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The kingdoms of this world...

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By Virgil - Posted on 31 August 2004

It must seem to some that Jesus’ words have failed, for it seems not that the kingdoms of this world are becoming and are being overcome by the Kingdom of Christ but rather that the Kingdom of Christ has been overshadowed and consumed by the kingdoms of this world.It must have seemed that the ever advancing and transforming Kingdom of Christ as the Christian’s of the Roman Catholic era experienced was greatly damaged by the revolution of the protesting “Reformers”.



And today it seems that the liberating yet Scripture respecting Kingdom of Christ as Christian’s of the "Reformational" and “Evangelical” era experience is constantly degrading into chaos and confusion, hence their belief the world is about to end.



So, how is it that we Christians can say the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ? Is it as the dispensationalists (and most of our futurists brothers) say; that eventually someday all the kingdoms of this world will be physically destroyed and then and only then will the Kingdom of Christ truly be ushered in?



Perhaps God’s Sovereignty has been playing out in history yet we have been oblivious to how it functions?



I can imagine that the descendants of Abraham must have wondered about God’s promise to Abraham while they suffered under the Egyptians. I can imagine that the Jews of the first-century must have wondered about God’s promise to Abraham as they watched in disbelief as the very footstool of God burned and was leveled to the ground.



So, again I ask how is it that we Christians can say the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ?



There are even some among us who fear that further reforms, especially in the area of understanding the nature and purpose of Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, and Evangelists as being uniquely first-century pre-consummation, pre-completed canon offices will further erode THEIR concept of how the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ.



When Christ spoke of bringing freedom, did He speak of more than salvific freedom?
When Paul spoke that in Christ there is “neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female” did he only mean in some mystical sense or was it a change in status that would in time, in history become increasingly more apparent?



It is questions like these that scare some of us. It is questions like these that cause some people to accuse us of liberalism or feminism or even anti-Trinitarianism. It is questions like these that cause some people to recoil into fortresses of pretended orthodoxy.



Indeed, these are difficult questions on par with questions asked of the Church in the sixteenth century. On par with questions asked of those monarchs who set themselves up as bishops of the so-called English Church. On par with questions asked of the apocalyptics of our own time.



If we truly believe that the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ we must not fear to read the Scriptures once again in the context of their original intent and audience.



It was from this sort of honesty with the text that those “Reformers” demanded that even a ploughboy could and should grasp the Word of God. It was from this sort of honesty with the text that Bible readers all over the world have and continue to reject the concept of Apostolic Succession. It was from this sort of honesty with the text that people even to this day proclaim their liberty and right to hold to Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), not needing anyone (even preachers) to point them to Christ ONCE they have been regenerated.
And it is this sort of honesty with the text we ask our brothers and sisters to once again embrace as brothers and sisters.



We truly believe that the kingdoms of this world ARE ever becoming the Kingdom of Christ through liberty and honesty which will shine a light on all the darkness of those kingdoms it consumes. The truth of God’s Word will be evident to all as they are free to hold it in their own hands, in their own minds, in their own hearts without the filtration of Pope, council, creed, pastor or pretended church (Indeed the REAL Church is alive and well as the married Wife of Christ, no longer simply the bride strolling down the eschatological aisle with bridesmaids in tow).

Praise God! the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.



Rev 11:15



Roderick

parousia70's picture

Dear Roderick and to all others,

I have a concern and maybe it can bring some focus to this debate. I would want to propose for argument sake that the COMPLETE Cessassionist view is correct, which is proposed by Rod. If it is correct, then why do we continue to have websites such as PlanetPreterist or PreterisArchives?

Every post, every article, book, tape or DVD essentially holds an aspect of TEACHING. Therefore am I correct in assuming that if your view is correct Roderick, that we should cease all activity concerning the TRUTH of Christ doing all He said? Scripturally the Bible proclaims that we would no longer have to teach our neighbor to know the Lord, yet what about those who are in error? Should we sit with them and teach them the Truth or let them continue in error? I am looking for practical application now in the Kingdom and which I believe many of us are looking for in your propositions.

Thanks brother,

Phillip

REFORMATION COMES WHEN TRUTH IS EXALTED

Roderick's picture

Brother Phillip,

You have asked the pivitol question. And you have supplied a hypothetical answer which is often used as an accusation or objection to complete or consistent cessationism (I'm now preferring the term complete or consistent consummationism because it better reflects what actually happened)

  • THE PROPOSITION
  • During the 40 years while Christ was in Heaven preparing a place, the Church was being made ready as a Bride is made ready. Keeping with the Wedding anaology, Christ is the Bridegroom which intended to come back for His Bride soon. The Apostles are the ground the Bride walks on. (Her foundation). The elders and other specifically first-century offices were the bridesmaids attending to the Bride as she walked down the eschatological aisle. To use the building anology: Christ is the cornerstone, the Apostles are the foundation, and the elders and the rest are the foremen helping to guide it to completion.

    Now, using both these analogies, do the foremen continue to hang around after the job is done? Obviously the EVEN MORE important Apostles did not continue (unless you are Roman Catholic? or Apostolic?) Or using the Wedding analogy, the bridesmaids provided a needed service but once the Bride & Bridegroom were married the bridesmaids simply became part of the consummated wedding party -- their function was complete. They no longer needed to point the Bride to the Bridegroom.
    Christ came the first time to fulfill the Law & the Prophets -- the entire O.T. was pointing to Him. The Apostles were given inspiration to expound further. The NT. in essence is the revealed, inspired commentary on the O.T. -- it IS the teaching that now allows for no man to need to teach his neighbor, 'Know the Lord' in the sense it was needed in the O.T. & in the transitional stage of the passing away. Indeed, non-Christians still need the proclamation but now (now that we have the completed, consummated Bible) regenerated people do NOT require bridesmaids or foremen to point them to the very Lord they are supposed to be in constant, close relationship with. There are some who even say that AFTER the first century, all Christians are not so much the Wife of Christ as they are spiritual offspring of the Lamb & His Wife. (I'm not certain about this point yet). But now, that we have the completed Bible, (and especially for those who advocate Sola Scriptura) are we to believe there are mere men that somehow have insight into it that we could not attain ourselves? So much for the Reformation -- Go back to Rome where at least they are consistent with carrying over all the offices of the first-century.

  • THE OBJECTION
  • The biggest objection thus far has been the one Phillip has hypothetically stated here. The objection is that then no one should and could teach anyone anything. Pack it all up folks -- its all over they ridicule. But they miss the point. The kind of teaching going on in the first-century by Christ, then the Apostles, then through the elders was a revelatory teaching. As Paul said; "For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. (1 Cor 4:9) - There was a consummating tone about this. The Apostles were in place to wrap up the procession. The teaching has not ceased but now is contained in one volume -- THE BIBLE -- all the teaching we need is contained in that book -- From the Law & the Prophets, to Christ the fulfillment, to the foundation -- we have it all consummated! Praise GOD! So, teaching goes on today but not like it was in the O.T. and the first-century transitional not yet wed Bride Church. It is a strawman argument to say we are advocating an end to all teaching when it is clear we are saying there has been a consummation of revelatory teaching.

    The next objection is one that people use but it comes back upon them. They object saying: Saying there are no more elders disrupts the continuity of the Church. And therein lies the problem, for they think continuity can only be acheived if everything remains exactly the same. They had better tell that to the Jews of Jesus' time. They kept swearing they didn't need Him because they were the sons of Abraham -- they thought everything would go on like it has except that when the Messiah came they would be esteemed along with Him. They thought the buildings of their city & Temple would remain forever - after all they must have thought, Jerusalem WAS the seat of God on earth. But then we get to the Church and the concept of continuity. The objectors have trouble with explaining how Apostles and Prophets are no longer -- so much for their concept of continuity. They have difficulty explaining how the Church post-A.D. 70 missed the Parousia (hence we have even seen some propose a A.D. Rapture) They have difficulty explaining how for 1300+ years the visible Church has been dominated not only by the error of missing the Parousia but also of the error of Apostolic Succession and all the other errors including the additional sacraments. The objectors insert themselves into the equation 1600 years after Christ (in the Reformation) and then get upset that WE are not upholding the continuity of the Church???????

    It is our contention that there has been no damage to the continuity of the Church of the first-century because it was never supposed to continue in that form. The Bride HAS WED THE BRIDEGROOM & now is the Wife. The House HAS BEEN BUILT & and now is being lived in by all generations eternally.

    Christ is truly victorious. Nothing else is left to be done.

    And the objectors even ridicule this statement, claiming that there is nothing left for us after A.D. 70 -- no prescription on how to conduct life. REALLY? They sound like the pre-Law Jews who sought some rules to guide their lives. Perhaps they want prescriptions written out on tablets of stone rather than on hearts of men. Indeed, having been part of a Reformed congregation, they put focus on keepng the Sabbath and other such outwardly prescriptions. It would seem we have not come far. Peter's vision of the tablecloth is a faint memory. Paul's words that all things are permissible but not all things are profitible are muffled. Luthers declaration that we be the slave to neither pope nor council fades away under the loud overtures of modern day pretended occupiers of Moses' Seat.

  • CONCLUSION
  • So, it is not an end of all things any more than the consummation we preterists see in the first-century was an cessation of the world. There is continuity but it is a glorious liberty that continues to become liberating. Not freedom TO SIN but freedom FROM SIN. If we are still in the position of needing elders then we'd better return to the established, historically legitimate Church of Rome. The objectors who claim what we are proposing is rebellion and chaos are part and parcel of that so-called rebellion and chaos, for they are sons of the Reformation -- really revolution. They don't have a leg to stand on when it comes to accusing people of rebellion, chaos, and discontinuity. It is NOT rebellion because the Church as it has been depicted these many years has been one pretending to still be the Bride merely walking down the eschatological aisle. Then the Protestants come along with their 30,000 factions and rip the pseudo-wedding gown to shreds, each covering themselves with a piece and claiming THEY represent the Bride. How foolish. Let these people continue in their delusion if they will not reason in Scripture. We will continue to proclaim the FULL, consummated victory of Christ.

    Roderick

    parousia70's picture

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

    Phillip

    REFORMATION COMES WHEN TRUTH IS EXALTED

    Erick's picture

    Hi Roderick, I just wanted some clarification, -- Are you saying that elders provided revelatory, inspired, teaching like the Apostles? Was that the purpose of their ministry? Were ALL prophets back in the "last days?" Or were only prophets set up as teaching elders?

    Also, we know 2 Tm. 3:16-17 regarding the use of Scripture and its divine origin, but in context it seems that a good part of its usefulness is bound up in the public proclamation of it (cf. 4:1-2). This SEEMS to indicate that the Scriptures (O.T. in context?) are largely profitless without a preacher, but also that a preacher is powerless without the Scriptures, what are your thoughts on this verse as it applied to the first century, and today?

    I've been doing my best to follow this debate and I've learned a lot, The two verses that come up over and over again are Heb. 8:11, and Eph. 4:11-16. The Ephesians passage seems to support "consistent consummationism" but in your last response you turn Heb. 8:11 into an argument for "Sola Scriptura." Maybe I've misunderstood this Reformation principle, but I thought this only meant that the Scriptures were the ONLY "infallible rule of faith." However, I've never heard any elder claim to be infallible, nor does the Bible teach the infallibility of the first century elder (or Apostles for that matter - apart from their writings - cf.Peter Gal. 2:11-14), so if the early Church had local congregations headed by fallible, uninspired, elders who taught from the Scriptures, practically speaking why would their be a problem with uninspired fallible elders teaching local gatherings today?

    Lastly, hadn't the New Covenant started already when Heb. 8:11 was written? If the "teaching" in this verse is inspired "teaching" then the Apostles should never of had an infallible natured ministry at this time, no? If it's uninspired teaching then the elders should never of had a ministry. When was this New Covenant "made with the House of Israel?" The Old Covenant was obsolete at the time of this inspired "teaching" (Heb. 8:13)?

    Again thank you very much for the challenging insights, I'm trying to be an unbiased student of the Scriptures, but we all know how hard that can be. I look forward to more of your articles in the future. -- Erick

    Roderick's picture

    Hello Erick,

    I appreciate your keeping this discussion moving in the right directions by bringing out great issues.

    May I say first, that I apologize if I left you with the impression that elders were teaching in a revelatory manner WITHOUT the Apostles. The elders in the first century were appointed by the Apostles and taught exclusively what the Apostles instructed them to teach – in that sense they were teaching revelatory. The elders were to directly instruct the people in what the Apostles were teaching, which was not yet codified, except as was hidden behind the veil of Moses in the O.T.

    Now, some people might say, “I wish we could exchange our Bible and be directly under Apostles, that way we can be certain we have it right.” – How many of us would wish that? It would almost be like saying “I wish we could live in the house where the drywall wasn’t yet hung so that we could see the studs & know where to drive nails for hanging pictures.” Is it not better that we live in the completed, consummated house?

    Or to drive my point home, perhaps someone who desires that the situation was such as it was before Martin Luther & the rest of the Reformers came on the scene, claiming “At least the Church was unified” --- we as non-Roman Catholic would say “Yeah, unified around error”. Not that the Apostles were in error, but merely we, having the compeleted work, have the whole story and ought not desire to exhange this blessed position. I know I don't desire a half completed situation.

    As for Scripture’s power, indeed it is in its proclamation but where does it say it can only be proclaimed by a ? Is it not the purpose of all Christians to proclaim the Kingdom? And, I might also add, how many have been saved by the mere reading of the Scriptures? Jesus constantly rebuked, “Have you not read...?”

    As for Sola Scriptura & how I used it, & how it impacts Heb 8:11 & the possible fallibility of the Apostles. Well, you actually answered your own question. You said:

    “Maybe I've misunderstood this Reformation principle, but I thought this only meant that the Scriptures were the ONLY "infallible rule of faith." However, I've never heard any elder claim to be infallible, nor does the Bible teach the infallibility of the first century elder (or Apostles for that matter - apart from their writings - cf.Peter Gal. 2:11-14), so if the early Church had local congregations headed by fallible, uninspired, elders who taught from the Scriptures, practically speaking why would their be a problem with uninspired fallible elders teaching local gatherings today?”

    Yes, the Scriptures ARE the ONLY infallible rule of faith, but from whence did they come? We have the O.T., which is the Scriptures, which spoke/speak completely of Christ – then we have the N.T. which is the “inspired” revelatory “commentary” on the O.T. – by Jesus & the Apostles. Without the N.T. which of us would have come to the conclusion that John the Baptist was Elijah? Which of us (being if we were Jews) would have come to the conclusion that the Messiah was a spiritual King over a spiritual Kingdom (which is more glorious than physical)? Which of us would have come to the conclusion that even Gentiles could become sons of Abraham? But before the N.T. was consummated, it came directly from the teaching of the Apostles, which in turn directed the elders. Without the Apostles, the elders (post A.D. 70) do not have direct revelation. But we have something better!!! We ALL now have complete access to the consummated Word of God, yet some will claim they are still those very elders/shepherds like the first-century, pointing us to Christ who as preterists especially we say is PRESENT among us. Having the consummation is better than having the anticipation. Having the completion is better than having the transition.

    Lastly, you ask when the New Covenant started, but the question should not be so much when it was started, for some will say at the moment Christ began to preach, others will say at the Last Supper, others will say at the crucifixion, at the resurrection, at Pentecost, or at the ascension and on and on. The clear question is when was the deal sealed? We all agree at the consummation (even the futurist agree, since they claim the kingdom isn't really here yet and they insert unbiblical "church ages" and gaps so that they can elasticise time), that is when do you know a structure is complete? When all the scaffolding is taken down and it is unveiled – when the “passing away” is finally passed away. To answer your own question you said:
    “nor does the Bible teach the infallibility of the first century elder (or Apostles for that matter - apart from their writings”

    How true, otherwise why did Peter error when he neglected to sup with Gentiles around Jews (Paul said he was to be blamed)? No one (at least no non-Roman Catholic) would say the Apostles were infallible in everyday life, but when they spoke “thus saith the Lord” we MUST believe they were infallible otherwise what good is the N.T.? – and the point to conclude on is, that we now have the codified, consummated Word of the O.T., the Word of Christ, and the teachings of the Apostles. I ask, and keep asking what more do we need? How is it that these men keep inserting the need of “elders” as guides. Amen for all brothers and sisters guiding us together, not in a revelatory (teaching your brother 'Know the Lord') manner but as in a supporting manner. Perhaps pastors/elders will object, saying -- but is that only the job of one man? Why can’t we all gather around Scripture as regenerated priests & kings, ministering to one another and ALL publicly preaching the Scriptures with power?

    Thanks again Erick for the great questions.

    In Christ
    Your brother, Roderick

    Erick's picture

    Thank you for the response Roderick,
    I guess the issues I still need help working through are (and I apologize ahead of time for any redundancy):

    1)
    A. The issue of Apostolic appointments of elders (were they ALL appointed top-down, or at least ALL approved by the Apostles? i.e. which ecclesiastical model is correct, Presbyterianism, Catholicism, Congregationalism etc. )? Regardless, were elders ALWAYS appointed per se, or were some appointed THEN due to the “last days” scenario in which God’s people found themselves (which appointments, and gifts, would no longer be necessary after those last days - though the office would still provide a useful function in everyday affairs for a local congregation post-Parousia)?

    In other words, being appointed by an apostle is not listed as a qualification by the Apostles, and the last days were hardly normative, therefore instead of the conclusion being -- since there are no more Apostles there are no more elders, why can’t it be: If the community of faith ever finds itself in the “last days” scenario, and there are inspired Apostles around, then let them have the greatest say in who is in leadership roles in our congregations- otherwise “business as usual.” Same with the elders task of preparing the Bride, if (pretending we’ve reverted to futurism for a moment) the churches found themselves in the last days today, I would tend to think they would put down their 40 Days of Purpose curriculum and focus more on Christ’s second coming etc. (that many churches DO believe this and still neglect eschatology is sad).

    Wouldn’t the elders necessarily have a more specific purpose to their ministry in “those days.”? If I may use a gross analogy: As it is a mother’s job to nurse her child when an infant, she doesn’t then cease to be a mother when that child is grown, correct? - Its ROLE/FUNCTION does not change but its specific TASK as food source does? So elders --it might be argued -- don’t cease to function because the child is mature today, they SHOULD serve the people of God as being full-grown (even if they don‘t). To me FUTURIST elders are like a mother nursing her 20-year-old son. The mother part is good (still); the nursing part is bad (Post-Parousia). Preterist elders would serve a mature community with meat and not breast feed it with milk. No one is arguing that the some of the more specific pre-parousia tasks (and message) of the elder has changed, but has the office then completely ceased? If you have a chance I’d appreciate any further comments on this.

    B. What is the practical difference between elders teaching from the Apostle’s inspired letters before 70 A.D. and elders teaching from their inspired letters post 70 A.D.? Also, what could an elder do in the last days that would be objectionable Post-Parousia? Even the “two or three gathered in My name” seems to be a reference to the Deuteronomic law of witnesses regarding church discipline under some sort of authority - (not Christ showing up at a small prayer meeting as this verse is often used).

    2) You said this was not so much a vital issue in this debate but it still weighs on my mind: When was the New Covenant made with the House of Israel (i.e. Heb. 8:8-13)? It seems as though the Apostles were living and “teaching” the New Covenant Bride as already being in the New Covenant. It almost sounds to me like it wasn’t the “teaching” that was to cease, but the “Know YHWH” message - because the incarnate “express image” had come (Heb. 1:1) in contrast with the incomplete message of the O.T. prophets.

    Believe me, the last thing I want to do is return to the first century Church. Even when I was a futurist I didn’t understand why people longed to go back to a time of such division, faction, misunderstanding, persecutions, immorality in the church, and no New Testament Bibles. And, I also don’t want to go back to a time when elders were preparing the Church for Christ’s second coming - that already happened. Nor am I especially eager to submit to anyone’s authority that ought not to have that authority in the first place. But as we all are, I am wanting to please God in how I live, move, and have my being. This issue is an important part of fulfilling that desire.

    So in sum, the issues I’m still working through are:

    1)Was “preparing” the earthly Bride the ONLY purpose for elders (i.e. no “sustaining“ ministry post-parousia)?

    2)Was Apostolic appointment the ONLY way elders received authority?

    3)When did the New Testament begin and the “Know the Lord” teaching cease (Heb. 8:11-13)?

    4)And does Eph. 4:11-16 outline a specific purpose for all those roles at THAT time, and was it assumed that some roles would continue though the gifting would cease?

    I’m a pretty thickheaded plowboy :^) so any further insights (esp. Scriptures) from anybody are greatly appreciated. Thanks again Roderick for your challenging perspective, I hope someday (this side of Heaven) we all can agree on such vital issues whatever the outcome may be.

    Through the Pearly Gates,
    Erick.

    Ed's picture

    Erick
    Read John 14-17. the truth is how they were to be sanctified (called out from among Judaism).

    Paul is clear that he was presenting them without spot and blemish as a Bride should be.
    2Co 11:2 - I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.
    Do not underestimate the purpose of the Apostles in this area alone, which was essential to their sanctification.
    Though along the way they may not have done perfectly with all things (Peter and dining with Jews and Gentiles) they WERE corrected and made corrections and taught the whole truth, infallibly.
    In order that they be sanctified!!

    This SEEMS to indicate that the Scriptures (O.T. in context?) are largely profitless without a preacher, but also that a preacher is powerless without the Scriptures, what are your thoughts on this verse as it applied to the first century, and today?

    Ok, preachers are profitless to the sheep without Apostles keeping them in check, insuring what they teach is "all truth." Period.

    The issue is authority and headship. Some people think that by being "elderly" or by having a seminary education, they are or should be "elders."
    The positions of authority are the porblem.

    There is one God. He is alone Lord. No one has authority in any way over his neighbor.
    I continue to share what I believe. If it is the truth, God will take care of your heart, not me. And if it IS the truth, I still have no right to be above you in any fashion, in any way.

    If it is not true, I pray God reveal it to my heart, because no man without consistant scriptural approach will convince me otherwise. I tey to come up with my beliefs from scripture as it is.

    Last but not least. The modern church is a system of sheep (or goats) hiring one man to fulfill the requirements of Christ in His parable about the sheep. A "pastor" is expected to teach his flock and do the requirements of visiting widow, orphans, etc. This system we are fighting, teaches its flock laziness and biblical untruth.
    We ALL need to act like we are the servant of all. We ALL need to do what the masses hire their "pastors" to do. It was a key point of Christ's preaching.

    The kingdom is wihin, the manifestation should be external to ALL believers. We need no shephard or elder of anyone other than God . And we know Him by His word.

    God Bless
    Nate

    ed

    Papa is especially fond of us

    Ed's picture

    Erick
    Read John 14-17. the truth is how they were to be sanctified (called out from among Judaism).

    Paul is clear that he was presenting them without spot and blemish as a Bride should be.
    2Co 11:2 - I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband.
    Do not underestimate the purpose of the Apostles in this area alone, which was essential to their sanctification.
    Though along the way they may not have done perfectly with all things (Peter and dining with Jews and Gentiles) they WERE corrected and made corrections and taught the whole truth, infallibly.
    In order that they be sanctified!!

    This SEEMS to indicate that the Scriptures (O.T. in context?) are largely profitless without a preacher, but also that a preacher is powerless without the Scriptures, what are your thoughts on this verse as it applied to the first century, and today?

    Ok, preachers are profitless to the sheep without Apostles keeping them in check, insuring what they teach is "all truth." Period.

    The issue is authority and headship. Some people think that by being "elderly" or by having a seminary education, they are or should be "elders."
    The positions of authority are the porblem.

    There is one God. He is alone Lord. No one has authority in any way over his neighbor.
    I continue to share what I believe. If it is the truth, God will take care of your heart, not me. And if it IS the truth, I still have no right to be above you in any fashion, in any way.

    If it is not true, I pray God reveal it to my heart, because no man without consistant scriptural approach will convince me otherwise. I tey to come up with my beliefs from scripture as it is.

    Last but not least. The modern church is a system of sheep (or goats) hiring one man to fulfill the requirements of Christ in His parable about the sheep. A "pastor" is expected to teach his flock and do the requirements of visiting widow, orphans, etc. This system we are fighting, teaches its flock laziness and biblical untruth.
    We ALL need to act like we are the servant of all. We ALL need to do what the masses hire their "pastors" to do. It was a key point of Christ's preaching.

    The kingdom is wihin, the manifestation should be external to ALL believers. We need no shephard or elder of anyone other than God . And we know Him by His word.

    God Bless
    Nate

    ed

    Papa is especially fond of us

    Roderick's picture

    You know what... This article wasn't written to rile up people so much as it was to get us talking about the NATURE & FUNCTION of the Kingdom. Yes there is a passing reference to what I (and many others) believe about the first-century situation and the post A.D. 70 situation with the Church -- but that wasn't what this article was really about.

    A while back, John Noe posted an article about the Kingdom on this site (Restoring the Kingdom-of-God Worldview to the Church and the World) and it too was not received well. The comments were either hostile or non-existent. Why is it that we as Preterists who claim so much about the PRESENCE of the Kingdom become so ho-hum about it?

    Can it be that we don't really have a good grasp of what the Kingdom really is? One respondent to my article even claims the Church & Kingdom are one in the same. Not many people disputed him, I was shocked. May I quote a famous Church Historian?

    The kingdom of God precedes the institution of the church, and will outlast it. The kingdom has come, is constantly coming, and will come in glory. It includes the government of God, and all the religious and moral activities of man. The visible church is a training-school for the kingdom. In many instances the terms may be interchanged, while in others we could not substitute the church for the kingdom without impropriety: e.g., in the phrase "of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3; Mark 10:14); or, "thy kingdom come" (Matt. 6:10) or, "the kingdom of God cometh not with observation, ... the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20, 21) or, "to inherit the kingdom" (Matt. 25:34; 1 Cor. 6:10; 15:30; Gal. 5:21); or, "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Phillip Schaff -- History of the Christian Church Vol II)

    People, can we start talking about what the Kingdom is? Jesus didn't say "Repent, for the church is at hand" -- The concept of the Church & the Kingdom as one and the same is a Roman Catholic concept because THEY (from their perspective of advancing the Roman Catholic Church all over the world) thought they were advancing the kingdom by compelling people into the church.

    But as Preterists, I thought we saw the Kingdom as something a bit different. If not, let's all ask the Pope to forgive the Protestants that rebelled against the church/kingdom.

    Roderick

    Roderick's picture

    People, can we start talking about what the Kingdom is? Jesus didn't say "Repent, for the church is at hand" -- The concept of the Church & the Kingdom as one and the same is a Roman Catholic concept because THEY (from their perspective of advancing the Roman Catholic Church all over the world) thought they were advancing the kingdom by compelling people into the church.
    ------------------
    So did Luther! Honestly, I don't think you have a clue about the Reformation! You keep making things up because of your lack of knowledge about the reformers. You have some anabaptist idea of the reformation as being a theological free-for-all. It wasn't. You want it to be, but it wasn't.

    You hate Christ's church. Good for you. You hate the communion of saints. Good for you. You continue your rant out there in left field and want the Reformers to join you. DREAM ON.

    Roderick's picture

    Ummm... Zorro Luther is the one that called the only visible Church he knew, the Whore of Babylon. Luther is the one who called the only 1300 year structure he knew (The Papal system) the anti-Christ and you call ME a church hater????

    Zorro, you live in a world where you have ignored all the history inbetween that has brought you from the first-century to now. To you, Luther's post rebellion days (when he set up the Protestant concept of church with its called pastors to counter the chaos he THOUGHT was happening without the Papal system he'd just torn down) were preformed out of the box concepts that were always from time immemorial. You ignore history my friend.

    In Christ, in His WED WIFE The Church, and in the victorious Kingdom,
    Roderick

    Erick's picture

    "Ummm... Zorro Luther is the one that called the only visible Church he knew, the Whore of Babylon. Luther is the one who called the only 1300 year structure he knew (The Papal system) the anti-Christ and you call ME a church hater????"

    Hi, Erick here, I'm not sure if I want to meddle in this one (something in Proverbs about grabbing a dog by the ears), but I honestly and sincerely thought Luther didn't call the "visible Church" the Whore, but as you say the visible Church he "knew" as corrupted at that time i.e. the Roman Church, no? Same with the anti-Christ references. Thanks both of you for the insights, I and others are benefiting greatly from these debates. Luther was an Historicist correct?

    Erick's picture

    Luther was an Historicist correct?
    -----------------
    Lutherans are AMIL. Luther, was all over the place, eschatologically. It's difficult NOT to call a Pope who is trying to kill you the antichrist, I suppose. His mark upon the church, of couse, is in the area of justification by faith, and that is what most of his works defend.

    There are epochs of study through the history of the church, starting with Christology, naturally.
    It is safe to say that we are in the theological epoch of eschatology.

    One thing is certain, truth builds upon truth. For example, Anselm did not destroy the Christological framework to settle his theory of the atonement. Likewise, Luther built upon Anselm to build the doctrine of justification by faith.

    So a theory that is dependent on destroying the foundation laid is, well, stupid.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Zorro: So a theory that is dependent on destroying the foundation laid is, well, stupid.

    Theories built upon OTHER theories ARE stupid, Zorro. You're right. Ultimately, the dogma and doctrines you defend have their foundations upon the theories of OTHER men, rather than upon the clear statements found in the Scriptures pertaining to the Kingdom and its characteristics.

    WE stand in opposition to the foolish theories of men who used the hypotheses and conjectures of other men as the foundation for their thinking and beliefs, rather than relying upon the Word of God alone.

    davo's picture

    Theories built upon OTHER theories ARE stupid, Zorro.
    ----------------
    Tell THAT to a physicist! Or a REAL theologian. There are fundamental truths on which Christianity stands or falls - and you have attacked them all. You are unteachable and yet put yourself out as a teacher. Martyrdom complexes bask in their supposed uniqueness of message. It's a type of religious sickness. You need to get back on solid ground.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Modern science is as much a religion guided by conjecture and hypothesis as anythign else, Zorro. Yes, scientists have been granted insights into certain key aspects of the material realm around us, and the physics governing it. In most cases, this was directly involved with their own, systematic examination of the empirically established evidence that was available to them.

    By contrast - the theological and doctrinal realm of inquiry has had the SCRIPTURES - an objective means of establishing that which is true and accurate. They SHOULD have provided the theologians of previous centuries with more than enough material to accurately comprehend the Kingdom of Heaven and its eternal role among men. INSTEAD - those who SHOULD have known better went to great lengths to develop and maintain faulty theories, reinforcing (and attempting to legitimize) the manifestly false ideas of their predecessors.

    12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.(2Corinthians 10:12)

    parousia70's picture

    'the theological and doctrinal realm of inquiry has had the SCRIPTURES'
    ------
    It also has a logic that is bound by scripture which you do not hold to. Often your premises are wrong or are conjecture - then the rest of your argument falls no matter how clever.

    REFORMATION COMES WHEN TRUTH IS EXALTED

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    It's odd how the pot loves to call the kettle black. It's a cognitive anomaly, Zorro, that you have once again demonstrated for us, here. No Christians are more illogical, irrational and inconsistent in their views than futurists.

    The entertainment factor, unfortunately, has worn incredibly thin however.

    JRP's picture

    Nate and Rod,

    Thanks for your responses. You've helped me make a decision. I've said all I care to say in this cesspool of do it yourself designer theology. No need for laymen to be taught Nate? If this site is indicative of the consequences of such an idea, I'd have to say, you have got to be kidding!

    This is my last post. Don't bother responding, I won't be back to see it.

    But boldness without truth will never make a Christian confessor: and if a man injures himself for the love of error, he is not a martyr but a suicide. William A. Jones

    Roderick's picture

    See, (& I'll respond anyhow)
    Herein we see the problem. JRP sees a distinction between laymen & clergy and we do too -- UNTIL we have finally come into the completion of Eph 4:13 but after that time there is no more clergy or laymen but rather we are all clergy before the present Lord, calling people to enter in the gates of New Jerusalem that never close.

    But JRP & people like him become upset about this liberty, about this respect for the presence of Christ. They yearn for the distinctions of undershepherds and sheep and they become violently upset if such a structure is questioned.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Exactly, Roderick. It certainly says much about the misconceptions such people entertain concerning the ability of God to directly instruct those who have the Law "written on their hearts" and have personal acquaintance with, and knowledge of, Him.

    Such people have a very low view of God AND His eternal Kingdom. They have no true, Biblical understanding of either.

    SciotaMicks's picture

    Well, the "clergy" has missed 1934 years of Gods completed kingdom.

    Yet we have so much to learn from them. They don't even know WHO God is or WHAT His plan accomplished or where the kingdom is or WHEN it was finally done or WHY Christ took 40 years to do it or HOW it could possibly apply to today. I am happy in my own understanding. I can read the bible with out the help of clergy who have missed the essence of God for 1934 years.
    Praise Him that I can see the Truth for myself away from the "clergy's" Little Orphan Annie decoder ring theology.

    God Bless you in His freedom, Brothers!

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Thanks, Nate! And may you also be richly blessed in sharing your freedom and liberty in Him with others!

    Roderick's picture

    Parker,

    You, as an advocate for the Roman Catholic concept of Apostolic Succession are consistent, even if I (and all Protestants) disagree with you.

    So, the issue is not MY inconsistency with the continuity of the Church but rather Protestants and especially non-Roman Catholic Preterists inconsistency with the continuity of the Church.

    You see, I am now consistently saying that the first-century structure was comparable to bridesmaids attending a bride until she was finally wed to the groom. She still is the bride but now more than that she is the Wife.

    Whereas those who advocate the continuation of the first-century structure beyond the Marriage of the Lamb to the Church, do so with blatant inconsistency.

    I have laid out the options before them but they ridicule.
    The options are:

    1) Either Jesus & the Apostles were wrong about His soon coming.
    OR
    2) The Church (in history) has mostly been wrong about His soon coming.

    They ignore these options and pretend everything continues as it was in the first-century, all the while inconsistently saying Apostles and Prophets are no more.

    It really is a matter of either the Roman Catholic version of Church or a version that truly makes Christ the one and only Shepherd with no more attending bridesmaids.

    Roderick

    JL's picture

    'You, as an advocate for the Roman Catholic concept of Apostolic Succession are consistent, even if I (and all Protestants) disagree with you.'

    Your ignorance of the Reformation is astounding. Luther knew that continuity with the Apostles and the communion of saints is THE mark of the church - where the gospel is preached and the sacraments are rightly administered. There is no church where this continuity is not exhibited. And the church is not invisible. It is a very physical entity with water, bread, and wine as THINGS God works through.

    Your thinking is easily traced back to the anabaptists, not the magisterial reformers such as Luther. The anabaptists were the enemies of both Lutheranism and the Catholic church. A theology never developed out of anabaptism because it was all over the place since each man was his own teacher. Anabaptists such as yourself have always bragged about their dis-continuity from the church. Not much has changed.

    Blessings,

    JL Vaughn
    Beyond Creation Science

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Luther mistakenly failed to divorce his thinking completely from "church" tradition, Zorro. He was not solely reliant upon the Word of God, his claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Thus, his reformation did not go far enough. The false hierarchies of the false institution known as "church" were not challenged and proven invalid. This was Luther's failure and error.

    This Second Reformation we are now advancing will differ markedly from the First in that regard, and thus will have more profound, lasting impact in keeping with the Truth of the Word of God. That's the difference. You may not like it - but you'll have to learn to live with it anyway.

    THIS Reformation isn't precisely concerned with reforming the thinking, beliefs and teachings of the Creedalist "authorities" within Christendom so much as it is focussed upon the thinking and beliefs of the common lay person - which was Christ's focus in his own ministry, interestingly enough!

    But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty (1Cor. 1:27, NKJV)

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    'This Second Reformation we are now advancing will differ markedly from the First in that regard,..'

    You got that one right. Advancing the idea that Christ wasn't resurrected with a body differs markedly from Christianity.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Zorro:You got that one right. Advancing the idea that Christ wasn't resurrected with a body differs markedly from Christianity.

    That would be the pseudo-Christianity espoused by your "church", Zorro, as opposed to the true, original Christianity which MY view represents.

    Roderick's picture

    Zorro:You got that one right. Advancing the idea that Christ wasn't resurrected with a body differs markedly from Christianity.

    That would be the pseudo-Christianity espoused by your "church", Zorro, as opposed to the true, original Christianity which MY view represents.

    -----------------------------
    None of the pre-nicene church fathers agrees with you. They were the originals.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    No they weren't. The apostles and pre-AD 70 Christians were the originals. Come on, Zorro. That should be the most obvious fact in history.

    davo's picture

    The apostles and pre-AD 70 Christians were the originals.
    -------------
    But not after. Hmmmm, that's a convenient definition. The most obvious fact in history is that the church continued right along after 70AD, with at least one apostle that we know of. You don't like historical facts - they mess up your theory. Are you doing that out of ignorance or deception? It's an insult to intelligent people - don't you get it?

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    I have some very serious questions (and doubts) concerning the historicity of that one apostle's existence beyond 70 AD.

    What we DO have, Zorro, is an interesting DEARTH of writings from ANY pre-70 AD apostles and Christians in the latter part of the First Century. Have you noticed that, in all of your historical expertise and insight? I think you've missed the forest for the trees, Zorro. You fail to see the big picture which the bulk of the data REALLY points to, because your agenda involving legitimizing the perpetuation of the Church in this realm BEYOND 70 AD guides and informs all of your thinking.

    YOU HAVE NO PROOF WHATSOEVER that the "church" as it existed after 70 AD was in any way, shape or form a Biblically valid continuation and perpetuation of the New Testament, pre-AD 70 Body of Christ.

    parousia70's picture

    'YOU HAVE NO PROOF WHATSOEVER that the "church" as it existed after 70 AD was in any way...a Biblically valid continuation ...'
    ---------------
    We know Polycarp was taught directly by John. Your problem is, as a former dispensationalist, you place 'the rapture' in mid-stream, when it is at the end.

    I have refuted your speculation before: if the church was removed in 70AD and faith comes by hearing - then that was the end of Christianity. Historically we see the opposite - after the end of the Jewish persecution, the church flourished. We see NO ONE believing Hymeneous' invisible resurrection after 70AD - not one!

    Now 2000 years later you come along and say Hymeneous was correct. Hymeneous' destiny is yours, as you go about destroying the hope of Christ's church. If you don't repent, your judgment is sure.

    REFORMATION COMES WHEN TRUTH IS EXALTED

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Hymenaeus was correct in believing that the resurrection was invisible and SPIRITUAL in nature. He just had his timing wrong. And because of that, his doctrine as a whole was off - much like the futurists of today who have THEIR timing of the resurrection off by almost 2,000 years now (and counting). Understanding the timing of prophetic fulfillment is critical in understanding the Mind and Will of God, Zorro. In your case, you're 2,000 years removed from understanding the Scriptures, particularly where the Kingdom of God is concerned.

    Parker's picture

    The author's blindness to his own contradictions is stunning. (Hello, Rod.)

    Obviously, if the model faith exhibited by the apostles and their disciples ends at AD 70 and is not continued, then the bible says NOTHING about life beyond their times. It prescribes NOTHING. Therefore, all attempts to characterize "The "Kingdom" beyond AD 70 (assuming that the Kingdom wasn't only for the apostles to whom it was promised as their reward) are merely unbiblical conjecture and self-serving rhetoric.

    Face the brute facts Rod: by rejecting the continuty that exists between the Church that was 40 years in the making and the Church after AD 70, you are left with Deism at best.

    Roderick's picture

    The Apostles founded the kingdom (built it). Ad 70 was the cristening of the kingdom. Until AD 70, NO ONE LIVED IN THE KINGDOM!!!

    This is not a hard concept!
    The kingdom was "at hand" until AD 70.
    Christ was "preparing a place" until AD 70.

    So if it was "at hand" and "being prepared" then it couldn't very well have been inhabited could it?

    The "brute facts" are the kingdom preached in the beatitudes exists NOW. Christ's kingdom teachings on life and loving our neighbor is NOW. The church was the means to build that kingdom (city). But now that our dwelling is BUILT, already inhabited.
    We don't need a bunch of catholics adding on unscriptural rooms to the place, DO WE???!!

    Parker's picture

    NATE:
    Until AD 70, NO ONE LIVED IN THE KINGDOM!

    PARKER:
    Rather, no one lived in a completed Kingdom under Christ.

    NATE:
    So if it was "at hand" and "being prepared" then it couldn't very well have been inhabited could it?

    PARKER:
    Quit being silly. They were inhabiting it in every stage of its institution during those years: Mt. 11:12, 12:28, 16,19, Mt 21:43, Mt 23:13, Heb 12:28.

    NATE:
    The "brute facts" are the kingdom preached in the beatitudes exists NOW. Christ's kingdom teachings on life and loving our neighbor is NOW.

    PARKER:
    Are you suggesting that the apostles weren't the primary and intended audience for the sermon on the mount?

    NATE:
    The church was the means to build that kingdom (city).

    PARKER:
    Nonsense. The New Covenant Church is the Kingdom, and the Church wasn't built until AD 70. It was BEING built from AD 30-70.

    Roderick's picture

    PARKER:
    Nonsense. The New Covenant Church is the Kingdom, and the Church wasn't built until AD 70. It was BEING built from AD 30-70.

    Roderick:
    I'm shocked by this. The Church & the Kingdom are NOT one in the same. Does the Church come without observation? Does the Church reside within? Did the Church not come until A.D. 70? Then what was that pre-A.D. 70??? The Church & the Kingdom are distinctly different in nature and function. Christ did NOT say the "church is at hand" but rather that the Kingdom was at hand. It is the Kingdom that is supposed to be advanced and live in by the Church --

    Roderick

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Roderick,
    We have been dealing with this from sort of a side angle. I have been debating preterism with a discontented Dispy for a month now. He is close to our side. Give it a week or two.

    Either way, we need to show the purpose of the church if we are to say it no longer exists.

    Read these and see if you agree. Romans 8 said all creation was awaitng the freedom that would come to the saints. Through adoption, the resurrection of our body. Ephesians links adoption with both Jew and Gentile. I Corinthians when refering to resurrection speaks of the result being God as all in all. Colossians makes the meaning of that clear, so that Christ "be all and in all" both Jew and gentile, slave or free. All these passages are preceded or followed up with the message of the firstfruits. Those with that special bestowing of the spirit was the "firstfruits" of Christ who was the firstfruits of the resurrection.
    Basically,
    The Jews had to act disobediently to bring the gentiles into the olive tree (Rom 11) thus fulfilling the promise of Abraham that his seed would bless all nation.
    During Ad 30 to AD 70 the Jews were in disobedience until the number of the Gentiles was complete (to make up the elect of both).
    This way, when the kingdom came down in AD 70, wiping out Judaism for all time, Christ waS GLORIFIED as the true Messiah in His saints. His saints included both Jew and gentile. Having both Jew and Gentile in the church, and both Jew and Gentile vindicated in AD 70 with Christ as the one and only chosen people, the true sons (adopted) of Abraham. The mission of the church was now complete. It was the time in which to call the elect of God (both of which had set numbers) into the true olive tree, who's root would be proven and vindicated as holy in AD 70, thus proving the the entire batch was named "holy" (sanctified, Rom 11:16) and that the followers of Christ, for all time, are the chosen of God. Both Jew and Gentile, for now there is no distinction.

    My study will be done soon. Read those entire chapters I gave and see if you come up with the same purpose. The Great Commission was limited to call the elect who were numbered to bring them into the church to be vindicated in AD 70 as the firstfruits of something that would be eternal and that God is the God of all races of men, who are Christs!!

    God Bless
    Nate

    Parker's picture

    Roderick:
    I'm shocked by this. The Church & the Kingdom are NOT one in the same. Does the Church come without observation? Does the Church reside within? Did the Church not come until A.D. 70?

    Parker:
    The Church is the Bride, Christ's wife (Eph 5:30-32/2 Cor 11:2). This is what comes down in the New Heaven and Earth.

    Revelation 21:2, 9-10
    And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband..."Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.

    It is the Church that arrived in its full glory at AD 70. It was being built. "Upon this rock [Peter] I will build my Church." It took 40 years for that church to become fully built. Thus, we see its arrival take place in the New Heaven and Earth (Rev 21:2,9-10).

    Roderick:
    Then what was that pre-A.D. 70???

    Parker:
    The constructing of the Church for 40 years.

    Roderick:
    The Church & the Kingdom are distinctly different in nature and function.

    Parker:
    Separating the Church from the Kingdom is like separating a basketball team from the game of basketball. The two are fully intertwined in New Testament scripture.

    Roderick:
    Christ did NOT say the "church is at hand" but rather that the Kingdom was at hand.

    Parker:
    The Church is called the New Jerusalem and the Lamb's wife in Revelation 21:2,9-10. They are all intertwined--one flesh (Eph 5:30-32).

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Parker: The Church is called the New Jerusalem and the Lamb's wife in Revelation 21:2,9-10. They are all intertwined--one flesh (Eph 5:30-32).

    Parker, Parker. How easy it is to misinterpret the Scriptures when guided so forcefully by presuppositions divergent from the true intent of the text itself. Rev. 21 does NOT state that the New Jerusalem and the Church/Bride of Christ are one and the same entity. The New Jerusalem is WHERE THE BRIDE/CHURCH DWELLS. It is GOD'S CAPITAL CITY. Note the text you quoted again, below.

    Revelation 21:2, 9-10
    And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband..."Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.

    The city was MADE READY AS A BRIDE - it WAS NOT THE BRIDE ITSELF!! Christ stated that He was GOING TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR THEM (His disciples/apostles who became the original, founding members of His Church). He did NOT state that He was going to TURN THEM INTO THAT PLACE.

    When the angel told John that he was going to show him the "Bride", what he was really saying was that he was going to show Him God's VISUAL REPRESENTATION of the Bride. This city was adorned according to God's own perceptions concerning His Bride, and was crafted to visually manifest His view of her and her glorious beauty.

    Ephesians 5:30-32 does NOT state that the Church and the New Jerusalem are "all intertwined as one flesh". Here is the actual text.

    30 For we are members of His [Christ's] body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

    You're confusing yourself, Parker. Yourself - NOT us. The Lamb Himself is NOT the New Jerusalem and neither is His Bride. Back to the drawing board, sir. Your fevered attempts to impose RCC dogma on the Word of God yields obvious interpretive anomalies and excesses.

    JM

    Parker's picture

    SuperSoul:
    Rev. 21 does NOT state that the New Jerusalem and the Church/Bride of Christ are one and the same entity.

    Parker:
    The bride betrothed to become the wife of Christ is Christ's Church (Eph 5:30-32/2Cor 11:2). As St. John also says...

    Revelation 21:2, 9-10
    And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband..."Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.

    SuperSoul:
    The city was MADE READY AS A BRIDE - it WAS NOT THE BRIDE ITSELF!

    Parker:
    "I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God"

    SuperSoul:
    You're confusing yourself, Parker. Yourself - NOT us. The Lamb Himself is NOT the New Jerusalem and neither is His Bride.

    Parker:
    I'll be patient with you, SS, until you learn the scriptures:

    --COMPARE THIS--
    Revelation 19:7-8
    "the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

    --TO THIS--

    Revelation 21:2
    And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband...

    By comparing these two passages, we see clearly how the Church is the bride in 19:7-8, and thus clearly also the bride of 21:2. These are parallel passages equating the Church with New Jerusalem. You would have us believe that two entirely different wives and marriages are in view--one in 19:7-8 and a DIFFERENT one in 21:2,9-11. Such is hardly worthy of a response.

    The scripture is clear in equating the Church-Bride to the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven:

    "I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb. And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God."

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Parker, Parker. I hold very little hope that you will ever submit to the instruction necessary to accurately and contextually acquaint you with the Scriptures as you should have been years ago. The RCC has had its enduring (and virtually irreversible) impact on your thinking and overall perspective. I'll do my best to be patient, even as you also are attempting to be.

    Rev. 19 describes the Bride as being "dressed in fine linen". Rev. 21 does NOT describe the City in these terms. WHY? I am not suggesting there were "two marriage ceremonies". Don't be ridiculous. I'm saying that we are given two, different perspectives on two, different entities - BOTH prepared for the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    On the one hand, we have the Bride WHO MADE HERSELF ready, in Rev. 19. Her righteousness was evident in the fine linen she wore (as a corporate Body of saints), representing the righteousness acquired through faith in Christ throughout the intense persecutions she endured pre-AD 70. THIS is the true Bride.

    In Rev. 21, however, we have the angel taking John on a tour of the New Heavens and Earth. He sees the New Jerusalem DECORATED AND CONSTRUCTED TO REPRESENT THE BRIDE. The City was an architectural marvel. It was supernaturally constructed in such a way that it manifested the Bride according to the unique characteristics of her individual members (I believe).

    If a baker showed you a bridal cake he had baked, with a wee bride and groom on top and introduced that decoration by saying "Here are the bride and groom, on top" - would you understand him to be saying that the literal bride and groom were standing on the cake, Parker? If a tour guide at the Louvre stated, "and here is the famous Mona Lisa" - would you understand him to mean that the woman who orginally modelled for the famous painting was hanging on the wall? Come on now. Get contextual and start treating the Word of God with integrity and accuracy, rather than dwelling on imaginative misconstructions of the true, obvious inferences and intent. An ice sculptor, making ready for a modern wedding, might introduce you to two of his creations with the words, "And here are the bride and groom". Would you understand him to mean that the ice sculptures he is indicating are the literal, living bride and groom? Of course not. The angel, in making the statement to John which he did, was using simple, everyday figurative language - equating the City with the Bride herself, since it was constructed in such a way that it PERFECTLY REPRESENTED the Bride. Comparing Rev. 19 with Rev. 21 actually verifies this fact (or it should, if your thinking cap is on straight).

    Parker's picture

    SuperSoul:
    Rev. 19 describes the Bride as being "dressed in fine linen". Rev. 21 does NOT describe the City in these terms. WHY?

    Parker:
    Why would it need to? It already describes them both as the bride made ready. Not two different brides, nor two different marriages. Any unbiased mind can see that Rev 19:7-8 and Rev 21:2,9-11 are the same thing. The Church is clearly equated to New Jerusalem--one bride made ready for the Lamb. That bride is obviously the Church (2 Cor 11:2/Eph 5:30-32/Rev 19:7-8).

    SuperSoul:
    I am not suggesting there were "two marriage ceremonies". I'm saying that we are given two, different perspectives on two, different entities - BOTH prepared for the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

    Parker:
    Anyone comparing Rev 19:7-8 and Rev 21:2,9-11 can see that the same single bride is in view. It is the Church-bride. Paul also identified her (2 Cor 11:2/Eph 5:30-32).

    SuperSoul:
    He sees the New Jerusalem DECORATED AND CONSTRUCTED TO REPRESENT THE BRIDE.

    Parker:
    The New Jerusalem is called the bride in Rev 21:2,8-11. The bride made ready. This equates directly to Rev 19:7-8. The Church is meant. The Church is the bride, as also our dear apostle had taught (2 Cor 11:2/Eph 5:30-32).

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    For anyone else, who may be confused like Parker when reading Rev. 21, v.14 should clarify and establish beyond any doubt the truth of what I'm saying concerning the city's REPRESENTATIVE form, rather than its' being the ACTUAL, LITERAL entity itself.

    "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

    WHY were the names of the apostles needed on the foundations, IF THE FOUNDATIONS WERE THE ACTUAL, LIVING PERSONS OF THE APOSTLES THEMSELVES?? Surely everyone would recognize these poor guys forced to eternally dwell at the base of this huge city, suffering its weight upon them for eternity. Somehow, they were transformed into huge foundation stones, and yet retained their individual identity and consciousness, eh, Parker? Maybe that's why they had to wear "name tags"? Because they looked like huge blocks of stone, and yet they were living, conscious men?? I wonder who the gates of the city were? The gates don't interact with anyone much do they? They just sort of hang around...for eternity?? When Christ said He was going to prepare a place for them I guess what He really meant was that He was GOING TO TURN THEM INTO A PLACE OF RESIDENCE. Magically, God all along planned to make these people into His own, personal mansion in the sky, eh, Parker? Is that your thinking? I realize that for someone who readily accepts the idea of transubstantiation, such ideas (as outlined above) are not at all outrageous, and accurately express your views in this area. But for the rest of us...the obviously ludicrous nature of your understanding of Rev. 21 necessitates a rejection of your interpretation.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Wherever the inheritance is possessed that was taken from Old Israel and given to a different PEOPLE is where you will find New Israel and New Jerusalem.

    The Church (The Bride of Christ) possesses that inheritance and, by that, authority.

    Those from without the Church have absolutely NO CLAIM to the inheritance. They are bastard children banging on the gate, lots of noise but no share in it.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Hi, Roderick! I enjoyed your most recent article, particularly the celebratory tone of it. As you are well aware, you and I share the identical perspective on the nature of the one, True Church and its historical role (that of being Christ's First Century Bride and wife/eternal companion in heaven).

    There IS one note of clarification I'd like to make concerning the "kingdoms of this world", though. Do you recall when Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness and showed Him "all the kingdoms of the world"? Here's one of the texts relating that event.

    5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' " (Luke 4:5-8, NKJV)

    Note that Jesus did NOT challenge Satan's perceptions concerning his own authority over the "kingdoms of the world". There is a very simple reason for this. Satan DID have that authority at that time. He wasn't lying OR being deceptive. Note Christ's statement in this text also.

    John 12:31, "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out."

    John 14:30, "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me."

    John 16:11, "of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged."

    John 18:36, "Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."

    Do you begin to get a glimpse of the original intent of the Scriptures and Christ Himself concerning the "kingdoms of this world", Roderick? They were the hierarchies of authority of the OLD COVENANT JEWISH WORLD. Modern Christians make the false assumption that the governments of planet earth, on a global scale, are in view in the statement you cited from Revelation. In reality, however, when the Old Covenant "world" and its various levels of government and authority were forced to submit to CHRIST'S authority in 70 AD, and Satan's governance over them was brought to an end - Rev. 11:15 was fully fulfilled!

    Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

    The difficulty in the understanding of most people is that they fail to consistently interpret "this world" as a reference, exclusively, to the "cosmos" or "world" (civilization) of the Jews - particularly as it existed in the pre-AD 70 First Century era.

    Just thought I'd clarify that point, Roderick. It's been a blessing to me, following your ideas and the development of your views on these things. Keep up the good work, brother!

    John McPherson

    JRP's picture

    "There are even some among us who fear that further reforms, especially in the area of understanding the nature and purpose of Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, and Evangelists as being uniquely first-century pre-consummation, pre-completed canon offices will further erode THEIR concept of how the kingdoms of this world are becoming the Kingdom of Christ."

    Well Rod, I remain completely unconvinced by your incessant whining and sniping. Do you know how to write about anything else, or is this pretty much it? Yeah, I get it already. YOUR concept of the "kingdom" and MY concept of the "kingdom" are not the same. Some around here would have us believe that the Kingdom, reaching full maturity in 70 ad, was D.O.A. I know, I know, the Church is in heaven right? The funny thing is, there are all these ignorant people running around down here claiming Christ as their savior, studying the scriptures, and even meeting together for fellowship. That's o.k. I guess as long as we stop thinking of ourselves as "the church," right? O.k. guys, fire away.

    But boldness without truth will never make a Christian confessor: and if a man injures himself for the love of error, he is not a martyr but a suicide. William A. Jones

    Parker's picture

    JRP,
    You can have your view of the kingdom.
    Your idea of church has only led to 1900 years of ignorance concerning the coming of Christ.

    Oh yea, but that is the way to be a "church" according to scripture. Have a system engrosed in error!

    Wow, what a lovely system you cling to.

    Preterism holds the answers, scripture is now understood by the layman, but you refuse to let go of the system that keeps the masses in a stupor.

    God bless you for preaching the victory Brother!!

    Nate

    Roderick's picture

    Brother,

    I admit I am incessant (not ceasing) when it comes to proclaiming the KINGDOM and the KING. And I am incessant when it comes to declaring the Church VICTORIOUS Wife (not merely those institutions and organizations that have pretended to be the UNWED bride throughout the centuries) --

    And you only repeat the misrepresentations by others when you say we claim the Church was D.O.A. or is merely in Heaven. I have never said such. Indeed, the Church VICTORIOUS Wife of Christ is alive and well. It is only those bridesmaids that will not accept her as the MARRIED WIFE of Christ but still want to portray Her as UNWED & requiring their guidance down the aisles of the ages.

    Brother, I will indeed keep incessantly writing and speaking of THE KINGDOM & THE KING & HIS WIFE as VICTORIOUS and if that to you is whinning I cannot help you.

    In Christ
    Roderick

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