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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
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      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

Early Church Fathers Were Premillennial, Pre-Tribulation Rapture

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

I will reply to a specific point - if Steve doesn't read it, it may be helpful to others to know that his evasion of key questions is totally unhelpful to an understanding of Scripture.

 

Steve:

"THis is just too funny for words. 

You ask me where I get a 96 AD date for Revelation, and when I ask you the same question about 50 AD, you say "nowhere." 

So where does that leave us? 

Your preterist friends have invented a date that suits their theological bent, in defiance of all other educated guesses. 

Ironic - you challenge my assertion of 96 AD, yet you have no conclusive evidence to the contrary."

 

I do know where the 96 AD date comes from - a dubious & ambiguous quotation from Irenaeus in the second C, known only in Latin translation from the Greek, made 150 years later.

 

Regarding 50 AD, that date I have applied to the letters to the Thessalonians, NOT Revelation. The Scriptural evidence is that Revelation was before 70 AD, and relates to those dreadful events.

 

The prophesied events were "shortly" and "at hand" and Rev. was specifically written for the blessing of obedient readers - who were John's companions in tribulation. That precludes an "end times" fulfilment, when believers have been "raptured" off the scene.

 

Rev. 1:7 quotes Jesus' words in Mat. 24, concerning the destruction, and to the Sanhedrin (Mat. 26:64) quoting Dan. 7:13.

 

"Earth" (translation of "ge") is used with many different meanings, often but not always, clear from the context, ranging from soil (depth of earth) to the land of Israel or the whole planet. There is a tendency to speak of "eretz Israel" (Heb.) for the land of Israel, whereas eretz is often translated "earth."  We should not automatically think of the planet, but of the land of Israel.

 

We can therefore validly understand: Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.  as referring specifically to the tribes of the land of Israel, & the generation that pieced him. Zechariah is quoted by John. They certainly did wail when temple, & Jerusalem & its defenders were destroyed.

 

That's just a start. The letters in 2 & 3 were to real living churches, with application to all churches & Christians down the centuries.

Ahem...

"dubious quotation..." so dubious that the vast majority of Bible Believing Christians have bought it, apparently.  I know the majority is not always right, and if were a matter of comparing how many PROFESSING Christians believed something, well then, you might have something.  But when the majority of God-fearing, BIBLE BELIEVING CHristians believe something, it might be worth looking into.

Besides, you are hardly a credible source, since we know your bias to begin with. 

This is the date accepted by many for an extremely long time, by sincere Christians across the board.  Until I see conclusive evidence to the contrary, I'll stick with it.

 

"The Scripture evidence..."

Well, that is just YOU trying to shove the events of the Book of Revelation into the past, where it does not belong.  That is hardly conclusive.

You know, this is similar to talking to a Mormon.

Pastor Steve (PS): I don't believe the book of Mormon is God's word for many reasons.  One reason is that it is not historically accurate.

Mormon Elder (ME):  Oh, but it is historically accurate.

PS:  No it is not.  There is no archaeological findings to support the claims of the book of Mormon.  There are tons of archaeological digs and finds scattered all over the MIddle East that support the Bible's accuracy.

ME:  Oh, well we only go by what GOD said, not what MAN says.  Do you believe MAN over GOD???

 

(Boy, that sounds REAL SPIRITUAL doesn't it!  But it is only a SMOKESCREEN so that they don't have to deal with THE TRUTH!)

 

PS: Look, fella.  The God of the Bible is the God of History.  If we can't find any historical evidence to support the claims of the book of Mormon, then that book is a LIE.  And if you want GOD'S WORD on that, here it is:

Isa 41:21 ¶ Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.
Isa 41:22 Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.

 

Talking to Covenanter is very similar.

Cov:  I don't believe in a later date for the writing of Revelation.

PS: well, that is the date just about everybody gives for it....why don't you like that date?

COV: Well, that date is not given in the Bible.

PS: Oh, I see....then what date do you give for the writing of Revelation?

COV:  I don't have a date...I just know it was written before 70 AD.

PS: So let me get this straight....96 AD is not a valid date because the Bible does not specifically list that date as the actual date of its writing...BUT, we know that a pre-70 AD date is accurate because YOUR INTERPRETATION of Revelation demands that date????  What exactly am I missing here???

 

If you demand one thing from me, then demand the same thing of yourself.

All you have done is insisted on a preterist view of Scripture, and then "fixed" the dates to match that view.  Anything contrary to your view must be dismissed or discredited.

Well, you are about as honest on that date as the Mormon Elders are about the historical events of the Book of Mormon.

 

Regarding the letters to the 7 churches of Rev. 2-3:  Who ever said that they were NOT written to 7 literal churches that existed when John wrote the Book of Revelation?  Applicable to their specific circumstances, many lessons to be learned and applied for us today, and prophetic of future events AFTER 70 AD.

 

In Christ,

Edited by Steve Schwenke
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Stev - your attempt at ridicule is unworthy of a discussion of Scripture, & your comparison to Mormons very offensive. I am appealing to no source but Scripture.

 

The truth is that you have not attempted to address the inspired words of Scripture in Rev. 1. It cannot be a valid argument that "the vast majority of Bible Believing Christians have bought it." They may have been taught it - as I was - but we should consider whether the ambiguously translated words of Irenaeus should override the plain meaning of the words of Scripture. As any date after AD 70 fits the dispy paradigm, "everyone" goes along with it, without question. In the process fanciful interpretations override the accepted principles of interpretation of Scripture by Scripture.

 

Early in my Christian life I was taught the 96 AD date, & the historical interpretation (relating to the rise of Romanism) - the amil view, & I held that view for 40 years, & preached through Revelation on that basis. When you study a book that intensively questions arise that you then have to study. That further study led me to the preterist position, & an early date for Revelation (before AD 70) supported by Scripture itself, NOT any majority view.

 

A key stumbling block for the preterist interpretation of Revelation & the Olivet prophecy is

1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

That relates to Daniel 7

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

 

That relates to Jesus Christ's ascension & vindication - Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.... Also clouds are in the OT a sign of the presence of Christ with his people in protection or wrath against his enemies:

Ex. 13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

 

Ex. 19:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

 

40:34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

 

Isa. 19:1 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.

 

Lam. 2:1 How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!

 

Daniel prophesies that believers receive Christ's kingdom, a prophecy taken up by Peter & John:

Dan. 7:27 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

 

1 Pet. 2: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;

10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

 

Rev. 1:John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

You have to answer Scripture, not me.

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 I am sorry that you are offended at my illustration, but it perfectly illustrates my perspective of our conversations....we go round and round in circles, while you make demands on me that you don't keep for yourself.  You accuse me of "fanciful interpretation" while you run to the Greek and Hebrew to change our AV text to fit your own interpretation.  I demonstrate that an event did NOT occur in the historical narrative of Scripture, then you say the passage is "figurative" and then FORCE it into an historical event, when it clearly did NOT happen! 

The truth is that you have not attempted to address the inspired words of Scripture in Rev. 1. It cannot be a valid argument that "the vast majority of Bible Believing Christians have bought it." They may have been taught it - as I was - but we should consider whether the ambiguously translated words of Irenaeus should override the plain meaning of the words of Scripture. As any date after AD 70 fits the dispy paradigm, "everyone" goes along with it, without question. In the process fanciful interpretations override the accepted principles of interpretation of Scripture by Scripture.

 

No I have attempted to address the passage in Rev. 1 as yet...hopefully today...but not for your benefit. 

 

And you have completely missed my point about the date.  You demand that I provide Scriptural evidence for the later date, yet fail to provide Scriptural evidence for your date.   You CLAIM that the early date fits the "plain meaning of the words of Scripture" yet in this discussion and in previous discussions your interpretation is anything but plain. 

For Example:

"Earth" (translation of "ge") is used with many different meanings, often but not always, clear from the context, ranging from soil (depth of earth) to the land of Israel or the whole planet. There is a tendency to speak of "eretz Israel" (Heb.) for the land of Israel, whereas eretz is often translated "earth."  We should not automatically think of the planet, but of the land of Israel.

 

We can therefore validly understand: Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.  as referring specifically to the tribes of the land of Israel, & the generation that pieced him. Zechariah is quoted by John. They certainly did wail when temple, & Jerusalem & its defenders were destroyed.

 

 

This is the biggest problem I have with the Amil/preterist position.  Your view cannot handle the text as it stands, and you are constantly having to deny the plain reading of a text, change the words to suit your position, and then try to force a prophetic passage into an historical passage, even when they don't fit.  Here you are defending your position by going to the Greek and Hebrew so that you can manipulate the data in your favor.  If your position were correct, no such gymnastics would be necessary.

The fact is that much of Revelation does not fit the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, unless you deny a LITERAL interpretation of the Book of Revelation, and it all figurative.  Certainly there are symbols in Revelation, but your view demands the allegorical method of interpretation because it cannot withstand the scrutiny of a literal interpretation.

 

And you have the gall to label the dispensational view as "fanciful???"  

 

So your "evidence" that the early date fits the "plain teaching of Scripture" is mere conjecture that cannot be proven.  Your approach to Scripture demands an early date, so you force it in there.  That is not evidence - that is manipulation.

You can blame the later date on anyone you want, but it is not based SOLELY on that one passage from Irenaus - it was held by Justin Martyr BEFORE Irenaus, as well as other "church fathers" well up into the 4th centure.  The earlier date for Revelation did not receive any notice or traction until the 4th century.  The earlier "church fathers" all believed in a later date.  Justin Martyr and Irenaus both lived within 100 years of the event, so I think I'll take their word for it over someone who lived 300 years after the fact.   It is rather dishonest of you to tell us that the ONLY evidence for the later date is "ONE PASSAGE" from Irenaeus that is "ambiguous."  A person does not have to do much background reading to see your manipulation of the facts.

 

Now, I said earlier that I would not get into a "shoot-out" with you over this stuff, because we always end up right back where we started.  We never make any progress.  So that being said, I will try to write a few comments on Rev. 1 for John81's sake, and then move on.  

 

In Christ,

 

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The early date (pre 70AD) of Revelation is straight from Catholicism.  The origins are from Origen who rendered Revelation as "symbolic" and "metaphorical" and in no way literal. The Priests of today maintain it is purely "symbolic".

This was in keeping with the desire of the State Church to maintain stability and conformity and avoid any dispute which would undermine the Emperor's ability to "maintain peace and order" in the Roman Empire.

 

So now, 1600 years later we find this Catholic Doctrine finding it's way even to the "Baptist" churches.  Why?

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 I am sorry that you are offended at my illustration, but it perfectly illustrates my perspective of our conversations....we go round and round in circles, while you make demands on me that you don't keep for yourself.  You accuse me of "fanciful interpretation" while you run to the Greek and Hebrew to change our AV text to fit your own interpretation.  I demonstrate that an event did NOT occur in the historical narrative of Scripture, then you say the passage is "figurative" and then FORCE it into an historical event, when it clearly did NOT happen! 

No I have attempted to address the passage in Rev. 1 as yet...hopefully today...but not for your benefit. 

 

And you have completely missed my point about the date.  You demand that I provide Scriptural evidence for the later date, yet fail to provide Scriptural evidence for your date.   You CLAIM that the early date fits the "plain meaning of the words of Scripture" yet in this discussion and in previous discussions your interpretation is anything but plain. 

For Example:

 

This is the biggest problem I have with the Amil/preterist position.  Your view cannot handle the text as it stands, and you are constantly having to deny the plain reading of a text, change the words to suit your position, and then try to force a prophetic passage into an historical passage, even when they don't fit.  Here you are defending your position by going to the Greek and Hebrew so that you can manipulate the data in your favor.  If your position were correct, no such gymnastics would be necessary.

The fact is that much of Revelation does not fit the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, unless you deny a LITERAL interpretation of the Book of Revelation, and it all figurative.  Certainly there are symbols in Revelation, but your view demands the allegorical method of interpretation because it cannot withstand the scrutiny of a literal interpretation.

 

And you have the gall to label the dispensational view as "fanciful???"  

 

So your "evidence" that the early date fits the "plain teaching of Scripture" is mere conjecture that cannot be proven.  Your approach to Scripture demands an early date, so you force it in there.  That is not evidence - that is manipulation.

You can blame the later date on anyone you want, but it is not based SOLELY on that one passage from Irenaus - it was held by Justin Martyr BEFORE Irenaus, as well as other "church fathers" well up into the 4th centure.  The earlier date for Revelation did not receive any notice or traction until the 4th century.  The earlier "church fathers" all believed in a later date.  Justin Martyr and Irenaus both lived within 100 years of the event, so I think I'll take their word for it over someone who lived 300 years after the fact.   It is rather dishonest of you to tell us that the ONLY evidence for the later date is "ONE PASSAGE" from Irenaeus that is "ambiguous."  A person does not have to do much background reading to see your manipulation of the facts.

 

Now, I said earlier that I would not get into a "shoot-out" with you over this stuff, because we always end up right back where we started.  We never make any progress.  So that being said, I will try to write a few comments on Rev. 1 for John81's sake, and then move on.  

 

In Christ,

 

Wasting time, he will not budge, he will stick with what he has been taught while ridiculing your post.

 

Of course at least if someone comes along & reads these post they will have the truth before them in your post.

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I've been pondering the meaning of this verse too.

 

“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” - Revelation 1:3

 

This verse says "for the time is at hand". Is that to be taken literally or in some other way (if some other way, why and how do we know)?

 

This verse also says we are to "keep those things which are written therein". In what manner are we to "keep those things", and what exactly is this referring to?

Revelation 1:1-3

 

Verse 1 – Introduction

God the Father gives to Jesus Christ a revelation about Himself, and Jesus Christ passes this revelation down to His servants.  This message was conveyed to John by an angel. 

“Things which must shortly come to pass” – The biggest debate about prophetic events is the timetable.  There is no doubt that all Christians were anticipating the soon return of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  The question then is “How short is ‘shortly?’” 

Two operative principles:

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

The way the Lord views things and the way we view things are not always the same.  For a human being with a lifespan of 70 years, “shortly” means days, maybe a week or two, at the most a month.  For an Infinite Being who “inhabits eternity” shortly is not defined by the human clock.  Thus:

 

2 Peter 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 

We will not go into whether or not one day is exactly 1,000 years here.  The point is that God counts time differently than we do, by a huge margin.  So when the Lord says “shortly” it is “shortly” on HIS timetable – not ours.  Therefore it is not inconceivable for the Lord to say “shortly” and then delay it by a “long time” on our timetable – say 2,000 years.  On the Lord’s clock, 2,000 years is just a couple of days, so it still fits into the “shortly” definition.

Also, as with most prophecies, there is the short term “near” prophecy which had immediate implications, and there was the long term “far” prophecy that pointed to some greater event in the distant future.  A cursory reading of the prophets points this out, especially when the prophets refer to the resurrection of David, the return of Israel, and “the Branch.”  Therefore, while there may be some immediate prophetic material in Revelation that would help them understand events as they occurred, it does not necessarily follow that they were required to understand every last detail of the Book of Revelation, nor does it follow that they would see every last detail fulfilled in their life time.

 

1Pe 1:10 ¶ Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

 

The prophets did not always understand everything they prophesied and wrote themselves.   The target audience of John’s 7 churches, nor was John himself may very well NOT have understood everything that John wrote, but there is no rule that demands this understanding, especially in light of I Pet. 1:10-12.

 

Verse 2 – John declares that he has faithfully recorded what he was told and what he saw.

Verse 3 – There is a special blessing attached to the reading of this book, a blessing not attached to any other book of the Bible.  This makes the Book of Revelation an important book for us to read, study, and understand.  Every sincere Bible Believing Christian should have a desire to see what is in store for us in the future, and how the whole of humanity comes to its fruition in eternity.  The Book of Revelation explains “end times” events clearly, and gives us the end of the “story.”  Without Revelation, there is no cure for Genesis.  Revelation tells us how everything ENDS in a dramatic, graphic, summarized fashion, drawing the entire book to its climatic conclusion.

 

But hearing is not enough – we must also KEEP the things which are written therein.  It is not enough to KNOW what is in the Bible, we must also ACT on what we know.

 

James 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 

“For the time is at hand”

Again, this is similar to “shortly” in the 1st verse.  The phrase “at hand” is used 32 times in the KJV Bible, by my count.  Sometimes it refers to “being in close proximity to a person’s body” (I Sam. 9:8).    Sometimes, it refers to an impending action (Gen. 27:41).  But in prophecy, “at hand” can mean that it is close at hand, that is available, but not necessarily impending.  I will give three examples.  I think most of the other references will fit into one of these categories for the most part.  I list three only for sake of time and space.  You can look up the rest for yourself when you have the time to do so.

 

Exhibit A:

Deuteronomy 32:35  To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

In this passage, there is no specific time table in mind, just a general warning that if Israel breaks their covenant with God, they will be judged, and that judgment is “at hand.”  The idea is that God will bring swift judgment on them. 

Yet when we read the OT, we see God’s longsuffering with His people.  He may have brought judgment from time to time, but the final judgment upon Israel was not until about 600 BC.  So the Lord “suffered long” with them for nearly 1,000 years, sometimes sending prophets, sometimes sending lesser judgments, sometimes being silent.   So “at hand” in this passage does not mean “tomorrow.”  It means that God has punishments very near to Him, and He will dole them out at the most appropriate time, allowing for His own longsuffering, mercy and grace.

 

Exhibit B:

Isaiah 13:6  Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

The “day of the Lord” is nearly always a reference to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, which is ultimately fulfilled in Revelation 19.  One thing is for sure, that day has not yet come, and here we are 2,700 years after this prophecy.  So “at hand” does not necessarily mean that it will happen today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year.  It means that the Lord has this all planned out on His timetable, and He has already determined the judgment (on Babylon in this context), and He is ready to roll with it, when the time comes.

 

Exhibit C:

Matthew 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

John the Baptist, as well as Jesus Christ preached the Kingdom of Heaven, and they preached that it was “at hand.”  The serious student of Scripture understands that Jesus Christ also preached the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:15), and that these two kingdoms, while overlapping in some aspects, are two distinct kingdoms.  The point is that these kingdoms were right there for the taking IF they took the offer.  We know what happened – they rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah, they crucified Him, and then later in Acts 7, the Jewish elders once again completely rejected Jesus Christ.  The offer was withdrawn, and saved for a later date.

 

We know from Romans 11, Ezek 37, Jere. 31, and many other passages that Israel will be resurrected and that David himself will rule over them again at some future date.  The Church does not replace Israel in any way shape or form.

 

Therefore, when we read in Rev. 1:3 that the “time as at hand” it does not necessarily mean that it is right around the corner, ready to happen next week.  There is no basis from Scripture to say that these events had to happen in John’s lifetime, especially in light of how the phrase is used elsewhere in Scripture (Joel 1:15, 2:1, Zeph 1:7). 

What we should take away from this is that when the Lord says it is “at hand” that means that HE is ready to return at any time, and we should be also.  But we should not be in a hurry to shove prophecy into the past to fit our own definition of “at hand.”  By doing this, we deny the literal interpretation of Scripture, we allegorize things away, we deny the plain reading of the text, and we destroy the prophetic impact of the entire Bible.  It means exactly what it says – “at hand.”  We just need to wait for the Lord to put everything into motion.  He is ready and waiting for the right moment to put His plan into action.

 

Hopefully, this helps you a little bit!

In Christ,

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Revelation 1:1-3

 

Verse 1 – Introduction

God the Father gives to Jesus Christ a revelation about Himself, and Jesus Christ passes this revelation down to His servants.  This message was conveyed to John by an angel. 

“Things which must shortly come to pass” – The biggest debate about prophetic events is the timetable.  There is no doubt that all Christians were anticipating the soon return of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  The question then is “How short is ‘shortly?’” 

Two operative principles:

Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

The way the Lord views things and the way we view things are not always the same.  For a human being with a lifespan of 70 years, “shortly” means days, maybe a week or two, at the most a month.  For an Infinite Being who “inhabits eternity” shortly is not defined by the human clock.  Thus:

 

2 Peter 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

 

We will not go into whether or not one day is exactly 1,000 years here.  The point is that God counts time differently than we do, by a huge margin.  So when the Lord says “shortly” it is “shortly” on HIS timetable – not ours.  Therefore it is not inconceivable for the Lord to say “shortly” and then delay it by a “long time” on our timetable – say 2,000 years.  On the Lord’s clock, 2,000 years is just a couple of days, so it still fits into the “shortly” definition.

Also, as with most prophecies, there is the short term “near” prophecy which had immediate implications, and there was the long term “far” prophecy that pointed to some greater event in the distant future.  A cursory reading of the prophets points this out, especially when the prophets refer to the resurrection of David, the return of Israel, and “the Branch.”  Therefore, while there may be some immediate prophetic material in Revelation that would help them understand events as they occurred, it does not necessarily follow that they were required to understand every last detail of the Book of Revelation, nor does it follow that they would see every last detail fulfilled in their life time.

 

1Pe 1:10 ¶ Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

 

The prophets did not always understand everything they prophesied and wrote themselves.   The target audience of John’s 7 churches, nor was John himself may very well NOT have understood everything that John wrote, but there is no rule that demands this understanding, especially in light of I Pet. 1:10-12.

 

Verse 2 – John declares that he has faithfully recorded what he was told and what he saw.

Verse 3 – There is a special blessing attached to the reading of this book, a blessing not attached to any other book of the Bible.  This makes the Book of Revelation an important book for us to read, study, and understand.  Every sincere Bible Believing Christian should have a desire to see what is in store for us in the future, and how the whole of humanity comes to its fruition in eternity.  The Book of Revelation explains “end times” events clearly, and gives us the end of the “story.”  Without Revelation, there is no cure for Genesis.  Revelation tells us how everything ENDS in a dramatic, graphic, summarized fashion, drawing the entire book to its climatic conclusion.

 

But hearing is not enough – we must also KEEP the things which are written therein.  It is not enough to KNOW what is in the Bible, we must also ACT on what we know.

 

James 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 

“For the time is at hand”

Again, this is similar to “shortly” in the 1st verse.  The phrase “at hand” is used 32 times in the KJV Bible, by my count.  Sometimes it refers to “being in close proximity to a person’s body” (I Sam. 9:8).    Sometimes, it refers to an impending action (Gen. 27:41).  But in prophecy, “at hand” can mean that it is close at hand, that is available, but not necessarily impending.  I will give three examples.  I think most of the other references will fit into one of these categories for the most part.  I list three only for sake of time and space.  You can look up the rest for yourself when you have the time to do so.

 

Exhibit A:

Deuteronomy 32:35  To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.

In this passage, there is no specific time table in mind, just a general warning that if Israel breaks their covenant with God, they will be judged, and that judgment is “at hand.”  The idea is that God will bring swift judgment on them. 

Yet when we read the OT, we see God’s longsuffering with His people.  He may have brought judgment from time to time, but the final judgment upon Israel was not until about 600 BC.  So the Lord “suffered long” with them for nearly 1,000 years, sometimes sending prophets, sometimes sending lesser judgments, sometimes being silent.   So “at hand” in this passage does not mean “tomorrow.”  It means that God has punishments very near to Him, and He will dole them out at the most appropriate time, allowing for His own longsuffering, mercy and grace.

 

Exhibit B:

Isaiah 13:6  Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

The “day of the Lord” is nearly always a reference to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, which is ultimately fulfilled in Revelation 19.  One thing is for sure, that day has not yet come, and here we are 2,700 years after this prophecy.  So “at hand” does not necessarily mean that it will happen today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year.  It means that the Lord has this all planned out on His timetable, and He has already determined the judgment (on Babylon in this context), and He is ready to roll with it, when the time comes.

 

Exhibit C:

Matthew 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

John the Baptist, as well as Jesus Christ preached the Kingdom of Heaven, and they preached that it was “at hand.”  The serious student of Scripture understands that Jesus Christ also preached the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:15), and that these two kingdoms, while overlapping in some aspects, are two distinct kingdoms.  The point is that these kingdoms were right there for the taking IF they took the offer.  We know what happened – they rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah, they crucified Him, and then later in Acts 7, the Jewish elders once again completely rejected Jesus Christ.  The offer was withdrawn, and saved for a later date.

 

We know from Romans 11, Ezek 37, Jere. 31, and many other passages that Israel will be resurrected and that David himself will rule over them again at some future date.  The Church does not replace Israel in any way shape or form.

 

Therefore, when we read in Rev. 1:3 that the “time as at hand” it does not necessarily mean that it is right around the corner, ready to happen next week.  There is no basis from Scripture to say that these events had to happen in John’s lifetime, especially in light of how the phrase is used elsewhere in Scripture (Joel 1:15, 2:1, Zeph 1:7). 

What we should take away from this is that when the Lord says it is “at hand” that means that HE is ready to return at any time, and we should be also.  But we should not be in a hurry to shove prophecy into the past to fit our own definition of “at hand.”  By doing this, we deny the literal interpretation of Scripture, we allegorize things away, we deny the plain reading of the text, and we destroy the prophetic impact of the entire Bible.  It means exactly what it says – “at hand.”  We just need to wait for the Lord to put everything into motion.  He is ready and waiting for the right moment to put His plan into action.

 

Hopefully, this helps you a little bit!

In Christ,

Some interesting points to consider. The weakest point would seem to be with regards to the time issue as this seems to say this verse may be pointing to a distant time, but then again, it could be to an earlier time based on the same considerations. If this is the case, it would seem we will have to look at the evidence for and against the sooner and latter views.

 

Thank you for the input, I'll be going over this again.

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Some interesting points to consider. The weakest point would seem to be with regards to the time issue as this seems to say this verse may be pointing to a distant time, but then again, it could be to an earlier time based on the same considerations. If this is the case, it would seem we will have to look at the evidence for and against the sooner and latter views.

 

Thank you for the input, I'll be going over this again.

Just read this with the family:

Lu 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Lu 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

 

THis fits with the "at hand."  The Lord knows when He is going to return, but He did not reveal it to us and for very good reason.  If the Lord had said, "I am going to return in the year 2014" then the average person would not be AS motivated to serve the Lord faithfully, esp. those from the first century up until the early 1900's.  So the Lord hid that date, said "at hand" (which is accurate!) so that we ALL would be anxiously waiting for His return.  I return to the principle that the Lord wrote the book for ALL of us for ALL time!

 

In Christ,

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Just read this with the family:

Lu 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Lu 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

 

THis fits with the "at hand."  The Lord knows when He is going to return, but He did not reveal it to us and for very good reason.  If the Lord had said, "I am going to return in the year 2014" then the average person would not be AS motivated to serve the Lord faithfully, esp. those from the first century up until the early 1900's.  So the Lord hid that date, said "at hand" (which is accurate!) so that we ALL would be anxiously waiting for His return.  I return to the principle that the Lord wrote the book for ALL of us for ALL time!

 

In Christ,

I absolutely agree that we should so live that we are found ready when the Lord returns.

 

I'm not sure the verse in discussion pertains to this. Still pondering and taking in and comparing what I'm finding and what's put forth here.

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Steve - you seem to be arguing that God's revelation in terms of time "at hand" is meaningless. To argue the way you do means that you do not trust that God's Word means what he says. You reject the literal reading. You impose an "end times" context where none is intended by the real context.

 

The point is that God counts time differently than we do, by a huge margin.  So when the Lord says “shortly” it is “shortly” on HIS timetable – not ours.  Therefore it is not inconceivable for the Lord to say “shortly” and then delay it by a “long time” on our timetable – say 2,000 years.  On the Lord’s clock, 2,000 years is just a couple of days, so it still fits into the “shortly” definition.

.....

 

Isaiah 13:6  Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

The “day of the Lord” is nearly always a reference to the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, which is ultimately fulfilled in Revelation 19.  One thing is for sure, that day has not yet come, and here we are 2,700 years after this prophecy.  So “at hand” does not necessarily mean that it will happen today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year.  It means that the Lord has this all planned out on His timetable, and He has already determined the judgment (on Babylon in this context), and He is ready to roll with it, when the time comes.

 

I have looked at all 32 occurrences & find that where a time is intended, that time is imminent.

 

A - is readily understood expect that Israel can expect swift judgment when you disobey - as happened many times in the history of Israel. God is "at hand" to bless or punish.

 

B - Have you read Isaiah 13 in context? The timing is indicated by v. 17, & the fulfilment is record in Daniel:

Isa. 13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. ......

6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.....

17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.

 

Dan. 5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians....

31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.

 

As Habakkuk learns, God was raising up the Chaldeans (Babylonians) for his purpose, & at the same time planning their destruction.

 

Both Joel & Zephaniah use "at hand" with respect to judgments recorded in Scripture - with Joel, the army of locusts from which they were suffering (Joel 2:25) while Zephaniah (in the time of Josiah) refers to the impending judgment by the Babylonians on Judah:

Zeph. 1:I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

That judgment took place within about 10 years.

 

C - I am a serious student of Scripture, therefore I disagree with your imposed dispy "interpretation." I believe what the Bible says. There is no suggestion in the Apostolic writings that "The offer was withdrawn, and saved for a later date." The Gospel is open to all, with the command to repent & believe.

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You reject the literal reading.

 

That's just too funny for words, coming from you.  The army of Joel 2 is anything BUT locusts, and the events recorded, particularly in the first half of the chapter have not yet occurred.  Your desire to shove everything in the past demands that you overlook too many things, and spiritualize everything away. 

 

I am a serious student of Scripture, therefore I disagree with your imposed dispy "interpretation."

 

You see, this is why I have so little respect for your position and those who hold to it.  You are implying that I (as well as other dispensationalists) are NOT serious students of Scripture.  Now, you would never outright SAY that, but you imply it at every turn with your snide comments like this.  You constantly refer to our view as "fanciful." 

Who are you trying to kid?  If you want me to respect you, then you should show some respect for me.  Constantly deriding me and my position like this does little to gender respect.

 

It is inconceivable that you would be offended at my "Mormon" illustration, but then not expect me to be offended by your constant put downs - "I am a serious student of Scripture (but YOU aren't!); dispensationalists hold to a 'fanciful view of scripture'....you don't believe in a literal interpretation....

 

There is no suggestion in the Apostolic writings that "The offer was withdrawn, and saved for a later date." The Gospel is open to all, with the command to repent & believe.

 

I was not talking about the GOSPEL, I was referring to the KINGDOM - the literal, visible, physical KINGDOM that the OT promises to Israel, complete with a PHYSICAL Temple, and a functional priesthood, and DAVID HIMSELF sitting on the throne.   The Lord withdrew the offer to Israel to set up their promised Kingdom, and has delayed the fulfillment of that promise to a future date.  It will be fulfilled AFTER the events of REv. 6-19 occur.

 

If you are such a "serious" student of Scripture, surely you should know the difference between the KINGDOM and the GOSPEL.  Even then, the Bible speaks of 8 Kingdoms, and several gospels as well. 

 

That's all I have for you, Ian....no more responses from me.  It is fruitless and unedifying.  Go ahead and keep puffing yourself up, bragging about how "serious" a student you are, and putting us down as often as you can.  

 

In Christ,

Edited by Steve Schwenke
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Steve:

"The army of Joel 2 is anything BUT locusts ..... "

 

That's just too funny for words, coming from someone who pretends to interpret Scripture literally.

 

Have you tried reading Joel?

 

Joel 1:4 That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.

 

2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

 

Are you going to tell me that we are still waiting for Pentecost - as prophesied in Joel 2:28-32 ?

Edited by Covenanter
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It is most unfortunate that those of us who want to have an HONEST and OPEN discussion about end times events are constantly hindered, harassed, and frustrated by these pesky praeterists.  I have noticed that they don't really contribute too much on other parts of the forum.  I guess they are only here to debate us on eschatology - apparently they don't have an audience anywhere else. 

So instead of being able to have a fruitful discussion amongst ourselves, these discussions always turn into unedifying, heated debates about the exact same thing.  It is always the same people making the same absurd remarks, OPENLY CHANGING THE KJV BIBLE to suit their needs (I have never had to go to the Greek or Hebrew to prove my point...see Covenantor's post # 60 above!!!!), and then accusing us of not being "serious Bible students," holding to "fanciful interpretations" and not believing the "literal words" in the text. 

 

It would be nice to have a good discussion amongst people who have the same approach and foundational interpretive principles, while each holding to different nuances, or even questioning certain aspects of our beliefs.....but that is not to be, at least on this forum.

 

Yes, most unfortunate indeed!

 

In Christ,

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It would seem if the preterist position (and I still don't understand it all) were so far off it would be easy to refute from Scripture. While I've seen a few serious questions raised regarding some points, I've seen little else.

 

Thus far in my own studies I've found holes in each viewpoint, but of all the viewpoints part of the amil and premil seem to have a solid foundation. The other viewpoints seem very weak and unable to counter many of the questions against their view. However, I've found many able to well defend their amil or premil position; although the pre-mil positions seem best defended by those who really understand that viewpoint and there are a lot of pre-mil believers out there who obviously don't understand their own viewpoint that well and they most often resort to personal jabs and other strategies rather than clearly putting forth their view and a reasoned defense (please don't confuse that observation to be an attack against pre-mil, it's not, as I pointed out, those who actually understand that view are capable of reasoned discussion on the matter). To be fair, there are some who fall short in defending their amil position as well, but since the amil view isn't as common, especially with Americans, there are not as many contending for this.

 

Myself, I find discussions between the differing views to be beneficial, this is most especially so when those discussing the views try to stick with Scripture and reasoned questioning of opposing views as they provide reasoned defense of their own.

 

All this to say, I suppose, that when these matters are discussed here, I read, study and weigh them, even if I'm not actively participating in the thread. Since after years of studying these things I'm still not 100% for any view, I'm very much open to discovering something that may help me form a more solid conclusion in this matter.

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John, I do appreciate what you are saying. 

I know there are people who truly are searching for the truth. 

In my mind, these types of discussions do not lead us to the truth, they only gender strife and confusion.  Maybe it is beneficial to a select few (such as yourself) so that you get a bigger, more well-rounded picture, but I believe that it is a very small number who really gain anything useful out of these debates.  I know I don't.

I guess what bothers me most about the amillenial position is their constant distortion of Scripture.  In the threads I have participated in, their side constantly rejects the plain reading of the text, goes to the Greek and Hebrew, and insists everything is in the past.  Even when I point it out to them, they just move on to the next topic without responding....just like the cults do (which explains in part my Mormon crack.)  I could see some common ground if they did not have this penchant for changing Scripture and denying Scripture. 

Of course, they pretend that it is our side that denies Scripture, but even when I clearly explain myself, defining words, listing passages and examples in my defense, it is again like talking to a cult.

 

Thus, my withdrawal - it is not edifying or a wise use of my time to get carried away in these discussions.

 

2 Timothy 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

 

Of course, I'll hang around and answer any HONEST questions, such as the ones you put forth....I simply won't be drawn into any more "shootouts" with the heretics.  (Strong word, I know, but that is what they are in my view...)

 

In Christ,

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It is most unfortunate that those of us who want to have an HONEST and OPEN discussion about end times events are constantly hindered, harassed, and frustrated by these pesky praeterists.  I have noticed that they don't really contribute too much on other parts of the forum.  I guess they are only here to debate us on eschatology - apparently they don't have an audience anywhere else. 

So instead of being able to have a fruitful discussion amongst ourselves, these discussions always turn into unedifying, heated debates about the exact same thing.  It is always the same people making the same absurd remarks, OPENLY CHANGING THE KJV BIBLE to suit their needs (I have never had to go to the Greek or Hebrew to prove my point...see Covenantor's post # 60 above!!!!), and then accusing us of not being "serious Bible students," holding to "fanciful interpretations" and not believing the "literal words" in the text. 

 

It would be nice to have a good discussion amongst people who have the same approach and foundational interpretive principles, while each holding to different nuances, or even questioning certain aspects of our beliefs.....but that is not to be, at least on this forum.

 

Yes, most unfortunate indeed!

 

In Christ,

 

 

That's 100% true, along with they show not the least bit of respect >as you also mentioned in a previous post.

 

I believe their mission is to spread their untruths converting everyone possible.

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That's 100% true, along with they show not the least bit of respect >as you also mentioned in a previous post.

 

I believe their mission is to spread their untruths converting everyone possible.

 

If you are including me in that, you're 100% wrong.

 

A.  I am not a preterist.

 

B.  I post more on other forums.  

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On 2013/9/14 at 7:48 AM, Steve Schwenke said:

Just read this with the family:

Lu 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Lu 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

 

THis fits with the "at hand."  The Lord knows when He is going to return, but He did not reveal it to us and for very good reason.  If the Lord had said, "I am going to return in the year 2014" then the average person would not be AS motivated to serve the Lord faithfully, esp. those from the first century up until the early 1900's.  So the Lord hid that date, said "at hand" (which is accurate!) so that we ALL would be anxiously waiting for His return.  I return to the principle that the Lord wrote the book for ALL of us for ALL time!

Steve,

I appreciate your pointing out to us Luke 12:36 and 37

I do feel they are applicable to the all of the saints from the beginning of the Church Age to the end. It is a fitting way of saying the time is 'at hand' to all of the saints.

Alan

Edited by Alan
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Through history the rapture could come at any time but now the day of the Lord is near it is near and hasteth greatly because Israel the nation not desired has gathered so the rapture must be even nearer!

 

Zephaniah 1:14-2:3

14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.

17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

1Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;

2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you.

3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger.

Edited by Eric Stahl
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On 9/10/2013 at 5:17 PM, Covenanter said:

 

Why should we not think John (in Rev) is prophesying the AD 70 destruction by the Romans.

 

The primary reason we do not apply an Eschatological fulfillment to the destruction of the Temple in AD70 is that we did not see Christ return.

 

But I'd be happy to look at this with you.

 

God bless.

Edited by S.T.Ranger
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