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         14
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

The Gap (Daniel 11:33-35)


LindaR

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Because very strange teachings come from inserting gaps where the Bible doesn't. Peter Ruckman is dispensational as well. I just don't understand how people get the boldness to tamper with God's word like this.


Don't acuse me of tampering with God's word when you pack around a corrupt version.
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This discussion and previous discussions is exactly what is wrong with the church these days. No one can agree on anything and pride is a wall that makes people unteachable and unapproachable. I personally don't like Dr Ruckman (He has a doctorate - more than what most of us have I would say, so at least respect that) And although I disagree with a lot of what he says in a personal capacity, there are few if any that have done more for the fight for the KJV AV 1611. His teaching, though abrasive at times, could teach a lot of us a thing or two. Too many of us KJV onliests who claim to stand on the "fundamentals" of the faith act like modern seeker friendly churches where anything goes.

Has anyone ever noticed that the verses pertaining to predestination in Romans and Ephesians are in Books written by Paul to the CHURCH - ie BELIEVERS who were/are IN Christ already and that it does not represent the salvation, but rather blessings/things/gifts if you will that the believer receives once IN Christ?

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,


Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

How does a thread concerning the Book of Daniel end up as a discussion concerning paganism and witchcraft?

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@Ian: Amen.

@Rick: I've said many times that the King James is the best translation I have come across, but it is not perfect, and that is why I use other versions and a little Greek as a supplement. I don't know who "packs around" any corrupt version. I am fully aware of the problems with many versions, but I do not practice "do not touch" rules. Paul said not to. I always quote the King James on this board anyway so I don't get what's the problem.

@2Tim215: We were accused of being pagan fatalists first because we rejected plan B theology. I didn't even mention Calvinism in this thread until this post. I then brought up the fact that pagans are usually far more about free will than fatalism. Fatalism is usually more on the deistic or atheistic side than polytheistic paganism.

Back to the topic. Since when did Bible teaching become about studying what isn't written rather than what is? It's sad and I believe shows distrust for God. God gave us His word for us to believe and know He is true and we can trust Him. Reading between the lines is something you do when you don't trust a person. You try to find the hidden meaning of his words. How can we treat God that way?

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There is already a clear distinction between the church and Israel in Scripture without having to create several "dispensations" (whether 7, 9 or another number of them, which dispensationalists can't even agree upon).

Also, considering the original texts of Scripture were without punctuation, we know the "gap creating" colon was placed there by man in his attempt to make the reading of the Word easier not because divine inspiration already had it there.

Again, why are first 69 "weeks" interpreted as being literal years while the 70th week is given special interpretation so that it's not literally the 70the week?

As well, you do realize there are those who hold to basically the same end times views (pre-mil rapture, tribulation, etc.) that reject dispensationalism, right? Holding to one of the dispensational theories isn't even required in order to come to the end times conclusion you do.


I believe the 70th week is very literal. John81 don't you believe in a literal 70 week?
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@Rick: I've said many times that the King James is the best translation I have come across, but it is not perfect, and that is why I use other versions and a little Greek as a supplement. I don't know who "packs around" any corrupt version. I am fully aware of the problems with many versions, but I do not practice "do not touch" rules. Paul said not to. I always quote the King James on this board anyway so I don't get what's the problem.

There is a big difference between USING a KJV, and actually believing that every word in the KJV is actually God's words perfectly inspired and preserved for us today.


@2Tim215: We were accused of being pagan fatalists first because we rejected plan B theology. I didn't even mention Calvinism in this thread until this post. I then brought up the fact that pagans are usually far more about free will than fatalism. Fatalism is usually more on the deistic or atheistic side than polytheistic paganism.

Back to the topic. Since when did Bible teaching become about studying what isn't written rather than what is? It's sad and I believe shows distrust for God. God gave us His word for us to believe and know He is true and we can trust Him. Reading between the lines is something you do when you don't trust a person. You try to find the hidden meaning of his words. How can we treat God that way?

You can say that with a straight face???? "hidden meaning of his words???"
Ian has pronounced that the "eagle" in Matthew 24 is a reference to Rome, but has yet to give us one Scripture to prove it!!! He has done the same thing on several different topics on these threads, yet somehow you point the finger at US????
Please!
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There is a big difference between USING a KJV, and actually believing that every word in the KJV is actually God's words perfectly inspired and preserved for us today.


Growing up multilingual and reading the Bible in several languages fluently and in several others not fluently just doesn't let me believe there is one perfect version. Because every version I read had some parts closer to the manuscripts they were translated from (the first Bibles I ever read were all TR based) and made more sense than the others. I wonder if I chose to grow up in a Slavic family in America by my own free will. It kind of ruined it for me on the KJVO issue. I'm still KJVP though. So far nobody has explained to me why the KJV is superior to other TR-based translations in other languages even in the verses that make more sense in those translations than the KJV. I'd be happy to hear why.



You can say that with a straight face???? "hidden meaning of his words???"
Ian has pronounced that the "eagle" in Matthew 24 is a reference to Rome, but has yet to give us one Scripture to prove it!!! He has done the same thing on several different topics on these threads, yet somehow you point the finger at US????
Please!


I don't know everything about eschatology, so I don't have much of an opinion on the eagles at this point. I am something of a partial-preterist/historicist blend, but I don't know what my label is supposed to be exactly. I don't really care for labels. I want to know what the Bible teaches and I don't care what others call it. Ian believes the eagles are Romans. I don't know. All I know is that I don't see any gaps in God's word. I study what is written in the Bible, not what is in between punctuation marks. Dispensationalism is all about reading between the lines. I'm talking in general; you are accusing me of specific things which I don't even know about yet.
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I believe the 70th week is very literal. John81 don't you believe in a literal 70 week?

If the 70the week were taken literally then it would follow immediately after the 69th week just like each week previously followed immediately after the other. To say there is a "gap" between the 69th and 70th weeks means in effect there are many other "week" between the 69th and 70th that are not counted. That's not a literal view.
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There is a big difference between USING a KJV, and actually believing that every word in the KJV is actually God's words perfectly inspired and preserved for us today.



You can say that with a straight face???? "hidden meaning of his words???"
Ian has pronounced that the "eagle" in Matthew 24 is a reference to Rome, but has yet to give us one Scripture to prove it!!! He has done the same thing on several different topics on these threads, yet somehow you point the finger at US????
Please!

I have started an "eagle" thread to avoid you making ad homine arguments regardless of what I write.

Perhaps you missed my 2 posts on page 2, or perhaps you use my Roman eagles as a reason to disregard all my posts, which always highlight Scripture.
Be careful, or you might drive John into the preterist camp :coffee:
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Daniel's 70 weeks all come down to Israel.

Who is Israel in the passage? Is it the Israel of the Old Testament, the Israel that rejected Christ? Or is some other kind of Israel? Is it what we all agree to be the church?

The reason why I ask these things is because they tie in directly to what is supposed to happen once the 70 weeks are complete:

Daniel 9:24, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

So the critical question is, have these things happened yet? If Israel is the church, then you can make the case that they have. See the part about "seal up the vision and prophecy"? That would indicate Revelation. If Revelation has been fulfilled, then so too has Daniel 9:24 and all seventy of the weeks. Has everlasting righteousness come to the people of God? Well, if we're talking about the church, then yes, that everlasting righteousness has come and it is found in Jesus Christ.

Now if Israel in the passage is an ethnic and national people, then this has not been fulfilled. The holy city is Jerusalem, and it doesn't even belong to the Jews right now (at least not completely), and God certainly doesn't view Jerusalem as a holy city as He has in the past. End of sins for the Jews? Hardly fulfilled. Everlasting righteousness? Only for the ones that have accepted Jesus Christ, but certainly not for the whole nation, which is what this would have to apply to if it's talking about national Israel. Seal up the vision and prophecy? Only if God was done with the Jews nationally in 70 A.D.

The way to tell if the seventy weeks have been fulfilled is to determine if what was supposed to follows the seventy weeks have happened yet.

So in the end, it always comes back to an old man in the desert looking up at the night stars and what God promised him.

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Daniel's 70 weeks all come down to Israel.

Who is Israel in the passage? Is it the Israel of the Old Testament, the Israel that rejected Christ? Or is some other kind of Israel? Is it what we all agree to be the church?

The reason why I ask these things is because they tie in directly to what is supposed to happen once the 70 weeks are complete:

Daniel 9:24, "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

So the critical question is, have these things happened yet? If Israel is the church, then you can make the case that they have. See the part about "seal up the vision and prophecy"? That would indicate Revelation. If Revelation has been fulfilled, then so too has Daniel 9:24 and all seventy of the weeks. Has everlasting righteousness come to the people of God? Well, if we're talking about the church, then yes, that everlasting righteousness has come and it is found in Jesus Christ.

Now if Israel in the passage is an ethnic and national people, then this has not been fulfilled. The holy city is Jerusalem, and it doesn't even belong to the Jews right now (at least not completely), and God certainly doesn't view Jerusalem as a holy city as He has in the past. End of sins for the Jews? Hardly fulfilled. Everlasting righteousness? Only for the ones that have accepted Jesus Christ, but certainly not for the whole nation, which is what this would have to apply to if it's talking about national Israel. Seal up the vision and prophecy? Only if God was done with the Jews nationally in 70 A.D.

The way to tell if the seventy weeks have been fulfilled is to determine if what was supposed to follows the seventy weeks have happened yet.

So in the end, it always comes back to an old man in the desert looking up at the night stars and what God promised him.

Huh? You lost me...
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To determine if there is a gap between the 69th and the 70th week we need to answer one question:

Have the events that were promised to happen after the 70 weeks occurred or not?

That is the premise of post #49. If Israel is the church, then yes the 70 weeks have been fulfilled because you can apply the promise to the church, spiritually. If the promise is to national Israel, then the weeks have not been fulfilled and there is a gap between the 69th and the 70th week.

Thus the promises given to Israel are at the heart of this discussion, as is also debate over man's free will ( plan A or B ).

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To determine if there is a gap between the 69th and the 70th week we need to answer one question:

Have the events that were promised to happen after the 70 weeks occurred or not?

That is the premise of post #49. If Israel is the church, then yes the 70 weeks have been fulfilled because you can apply the promise to the church, spiritually. If the promise is to national Israel, then the weeks have not been fulfilled and there is a gap between the 69th and the 70th week.

Thus the promises given to Israel are at the heart of this discussion, as is also debate over man's free will ( plan A or B ).

Where does Scripture say there will be 69 regular weeks, then a gap of many more weeks that won't be counted, and after that we will count the 70th week?
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I have started an "eagle" thread to avoid you making ad homine arguments regardless of what I write.

Perhaps you missed my 2 posts on page 2, or perhaps you use my Roman eagles as a reason to disregard all my posts, which always highlight Scripture.
Be careful, or you might drive John into the preterist camp :coffee:

I keep bringing it up because you continue to fail to provide Scripture to support your argument....I keep waiting for a Scriptural response, and never get one.
I responded to your Eagle thread.
But this is typical of the preterist approach to Scripture - throw some wild interpretation out, and expect everyone to accept it, even though you don't have any Scriptural support for it.
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If the 70the week were taken literally then it would follow immediately after the 69th week just like each week previously followed immediately after the other. To say there is a "gap" between the 69th and 70th weeks means in effect there are many other "week" between the 69th and 70th that are not counted. That's not a literal view.


John81 do you believe we are in the kingdom age, since you seem to believe the 70th week is past?
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John81 do you believe we are in the kingdom age, since you seem to believe the 70th week is past?

I never said the 70th week is past. I'm trying to understand how some of the views regarding this align with Scripture.

I'm not sure what you mean by "kingdom age".
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Where does Scripture say there will be 69 regular weeks, then a gap of many more weeks that won't be counted, and after that we will count the 70th week?


It doesn't.

I do know that the things that were supposed to happen to Israel after the 70 weeks have not happened yet which is why I believe it is yet future.
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It doesn't.

I do know that the things that were supposed to happen to Israel after the 70 weeks have not happened yet which is why I believe it is yet future.

Are you sure of the timing of the beginning of the 70 weeks? Would it make sense for God to say there would be 70 weeks coming when there would actually be many more than 70 weeks coming and only after those unspoken of weeks would a week finally be declared to be the long lost 70th week?
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All I know is what was supposed to happen in the 70th week, and what was supposed to happen after the 70 weeks have not happened yet.

If the 70 weeks have been fufilled, then the church replaces Israel and the book of Revelation is in the past (See post #49).

This is how we all get to where we are.

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All I know is what was supposed to happen in the 70th week, and what was supposed to happen after the 70 weeks have not happened yet.

If the 70 weeks have been fufilled, then the church replaces Israel and the book of Revelation is in the past (See post #49).

This is how we all get to where we are.

I'm not sure it has to be as you put forth here. I'll have to look more into this. Thank you for your input!
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All I know is what was supposed to happen in the 70th week, and what was supposed to happen after the 70 weeks have not happened yet.

If the 70 weeks have been fufilled, then the church replaces Israel and the book of Revelation is in the past (See post #49).

This is how we all get to where we are.

Because covenant/preterist theology makes no distinctions between the church and Israel and since this covenant/preterist theology interprets Scripture allegorically and not literally, all prophecies concerning Israel are blurred. These folks will never see a "gap" between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel because they aren't even looking for it.

Israel is not the church, the 70th week of Daniel and the book of Revelation is still future. The church was a mystery in the OT. The church age is "parenthetical"....that "parenthesis" is the "gap" between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel's prophecy.
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