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Pastor Scott Markle

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Everything posted by Pastor Scott Markle

  1. Ok, I must express some frustration concerning this thread discussion of late. I definitely desire to engage in the discussion concerning Calvinistic soteriology; however, that subject is NOT really the purpose of THIS thread. Thus I have refrained. If that discussion could be moved to another thread, I would be more comfortable engaging therein. Then again, maybe all would prefer that I just stay out of it.
  2. The answer to this question is found by seeing the contextual relationship between Acts 15:1-2 & Acts 15:14. Acts 15:1-2 -- "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this questions." Acts 15:24 -- "Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment . . . " Now some thought questions: 1. Were these "certain men" preaching and teaching a false gospel? 2. If they were, should they have been disciplined from the church and marked as false teachers? 3. Was it Biblically righteous for Paul and Barnabas to engage so strongly in dissension and disputation with them? 4. Why was there so much disputing among the apostles and elders of the Jerusalem church over this matter? (See Acts 15:6-7)
  3. Brother Alan, I do apologize, for I misunderstood. Because you included some discussion concerning Hebrews 12:22-23 and concerning the "General Assembly," I was under the impression that you were open to further discussion thereof. Now that you have clarified the intention of this thread discussion as being strictly about the local church, I shall withdraw my questions concerning the membership of the "General Assembly." I shall look forward to any further study that you do herein concerning the New Testament's teaching on the local church.
  4. Brother Alan, since you posted this, I am left to assume that you do indeed wish to continue discussing the point and that you do not wish to remain silent on the subject. Even so, I am now choosing to engage with you -- I AGREE with EVERYTHING that I have included in the above quote from your posting. However, concerning the following portion of your posting, I have some questions: In this portion of your posting, you indicate that the "General Assembly" is (1) "in heaven" and that it is an assembly (2) "of all the saints." I myself AGREE COMPLETELY that the "General Assembly" is in heaven, and ONLY in heaven. Furthermore, I would contend that ANY man-made attempt to reproduce a form of this "General Assembly" on earth is UTTER FALSEHOOD (which is why I UTTERLY REJECT any form of episcopal hierarchy, any form of denominational hierarchy, and the teaching of ecumenicalism). However, my questions to you focus upon your indication that this "General Assembly" is an assembly "of all the saints." 1. When you use the phrase, "of all the saints," are you including New Testament believers that are presently on the earth at this very present time? 2. When you use the phrase, "of all the saints," are you including only New Testament believers that are presently in heaven (through death) at this present time? 3. When you use the phrase, "of all the saints," are you including both New Testament believers and Old Testament believers together?
  5. In the first place, the above posting is not accurate to my word study. My word study did NOT focus primarily upon the English verb "signified." Rather, my word study focused primarily upon the GREEK VERB "semaino," from which the English verb "signified" is translated in Revelation 1:1. In the Greek, the word "semaino" is MOST DEFINITELY A VERB. In the second place, the above posting is not even precisely accurate to the claims of Collin's dictionary. While Collin's dictionary does indeed present the word "signified" itself as having a usage as a noun, Collin's dictionary also presents the following word forms for the VERB "to signify" -- "signifies, signifying, SIGNIFIED." Thus even Collin's dictionary, which is the specific dictionary authority that is being used in the above posting, acknowledges that "SIGNIFIED" is a VERB form for the verb "to signify." Now, since Collin's dictionary would thus be indicating that the word "signified" could either be grammatically used in a given sentence as a noun or as a verb, we must ask -- In which grammatical way is it being used in Revelation 1:1? In answer I would contend that since the English word "signified" is translating the Greed VERB "semaino" in Revelation 1:1, we should recognize that the English word "signified" is also to be taken grammatically as a VERB.
  6. At the present time I feel no need to present anything differently from that which Brother McWhorter has presented.
  7. I also am quite comfortable with all of the Bible study detail that I have posted throughout this thread discussion concerning Hebrews 12:22-24 --
  8. Ok, that is fine. If we have a significant adversity to the word "universal" because it has been mishandled by false belief systems, I can comfortably use the phrase, "The Heavenly, General Assembly." It may be noted that each word of this phrase is found in the Scriptural text itself -- "But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven . . . ." However, I would remind that my position for this "Heavenly, General Assembly" includes the following aspects: 1. It is a SINGULAR church assembly. 2. It is assembled (gathered) in HEAVEN. 3. It is PRESENTLY in existence as a church assembly. 4. It includes ALL New Testament believers in its assembly, BOTH those in heaven AND those still on the earth at the present time. As far as the continuing reference unto the Roman Catholic organization, denominational hierarchical organizations, ecumenical organizations, para-church organizations, etc. in relation to the position that I have presented from Hebrews 12:22-24, I have clearly declared that any such man-made organization on the earth is falsehood, specifically because the "Heavenly, General Assembly" is a church assemblage IN HEAVEN, not on the earth. Thus ANY attempt to relate my doctrinal position on this matter with some man-made organization upon the earth (or any claim that it is an accommodation thereof) is both contradictory and offensive to my doctrinal position. Yet sadly I expect it to be likely that it will happen again.
  9. Above is the opening post of this thread. 1. Brother Dave said, "I would be interested if someone could quote a verse that clearly teaches a universal understanding of the word 'church'." Answering this request requires three elements: (1) a verse or passage of Scripture, (2) the inclusion of the word "church" in that verse or passage of Scripture, (3) a usage of the word "church" in that verse or passage with a "universal understanding." In answer I proposed Hebrews 12:22-24. This is certainly a passage of Scripture, and it certainly does use the word "church." So then, does it also meet the third requirement? Does it use the word "church" with a "universal understanding?" In truth, to answer that question we must have a clear definition for the word "universal." One of the dictionary definitions for the word "universal" is "of, for, affecting, or including all or the whole of something specified; not limited or restricted." Now, the New Testament church has to do with membership, with inclusion. Furthermore, the New Testament church has to do with the inclusion of New Testament believers. Thus from my perspective a usage of the word "church" with a "universal understanding" would be one wherein ALL New Testament believers, whether in heaven or on earth, are INCLUDED as a part of the membership thereof. Does Hebrews 12:22-24 fulfill this requirement for the usage of the word "church"? Does Hebrews 12:22-24 include all New Testament believers, all whose names are written in heaven, whether in heaven or on earth, within the membership of "the general assembly and church of the first born;" and does Hebrews 12:22-24 present that church as existing in the present moment? 2. Brother Dave said, "For it to be legitimate, the verse MUST NOT MAKE SENSE in the local setting." This, I believe, is where the conflict has arisen for this thread discussion. This requirement places an exclusion between a "universal understanding" and a "local setting." Now, is a single locale necessary for the understanding of the word "church"? Certainly it is, because the word "church" (as per the Greek word) includes the idea of ASSEMBLY. However, I would contend that Hebrews 12:22-24 presents a usage of the word church that fulfills BOTH a "local setting" and a "universal understanding." Hebrews 12:22-24 presents an assemblage in a single location -- "the heavenly Jerusalem." Hebrews 12:22-24 also presents an assemblage that includes a "universal" membership of ALL New Testament believers (whether in heaven or on earth at the present time) -- "which are written in heaven." Now, if the conflict is simply the usage of the term "universal," because that term has been used among various false belief systems, I am willing to change the terminology. The phrase "universal church" is NOT a phrase that is used in Scripture itself. Thus I could comfortably change to use the phrase "heavenly church," as long as it is understood that I mean to include ALL New Testament believer who are in heaven or anywhere throughout earth at this very present time.
  10. Well, belittling my fellow brethren and beloved friends was certainly the farthest thing from my heart and mind when I posted above. NO such motivation existed.
  11. I am not exactly certain that I understand Brother Dave's and Brother Alan's level of frustration here; however, I am sorry for that level of frustration, since I certainly consider both of them to be beloved friends through our forum relationship. On the other hand, I am compelled to study the Scriptures as best as I know, and to follow the doctrinal position that I find therein. As I have presented earlier in this thread discussion, Hebrews 12:22-24 is that specific passage which compelled me just a few years ago to adjust my doctrinal position on this subject. Do I believe that there are related passages throughout the New Testament that teach related truths? I certainly do. However, to me Hebrews 12:22-24 is the foundational and (thus far) indisputable passage on the matter. 1. Does Hebrews 12:22-24 speaks about a church, using the very word itself? Yes -- "the general assembly and church of the firstborn" 2. Does Hebrews 12:22-24 emphasize the "assembly" aspect of the word "church"? Yes -- "the general assembly and . . ." 3. Does Hebrews 12:22-24 provide a definition for the membership of this church? Yes -- "which are written in heaven" 4. Does Hebrews 12:22-24 reveal the location for the assemblage of this church? Yes -- "unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" 5. Does Hebrews 12:22-24 indicate a time marker for the assemblage of this church? Yes -- "Ye are come [present tense]" 6. Does Hebrews 12:22-24 indicate that New Testament believers on the earth are a part of this church? Yes -- "Ye are come . . ." So then, some implicational questions and thoughts: 1. When is an individual "written in heaven"? Best answer I know -- At the very moment when that individual places faith in Christ for eternal salvation from sin. 2. Is such a new believer, from that very moment, a member of "the general assembly and church of the firstborn"? Best answer I know -- It sure appears to be so. 3. Is it necessary to be baptized with water into the membership of a Biblically faithful, local church on the earth in order to be a member of "the general assembly and church of the firstborn"? Best answer I know -- It does not appear to be so. 4. How can all New Testament believers, including all who are now in heaven as well as all who are scattered over the whole earth, be viewed as assembled in a singular place at this very present moment? Best answer I know -- Ephesians 2:5-6. Now, maybe a part of the frustration concerns the definition for the word "universal." Maybe the difficulty is that we are using a different definition-application for the word "universal" from each other, and thus are "talking past" each other. I do not know, but again I say that I am sorry for Brother Dave's and Brother Alan's level of frustration with the position that I presently follow and have presented. Indeed, again I repeat that I consider them beloved friends on this forum.
  12. A solution is to consider two different baptisms: 1. A baptism (spiritual) into the "universal" church in the heavens. 2. A baptism (physical) into a local church on the earth.
  13. My wife clipped this for me today. I thought that it was worth sharing.
  14. Is it possible to post a jpg (copy and paste)? If so, could someone walk me through the process please?
  15. I would contend that the generation of that time ("this generation" as per Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32) will be able to discern "the times and the season," as per the parable of the fig tree in Matthew 24:32-33, Mark 13:28-29, Luke 21:29-31, but that they still will not be able to determine the specific day or hour.
  16. I myself am quite convinced contextually that the rapture is not at all whatsoever referenced in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21.
  17. IF we are talking about Calvinism specifically concerning the doctrine of salvation, and IF we are talking about the full reformed-theology version thereof, then I would answer - YES. On the other hand, are there some who would classify themselves as "so many-point Calvinists," about whose position I would NOT consider it to be a different gospel? Again I answer -- YES.
  18. Concerning Matthew 24:1 - 25:46, Mark 131-37, Luke 21:5-36 (Part 1). First, let us recognize that Matthew 24:1 – 25:46, Mark 13:1-37, and Luke 21:5-36 are parallel passages concerning the same teaching event of our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry. Second, let us recognize that this teaching event of our Lord’s ministry was delivered in response to questions that the disciples had asked. In fact, the disciples had asked TWO sets of questions. A few days before our Lord’s crucifixion, He engaged in teaching at the temple in Jerusalem. Upon one of those occasions, as He was leaving the temple, some of His disciples pointed out the glory of the temple building. Matthew 24:1 — “And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.” Mark 13:1 — “And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” Luke 21:5 — “And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,” In response, our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied concerning the destruction of that temple. Matthew 24:2 — “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Mark 13:2 — “And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Luke 21:6 — “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Then in response to our Lord’s prophecy, the disciples asked their two sets of questions. Matthew 24:3 — And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Mark 13:3–4 — “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?” Luke 21:7 — “And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? And what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?” In each of these three passages, it is recorded that the disciples asked two questions. However, in both Mark 13:3-4 and Luke 21:7 the two questions both concern the SAME matter; for both questions in both of these passages are about “these things.” Now, since our Lord Jesus Christ had just prophesied concerning the destruction of the temple, the matter of “these things” must concern that very destruction. On the other hand, in Matthew 24:3 the two questions concern DIFFERENT matters; for the first question is also about “these things,” but the second question is about the Lord’s coming and the end of the world. So then, the TWO sets of questions by the disciples were as follows: 1. Set #1 – Concerning the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem A. WHEN shall these things [the destruction of the temple] be? B. WHAT SIGN will there be when these thing [the destruction of the temple] shall come to pass? 2. Set #2 – Concerning the Lord’s coming and the world’s end A. WHAT shall be the SIGN of thy coming? B. WHAT shall be the SIGN . . . of the end of the world?
  19. Well, I am now at somewhat of an advantage, since Brother D has been kicked out of the forum and can no longer respond with any counter arguments. Nevertheless, for the sake of the audience, I do believe that some matters should be brought to a form of conclusion. Even so, I shall yet post a few additional postings to this thread. I did NOT make a "that generation" argument. Rather, as per my posting above, I made a "THIS generation" argument. I just made certain that we recognized ALL of the possibilities for the grammatical usage of the demonstrative pronoun "this," rather than just the one which supports my personal agenda. No, I do not think that there is any complication at all, because I understand that our Lord's prophecy revealed the judgment against Jerusalem in 70 AD, as well as a judgment against the whole world sometime in the future. Now, for the details on this matter, I shall be presenting another posting that provides the time-line of events as prophesied by our Lord in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Indeed, that temple which was destroyed in 70 AD cannot be destroyed again. Thus I believe that a third temple shall be built. First, it is not hard to imagine Christians being beaten in Jewish synagogues today. Second, the requirement of "significant numbers" is NOT provided in these passages of Scripture. Third, Matthew 24:9 simply presents this as follows -- "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." Not at all hard to image that Christians will be afflicted and killed even today, nor that they shall be hated of all nations for Christ's name's sake. Mark 13:9 presents this as a three-fold matter -- "But take heed to yourselves: [1] for they shall deliver you up to counsils; AND [2] in synagogues ye shall be beaten: AND [3] ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them." As long as any part of this is still occurring, this prophesy can still be considered to be in effect. So then, even if I were to concede that it is hard to image Christians being beaten in Jewish synagogues, it is not at all hard to image Christians being brought before counsels, rulers, and kings in persecution for Christ's name's sake. In like manner, Luke 21:12 also presents this as a three-fold matter of persecution -- "But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, [1] delivering you up to the synagogues, AND [2] into prisons, [3] being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake." No sir, not at all hard to image Christians being persecuted and imprisoned by various kings and rulers today. Grammatical and contextual precision in Bible study is NOT "quibbling." Rather, it is the very manner for "rightly dividing" God's Holy Word of Truth. The desolation of Jerusalem did indeed occur in 70 AD, just as our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied in Luke 21:20; and the oppression of Jerusalem and the children of Israel by the Gentiles continues unto this day, just as our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied in Luke 21:24. (By the way, the phrase "times [plural] of the Gentiles indicates an extended series of generational (or larger) time periods. Even so, this very phrase itself indicates contextually that our Lord Jesus Christ was not speaking about the generation standing before Him through the phrase "this generation" in Luke 21:32.) Furthermore, I am not seeking simply to define "what constitutes an abomination." Rather, I am seeking to define what constitutes "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." That is a more specific abomination than just any abomination, as per our Lord Jesus Christ's own declaration. (By the way, the fact that Brother D did not even make reference unto Daniel's prophecies concerning the abomination of desolation reveals something about the type of Bible student that he was -- or was not.) Finally, I am not aware of ANY historical source which indicates that Titus stood in the temple claiming to be God, just before the destruction of the temple. If Brother D were still here, I would request his historical source for this claim. If he had provided one or more, I would certainly have considered it. If he did not provide at least one, we would be left with simply taking his personal declaration as a valid authority -- something that I myself simply WOULD NOT be willing to do. 1) Actually, swords were used in battles over and against Jerusalem for hundreds of years after 70 AD. Furthermore, swords are still used at times as weapons in the battles and skirmishes of the middle east. Finally, "swords" is representative of any and all forms of weapon. 2) And they are still scattered across the whole world, as per our Lord's prophesy in Luke 21:24 - because "the times of the Gentiles" has not yet come to its fulfilled conclusion. 3) Oh, but Jerusalem most certainly IS still being "trodden down" with oppression unto this very day. Actually, throughout the centuries since the first century, Jerusalem has been fought over and trodden down a great number of times. This is simply a historical FACT. 4) Never said that the times of the Gentiles being fulfilled meant an end to the existence of the Gentiles. Indeed, the fulfillment for the times of the Gentiles IS when the FULNESS of the Gentiles shall come in, as per Romans 11:25, which will lead to the deliverance of ALL the children of Israel, as per Romans 11:26-27. This FULNESS of the Gentiles has NOT YET been completed. As far as the ending of the old covenant from Mount Sinai, that ended at the cross of Christ, not at the destruction of temple in 70 AD. The New Testament/Covenant was established in Christ's shed blood, sacrificial death, miraculous resurrection, and glorious exaltation. When the New Testament/Covenant was thereby established, the old covenant was taken away. 5) By his own acknowledgement, Brother D DOES take some of the prophesy as idiomatic. By my own claim, I take NONE of the prophesy as idiomatic, but as grammatically and contextually precise and literal. Now, Brother D attempts to disparage my claim with the accusation that I only PRETEND to take the chapter literally. Yet his accusation is NOT valid just because he claimed it to be so. Rather, he must provide evidence for the accuracy of his accusation in order for it to be established as having validity; but he is no longer able to do that because he ha been kicked out of the forum. Even so, at the beginning of this posting, I acknowledged my advantage for the remainder of this threads postings.
  20. Sister Rose, First, I shall continue to pray for the settling of your mind on these matters. Remember that the Lord our God has NOT given to us "the spirit of fear," but has given to us the spirit "of power, and of love, and of a SOUND MIND." Remember also that it is this very Spirit, the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, who bears witness with our spirit "that we are the children of God." Second, meditate much upon the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ in John 6:37-40 concerning those who come to Him in faith for salvation, and upon HIS responsibility and power to fulfill those promises in accord with the will of God the Father. Third, I recognize that there are still some outstanding questions in this discussion that I have not yet engaged. Lately I have been focused upon dealing with some false teaching in the forum. Prayerfully I shall be able to reengage this discussion sometime next week.
  21. However, "the abomination of desolation" about which our Lord Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:15 & Mark 13:14, our Lord HIMSELF described as "the abomination of desolation, SPOKEN OF BY DANIEL THE PROPHET," which will "stand in the holy place." Therefore, we MUST consider that information which is revealed in Daniel the prophet concerning this "abomination of desolation" in order to understand it aright. Furthermore, it MUST be something or someone that stands "IN THE HOLY PLACE" of the temple, a place "where it ought not." As such, the desolation of Jerusalem, which is the desolation of a city, is NOT equivalent to "the abomination of desolation." Could "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet," have stood "in the holy place" at or around the same time as the desolation of Jerusalem? It could have; however, the two descriptives themselves are not equivalent descriptives. In order to discern if "the abomination of desolation" event occurred at that same time, we must understand better what it is, as per Daniel's prophecy; and then we must discern if such an event literally occurred at or around 70 AD. No sir, my definition for the demonstrative pronoun "this" was precisely accurate. And by definition, there are TWO possibilities of meaning for its usage by our Lord Jesus Christ in the verses under question. In fact, those TWO possibilities are even revealed by the definition that you gave above. Let us consider: 1. Used to indicate a person, thing, idea, state, event, time, remark, ects, (POSSIBILITY #1) as present, near (POSSIBILITY #2) just mentioned or pointed out, supposed to be understood, or by way of emphasis. 2. Used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., referring to the one nearer in place, time, or thought; opposed to that. First, let us understand that the secondary definition above actually is NOT applicable because it requires an indication and comparison between ONE OF TWO OR MORE. Our Lord Jesus Christ did NOT mention or compare two or more different generations; therefore, this usage for the demonstrative pronoun "this" is not the one for the context under question. Second, in the statement of our Lord Jesus Christ, He used the demonstrative pronoun "this" as an adjective to modify the noun "generation." By definition the noun "generation" indicates a group of people at a certain period of time. The TWO possibilities for our Lord's usage thereof are (1) as a reference unto the group of people in His audience at that present time UNTO whom He was speaking, or (2) as a reference unto the group of people that He just mentioned who would SEE the event of "the abomination of desolation" and who would SEE the "signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars," ABOUT whom He was speaking. In the first possibility, He was indicating "this generation," you, the very group who are standing and hearing right now. In the second possibility, He was indicating "this generation," the very group about which I have just been speaking that will actually see these events unfold. So which possibility is the correct one in this context? Actually, the answer to that question requires a correct understanding concerning "the abomination of desolation," since the event of "the abomination of desolation" is that which will START a whole series of events that directly lead unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ "in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" and unto the gathering together of HIs elect "from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven."
  22. 1. The Lord Jesus Christ was pointing to the temple in Jerusalem that was then standing in His very day. 2. Those who will be persecuted and beaten in Jewish synagogues and before various government officials are New Testament church age preachers of the gospel. 3. Rome most certainly and literally DID surround Jerusalem and DID bring desolation to Jerusalem in 70 AD, literally destroying the temple in Jerusalem so that there literally was not one stone left standing upon another. However, in 70 AD the abomination of desolation did not stand in the temple of Jerusalem. THAT will occur when the antichrist sets himself up within the (rebuilt) temple, professing himself to be Messiah and God. 4. The word "this" is a demonstrative pronoun that grammatical points to something or someone present in the context. So, now some questions in return: 1. Are the children of Israel still falling by the edge of the sword? 2. Were the children of Israel lead away captive into all nations, and are they still scattered among those nations? 3. Is Jerusalem still being trodden down of the Gentiles? 4. Has the times (plural) of the Gentiles already been fulfilled, or are we still in the midst of the times (plural) of the Gentiles? (Note: To answer this question you might want to consider Romans 11:25-27.) 5. Are all of these things to be taken literally or idiomatically?
  23. That is very correct. Our Lord Jesus Christ did NOT literally return in 70 AD, which is the reason that you are so driven to view the prophetic utterances of Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26, and Luke 21:27 as idiomatic. Because if you do not take them as idiomatic, but as literal, then you cannot claim their fulfillment at that time. And while acknowledging that such is SOMETIMES true, I provided an extensive study of the Old Testament wherein I demonstrated that clouds are also use in connection with the Lord (Jehovah) God for a number of OTHER characteristics as well. Furthermore, I demonstrated with a grammatic study that in the contexts of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, the coming of the Lord is NOT what results in the judgment, since it comes AFTER the judgment and since it BRINGS deliverance for the Lord's elect. Finally, I demonstrated that the most closely related characteristic of the Lord to the clouds within Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26, and Luke 21:27 is NOT His judgment, but His POWER AND GREAT GLORY. (Not reaching at all, for it is ALL right there in the inspired Word of God) And I pointed out that this claim is false based upon the emphasis to literal seeing that is referenced in all of the passages, just as it is in Acts 1:9-11. The seeing aspect of Acts 1:9-11 is that which emphasizes its literal nature, and the seeing aspect of Matthew 24:30, Mark, 13:26, and Luke 21:27. (Yes, I know that you want this seeing aspect to be "just stylistic;" but in truth it is Biblically significant.) Thus there is NO pointlessness in the reference unto literal clouds. In fact, there is great deal of Biblical point, as I have presented above. Actually, I have countered your argument with a whole series of Biblical studies, including a Biblical study of Acts 1:9-11. Furthermore, Acts 1:9-11 is NOT very different. The literal nature of the cloud in Acts 1:9 is bound up with the aspect of seeing. The prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ literal return by a literal cloud as per Acts 1:11 is also bound up with the aspect of seeing. And ALL of the prophetic utterances of Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27, and Revelation 1:7 include the aspect of literal seeing. Finally, I have demonstrated with Bible study that although Actus 1:11 does not specifically mention judgment in relation to our Lord Jesus Christ's Second Coming, other passages of God's Holy Word certainly DO. Well, let us see how close or far Luke 21:31 actually is in the context of Luke 21:27. Luke 21:27-31 -- "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand."

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