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(With 12 responsible apocalyticism responses)
Test Everything. Hold on to the
--1 Thessalonians 5:21
by John Noe
LIFTING "THE LAST DAYS" OUT OF THEIR 1ST CENTURY, HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND RE-APPLYING THEM TO OUR TIMES, TODAY.
One problem: every mention of "the last days" or equivalents [last times, last hour] in the New Testament refers to the 1st Century. There are no exceptions. Check: Hebrews 1:2; Acts 2:17; 1 timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; James 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 18; 1 John 2:18.
SEPARATING DANIEL'S 70TH WEEK FROM HIS OTHER 69 WEEKS, INSERTING A TIME GAP OF INDETERMINATABLE LENGTH AND CALLING IT A FUTURE, 7-YEAR TRIBULATION PERIOD.
Daniel's 70 Weeks of years [490 years] were literally, perfectly and sequentially fulfilled, within the time frame of his four world empires. Its starting point was the Decree of Artaxerxes in 457 B.C.. Its finishing point was in 34 A.D., when the time determined exclusively upon the Jews was over and the gospel was free to go to the Gentiles. There is no scriptural warrant nor precedent for inserting a gap of any kind or duration.
CLAIMING THE "THIS GENERATION" IN JESUS' OLIVET DISCOURSE, WHICH WOULD EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING HE DESCRIBED, MEANS SOME OTHER, YET-FUTURE GENERATION.
Every New Testament use  of the phrase "this generation" always refers to the generation then-and-there present in the 1st Century. See, for example: (Matthew 23:36; 11:16; 12:41, 42; 16:4). Jesus' usage in Matthew 24 was no different. He never mentioned nor inferred any other generation diferent from that of those he was addressing.
ASSUMING THE BOOK OF REVELATION [OR MOST OF IT] IS A FORECAST OF FUTURE WORLD EVENTS STILL UNFULFILLED.
This assumption violates what the book of Revelation says about itself. In both its prologue and epilogue, it states, concerning the whole of its prophecy, that it was: "at hand," "obeyable" and, finally, "not to be sealed up." Revelation's total relevance starts in the lifetime of its original hearers. But it doesn't stop there.
SPINNING OFF ATTRIBUTES OF DANIEL'S FOURTH WORLD EMPIRE, INSERTING A TIME GAP AND CALLING IT A FIFTH WORLD EMPIRE...A YET-TO-COME,"REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE."
Daniel's two visions (Daniel 2 & 7) portrayed four successive world empires, not five. The were: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and the old Roman empire. Daniel places the coming of one like the son of man [the Messiah] and the establishment of His everlasting kingdom during the time of this fourth world empire, the old Roman Empire. This was all fulfilled, exactly, without gaps, gimmicks or any interpretive high jinx.
TEACHING THAT 1ST CENTURY SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS CONDITIONS MUST BE RE-ENACTED FOR ENDTIMES FULFILLMENT TO OCCUR, AGAIN.
Why go through this needless redundancy and gyration? The source of almost all endtimes error is in the failure of interpreters to recognize the significance of the historical events surrounding the predicted destruction of Jerusalem, the Jewish temple and biblical Judaism in 70 A.D. ...the real Endtimes.
LIMITING THE COMINGS OF JESUS TO ONLY TWO, OR THREE.
The popular use of so-called "Second Coming" terminology has conditioned us to a flawed, two-advent mindset. Not only is this not the terminology of Scripture, it's not its pattern or concept, either. The many comings of Jesus run like a thread through both the Old and New Testaments. Many different and varied types of His comings are also promised. Remember, "hope deferred makes the heart [the church] sick" (Proverbs 13:12).
POSTPONING ALL OR PART OF THE COMING [I.E. CONSUMMATION] OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Daniel prophesied the coming of ONLY ONE, everlasting Kingdom of God. It was to take place in the days of the fourth world empire [the Roman empire]. That kingdom is THE kingdom which John the Baptist and Jesus proclaimed as "at hand." What's more, Jesus' coming in power and glory consummated that kingdom when the old Judaic system was completely destroyed. All this occurred exactly as and when Jesus said--within the lifetime of those then living (Matthew 10:23; 16:28; 24:30-34; 26:64).
MISUSING JESUS' STATEMENT ABOUT NOT BEING ABLE TO KNOW THE "DAY OR THE HOUR" OF HIS COMING TO IMPLY NOT BEING ABLE TO KNOW THE MONTH, YEAR OR EVEN THE GENERATION.
Scripture is precise in its use of time statements. For 1st Century believers, not being able to know the "day or hour" was no excuse. Jesus emphatically warned "when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies...get out" (Luke 21:20-21). Armies surrounded Jerusalem four times in 66, 67, 68 and, lastly, in 70 A.D.... Those who read this sign and acted in time, escaped. Those who didn't, or wouldn't, suffered the wrath of God's judgment at this particular, time-restricted and end-of-the-age coming of Jesus.
SUBSCRIBING TO A PAGAN, "END-OF-THE-WORLD" PARADIGM.
Do you know what the Bible says about an "end of the world?" NOTHING. What do the historic creeds say? Again, NOTHING. What the Bible actually says is:
- World without end, Amen -- Ephesians 3:21 KJV
- The earth remains forever -- Ecclesiastes 1:4
- End of the age -- Matthew 13:39, 49; 24:3
CONCEDING BY DEFAULT THAT ALL 1ST CENTURY IMMINENCY EXPECTATIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS, THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVERS AND JESUS HIMSELF PROVED FALSE.
If our 1st Century ancestors in the faith, and even Jesus Himself, were mistaken about something as important as the coming again of Jesus and "the end of all things is at hand" (1 Peter 4:7) as being imminent in their lifetimes, how can we now trust them for passing on any other aspects of the faith? They were not mistaken.
BUYING INTO A NEW TEACHING IN CHURCH HISTORY [LAST 150 YEARS] OF AN ESCAPE FROM THIS PLANET, FROM THIS LIFE'S TRIBULATIONS AND FROM KINGDOM RESPONSIBILITIES.
The relatively new teaching of a "rapture-removal" from planet Earth is a distortion of key scriptures historically interpreted to refer to a general resurrection. Jesus specifically prayed against the human weakness for removal (John 17:15). And His prayer is still in effect.
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