpret these apocalyptic verses to come to a different conclusion?

Hi Roohif,
My understanding is that God knows all things, and we don't. Remember the Pharisees and Saducees? They misinterpreted what Jesus was about, who he was, and the nature of his kingdom. We can do the same things.

Here are some things I have learned about prophecy from reading the Bible.

No. 1-- There are types and shadows in prophecy (which can be stories) which are pictures of the future. Without revelation from God, they will stay stories in our understanding. In Galatians 4:21-28, Paul uses Hagar and Sarah as "allegories" of the covenants of law and grace.

No. 2--Sometimes it is unclear who or what the prophecy is talking about until it has been fulfilled (or to whom it is speaking, which incidentally, I believe to be the case of last day prophecy). For instance, check out Psalms 16:10

9Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,

10because you will not abandon me to the grave,c
nor will you let your Holy Oned see decay.


11You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


Notice the entire psalm is written in first person until verse 10, where David writes in third person. One could interpret v 10 as though David was speaking of Himself as "your holy one," but Peter refutes this thinking in his Pentacost sermon in Acts 2:29-32. This follows his quote of the above Psalm.

29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.


So the ressurection of Christ, and the fact that David was dead and decayed, showed what the fulfillment of the Psalm was. But it was not until AFTER the ressurection that it was known.

No.3-- Some things are "sealed up" until the time of the end.

Daniel 12:8-10 8I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

9He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. 10Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who aris e wise will understand.


No. 4-- Some prophecies have double fulfillment. Certain prophecies in Daniel are believed by many to have been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes, who was a Roman general before Christ, and offered a pig on the Jewish temple alter (abomination of desolation). Yet Christ and Paul both spoke of a man who would commit the abomination of desolation would stand in the temple in the future, who will persectute the Jews. Some, of course, believe this was Titus in 70 AD. I beleive it is a double fulfillment, and I don't want to go into it, because it's a lengthy subject. (Also the prophecies of Israel returning to their land have been fufilled twice.)

15“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’b spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.


I believe the last part of this verse qualifies the time, and it was not 70 AD. Hitler killed more Jews than Titus.

The second coming, and prophecy is a large subject. No one can find all it's truth. We must believe that He WILL return though, for that is our blessed hope. I hope you do, roohif.

#6 MamaElephant

MamaElephant

    former JW

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1564 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Bible, Home-schooling, Education, Fitness, Young Earth Science, Evolution, Natural Medicine, Board Games, Video Games, Study of cult mind control and Counseling for those coming out of cult mind control.
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • I am His! 1/29/12

Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:17 PM

That's just it. When I have a question such as this one, and it goes unanswered, I can still have faith because I have the testimony of the Holy Spirit. Those that don't have the witness of the Holy Spirit have questions like this and it keeps them from having faith. It is hard to accept.

#7 MamaElephant

MamaElephant

    former JW

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1564 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Bible, Home-schooling, Education, Fitness, Young Earth Science, Evolution, Natural Medicine, Board Games, Video Games, Study of cult mind control and Counseling for those coming out of cult mind control.
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • I am His! 1/29/12

Posted 26 September 2011 - 02:54 PM

More on this: http://www.ecclesia....uth/return.html

#8 roohif

roohif

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 32
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 26 September 2011 - 04:54 PM

Notice the entire psalm is written in first person until verse 10, where David writes in third person. One could interpret v 10 as though David was speaking of Himself as "your holy one," but Peter refutes this thinking in his Pentacost sermon in Acts 2:29-32. This follows his quote of the above Psalm.


Okay, I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to you that I think prophecy in general is somewhat less than convincing (to put things mildly). Psalms 16:10 is a pretty good example of a verse that has been taken out of its context and twisted into something that - if you squint hard enough - could possibly be a vague reference to Jesus.

There is also a fundamental difference in what value we each place on Peter's (and Paul's) reference to it in Acts. You are already of the mindset that the Bible is the word of God, and if Peter references that verse as a prophecy, then the matter is settled. Whereas I think Peter is as fallible as the Bible itself.

So down to the detail:

1. The fact that David switches the perspective of the narrative isn't anywhere near as important as you make it out to be. The psalms make many references to "His holy one(s)" (Hebrew: "chaciyd" - Strongs H2623), and in the vast majority of cases, it is used in a manner of "those belonging to God". (A few examples: Psalms 30:4, Psalms 31:23, Psalms 37:28, Psalms 50:5, Psalms 52:9, Psalms 79:2, Psalms 85:8, Psalms 89:19, Psalms 97:10, Psalms 116:15, Psalms 132:9, Psalms 145:10, Psalms 148:14, Psalms 149:9 ... and Proverbs 2:8). In Psalms 16, David is merely referring to himself as one of God's holy people. In the other instances, where the word is not used in the posessive, it simply says "the holy ones".

2. With that in mind, it is clear that in Psalms 16:8-11, David is saying that God will not leave him in Sheol for eternity, he will redeem his soul and bring him into His presence. The word "decay" is quite a favourable translation because, in English, it has the connotation of rotting flesh (and obviously that would not have happened to Jesus in a couple of days). However, if you look at where the word is used both in the Hebrew ("shachath, H7845) and Greek ("diaphthora", G1312) texts, it refers to the idea of the soul going down to Sheol - the "pit", and undergoing corruption and eventual destruction. Acts 13:34 is particularly telling when it uses the phrase "return to decay". Substituting "Sheol" or "the pit" makes sense of the passage, as it does in every other passage where it is used in the Bible. To get a better sense of what the word means, read Psalms 49 and Job 33.

With a better understanding of what David is talking about, first of all you will see that he is talking about himself and no one else, and that he is referring to a spiritual resurrection ("nephesh", H5315), while the NT authors not only make it refer to a different person, but also subtly twist the passage to refer to the flesh ("sarx", G4561).

If anyone finds these sort of explorations useful, I'm happy to write some rebuttals to any prophecy you like (including Daniel 9-12).

#9 roohif

roohif

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 32
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:14 PM

I believe the last part of this verse qualifies the time, and it was not 70 AD. Hitler killed more Jews than Titus.


Be careful with that sort of thinking - you're always leaving yourself exposed to a time when more Jews could be killed, which then shows that the previous understanding was wrong. But yes, Hitler did kill more Jews that Titus - in 1945. Are you then saying that Jesus will return within that generation? If that's the case then I dare say you are running out of time ..

The second coming, and prophecy is a large subject. No one can find all it's truth. We must believe that He WILL return though, for that is our blessed hope. I hope you do, roohif.


My big question to you is: why does the prophecy NOT refer to 70 AD? I'm sure you would understand why "because Jesus didn't come back then" is not an acceptable response.

#10 AFJ

AFJ

    AFJ

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1625 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baton Rouge, LA
  • Interests:Bible, molecular biology, chemistry, mineralogy, geology, eschatology, history, family
  • Age: 51
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Baton Rouge, LA

Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:46 PM

Okay, I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to you that I think prophecy in general is so what less than convincing (to put things mildly). Psalms 16:10 is a pretty good example of a verse that has been taken out of its context and twisted into something that - if you squint hard enough - could possibly be a vague reference to Jesus.

What would you say about Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22? These are less "vague" scriptures. The fact remains that Jeremiah, Isaiah, and others are in the cannon, because they prophesied correctly about the dispersion to Babylon and the future return to Jerusalem, even though in their day they were not received. Isaiah was sawn in half, and Jeremiah was severely persecuted. Many of the prophets prophesied among many "prophets" of peace and prosperity, or of Baal (Elijah). But their word came to pass, so they were vindicated.

They didn't believe then and many don't believe now. But Jesus said "my sheep know my voice..."

There is also a fundamental difference in what value we each place on Peter's (and Paul's) reference to it in Acts. You are already of the mindset that the Bible is the word of God, and if Peter references that verse as a prophecy, then the matter is settled. Whereas I think Peter is as fallible as the Bible itself.

When I was a child and I would go to church. When I heard the word preached, I felt the annointing of the Spirit inside of me. It's not possible to imagine that power as some claim (because they have never experienced it). It was not a mental imagination, nor a sensation. It was power. No other word can give you that.

Now, I have also gone through times where I grew cold in my faith, and my heart was hardened. The word had no effect on me. This is why you don't believe--your heart is hard. So now the word has no effect on you. But that can always change, if you open your heart to Christ who loves you, and died for all our sins.

So down to the detail:


2. With that in mind, it is clear that in Psalms 16:8-11, David is saying that God will not leave him in Sheol for eternity, he will redeem his soul and bring him into His presence. The word "decay" is quite a favourable translation because, in English, it has the connotation of rotting flesh (and obviously that would not have happened to Jesus in a couple of days). However, if you look at where the word is used both in the Hebrew ("shachath, H7845) and Greek ("diaphthora", G1312) texts, it refers to the idea of the soul going down to Sheol - the "pit", and undergoing corruption and eventual destruction. Acts 13:34 is particularly telling when it uses the phrase "return to decay". Substituting "Sheol" or "the pit" makes sense of the passage, as it does in every other passage where it is used in the Bible. To get a better sense of what the word means, read Psalms 49 and Job 33. With a better understanding of what David is talking about, first of all you will see that he is talking about himself and no one else, and that he is referring to a spiritual resurrection ("nephesh", H5315), while the NT authors not only make it refer to a different person, but also subtly twist the passage to refer to the flesh ("sarx", G4561).

I have a Bible degree, so I know how to use a Greek Lexicon and a Strong's or Young's Concordance. Explaining the translations does not refute the Apostle Peter. David's body saw corruption in the grave and Christ did not. I take it you believe in a one time destruction in hell (it you beleive in hell), but Revelation says the smoke of their torment ascends "forever and ever."

If anyone finds these sort of explorations useful, I'm happy to write some rebuttals to any prophecy you like (including Daniel 9-12).

If you don't believe Daniel is inspired by God's spirit, why would you want to waste your time writing commentary about it?

#11 MamaElephant

MamaElephant

    former JW

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1564 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Bible, Home-schooling, Education, Fitness, Young Earth Science, Evolution, Natural Medicine, Board Games, Video Games, Study of cult mind control and Counseling for those coming out of cult mind control.
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • I am His! 1/29/12

Posted 26 September 2011 - 06:37 PM

Be careful with that sort of thinking - you're always leaving yourself exposed to a time when more Jews could be killed, which then shows that the previous understanding was wrong. But yes, Hitler did kill more Jews that Titus - in 1945. Are you then saying that Jesus will return within that generation? If that's the case then I dare say you are running out of time ..

Before reading this thread, my understanding was that the Great Tribulation started within that generation and continues to this day. Well, that still is my understanding, actually.

#12 Fred Williams

Fred Williams

    Administrator / Forum Owner

  • Admin Team
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2479 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, Colorado
  • Interests:I enjoy going to Broncos games, my son's HS basketball & baseball games, and my daughter's piano & dance recitals. I enjoy playing basketball (when able). I occasionally play keyboards for my church's praise team. I am a Senior Staff Firmware Engineer at Micron, and am co-host of Real Science Radio.
  • Age: 52
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Broomfield, Colorado

Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:26 PM

Wow. Certainly not the response that I was expecting :)

I had not heard of Open Theism before, but from the very little I have read of it so far, I like it. It gets around some of the objections that atheists make in regard to the Free Will vs Predestination/Determinism problem, but there is one issue I think that might still cause a problem:

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 - You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.


I agree mostly with what AFJ has already written, and would add the following:

1) We have to distinguish certain prophesies as conditional. It is clear (to me) for example that God prophesied accurately that Hezekiah would die soon, given his state of health at that time, but Hezekiah's prayer prompted God to heal him.
2) Deut 18:21-22 covers prophesies where it has obviously already been subjected to the time expected for it to complete. For example, those loons who preach the exact day Jesus is returning, Joseph Smith predicting his son would rule "Israel" ( he instead spent most of his adult life in an insane asylum), etc.

If anyone finds these sort of explorations useful, I'm happy to write some rebuttals to any prophecy you like (including Daniel 9-12).


I agree with AFJ's response, moreover this would go against the spirit of this Bible section (see Bible Forum's Rules & Purpose). However, I'm going give just a little leeway here, and give you the opportunity to respond to the specific prophesy in the "Predicted Fate of Numerous Cities and Nations" section in my Bible Evidences chapter on prophecy.

Fred

#13 roohif

roohif

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 32
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:33 PM

Now, I have also gone through times where I grew cold in my faith, and my heart was hardened. The word had no effect on me. This is why you don't believe--your heart is hard. So now the word has no effect on you. But that can always change, if you open your heart to Christ who loves you, and died for all our sins.


The word has no effect on me because I don't believe that it is true - it has nothing to do with my heart, it only pumps blood.

As for refuting Peter, I'm not sure you fully understand what I'm saying about divine inspiration. I don't think the authors were divinely inspired, so in my mind Peter can be (and is!) as wrong about his interpretation of Psalms 16:10 as I believe you are about your interpretation of the Olivet discourse.

If you want an off-the-cuff reason for why David's body saw corruption, might I suggest that it was because he was a murderer and adulterer :)

I don't believe in Hell, but my perception of it - in the NT at least - is one of eternal torment, not annihilation or destruction.

If you don't believe Daniel is inspired by God's spirit, why would you want to waste your time writing commentary about it?


Above all I want to challenge myself on my beliefs, and challenge others on theirs. I'm astounded that about a third of the world believes it, and another third believe something similar to it, and I really want to know why. I think most people dismiss Christianity and Christians as "deluded lunatics", but I guess I owe it to my wife to take it seriously. Unfortunately for her, my studies have taken me far in the opposite direction ...

I do question sometimes why I should bother. I think I would like to get to a point in any particular argument where I know that the other person has taken an entirely unreasonable position. My hope is that deep down they know this, and realise that what they believe in just isn't true.

A discussion of Isaiah 53 is indeed a long discussion, and I would be hesitant to commit to it. As for Psalms 22, would you agree that Mark had a copy of it in front of him when he wrote his passion narrative?

#14 roohif

roohif

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 32
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:36 PM

I agree with AFJ's response, moreover this would go against the spirit of this Bible section (see Bible Forum's Rules & Purpose).


Understood, and I think I will probably come at this with a different attitude: not really one of argumentation, but more of actually finding out how different people interpret these verses (the Olivet discourse) to get around what I see as the plain reading. So consider me more of an observer for now :)

#15 Teejay

Teejay

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 78
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Texas

Posted 26 September 2011 - 09:02 PM

[quote] name='roohif' timestamp='1316863931' post='75124']
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.
[/quote]

roohif,

There is a trick. If you give these passages to a home-schooled fifth grader instead of a theologian with a Ph.D, you can get a clear explanation. The fifth grader will tell you that Jesus was clearing predicting that He would ascend to the Father, Israel would go through their tribulation, and then Jesus would return and set up Israel's kingdom with Jesus sitting on King David's throne in Jerusalem and the Twelve Apostles ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel. Please see Thread: "The Kingdom of Heaven, Luke 11:21," my posts 17 and 21. Not only did Jesus mean what He said, but His soon return to Israel was prophesied in Daniel's 70-week prophecy.

Roohif, please read my posts 17 and 21 and let me know what you think.

TeeJay

#16 Teejay

Teejay

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 78
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Texas

Posted 26 September 2011 - 09:15 PM

[quote] name='MamaElephant' timestamp='1316873493' post='75129']
Looking forward to seeing the answer to this. It is something I have been wondering about.
[/quote]

ME,

I gave the answers in the thread, "The Kingdom of Heaven, Luke 17:21."

TeeJay

#17 Teejay

Teejay

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 78
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Texas

Posted 26 September 2011 - 09:26 PM

[quote] name='MamaElephant' timestamp='1317087457' post='75164']
Before reading this thread, my understanding was that the Great Tribulation started within that generation and continues to this day. Well, that still is my understanding, actually.
[/quote]

ME,

You are half correct! Before ascending to the Father, Jesus gave His apostles twelve signs of the coming tribulation. The apostles started into the tribulation and the twelve signs were fulfilled. But, God cut off Israel for unbelief and so too was the tribulation and the kingdom that God promised to give Israel. I will post a separate thread proving that this is true with scripture references. So while Israel got a taste of their tribulation, it does not "continue to this day."

Christians should not look to the four gospels for a description of the coming tribulation or the "time of Jacob's trouble" or "the wrath that is to come." Rather, we should now read Revelation. Revelation describes the coming tribulation. (We in the Body of Christ are "saved from the wrath that is to come" because we will be raptured out before that happens.)

TeeJay

#18 Teejay

Teejay

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1517 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 78
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Texas

Posted 26 September 2011 - 10:21 PM

Hello all,

In a debate, one is not allowed to use the very evidence that he is attempting to prove is true. For example, if a Mormon used the Book of Mormon to prove the Book of Mormon, this would be circular reasoning. Evolutionists date bones by the earth they are found in and date the earth by the bones. Go figure!

But, and it is a big but, the Bible proves itself. Jesus said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true” (John 5:31). In John 5:39 Jesus scolded the hard-hearted Jews, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” And before Jesus ascended, He enlightened His apostles: “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).

For Christians, the Bible must be our ultimate standard. Nothing else will fill the bill. This immediately invites a crucial objection. If our ultimate standard (the Bible) is used to prove itself, aren’t we arguing in a circle? As odd as this may seem, and contrary to what we are taught in logic classes, using an ultimate standard to prove an ultimate standard is unavoidable. If our ultimate standard is proved by anything else, then it is not our ultimate standard. God Himself used a type of circular reasoning when He made an oath. Human beings appeal to a greater authority as confirmation of an oath (Heb. 6:16). But since God is ultimate, He can only use Himself as the authority. Hebrews 6:13 states, “When God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, he swore by Himself.”

Any argument we make must rest, eventually, on an ultimate standard. If no ultimate standard is reached, then an argument could go on forever. To refute the Bible, one has to use laws of logic. But the Bible is the only ultimate standard that justified the laws of logic. So to refute the Bible, one must stand on the Bible to argue against it. This is much like arguing against the existence of air while breathing in air to make one’s argument.

So, with this in mind, can we look at what Jesus was talking about when He said, “If I bear witness of myself, don’t believe Me [paraphrased].” While Joseph Smith and Mohammed bore witness of themselves, Jesus did not. His coming was foretold in so many ways—in Israel’s history, their symbolic laws, prophesies, non-prophesies, culture, diets, etc. Let’s just look at Israel’s feasts.

God symbolized His great plans via the seven feasts of Israel. Jesus replaced the feast symbolism with His own substance, and with His works. In this way 2,000 years ago, God was in the process of fulfilling the Seven Feasts of Israel one by one. Before completing the process, however, God postponed Israel’s program when He cut them off for unbelief.

Passover

For a Jew to celebrate the Feast of Passover, he had to purchase a lamb. Jesus, the true Lamb of God and the True Passover Lamb, was purchased by the High Priest of Israel from Judas for thirty pieces of silver. (For references to this feast, see Lev. 23:4-5; Ex. 12:3-14; 21-27; 43-48; Num. 9:1-14; 28:16; Deut. 16:1-7; [Ps. 34:20; 22:17].) Christ died on the day Israel killed their Passover Lamb, thus fulfilling Passover (Mat. 26:2; Luke 22:15; 1 Cor. 5:7; John 6:53; [19:33]).

Unleavened Bread

Unleavened bread has no yeast or leaven and does not decay as yeast bread. During this feast, Christ’s body (True Bread from Heaven) lay in the grave; yet His body (symbolized by unleavened bread, Mat. 26:26, did not see corruption--thus fulfilling the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Acts 2:31). (For references to this feast, see Lev. 23:6-8; Ex. 12:15-20, 13:6-10, 23:15, 34:18; Num. 28:17-25; Deut. 16:3-4, 8, 16.)

First Fruits

Christ rose from the grave on Feast of First Fruits on “the day after the Sabbath” following Passover, thus fulfilling the Feast of First Fruits (1 Cor. 15:20, 23). (For references to this feast, see Lev. 23:10-14; Ex. 23:16, 19; 34:22, 26; Num. 28:26.)

Pentecost (“Feast of Weeks”)

Daniel’s Prophecy of Weeks harkens back to the “Feast of Weeks” (Ex. 34:22) both of which were still on track at Pentecost, the fulfillment of the Feast of Weeks (also called Pentecost). (Pentecost came seven weeks, i.e., “seven Sabbaths” (Lev. 23:15) plus one day or “fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath” (Lev. 23:16).) The Feast of Weeks was seven weeks (Lev. 23:15) and Daniel’s Prophecy of Weeks was 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24). As Luke wrote “when the Day of Pentecost had fully come” (Acts 2:1) though it was “only the third hour of the day” (Acts 2:15) so also Daniel’s Prophecy of Weeks had fully come since it was then the 70th week, albeit, the beginning of the week. Christ poured out His Holy Spirit on Pentecost, thus fulfilling the Feast of Weeks (Acts 2:1, 4; 1:5; Mat. 3:11). For references to this feast, see Lev. 23:15-21; Ex. 34:22; Num. 28:26-31; Deut. 16:9-12, 16; 2 Chr. 8:13.)

Trumpets

This feast remains unfulfilled until Christ’s Second Coming (Mat. 24:31, 29-30). When Christ returns (Mat. 24:29) “He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet” (Mat. 24:31) and will establish His Kingdom (Mat. 25:31-34) as proclaimed by the seventh trumpet (Rev. 11:15). For references to this feast, see Lev. 23:23-25; Num. 29:1-6.)

Day of Atonement

This feast remains unfulfilled until the eternal Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-13). (For references, see Lev. 23:26-32; 16:1-34; Num. 29:7-11.)
Tabernacles

Christ “tabernacle” among us on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles (John 1:14). For a fascinating presentation of the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles on the very day of the feast see E. W. Bullinger, The Companion Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1974), Appendix 179. Was Christ born on the first day of Tabernacles and circumcised on the eight day of the feast? (For references, see Ex. 34:22; Lev. 23:33-43; Num. 29:12-40; Deut. 16:13-16; 23:16; 31:10-11; 2 Chro. 8:13: Ezra 3:4; Zech. 14:16-19.)
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of Kings is to search out a matter” (Prov.25:2).

TeeJay

#19 MamaElephant

MamaElephant

    former JW

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1564 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Bible, Home-schooling, Education, Fitness, Young Earth Science, Evolution, Natural Medicine, Board Games, Video Games, Study of cult mind control and Counseling for those coming out of cult mind control.
  • Age: 35
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • I am His! 1/29/12

Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:13 AM

But, and it is a big but, the Bible proves itself. Jesus said, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true” (John 5:31). In John 5:39 Jesus scolded the hard-hearted Jews, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” And before Jesus ascended, He enlightened His apostles: “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).

For Christians, the Bible must be our ultimate standard. Nothing else will fill the bill. This immediately invites a crucial objection. If our ultimate standard (the Bible) is used to prove itself, aren’t we arguing in a circle?

I understand what you are saying, but I personally have more than the Bible for proof, and if asked why I hold the faith that I have I will cite more than the Bible. I have had the witness of the Holy Spirit and very direct and obvious answers to my prayers.

#20 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 27 September 2011 - 04:31 AM

if you squint hard enough - could possibly be a vague reference to Jesus.


Bible prophecies should not to be compared to the "Nostrademus" kind of predictions common to man. You will find that prophecies that are specific about things such as dates and names of people living in the future are conspicuously rare, which is pretty asounding when you consider the number of prophets involved and the span of time during which the Bible was written. Each Bible prophecy, isolated on its own, is "vague" to a certain degree, just as the existance of God himself is "vague". God is as interested in using prophecy as a means of validating the Bible, as he is of supplying us with scientific evidence to prove his existance.

Unless you are born again, everything that has to do with God will always be vague. You will always be "squinting hard". Without the Spirit of God you cannot understand scripture (1 Corr 2:14) and will never be able to connect the dots, even if someone went through the whole Bible showing you all the prophetic connections. This is why Jesus had to open the minds of his disciples (Luke 24:44-45) so that they could understand all the "vague" prophecies "in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms".




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users