You are hereThe Teaching of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles

The Teaching of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles

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By Virgil - Posted on 04 October 2009

The book of Revelation is unlike any other book in scripture, filled with symbols and apocalyptic language. It has become a magnet for some, and confusion for others; while still others ignore it altogether. So it is vital that the people of God, all within the body of Christ are given the truth about prophetic scripture. No, we don't claim to know all the answers of God's Holy Word, but we study hard to see what the Holy Spirit revealed to the apostles, and we attempt to share it with our Christian brothers in Christ.It is never acceptable to say “I could be wrong, but I remain comfortable on my views, and don't want to bother with other views.” It is a fact today that someone has to be wrong and is teaching error! And it certainly is not the Holy Spirit teaching those errors of scripture in the body of Christ! Therefore, if one view is correct, the others are wrong. The failure to study this issue, and others, forces us to hold one position or another, one's doctrines, as a matter of tradition, rather than the Inspired Doctrine of Scripture.
Before Jesus' crucifixion, he told his disciples that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to them in Jesus' name. And “he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14-26). Scripture tells us that after Jesus' resurrection, he appeared to Mary and his disciples in the course of 40 days as Luke records in Acts 1-3. “---being seen of them (the disciples) forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Then just before his ascension, they asked of Jesus, “Lord, will thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1-6). Note that Jesus did not respond to the question in the negative, rather he said: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father had put in his own power” (Acts 1-7). Note these two words in the passage for they are very important to our proper understanding of the question asked by the disciples; and Jesus' answer to their question. This is a much debated question, and many answers have been given pro and con. We can see by these “two words” that they were asking Jesus what they and many other Jews of their day believed; that is a restoration as a “Jewish nation” as in prior times. We see they asked in this way, “restore,” means to “renew” what they had lost. This confirmation comes with the following word, “again,” to mean that which they at one time or another held. What did they hold at one time? A national political kingdom, a “nation” in the land of Palestine promised in scripture by God.

Their question was not whether or not Christ would bring in and restore the kingdom to Israel, but rather when he would restore the kingdom, a physical kingdom to Israel, for that is how they and Israel understood the scriptures at the time. Note how Jesus answered them. He didn't say they would not be restored again as a nation, rather Jesus told them that it was not for them to know the times of that fulfillment set by the Father. In effect, Christ confirmed to them that the prophesied restoration of the physical kingdom of Israel would in time occur. (Not the kingdom the Dispensationalists teach, From the Euphrates River to the River Egypt, that has been fulfilled). We see the question asked Christ here is important to understand what was to be restored concerning this question they asked. They were not asking for a spiritual restoration but rather the prophesied restoration of Israel's return to their land as a kingdom again, predicted in the Old Testament. The disciples still had difficulty in understanding that prior to the restoration of Israel, the present age would need to be fulfilled to a point, in which Gentiles would be brought in; what has come to be called the church age. This question came up in the Council of Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 15. In solving the problem, James quoted the prophecy of Amos 9-11-12. James concluded that scriptural prophecy indicated that there would be a time of Gentile blessing before the restoration of Israel as a physical kingdom could be brought in. This of course, is exactly what has occurred to this present age.

God's promise to the Jews in never ceasing to be a nation is seen in Jer. 31-35-36. “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, (and) the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name. If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, (then) the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.” The Lord God fulfilled his promise to the Jewish people when they became a nation again in 1948. “Thus saith the Lord God, I do not (do this) for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen wither ye went” (Ezek. 36-22).

Peter speaks of these promises of the Lord God in Acts 3-21: “Whom the heavens must receive (Christ) until the times of restoration of all things, which God had spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” The restoring of the Jewish nation was a part of this restoration of all things“ spoken of by God through the prophets, as the passage dictates.

Though all the Epistles in the New Testament are important, most important are the epistles of 2 Timothy and 2 Peter, for they tell us of Paul and Peter's departure from this world. The internal evidence of these epistles show that they were written shortly before their deaths as martyrs. The internal evidence shows that Peter's second epistle was written a year to a year and a half after 1st Peter, a short time before his martyrdom which he anticipates in 2 Peter 1-14. This would date it between 64, the 1st epistle, and 67 A.D., the 2nd epistle shortly before his death in Rome during Nero's reign.

Concerning Paul, the evidence shows that in the summer of 66 A.D. He returned to Ephesus and left Timothy in charge (1 Tim. 1-3). In the summer of 67 A.D. He wrote Timothy from Macedonia, he later went on to Crete and left Titus there (Titus 1-5). He wrote Titus from Ephesus in the autumn of 67 A.D., visited Miletus (4-20), Troas (4-13), Corinth (4-20), and spent some time at Nicopolis (Titus 3-12). He was imprisoned again in the spring of 68, tried, and was sent to Rome. He was placed in a dungeon cell from which he knew he would never be set free (4-6). Second Timothy was written in the fall or winter of 67 A.D. He was beheaded in Rome in May or June of 68 A.D.

Full preterists hold and maintain that all New Testament writings, including Revelation, were completed prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., thus fulfilling all prophetic scripture. Yet Paul in his second epistle to Timothy, written in late 67 A.D. before his arrest, speaks not a word of the fate of Jerusalem as being the coming of Christ to fulfill all prophetic scripture. That this was to be the “sign in heaven” spoken of by Jesus in his Discourse. That this was the fulfillment that he (Paul) and Peter wrote about of the time being “at hand” (eggus); not excluding the apostle John, who lived to be in the mid to late 90's A.D.

If ever there was a time to reveal that, it was then, for at that time Jerusalem certainly was under siege; and Paul, in his travels would certainly have known this! Not only that, Paul knew he was going to be killed: 2 Tim. 4-6, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.” So he certainly would have revealed it to the church, if it had to do with the second coming of Christ for his saints,and not God coming in judgment on Jerusalem. The coming of Christ in certain passages do speak of Christ's coming as being “at hand,” and in judgment on Jerusalem in 70 A. D. Here this writer agrees, but it is not the second coming of Christ spoken of in Revelation. Neither is the book of Revelation about Jerusalem's destruction in 70 A.D. The book was written after the fall of 70 A.D. and speaks of prophetic events that lay for a future time. Since the dating of Revelation is highly debated and rejected by preterists when looking to the historical and external evidence, we will attempt to prove it with the internal evidence as we continue.

Another thing that is striking is seen in 2 Tim. 3-1-9. We read in verse 1, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Paul gives a large list of sinful and ungodly things that would occur not only in the secular world but the church also, as Paul indicates in verse 5. Now are we to believe, as the some full preterists teach, that the things Paul speaks of, in those short 3 years before Jerusalem's destruction, would be fulfilled? Remember Paul said in the last days when he wrote this epistle, all these sinful events would occur, clearly indicating a large span of time would be required for its fulfillment. It seems it is more reasonable to see these last days of particular prophetic texts in the New Testament as being those that would overlap and continue into the New Covenant age till all be fulfilled.

The last days are different from the end times. The last days refer to the last days of Old Covenant Israel; “as” the body of Christ was being brought in during that 40 year transition period. The New Testament authors did write about prophecy but a good percentage of their prophetic messages dealt with the immediate fate and future of national Israel. Thus, when they wrote prophetically they wrote primarily about Israel's last days i.e. end time/age, while writing prophecy about the early Church's end time/age for them; as we read in Hebrews: "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many and unto them that look for him shall he appear a second time without sin unto salvation. (Heb. 9-28).

There are other New Testament passages that use the very same kind of time text references that speak like verses seen in Revelation of a soon coming. Such as Heb. 10-37, "For yet a “very little while” he that comes will come, and will "not delay." Peter 4-7, "But the end of all things is "drawn nigh” (“has approached”; “eggizo,” Strongs #1448);"---." Phil. 4-5, "---The Lord is near." (“”eggus,” Strongs #1451); Rom. 13-11-12, "---and the day is near;"---." (“eggus,” Strongs #1451); Rom. 16-20, "But the Lord of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.” (“tachos,” Strongs#5030, speedily, suddenly) James 5-8-9, "--for the coming of our Lord is at hand.”(“has approached;”eggizo, Strongs #1448)---behold the judge "standeth before the door." These are just some of others that could be given seen in the New Testament that speak of imminence, of a soon, or quick coming. Paul admonishes godly living in light of the fact that the "night is almost gone, and "the day is near" (eggus#1451; Rom. 13-12). Peter says, "The end of all things "is near," (eggus#1451) therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer" (1 Peter 4-7). James also speaks in this way, "--you to be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord "is near" (“has approached;”eggizo#1448, James 5-8).

As noted, the last days refer to the “end age” of the Old Covenant age for the nation of Israel; while the body of Christ began to be brought in during that 40 year transition period. This is seen in Hebrews 9-28. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many and unto them that look for him shall he appear a second time without sin unto salvation,” not judgment. This is also made clear in 1 Cor. 10-11 where we read: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples; and they are written for our admonition (instruction), upon whom the ends of the world (ages) are come.” Who have the end of the ages come upon? The church! The end of the Old Covenant age for the Jewish nation was “at hand.” And the ends of the final ages, being the end of the Old, and the New Covenant age which “are come,” has begun, has come upon the church. What has come to be called, the church age, and at its end, comes the second coming of Christ as is seen in the book of Revelation.

As also 1 Cor. 15-24-26 tells us: “Then (cometh) the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, (the church age) till he hath put all enemies under his feet; the last enemy (that) shall be destroyed (is) death.”

As noted, since the dating of Revelation is extremely important to the prophetic texts and their proper understanding of God's word; we will attempt to prove the late date of the book of Revelation by its internal evidence. To show that it was written post 70A.D. and prophetic for a future time.

A question arises in determining who Mystery Babylon the Great is concerns the timing of John's vision. Was the angel showing John a vision of the great Roman Empire that ruled over the world at the time of the vision? Or was the angel showing John a vision of a future great city or superpower? Some, if not most hold that the woman i.e. the city was Jerusalem which was destroyed by Rome in 70 A.D. But Jerusalem could not be the woman or city seen in chapter 17 because the text says that the woman, that great city, reigneth over the kings of the earth. The Jews and its city Jerusalem were certainly not reigning over the kings of the earth at that time. Rome and its kings of the earth were not subject to the Jews nor the city of Jerusalem. Rather quite the contrary, the Jews and the city Jerusalem was subject to Rome and its Emperor kings of the earth.

Rev. 17-18, “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” The verb is used is “estin” the present tense, from the root verb eimi meaning “to be,” or in other words is reigning. It could be accurately paraphrased; “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which is reigning over the kings of the earth.” The whole vision is in the context of the future. Verse 18 is part of that future vision. You have to violate grammatical rules and remove verse 18 from its future context in order to say that the verse is speaking about first century Rome at the present time of the vision.

The preterists who hold to these views refer to Rev. 11-2 as further confirmation that the temple was still standing when Revelation was written; and that the city mentioned in this text is Jerusalem. The Greek word temple used here is naos, and is the same word used by Paul in 2 Thess. 2-4;1 Cor. 3-16;2 Cor. 6-16; and Ephe. 2-21-22. So here we read, "Rise and measure the temple of God," the holy place and the alter. But not its outer courts or precincts, for they are to be trampled on. First we see by the word “naos” given that it is indicating this temple is not speaking of the literal temple building of the Jews. For in the Old Testament scriptures, Jerusalem is called the holy city. But since they rejected Christ, the New Testament teaches us that Jerusalem is no longer the holy city, it has been left desolate since the time Christ spoke those words in 30 A.D., (Matt. 23-38; Luke 13-35;19-41-44;21-24) unto the end. In God's eyes, it was no longer seen as the holy city, because of their rejection of Christ as their Messiah. "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Heb. 13-13-14; see also Ezek. 48-35; Rev. chap. 21). We read in 1 Peter 2-9, "But ye (are) a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,---." Here in 1 Peter 2-9, the saints of Christ now represent what the Old Covenant nation of Israel and the holy city Jerusalem was before they rejected Christ, seen in 1 Peter 2-7-8. Now the New Covenant holy nation is considered to be the house and holy city of the God of Israel, where he would dwell. Those who hold the teaching that Rev. 11-1-2 refers to a literal temple in Jerusalem are incorrect. Rev. 11-2 only states that where this temple sanctuary resides in, is considered as being a holy city, for the Lord's sanctuary is in its midst. It does not state that this sanctuary would be in the holy city of Jerusalem. For Jerusalem is no longer considered the holy city of God. What is given us here in Rev. 11-1-2 is what is given us and parallels with Ezekiel chapters 40-48.

Note what is being measured here, and why: “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:1–2). This temple is measured, protected, as we see in other passages of scripture, measuring means “protection” not “destruction,” in scripture. The measured temple and the unmeasured outer court and city receive opposite fates in this passage. The temple is protected, while the rest is to be trampled on. But in 70 AD, in following the preterist view, there was no difference, both the temple and the city suffered the same fate, they were destroyed. Here in Revelation, the temple is measured and protected, not destroyed as the 70AD temple was. Therefore, this measured temple is not and cannot be the destroyed temple of 70 A.D.

We also note that the holy place in the Bible refers to the holy place in the temple. In context, Matthew 24-15-16, the holy place refers to Daniel, and Daniel's location is temple related rather than city related. Besides Daniel, to which Matthew directly refers, see also Acts 6:13, Hebrews chapter 9, and 2 Thessalonians 2:4 that speaks about the holy place. The preterists say the anointing of the “most holy” (Dan. 9-24) happened when the Holy Spirit descended upon Messiah at the baptism of John. The word holy in verse 24 is the same Hebrew word as sanctuary in verse 26. Just as the desolation in chapter 8 ends with the cleansing of the sanctuary, so also the desolation in chapter 9 ends with the anointing of the sanctuary (most Holy). That is the ultimate goal of the seventy weeks, not the annihilation of the sanctuary, but rather the anointing of the sanctuary, if goals and weeks be coterminous.

Now that we know that holy and sanctuary are the same word, what does most mean? Actually, it's the same word as Holy, except plural. It's a plural of superlative, and most Holy can also be translated holy of holies. This expression appears forty-six times in the Old Testament, and it is never used of the Messiah, never used of a person. The expression always refers to the temple, the holy of holies within the temple structure or tabernacle, furniture within the tabernacle, or articles used in temple or tabernacle worship.

Preterists also refer to Rev. 11-8 as confirmation that the city in the text is Jerusalem. We read there: “And their dead body in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” All the critical texts of scripture show in verse 8 the word "body" in the“singular” as is the word "corpse" in the first part of verse 9, they shall look upon "their corpse",--and do not suffer "their corpses to be---." Here, this city is called a great city, not a holy city as is seen in Rev. 11-2. This great city is “spiritually” called Sodom and Egypt, to indicate the great bondage, idolatry and fornication in it (Rev. 14-8; 17-1-7, 18; 18-2). While Isa. 1-9-10 and Ezek. 16-46-49 are usually cited as passages where Jerusalem is called Sodom in the text of Isaiah, it is the Jewish people,not the city who are designated as such. And in Ezekiel, Jerusalem is being compared with her sisters, Samaria and Sodom. In neither of these passages noted is Jerusalem actually called Sodom; and in the Old Testament Jerusalem is never designated Egypt.

We note that in verse 8, the G.L.T.Tr. A. WH, and RV read the Greek word “auton” to mean their, instead of “hemon” to mean our. The translators changed the word “their” to the word “our,” in that passage. The critical texts give us the word auton, “--where also their Lord was crucified.” This is important to note, for it was the apostle John under inspiration that wrote this book. And the apostle John witnessed the Lord's crucifixion outside the gates of Jerusalem himself. It was written to indicate that these witnesses were not in Jerusalem where the Lord was literally crucified, but rather in a “great city” spiritually called Sodom and Egypt where “their” (the witnesses) Lord was crucified spiritually. The whole passage was meant to be taken spiritually, figuratively, not literally, the reason why John used the word spiritually---. “Which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also (spiritually) their Lord was crucified.”

This can be seen in Heb. 6-6 and 10-29: “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh (again), and put him to an open shame” (disgrace).

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who had trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done (insulted) despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Rev. 11-2,8). It is they in this “great city”that crucified the Lord again, and put him to open disgrace, and not in the city of Jerusalem.

We read in Rev. 17-9, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” Can Rome be considered the woman or great city because Rev. 17-3 and 9 tell us that the seven heads of the beast are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth, and Rome is known as the city on seven hills? The word mountain, Greek “oros” is used here for the Hebrew word “Har” for mountain. The Greeks and Romans used the word hill, Greek “bounos,” not “oros,” mountain, when referring to the seven hills Rome was built upon.

The seven heads are clearly identified in Rev. 17-9-10 as seven kings. We read, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings; five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short time.”

The words there are in Rev. 17-10, translated from the Greek “eisen” which is from the root verb “eimi” meaning “to be.” Eimi is present tense third person plural meaning “they are.” This verifies to us that the seven heads represent seven kings. In the Old Testament the word mountain, Hebrew “Har,” was used symbolically to describe a national kingdom. In Dan. 2-35 it describes the rock that smote the feet of the image as growing into a huge mountain. This huge mountain we know to be the Kingdom of Christ. In Jer. 51-25, Har is used figuratively to describe Babylon as a “destroying mountain.” Mountain symbolizes Babylon's destructive military power. “Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain saith the Lord, which destroyest all the earth;---.” The seven heads spoken of in Rev. 17-9-10 are described as being both seven mountains and seven kings. They are also to represent kingdoms as we see in Jer. 51-25.

From the Old Testament usage of the word mountain, we can conclude that the seven heads refer to seven kingdoms and their kings. Note that there are, and represent seven of each. That is they are (represent) seven heads, they are seven kings, they are seven mountains, representing kingdoms. Not one kingdom which seven kings rule in at different times, but seven kingdoms, with each having a king ruling within it. Also the use of the word mountain represents that on which the kingdom rests. And it is much larger in area than a hill or mount that many make the word out to be. “--five are fallen, and one is, the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short time.” Remembering the biblical principle given that kingdoms or world powers are reckoned only when they come into contact with Israel, the five that are fallen are: Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The sixth, one is, was Rome at the time. The other “has not come yet, but when he comes, he must continue a short time.” And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” This eighth beast, “of the seven” is seen in Rev. 13-11-18, the beast of the earth. Noted as being the fallen Church of Christ. He is also seen in 2 Thess. 2-3-4,6-12, The “son of perdition,” the beast of the sea and the beast of the earth; for he has rule in both these kingdoms.

Preterists also refer to Rev. 18-24 as a proof text that Babylon is Jerusalem. “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints and of all that were slain upon the earth.” They hold that only Jerusalem shed the blood of Old Testament prophets, directly or by instigation. But what about the prophets to come in Christ of the New Testament? We read in Ephe. 4-11-12, “And he (Christ) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers:” This verse identifies some of the spiritual gifts given to the church.

“For the perfecting (equipping) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” This verse is clear, the gifts are given the New Testament body of Christ, the church, for the work of the ministry and the edifying of it. And the gifts given us by Christ include prophets. These are the prophets and saints spoken of in Rev. 18-24 that this Mystery Babylon is said to have slain, and not Jerusalem. The very word Mystery itself is to mean something “secret,” or hidden from sight. Something that is not known rather than something obvious to many, like literal Babylon or Jerusalem, but the mystery can be known from scripture and historical events of Revelation's true meaning.

Romans 16-25-26, “---according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”

Ephe. 3-3,5, “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery;----Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;---.” (Col. 1-26).

Among other reliable sources, some notes from “Godet's Bible Studies” agree with other reliable sources presented concerning the Revelation's date. There he gives internal evidence to corroborate the date of Revelation. He quotes: “The condition of the churches indicated in the second and third chapters of Revelation render the early date improbable. These churches were not founded before 55-58 A.D.” (And as noted earlier concerning the preterists claim of a pre-date writing of Revelation; Polycarp, who was the bishop of Smyrna recorded that no church in Smyrna existed during the ministry of Paul. Paul died around 66-67 A.D. (Paul died in May or June of A.D. 68; emphasis mine). So to the preterists who hold to a predate 70 A.D. writing, the question then is "how or why" is it that John would have written to the church of Smyrna "when they didn't even exist as a church yet?"). The second and third chapters of Revelation describe a condition which could only have arisen a generation later than the date of Paul's intercourse with these churches.”

Godet goes on and notes the fact that a church organization reveals itself in the 7 churches spoken of in Revelation. He notes that this church organization did not come forth until about the close of the 1st century. In each church there is one man, “the angel of the church,” through whom the whole church is addressed. There is no hint of any individual enjoying a distinction like this until about the beginning of the 2nd century. He notes that the expressions in chapters 2-9 and 3-9 point to a complete separation between the church and the Jewish synagogue. This complete separation did not take place until the “destruction of Jerusalem was completed in 70 A.D.” He notes, “---therefore we see by this language of Rev. 2-9 and 3-9 that Revelation belongs to a later date beyond 70 A.D.”

The large amount of evidence given here only speaks of the internal evidence of the dating of the book of Revelation. There is also a large amount of external evidence as well that has not been given here. But if we were to include them, it becomes virtually certain that the book of Revelation was written post 70 A.D. by John the Apostle.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” this is the Inspired title of the book. The book is often called the Apocalypse,which is a transliteration of the Greek word rendered “Revelation,” which means an unveiling, or taking away a veil from the future and disclosing the course of events which shall take place. “Which God gave to him (Christ) to show to his servants what things must need come to pass with speed” (en tachei). This word is used in two senses depending on the context. Greek scholars note the word to first be taken to mean mean “quickly” as to speed, or action in fulfillment of the prophetic events. For the very word itself speaks of an action. Greek verbs emphasize kind of action, with time relationships being secondary. Two, “soon” as to the time in which the events described reach their fulfillment when the prophetic events come to pass. So the context is important in applying en tachei as to its proper usage. So when we come to the word en tachei, we know it to mean “quickly in action of its prophetic fulfillment.” And secondly, as to its “time,” the prophetic events would occur, that is in a short span of time, as can be seen by the context seen in the book.

We can see this from the very first words of Revelation that it is prophecy, and that when it comes, its fulfillment and appointed time, will occur in speed (en tachei). This is the proper meaning in the opening passages of Revelation, in how we are to understand the prophetic book. Not that the prophecy would occur “soon” as to the time after it was written or revealed, but that “when” these events would occur, they would come to pass in quick succession. “The second woe is past; behold, the third woe cometh quickly” (Rev. 11-14).

In other words, this prophecy of Jesus Christ, when “the time shall come,” Jesus shall do it “with speed,” as we see he testifies such in Rev. 22-20, with speed it shall be accomplished “---and he (Jesus) signified it by sending his angel to his servant John.”(V.2) “--who testified---,” the past tense shows that the introduction, though coming first, was of necessity written last. It connects the introduction with the conclusion. Compare Rev. 1-1 with 22-16-20, the only three occurrences in this book.

It means not only having testified, but written and made known, “---of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ what things soever he saw.” As John testifies in Rev. 22-8, “I John saw these things, and heard them.” Another proof in this past tense passage that Rev. 1-1-2, the introduction was written last, and put there for a very good reason just established. In order to confirm that from the very opening words, the entire book is prophecy of a future time. Not “soon,” but when that appointed time shall come, its events would occur in speed (en tachei), as Jesus testified in those passages.


God Bless, Twospirits, a.k.a., Henry.

orton1227's picture

I think it'd be very likely that the disciples asked the restoration question in a spiritual, not physical understanding. Why?

Luk 24:44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
Luk 24:45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

Don't you think Jesus taught them accurately? They had their minds open to understand the Scriptures...I would think it'd be safe to assume that they now understood the restoration of Israel if Jesus himself opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. Before their minds were opened, they looked at the restoration of Israel physically.

twospirits's picture

orton1227,

"Don't you think Jesus taught them accurately? They had their minds open to understand the Scriptures...I would think it'd be safe to assume that they now understood the restoration of Israel if Jesus himself opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. Before their minds were opened, they looked at the restoration of Israel physically."

Yes I agree, he made them understand the scriptures "about himself," as verses Luke 24-45-48 tell us. "And ye are witnesses of these things," which they certainly were.

Further knowledge of the scriptures would not come until they received the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, ten days after they asked Jesus that question of Israel's physical restoration as a nation.

But even if the question they asked concerning the kingdom was the spiritual kingdom, for the sake of argument, it still does not "negate the promise" God gave them in scripture that in the final days God would fulfill the physical return of the Jews back to their land and becoming a nation again (Jer.31-35-36).
Henry (Twospirits).

davecollins's picture

Hello, Henry
Obviously you continue to study these areas with great sincerity and intensity. Have you considered that Jeremiah 31 promises a NEW and DIFFERENT covenant from the one,in which, God brought physical Israel out of bondage from Egypt.Verses 33-34 describes a spiritual restoration and transformation. God promised them a rebuilt city that would never be captured or destroyed..a city that would be Holy unto the Lord.This measured, protected city is our New Jerusalem.I appreciate your articles, even though I can't go back to the confusion of futurism, it is refreshing to see that some in that camp are still seeking Truth. God bless you, Henry

twospirits's picture

Hi Dave,
Thank's for your kind words,and you are correct in saying that futurism is confusing. What made it that way is the terrible teachings of the Dispensationalists in these past several decades.

Yes, I understand that when God speaks in certain passages, it is to have a spiritual fulfillment. But we must also understand that there has to be a physical component and fulfillment with it. The greatest example is Jesus Christ. He could not fulfill the spiritual aspect of the prophecies, until he fulfilled the physical aspects of it. So yes, it does get mighty confusing!

Therefore when looking to the number of prophecies seen concerning the dispersion, regathering and conversion of Israel to their "land" and they being made a nation again; it is to be seen in the light of a "provision promise" of the prophecy's fulfillment for the physical seed of Israel. Some of these promises are seen in Isa. 11-11-12;14-1-2; Jer. 16-14-15;23-7-8;30-3;31-36-40;32-37-44; Ezek. 20-42; and etc. In these scriptures and others that could be given, we see in the plainest of language God saying he would return Israel as a nation in the land of Israel in spite of their sins and unbelief because of the promises God made to their forefathers.

One last thing, I am not "in that camp" called Dispensationalists. I belong only to the camp of God's Holy Word,I am a "follower" of Christ and His Word. I am a "futurist," to use that term, but I reject the teachings of the Dispensationalists. (No offense taken by the way,).
God bless--Henry

davecollins's picture

Hello, Henry
I understand your point of view, but I believe that the New covenant is fulfilled in a permanent spiritual transformation in Christ..all the other re gatherings were physical and took place to show us God's love, and grace. The kingdom of Christ, established thru the new covenant is forever and Spiritual. I am glad we are in the same camp, brother. God bless you, Dave

orton1227's picture

The main problem I see is that the Jewish race is gone...dried up after the dispersal. Even the Jewish Encyclopedia admits that there is no line of Jewish race anymore.

orton1227's picture

The main problem I see is that the Jewish race is gone...dried up after the dispersal. Even the Jewish Encyclopedia admits that there is no line of Jewish race anymore.

twospirits's picture

Hi orton1227,
Yes, many would see that as a problem, but God knows. And He knows that the Jewish race would not die out because He said so. Personally,I accept the word of God over what man's assumptions are in the final conclusion.

If the Jewish race were to die out, the Lord God would not have need to keep His Holy Word concerning the return to their land and being made a nation again.

But that wasn't the main reason of the article. It was submitted to ponder the evidence as to "when" the book of Revelation was written,for it is vitally important to the teachings of the full preterist camp; and others of course.

I have found and believe that the preterists have a hunger in finding the truth of scripture, but in any area of doctrine, especially eschatology, we must start with a solid foundation. And the book of Revelation would be that solid foundation in which to continue in seeking our answers.
God bless---Henry

Barry's picture

Hey Henry,
Just trying to get a idea of what you are saying.

What nation is this?
1Pe 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Was that nation that Peter is speaking about prophesied in old testament scripture or did it arise without having been prophesied?

If it was prophesied, what scriptures would you use?

Barry

we are all in this together

twospirits's picture

Barry,

It is found early in scripture: Gen. 12-2, "And I will make of thee a great nation---."

Read 1 Cor.12-27-28; Gal.3-29; Ephe.3-3-5;4-11-12. "And the nations of them which are saved (the church,i.e.1 Peter 2-9) shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it" (Rev. 21-24).

God bless---Henry

Barry's picture

Henry this seems quite clear to me:
Exd 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine:
Exd 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of PRIESTS, and an HOLY NATION. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.

Are you saying that this is not what Peter is quoting?
Blessings Barry

we are all in this together

twospirits's picture

Barry,
Certainly it is what Peter quotes,and note that he is talking to the church, the body of Christ. And since we have been grafted in, it also applies to us. And who are the "us"? The body of Christ, Jew and Gentile alike. The Israel of God.

God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Henry, isn't the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant circumcision? Do you believe in order to inherit the land these new Jews must also be circumcised? I'd hope not since Paul clearly states it's now a circumcision of the heart. But you see the issue? When the sign became spiritual, isn't that in indication that the covenant was also spiritual?

twospirits's picture

orton1227

Some of these promises are seen in Isa. 11-11-12;14-1-2; Jer. 16-14-15;23-7-8;30-3;31-36-40;32-37-44; Ezek. 20-42; and etc. In these scriptures and others that could be given, we see in the plainest of language God saying he would return Israel as a nation in the land of Israel in spite of their sins and unbelief because of the promises God made to their forefathers.

It was because of "His Holy Word", that this was to be an unconditional promise. The New Covenant of "salvation" is of the heart and spiritual, but the "land promises" is an entirely different issue, and God promised he would fulfill it.

I can only say that if one sees otherwise, than the only conclusion is that Israel's existence is a fluke, and one in a billion odds of its existence. That it has nothing to do with God's hand, or promises given them.

God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Not a fluke...part of God's redemptive plan showing that man cannot become righteous on his own power. We need God. God destroyed them (except a remnant) because of their disobedience (as prophesied in Exodus 32).

I think when looking at Gen 12 and 17, as well as Gal 4, you'll see that the land is spiritual, as the kingdom is spiritual. If the Kingdom were to be physical, then the land would've been as well.

twospirits's picture

orton1227

Yes, that's my point, its a part of the promises made to Israel, but most importantly, he did so as being part of His redemptive plan. The physical land here on earth only has to do with his redemptive plan and to complete his prophetic word.

For God's Kingdom is "not of this world," as our Lord Jesus Christ said. But will be manifested when all is fulfilled.

God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

So if the heirs to the promise were spiritual (i.e. spiritual kingdom), then the land has to be spiritual. How to have spiritual heirs to the land if the land is physical? Even if my wording is poor, I hope you see the oddity.

twospirits's picture

orton1227,

Are you a spiritual being or a physical being? You are a physical being right? And if you turn to Christ, "you are heirs to the promise." That is in time, you shall receive that promise. At this time it is spiritual in nature, for the Kingdom is not on the earth, but in heaven, and cannot be physically obtained in the here and now.

What you have to understand here is the promise given the Jews concerning "the land on earth" have nothing to do with the New Testament heavenly Kingdom promises given to all "as individuals" of heirs to "that" promise. To obtain that promise as individuals we only need to turn to Christ. If not you "cannot" be a part of that promise.

Think about it, God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Yet Paul in Gal 3 and 4 ties them together.

twospirits's picture

orton1227

Paul was using these illustrations to make the Jews understand that their "salvation" was in Christ only, not in the law. The part of the law he was talking about was the Old Covenant "rituals and observances" they were going back to.

It had nothing to do with the unconditional promise God made to the Jewish people concerning the land for them to remain a nation always as he promised. This promise had nothing to do with individual salvation, but to fulfill all his prophetic word.

Matt.5-17-18,"---not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled"

God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

The Jewish people knew nothing of justification. They expected a physical kingdom in a physical land where Messiah would reign forever as a physical king.

Paul here in Galatians shows them it's not about the Law, the physical promises and rituals. It's spiritual. God used what seemed to be physical promises to demonstrate the surpassing spiritual realities.

And you quote Matt 5:17-18...so the Law is still in effect? Because you're claiming not all is fulfilled.

Gal 3:19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.

The Law is gone if we truly can be justified today.

Continuing on in Gal 5 Paul argues against circumcision. Why? It was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. And yes, the land goes with that too. The 'nation' was spiritual, the 'land' is spiritual. There is no need for phyiscal fulfillment because the spiritual fulfillment was greater!

twospirits's picture

orton1227,

Forgive me, when I wrote that post, I was very tired and about to go to bed. (I'll never do that again!). I made a terrible error in writing it, and I'll give it and correct it here:

"Paul was using these illustrations to make the Jews understand that their "salvation" was in Christ only, not in the law. The part of the law he was talking about was the Old Covenant "rituals and observances" they were going back to."
(This part is correct).

"It had nothing to do with the unconditional promise God made to the Jewish people concerning the land for them to remain a nation always as he promised. "This (Old Covenant) promise (of the land) had nothing to do with individual salvation," (as is given us in the New Covenant) but (was) to fulfill all his prophetic word."

(This part is correct but not clear enough. God's unconditional promise cannot be broken even if he made 5 future covenants to them, it would not "annul" that promise. He would have to fulfill it, and he did. It was a promise that concerned a "physical reality" here on earth. The spiritual promises and their fulfillment; come in through Christ by accepting him, and then when we, at our death, enter that heavenly realm; His Kingdom).

Matt.5-17-18,"---not one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled"

What Jesus said is correct,and so are you in bringing up these passages, Christ fulfilled them,and later God fulfilled that Old Covenant physical land promise also. Otherwise, like I said, it was nothing but a "fluke," and the joke's on us.

God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Hebrews 11:14-16 clearly shows that Israel had the opportunity to seek their physical land they desired, but the 'chosen' realized that there was a better land, the actual promised land, the heavenly land.

twospirits's picture

orton1227,

One last time, you seem to have a problem with what I'm saying. I am in "total agreement with you." The promises given us "Gentiles" and the chosen ones (Jews) as you call them are the promises of the heavenly Kingdom for "all those in Christ." You MUST accept Christ to receive those promises which now are "spiritual."

But I say again for the last time concerning this issue; it does not and cannot "annul" the "unconditional" Old Covenant promise given the Jewish people by God. That in the latter days, he would restore them to their land, "where their forefathers lived" in spite of their sins. And he would do this, "not for their sake," but for the sake of "his holy word."

Now I ask you, "where did their forefathers live? In heaven or in Palestine?" You see if God would not keep this promise as in a "literal land where their forefathers dwelt," and later "change" this promise to something else; then it is no longer an "unconditional promise" but a "conditional" promise. That would then make God out to be "deceitful and a lier;" which he certainly IS NOT!

Its like I said, the New Covenant,the salvation and heavenly promises are completely fulfilled by accepting Christ. But even if the Jewish race (not the chosen ones) refused to accept Christ, as most did and do today; God, because he gave his word, would have to fulfill that which he promised. To restore them to their land where their forefathers dwelt, i.e. the land of Palestine. And this has been fulfilled in the 20th Century.

God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Sorry for the misunderstanding. However, I still believe the re-gathering of Israel is spiritual. I highly, highly encourage you to read this:

http://www.eschatology.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=...

twospirits's picture

orton1227

Thank you, I appreciate your words and your conviction. We are in agreement on certain issues at least.

God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Thanks to you as well. I'm serious though, read that article. Even if you don't agree, you'll be challenged for sure...which is always good.

davo's picture

twospirits: Now I ask you, "where did their forefathers live? In heaven or in Palestine?" You see if God would not keep this promise as in a "literal land where their forefathers dwelt," and later "change" this promise to something else; then it is no longer an "unconditional promise" but a "conditional" promise. That would then make God out to be "deceitful and a lier;" which he certainly IS NOT!

G'day Henry, just a couple of questions…

[1] On what basis are you making the claim that said "change" therefore means a change from your specified "unconditional promise" to a "conditional promise"? And… HOW in your opinion does that make God to be a liar?

[2] In light of the following texts, how do you draw a conclusion that God did not keep His promise to Israel relative to "a literal land where their forefathers dwelt"?

IOW, IF the inspired Scriptures can be trusted, then it is plainly evident that they declare all the Land promises God made to Israel were indeed completely fulfilled and honoured in that old covenant age:

The Promise Made:

Gen 12:7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.

Gen 15:18-21 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates-- the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."

Gen 17:8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."

Deut 1:8 See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers--to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob--to give to them and their descendants after them.'

The Promise Fulfilled:

Josh 1:4-6 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

Josh 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war.

Josh 21:43-45 So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Josh 23:14 "Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.

1Kgs 4:21 So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

1Kgs 8:56 "Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.

Neh 9:8 You found his heart faithful before You, and made a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, and the Girgashites--to give it to his descendants. You have performed Your words, for You are righteous.

Neh 9:22-24a "Moreover You gave them kingdoms and nations, and divided them into districts. So they took possession of the land of Sihon, the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. You also multiplied their children as the stars of heaven, and brought them into the land which You had told their fathers to go in and possess. So the people went in and possessed the land…

What was promised to Moses was clearly a recapitulation of all the promises that had been given to Abraham. Any subsequent treatment of this through the "prophets" ultimately find their prophetic fulfillment "in Christ" and His new covenant…

2Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

One further thought… these "conditional" / "unconditional" parameters arbitrarily imposed by dispensationalism do nothing to further the futurist cause, for the reality is – Abram fully met THE CONDITION God laid on him when first called TO WHICH the covenant promise "of land" was relative…

Gen 12:1, 4a Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. … So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him…

The texts of Scripture are clear – God fulfilled ALL that He promised Israel in regards to inheriting the land. Scripture also shows they had no right to occupy such in covenant disobedience, of which their story plays out. Subsequent to all this, that which "the land" foreshadowed was ultimately once for all fulfilled in Christ.

davo

twospirits's picture

Davo

You misunderstand what I am trying to get across in my posts. There is absolutely "no argument" that God fulfilled the land promises given to Israel from the River Euphrates to the River Egypt.

The "unconditional promise" I speak of is the promise made by God himself throughout the Old Testament that they at one time or another, shall live in the land where their forefathers had dwelt. His promise to gather and restore them to the land of Palestine. That being the land, of course, where they live today.

Now please understand, that does not mean I take the view of the Dispensationalists, or the Jewish extremists, far from it! Only to bring the point across, that the birth of Israel is not a fluke but a fulfillment of God's promise in the fulfillment of his prophetic word. That He is in control and will fulfill His prophetic Word.

Am I asking you or anyone else to believe this, no. That choice is up to each individual to conclude for himself. God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Honestly, I just don't know how much clearer Jesus could have made it. The land promised was not Palestine. It was spiritual. Jesus was rejected because of those statements.

Even here in Heb it talks about Palestine:

Heb 4:6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,
Heb 4:7 again he appoints a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."
Heb 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
Heb 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

But they didn't have rest. Why? Because God's promise was spiritual!

twospirits's picture

I never said it wasn't spiritual concerning the "land promises of the New Covenant," excluding the church for a moment to get my point across. Any individual Jew can have these promises if they receive Christ. True!

But it doesn't annul, put aside, divorce, illiminate God's promise of their restoration to their land (or for the sake of argument a land)as a nation political entity. Its either accepted as God's fulfillment or simply a fluke. I do not know how else to put it.

But how you conclude and accept it is your choice. Studying the scriptures, I personally see it as God's fulfillment of His prophetic Word. It's fine with me if you disagree on this issue, I won't bite you. I can't, I have no teeth. God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

God's promise to them was not annulled, but fulfilled in Christ. It's that simple. Israel's not a fluke, but part of God's plan of redeeming man to Himself. Israel was used to demonstrate man's need for God. Israel was disobedient. Why would God restore their land to a disobedient bunch who reject Him and refuse to call upon His name?

twospirits's picture

Why would God restore their land to a disobedient bunch who reject Him and refuse to call upon His name?

You answered that question yourself: "Israel's not a fluke, but part of God's plan of redeeming man to Himself." Bingo! That's what I've been saying, God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

My point was that they were the beginning of the plan...to show man's need for God, that we can never under our own might stand righteous before Him. The NT writers clearly show that God no longer considers physical, national Israel His 'friend'. It's all about the spiritual.

twospirits's picture

In Luke 21-35, when speaking concerning "that day" given in verse 34, "that day---will come on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth" (tes ges). Here the meaning is quite clear, it is the "entire earth," and not just a specific land area in the world. Two things to note here, it would come as a snare or trap on all the world, and it would come "unexpectedly."

Rev.3-10 is another passage among others in the New Testament that used both earth (ges) and world (oikoumene). Here Jesus states that an "hour of temptation" was coming upon the world (oikoumene) to try those who "dwell on the earth (ges)." Using earth interchangeably with world indicate that both words were to be understood in that sense.

We read in Rev. 12-9, "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world, he was cast out into the earth (gen) and his angels were cast out with him." In verse 12, a woe "for the earth (gen) and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you." Here again, the word for earth is "gen", the entire earth. Using "earth" and "sea" together indicates that this speaks of the entire world which consists of the land and the sea. This is not speaking of a restricted area of earth/land, neither in Jerusalem or the Roman Empire.

The context shows to any reasonable person that "oikoumene" in Luke 4-5; Acts 17-31; Hebrews 1-6; 2-5; Rev. 3-10; 12-9 and 16-14 signifies "the whole world." In Matt. 24-30 we read; "---all the tribes of the earth" (Ge). The Greek word "ge" is to mean the entire world. When "ge" is used in the limited sense, it is used in a limited sense of land within a specified region given in the text. A few examples are; Matt. 11-24, "Land (ge) of Sodom"; John 3-22, "land (gen) of Judea." Hebrews 8-8-9, "land (ges) of Egypt"; Matt. 14-34, "land (gen) of Gennesaret"; Acts 13-17-19, "in the land (ge) of Egypt---in the land (ge) of Canaan." The contexts throughout the New Testament determined when "ge" was being used in the sense of the entire earth or a specific land area.

Rev. 1-7 reads, "all the tribes of the earth "(ai phulai tes ges) will mourn because of him." Here the word "phulai" means "tribes" and "ges" means "earth," the entire world/earth.
2 Sam. 22-16,"---and the foundations of the world (oikoumenes) were discovered---." Did "oikoumenes" here refer to a part of the world or Roman Empire that didn't exist at that time? Psalm 9-8, "And he ( God) will judge the world (oikoumenon) in righteousness---." Does this mean that God would judge only a part of the world or Roman Empire? Psalm 18-15, "And the springs of water appeared, and the foundations of the world (oikoumenes) were exposed,---." Did the Septuagint translators think that the Lord had laid only the foundations of the Roman Empire? Psalm 24-1, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world (oikoumene) and all that dwell in it." Did the Septuagint translators think that only those who dwelt in the yet to be Roman Empire were the Lord's?

These are just a few, others, when the word "world" is translated to Greek by the Septuagint translators to be "oikoumene" are seen here. Psalm 33-8;77-18;89-11;90-2;93-1;96-10;96-13;97-4;98-7,9; Proverbs 8-26; Isa. 13-11;23-17; Jer. 10-12; 51-15.

My brother preterists maintain that the word "tribes" seen in Matt. 24-30 and Rev. 1-7 refer only to Israel-the tribes of Israel-, and not the tribes of the world. They see the word "tribes" as being a reference to "Israel's 12 tribes" and not the tribes of the world. The word "tribes" is seen in Matt. 19-28, where Jesus tells the disciples they would judge "the twelve tribes of Israel." The Greek word for "tribes" is phule, the Septuagint also used phule, but also in reference to non-Hebraic tribes and nations.

To give here a few examples; Gen. 12-3, "---and in thee shall all the tribes of the earth (phulai tes ges) be blessed." This is also seen in Gen. 28-14 when the promise was given to Jacob. "---in thee and thy seed shall all the tribes of the earth (phulai tes ges) be blessed." These tribes of the earth are seen in Ezek. 20-32, "--we will be as the nations, and as the tribes of the earth (phulai tes ges) to worship stocks and stones."
Going to Amos 3-2 we read, "You (house of Israel) especially have I known out of all the families of the earth (phulon tes ges)---."

If God had especially known the house of Israel out of all the families (phulon) of the earth, then these (phulon) tribes of the earth would have included all non-Hebraic tribes wouldn't they? If not, why not? We see these families of the earth again in Zech. 14-16-17. "And it shall come to pass that whosoever of all the families of the earth (tou phulon tes ges) shall not go to Jerusalem to worship the king, the Lord Almighty---." In verse 18 we read, "And if the family of Egypt (de phule Aiquptou) shall not go up,---." We see here when the biblical text restricts phule with a qualifier like "of Egypt," this means that only this "one tribe" is meant. But when texts refer to "all the tribes of the earth," it means all the tribes of the earth, and not just the 12 Jewish tribes of Israel.

So we can know that the tribes in Matt. 19-18 referred only to the 12 tribes of Israel, because the text says so, but there is no such qualifier in Matt. 24-30 and Rev. 1-7. Just as there is no qualifier of the word "ges,” with "of Judea" or "of Jerusalem" to show that Jesus meant for "ges,” earth to refer only to the region around Jerusalem. If "ai phulai tes ges,” all the tribes of the earth mean "all the tribes of the land of Judea" as my preterist brothers claim, then they must point to linguistic reasons in the context of the statement to support their claims.

Turning to Rev. 1-7, "Behold, he is coming with clouds, and every eye will see him, even they who pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth (ai phulai tes ges) will mourn because of him." Does this mean all the tribes of the earth?” If not, why not?
In Acts 1-9-11, the angels told the disciples: Jesus “shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
This passage parallels the other passages of Christ returning as he ascended, in a cloud, or clouds. (Matt. 24-30; 26-64; Mark 13-26; Luke 21-27; Rev. 1-7).

All these passages parallel each other. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they which pierced him (the word "pierce" here can also have a spiritual meaning, see concordance); and all the tribes of the earth (ai phulai tes ges) shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev. 1-7). Though the passages in Matthew, Mark and Luke speak of Christ's coming in apocalyptic language, it speaks of his coming in a way that shall be seen by those on the earth. That is in a miraculous way which Christ will perform. The apocalyptic language of these passages speak quite differently than the apocalyptic language used in the Old Testament of God coming in judgment on the nations.

Again, there is much scriptural evidence, and more could be given to show a post 70 A.D. writing of the book of Revelation, and in which the prophecy includes the entire world. Sorry to make this post so long, but its difficult at times to be given in a few short words. God bless---Henry

davo's picture

twospirits: The "unconditional promise" I speak of is the promise made by God himself throughout the Old Testament that they at one time or another, shall live in the land where their forefathers had dwelt.

Henry… to which OT "unconditional promise" text/s are you referring? The texts I quoted previously show conclusively and without equivocation or contradiction that such as God promised old covenant Israel relative to "the land" HE fulfilled already – He left nothing undone.

twospirits: His promise to gather and restore them to the land of Palestine. That being the land, of course, where they live today.

Israel's place in Palestine today has nothing to do with biblical prophecy – now I'm ok with you not agreeing that Jesus was the end i.e., the primary and focal point of the Law AND the Prophets, but this is the thrust of prophetic Scripture as I understand it… but I'll leave you with it.

davo

twospirits's picture

Davo,

(My post to you). "You misunderstand what I am trying to get across in my posts. There is absolutely "no argument" that God fulfilled the land promises given to Israel from the River Euphrates to the River Egypt.

The "unconditional promise" I speak of is the promise made by God himself throughout the Old Testament that they at one time or another, shall live in the land where their forefathers had dwelt. His promise to gather and restore them to the land of Palestine. That being the land, of course, where they live today."

Sorry, I failed to give you the text where this unconditional promise is made; Jer. 31-35-37, and it is seen in Ezekiel chapter 36, though you may see that as fulfilled,I see it was not. For after their captivity and return to the land, a remnant, they never became an independent and free nation as a people.

Thanks, and sorry for my mistake, how you see it is up to you. God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

So you don't believe God has ceased to remember Israel's sin yet? Based on the Jer 31 passage, you'd have to.

orton1227's picture

Ignore the previous reply.

So you believe the New Covenant, which was promised to Israel, has been fulfilled, correct? So it was not fulfilled in physical, national Israel, but rather spiritual Israel. I think we all agree on that.

So why do you take the next few verses (35-37) as physical Israel? That would mean a confusing switch of subject. Not to mention that Galatians 3 shows Israel's offspring as spiritual. Yet you interpret the offspring of Israel mentioned in Jer 31:37 as physical.

If we are to apply the principals of hermeneutics and allow the NT to interpret the OT, you have to acknowledge here that Paul is showing his audience that it's not about physical lines of descendants anymore.

Paul quotes Genesis and uses the word seed, which that word in Genesis is the same word as in Jeremiah. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Paul is interpreting the OT promises for us! How beautiful!

twospirits's picture

Jeremiah 31 and other scriptures: Example, Ezek. 36-21-23. If you read especially Ezekiel, you'll find passages that speak of this return. God bless----Henry

P.S. Anyone who turns to Christ is also heir to all the promises, and are forgiven.

twospirits's picture

Though you may see that as fulfilled (Ezekiel chapter 36 and other passages relating) I see it was not. For after their captivity and return to the land, a remnant that is, they never became an independent and free nation as a people. They were always under the rule of Gentile Nations.

orton1227's picture

The reason I see it as fulfilled is because Paul says so.

Let me say it again. Jeremiah 31:31-34 is fulfilled spiritually. You admit that too. Jeremiah 31:35-37 still uses 'Israel' without a subject change. So why physical offsprings of Israel, then? This is inconsistent.

In fact, Paul in Galatians 3 calls the offsprings of Israel offspring of Christ. So if you're a son or daughter of Christ, you are the offspring of Israel.

That promise is not in any way physical. The only argument you have is to say the New Covenant described in Jer 31:31-34 is also physical and to a physical nation only. However, to make that argument is to discount the whole NT.

twospirits's picture

It seems we are going full circle on this issue, which I prefer not to go. I can only say that before the New Covenant was brought in through Christ, God promised they would always be at one time or another a physical "nation of people."

This can be seen in the Covenant he made with David in 2 Samuel chapter 7. The Covenant spoke of David's house,(as a nation) the kingdom and the throne(through Christ). We see in this covenant promise "a physical and spiritual fulfillment" concerning the Jews. This is also seen in Jer. 31-31 and on. A physical and spiritual fulfillment, where the Gentiles also would be grafted in that spiritual fulfillment.

Other passages also show this restoration to the land: Ezek. 20-42; 36-22-24. (Verse 22) "Thus saith the Lord God, I do not (this) for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for MINE HOLY NAME"S SAKE;---."

There are only so many ways to get one's point across without going full circle over and over again on this issue. And there are only two ways as I mentioned before as to Israel's existence today. It is either what the God of scripture proclaimed in his prophetic plan, or it is a fluke, and that is all, there cannot be a third reason.

Who is the clay to tell the potter how to shape? God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Well, whenever this 'land' or 'nation' is set up, let me know because the prophecy also says it's never going to be overthrown or destroyed. I'd love to live in that security, knowing that even if we had an evil dictator invading every country in the world, we'd never get destroyed because God promised it. That would be awesome.

twospirits's picture

The land or nation you speak of, you already know: Once Jesus returns at his second coming no created being will ever again establish a kingdom and rule anywhere in the universe. In 1 Cor. 15-23-28, the apostle Paul teaches that Jesus "delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father" (v.24).

Jesus does this after he has rendered inoperative every enemy, including rebellious men, evil angels, and death (vs.25-26). Paul said that all of Jesus' enemies will be put "under his feet"(v.25). The dominion over the earth that Adam lost in the fall will be fully recovered by Christ.

When this occurs Christ will turn over the kingdom rule to the Father for the eternal reign over a new heaven and new earth. Paradise will be restored. What God originally intended when he created this universe, will completely and eternally come to pass.

The word "forever" here is to mean Israel would remain as a nation in their land until the coming of Christ.

Question: If it is neither what the God of scripture proclaimed in his prophetic plan, or a fluke, then tell me, "what is it?" God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

Not a physical nation, but God's Kingdom!

Jeremiah, in Chapter 31, says that Israel will be the recipients of the New Covenant.

He then says the offspring of Israel will dwell in the land that will never be destroyed or overthrown.

It's the same Israel.

So, we must conclude that either the New Covenant was only for national Israel and the land is for physical, national Israel...or that the New Covenant was for spiritual Israel (as the NT teaches) and thus the land is spiritual (i.e. the Kingdom of God, which Jesus said was spiritual and lasted forever and that no one could snatch from His hands, sound familiar?)

There is no subject change (or word change, stays 'Israel'), thus there is no change from physical to spiritual.

Again, read that article I linked...it'll be good for you.

twospirits's picture

Question: If it is neither what the God of scripture proclaimed in his prophetic plan, or a fluke, then tell me, "what is it?" God bless---Henry

orton1227's picture

The Kingdom of God.

twospirits's picture

The question I was referring to was the land of Israel were they live today. So if it was misunderstood, I'll repeat it again. In earlier posts, you agreed that the existence of Israel was no fluke. That is what my question was pointing to. If its not God's fulfillment promise and its not a fluke, then I ask you, what is it? We know Palestine certainly isn't the kingdom of God.

We both agree that the Kingdom of God is spiritual and heavenly and in time we shall dwell there. Now God promised the Jews, "I will return you to the "land where your forefathers lived." All the passages in the Old Testament speak in the same way: "where your forefathers "lived." Past tense. "In the land."

According to your view, their forefathers dwelt in the heavenly kingdom, for you spiritualize the "land;" The land where "their forefathers lived." We know without a doubt that land is physical and is called Palestine, where their forefathers lived thousands of years ago. So how can that be?

It's either that, or God "did not keep his promise" to them that he would return them to their "land where their forefathers dwelt." God bless---Henry

tom-g's picture

Hi Henry,

I seem to recognize a contradiction here of which you might not be aware.

Given your explanation of the late date of the Revelation and that every word from the first verse is prophetic future, then it is obvious from your dating of the deaths of Peter and Paul that they knew nothing of what was contained in Revelation and the teaching of the Holy Spirit was not to the apostles (Peter and Paul)nor was it to apostle John before he wrote his first four books of the NT or Luke's two books or Matthew or Mark.

Given those facts that would mean that the teaching of the Holy Spirit contained in at least 26 of the 27 books of the NT contained no knowledge or teaching of anything contained in Revelation, or else you are saying that all of the books of the NT were written after the Revelation and that would mean the books attributed to Peter and Paul were not written by them which would cause the scripture to be false.

Perhaps you could clarify these contradictions, which do you mean to be true, they can not both be true.

Tom

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