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Outcasts from the Synagogue
by Marcus Booker
Sometimes one passage from the Scriptures is especially effective in concisely revealing a particular truth. Many passages or verses may serve as simple and common "time texts," but some excerpts just ooze of preterism. Such passages plainly identify "the world" as Pharisaical/perverse Judaism. Two such passages are in John 16 and in 1 Thess 2. One may regard these passages as hints to futurists that they can either search out or ignore. Sometimes one passage from the Scriptures is especially effective in concisely revealing a particular truth. Many passages or verses may serve as simple and common "time texts," but some excerpts just ooze of preterism. Such passages plainly identify "the world" as Pharisaical/perverse Judaism. Two such passages are in John 16 and in 1 Thess 2. One may regard these passages as hints to futurists that they can either search out or ignore. John 16:1-4 says,
"These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling. They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you."
In this passage are two things:
1. Great persecution in the world--"outcasts from the synagogue;" being killed by those who do not know God. In like manner, Acts of the Apostles and many of the epistles detail and verify the general persecution of Christ's disciples at the hands of many of the Jews. So...what is this synagogue of which Christ speaks?" Is it not Revelation's "synagogue of the adversary?" Is it not the same synagogue in which the disciples were to be scourged, according to the Gospel?
2. The judgment (and tribulation upon God's enemies)--"an hour is coming;" "when their hour comes." Of whom was Jesus speaking? Were not Christ's parables of judgment aimed against the pharisees? How were these people judged? In verse 8 and following (i.e. in the immediate context), Jesus says, "And He [the Helper], when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged."
Jesus affirms, "I told you of them [i.e. these things]." But when did Jesus tell his disciples of these things? Was not his olivet discourse one of these instances? Did he not constantly warn the perverse generation of the ill-effects of their sin and of the judgment to come? How it is that futurists can read over these texts (i.e. the whole body of apostolic writing) is beyond me.
The broader context to this passage is interesting in that Christ mentions "the ruler of the world is coming" (John 14:55). He says that he will disclose himself to his disciples and not to the world (John 14:37). Also, he affirms that those who do not abide in him will be thrown away as a dried branch and cast into fire (John 15:6)."
It is evident to the unbiased mind that Christ meant to speak against his contemporaries. They were the ones to be "cast into the fire" as per Christ's expressions, parables and Revelation.
1 Thess 2 also makes the point quite plainly. It says,
"For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost."
In this passage is:
1. Great persecution in Judea and abroad--As in Acts, the blame for the killing of Jesus and the prophets falls upon the disobedient Jews. As Jesus said, "all the righteous blood shed on the earth...will fall upon this generation." Revelation also speaks against those who killed Jesus, the prophets and the disciples.
2. Judgment--"wrath has come upon them to the utmost." Judgment, of course, follows wrath. According to futurists, how did the wrath of God against these people manifest itself?
In John 16, these men are said to not know God. Here, Paul speaks of them similarly saying that "they are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men."
It sometimes boggles my mind how these points escape readers of the Scriptures. Some things might not be easy to interpret, but there are enough hints that should point people in the right direction.
Futurists don't know how to round up the usual suspects. Seriously...to whom did the term "whore" refer in the prophets? If it was to Israel, shouldn't God's disobedient people Israel be the first suspect? Yet these futurists pretend as if these identities are great mysteries.
I suppose it's a simple matter of taking a hint and exploring from there. As soon as they learn to stop imposing their own twisted endtimes scheme on the Scriptures, the sooner they will learn what the text is actually saying.