(For you non-geeks out there, “!=” means “does not equal”. We now return you to normalcy.)

Please hang on with me on this. This may, at first, come across as simply an apologetic for Mark Driscoll. But I’m merely using him as an example — that we recently cited, no less — for a much broader point that I’ll get to.

In Tim’s recent plug for Mark’s message on the first part of Philippians 3, one commenter jokingly said:

That’s the first Driscoll sermon I have heard, and there was a disappointing lack of potty language and emerging concepts. Not like what I was told by ODM’s. I liked it.

A couple follow-up comments were made stating (accurately) that Driscoll has distanced himself from the EC, but doesn’t toss the whole thing out the window.

If I may paraphrase Barbara Mandrell and George Jones, Mark was emergent when emergent wasn’t cool.

He was in the movement back before chunks of it developed some of the beliefs with which he is in disagreement. Because of this, he had the advantage of seeing that there are aspects of the movement with which he does still agree. And so his later distancing himself was not a wholesale “baby with the bathwater” thing. He hung on to the parts that he still agreed with, and maintains friendships with those with whom he theologically disagrees.

Many today don’t have that advantage. And, to be honest, it’s human nature that if the first thing you hear from an ECer is something with which you strongly disagree, you may ignore him completely thereafter.

Note that I said it’s “human nature” — I didn’t say it was “right”.

This is, unfortunately, how many Christians operate. They equate being in non-agreement with something to being its enemy; sometimes, even when the stuff that they don’t agree with is non-essential. (And, no, I’m not getting sucked into an argument over the definition of “essential”.)

I have to count myself among the “many Christians”, as I know that I am sometimes guilty of the same thing. Whether it’s Steve Camp telling us that Driscoll is lying when he says that he wants to pursue humility or John MacArthur unequivocally telling us that Doug Pagitt is going to hell, my tendency is to ignore (or severely discount) anything else that comes from the mouth, pen, or keyboard of these men.

And even from a pragmatic standpoint, that’s wrong. Steve was a great songwriter (I’m not familiar with his current work, or I might say “is”). And when he’s concentrating on exposition, there are very few that hold a candle to the vast majority of MacArthur’s teachings.

But let’s delve even deeper. Scripture is loaded with examples of God using the most unlikely of vessels. And lest we think that we are reading too much into that, 1 Corinthians 1:27-29" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%201:27-29;&version=50;" target="_blank">Paul tells us explicitly:

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

We see, then, that it’s not just the great songwriter or the solid teacher through which God speaks. So, I would caution us not to shut out someone with whom we disagree, because what we are doing when we do that is bordering on blasphemous — as we tell God that He is incapable of speaking truth to us through anyone that He pleases.

God is not simply truthful — He is Truth. So when truth is spoken, He is in the midst of it. Now this is not an argument for a “divine spark in everyone” or pantheism. There is (obviously) a great distance — in logic, if not solely by definition — between omnipresence and pantheism. So if we shut out someone who is speaking the truth, we are really shutting out God.

That’s not something that I think we really want to do.

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205 Comments(+Add)

1   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 2:38 pm

“God is not simply truthful — He is Truth. So when truth is spoken, He is in the midst of it.”

I would definitely disagree with this statement. Remember the story of Eden in the garden with the serpent… 1/2, 3/4 truths are much more harmful than an outright lie. The best way to deceive someone is to use elements of truth peppered throughout your argument.

This makes it rationally difficult for someone to decipher the truth from error and they often end up swallowing whole.

I do agree though, that the Lord can use the most unlikely (and perhaps unpopular) sources to deliver His message as evidenced in Christ (or people’s perception of Him), the disciples and so on. But what we need to acknowledge is that…

We are built on the FOUNDATION of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone.

2   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Paul C,

an element of “truth” is still a lie if used to deceive…

so I do not get your thoughts there at all…

Jesus’ own words were the He was “The Way, The Truth, and The Life” there is no truth apart from Jesus. To disagree with that is to disagree with Jesus own words concerning Himself and a rewriting of the teachings “built on the FOUNDATION of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone.”

Jesus is the chief cornerstone, but to state a “lesser truth” is still true as you ahve is the same deception Eve fell for in the garden.

Truth is truth and that is what emergents teach… we do not see lesser truth as a truth, we simply call that what it is… a lie.

iggy

3   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 21st, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Paul, half-truth is not truth. I did not say “when truth is sorta spoken”; I said “when truth is spoken”. Please do not put words in my mouth.

I would concur that half-truths are often more dangerous than outright lies. I would even contend that 95% of the time, there’s no such thing as an outright lie, as Satan very rarely uses a sledgehammer when a feather will do.

This makes it rationally difficult for someone to decipher the truth from error and they often end up swallowing whole.

I would agree. And ya know what? That takes discernment — something that ODMs (ironically) seem to have a lack of. What I am arguing against is the idea that we should, therefore, reject the (actual) truth because it has some error accompanying it.

4   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Brendt, I especially like the analogy of the sledgehammer and feather.

But it seems you then contradict yourself (could just be me) when you then say “What I am arguing against is the idea that we should, therefore, reject the (actual) truth because it has some error accompanying it.”

That’s what I was arguing specifically… when someone speaks truth (ie: Hymaneus and Philetus) but have some error accompanying it (ie: the resurrection is past), isn’t that grounds for rejection?

5   inquisitor    
December 21st, 2007 at 4:13 pm

How can anyone even claim that they have “Truth.” You might have what you believe to be truth, and you may believe it with your whole heart. You may hear something that someone says, and believe it to be completely true, 500 other people may believe that it’s true also, but how can you know for sure? You interpret a verse to have a certain meaning, but who’s to say that you’ve interpreted the verse correctly? Perhaps you’ll come to change your belief later in life when you have gained wisdom, but even then with your new perspective, and new interpretation of the verse, who’s to say that you have it correct? EVERYONE in the world believes that they have truth yet NO ONE can prove it.

6   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 4:16 pm

I can. I have the bible! So the only truth it that no one can knwo the truth. but if no one can know then how do we know that no one can know the truth so then people can know the truth:)lol.

7   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 21st, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Inquisitor,
That is downright…postmodern!

And actually, I agree with it. We don’t own the Truth. At best we can see it and comprehend it to a point, but the full truth will always be out of our grasp. At least on this side of eternity.

8   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 21st, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Paul. I think you miss my point.

Think of your favorite teacher/pastor. Is he infallible, or is it possible that he has once (sometime in his entire life) spoken error? If he is infallible, tell me who he is; because I want to hear him. If he isn’t infallible, do you reject everything he has ever said?

9   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Inq,

you stated:

How can anyone even claim that they have “Truth.” You might have what you believe to be truth, and you may believe it with your whole heart. You may hear something that someone says, and believe it to be completely true, 500 other people may believe that it’s true also, but how can you know for sure? You interpret a verse to have a certain meaning, but who’s to say that you’ve interpreted the verse correctly? Perhaps you’ll come to change your belief later in life when you have gained wisdom, but even then with your new perspective, and new interpretation of the verse, who’s to say that you have it correct? EVERYONE in the world believes that they have truth yet NO ONE can prove it.

This is what happens when biblical truth has to have a qualifier to be more true… it creates lesser truth as you are stating… and is relative to the person.

Now, the bible has lots to say on this.

1. “How can anyone even claim that they have “Truth.” ”

1 John 2:20 “… you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.”

2 John 1

1. The elder, To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth–and not I only, but also all who know the truth– 2. because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3. Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

So i think if one understands that Jesus is The Truth… then to answer your question… I can say i know truth because I know Jesus.

pretty simple really until someone tries to make it into an abstract thought separated from the Person of Jesus… then you have the issues you are stating above.

iggy

10   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Even in eternity we will never know the full truth just as in this lifetime. But just because we can not comprhend the fulness of truth does not mean that we can not know it. Otherwise that would mean we could never know God Himself on a personal level. I can no some things of quatium physics while not understanding it all and still declare a propostional truth.

11   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 21st, 2007 at 4:27 pm

Iggy,
I agree with that assessment.

Our foundation is Jesus, and knowing Him. It’s not our understanding of an abstraction of truth as a concept.

12   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Inquisitor – I believe that it’s important to have a strong biblical foundation of truth. As I said, we are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone.

We had a discussion yesterday about the Catholic church: it does not happen to be built on this same foundation (to use a case in point). This is factual (when you line up their teachings with the bible).

Your comment reminds me of Pilate’s question of Jesus: “What is truth?”

13   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 21st, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Kyle.
Actually, it’s interesting tht you bring that up. My wife and I were just talking about this the other day. She’s a microbiologist, and when she writes papers, she never use concrete statements about the conclusions she drawing. She can’t say “this bacteria causes this” or something like that. She always has to say things like, “it appears”, or “findings indicate”. So even in the scientific field, it is somewhat rare for people to declare propositional truths.

14   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 4:34 pm

So Phil & Inquisitor, would be it fair to say that the apostles did not possess “propositional” truths? Would you also say that the millions of people who died for their faith because they were too “stubborn” to bend were simply missing the point?

Obviously, we can never know all there is to know about God but why can’t we have certainty about what He has so graciously revealed to us? Many times I think it’s because what He’s revealed so plainly is messed up and abstracted by us who need to put our spin on it.

15   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Phil

But she can state the truth that this is what it did or caused. They may not know why but they can state truth. We can state taht water is h2o. We may not know why or how but that is still a truth.

This also shows why we should not rely on man’s wisdom but God’s.

16   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, Brendt, I’m reading your article from another total direction.

WHEN is faith in Jesus not enough. And that comes via doctrine. I think the real question is whos doctrine…..Kyle’s, mine, iggy’s or maybe Paul C’s……

I’m reading it through doctrinal glasses here becuase I’m guessing that’s the reason that Mark Driscoll distanced himself.

It seems to always boil down to doctrine……(or truth that some would want us to think that they’re own particular brand of doctrine is)

17   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 4:48 pm

Yes it does boil down to doctrine. It always does. So the question should what does doctrine mean? What should our doctrine match?

When you start talking about Jesus or God in any way then you are telling us doctine.

So docrtine is important.

18   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 4:56 pm

It seems that certain movements have succeeded in making the “truth” and “doctrine” as nebulous and fuzzy as possible. Statements of certainty on key facets are often relegated as pride and arrogance and we are told that we need to “re-think” or “re-imagine” everything that’s been taught.

Is the gospel all that complex? Do you need to attend bible school in order to rightly divide the word (did Timothy?)?

It seems a lot of matters that were once fairly concrete have been reduced to “opinions” and swerving off the foundation to simple “disagreements” (just like unsaved people are now really just “unchurched”). In this climate of political correctness, it seems few are really willing to put their neck on the block for anything as “no one can really know anything for sure!”

What a mess

19   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Amen Paul C.

20   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:04 pm

“It seems that certain movements have succeeded in making the “truth” and “doctrine” as nebulous and fuzzy as possible.”

Well then, doesn’t that beg the next question? Who’s right? Who’s got the truth?

21   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Beautiful rant, Paul C. Too bad it was completely detached from reality…

22   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 5:13 pm

This question has been asked for such along time. Can we know truth or anything at all. Descrates said all we can truly know is that we are. Then following him more and more skepticism. No look where we are. The christian answer to the world has always been “WE HAVE THE TRUTH” The Word came down and dwelt with us He was full of grace and truth. The attutide that nothing can be known is anti-christian and calling God a liar. It is the human condition we see in Romans 1. We deny and supress the truth!

23   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:17 pm

Kyle,

But she can state the truth that this is what it did or caused. They may not know why but they can state truth. We can state taht water is h2o. We may not know why or how but that is still a truth.

Actually, to Phil’s point (and his wife’s), as a scientist she would be very familiar with the rule that “correlation does not equal causation”, and so just because the bacteria was present does not necessarily mean that it is the bacteria which was the cause of the change.

There IS a degree of propositional truth in both science and in the Bible.

In science, you alluded to H2O as water. This is propositional truth, because it has been observed and measured and verified.

In Christianity, we know that the gospel events are truth – that Jesus lived a sinless life, that he died on a Roman cross, and that he was resurrected. We also know that this has made it possible for us to be reconciled to God. Where conjecture begins to creep in is where we begin to attach systematic descriptions to the exact mechanism of Jesus’ work and to the machinations of God.

24   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 5:18 pm

How so Chris L?
It wasn’t a rant – just trying to speak plainly without offending anyone in particular.

Brendt – no one is infallible but there are infallible truths that are made available to us by a loving and gracious God. When these come under attack or are subtlely undermined, as is common, we run into problems.

Sorry if you feel misunderstood.

25   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 5:22 pm

So only systematic theology is wrong?

What is wrong with painting a whole picture from the bible about who God is. Like this

I. There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory, most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments; hating all sin; and who will by no means clear the guilty.

26   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:22 pm

Scotty, not sure that I’m getting your point/question. I think I agree with most of what you’re saying, but I think I’m a little dense right now.

And yes, as I understand it, it was issues of doctrine that caused Driscoll to distance himself from (but not totally reject) the EC.

27   nc    
December 21st, 2007 at 5:23 pm

What’s interesting to me is the failure to acknowledge that one could speak accurately about the Truth–i.e. speaking truth–and still make that truth a lie because the mode in which you speak it belies the statement.

the need to separate the means from the substance is a dishonest attempt to avoid facing the fact that content and medium go together when it comes to Christian faith.

We do what we believe–what we really believe is the truth.

28   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 5:26 pm

NC

I agree Satan distorted and misused the bible on Jesus, how crazy?!?!? When we distort or misuse the bible we twist it so it is no longer truth and therefore a lie. Misrepresenting the bible and God is untruthfull!

29   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:28 pm

So only systematic theology is wrong?

What is wrong with painting a whole picture from the bible about who God is. Like this

The primary thing “wrong” with systematic theology is that it is man-made (and therefore fallible). Certainly, it describes truth, but we must also accept that it CAN contain error – or be incomplete (as Substitutionary Penal Atonement is an incomplete explanation, and rather a subset of Christus Victor (which is also likely to be incomplete in some way)).

So – these “systems” (and creeds, etc.) may be useful for teaching and understanding, but they lose their usefulness when scripture is interpreted based upon the system (often the case with Calvinist apologetics – whose very name implies this) rather than the system being in complete subjugation to scripture.

30   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Paul C said:

no one is infallible

I’m guessing from this then, that the answer to my question is that “no, you wouldn’t reject everything that someone said simply because he isn’t infallible”.

but there are infallible truths that are made available to us by a loving and gracious God. When these come under attack or are subtlely undermined, as is common, we run into problems.

Please show me where I excused such alleged attacks or underminings, or even came within a mile of the topic.

In my post, I clearly admitted that error exists in many places and even copped to throwing the baby out with the bathwater myself. Why is it that your response seems to boil down to pointing out the afore-mentioned error? And how is this different from “I know you are, but what am I?”

31   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 5:32 pm

I agree totally. We can only follow them in so far as the follow Christ. Just like anything else it is the bible ALONE, that is our cannon our meausring stick. They atonments you refer to are not incomplete there are only parts of the whole. If you only look at the window or door you will say where is the house. We must look at the whole(system) of the bible and not just parts. Good word Chris L.

32   inquisitor    
December 21st, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Iggy y Phil Miller,

How do you “know” that you know Jesus. After all, you of course believe that you know Him, but right now it’s unprovable. We may believe that you know Him and you may believe that you know Him, but you can never really conclude with absolute certainty that your believe of “knowing Him” is correct?
You cannot say with certainty that you “know” Him.
You believe that you know Him, but you can never have a certain handle on that truth until you reach the other side of eternity.
So my claim still stands, you cannot know truth.

You say that you know Him therefore you know the truth. Perhaps evolution is correct? You might not really know Him at all. Perhaps you have chosen to believe in religion and in Christ, but your believe might be wrong. We might all wake up one day on the other side of eternity and find out that you didn’t really know Jesus, because maybe there isn’t one???
It’s impossible to know for certain whether you know Christ or not, therefore it’s impossible for you to say with any degree of absolute, that you know Jesus therefore you know truth.

33   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:39 pm

inquisitor said:

it’s impossible for you to say with any degree of absolute…

That’s a self-defeating statement.

34   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 5:41 pm

It’s impossible to know for certain whether you know Christ or not, therefore it’s impossible for you to say with any degree of absolute, that you know Jesus therefore you know truth.

Thus, it is called “faith”… Were it all laid out in scientific logical fashion, we would call it “science”…

35   Phil Miller    http://veritasfellowship.blogspot.com
December 21st, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Inquisitor,
Well there comes a point where we have to trust our senses and that we are actually experiencing reality. All observations are really based on that when you get down to it.

As far as the reality of Christ, I believe there is plenty of historical evididence available, and the question of how do I really know He exists makes as much sense to me as if you asked me how I know mt parents exist. Ultimately, I know He exists because of my relationship with Him, and the fact that Scripture testifies to that truth.

36   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 21st, 2007 at 5:47 pm

I for one think “inquisitor” should change his or her name to “inquisitive” or “enquirer” I had family killed during the inquisition. I find his or her name offensive.

37   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 5:52 pm

Inquestor

That is nonsense at it purest form. That is not christianty. Maybe Neo will one day save us from this awful matrix. Now those are greart philosophical question but those are not biblical answers.

So how do you know Jesus? How do you know you know?

38   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 6:04 pm

No one can ever know if someone else “knows” Jesus or is saved. Each individual can and should know, however. When I went from darkness to light in 1975 I knew I had been saved, it is a ministry of the Holy Spirit.

There are certain gospel truths that must be believed as truth by faith and substantiated by the Word. Of course there will always be stanic counterfeits, but that just gives credibility to that truth. This must be taken by faith, although a general thread of historical Chrsitianity can help substantiate what we believe. (witnesses)

There must be truths about which we by faith believe are non-negotiable. Now, which ones are they?

39   inquisitor    
December 21st, 2007 at 6:08 pm

okay, let’s try again.

It seems that in order to defend your “knowledge” of Christ, you point to your senses. You say, “it’s just the same as I know that my parents exist.”
I agree that Jesus existed. How can you prove that He was God, or that He still exists?

Even Mormons have had their “burning in the bosom” and they would tell you that you’re belief that Jesus is God is wrong. They accept the book of Mormon because of their “experience”

We all have our experiences and our beliefs, but you cannot say that your experience was “real” maybe you just ate a bad burrito?

40   inquisitor    
December 21st, 2007 at 6:10 pm

Good question rick,

Which ones are they? How can you know? You can’t!

41   inquisitor    
December 21st, 2007 at 6:11 pm

every religion in the world will say that their experience is/was just as powerful as yours. Who’s to say that your’s is right?

42   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 6:12 pm

I don’t see how that deals with God. he has made known the truth in us, in nature and through His word. We supress and hate the truth. Faith is a belief that God will fulfill what He promised to do. Abraham did not look to Canaan as the fulfullment of the promise He look for a city and builder who is God.

We can know if someone else knows Jesus, not infalliable because we do not know what God does. He has given us standards and measureing rods. Orthodxy and orthapraxy. Faith followed up by fruit, that is how we know if someone knows Jesus. The same applies to ourselves also. Do I believe in Jesus, the one from the bible, and do I bear fruit in keeping with that belief. That is how we gain assurance of salvation. God said so and my life has changed. I would call that faith.

Rick

I would say that the five solas are a good place to start??

43   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 6:14 pm

I
“We all have our experiences and our beliefs, but you cannot say that your experience was “real” maybe you just ate a bad burrito? ”

Great I love that it is so true. This is where truth comes in or we are all in a lot of trouble.

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 6:29 pm

A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument. Others may claim to have an experience, but when the Lord of Truth comes we will see who is His. Granted the counterfeits are close, but they all depend on extra-biblical revelation usually by another person (Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, Mrs. White, Rev. Moon, etc.)

The truth of the evangelical gospel has seen entire cities changed by its power, and pitiful sinners like me have been transformed. God’s unchangeable truth can only be communicated and substantiated by the power of the Holy Spirit speaking through the power of God’s Word.

Those who make their bed in uncertainty risk their eternity because in the end, all is vanity except God’s Word.

45   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 6:32 pm

AMEN

46   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 7:16 pm

In reference to Rick’s question about which truths are the ones we should hold as infallible, Inquisitor said: “Which ones are they? How can you know? You can’t!”

This is simply not true. The scriptures are given so that we can be built on a firm foundation – in lifestyle and in the things we believe from a theological perspective.

What I’m getting from some comments here is that there should be a consensus on truth. This will never happen of course – so don’t look for consensus unless…

there’s an open discussion (not from the point of view of defending a position) based on arriving at the truth of certain core teachings is the only thing that will work (what gets in the way is pride and prejudice – on all sides, including mine).

47   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 7:31 pm

If there are no spiritual truths that can be known and substantiated as unassailable truth then we seek them in vain and as Solomon said “Let us eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die”.

The Scriptures must be taken by faith as God’s revelation to man about who He is and His redemptive plan. The core of salvation truth are these:

God exists
We are separated by our sin/disobedience
God desires reconciliation with us
God came as Jesus and paid for our sin on the cross
Jesus resurrected from the dead
You must believe wholly that Jesus paid for your sins personally

That is what I believed when I was saved, everything else I learned afterward. If any of those things are denied or altered you cannot be saved. It is God’s doing, surely not mine.

48   merry    
December 21st, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Truth. Truth is what is real even nobody believes it; it’s how things happened even though no one remembers it or the story got twisted; it’s what is there even if one has never seen it. Truth is solid. Truth does not change with people’s beliefs. Truth is unchanging.

Dumb analogy time. I’ve never been to New York City. Maybe I don’t believe New York City exists. Yet it’s still there. The truth is that it does exist. I actually do believe New York exists, due to evidence– photographs, friends who’ve been there, etc. Thus even though I’ve never seen New York, I have faith it exists.

If something is true, there will be strong, solid evidence for it. Even a person who has never heard of God in his life can see evidence of a Creator in nature, in the patterns of the universe, in the sun rising and setting on time, in the seasons changing on time.

Then comes faith. Even though one can’t see the whole picture, if there is solid evidence for something, one can have faith that it exists.

(Side note: This is why I think it takes a whole lot more faith to believe in evolution than creation; because “evidence” for evolution is weak and wavering, and always changing. Evidence for creation is a lot more sturdy, sound.)

49   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Yes, Rick I agree with these as well and see them as very important. The issue now is that most everyone will agree with these as Christians, but the diversions and swerving happen a little further down the road (in other words, the devil doesn’t rest). But these are really the necessary points for salvation to begin as evidenced in scripture.

Once these are firmly established (milk) the believer must mature and be fed meat which is that stabilizing truth which leads to genuine discipleship (Rick I know you already know all this).

We must go on to live and seek out truth so that we are not tossed by every wind of doctrine, new fads (like the EC or health-and-wealth which will undoubtedly claim the above points).

I would say that other important teachings are things like (not an exhaustive list):

- the promise of the resurrection for believers at the return of Jesus Christ and His establishment of the kingdom upon the earth (this hope gives faith)
- the 2 greatest commandments and how they apply to daily life
- bearing fruit

50   merry    
December 21st, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I listened to a Focus on the Family street survey, where they were asking people what truth was in general. Nobody could answer.

We have been told that truth is whatever we want it to be. Are we that detached from reality? Is a forest not there when we aren’t in it?

Great article by the way. Just because a Christian’s theology differs from ours doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them or that they are our enemies. We can look at things from their perspectives, and then, ultimately, we must turn to Truth. God’s Word. God. Weigh the evidence and see what comes out the most solid. There are some aspects of Christianity we may never understand, and maybe it’s because God in his infinite perspective doesn’t want us to worry about it.

51   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Paul – This is a very slippery deception. Many preachers connect the “gospel” to earthly gain. Now if the sinner comes to Jesus based upon the assumption and desire for health or wealth or any kind of earthly enhancement, that sinner is in serious trouble for he has believed a false gospel.

I do believe that the Holy Spirit can overcome some of those deceptions in some personal cases, but the eternal danger is that the masses are embracing a false/another Jesus. I claim no direct insight into who is and who is not saved, but I know that Biblically the presentation of another Jesus is pandemic throughout the western evangelical scene.

These are serious times with serious issues.

52   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Rick, not sure I understand what you’re referring to as slippery and the reference to earthly gain. I was saying that health-and-wealth is a false premise… but correct me if there is something I made unclear.

53   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Nothing earthly (health and wealth) is part of the gospel. I was agreeing and expanding upon your comment.

54   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 8:05 pm

What you save them with is what you save them to. A false gospel will be a false salvation. A false jesus will never save anyone. This is why truth is important.

55   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 21st, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Oh – thanks Rick.

56   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 21st, 2007 at 8:31 pm

Getting in on this late…..

I read all the comments.

I believe certain things to be true Can a finite creature know infallibly that something is true? Can the finite know the infinite?

To say that something is 100% truth requires 100% knowledge. No human being has such knowledge.

So truth always has an element of faith. By faith I believe the Bible to be true. By faith I believe there is a life after death. By faith I believe there was and is a Jesus called the Christ.

To I have all knowledge about any of these things? NO. Thus there is ALWAYS an element of faith.

Brian McClaren rightly is concerned over “certainty” Certainty often breeds arrogance. I am right. Read through any blog thread and you will see “certainty.” Certainty refuses to give any place for error, mistake, or being wrong. We see it in religion and politics. McClaren would not suggest things are unknowable bu that in our :knowing” we be humble, knowing we can make mistakes and that the human is prone to error.

At the end of the day, I walk by faith not by proof text.

Bruce

57   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 8:37 pm

Oh yea, MacLaren cannot be sure about much, hence his endorsement of “The Last Week” by Borg and Crossan who suggest that the body of Jesus was eaten by wild dogs. That is MacLaren’s idea of uncertainty.

58   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Bruce
I believe certain things to be true Can a finite creature know infallibly that something is true? Can the finite know the infinite?

To say that something is 100% truth requires 100% knowledge. No human being has such knowledge.

The finite can know the infinte otherwise we could never know God at all. I do not need all knowledge to declare truth. What is 2+2=4, that is a universal truth. it can be know even though I do not have all knowledge.

The bible is clear, God did not try to hide Himself through us. He revealed Himself to us through nature, ourselves, the Bible and most importantly Jesus. Well there are certain things we do not understand fully we can still have some understanding of some things. We can state for a fact that Jesus is coming back but do we fully understand Revelations, no. The bible is so simple that children can find truth in it why can’t adults.

59   Kyle in WI    
December 21st, 2007 at 8:41 pm

The bible is clear, God did not try to hide Himself through us.

meant hide Himself from us. Sorry

60   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 8:44 pm

“Scotty, not sure that I’m getting your point/question”

Sorry Brendt that was an attempt to bring out the views from some here and it worked. I didn’t mean to confuse.

I can’t ad anymore to what you and Chris L. have said in this string. I’m in agreement.

61   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 21st, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Kyle,

I have lived long enough to see some of those universal truths proved to be error or incomplete.

Yes, the Bible is clear. But how do you know what is in the Bible is true? How do you know that the books that are in the Bible are the ones that are supposed to make up the canon? There are no original manuscripts (not one) that remain, all we have our copies of copies.

All I am suggesting is that at the end of the day, at the end of the road, it is all about faith.

The Bible is most certainly not a simple book, Kyle. If it was we all would be in agreement. Even Paul said there are things hard to be understood. The Bible is hardly child’s play. IF that were the case then we would not need pastors, teachers and elders.

Rick, tell me what you really think about Brian McClaren. Regardless of what you may think about him, he is right about the notion of certainty. Political certainty lands us in Iraq and Religious certainty resulted in the Crusades, witch burning, etc. Certainty brings arrogance and arrogance clouds judgment. It is always better to allow for a 1% error of margin. You MIGHT be wrong.

Bruce

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Bruce – Is MacLaren certain about the notion of certainty? I would tell you what I think of MacLaren’s views but it would begin with the eigth letter in the alphabet. I am certain of that.

63   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 21st, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Rick,

You certainly entitled to your opinion. (and I most certainly disagree with you)

I will bow out. I in no way desire to cause conflict. Once the “h” word is evoked discussion of over. That I am certain of.

Thank you
Bruce

64   tom m    
December 21st, 2007 at 10:06 pm

(note: CL + JM do not read)

Hello *WHO’s

re: So, I would caution us not to shut out someone with whom we disagree, because what we are doing when we do that is bordering on blasphemous

Do you mean…like someone bringing in a completely different gospel? …c’mon, get real

re: Scripture is loaded with examples of God using the most unlikely of vessels.

True that:

“And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him” (Ezekiel 14:9-10)

Yes apparently the Lord does believe in pragmatism at times.

*Westcott and Hort Only

65   inquisitor    
December 21st, 2007 at 10:14 pm

You want the truth?! You can’t handle the truth!!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

It seems to me that everyone seems to be saying that truth is attainable, and knowable and that it can only be known through scripture. Is that what everyone here believes? And do you believe that correct understanding of scripture is attainable and knowable? (even though it has been established that understanding scripture is hard)

66   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 21st, 2007 at 11:06 pm

This discussion seems focused mainly on “truth” as it relates to knowledge and not so much to experience? There is the “word of truth” that is to be preached and believed, but there is also the Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit) that must be experinced. People get so focused on the “witness of the word” that they forget about the “witness of the Spirit”. Go back and read the posts in this discussion and see how many refer to the “Spirit of Truth”. Paul taught that the Gospel did not come to us in word ONLY.

Knowing, brethern beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came NOT unto you in WORD ONLY, but also in power, and in the HOLY GHOST, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake (1 Thessalonians 1:4,5 KJV).

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that HOLY SPIRIT of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13,14 KJV).

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the SPIRIT that beareth witness, because the SPIRIT is TRUTH (1 John 5:5,6 KJV).

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the SPIRIT OF TRUTH is come, he will guide you into ALL TRUTH. for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (John 16:12,13 KJV).

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is TRUE, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (1 John 5:20 KJV)

I have not studied the doctrines of Calvin or Arminus much, but just breezed over them, so someone can correct me on their doctrines if I miss it. If I understand it, the original Arminian position is salvation by faith in Christ alone, just like the Calvin belief, but the Arminian claims you can later reject that faith in Christ, and and in doing so, lose the salvation that came with that faith. Is that correct?

Herein is the probem I see after reading all the verses that I posted in this comment about the “witness of the word” AND the “witness of the Holy Spirit”.

I think what some people do is cling to the “witness of the word”, having never experinced the “spiritual newbirth” (witness of the Spirit). They keep saying, you can’t truly know for sure if you are saved. Then others argue back, “yes you can, because the Word says so, and the Word is truth”, and around and around they go. But what about the “witness of the Spirit” that also says so? How do we “know” we are truly saved?

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his SPIRIT (1 John 4:13 KJV).

The SPIRIT itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God (Romans 8: 16 KJV).

There is a “faith” that believes in God, but doesn’t experince God through the Holy Spirit. Some may believe in the Jesus as presented by the stories in the Bible, and then later reject the Jesus they have believed in as presented by the Bible thus losing salvation by that “faith” in the Jesus of the Bible. How is that “faith” in the Jesus of the Bible, any different than the “faith” in Allah as presented by the “Koran”? How is a persons “commitment” to serve the “cause of Christ” any different from the level of “faith” and “commitment” a Muslim has to Allah all the way up to the point of suicide bombing in a “faith” in an afterlife with 70 virgins?

The Calvinist position also believes in salvation by faith alone, but claims the sealing of the Holy Spirit as a confirmation of that “faith” and not just “word only”. The Word of God declares the New Covenant, but the Spirit of God seals the New Covenant.

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that HOLY SPIRIT of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13,14 KJV).

And greive not the holy Spirit of God, wereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30 KJV).

I think that many has changed the Gospel from “Jesus is the Way” to “Jesus showed the way” (i.e. WWJD) and reduced Jesus down to nothing more that a heavenly inspired teacher that “shows us a way to God”, much like Buddha or Muhammod supposedly “shows us a way to god”. You can have a “Christ follower” , “Buddha follower” or a “Muhammod follower”.

The term “Christian” on the other hand is refering to a person that joined to Christ through the actual union with the Holy Spirit. A “newbirth” and a “new creation”.

But he that is joined unto the Lord is ONE SPIRIT (1 Corinthians 6:17 KJV).

See, you can be so “committed” unto your wife that you study to learn everything about her and sacrifice every moment you have to be with her, serve her, worship her, and love her and follow her, but you will never be able to reproduce until you become ONE WITH HER!

Wherefore, my brethern, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God (Romans 7:4 KJV).

Now go bear some “spiritual fruit” for God! (Galatians 5:22,23 KJV) :)

F Whittenburg
http://www.christiannewbirth.com

67   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 21st, 2007 at 11:11 pm

F – both Arminius and Calvin believed the same gospel. But the difference is that Arminius believed God legitimately offered the gospel to everyone while Calvin believed God chose a very few to save.

68   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 21st, 2007 at 11:26 pm

Do you mean…like someone bringing in a completely different gospel?

Do you honestly think that’s where I was coming from? As someone recently said, “c’mon, get real”.

If you mean “a completely different gospel” as an honest definition, then no, that’s not what I mean.

But if you mean it in its oft-mangled usage as overblown code for “something with which I do not agree”, then you’ve kinda made my point.

69   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:13 am

Inq,

Iggy y Phil Miller,

How do you “know” that you know Jesus. After all, you of course believe that you know Him, but right now it’s unprovable.

This is why I do not hold that “Truth” is as defined as “absolute” or “objective” as a Person is Living… So I see truth as a Living Person.

Now, I do see it as both objective and subjective to use those terms as on one hand Jesus the Person is Who and What he has been for all eternity… God. Yet, subjectively I know what God has done in and for me… I know how I have changed and grown… yet in no way can I honestly state that I can “prove” this in any scientific way.

Faith is a gift… and faith is hoping in what one does not see now but believes it will be as He promised. I trust in Him who has proven to me subjectively to be faithful to His Word and had never failed me. I have failed Him and suffered the consequences yet even then He has straightened what was bent and restored what was broken.

In the Book of Revelation, it is said the saints overcame the world by, the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony… so that is all I ahve to offer… The Blood that reconciled all mankind and took away our sins and the testimony in how He gave His Life to me and changed me from the inside out.

Again, this is why and how God has destroyed the wisdom of man. How can one express the inexpressible without sounding the fool?

So, I agree… Faith makes me the fool for declaring that I know Truth in the Person of a man who was murdered on a Cross and was buried then rose from the dead the third day. To men this is foolishness, for who ever heard of such a strange thing… so it is either true or a lie… so again i am the fool that believes it true and hope I live out His Life in me in such a way that others will not see me but Him and come to faith and believe and trust that they too can have Truth live in them by Grace…

be blessed,
iggy

70   tom m    
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:19 am

re: overblown code

no overblown code, but real objections even to what may even be subtle errors (e.g. rat poison is 99% good food), which i maintain is not the case here.

A voice from the past:

“What is more common than to hear it said of some false teacher in this day, “He is so good, so devoted, so kind, so zealous, so laborious, so humble, so self-denying, so charitable, so earnest, so fervent, so clever, so evidently sincere, there can be no danger and no harm in hearing him. Besides he preaches such a real Gospel: no one can preach a better sermon than he does sometimes! I never can and never will believe he is unsound.” Who does not hear continually such talk as this?

What discerning eye can fail to see that Christians expect unsound teachers to be open vendors of poison, and cannot realize that they often appear as “angels of light,” and are far too wise to be always saying all they think, and showing their whole hand and mind. But so it is. Never was it so needful to remember the words, “Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning.”

…..”A young Christian, for instance, brought up from his cradle to hear nothing but Evangelical teaching, is suddenly invited some day to hear a sermon preached by some eminent teacher of semi-Catholic, or semi-skeptical opinions. He goes into the church, expecting in his simplicity to hear nothing but heresy from the beginning to the end. To his amazement he hears a clever, eloquent sermon, containing a vast amount of truth, and only a few drops of error. Too often a violent reaction takes place in his simple, innocent, unsuspicious mind. He begins to think his former teachers were narrow, and uncharitable, and his confidence in them is shaken, perhaps forever. Too often, it ends with his entire perversion, and at last he is enrolled in the ranks of the Legalist, Ritualists, or the liberal Christians! And what is the history of the whole case?

Why, a foolish forgetfulness of the lesson Paul puts forward in this text. “As Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning,” so Satan charms unwary souls in our century by approaching them under the garb of truth.”

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

71   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:36 am

Inquisitor:

And do you believe that correct understanding of scripture is attainable and knowable?

I believe that enough of scripture is knowable and easily understandable for the purpose of salvation. I believe also, though, that there is much more “certainty” from the fundamentalist camp and more “uncertainty” from the ECM movement than there probably ought to be when it comes to the systems to explain it all and to doctrine/teaching that is not essential to salvation…

72   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
December 22nd, 2007 at 10:17 am

Just curious guys…and specifically to Bruce…

Do we see “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” as absolute Truth, and 100% knowable for sure, or…something else?

Joe

73   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 22nd, 2007 at 11:27 am

Joe,

I see it as absolute truth.

But, I seriously doubt any of us know the full depth and expansiveness of Jesus declaring that He is the Way, Truth and Life.

For something to be 100% knowable requires 100% knowledge. I do not have that knowledge of any subject. But I have enough knowledge, that by faith I believe that Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life and that it is through Him that any man comes to the Father.

Bruce

74   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 11:34 am

I see Jesus as Truth Incarnate and he is knowable as a Person… yet we do not know everything about a person unless they reveal something of themselves… so we know as Jesus is… Yet we will know Him as He knows us later after we are clothed in the imperishable and are incorruptible.

be blessed,
iggy

75   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 11:44 am

“But, I seriously doubt any of us know the full depth and expansiveness of Jesus declaring that He is the Way, Truth and Life.”

That seems to be code for universalism in some form, or am I reading it wrong?

76   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 22nd, 2007 at 11:59 am

real objections even to what may even be subtle errors

Which may (or may not) be “another gospel”. My point is that that phrase gets bandied about by far too many people to represent anything that they object to, because it sounds pious — after all, they’re quoting (and grossly mis-using) Scripture. Meanwhile, they water down the true meaning of the phrase.

…which i maintain is not the case here.

I didn’t mention any specific persons or ideas (outside of the example of Driscoll, and 2 men that I confessed that I have shown undue prejudice against). So how am I supposed to come away from a comment like that and not assume that you’re laying a template over what I said, and that you have in mind specific persons or ideas that I am allegedly defending?

re: Ryle

Actually this makes my point even further. He cites the example of the young evangelical hearing a “semi-Catholic” teacher. (Let’s call the young evangelical “Jimmy” as I’m going to reference him a lot.) “Too often a violent reaction takes place in his … mind.” If I interpret Ryle correctly, Jimmy has no culpability whatsoever for his wrong thoughts.

Ryle’s moral of the story seems to be that Jimmy should never have listened to that teacher in the first place. And if Jimmy is so hideously undiscerning, that hearing one message causes him to reject everything that he grew up with, then maybe Ryle is right. But if that’s the case, then Jimmy’s parents, evangelical teachers, and anyone else that fed into his belief system have failed him miserably. So Jimmy would do well to stay in his safe little world, and hope that no error creeps in to it.

77   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Let’s be honest, most people don’t want honest discussion they want their views to be validated. They want to be told they are right and whoever disagrees with them is wrong. It’s not about having one’s views examined it is about being right and damn proud of it.

78   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:07 pm

To Wit:

People say they love truth, but in reality they want
to believe that which they love is true.
—Robert J. Ringer

As quoted here
:)
:)
:)

79   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Rick,

I don’t speak in code. Never have.

You don’t like McLaren. I like McLaren.

You think McClaren speaks in code, thus Bruce speaks in code.

I am suggesting that the body of Christ is wider than we think it is.

I do wrestle with the notion of those who have never heard about Jesus. Who have never clearly heard the gospel. If one is a Calvinist…..They weren’t elect……to hell they go. But since I am not a Calvinists this is a problem for me. Does God condign people to hell whom have never heard the gospel?

I certainly do not believe in universalism, nor do I believe in the narrow, sectarian, way we define the body of Christ in Western Christianity.

Bruce

80   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Bruce,

Since you also have read McLaren, have you ever read him to say he is a Universalist… I know that Spencer Burke is a “type” of Universalist (who believes in hell BTW)

But have you read or heard McLaren to state he is one?

I have only heard him say he is sympathetic to the view…

iggy

81   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 22nd, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Iggy,

No I have never heard him say he is one.

While laying in bed, at 2:00 A.M. my wife and I were talking about this issue. I told her McLaren brings some of this on himself. He refuses to use the language of evangelicalism . He believes that in a post-modern world that we need new terms, new stories (not necessarily new truth) The content is not the problem, the package is. We are still trying to sell Wheaties with Jesse Owens on the package. We need to be selling Wheaties with Tiger Woods on the package.

McLaren is not afraid to question. To challenge. I felt his challenge on the doctrine hell was excellent. McLaren is demonized for it…….yet John Stott believes in annihilation and few seems to question his salvation (because he wrote better books?)

McClaren also tends to ignore his critics. He dismisses some of his critics as shrill fundamentalists and no matter how he answers them it will not be sufficient. DO any of us really believe McClaren and Emerging/Emergent could ever do enough to satisfy the ODM’s? Never.

I have read articles where he has interacted with sincere critics who treat him as a brother in the Lord.

Ever wondered if universalism was true? :) Sure would make most of this meaningless. It would mean we better get out there and actually live like the people we say we are. :)

The Western Church is in a time of great change. It is an exciting, dangerous time.

Bruce

82   tom m    
December 22nd, 2007 at 4:10 pm

re: I didn’t mention any specific persons or ideas (outside of the example of Driscoll, and 2 men that I confessed that I have shown undue prejudice against). So how am I supposed to come away from a comment like that and not assume that you’re laying a template over what I said, and that you have in mind specific persons or ideas that I am allegedly defending?

————————
No, i’m just bypassing the dialectic techniques that facilitators use to draw people back into the dialogue, as in this case is so obvious. The purpose of this technique is to cause a person to concede what ‘may’ seem to be ‘minor’ points so as to maintain relationship. This is how the incremental erosion of someone’s faith is accomplished. ‘Minor point’ by ‘minor point’ until what’s left is unrecognizable. It’s incremental. This article is a classic example.

“Hey, forget all that stuff about blatant essential differences (e.g. offense of the cross) for right now and let’s go back to the “non-essentials” and find some “common ground”
…..then we can continue to agree and maintain relationship. We’re all friends here.

c’mon

The Christian Church is in a time of great ‘apostasia’, the falling away.

——————————————————-
Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. [Proverbs 19:27]

83   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 22nd, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Tom M,
You are an idol worshiper and as such you need to turn from that. When you do, perhaps you’ll have something worth listening to.

84   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 22nd, 2007 at 4:51 pm

“Hey, forget all that stuff about blatant essential differences (e.g. offense of the cross) for right now and let’s go back to the “non-essentials” and find some “common ground”
…..then we can continue to agree and maintain relationship. We’re all friends here.

Ray Bolger is holding for you on line 1.

No, i’m just bypassing the dialectic techniques that facilitators use to draw people back into the dialogue, as in this case is so obvious. The purpose of this technique is to cause a person to concede what ‘may’ seem to be ‘minor’ points so as to maintain relationship. This is how the incremental erosion of someone’s faith is accomplished. ‘Minor point’ by ‘minor point’ until what’s left is unrecognizable. It’s incremental. This article is a classic example.

So let me see if I have this straight:

1) You’ve read my heart and know what my true purpose is.
2) My true purpose is the attempt to erode someone’s faith.
3) You’re apparently not interested in dialogue.
4) If we alternate talking and it’s not dialogue, then it must be an argument.
5) I’m powerless to argue with someone who can read the state of my heart.

So, I guess you win. Your mama would be so proud.

85   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 5:03 pm

The Christian Church is in a time of great ‘apostasia’, the falling away.

What verse are you basing this on?

Is it… or is it the already happened?

I think the danger of revisioniism as you are preaching is when we get things like LDS and the JW’s… so one must be careful…

The Anabaptist claimed it happened with Constantine… and so on.

Or maybe if it did already happen, as part of this “great apostasy” teaching goes… is that God then restores the truth even more pure and the truth church hears His voice while those still in the false institution rebel and hate His voice.

What I am getting at is God only knows for sure… and as I look at who teaches this and their attitude toward others, sometimes I wonder if God is trying to reach them with the truth and they have flipped things on its head.

Such as with the “Rapture” passages, if read in their untainted way, read that the ones taken are the ones being judged and one who is left behind are the ones God is rewarding… or it is a direct reference to the “eagle” the banner of the Roman empire that “gathers” around the “dead bodies” when in 70 AD they destroyed Jerusalem and made.

I see that there seems to be a restoring of the Gospel and this angers the traditionalist who hold to teachings of men… so I too see it a bit of a falling away, but rather Isaiah 30 coming true…

20. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.
21. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
22. Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!” 23. He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.
24. The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel. 25. In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. 26. The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.

I see that God is slaughtering the great “man based” ministries… and is rising up is true teachers that He hid… and He will heal the wound that the false teachers afflicted on His people.

So, it depends… on your perspective.

be blessed,
iggy

86   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
December 22nd, 2007 at 5:45 pm

I really don’t like preterist eschatologies Iggy…just throwing that out there. I think it fits pretty well…until you consider the Bible on a whole…=( Anyways…

Bruce,

Thank you for the response brother, I was just curious. I agree with what you said about not knowing the depth of things 100%, even absolute things, which we can know are true for sure. And I didn’t see it as a universalist statement =).

A lot of times when I talk about John 14:6, I bring up the point of

“Saying people can only be saved by Jesus is like saying you only exist because God created you”

And that’s usually misunderstood to be a universalist statement, but it’s really not. Just gotta think about it for a second, so I know how you feel Bruce.

Joe

87   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Joe C.

I think there is a near/far theme throughout scripture… so I am not a pure preterist, yet I do think much of scripture has been already fulfilled as Jesus prophecied in that generations life time. If we deny that the prophecy was fulfilled, then Jesus lied…

But, as I stated, in I see a near/far theme… like Isaiah 7 which was fulfilled in Isaiah 8:1-4…

I see this in a few other places but that is the one that best stands out.

Yet, my point is that those that preach “Rapture” and “The great Apostasy” use certain verses, that can be also used to prove the opposite! So these “proof-texts” often when laid out historically, already happened… I believe if one looks close enough, the great falling away is before the dry bones… so since Israel now is a nation again, then their time-line is messed up and the revisionists who hate McLaren and other for their revisions… (ironic huh?) need to revise their own revisions… (real ironic huh?)

be blessed,
iggy

88   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 6:23 pm

oops the Isaiah reference is “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

sorry for leaving that out.

iggy

89   tom m    
December 22nd, 2007 at 7:46 pm

re: restoring of the Gospel…or apostasia

Well there you have it, two irreconciliable positions. The scripture reference you asked for would of course be the “strong delusion… that they should believe a lie”. We say it’s here now.

But if I can’t see the growing horrible apostasy today, maybe it is because I’m already hardened by a “spirit of deep sleep”, I would counter.

But here is some common ground, I like Isaiah too, this one in Isa. 29:

10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

11 And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:

12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.

13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. [Ias. 29]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

re: eagle, ‘thief’,Matt. 24

very briefly,

If i were to make a pre-trib defense, which i’m not going to do now, i would take the position that the ‘church’ has nothing to do with Matt. 24 and that the ‘thief’/eagle and the ‘rapture’ are two separate events, although commonly taught (incorrectly) to be one and the same. The thief/eagle would be seen as having to do with the final harvest (described in Matt. 13:29-30), with the tares being gathered ‘first’ for burning, while the wheat is to be brought afterwards into the barn. These are the same events described in Matt. 24 as that will be the time that they are to occur. The rapture would have occured before this point (in a correct pre-trib eschatology of course).

Continuing with that thought, Matt. 24 directly relates to Daniel’s seventieth week. Israel, back in the land but still in unbelief, having not as yet been restored to right relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 23:37-39), and the dry bones as yet not having had ‘His spirit put in them’ (Ezek. 37:14), have still one more ‘week’ to fulfill. The church had nothing to do with the first 69 weeks and so will not be found involved in the seventieth either, the Holy Spirit having finished with the ‘ekklesia’, and will have removed her prior to the time reserved for the LORD to deal with an apostate Israel and the Christ-rejecting world.

Nero? nah

1 Thes. 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

ciao

90   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 22nd, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Ah yes Tom comes to evangelize those who are hardened and in a deep sleep.

Tom you realize your eschatological position is a rather new theory in the long history of the Church? I reject dispensationalism and rapturism out of hand because it can not be sustained by Scripture without many appeals to inference.

I contend where a person starts determines where he finishes. Many people start in Revelation and read backward. This determines where they end. Some of us start in Genesis and read forward. This also determines where we end.

I see one Second Coming. One Judgment. One Kingdom.

I agree with Iggy’s contention that some Scriptures have a dual fulfillment. Matt 24 is primarily a first century passage, as is much of Revelation. People reading the scriptures at that time would have understood them in that context.

91   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.brucegerencser.com
December 22nd, 2007 at 9:51 pm

I thought this Paul Harvey quote was fitting to the discussion:

“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”

92   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
December 22nd, 2007 at 10:55 pm

…a near/far theme…

Oh, great. Now I have that Sesame Street song stuck in my head.

93   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 22nd, 2007 at 11:28 pm

LOL!
iggy

94   tom m.    
December 23rd, 2007 at 2:46 am

couple things….

re: Matt 24 is primarily a first century passage, as is much of Revelation.

hey Bruce……just keep telling yourself that

and,

re: “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”

hmmm…. it’s uncanny how closely that quote matches what Peter wrote when referring to the last day scoffers that would come:

“….saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” [2 Peter 3:4]

Guess the bible really is true!

watching and praying

95   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 23rd, 2007 at 9:14 am

re: Matt 24 is primarily a first century passage, as is much of Revelation.

hey Bruce……just keep telling yourself that

Or, he could just let history continue to prove that… Both Jesus’ words and John’s – in many (and most) facets – are borne out in Josephus’ descriptions of the fall of Jerusalem and in other writers’ descriptions of the reigns of Nero through Domitian…

But hey, you can just go ahead and ignore the bulk of scripture and follow a fantastical eschatology developed about 150 years ago and further refined in Left Behind

As for matching Peter, I didn’t see Bruce denying the second coming, but rather all of the stuff we’ve piled on top of it because we try to lead 1st century Hebrew apocalyptic literature as if it were literal Greco-Roman prose…

96   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 23rd, 2007 at 9:27 am

I agree, I can think of no one I know of who denies the “Second Coming”… but as far as the 2nd 1 1/2 Coming in which is not a Second Coming technically cuz Jesus does not touch down but gathers and then Comes a 3rd time 2nd time at the Resurrection and Judgment. (?)

Really, I think the Bible is much simpler that all the “Rapture Theory” teachings make it to be… in fact much of the “Rapture Theory” adds confusion to very clean and straight forward texts.

As I have dropped the Pre Trib teachings the scripture has opened up much more to me and has much more to say than the “Can’t wait to get out of here” mentality that was driven into me… Now I see that Jesus is more relevant to our lives here and now and the reasons living out the Gospel in our lives are so important. I no longer have the hunker down cuz it will all burn but am excited to talk about how God is restoring His creation yet even much more. Chris P and crew miss that God has given us Life and that Life MORE ABUNDANTLY… so also God will restore His creation to Life and Life more abundantly. I find it strange that they even deny that God will do that! In fact I wonder if they have actually heard the gospel before.

Be blessed,
iggy

97   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 23rd, 2007 at 10:30 am

“watching and praying”

Guessing more watching than praying.

98   tom m.    
December 23rd, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Okay…let’s see now, ‘Nero/far preterism’..?

hmm, you might actuallty have something there…maybe i should look into it…

not

99   nc    
December 23rd, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Tom M…

Your eschatology IS a minority report in the history of theology.
That’s a historical fact.

So you can keep just telling yourself the opposite all you want.
Doesn’t make it true.

But then again…thank God for withholding the true faith until you and your brand of theology came along….

arrogant…harumph…
whatever

100   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 23rd, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Tom…

I have been thinking… and all your humility has really hit me and I am returning to the “truth” you hold…

Well, maybe not… since I studied it out and it seemed to have so many holes in it and make so many assumptions…

Like… where is the text that states the 144000 are to be evangelists?

This is taught by almost all pre trib… but go and look for evangelism in the text or the original language… then come back and wag your tongue at me… If you can’t then that is one of many issues in the pre trib as it places things that are not in the text into the text to prove the text is for that position.

Again, I have taught pre trib, mid trib, post trib… I see some merit in mid trib and post trib… but for one thing I would be one of those and that there is no rapture in scripture…

If there was there would be 3 comings of Christ… (even coming in the air and not touching down is a cop out as Jesus would still have technically “returned”) Show me the 3rd coming of Christ mentioned… if you can then I will return to this non-salvic position you hold and teach it vigorously!

I did not and could not find it… and honestly the harder I looked for it the less I saw it! LOL!

So, be honest, have you taken the time to study this… or have you just read the “Left Behind” series?

iggy

101   tom m.    
December 24th, 2007 at 3:35 am

Glad you asked Iggy,

Yes, I’ve invested a bit of time to study things eschatological. And no, I have never read any Left Behind books, not one, nor have even been interested in them. I expect that they would be ‘all over the map’. Aside from them, there are good reasons why many people believe in the “harpazo”, and they do so without needing to twist scripture…..the doctrine is in fact ‘woven’ into the scripture, and that also would include some OT typologies, e.g. Enoch for one. Of course 1 Thes. 4:16-18 and 1 Cor. 15:51-52 are the main ‘rapture’ texts. Do we just bypass these? If not, the question is when does it occur. Another question is, as you ask, how many ‘comings’? Cannot the (single) return of the Lord Jesus Christ be seen as happening in two stages. This idea is well documented in the analogy of the Jewish wedding ceremony, where the bridegroom comes for his bride, and then after seven days they are presented to the families. (research) This analogy would allow the ‘rapture’ and the actual physical return after the ‘tribulation’ for the Lord to be presented with His bride in the new Kingdom as all part of the one event, the ’second coming’.

For the question of the 144,000, it is true that inference is used to make them out to be the evangelists, although they are called “the servants of God” (Rev. 7:3). It must be kept in mind that in a ‘rapture view’, the church, having been removed, would no longer be available to ‘evangelize’. This raises the question of who exactly would be God’s witnessing body on the earth, and how did the “great multitude” that come out of the tribulation (Rev. 7:9,14) hear the gospel so that they may be saved. It has been noted by many that God always has one and one only witnessing body at a time on the earth. Process of elimination leaves only one option, since there is no one else at that time, it has to be the 144,000 “servants of God”. A secondary connection is that we are told of the saved “multitude” immediately after being introduced to the 144,000, possibly to be seen as the fruit of their ’service’. That’s the reasoning for the application. Here also is something else not widely considered concerning this time period, these 144,000 are the ones who would actually fulfill the “great commission”. As we read in Matthew’s gospel:

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Matt 24:14. (we know this has never happened)

The church will not accomplish this. It will not happen until during the time of the tribulation, with the result being a “great multitude” saved (Rev. 7). Note also the term “Gospel of the Kingdom”. This ‘gospel of the Kingdom’ is for those who will inhabit the Kingdom. This is something different than the Gospel today, in which the Holy Spirit is gathering those who will make up the ‘Body of Christ’, the bride of the Lamb, who are to rule and reign with Him (see below). That work will have been completed, and the multitude who are saved after this time are seen taking their place as “servants before the throne” in the Kingdom. (Rev. 7:15-17).

As to when would the rapture happen, leaving the mid-trib out for now because it is indefensible really, in addition to other difficulties, a post-trib view leaves no room for the Bema seat of Christ, the marriage of the Lamb in heaven (Rev. 19), and destroys the doctrine of imminency, the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:11-13). It has many problems to overcome.

Okay, here are just a couple more things which must be dealt with when attempting to interpret the rapture question.
———————————————
One example is the group found in the fourth and fifth chapter of Revelation. This as you know is when the one who is described as a “Lamb as it had been slain” comes and takes the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne (Rev. 5:7). This scene is in heaven of course and the time is just before the seal judgments (ch. 6) are to begin, the first seal being the rider on the white horse, aka Antichrist (as almost all agree).

But here is the question to be determined. Just who exactly, if not the ‘church’, is the group along with the ‘four beasts’ in chs. 4 and 5 that are there at the throne of God with the Lamb as he takes the book (5:8-10) and how did they get there, all before the tribulation has started. These are the twenty-four ‘elders’ who are “seated in heavenly places” (Rev. 4:4; cf. Eph. 2:6); angels are never seen sitting in God’s presence; and is it not possible to say that the name “elder” represents their having been recently elevated to their rightful position (Eph. 2:6 again), most likely after the Bema seat, where they would have been awarded the golden crowns they are seen wearing (James 1:12; 1 Cor. 9:25; 1 Thes. 2:19; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4), and then seen again in 5:8-10 singing what is called the “new song”:

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9-10)

Who could possibly be in heaven singing this song….”hast redeemed us to God by thy blood”…..and doing so prior to the time when Antichrist had…”a crown given unto him:and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. ” (Rev. 6:2).

This could not occur until the book had been first received and then opened.

This is an important question to decide.
———————————-
Another example is Matt. 25:1-12, the parable of the ten virgins. This parable must also be given careful consideration, gathering all we can, in determining which position to adopt. Here, as one interpretation goes, we have two representative groups, that of the true church (with oil), and that of professing christendom (no oil). ‘Oil’ of course in the parable would be the indwelling Spirit of God.

(This parable may be seen as a synoptic church history)

real briefly, picking up at vs. 6:

Vs. 6 reads: And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Midnight may be seen as prophetically speaking of the last stages of this church age, when the “bridegroom cometh”. The cry is made, all are instructed to ‘go ye out to meet him’ (as opposed to preparing to survive any sort of a tribulation, or facing off with the Antichrist, i.e. mid or post).

….”go ye out to meet him”, that’s a beautiful thought isn’t it?

Anyway, “..the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” (10b)

We see here ……the ‘wise virgins’ are taken….(to the marriage)

and…..upon close study we see that the ‘foolish virgins’ whose lamps had gone out (fleshly profession), for they had no oil and were unprepared (vs. 8-9, 11), were shut out, crying “Lord, Lord” all the while. (cf. Luke 6:46)

They received a very harsh reply:

“But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” (v. 12)

“Know you not”…..go away in other words. Don’t want to hear that.
————————————————————————–
Very difficult to put this picture into or after the tribulation. Where would anybody be ‘going out’ to then? Now is the time to “go ye out to meet him”:

e.g. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” ( 2 Cor. 6:17)

At any rate, the wise are taken “with him to the marriage” (v. 10), while the foolish are left behind. Nothing here about a resurrection or judgment, but we do see the Lord (bridegroom) dealing separately with the wise, taking them away with himself.
———————————————
All of these examples could lend themselves favorably to introducing the idea of the rapture. Again, it is ‘woven’ in. Many have labored to interpret otherwise though, and continue to do so. Nevertheless, there is much more that could be brought to bear on the subject, but I’ll leave off here. That’s a little bit of pre-trib.

102   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 10:20 am

Here is the unabridged (authoritative) chronology of the last times:

Rapture
1st half tribulation
Abomination of Desolation
2nd half tribulation
Armegedon
2nd coming
Mellenial reign
Gog and Magog
Great White Throne
Eternity

All of you who have read this are now accountable. You will be held responsible for the truth you’ve read. Book it, Dano!

103   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 24th, 2007 at 10:37 am

Seriously now, am I the only one that thinks Tom might hit the old peace pipe before he comes here sometimes?

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 10:41 am

Joe – I happen to be a very simplistic person who cannot abide cloudy intellectualism and disjointed Scriptural presentations. So coming from a simpleton, I cannot even follow tom’s elongated comments.

It takes too much serotonin and at the end of the day I don’t have that much left.

105   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 24th, 2007 at 10:48 am

Well Rick, maybe you should try a hit on the peace pipe too.?? In California it’s legal for Medicinal purposes, maybe we could start something for Florida?

106   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 11:41 am

Considering i stated I also have studied this out from even more angels than he has and he goes into a book-long explanation on something I stated i studied… I think he is about a high as someone can be.

1. You have Jesus return 3 times.
2. The Holy Spirit is removed and people somehow are still getting “saved”.
or
3. The Church is removed yet somehow people are still getting saved…

4. Somehow, people are getting saved outside the biblical way… by grace through faith in Jesus… as it is taught that they must now die for their own sins… and not take the number. This is blasphemy.

I could go on yet these should be enough to make someone stop a bit as without the Holy Spirit no one can be saved.
When someone is “saved” they are immediately part of the Body of Christ which is the Church so it is impossible for the Church to be gone and someone to be saved and not be part of it!

Mostly, the “proof” verses only prove then that at the time of tribulation, then salvation is in the hands of men… this then makes it totally a Pelagian based teaching as men must do “works” to be saved… and the bible teaches only by Faith a man will be saved.

Again, I could go on and on… but the “Rapture Theory” has more holes and cuts against the teaching of scripture concerning salvation and is anti Christ that it denies the one and only way, truth and light to be saved…

Now, saying that… I believe it is a dangerous belief, but I do not believe someone will lose salvation over it. But for someone to state they think Jesus will save men one way now and then give them a second chance at the Tribulation negates that Jesus is the Only Way to salvation and Only God saves us and is our salvation.

I will just state that Tom is wrong, but this again is non salvic as far as what position you take. I have friends who hold all different positions and I came to my in just as honest and long searching and prayer as Tom has… but it seem that Tom as not respect for anyone but himself and his own views…

Now, I am going to be nice… and finish with Merry Christmas!

iggy

107   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 24th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Iggy (or anyone), what’s your take on the identity of the woman and the manchild of Revelation 12?

108   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Brittney Spears.

109   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

The Woman is Israel… who gives birth to Jesus and is persecuted by Satan… After the “earth” helps the woman the Dragon goes out to attack the church.

The Woman is Israel.

The man child is Jesus

the dragon is Satan.

Out of the woman will come the Messiah… and He will rule with an Iron Scepter. This is reflecting back to Psalm 2 if I recall…

In the OT note Satan has not been judged for his rebellion and in Job still can go before God. Yet, at the Cross the Fallen Angels are judged and cast out of Heaven. They wage war against Jesus, but Jesus is helped by the earth… which is held in the curse by death… so death then becomes the allie of God instead of Satan… the “earth” helps Israel by swallowing the rivers of tribulation that come upon Israel (the woman).

After the Dragon fails, he then goes to wage war on the Church…

The 1,260 is – is a around 3 years and represents “appointed time” Jesus stated in Matthew 26:18 or His ministry or vocation of fullfillng His call to die on the Cross.

There is more but that is enough to get the idea across.

iggy

110   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 12:29 pm

Actually the 1260 is based on the 360 day calendar which comes to 3 1/2 years which is the length of Jesus’ ministry… and that is what is talked about in Daniel… 3 1/2 years, then the sacrifice is cut off… then the abomination of desolation which happened in 70ad with the total destruction of the temple…

iggy

111   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 12:37 pm

“abomination of desolation which happened in 70ad with the total destruction of the temple… ”

Near fulfillment. We await the consumation of the prophecy.

112   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Rick,

Since i am only a partial preterist… I agree. I see that not all has been fulfilled as Jesus has not yet returned and we are not in the New Creation in it fullness.

iggy

113   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Tom,

Every verse you gave can be taken in the context of the Resurrection. All the virgins are taken, yes, but not in the rapture, but to live in the New Heaven and New Earth… The rest are judged… When one just reads the passages without the “Rapture” in them, they make more sense and read cleaner and clearer. To add the Rapture murks the clear teachings in the verses and adds more confusion…

Note also many great teachers do not hold to the Pre Trib view as in one case R C Sproul as I recall…

So again, you have a theory… I hold to the teachings of Scripture that clearly state there will be a Resurrection then the judgement and which makes all else is speculation and fanciful thinking.

iggy

114   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 24th, 2007 at 1:31 pm

Hello Iggy,

I haven’t studied the Catholic doctrine in much detail, so correct me if I am wrong, but the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist, makes the true determination of your salvation a descision made by the Church instead of you (freewill) or God (election). Would not this doctrine then get around the need to be truly “born again of the Spirit” to be in the body of Christ and experience salvation?

Instead of the actual conversion experience and union with Christ a result of being joined to the Holy Ghost (i.e. born of the Spirit) (1 Cor 6:17) and the sacrament of “Communion” being symbolic of the “body and blood” of Jesus, why can’t you just reverse it?

Just make the Communion (Eucharist) the actual conversion experince and union with Christ (bread = actually Christ flesh, and wine = actually Christ”s blood) and make the union with the Holy Ghost “symbolic”. You can also make “water baptism” the actual death, burial, and ressurrection, and the “baptism of the Holy Ghost” symbolic.

Instead of being joined to the Lord by a union with the Holy Spirit, thus becoming a “new creation” you can join the body of Christ through “communion” administed or denied by the Church or a priest. If the Catholic Church allows you to take “communion” you can become part of the body of Christ. If the Catholic Church denies you communion (i.e. excommunicate) then you are not part of the body of Christ and cannot experince salvation. Wouldn’t an actual “spiritual newbirth” experince (i.e. born of the Spirit) become irrelevant and unessesary to be a part of the body of Christ?

Just imagine what tremendous power the Church could hold over man if they are actually the ones that get the final say so in your salvation. The Church could damn you to hell or release you from it.

But if God or you were the final authority on whether or not you truly believe and are saved, then that would strip tremendous power and control of men’s life from the Church and the priests.

And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice amoung us, that the Gentiles by my nouth should hear the gospel, and believe. And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness (witness of the Spirit), giving them the HOLY GHOST, even as he did unto us; and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith (Acts 15:7-9 KJV).

Iggy, can’t you just use “water baptisim” and the Eucharist to get around the need to truly be “born of the Spirit” thus having “the church” on earth during the tribulation?

The arguments that “Inquisitor” are using are age old arguments that says that the Word of God is the “truth” (which it is) but you can’t possibly know it. Without the “Spirit of Truth (Holy Spirit)” he is right as Paul taught (1 Corinthians 2:9-16 KJV). There is a deeper spiritual truth in the scriptures that Paul and Jesus taught (John 16:12,13 KJV) could only be revealed by the Holy Ghost. Without the “Spirit of Truth”, you now have to seek “truth” out from other sources or grant someone the final authority on the correct interpetation of the Word of Truth. After sevreal hundred years of trying, the Church has almost gotten that little truth stuffed back down in the box except for a few heritics still floating around that preach the “priethood of the believer” doctrine (1 Peter 2:9 KJV) (Revelation 5:10 KJV).

Knowing, brethern beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came NOT unto you in WORD ONLY, but also in power, and in the HOLY GHOST, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake (1 Thessalonians 1:4,5 KJV).

Merry Christmas, Iggy and all

F Whittenburg
http://www.christiannewbirth.com

115   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 1:49 pm

No none can be fully saved according to Roman Catholic doctrine. The teaching that sins must be paid for in purgatory assures everone that even after death the blood of Christ is not sufficient. When my wife’s uncle was murdered in NYC after he tried to stop a mugging, the Catholic Church called the house after the viewing to inform the family that because he was a good samaritan the Church has shortened his days in purgatory and that on that day he entered heaven.

That is idolatry and superstition at the expense of Biblical truth.

116   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 24th, 2007 at 1:57 pm

Hello Rick,

“That is idolatry and superstition at the expense of Biblical truth. ”

I Agree, I was just showing Iggy that by using the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist, you could have “a church” on earth during the tribulation, without the need for the “Holy Spirit” being present.

F Whittenburg

117   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
December 24th, 2007 at 2:17 pm

In my understanding, the book of Revelation (otherwise known as “The Appearing”) deals with the return of Christ. Why the parable – after the fact – of Rev 12 to explain what was already full recognized to believers? Also, that 1260/3.5 yr explanation seems a stretch.

In my understanding – nothing declarative – (from what I’ve been taught) Rev 12 largely deals with:

1. the woman: the church at large
2. the manchild: the bride of Christ caught up to heaven once the final number of this “ruling class” is made up
3. the dragon: the devil

When the bride is caught away, the church is still in existence but without its anointing which has now been passed on to Israel. However, the church is protected by God during the final 3.5 yrs of time.

118   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Revelation = apocalypse = unveiling

119   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 2:23 pm

F. Whittenburg…

I am not really THAT familiar with the RCC positions… As I am not Catholic.

They do hold to free will as the early church fathers taught it…

I see the Eucharist as a symbol of the reality that is Christ…

So I see that water baptism as that of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus… it is us being placed in His Body and raised to new life.

As far as Inq’s thoughts I agree that one cannot know truth… unless they know Jesus as I state that Jesus is Truth… so to know Jesus is to know truth and to know truth is to know Jesus…

In that since Truth is a Person that Person will reveal themselves to you… but you do not know that Person completely… it takes some time… yet there will be a time when we see Him face to face as He is and we will know Him.

Merry Christmas to you also! = )
iggy

120   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 2:30 pm

I do not see the Spirit being taken away as such. He is omnipresent always, but not inhabiting people as in New Testament believers. I see the verse as referring to the church inhabited with the Spirit being removed. BTW – God can do anything He wants apart from our doctrinal understanding.

There are still mysteries no matter what others may say!

Christmas was in September so, Praise to the God Child!!

121   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Paul,

Actually to take it out of the context of the ministry of Jesus then makes more issues as the prophecy of the day Jesus returned to Jerusalem was predicted to the day… Palm Sunday…

Now, to make it not the Appointed Time when Jesus judged all at the Cross… negates the Cross.

Notice that there is a bit of time between the first 3 1/2 years and the last? That is the time between The Resurrection and the destruction of Israel that also took place in 70AD… note that this is the exact number of days that Daniel stated? Not a coincidence in and of itself…

Anyway the family calls…

Merry Christmas to everyone!

122   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 24th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

Rick,
You lost me, do you not believe that the Holy Spirit inhabits all believers? I’m asking for clarification.

123   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

I am not sure if the Holy Spirit will inhabit the tribulation saints as He does the church saints. It may be something akin to the Old Testament saints who the Holy Spirit was with but not as yet in. Like I said, a mystery.

124   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 24th, 2007 at 2:50 pm

OK, I understand now. I think. Let me rephrase to see:
You believe that currently the Holy Spirit is inhabiting believers, but He (or she) may not during the Tribulation. Correct?

125   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

Yes, everything except the gender uncertainty.

126   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 24th, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Yeah, I was trying to be funny. :)

127   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 3:08 pm

I am constucting a mean and sarcastic poster about you now, Joe. I believe the guys at Pyro will love it!

128   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 24th, 2007 at 3:14 pm

“I see the Eucharist as a symbol of the reality that is Christ… ”

How do you see the Holy Spirit and the “spiritual newbirth”?

I was in a large Southern Baptist Church 6 years ago, where the pastor brought in a Episcopal priest to teach the “true” meaning of the sacrament of Eucharist. I have not followed the new Bapitist doctrines since that congregation took the “paradigm shift”. Are there any Baptist on this site? Do the Baptist now also teach that we are joined to the body of Christ through the Eucharist (communion) also and that the “spiritual newbirth” (i.e. born of the Spirit) is just symbolic? When I left, they seemed to be moving that way. Interesting……..

F Whittenburg

129   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

F W.

I am not sure what “site” you mean? As far as the “conversation” in emerging…

There are baptists who who are Calvinists… and every sort of background from reformed to whatever… there are those who are very liberal and may not even be saved… there are those who are very conservative such as myself…

As far as a baptist having the Episcopalian come and teach the “true” meaning of the Eucharist… that is fascinating, yet I am not sure I would say the Episcopalian would have “the truth” much more than others…

As far as I understand each Baptist church is independent and teaches basic “Baptist” doctrine… yet even in that they have lots of room.

I have to head out… I will re-read you comments later and maybe I will be able to give a better answer.

iggy

130   tom m.    
December 24th, 2007 at 3:56 pm

(sorry that’s too complicated for you JM, go back to your videos now)

re : 3 times

No, one more time, that’s ‘one’ return, two phases. That is the pre-trib interpretation. The marriage ceremony.

and….

re: The Holy Spirit is removed and people somehow are still getting “saved”.
or
3. The Church is removed yet somehow people are still getting saved…

4. Somehow, people are getting saved outside the biblical way… by grace through faith in Jesus… as it is taught that they must now die for their own sins… and not take the number. This is blasphemy.

[5] ….at the time of tribulation, then salvation is in the hands of men…

To clarify,

re: Holy Spirit removed:

No, nothing of the sort was said or implied. The scripture clearly states that the Holy Spirit will simply be, at the appointed time, taken “out of the way” (this is quite different than to be ‘removed’):

as found here:

“….only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” [2 thes. 2:7]

Reason….so as to allow the Wicked (one) to be revealed.

the next two verses:

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” [2 Thes. 2:8-9]

The Antichrist can do nothing until he is ‘allowed’ by God, to go forth, which can only happen when the Holy Spirit allows, or ‘moves out of his way’ (if you will).

The Holy Spirit will still be hard at work at this time, only now gathering the multitude who shall also be saved through faith in Christ of course, but who will not belong to the Church. They will be “servants” before the throne, as stated (Rev. 7). The OT saints, saved also by grace through faith of course, in looking forward, also would not belong to the “Body of Christ”. They will also have a different position [cf. Matt. 11:11].

The Church began at Pentecost, and ends at the rapture. This is the distinction to be made. All from the beginning who are saved will be saved by grace through faith only without question, but the Church alone is to baptized into the body of Christ by the Spirit….the bride of the Lamb, to be “kings and priests”. Very few see or understand this.

Note: R.C. Sproul teaches ‘covenant’ theology, which makes no distinction between the OT saints and the “Church”, which we say began at Pentecost.

This is pre-trib boys, take it or leave it. I didn’t say anybody had to like it or believe it…few do. BTW, ‘preterism’…..ah nevermind.

p.s. no “second chance” either. The church of Laodicea will be spew-ed out of His mouth, having been deluded. A ‘great multitude’ though shall then be brought into the Kingdom through the work of the Holy Spirit during the tribulation, byway of the 144,000, from throughout the world, those who have never heard of salvation through the blood of Jesus. The servants in the temple. (Rev. 7:15, cf. Matt. 13: 47:48). No kings or priests here, no ruling and reigning. and…

Rev. 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

This is not the ‘Church’, but an altogether different group of people. At any rate, Iggy, you asked, you received.

————————————————————————
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [2Timothy 2:15]

do the math,

ciao

131   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
December 24th, 2007 at 4:00 pm

Iggy,

Email me sometime, I’ve never heard much of the preterist/partial preterist position before, I just always disregarded it because it wasn’t what I wanted things to be like.

If you’re capable of teaching me about it, or pointing me to the right sources, I’d be happy to learn. Thanks bro.

PS, Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Boo to Santa, that demon god!

Joe

132   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Tom…

No, one more time, that’s ‘one’ return, two phases. That is the pre-trib interpretation. The marriage ceremony.

it is not in two phases… it is called the Resurrection or the Day of the Lord… not the Days of the Lord or the Two Phases of the Lord…

There is no verse that states clearly your position… unless you twist it to fit.

Do you realize that all the early church fathers taught against this view? It did not exist… until 1860 when an 8 year old girl had a vision at Darby’s church…

Go read the early fathers and their teachings concerning the Resurrection… there is not one mention of the Rapture…

be blessed,
iggy

133   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 9:18 pm

Joe,

Here’s an overview of partial-preterism from Verum Serum.

When you study church history and the eschatological beliefs of the early church historians, there is ample evidence that they followed a partial preterist understanding of Jesus’ coming, and that much of NT prophecy (but not all) was fulfilled in 70 A.D. and in the persecution that followed under the rule of Domitian.

Iggy is right that premil dispensationalism is pretty new and is primarily America-centric in its development and belief, and that it requires some pretty huge leaps in logic, along with chucking out much of the prophecy in the book of Daniel…

134   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 24th, 2007 at 9:37 pm

Does anyone have the Willow Creek link to the sermon Rob did at Willow? Might help if Joe saw that….of course it might not too.

135   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 10:00 pm

Here’s a link to the Willow Creek sermon (though it is not specifically on partial-preterism, it goes into some of the Domitian linkage to Revelation).

136   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 10:34 pm

I believe in pre-trib rapture, but only for those who believe it. Eeveryone else gets to stay!

137   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 24th, 2007 at 10:59 pm

“I believe in pre-trib rapture, but only for those who believe it.”

I have noticed that some churches are changing their description of their end time beliefs from “pre-trib” to “pre-millenial” in their doctrinal statement. By doing this the congregation can accept the pre-trib, mid-trib, and post-trib doctrines and still be considered a “pre-millenial” church. By labeling everyone “pre-millenial” you can have different beliefs on escatology and still have unity in the congregation. If you don’t care about doctrinal correctness in your escatology, you just come together on other points you agree on. I wonder why no one has thought of that before?

F Whittenburg

138   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 24th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

Although I am pre-trib, my basic eschatology is “Jesus will come when He wants to”.

139   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 24th, 2007 at 11:20 pm

“Although I am pre-trib, my basic eschatology is “Jesus will come when He wants to”.

See how easy that was, unity with divesity……….

F Whittenburg

140   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 9:12 am

Iggy said “Tom…

No, one more time, that’s ‘one’ return, two phases. That is the pre-trib interpretation. The marriage ceremony.

it is not in two phases… it is called the Resurrection or the Day of the Lord… not the Days of the Lord or the Two Phases of the Lord…”

I’ve read much on preterism and partial preterism. To say that what Tom is saying here is in two is wrong is to place partial pretersim in that same camp. A quick cut and paste from the article on Versa Serum:
Partial Preterists

One group, known as partial preterists, states that Jesus’ return at that time, while fulfilling some of His own time-indicators, should not be classified as His final coming. The coming in A.D. 70 was a kind of coming while the physical, bodily return is still in the future.

An example of one who adheres to this view is Kenneth Gentry, a respected evangelical scholar whose writings are becoming more known and increasingly influential. When analyzing Matthew 24, he argues that Jesus refers to His coming in judgment on the Jews in verses 1-35, but speaks of a future coming from verse 36 on. He asserts,

“Contextual evidence suggests that Christ is distinguishing two different comings. One coming is his coming upon Jerusalem in temporal judgment to end the old covenant era; the other is his coming at the Second Advent in final judgment to end history (24:36ff). These two “comings” are theologically related while historically distinct” [Kenneth L. Gentry in Perilous Times, p.90].”

Seems to me that this is doing the very same thing!

141   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

Scotty,

I see that most of all the prophecies have been fulfilled. What I see different that when Christ returns I still see a time where he reigns from Jerusalem just before the judgement…

Now, the thing is I admit, I do not have it all as clear as I thought I did before… so I affirm only this; that Jesus will return and there will be a Resurrection and judgement. I do not see the rapture in scripture as when I looked for it, it seemed to disappear. Believe me I for one did not want that nor did I seek that. In fact I was wanting it to be even more affirmed.

Now, in all honesty I cannot say I believe in the “rapture” or that I can teach it as a biblical teaching. So I may take offense at someone like Tom who acts like he “knows” and anyone like me has not clue and seems to only care what they believe without a thought that others have also studied it and came to a different yet biblical and historically most accepted view.

The thing is as I left the commentaries out of the passages and read them, then looked at history and looked at what the Bible stated within itself as its own interpreter… not to mention all the prayer as I studied… Again, I only seemed to lose what I held tightly, yet I seemed to be free of the escapist mentality that held me. Now I want to tell others of Christ and I want to do the works God has prepared for me. Before I wanted to tell them they are going to hell if they do not listen and prayed daily to get me out of here…

Interestingly now my wife and I pray that God does not come soon… but gives us more time to build His Kingdom and reach more people. How many “rapturists” have you ever heard say that! It is as if they want the midnight hour to hit so that they can laugh at those left to suffer and burn. I do not care for that at all…

I do not condemn anyone for belief in the Rapture… in fact I know great biblical scholars I listen to or read that hold that view. Yet, again, there are some things I no longer affirm as for me to teach it would to me be a sin against my conscience.

My view is that it is not two parts is that Jesus returns and does not go away with us, but comes and stays and reigns here… then we “transition” into the New Creation at the Judgement. The closest thing to the “rapture” is that the sea (abyss) gives up its dead and the graves are opened and the dead will rise first at the judgement… but as far as the parousia… where the party will go out to meet the party that is coming, they may go out to Him, but not to go to heaven, but to meet Him and return with Him here… and that is the closest thing I see.

Concerning many of the parables that “prove” the rapture, I think that they are being taken out of their original context an that we are missing their original intent and teaching. Most are about Jesus when he came into Jerusalem and no one realized He was the Messiah… So they were a warning not to miss out Who He was in their presence and had nothing to do with His second coming.

Or, they have to do with the “Day of the Lord” which is about the judgement day and not the “rapture”.

To me though, the 70 weeks has already happened. For 3 1/2 years Jesus walked in his ministry then there was a time that was separated, then the next 3 1/2 years of persecution and the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome. Now, Daniel states that there is 1290 days which is the years of Jesus, but then states there is another 1335 days in addition to that. When one looks at history, this includes the destruction of Israel, yet also begins the fall of the Roman empire… thus Daniel states.” Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days.” for the desire of the Jew was that the destruction of their enemy, the Roman Empire.

Again, these are pieces that seem to fit better than trying to place these things into modern day.

I have not studied much of those who are “preterists”. I have only looked at the Bible and History a bit to get my views so I imagine I may not line up with even the preterists on some things.

be blessed,
iggy

142   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

Iggy said, “Interestingly now my wife and I pray that God does not come soon… but gives us more time to build His Kingdom and reach more people. How many “rapturists” have you ever heard say that! It is as if they want the midnight hour to hit so that they can laugh at those left to suffer and burn. I do not care for that at all… ”

All I can say is that hasn’t been MY experience…til I ventured into the world of the blogosphere, and from my view, what takes place within the blogoshpere doesn’t represent reality! At least not very much of it.

143   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 3:21 pm

The Scriptures say we should “love His appearing” and be “Looking for the Blessed Hop and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”. There is Scripture for praying for Christ’s return while still remaining fervent for souls.

144   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Rick,

The Scriptures say we should “love His appearing” and be “Looking for the Blessed Hop and the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”. There is Scripture for praying for Christ’s return while still remaining fervent for souls.

I understand that and do look forward to the Blessed Hope of His return…

Yet, nowhere do I see scripture for one to pray that Jesus comes soon… in fact I see that He will come when it is His time and He will not delay. (Hebrews 10:37)

Now, I see no preterists writing books about creating YWHW armies that are out fighting war against the Beast after the Return of Jesus… nor do I see any preterist doing things in politics that are meant to help their view of prophecy come true… such as many of the “Rapture” people who are in gov’t. I do not hear any preterists saying things like “Who cares if we run out of natural resources, it will all burn in the end anyway.” as they destroy this planet in total disregard to any teaching of biblical stewardship.

Now, all those things I do see in the “Rapturists” as they seem more bent on their own “Getting out of here” then caring about he work at hand… I mean how many volumes are there in “Left Behind” anyway? Not to mention the horrible video game that they have out! I would hope that if one is a “Rapturist” they would be even more enraged over the Left Behind series and the “teaching” it represents.

Be blessed,
iggy

145   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 3:44 pm

“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

A prayer for Jesus to come. The overwhelming “rapturists” I know are evangelistic, not sitting and waiting for escape.

146   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 3:53 pm

As a matter of fact, the entire “Left Behind” series has been used evangelistically with some success.

147   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

Um Iggy, if you read Rev. 22 (whatever your view of the rapture) it seems to be a verse about coming quickly.

148   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

The point was it was a prayer for Him to come. Much of the New Testament is no longer relevant then if I read your implication correctly.

149   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 5:10 pm

As a matter of fact, the entire “Left Behind” series has been used evangelistically with some success.

Well, so has the Purpose Driven Life (which, despite its shallow depth and some prooftexting, is much more theologically sound that Left Behind). I agree that LB has created some good conversations, but it’s also caused a lot of silliness/panic/guessing games that are a pain to debunk…

150   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 5:12 pm

I would also agree that Rev. 22 is a prayer for Jesus’ return…

151   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 5:16 pm

The standard for theological soundness in eschatology is several notches less than redemptive theology. The chronology for the last times has a much wider subjectivity than should the way of salvation.

My point about the LB series was that rapturists were evangelistic which Iggy had challenged. That is not my experience. (I am one)

152   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Also, I linked the wrong video last night – here’s the one from WCA on Domitian.

153   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
December 25th, 2007 at 5:47 pm

til I ventured into the world of the blogosphere, and from my view, what takes place within the blogoshpere doesn’t represent reality!

There’s the money quote.

154   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 5:47 pm

Who’s interpretation Rick, mine or Iggy’s?

155   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 5:54 pm

I agree with you, Joe…

Rev 22 is a prayer for Jesus’ return (even so, come quickly, Lord). I would disagree that Futurism leads to poor evangelism, but rather that it blurs the focus and creates (and tries to motivate via) a spirit of fear, rather than one of love…

156   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 5:57 pm

On the end times I have the advantage over all of you of knowing beyond knowing that I am right. What I believe will surely come to pass. It is as certain as the the fact that you need air to sustain life.

157   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 5:59 pm

I am a “panist.” God will make sure it all pans out in the end, until then I am to invite people the way of Jesus.
BTW Chris L, do you have any more vids of Rob teaching at Mars? I just learned how to save as source. :)

158   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Those are the only two at Willow I have links to… There are more online, but I’m not sure how to link them…

159   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 6:02 pm

LOL, try to be funny and murder the grammar. My above comment should say, “invite people to follow the way of Jesus.”

160   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 25th, 2007 at 6:50 pm

“My above comment should say, “invite people to follow the way of Jesus.”

In your opinion Joe or anyone else on this blog, what do you consider to be the “way of Jesus” that you are inviting people to follow? I am just asking, not debating with this question. I am not looking for a right or wrong answer. Any response, positive or negative is appreciated. The more specific the better.

Reach out in love to everyone? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? live sacrifical lives (i.e. take up your cross)? Protect and help restore the environment? Serve others?

F Whittenburg

161   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 6:53 pm

“what do you consider to be the “way of Jesus” that you are inviting people to follow?”

Embrace the Baptist faith.

OK, a Christmas joke!

162   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 7:06 pm

F.W.
Yes

163   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 7:06 pm

and then some

164   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 7:39 pm

The verse in Revelation 22 is not about praying that Jesus comes quickly at all… it does not even imply that we should pray that way… It is a promise that He will come quickly but it still will be at the appointed time.

It is acknowledgement of the words of Jesus are true and He is faithful…

Besides, we do not base major theology on one verse that is vague at best to be used in that manner…. show me at least two and one that clearly states that we are to pray that way.

iggy

165   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 25th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Hello Joe,

Thanks for the response. Very short, but useful.

What consequences should I expect if I “follow in the way of Jesus”? Poverty, sickness, cursing, blessing, health and wealth? If we “follow in the way of Jesus”, where do you see Jesus taking us?

F Whittenburg

166   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Forgive me F.W. but I think you have an agenda to these questions. I think you read your Bible so I believe you know the answer to your questions before you ask them. So the question here is what is your agenda?

167   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 25th, 2007 at 8:41 pm

“I think you read your Bible so I believe you know the answer to your questions before you ask them.

Actually, Joe I have questions about your answers.

I have heard many people talk about “the way of Jesus” and I am curious if you make a distinction between “Jesus the Way” or “the way of Jesus”. You said you invite people to “follow in the way of Jesus”. If someone came to me and invited me to “follow in the way of whoever”, I am pretty sure I would like to know where we are going (i.e. Heaven, Hell, out for pizza, etc.) wouldn’t you?
What do you tell people, “I don’t know where we are going all I know is it is new and mysterious”? Absolutly fascinating.

F Whittenburg

168   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Iggy, in your comment of December 25, 2007, 3:40 pm, you seem to lump a lot of people into a same category. Something you seem to detest when others do it…..

Granted, I don’t agree with preterism being full or partial but
I don’t think it needs be a hill one needs to die on. I agree with Joe, it’s ALL gonna pan out!

169   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 8:57 pm

Oh yeah….one more thing.

Iggy said, “show me at least two and one that clearly states that we are to pray that way.’

I will say this, our Lord says about six or seven times in Revelation that He comes quickly. I see no problem prayerfully looking forward to that. I’d sure fix a LOT ‘O’ things!

170   tom m.    
December 25th, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Well, you can always go with the ad hominem approach…

i.e.’rapturists’ are ‘escapists’, they build YWHW armies, they want to laugh at those who are left behind who will burn, they desroy the planet instead of steward it, the church fathers didn’t teach it, it came from a demon trance, etc.

———————————
Aside from those who would seek to profit from and/or manipulate people for political purpose perhaps, and may or may not in fact believe in that particular thing themselves, maybe even be willing to distort it if necessary to achieve an agenda …(e.g. LB books),

…and all personal ‘feelings’ aside too, i.e. “I think it should be like this”, the only real question is this one:

What saith the scripture?

quote:

“The truth or error of pretribulationalism must be settled on the exegesis of the Scriptures rather than by polling the early church fathers or attempting to discredit the doctrine as originating from questionable characters. Walvoord, The Rapture Question pg. 157

—————————————

Parables aside for the moment, as this passage is not a parable, this question was missed (quoted from above):

(may be worthwhile to look up references)

“But here is the question to be determined. Just who exactly, if not the ‘church’, is the group along with the ‘four beasts’ in chs. 4 and 5 that are there at the throne of God with the Lamb as he takes the book (5:8-10) and how did they get there, all before the tribulation has started.

These are the twenty-four ‘elders’ who are “seated in heavenly places” (Rev. 4:4; cf. Eph. 2:6); angels are never seen sitting in God’s presence; and is it not possible to say that the name “elder” represents their having been recently elevated to their rightful position (Eph. 2:6 again), most likely after the Bema seat, where they would have been awarded the golden crowns they are seen wearing (James 1:12; 1 Cor. 9:25; 1 Thes. 2:19; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4), and then seen again in 5:8-10 singing what is called the “new song”:

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9-10)

Who could possibly be in heaven singing this song….”hast redeemed us to God by thy blood”…..and doing so prior to the time when Antichrist had…”a crown given unto him:and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. ” (Rev. 6:2).

This could not occur until the book had been first received and then opened.

—————————————–
Seated, clothed in white raiment (righteousness of Christ?), golden crowns….(Rev. 4:4), if this is not a picture of the raptured church, pre-trib/Antichrist, then who are they?

Can somebody give a preterist/partial preterist exegesis? Is this to be ’spiritualized’ away and any chronology dismissed with a wave of the hand…
——————————————————————-
might as well throw this in too….’pan-trib’ cannot be acceptable. There has to be a correct interpretation. The book of Revelation is not a sealed book.

22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

171   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

What do you tell people, “I don’t know where we are going all I know is it is new and mysterious”? Absolutly fascinating.

Did you just put words in my mouth?

172   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 9:21 pm

After you apologize for using libel and crediting me with an inaccurate quote I would love to hear your answer to your own question. Without the apology though I doubt I’ll read a whole lot more. :)

173   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 25th, 2007 at 9:48 pm

“Did you just put words in my mouth?”

Sorry Joe, I should have waited longer for your answer. Forgive me. I do value your opinion, but now I have reduced this down to a theological “conversation” with myself, you just got in the way :)

The answer I was looking for was, “Abraham was called out, not knowing where he was going, he just stepped out on faith and went.”

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after recieve for an inheritance, obeyed; and went out, not knowing whither he went (Hebrews 11:8 KJV).

Now if you will excuse me, I will try to answer my last answer……

F Whittenburg

174   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 25th, 2007 at 9:54 pm

You know it’s interesting. God told Abe to pack up the Uhaul and go. Abe does and when he gets there, the land is in a famine. Today, if we did this because we believed God told us to move we’d be told we were stupid.

175   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 10:22 pm

FW – You asked what Joe meant by the way of Jesus and the answer you were looking for was Abraham? I would’ve needed my lifeline to get that.

176   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 25th, 2007 at 10:27 pm

“Today, if we did this because we believed God told us to move we’d be told we were stupid. ”

I actually met someone that did just that. I was traveling down to Orlando one time to do some carpenter work on the new construction of Universal Studios. Me and another carpenter saw a woman standing on the side of the Intestate, about 30 miles outside Orlando. We stopped to give her a ride. We asked her where she was going. All she said was,”I want to go to downtown Orlando,”. Me being a Southern gentlemen of course, I offered her a beer. She looked over at me and calmly said,” Do you know Jesus Christ”? I got real quite after that. My buddy asked her why she wanted to go to Orlando. She said,” the Lord told her to leave Conneticut and go to downtown Orlando”. All she had was 1 suitcase. I was feeling pretty low down for offering her a beer, so I asked her if she needed any money to get a meal or a room. She said she had money. She said,” the Lord would show her where to go when she got to downtown Orlando”. We let her out on the sidewalk downtown Orlando and she walked off. Now that I am saved, I say a pray for her now whenever that story comes to mind. Maybe someone else could say a prayer for her also.

F Whittenburg

177   F Whittenburg    http://www.christiannewbirth.com
December 25th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

“FW – You asked what Joe meant by the way of Jesus and the answer you were looking for was Abraham? I would’ve needed my lifeline to get that. ”

No, Rick, that was the answer too the answer I put in Joe’s mouth.

F Whittenburg

178   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Seated, clothed in white raiment (righteousness of Christ?), golden crowns….(Rev. 4:4), if this is not a picture of the raptured church, pre-trib/Antichrist, then who are they?

Can somebody give a preterist/partial preterist exegesis? Is this to be ’spiritualized’ away and any chronology dismissed with a wave of the hand…

Actually, I will give you an amillennial exegesis (in which preterist & partial-preterist are a subset).

First off, Revelation is written in the form of Hebrew apocalyptic literature, and not in the form of a personal letter (as in the epistles) or a history (as in the gospels and Acts). As such, the reader is already supposed to understand that what is written is not to be taken literally, but rather hidden in symbology – often to protect both the reader and writer from political implications and to allow the written work to circulate without censure.

In each of the letters to the seven churches, there is key symbolic language that can be linked to each city in a way that they personally would understand. Whether it is with the white stones in Pergamum, or the name of Philadelphia, or the hot and cold waters flowing down to Laodicea and their history of self-sufficiency, each letter had specific symbolism for that city.

John also makes clear in Revelation 1 that this is a vision of some future time or existence, so to place a chronology based on Rev 4:4 is unwise, at best.

Next, as we move into Revelation 4, the symbolism John uses would be understood by the reader to be an affront to Caesar, himself, and Domitian Caesar, in particular, who was accompanied by 24 elders who witnessed to his ‘greatness’. Instead of Caesar sitting on the throne, though, it is God.

As for the identity of the 24 elders, the key is in the v. 3 with the colors between jasper and carnelian. Jasper is the last stone in the breastplate of the 12 tribes from Exodus, and carnelian is the first stone (though some OT translations say ‘ruby’ – both are the same color). So, 24 is representative of all of the tribes of Israel and all of the “tribes” of Gentiles (with 12 +12 = 24) – basically all of the faithful.

Once again, though, this suggests no chronology, as apocalyptic literature is not supposed to be a chronological list of events, but rather a story told through symbols. In these chapters, Caesar is shown to be a fraud, even though he has deceived many of the people into believing that he is a god, and the people in the seven churches are being assured that it is God on the throne and not Caesar.

179   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Scotty,

Where have I stated that I would die for my position… in fact I have stated that I do not have issue with those who hold to the rapture theory… I stated that many great biblical scholars have believed in both sides… so I am not even sure where you are coming from on this.

Also, when I have lumped others together I included myself as I used to teach the rapture theory until I studied it out and found I could not honestly teach something I do not see 1. in scripture 2. to be a faithful teaching of the return of Jesus.

I also have stated I do not know much about the preterist view other than it seems what I have studied falls into that camp by default…

But, I ahve also, as Rick states he has done, used the rapture to bring people to Jesus… most the time it did not work… and when we did evangelistic outreaches with the Left Behind series, it seemed that mostly only “Christians” went to the movie and those that were not, said it was “pretty bad” as a movie! LOL! You have to understand my wife worked in the motion picture industry at the time these films came out AND I still believed the Rapture theory.

I have not stated that all Rapture theorists are evil yet, there is a rampant “escapist” mentality in that group. To deny that seems to mischaracterize them more than if I stated that was not true…

Besides, we do not base major theology on one verse that is vague at best to be used in that manner…. show me at least two and one that clearly states that we are to pray that way.

Again, Jesus can state He will come quickly, but that is because He knows when He will return… but for us to pray for Him to come quickly because we do not like our “situation” and instead we should be trying to learn what God is teaching us within the situation… seems selfish to me.

I have been in prayer groups where the prayer is like this…

“God, this world is so evil and we only want to be with you. Lord come and take us away from here.”

Now that sounds innocent enough, yet it also seems that it is a bit self centered and focused on “Get me out of here”…

Again, I am not judging anyone as a “lesser” yet to me I do not see it as the best focus to get those in the Kingdom… in conveys more of a “Get saved and be miserable like me.” attitude than the “They overcame the world by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”

What kind of testimony is. “get us out of here.”? LOL!!

be blessed,
iggy

180   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Scotty,

I

ggy, in your comment of December 25, 2007, 3:40 pm, you seem to lump a lot of people into a same category. Something you seem to detest when others do it…..

There is a huge difference between “such as many of the “Rapture” people” and connecting the emerging church to everything from the Church of Satan… to the reconciliation between the Jews and Muslims… don’t you think?

Many does not mean “all” so it was a bit of a broad brush, but not as broad as CRN and other paint those I hang with…

LOL!
iggy

181   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 25th, 2007 at 11:10 pm

Chris L,

Thanks for your “overview” and that video is one of the best I had seen with Rob Bell teaching on Domition and connecting Revelation to history…

blessed,
iggy

182   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 1:35 am

Chris, okay, thanks for that and here are some thoughts in reply.

re: Actually, I will give you an amillennial exegesis (in which preterist & partial-preterist are a subset).

and,

the reader is already supposed to understand that what is written is not to be taken literally, but rather hidden in symbology – often to protect both the reader and writer from political implications and to allow the written work to circulate without censure.

opinion: I hold unwaveringly to a literal interpretation, and I think this should be called ‘gnostic preterism’.

To say that the Holy Spirit wrote the Revelation in a hidden form to protect reader and writer from political censure, so as to allow the letter to circulate, borders on the absurd…..since when could the Lord be hindered by politcal powers? That’s another subject and not the main point though. Here is the point…according to this statement, the message is hidden in symbology, and while the “literal method” is completely unreliable, isn’t it wonderful that the preterist/hybrid school has been able to decipher it for us, using ‘their own’ interpretative methods…..which go something like this:

Preterism/partial preterism: an analysis of the book of Revelation in which a synthesis of preterist, historical, and futuristic systems of interpretation is devised, employing each method at those points where it would seem best suited to the context concerned. Any interpreter of Revelation should realize that such an approach is quite illogical and subjective and does not provide ‘any reasonable explanation of the entire book of Revelation itself’. In general, this methodology requires spiritualization of all conflicting prophecies in a selective way to support the conclusions…permitting the interpreter to explain away any problems that may exist. Disregarding logic is not a problem….reserving unto themselves the right to innovate as they wish.

(I don’t expect that to be agreed with, calling it like I see it)

The real crux of the matter in this debate though is not so much “when”, but rather the implications of the two positions. The pre-trib portrays the the final end of man as culminating in utter rebellion against the Lord, the earth ravaged, and over half the population destroyed, etc., before He returns to put down the rebellion and establishes the ‘kingdom’ all by Himself…

…..whereas the ‘kingdom-building’ amillennial (dominionistic) portrays the very opposite, (basically) with man achieving his own utopia of some sort and then has the Lord returning to thank everybody for a job well done…….so let’s all get ‘connected’ and get this done.

This is really nothing more than a ‘rebuilt Tower of Babel’ scheme…

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name….” [Gen. 11:4]

Of course the Book of Revelation must be discredited because it completely contradicts the entire idea of man’s sucessful ‘kingdom building’ efforts. Clearly the emerging/emergent movement is of this dominionistic persuasion, and so must subscribe to the intrepretation methodology you applied.

That whole scenario crumbles like a house of cards with any literal interpretation, and so is rejected out of hand. It has to be.

One way or the other:

The two positions are completely opposed, which is why it is so important as to which view a person holds. Idealism is great but realism is far more important.

“And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.” [Gen. 11:3]

If the literal view of Revelation is true, as I maintain that it unquestionably is, then there’s quite a few people unwittingly carrying stacks of bricks and buckets of slime to help build that new tower for the coming Nimrod, whom, according to the literal view… the Lord “shall destroy with the brightness of his coming”. [2 Thes. 2:2]

All those bricks and all that slime, that would be a lot of wasted effort.

One further note as a general comment. It is a very dangerous proposition to tamper with the eternal issues contained in the book of Revelation, as we find a stark warning against any such activity contained within:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these
things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. ” [Rev. 22:18-19]
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To add or to take away from the “words of the prophecy of this book” or “words of the book of this prophecy”. This does not refer to the whole of the bible as the canon was not in existence at the time. It can only be referring directly to the ‘prophecy’ of the Book of Revelation itself.

I, for one, would want to make absolutely sure that my intrepretation is absolutely correct before I begin to propagate it, so as not to run the risk of plagues, or worse, being stricken from the book of life.

Seems to me that one of us has it completely wrong.

183   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 1:59 am

for Iggy: one ‘escape’ verse that clearly states that you are to pray that way

Luke 12:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

184   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 2:06 am

sorry Iggy, that should be Luke ‘21:36′

185   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 2:15 am

Tom,

One way or the other:

Then you are seeing that to take the literal approach is to pick and chose what is symbolic and what is literal… no one takes the whole book of the Revelation as literal… most see the symbolism (how can one not!?) except of course you…

So tell me, is the woman in chapter 12 a literal woman or a symbol of something else?

iggy

186   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 2:23 am

Tom,

What you’ve basically done is set up a false dichotomy. An amellennial position on eschatology need not set up ‘dominionist’ theology in which all improves to the point of utopia prior to the return of Christ. An amellennial position allows for a final return at ANY moment without relying on man’s degradation or successful implementation of ‘kingdom’ as a precursor.

To say that the Holy Spirit wrote the Revelation in a hidden form to protect reader and writer from political censure, so as to allow the letter to circulate, borders on the absurd

Actually, no it does not. John wrote his letter from exile to the seven churches for which he held responsibility. History independent of the Bible shows that these seven cities, in order – Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thiatyra, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodices – formed the Roman mail route through SW Asia Minor. Many of the words he wrote became true in the years that followed – from the “mark of the Beast” required to buy and sell to the persecutions of the Caesars.

We have many examples of Hebrew apocalyptic literature, all of which flourished under the eyes of Rome specifically because of its symbology vs. literal meaning. Even the historical book of Mark contains parallel symbology between the coronation of a Caesar and the Passion of Jesus, in which Jesus is set up as the Lord of all, while Caesar is left as a pretender. The Christians weren’t persecuted for being nice to each other – it was because of their unwillingness to bow to Caesar and the subversive, but indirect, teaching against him.

Here is the point…according to this statement, the message is hidden in symbology, and while the “literal method” is completely unreliable, isn’t it wonderful that the preterist/hybrid school has been able to decipher it for us, using ‘their own’ interpretative methods

Actually, much of the early church understood the symbology – with evidence of this in the translation from Greek to Latin keeping the association between the number 666 and Nero – among other indications that the elders of the church understood this.

Even without full knowledge of the symbology – which, to my knowledge, no preterist/partial-preterist/amillennial Christian claims – the themes of the book are timeless, even if many of the prophecies have been fulfilled.

It seems much more arrogant to assume that the Revelation was completely irrelevant to the people to whom it was directly written, assuming that a charlatan and an 8-year-old prophetess 1800 years later would somehow be the first to understand it. It seems much more arrogant to assume that Jesus’ warnings to his disciples about events that would occur within their generation (understood in Hebrew culture to be <40 years) and all of his - and Paul's - admonishments of "soon" REALLY meant nothing at all like "soon". It seems pretty arrogant to completely discard Daniel's 70th week in order to twist prophecies to meet something today.

Of course, this is what happens when you interpret the Bible as if it dropped out of the sky, completely disconnected from the people who wrote it down and to whom it was first spoken/written.

The real crux of the matter in this debate though is not so much “when”, but rather the implications of the two positions. The pre-trib portrays the the final end of man as culminating in utter rebellion against the Lord, the earth ravaged, and over half the population destroyed, etc., before He returns to put down the rebellion and establishes the ‘kingdom’ all by Himself…

…..whereas the ‘kingdom-building’ amillennial (dominionistic) portrays the very opposite, (basically) with man achieving his own utopia of some sort and then has the Lord returning to thank everybody for a job well done…….so let’s all get ‘connected’ and get this done.

Hogwash.

You’ve set up a beautiful straw-man. Too bad it completely misrepresents the interpretation you wish to refute.

I, for one, would want to make absolutely sure that my intrepretation is absolutely correct before I begin to propagate it, so as not to run the risk of plagues, or worse, being stricken from the book of life.

Seems to me that one of us has it completely wrong.

I agree, which is why I stick with the church’s primary view of Revelation for the first 1800 years of its existence, rather than an America-centric, Left Behind theology invented 150 years ago.

187   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 2:46 am

Per Iggy’s point, even premil dispensationalism takes parts of Revelation as literal and parts as symbol, with much more schizophrenic determination of which is which.

Probably the simplest example (even moreso that the “whore of Babylon”) is with the antichrist – which is not even mentioned ONCE in Revelation. John’s mentions of “antichrists” in two of his epistles are not person-specific, and so a thread is drawn, symbolically, between the “little horn” in Daniel to the “man of lawlessness” in Thessalonians 2.

What a number of folks who hold to partial-preterist views do, however, is seek to interpret scripture consistently by seeking and examining what the first hearers of the scripture would have understood it to mean and then applying that meaning to our own situation. With the seven churches in SW Asia Minor, we are learning more and more as these cities are unearthed and archaeologically restored, revealing more about their culture and how they would have understood what was written to them…

188   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 3:16 am

Iggy, Chris….. just a quick point. The use of symbols in no way precludes adopting a ‘literal’ interpretation. For instance we see the Lord Jesus portrayed as a Lion and as a lamb…we see Satan portrayed as a dragon and also as a serpent, we see creatures that may be figurative and are portrayed as scorpions, locusts..we see the beast from the bottomless pit (the Antichrist) and we see the two witnesses with fire proceeding from their mouths..who are killed by the aforementioned beast from the pit, btw…..

a beautiful use of symbols to give an illustrative literal picture of the events….

I’m praying to escape…..(the bible says to)

bam gone

smile

189   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 3:18 am

we see the beast from the bottomless pit (the Antichrist) and we see the two witnesses with fire proceeding from their mouths..who are killed by the aforementioned beast from the pit, btw…..

And how is it that you know that the Antichrist is the beast from the earth – or that the fire from the witnesses mouths is literal and not figurative? Or that these witnesses aren’t Peter and Paul?

190   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 3:54 am

Rev. 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

Certainly all of the ‘nations’ could not have ’seen’ Peter and Paul laying in the street. In fact this is one thing that could never have had any possibility of being fulfilled until very recently..and even more so now with something like youtube.

The beast from the earth would be the false prophet. (Rev. 13:11;16:13)

Rev. 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

(very briefly) This is the beast from the bottomless pit, not the beast from the earth. The beast from the bottomless pit will possess the human ‘world ruler’ and assume the position as ‘the Antichrist’. It is not possible to go into any greater detail or full explanations without much corresponding study. This is a widely accepted interpretation even though many details are lacking here. A study of revelation is not simplistic in any way and I do not intend to make it seem so.

as to a question like whether or not the fire from the mouths of the prophets is literal or figurative, this would be speculative, but these sort of issues have no bearing on any major interpretative ‘direction’ in which to go, as to a ‘futurist’ vs. preterist view.

191   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 4:13 am

Thus, you just proved my point that even “literalist” interpretation does not take Revelation literally, rather picking and choosing what is symbolic and what is literal based upon 19th century conjecture and current events.

So, given the choice between what the people who first received the scriptures believed they meant and what a 19th-century Anglican scholar thought they meant, I will choose the former…

192   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 4:15 am

Also, just to note – it is people from every nation (which would have been quite possible in Rome, which was the center of the first century world) NOT just “every nation” witnessing the death of the two evangelists. No YouTube required…

193   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 4:25 am

that’s my story and i’m sticking to it….ok

finish

194   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 4:48 am

my bad…..one more point

did all the ‘representatives’ of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations that were “in Rome” also see Peter and Paul resurrect from the dead after 3 1/2 days and then witness their being ‘raptured’?

Rev. 11:11-12

And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

Just wondering about that. Seems like it would have been big news.

195   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 7:33 am

The bottom line is that in prophecy I am a Calvinist, the events are set and etched in stone according to God’s will and not man’s. What is God’s command to us regardless of our eschatology? Watch and pray, and preach and live Jesus with our whole hearts. The rest will take care of itself.

Even Jesus said the Father alone knows the day in which He returns. The only thing I regret is that when we all get caught up in the pre-trib rapture I won’t be able to proudly say “I told you so” because there won’t be any sin in heaven. So let me say it now!

196   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 8:50 am

Tom,

and again, that verse is being taken out of context… there is a big difference between escaping the the things of this world that can make us sin and less effective and being taken away in the rapture… you are twisting this verse to fit what you want instead of what it is meant to mean.

here is the full context…

Luke 21: 34″Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Also, you stated concerning the literal position and the symbolic position:

The two positions are completely opposed, which is why it is so important as to which view a person holds. Idealism is great but realism is far more important.

Then you state:

Iggy, Chris….. just a quick point. The use of symbols in no way precludes adopting a ‘literal’ interpretation.

Which seems a bit all over the map to me.

Now, then how can you for certain pick which is a symbol and which is literal…

Jesus is the lamb of God and sits on the Throne of God… I see it as symbolic of the literal view of Jesus…

I see 666 as Domitions mandate that one must have that number to do comerce in Ephesus under his reign and it was symbolic that one should not take the number of the beast… a man’s nubmer… the number that Domition mandated… this seems clearer than saying it is the RCC or Ronald Reagen, or Henry Kissinger or whoever it is in fashion this year…

It is backed up by history and seems pretty clear.

Did you watch the Rob Bell teaching yet? Watch it and take notes then go and see how it all fits.

Again, it seems that you want ot pick and choose things and make them fit your belief as opposed to reading and having scirpture chagne our view to fit it.

Bam! prayed to stay and do God’s will, because He has His work prepared for me to do.

Still here,
iggy

Colossians 1:9-14

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

197   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 9:35 am

Scotty,

Where have I stated that I would die for my position…

That wasn’t the point of that statement, it just meant that I don’t see the need to endlessly debate about it. I’m saying I’m big enough to let you believe as you will….I don’t think it matters as far as salvation is concerned.

198   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 9:39 am

“There is a huge difference between “such as many of the “Rapture” people” and connecting the emerging church to everything from the Church of Satan… to the reconciliation between the Jews and Muslims… don’t you think?

Many does not mean “all” so it was a bit of a broad brush, but not as broad as CRN and other paint those I hang with…”

That takes us back to one of my earlier statements, the blogoshpere has little to do with reality…

199   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 9:42 am

Scotty… ummm I stated that a few times myself…
Me stating this one of the at least two times…

I will just state that Tom is wrong, but this again is non salvic as far as what position you take.

and are you talking to yourself?

iggy…

slowly tiptoeing away from Scotty….

200   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
December 26th, 2007 at 9:45 am

Let’s be honest, Tom M is not here for honest discussion. Nothing he has done has demonstrated that. Just stop talking to him. Maybe he’ll go away.

201   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 9:50 am

“Even Jesus said the Father alone knows the day in which He returns. The only thing I regret is that when we all get caught up in the pre-trib rapture”

Ya get a BIG AMEN from me, Rick!!

202   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 9:51 am

Joe M,

I know that, but he is so stereotypical that he makes one’s point for you… you state your position and then he states you are wrong then proves your very point… and with out any strawman! I find that somewhat… refreshing… LOL!

iggy

203   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 9:58 am

“and are you talking to yourself?

iggy…

slowly tiptoeing away from Scotty…. ”

It was only a coment on what you said earlier( December 25, 2007, 10:56 pm)I neglected to put what you said in quotes

204   tom m.    
December 26th, 2007 at 3:21 pm

“you state your position and then he states you are wrong then proves your very point… and with out any strawman! I find that somewhat… refreshing”

is this an example:

re: “and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen” (Luke 21: 34 NIV)

or,

“that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass” (KJV)

Iggy, you wrote that this scripture portion refers to escaping the things that make us sin….because that will make us “less effective”

“escaping the the things of this world that can make us sin and less effective” (Iggy)

…but the Word clearly states that the reference is a warning so that we are not caught unaware on “that day” (V.34),

because…referring to ‘that day’, we are told……

“For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” (v.35)

or if you prefer…..

and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. (NIV)

This a clear warning of a coming ‘day’ that will effect every person on the face of the earth, that it will be unexpected and have the effect of a snare, or a trap shutting closed, if you will.

Can you even begin to try and explain that away. The clear warning is to “take heed” (v.34) so as to avoid that terrible ‘day’ altogether.

To quote Joe M.

“Let’s be honest”

no one-upmanship here

205   iggy    http://wordofmouthministries.blogspot.com/
December 26th, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Tom,

You are missing the point… to focus on escape is not what the Christian LIFE is about… it is about being the Ambassador or Body of Jesus here and now… and that is our focus. We are here now to do the works God has us to do.

In fact you are twisting my works way beyond what I meant or even stated so I am done… becuase I am tired of you doing that with scripture and my own words… If one’s focus is to “get out of here” they cannot also focus on doing what needs to be done here… one cannot have two focuses…

Also, our focus is Jesus not getting out of here… if you are doing the works of Christ, you will not be caught unaware… for it is Him doing that very work in and through you. So, how can you keep insisting Christ will not be aware of His own coming as He is in you and you in Him? If you miss that then you will be caught unaware…

Also, this was the warning of the destruction of Jerusalem not the Rapture… and the Christians knew the words of Jesus and knew this to be the the signs of the time to get out of Jerusalem and they went to a place call Pella…

Here is a link to a site that talks how the verses you quote fit into history and were already come to pass as the prophecy that shows Jesus was the Messiah.

http://christeternalchristianchurch.com/positionpaper8.htm

If you want to continue to ignore one of the most powerful signs of who Jesus was, then keep twisting the scripture to deny this passage as past.

Before the destruction of Jerusalem, there was not found one Christian in Jerusalem they saw the signs of the seasons and the rumors of wars as Jesus stated would happen.

Be blessed,
iggy