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The Rapture Myth

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By John - Posted on 17 June 2004

by Charles Roberts
In the year 1843, there were people who sold their homes and businesses and went about the country preaching the imminent return of Christ in what they call “the Rapture”. They were the followers of William Miller, a farmer and self-taught bible scholar from upstate New York.In the year 1843, there were people who sold their homes and businesses and went about the country preaching the imminent return of Christ in what they call “the Rapture”. They were the followers of William Miller, a farmer and self-taught bible scholar from upstate New York. Miller understood the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 to refer to the number of years until the return of Christ.

Though scholars for two thousand years had been in nearly universal agreement that the prophecy referred to events in what are now past history Miller insisted it was for fulfillment in his day.
In 168 BC, as Daniel had prophesied, a great warrior king, Antiochus Epiphanes, entered Jerusalem to punish the Jews.

As promised, he put an end to sacrifices at the temple, and he rededicated the temple to Zeus.

He then offered Zeus the sacrifice of a pig upon the altar of God. Daniel 8:14 does not literally read "2300 days", but "2300 evenings and mornings."

Now an evening and a morning may be taken to mean a day, but in this case it could mean something else.

In the order of rituals in the Temple, there were both morning and evening sacrifices offered to God.

When the actual number of morning and evening sacrifices that should have been offered during the time that Antiochus Epipahnes controlled Jerusalem are totaled, it equals roughly 2300.

From the time of Antiochus entering Jerusalem until the temple was cleansed and proper sacrifices reinstituted was roughly 2300 days.

So when Daniel made that prediction in his time, it was yet future. But now, to us, it is in the past.

This what in theological terms we call the “preterist” view of interpreting Bible prophecy. “Preterist” means “past” as “futurist” means future.

William Miller believed in the futurist view of interpreting Bible prophecy.

Adding 2300 years to the time of Daniel's prophecy gave Miller a date of March 21, 1844.

He began to teach this throughout the Northeast and gained a wide following.

Despite the great excitement, March 21, 1844, came and went without the return of Christ.

Miller was devastated, but one of his followers went back through the calculations and found what he believed to be the error.

A new date was set of October 22, 1844.

When even 1844 did not pan out, some of the followers abandoned the movement.

You have perhaps read of this story before, or one’s similar to it, and I suspect that in the back of your mind, at least, you have thought to yourself:

Yeah, that’s pretty bad about how foolish those people were to believe all that. Of course today we are much more sophisticated and don’t go in for all this date setting and stuff.

There are probably some cults and fringe church groups that still go in for that, but no one in the broader evangelical world does.”

Now that may be what you assume, when you read the story of William Miller, but the fact is, many Christians today believe that one day soon, (it is always soon) Jesus is going to physically appear in the sky.

And immediately all the dead are going to be resurrected and rise to meet Him.
And the living Christians will be caught up in the clouds with them to be with Christ.

They believe that Christians will physically be "raptured" off of this planet.

Perhaps you've seen the pictures of the unmanned cars crashing and bodies coming out of the graves with everyone going up into the sky.
Or you have seen the Left Behind films series that depicts vanishing pilots and passengers from airplanes.

The "rapture of the church" doctrine is not a historical teaching of the church but something that was started around 1830 by the Plymouth Brethren?

It was popularized in America by the Scofield Reference Bible and by elaborate End Time event charts published by Clarence Larkin.
During the twentieth century, the "physical rapture" of the Church became a dominant eschatological view.

Many have predicted when this event was to happen: Mikkel Dahl predicated in The Midnight Cry that the present era would end by 1980.

Reginald Edward Duncan predicted in The Coming Russian Invasion of America that the Millennium would begin in 1979.

Emil Gaverluk, of the Southwest Radio Church, predicted that the rapture would occur by 1981.
In 1948, Israel became a nation, many saw this as very significant in Bible prophecy. They believed that within a generation of that time (forty years), the rapture would occur.

Edgar C. Whisenant wrote the book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Is in 1988. Six million copies of his work were sold.

And there were many otherwise level headed Christians who read that book and were more than a little convinced that this time, one end of the world predictor has gotten it right.
Mr. Whisenant laboriously demonstrated why Christ would return to the earth in September of that year.

Regional news reports noted that a number of Christians took his message so seriously that they quit their jobs in anticipation of Christ's imminent return.

Whisenant remarked, "Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong, and I say that unequivocally.
There is no way Biblically that I can be wrong; and I say that to every preacher in town."

When September of 1988 came to an end and there was no rapture Whisenant published a new book called, The Final Shout: Rapture Report 1989.

In this book he said, "My mistake was that my mathematical calculations were off by one year." Guess what? He was wrong again!

Hal Lindsey said:
“When the Jewish people, after nearly 2,000 years of exile, under relentless persecution, became a nation again on 14 May, 1948 the "fig tree" put forth its first leaves.
Jesus said that this would indicate that He was "at the door," ready to return.
Then He said, "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." (Matthew 24:34 NASB).
But what generation?

Obviously, in the generation that would see the signs -- chief among them the rebirth of Israel.
A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. If this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these things could take place. Many scholars who studied Bible prophecy all their lives believe that this is so. (The Late Great Planet Earth, pp. 53-54). “

In the summer of 1992, Charles R. Taylor wrote in the Bible Prophecy News that Jesus' return would occur in the fall of the same year:
"What you are starting to read probably is my final issue of Bible Prophecy News, for Bible prophecy fulfillments indicate that Jesus Christ our Lord will most likely return for us at the rapture of the Church before the Fall 1992 issue can be printed."

In his book, Armagedon: Appointment with Destiny, Grant Jeffrey writes, "The year A.D. 2000 is a probable termination date for the 'last days.""

Lester Sumrall wrote in his book I Predict 2000 A.D.: "I predict the absolute fullness of man's operation on planet Earth by the year 2000 A.D."
In 1992, Reformed Bible teacher Harold Camping published a book titled “1994?. “

Like William Miller a hundred years earlier, he rejected the historic understanding of Daniel 8.
The prophecy clearly describes the rise of the kingdom of Greece under Alexander the Great, and the division of his empire among four others.

But instead of seeing the prophecy as fulfilled in the events of what to us is now PAST history, Camping transported its fulfillment to our own day.

Camping introduced 1994? with the following statement,
"No book ever written is as audacious or bold as one that claims to predict the timing of the end of the world, and that is precisely what this book presumes to do."

As audacious as it was, it was wrong.

September 6, 1994 came and went. Camping seemed to back away from his false prophecy, but he has now decided he was right all along.
We just have to add 7 years to his original date of 1994.

Well, as I think most of us are aware the rapture did not happen in the year 1994 or in 2000.

When the Christian church has such an undeniable track record of focusing on this matter of the Return of Christ and getting it wrong time and time again, I think we need to step back for a moment.

We need to consider whether or not this popular, but relatively new teaching, of the Rapture of the church is truly a properly understood Biblical teaching.

Let's look at the Biblical text that is used to support the modern idea of the "physical rapture" of the church:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV) But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The first question that we need to ask here is, "Who is the Apostle Paul writing to?"
Who is the "you" that he did not want to be ignorant? The obvious answer is the Thessalonians of the first century.

As you read and study a text of the Bible, you must keep in mind the context, and consider who the original audience was - what did the original audience understand this to mean?
The Bible was written for us but not to us.
Some Christians upon reading that statement have difficulty understanding it.

They have a tendency to read the Bible as if when each word of it was written, the inspired authors had them in mind.

But this is not so, and the Bible itself does not teach that each and every word written herein was written with you, in the year 2004, in mind.
It is written in:

Joshua 6:3 (NKJV) "You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.

Is this command to march around Jericho to you?
Consider another passage from Joshua:
Joshua 6:25 (NKJV) And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father's household, and all that she had. SO SHE DWELLS IN ISRAEL TO THIS DAY, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

If you ignore the context and view this verse as written to you, what do you have?
You have a lady that is well over 3,000 years old.

Is Rahab still living in Israel today? Of course not!

So, why does the Bible say she is still living in Israel today when she isn't?
Simply because when the book of Joshua was written, she was still living in Israel.
Philippians 2:19-) But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you SHORTLY (tacheos), that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
In verse 19 Paul uses the word "shortly" which is, in the Greek tacheos.

This word means speed, quickness, swiftness, haste, suddenly.

So then, let me ask you, Are you excited about Timothy's soon arrival? If not, Why not?
The Bible says that Paul will send him "shortly." But I don't know of any Christians that are looking for Timothy to arrive soon.

We read this in a preteristic, past tense, manner and we understand that Paul was speaking to the Philippians in the first century when he said this.

Unless there is some overwhelming reason to ignore the context and especially the time indicators in the Bible concerning things like the Return of Christ and the Rapture, then we must be as concerned for context and audience relevance on those matters as we are on these others.

When Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, he was writing to Christians who lived in the first century.
You simply MUST understand this if you are going to properly understand what he is saying.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NKJV) But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
First of all, who are those who sleep in Jesus?
Now you need to know what the "hope" was that the Thessalonians had and what hope the non-Christians didn't have.

In order to understand this, you need consider Paul’s statements in the Book of Acts.
Acts 24:15 (NKJV) "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

Acts 26:6-8 (NKJV) "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 "To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?

It is clear from this last verse that Paul sees the resurrection of the dead as that which fulfills "the hope of the promise made by God unto our fathers."
Hosea 13:14 (NKJV) "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.

Note that the word for “grave” in verse 14 is in Hebrew Sheol.

So, the "hope" that Paul is talking about to the Thessalonians is the resurrection.
What exactly did they understand about "the resurrection"?

The Bible teaches that Paul taught that a resurrection was "about to happen" in his day:
Acts 24:15 (NKJV) "I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be (mello -about to be) a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

So, what is the resurrection that was about to happen in Paul's day?

It was God removing all the Old Testament dead saints out of Hades and taking them to heaven to live in His presence.
You see, prior to Jesus' messianic work, no one went to Heaven:

John 3:13 (NKJV) "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

Prior to Jesus' messianic work, all who died went to a holding place of the dead and waited for the atoning work of Christ and the resurrection from the dead.

Until Christ paid for man's sin, no one could go into God's presence.
To be taken out of Sheol and brought into the presence of the Lord is what the Bible calls resurrection.

I have had people ask me on a number of occasions what we mean in saying in the Creeds that Jesus descended into Hell.

Well, here is your answer! The Creeds don’t mean that Christ died and then went to the place of eternal damnation.

He went to the place known in the Older Testament as Sheol, which wound up, unfortunately, being translated as “hell” in the English version of the Apostles Creed.
So then, who are those who "sleep in Jesus" that Paul speaks of in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14?
They are the dead saints of the Old Covenant age that were in Sheol/Hades.

Paul assures the Thessalonians that when Christ returned he would rescue the Old Covenant saints from the grave- they would be resurrected.
It appears as though the Thessalonians were concerned for their departed brethren.

We know from the Gospel accounts of Christ’s death that there was something of a rehearsal of this or a warm up for it even at that time:
NKJVMatthew 27:52-53 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
In 1 Thessalonians 4, it reads:

1 Thessalonians 4:15 (NKJV) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
Notice what Paul wrote: "By the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord"

The "we" who "are alive, and remain" are indeed TIME STATEMENTS, for the "we" MUST be seen as the collective group of Paul and his audience.
Here is the same passage from two other translations:

NJB 1 Thessalonians 4:15 We can tell you this from the Lord's own teaching, that we who are still alive for the Lord's coming will not have any advantage over those who have fallen asleep.

YLT 1 Thessalonians 4:15 for this to you we say in the word of the Lord, that we who are living -- who do remain over to the presence of the Lord -- may not precede those asleep,
It is as obvious as the words on the page in front of you that Paul and the Thessalonians were expecting some kind of return of Christ in their lifetime.

This is very clear throughout the whole book:
1 Thessalonians 1:10 (NKJV) and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NKJV) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

1 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV) so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As you read these words and come to terms with what this really means, it seems to me that you are left with only three options.

Option one is the unbelieving option.

It looks at these words and sees them quite properly in their context, but because it is an unbelieving option, and because it is not one that properly understands the use of words and imagery in the Bible, concludes that the Bible is simply mistaken.

That Paul and Jesus and John and Peter all thought and promoted the idea that Jesus was going literally come back to this earth in their lifetime.

But he didn’t. They were, including our Lord, totally mistaken.

Option two is the futurist option.

This option is a believing option, but like the first option, it too fails to account for the use of words, images and ideas in the NT writings and it ignores the context.

The futurist concludes that because Christ did not return physically to this world at that time then it must mean that this event lies in the future, in OUR time.

Here then, is the key, here is the solution as to why so many people get so off base and always expecting the imminent soon return of Jesus, but it never happens.

They read the words of passages like Matthew 24, and 1 Thess’s 2, and they opt for the futurist position.

But because these words are NOT written TO US but, at this point, FOR us, to project into the future events that have already taken place, leads to the never ending expectation of things that have already happened.

This is why the third option, the past fulfillment or preterist option, is in my opinion, the one most in accord with the Bible’s own words.

The problem is not one of failed Bible prophecies and of our Lord being mistaken.

The problem is in taking predictions that were, AT THE TIME THEY were given, yet future, but are by now, fulfilled, and projecting those things into our time.

If there was not some kind of coming of Christ in their lifetime, the Lord gave them false hope and, in fact, deceived them.

One of the basic principles of properly interpreting the Bible is that the Bible is its own best interpreter.

No part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture.
Comparing this text in 1 Thessalonians to the text in Matthew 24 will help you to better understand its meaning.

Matthew 24:30-31 (KJV) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Jesus spoke these words in the context of the destruction of Jerusalem and said that their generation would see all these things fulfilled (Matthew 24:34).

In biblical language, "clouds" are symbolic of God's wrath and judgment against the enemies of His people.

David said that the Lord delivered him from his enemies while descending on clouds in Psalm 18:3-15.

The Lord said that He would ride into Egypt on a cloud and punish them: Turn with me to:
Isaiah 19:1 (KJV) The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

The Lord did not literally ride on a cloud, but Egypt did receive this judgment at the hands of the Assyrians (Isaiah 20:1-6).

The idea of Jesus physically coming on the clouds would have been contrary to the nature of their understanding of the Old Testament prophets.

In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted his coming to gather together the saints in that generation.
1 Thessalonians 4-5 is dealing with exactly the same coming, judgment, and gathering that Matt. 24 is.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NKJV) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Paul is talking to the Thessalonians about Christ's coming in judgment in that generation.
As you look back you see that this judgment coming was accomplished in the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem in AD 70.

Now if you are a good student of the Bible, you might well be asking yourself, well, why doesn’t the Bible teach this?

Let me answer that question in two ways:
First of all, the BIBLE DOES teach it. That’s what Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13, and the entire book of Revelation are all about!
But secondly, you will not find ANY reference in the whole of the NT to the destruction of the Temple as a something had come and gone, as a past event.

Instead you only find predictions of it. Now what does that tell you? It tells you that the whole of the NT from Matt 1 to Rev 22 was written BEFORE the Temple’s destruction in AD 66-70.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NKJV) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
This is the verse that the physical rapture theory comes from.

Let's start with the first word in the verses -the word "then."

This is the Greek word epeita, and the best translation becomes "after then", "after that", or "after that time", and thereby doesn't include the idea of right after.

Let's look at some other uses of epeita to get a clearer idea of its meaning:

Galatians 1:18 (NKJV) Then (epeita) after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.
In this case, the word "then" involved at least three years later.

Galatians 2:1 (NKJV) Then (epeita) after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me.
Now look at 1 Corinthians 15:5-8:

1 Corinthians 15:5-8 (NKJV) and that He was seen by Cephas, then (eita) by the twelve. 6 After that (epeita) He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that (epeita) He was seen by James, then (eita) by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

The point is, that the form of the word for "then" used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is not the form eita, meaning: "right after", but the epeita, meaning: "after that time."

1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NKJV) Then (after that time) we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The words "caught up" are the Greek word harpazo, it means:

"to snatch away." This is where the word "rapture" comes from. When the NT was translated from Greek into Latin, the Latin word used here is "rapiemur" from which we get the English word, Rapture.

But being "caught up" means something different than a levitation of the physical body from earth up into the atmosphere of the sky.
Harpazo could refer to the body being "caught up" but it could also refer to the Christian being "caught up" without the body.

If I am coming to visit you and I have to take the Interstate to get to where you are, I may well get physically “caught up” in traffic.
But that doesn’t mean I go in an upward direction.

By the same token, I may get so engrossed in reading a novel or watching a movie that I get so “caught up” in it that I lose all track of time.

My being “caught up” in reading a novel describes a state of mind, not a physical movement.

Now I don’t believe that the Bible teaches, and I think we all know that Paul didn't mean, that living Christians would be caught up in their living, physical bodies at the judgment coming of Christ because that never happened.

Christians were still around on the earth after the Fall of Jerusalem, as history plainly tells us.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 (NKJV) Then (later on, after that) we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Paul says that those who were alive at the judgment coming will later be caught up together with the dead who were raised, to meet the Lord in the air.

You might ask, "What does the Bible mean when it says that we shall be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air?"

Does this mean we'll be physically sucked up into the sky? What does the word "air" mean?
Is it in our atmosphere or the air we breath? I think that Ephesians chapter 2 gives us an idea of what air means here.

Eph 2:2: "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the AIR, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience."

The word "air" is an another word for heavenly or spiritual realm.

Satan was always an opponent of the scheme of redemption, as we can see throughout the Bible.
He was (past tense) the prince of the power of the air.

In Rom. 16:20, Paul says that Satan would be crushed "shortly" under their feet (remember original relevance).

Jesus now has taken over that sphere and rules in the "air" with the saints.
If that is the same "air" where the saints were to meet, then there is no necessity for us to believe that the rapture has reference to a physical realm.

Paul believed that the Lord would return in his lifetime. He preached strongly about the coming judgment upon that generation, and about a resurrection, but he never spoke of a physical "rapture" for living Christians.
What is popular misunderstood to be The "rapture" deals with a passage to the heavenly realm.

All believers are all snatched away when they die.

This gathering began with the consummation of the kingdom, after the resurrection of the dead saints out of Hades, and continues throughout this age.

Now, the church confesses that there will be an end point to this.

History is moving toward a final consummation and culmination of this process wherein a new heavens and new earth will finally come into being.

1 Thessalonians 4:18 (NKJV) Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Our hope is not to be snatched physically off the face of the earth prior to our death.
What did our Lord Jesus himself pray concerning his Apostles?

NKJ John 17:15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

NJB John 17:15 I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the Evil One.

Our hope is that when we do die physically, we will be "raptured" into the heavenly realm to forever dwell in the presence of the Lord.

"Therefore comfort one another with these words."

(the author gratefully acknowledges his reliance upon the works of Gary DeMar and John Bray for some of the examples and illustrations in this article)

JohnC's picture

The article's author wrote:
The problem is in taking predictions that were, AT THE TIME THEY were given, yet future, but are by now, fulfilled, and projecting those things into our time.
Paradox of our day:
Futurists, who do not recognize past fulfillment, condemn themselves to live in the past.
Preterists, who recognize past fulfillment, are freed, by the truth, to look to the future and take it captive for Christ.

vinster's picture

Dispensationalism reminds me somewhat of homosexuality: they do not have the ability to reason or rationalize clearly (in this area of doctrine)unless they are set free from the bondage of a system that pleases the flesh. And this can only be done by God.

Like Homosexuality, Dispensationalism is a social disease and I don't think that they realize that they're not only hurting the growth of the Church, but because of they're literalistic approach in this area of doctrine, they are hurting the growth of society as a whole with scare tactics and "end of the world" mind set.

Sorry if I'm sounding abit crass, but I praise God for what He has taken me out of.
In His Grace, Vinster

BTW, Read Acts 1:9-11 very carefully.
It says, "...as they watched, He was lifted up and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven AS HE WENT UP....." In other words, Christ was already in the cloud covering as He was departing from the disciples. All they saw was a cloud going up into heaven. What kind of cloud was this??
I consulted three commentaries,(all futurist,mind you), and they all agreed that this was the "Shekinah-Glory" cloud of God because of His divinity and kingship. How would Christ return?? Acts 1:11 "....This same Jesus, who was taken up from you (in the GloryCloud of God)into heaven, will so come in like manner..." Christ would come in the glory cloud of the Father as the Father did in the Old Testament, (read Matt.16:27-28 & Matt.26:64-66). Why did the High Priest get so ticked off?? Because Christ was not only claiming to be the God of the Old Testament, but was also claiming that He was going to come in judgement in the Glory-Cloud just like His Father. Was the Father ever "literally" seen riding on a cloud in judgement???

zerubbabel's picture

You claim dipensationalists are hurting the growth of the Church? How ironic. It seems to me that the fastest growing churches through-out the twentieth century were dispensational! You also claim that they're "hurting the growth of society". Well I know from your post-millennial perspective you believe the world is getting better and better. I think you have to be Alice in Wonderland to believe that. I guess you have to believe it's a huge coincidence that the world, especially the middle east and Europe, are shaping up exactly as premillennialists have been saying would happen for years (unless of course you subscribe to the big conspiracy theory that the dispensationalists set this all up!).
As for the cloud, I don't know what commentaries you looked at and I don't really care. The ones I've consulted say nothing of the Shekinah-Glory. As usual, you preterists are always making much-a-do about clouds. Do you ever see a normal cloud anywhere in Scripture? It (Acts 1:10-11)says a cloud received Him out of their sight. That's all. Beyond that you're reading into the text something that's not there. Now He went up bodily (or do you think this is too carnal?) and that's the way He's coming back according to those "two men in white apparel". It is only logical that the "two men" would have been speaking of the next time He was to come and not be leap-froging over some alleged "judgment coming" first.

vinster's picture

Zerubbabel, I was just using an example of God's sovereignty in opening people's eyes and taking them out of a system that pleases the flesh, so stop your whining !!
And who gave you authority to say who stays on this posting board or not??
It is evident from your last two posts, and from Zorro's, that you have no Biblical backing to what you're trying to get across to the preterist community.
JohnC is right on the mark in his interpretation
of "lifted up". You and Zorro can't face the fact that with either interpretation of "lifted up" (literal-physical or figurative-exalted), it puts Christ in a glorified position and already in that cloud as He was going up.
I am sorry (honestly) for any crassness on my part, but I'm so sick and tired of being labeled a Heretic by every dispensationalist that I talk to about this, especially when I consider them no less in the Kingdom than myself.
In His Care, Vinster

chrisliv's picture

Well,

Most every Preterist agrees that Christ was raised bodily from the dead and ascended the same way, I think.

Since only a small number of disciples saw Christ ascend in 33 AD, what if Christ was also seen in that same body and manner, in 70 AD by a certain number of His followers, around the time of Jerusalem's destruction? To say that that could not be so is just as silly as demanding to have the current location of Christ's body today.

Although not a Christian, even Flavius Josephus recorded unusual visual and auditory phenomenon in the sky over Jerusalem during the Siege of Jerusalem.

The Bible clearly required a "Coming" and "Judgement" in the first-century. And Preterists agree that it happened at 70 AD, at exactly the right time.

If the Bible required a brief "bodily" re-appearance, to be seen by a few of His followers, as in 33 AD, then it probably was one or more of those unusal occurances recorded by Josephus.

If you remember, when God spoke with an audible voice from the heaven in Christ's presence (at John 12: 28 & 29), the people around at the time said they thought they heard an angel or maybe just some thunder.

The Bible demands that the timing for fulfillment of everthing in it occurs in the first century AD. And the Preterist will affirm that they did, and very dramatically so.

So, it's silly for a Dispensationalist to say, "Where's the body?" or "Christ couldn't have made a bodily appearance in 70 AD, because it had to be a big, showy event, that everybody on the planet would have to know about." or "Christ couldn't have a Coming in 70 AD, because there was no 'Rapture' of the saints."

It seems a fair question about the nature of the fulfillment of what the two angels said to the disciples at Acts Chapter 1. But, the timing of its fufillment, and everything else in the Bible is certainly meant for the first-century.

Preterists believe the Bible, and they know that it was all fulfilled at the time that the Bible demands.

Like the Preterists, Bertrand Russell was honest enough to state that the Bible clearly demands a first-century fulfillment, but, like the Dispensationalists, Russell wrongly believed that the Bible was not fulfilled at 70 AD, so Russell rejected the Bible and Christianity, thinking scripture was incongruent with History.

Dispensationalists refuse to acknowledge that Bible demands a first-century fulfillment, but yet they still cling to the Bible and hope for its fulfillment 2000 years later.

Bertrand Russell was more honest and consistent than Dispensationalists, yet a poorer historian and Bible student than Preterists.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

vinster's picture

As with most 'discussions' on this forum, it is more about the anabaptist mindset than eschatology. The individual with his bible trumps ALL authority, they say. The problem is magnified when that individual, armed with white-out and a red pencil, begins changing scripture to suit his particular interpretation. So the straightforward witness of Christ eating and drinking, and being seen taken up until obscured by clouds becomes something entirely different.

As Luther said, scripture is a play-thing for the anabaptists.

JohnC's picture

Zorro, just out of curiosity... who or what is your "authority"?

JL's picture

John,

It won't do any good to ask. Zorro doesn't answer questions. He still hasn't bothered to tell me where Scripture says Jesus is the "second Adam." Considering the big point he made out of that, you'd think it would be important.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

'He still hasn't bothered to tell me where Scripture says Jesus is the "second Adam."'
-----------------------------

1 Corinthians 15
'The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.'

Do you expect me to look up everything for you?

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Virgil's picture

Zorro, your conclusions are actually totally opposite to what Paul is saying in the passage. Jesus is not a SECOND Adam...he is being compared by Paul to the first man, Adam, a man of sin and of flesh, so the comparison is between flesh and spirit, in that in the flesh, there is death, and in the spirit, there is life (in Christ). The conclusion of the passage is the total oppposite of your position...the spiritual life is what matters and what all believers should be concerned with, so when the "perishable has put on the imperishable, and this mortal body will have put on immortality", the resurrection becomes a reality.

Because of Christ, my perishable, flesh body has put on immortality. My very physical body is an example of the life-giving Christ, clothed in immortality.

How you are coming to the conclusion that physical bodies made of blood and bone will live forever is beyond me. That's a ridiculous position...it denigrates the sacrifice of Christ, and it limits and infinte, non-physical God to a three dimentional, physical universe. It's like putting an elephant in a shoebox...way to go!

hanoch's picture

'How you are coming to the conclusion that physical bodies made of blood and bone will live forever is beyond me. That's a ridiculous position...it denigrates the sacrifice of Christ, and it limits and infinte, non-physical God to a three dimentional, physical universe.'
-------------------
First off, there doesn't appear to be a limit to the physical. So God can hardly be said to be limited by the unlimited. Trust me, the universe is no shoebox.

Second, the resurrection of the physical body after death is ridiculous - Paul called it foolishness and the Greeks thought he was nuts, but he went right on with his ridiculous teaching. Christ crucified, dead, buried, and then walking out of tomb is a bit much, but I believe it. Call me nuts.

Third, God's promise to satan was that an off-spring of Eve would defeat him. In other words, a man, not an angel or some other 'spiritual' being, but a man. Adam didn't have a belly buttom, but Christ did with a mortal body that, in the end, put on immortality, just as we will, but have not yet. That's why it is important for you to find where Christ's body is buried if your argument is to hold. Without it you don't have an argument. You like to spiritualize things, so spiritualize this: you won't find his body of blood and bone because he took it with him where you say blood and bone cannot go.

JL's picture

Zorro,

Since I couldn't find "second" and "Adam" in the same verse, yes. But now that I know what to look for, I quickly found a several "second Adams."

The verses just before the one you cited are talking about two different men, calling the second man the "second Adam" is a bit of a stretch. Actually a big stretch.

Jesus is not the "second Adam." He is the second man of the two men being discussed. In that respect, he is no different from all the other "second Adams" in the Bible.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

zerubbabel's picture

Re: "Dispensationalism reminds me somewhat of homosexuallity...".

Such rhetoric is unbecoming of a Christian. You are childish and don't belong on this forum. If you can't engage in an honest discussion of the issues without resorting to such cheap shots I can only assume it's because you are insecure as to your own position.

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

Acts Chapter 1, with the two so-called men in white apparel who spoke so matter-of-fact about things, were undoubtedly the two angels that covered the Shekinah-Glory.

Much earlier, due to idolatries being committed in the Temple itself, Ezekiel was give a vision where he saw the the Glory gradually being removed from the Temple, until the Glory and those cherubim left the city, and at Chapter 11, it says they stood on the mountain to the east.

Later, God informed Ezekiel that the king of Babylon would be the instrument of judgment against His covenant people for their infidelity. And after a long, gruesome siege, all of Jerusalem and its Temple was burned, and the walls of the city brought down. (Jer. 52:4-14)

So, the parallel is pretty obvious. God used Rome to destroy Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD, just like He used Babylon to do it almost 700 years earlier. And God warned everybody on both occasions.

Peace,
Christian

vinster's picture

'In other words, Christ was already in the cloud covering as He was departing from the disciples.'

Kind of a special-effect, quick cross-dissolve? Or was it a simple cut to the clouds? And this is your example of 'clear reasoning?' Sheesh.

If you are going to make a movie stick with the script: "As they watched, He was LIFTED UP..."

JohnC's picture

The Greek word ἐπήρθη (rendered as 'lifted up' by many translations) can also be translated as "exalted" (hence, the glory clouds). See the Septuagint, Ps.8:1 for the exact same Greek word. See also 2 Cor.10:5 and 2 Cor.11:20 for the same Greek verb used in this sense. Many Greek words have both a literal-physical and a figurative meaning (check your local BAGD lexicon if you doubt this). You may want to insist that we read this word in its 'literal-physical' sense, but you didn't write this 'script', and neither did the Futurist translators of your favorite English NT translation.

chrisliv's picture

'Many Greek words have both a literal-physical and a figurative meaning...'

It was not a 'figurative' event - it's a report by witnesses of what they SAW. Moments before being lifted up Christ was talking and EATING and DRINKING with them. That was not 'figurative' but very real, very physical and very much a FACT. "After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes..." This was not a figurative event any more than the crucificion was a figurative event. It happened as reported that is, literally. Which is the whole point of that scriptural witness. The fact that you do like Christ leaving in and WITH His BODY is your problem. We don't need you to tell us what THEY saw.

JohnC's picture

Zorro, you are missing my point when I use the word "figurative". You think that I am trying to say that the event was "non-literal". I am saying that the "event" was completely literal and actual. The disciples literally and actually saw Jesus exalted and literally hidden by a glory-cloud (not a cumulus cloud).

In your response to vinster, you were trying to use the fact that your English translation reads "lifted up" to assert that the cloud had to be a physical cloud, not a glory cloud. You are asserting (at least implicitly) that the cloud cannot be a glory-cloud. Your interpretation can't allow the possibility of a glory-cloud. Because if Jesus were actually exalted and hidden by a glory-cloud, that might give some support for the Preterist position. Vinster has asserted that even Futurist commentators recognize that the cloud was a glory-could. I am giving you Greek textual evidence that shows that the interpretation of Preterists (and some Futurists) of it being a glory-cloud is reasonable, and fits the text.

I am not trying to refute your interpretation. Luke could have used the Greek word to describe a literal "lifting-up" as well as a literal "exaltation". One of these days, we will know for sure :-). But right now, either position has support in the Greek text. If you want to challenge the preterist position, you have to show evidence (taking into account the actual Greek meanings) why the cloud cannot be a glory-cloud. You have not done so.

zerubbabel's picture

'If you want to challenge the preterist position, you have to show evidence (taking into account the actual Greek meanings) why the cloud cannot be a glory-cloud.'
---------------------
Are you a Greek scholar? I didn't think so, and neither am I. So when you ask for evidence, the best I can do is refer to actual Greek scholars working from the best manuscripts. For example, the NIV scholars interpreted Acts 1:9...

"After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight."

A Greek-English dictionary is a dangerous thing in the hands of a non-expert with an agenda. The Jehovah Witnesses, for example, resort to this sort of manipulation of scripture. So I am more than a little suspicious of one-word definitions that are passed off as interpretations of what the best manuscripts writers meant to communicate.

I realize that for a full-preterist Christ's return NEEDS to be nebulus (in every sense of the word) but scripture doesn't support that need. It supports the opposite. The Man from Heaven, who had just eaten and drunk with His friends, was taken up before their very eyes (including what he has just eaten and drunk). That is what is communicated by both words and the context in which those words are used.

False teachers rely on false interpretations that look genuine but are deceptive (deception always has the 'ring' of being true but is meant to ensnare and mislead). If your agenda must rely on interpretations outside of what is commonly held by linguistic experts and the church catholic, then beware. Since it is you who is outside the acceptable interpretation, it is upon you whom the burden of proof lies. Accept the consequences if you are misleading people. In other words, you had better be right for the sake of your soul. Are you sure you want to stake your soul on a word?

JohnC's picture

Whether or not I am a Greek scholar means nothing in evaluating the truth of my argument. It is a logical fallacy to assert otherwise. However, since you seem to value 'mainstream interpretation', allow me to quote from the Expositor's Bible Commentary (published by Zondervan) which is about as 'mainstream' as it gets (D.A. Carson's commentary on Matthew is especially good). Richard N. Longenecker, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, writes, in his commentary on Acts 1:9 (Vol.9, p.258):
More important for Luke than the description of the Ascension is its significance, and this he gives us in saying that "a cloud hid him from their sight." The cloud is undoubtedly meant to symbolize the shekinah, the visible manifestation of the divine presence and glory. Such a cloud hovered above the tabernacle in the wilderness as a visible token of the glory of God that dwelt within the tabernacle....Something very similar is presented here: Jesus as the ascended Lord is enveloped by the shekinah cloud, the visible manifestation of God's presence, glory and approval.
Seems to me that the Preterist interpretation of the type of cloud is a pretty mainstream interpretation! Of course, that doesn't make it true, but you seem to be hung up on mainstream approval, so perhaps this will silence you on this particular issue.

You write:
Are you sure you want to stake your soul on a word?
I do not stake my soul on a word. I stake my soul on The Word. I listen to the clear words of Jesus, spoken to His disciples:

"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished." (Matt.5:18)

Do you believe that Jesus is talking about literal heaven(sky/space) and literal earth? If so, do you still follow every jot and tittle of the law? Do you still teach others to follow every jot and tittle of the law(v.19)? Or do you follow the Dispensationalist Interpretive Method(DIM), when they come upon a difficult statement that they don't want to deal with: "Oh, Jesus wasn't speaking to US, the ones in the 'church age'! He was speaking to the Jews!" Of course Jesus was speaking to Jews -- in the Gospels, you can count on one hand the number of times Jesus spoke to someone other than a Jew. By the Dispensationalist criteria, we can pretty much disregard anything that Jesus says as "not applying to the ones in the church age".

Even the NIV translators, whom you apparently favor, (even though the NIV is by no means a literal translation) render Jesus words in Rev.22:7 as: "Behold, I am coming soon!" This is the clear word (among hundreds of others) upon which I stake my soul. This is the clear word that Futurists "interpret away". And by the way, this clear word was spoken to the "church."

You write:If your agenda must rely on interpretations outside of what is commonly held by linguistic experts and the church catholic, then beware.If you had said, "Catholic Church," you could have lived 500 years ago and fit right in. Of course, the word "beware" had more sinister implications back then ;-).

Sam's picture

As an orthodox preterist, I am sure that Christ did return 'soon' to fulfill Matt 24:34. But I am also sure that he did not return in fulfillment and as depicted and characterized in Matt 25. There are two different returns, one with warnings and signs and wrath!, the other without. Forcing the two events into one is the same thing the dispensationalists are doing. That's the fundamental error that is causing problems on both sides.

chrisliv's picture

Hello, Zorro,

You are calling yourself an orthodox Preterist, yet you claim the parables of Mat. 25 are unfilfilled, and are trying to break apart the Olivet Discourse into two Returns of Christ: one fulfilled, and one unfulfilled.

The Olivet Discourse was not originally given with chapter divisions. The parabolic language of Mat. 25 compliments the plain and descriptive language of Mat. 24. There is no need to invent two Comings: one in the first century, and one in the twenty-first century. That's the play of an orthodox Dispensationalist.

Peace to you,
Christian

blackpreterist's picture

Hello Christian,

I agree.

(31) "When the SON OF MAN COMES IN HIS GLORY, AND ALL THE HOLY ANGELS WITH HIM, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. (32) All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. (33) And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. (Matthew 25:31-33, NKJV, emphasis added)

When was this to happen?

(29) "Immediately after the tribulation of those days [the tribulation related to the fall of Jerusalem, KLP] the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (30) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the THE SON OF MAN COMING on the clouds of heaven WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY. (31) AND HE WILL SEND HIS ANGELS with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31, NKJV, emphasis added)

The Bible is clear: IMMEDIATELY after the tribulation related to the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus says that He would appear in the clouds with glory and send out His angels. At the time that Jesus came in glory will all the holy angels (which, as we have seen, was to occur immediately after the tribulation linked to the fall of Jerusalem), He was to judge the nations. Total continuity.

Kenneth P.

\

hanoch's picture

No continuity at all. In 70AD the angels were gathering the church out of harm's way.

At Christ's final return, the Angels are to be WITH him.

The Bible is clear, alright. How clear can you take it?

blackpreterist's picture

So where were the angels before Jesus sent them out?

Kenneth P.

\

chrisliv's picture

Well, Zorro,

This has been an active thread for you. As I've chimed into it I've thought about how you could make for a nice shill for a Dispensational association of some kind.

Are you paid or compensated in some way to wrangle around on this forum, so guys like Tim La Haye or Hal Lindsey won't be the ones who appear so silly?

You deserve to be paid, or deserve a raise. You certainly put a lot of time in for them. And they do get the big bucks! So, don't tell us that you do this for nothing.

Peace to you all,
C. Livingstone

JohnC's picture

I didn't ask you about Matt.24:34, I asked about Rev.22:7 and Matt.5:18. Have "heaven and earth" passed away? Or are we still waiting for that, in your view?

Virgil's picture

No, God is eternally propitiated and the earth is redeemed. We are living in and under the new heaven and earth. Right now we live by faith, one day it will be by sight of the perfection Christ promises.

JohnC's picture

Zorro, sorry for the basic questions -- because I'm not familiar with your individual position, but I am genuinely interested in the differences among what you would label as "orthodox preterists" (you'll agree that there is a "range" of belief even in the partial-preterist views). My journey "through" partial-preterism was so quick, I didn't have time to get a "lay of the land." :-)

Do you believe that each of the following are fulfilled (you can just say 'yes' or 'no', if you want)?
Rev.22:7
Rev.1:7
Rev.21
Rev.20:10
2 Pet.3

Thanks.

chrisliv's picture

'The fact that you do like Christ leaving in and WITH His BODY is your problem.'

Sorry, the above should read:

The fact that you do not like Christ leaving in and WITH His BODY is your problem.

vinster's picture

Like I said, Zorro-(The Gay Blade)does not seem to have the ability to understand this truth. It can only be attained by the grace of God.

BTW, You didn't use any Biblical texts to refute what I wrote, only your misguided understanding.
Go Figure! SHEESH !!!!!
In His Kongdom, Vinster

Jer's picture

"Preterists, who recognize past fulfillment, are freed, by the truth, to look to the future and take it captive for Christ."

Amen!

zerubbabel's picture

What Meaningless Rhetoric is that!!!

Virgil's picture

You mean like "Jesus is coming soon"? That kind of meaningless rhetoric?

Ezra's picture

No, that would be the blessed truth. Whether it is another 1000 years or today, He is coming soon! Amen. The Spirit and the bride say come! And as 1 day is as a 1000 years with the Lord so He has tarried about two days, though long in our terms, because judgement is His strange work. But make no mistake. He will retrieve His bride!

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 2 Thess. 3:3.

vinster's picture

Poor Ezra !! Trying to rebuild a Temple and System that Christ destroyed. It's never gonna work !!
In His Grace, Vinster

zerubbabel's picture

Vinster,

Ezra won't have to "try" to do anything. The rebuilding of the third temple will come to pass just as surely as the rebirth of the nation of Israel...or did you miss that? You must be Alice in Wonderland. The world is shaping up in a way that makes you uncomfortable. Let's face it...The nation of Israel just wasn't supposed to happen according to your total and final judgment senario. I guess it's just a big coincidence.

God rules sovereignly over the affairs of men. God sovereignly sets up kings and put down kings. There are no coincidences or accidents. Therefore it is for you to explain the amazing re-establishment of Isreal and the fact that vertually all nations (not just Rome) are against her just as Zechariah the prophet stated.

And what will you say when the third temple is rebuilt? What kind of glasses are you wearing?

JL's picture

Ezra,

Jesus promised that some of those who heard him speak would still be alive. Show me a 2,000 year old man.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

zerubbabel's picture

Rev says, "If there was not some kind of coming of Christ in their lifetime, the Lord gave them false hope and, in fact, deceived them."

Just "some kind of coming"? In other words, even though they had no clue the Lord was talking about a "judgment coming", there was no deceit involved because there would be "some kind of coming"! The disciples obviously thought He was refering to a bodily coming and He knew that. For the Lord to have meant something completely different, which they could not have imagined, and not to have clarified it, would indeed be deceit.

Later on in Acts 1:11, the two men in white apparel told the disciples that Jesus would return the same way He was leaving, i.e. bodily. He went up bodily into the clouds (not judgement clouds!) That's the way the early Christians looked for Him to return.

What a huge let-down it must have been when they discovered that He was coming back in judgement clouds!

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

The two "guys" in white apparel, who are recorded in Acts. They told the disciples that "they" (the disciples) would see Jesus return in the clouds in a similar manner. I find it kind of funny how those two guys were so matter-of-fact about it, which also indicates how they were not making a prediction that was some 2000 years or more into the future.

So, were those two guys in white apparel wrong too?

I don't think so. Flavius Josephus records all kinds of unusal occurances in the sky above Jerusalem around 70 AD, which could satisfy most carnal-minded Bible readers, if they knew about such occurances.

It must have been very exciting for those early Christians to see God fulfilling all of those old prophecies right before their eyes.

It seems that Dispentationalists would be more prone to chronic let-down, with all of those prophecies left unfulfilled nearly 2000 years beyond their time.

Sadly, some very sincere human beings, like Bertrand Russel, have cited biblical statements interpreted in a Dispensational way regarding the imminent Return/Judgement of Christ as reasons to write a book entitled: Why I'm Not a Christian.

Quite honestly, Bertrand Russel was being consistent. Because, if everything Jesus said was not fulfilled in the first-century AD, then it was a bunch of false prophesy.

Of course, Preterists believe that everything in the Old or New Covenant was beautifully fulfilled at exactly the right time in the first century, which climaxed in the total destruction of Jerusalem and the end Temple sacrifices in 70 AD.

So, if Dispensationalists aren't feeling 2000 years worth of let-down, it's because they are experiencing angst about whether they'll be "Raptured" before that big, bad, bogeyman Antichrist arrives on the scene!

Peace to you all,
Christian

zerubbabel's picture

The two men (guys?) in white apparel did NOT tell the disciples that "they" would see Jesus return, only that He would return and that it would be as they saw Him leave, i.e. bodily into literal clouds. The words are very plain.

Yeah, right...I can imagine the joy of the first century Christians at seeing Jesus "come in clouds of judgement" with all the death and destruction around them...bringing peace to earth!

chrisliv's picture

Well,

The early Christians did heed Christ's warning to that generation when Jerusalem was encircled. The Christians had an opportunity to flee across the Jordan River and escape the carnage, and they took it.

So, I think the early Christians were pretty excited about a lot of stuff happening at that time. I'm mean, take a look at Peter, Stephen, and Paul in the Book of Acts, they were the ones who were warning everybody about what was coming.

But, you're right, there are terms that do seem to confirm a carnal fulfillment to many things in the Bible. But the timing of their fulfillment, whether carnal or spiritual, is long past.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

Immanuel's picture

'To be taken out of Sheol and brought into the presence of the Lord is what the Bible calls resurrection.'

Not really. The bible, in all cases, when it refers to resurrection, is talking about resurrection of the BODY. One that can be seen, touched and eats, a new body, but a body nonetheless. If people are 'taken out' of anything after they die, they are taken out of a sleep, as Paul attests, and wake up with new body. Men have bodies and Christ remains a man.

Christ was not predicting HIS return in 70AD, he was predicting the fall of Jerusalem and the end of that age. Historical witness attests to both. Perhaps you missed it: He didn't know when he would return TO predict it! I don't think you get the cosmic joke.

You chide Miller for claiming he knew when Christ would return and you turn around and do the same thing. Neither of you have a witness and both of you claim that Christ's words had passed away. A Millerite in new cloths. Birds of a feather...

Hebrews 9:8
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

1Cor.15
21 For since by man came death, by Man also [came] the resurrection of the dead.

Virgil's picture

I noticed you didn't quote any text to support this...you are speculating. You are not presenting evidence here...you are speculating. Paul called those talking about the kind of "body" in the resurrection "fools":

You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

And Jesus mentioned no such thing as you are suggesting in regards to resurrection..i fact he said the exact opposite - resurrection is a state of being, depending on hearing and believing His gospel:

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Virgil's picture

'I noticed you didn't quote any text to support this...you are speculating.'

Then you failed to notice I quoted Paul - he called death a nap. The separation of the spirit from the physical is death, resurrection is the re-uniting of the two. Christ truly DIED on the cross and was resurrected with a BODY. That's a core teaching, not an aside.

"Resurrection is a state of being" That begs the question - being what? Is the Man from Heaven something else now?

Virgil's picture

Where did Paul call death "a nap"?

The separation of the spirit from the physical is death

And you know this how? When did Adam and Eve die?

That begs the question - being what?

Being in the very presence of God the way Adam and Eve were - presence which continuously gives life.

Virgil's picture

That begs the question - being what?

'Being in the very presence of God the way Adam and Eve were - presence which continuously gives life.'
----------------------
There is no dis-continuity of that presence - we live in it. But God is not the 'life-giving' sun-god RA and we are not sunflowers. We are men and Christ is a man. Christ tells us he will drink wine again with us some day. Spirits don't drink wine and sunflowers can't even lift the glass...

Now, if you could just tell us where Christ's body is buried - you might have a case.

Virgil's picture

Zorro...you didn't answer my question. When did Adam and Even die?

darrens's picture

'Zorro...you didn't answer my question. When did Adam and Even die?'

OK - I'll bite. They both died when their very physical hearts stopped beating well before Abram was born - they, and their descendents, were all gentile, as in universal, stock until Abram. Christ is referred to as the Second Adam, in part, because he died as the universal man. Though, born a Jew, he died a gentile - ostracized and cast off from the clan of Abram. The universal man. Applicable clan-speak no longer applies to him as the Second Adam, since he, like Adam, supersedes all clans. 70AD confirms this supersession as Christ came against his clanish 'brothers'. Joseph Campell and others have failed to see this supersession as the epitome of the universal man, Christ.

Not sure who 'Even' is, but I think she died in '78. ;-)

"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ!" (Ephesians 4:12)

Darren.

JL's picture

Zorro,

I can't find a reference to a "second Adam" in Scripture. Could you supply it please?

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

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