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Thread: Questions From A Dispie

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    Questions From A Dispie

    I am not trying ot prove any points. I don't know enough to do that. I would like to learn. So, here is my thoughts, please comment on them.



    Facts:

    1. One can be a Jew inwardly - Romans 2:29
    - Circumcision of the heart
    2. There is an advantage in being a Jew - Romans 3:1-2
    - Because they were given the oracles of God
    3.Their own belief does not make the faithfulness of God without effect - Vs 4
    - As a matter of fact, their unfaithfulness shows God's Glory
    4. God is God of all - Vs 29
    5. the law is not voided by faith - Vs. 31
    6. The present condition of Israel is that they pursue righteousness through works - Roman 9:30-33
    7.There is no distinction between Jew and Gentile -12-13

    8. God has not cast away his people - 11:5-6
    - Paul uses the himself as an example and then says that there is a remnant according to the election of grace
    9. Isael is not stumbling that they should fall vs 11
    - their fall is riches for the world and their failure the riches of the gentiles, how much more their fullness.
    Question: Does this not speak of their future spiritual renewal? Does this not then say that this fall is temporary?
    10. God is able to graft Israel back - Verse 23

    q:What is the olive tree in Verse 17?
    q: Is Paul saying in Verses 23-24 that the jews will be brought back?
    q: Zechariah 12:10-14 - Says that they will look upon the one they pierced. Notice that in verse 10 the Me is capitialized. This speaks of God. Christ. Does it not? It goes on to say that they (Jerusulem) will mourn him as one mourns for his only son and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I will have more as I read on.

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Hi Amish Dave. All the elect are Jews inwardly. However, in Romans ch 10,11,12 Paul goes into the status of the Jews and the fact that they would be called into the church as the times of the Gentiles are fufilled.

    The advantage of being a Jew is that you heard the gospel contained within the law. You historically had the schoolmaster. The law had no power to save but it had the gospel within it and the elect Jews were saved by it.

    The law is not voided by faith because Christ was always the end of the law. But the law itself is on stone and has no power to even help people come to Christ, through natural guilt. The gospel ALONE is the power of God. If anyone wants to argue this let them argue WITH PAUL.

    The grafting back started with me to the best of my knowledge. There may be others but I do not know them. I was born in 1949 and God established that HE no longer was punishing the Jews, as in the holocaust, in 1947 when they were allowed back into Israel. I believe this is a sign to the Jews that the God of Israel will call some of them. This is NOT dispensationalism.

    Dispensationalism is an evil doctrine and is opposed to the gospel of Christ no less than Covenant Theology opposes it.

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    You said:

    This is NOT dispensationalism.



    Well I will get to that. I just want to establish that God still has a plan for the nation of Israel. Do we agree on that?

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    God has a plan for those who are elect and are Jews. Not a plan to reestablish the law and a theocracy. The Jews who attempt to establish a Theocracy are unauthorized.

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    So BGAMALL, where did you get this revelation from that you are the fulfillment of Romans 10-12?
    "God Himself, in His divine person, is the sole moving cause of every good motion and good work in us. He is the only stimulator, inspirer, animator, instigator, influencer, and director of real worship."



    William Huntington S.S.


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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    This is what I am trying to sort out....


    1. I believe God has a plan to bring back the nation of Israel. I guess I am turned off from NCT because of this fact. I like parts of it, but *shrug*

    2. I am having trouble reconciling with scripture the fact that the old testiment saints are not a part of the church.

    3. I am not ready to subscribe that sacrifices will be started up again in the mill reign. This through the fact that I have not studied it yet. So I don't have any scripturial basis one way or the other yet.

    4. I don't see how after the rapture there will be people who are not considered part of the church. - Again, I need to search this out for myself

    Anything you can do to show me through scripture how to hammer all this out would be appreciated.

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Dave says
    I believe God has a plan to bring back the nation of Israel. I guess I am turned off from NCT because of this fact. I like parts of it, but *shrug*

    If you mean ethnic Jews I am in complete agreement with you.
    However if you are saying you expect God to replace a spiritual nation (the Church) with a physical one and replace the temple that Jesus made with out hands in three days with one made with brick and mortar. And if you expect Christ to leave the Fathers right hand in order to rule from a little man made throne in a dusty palace in the Middle East. You are on your own out on that limb.

    I am having trouble reconciling with scripture the fact that the old testiment saints are not a part of the church.

    Jesus said “on this rock I will build my Church” not “On this Rock I will make an addition to the already existing Church”

    I don't see how after the rapture there will be people who are not considered part of the church.

    I don’t understand what you mean here. When do you expect this “rapture”?

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Thank you for addressing some things.


    1. So, the old testiement saints are not a part of the church? What class of people are they? Will they be distinguished from the church in heaven?

    2. What does the 1000 year reign in Revelations pertain to then?

    3. How do you explain the 70 weeks of Daniel?

    4. What happends in end times according to NCT?

    5. How does the antichrist fit in to the picture?

    6. The promises in the old testiment were very specific. So were the curses. Curses are literal but the promises were spiritual? Did God then trick the jews into believing that they were going to receive promises that God had no intention in honoring? (The answer is no of course, but how do you explain that?)

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    As for the rapture, I expect it to come any day. Be it today, tomorrow or one hundred years from now. It could happen anytime. Will not Jesus come back?

    Dave

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    10. God is able to graft Israel back - Verse 23
    q:What is the olive tree in Verse 17?
    q: Is Paul saying in Verses 23-24 that the jews will be brought back?
    the text says how it will happen and i don't think a national conversion thousands of years in the future is necessarily what the apostle had in mind. as i've pointed out before, paul's interest is in the current unfolding of that fulfillment and he tells explicitly how it is being fulfilled in v. 26.

    Ro 11:5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice...23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again...25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery so that you will not be wise in your own estimation that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob." 27 "This is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins."

    if you recall in another thread was the issue of v. 26 that the "so all Israel will be saved..." might be better rendered "and in this manner all Israel will be saved:..." the manner in which Israel will be saved is by not continuing in their unbelief (i.e., believing in the Deliverer) and by the removing of ungodliness from Jacob by taking away (forgiving) their sins. here he quotes isaiah 59:20 and Jer 31:34, linking them by the common phrase "This is My Covenant..." in isaiah 59:21 and Jer 31:33. paul's argument seems to be that the way He is saving israel was currently happening through the elect remnant, through faith and forgiveness of their sins. some think that this may refer to the fall of jerusalem in 70AD. but at a minimum, i think the point is that paul seems to be interested in the current situation and the final conclusion seems to take all mankind, both jew and gentile, as one:

    Ro 11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 11:30 Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now (though this "now" has a small textual problem) receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all.[/color]


    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    q: Zechariah 12:10-14 - Says that they will look upon the one they pierced. Notice that in verse 10 the Me is capitialized. This speaks of God. Christ. Does it not? It goes on to say that they (Jerusulem) will mourn him as one mourns for his only son and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn.
    first of all, it is important to note that capitalization is a feature of the translation (i.e., the english) and not the greek or hebrew. i also think this one was brought up before in reference to the crucifixion:


    John 19:36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, "Not a bone of Him shall be broken." 37 And again another Scripture says, "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    1. I believe God has a plan to bring back the nation of Israel. I guess I am turned off from NCT because of this fact. I like parts of it, but *shrug*
    from what i understand, NCT is not a system that really addresses this (nor has the system of NCT really been hammered out fully). in other words, as a system it is a man-made system like DISP and CT that tries to deal specifically with the issue of continuity/discontuity of the covenants (church/israel) and testaments (bodies of revelation) and not directly with eschatology or any other area of theology. also, there is at least one prominent NCT proponent that believes that israel has a future (fred zaspel - http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstud...y/romans11.htm). therefore, apparently others aren't apprehensive about embracing NCT because of its seeming failure to be a wholistic enough system to deal with eschatology.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    2. I am having trouble reconciling with scripture the fact that the old testiment saints are not a part of the church.
    as i understand it, they are not part of the earthly manifestation of the NC ekklesia but they are part of the heavenly assembly:

    Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    4. I don't see how after the rapture there will be people who are not considered part of the church. - Again, I need to search this out for myself
    perhaps there is no such thing as a secret rapture. the way i understand it, is that 1 Thess 4:13-18 is talking about the only return of Christ that there is in Scripture (dispies say that there must be a two-phase return, rapture/2nd coming with two resurrections) and this trumpet sound is the same one spoken of everywhere else in the NT. the text does not indicate that they are caught up with him and then leave for seven years.

    i've heard the figure described as similar to a roman emperor who would have his entourage (troops, servants, etc.), booty, captives, etc. paraded before everyone as a celebration of victory. this is where we are caught up with Him and we descend with Him to watch Him defeat His (and our) enemies and participate in the procession of His parade and celebration. the trumpet is what signals the resurrection (1 co 15:52) and the judgment (mt 24:31). i do not think the so-called rapture is actually what dispies tell us it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    2. What does the 1000 year reign in Revelations pertain to then?
    does it have to be a literal time period? how literal is one to read revelation? does Christ have a literal sword for a tongue? and if we have only one spot where we can find this doctrine, then do have a very good foundation to make an entire system out of it?

    one thing that has been agreed by most scholars is that revelation is a highly symbolic book. we will be in great danger if we read it just like we read the gospels for example. genre identification and differentiation (i.e., we don't read all genres of literature in exactly the same manner) is a crucial step in exegesis and a vital exercise of hermeneutics. to neglect it is to invite confusion and error.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    3. How do you explain the 70 weeks of Daniel?
    here is an answer from fred zaspel: http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstud...ogy/daniel.htm
    what's interesting is that this explanation is completely different from several other calendars i've seen and they all sound really good. i simply don't think we have enough info to draw out an exact calendar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    4. What happends in end times according to NCT?
    as i said above, NCT is not a system that is wholistic enough and developed enough to address the issue of eschatology. i don't know that any NCT proponents fully agree as you'll see anything from soup to nuts in that camp just as you will with CT and dispies. even dispies do not agree amongst themselves in all the details. in fact, the only thing that all flavors of dispies do agree on is that there is a future for israel!

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    6. The promises in the old testiment were very specific. So were the curses. Curses are literal but the promises were spiritual? Did God then trick the jews into believing that they were going to receive promises that God had no intention in honoring? (The answer is no of course, but how do you explain that?)
    i know you've read the following explanation but i'll post it again since i've never heard an answer as of yet. i'm curious what exactly the dispensationalist is looking for in terms of how they think things should be fulfilled. if the apostolic witness declares that such and such is fulfilled, why should we question the manner of fulfillment? who are we to say that they are wrong because of our golden calf of historical-grammatical-literal hermeneutic?

    Quote Originally Posted by disciple
    we also must not ignore the fact that God already did bless the nation literally and physically. i don't understand why this is almost always ignored.

    Josh 22:3 "You have not forsaken your brothers these many days to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God. 4 "And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brothers, as He spoke to them; therefore turn now and go to your tents, to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan.
    Josh 23:1 Now it came about after many days, when the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their enemies on every side, and Joshua was old, advanced in years, 2 that Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders and their heads and their judges and their officers, and said to them, "I am old, advanced in years. 3 "And you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the LORD your God is He who has been fighting for you. 4 "See, I have apportioned to you these nations which remain as an inheritance for your tribes, with all the nations which I have cut off, from the Jordan even to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun. 5 "The LORD your God, He will thrust them out from before you and drive them from before you; and you will possess their land, just as the LORD your God promised you

    Acts 7:45 "And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David.

    so what more are we waiting for? what exactly is the dispensationalist looking for in terms of physical blessing for the nation? why does this not qualify? and how in the name of pete do they read hebrews 3-4? are we to understand this passage to apply to physical national israel? what is the rest spoken of there? is this the church or do we wait for all that is in hebrews to be fulfilled literally and physically in the ethnic jews? does the letter of hebrews apply to the new covenant community (i.e., the church) or to the old covenant community (i.e., the nation of israel)?

    Heb 4:1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. (2) For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. (3) For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. (4) For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; (5) and again in this passage "They shall not enter My rest." (6) Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, (7) He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts." (8) For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. (9) So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. (10) For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (11) Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

    i think it is crucial to understand as well that the land and the promises to the nation are not mentioned in the NT. the only thing that is mentioned about the nation is the judgment and rejection of them (as a nation). we must not miss this important point. the nation is judged and we saw this fulfilled in the fall of jerusalem ad 70. we mustn't be busily looking for some future physical blessing of land and carnal treasures for a nation which God has judged (cf. Mt 21:42ff, 24; Mk 13; Lk 21; Ro 10-11):

    Mt 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, This became the chief corner stone; This came about from the Lord, And it is marvelous in our eyes'? 43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 44 "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.

    1 Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

    in addition to this, it is not an issue of replacement but of fulfillment. the idea is promise/fulfillment, type/antitype, shadow/reality, etc. and not replacement. i think this is one of the main misunderstandings by dispensationalists of anything non-dispensational that's sees the church as israel in some form. the NT writers certainly had no problem seeing this connection (cf. ro 2, 4, 9; gal 6:16; phil 3:3; 1 pe 1-2, esp. 2:9-10) so i honestly don't see why we should have a problem with it. we are the true israel, the true circumcision, the true people of God, etc. the nation is just the picture, type, and shadow. in like manner of the NT writers' admonishments, we need to get out of the shadows because we have/are the reality.
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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    A room without books is a body without soul.
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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    "So BGAMALL, where did you get this revelation from that you are the fulfillment of Romans 10-12?"

    Hopefully not the complete fulfillment. But a partial fulfillment is the truth about this matter. I didn't detect any scoffing did I?

    Amish Dave, why do you long for the establishment of the law when Paul said the law was weak, when he said that he determined to know nothing among the gentiles but the gospel, and when Paul said that he counted as dung all his training in the law. Why Dave would you want this law that has no saving power, to be reestablished. Dispensationalism is evil. It is opposed to the gospel and to the New Covenant revelation.

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Disciple...you are aces once again. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I will read over what you wrote and consider it through scripture and prayer.

    Thanks,

    Dave

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    BGAmall,

    I don't believe Law will be set up again. I believe that scripture teaches that they will be saved by faith in Christ. God will fullfill his promises to Israel through a literal reign established on earth for 1000 years. Israel will get the opportunity that was denied to them all this time, which is the right to practice their faith. The sacrifices made as I understand it through scripture will be done in a worship sense only and not a sacrifice for sins.

    I am still trying to hash this all out and have been very open to whom ever wants to talk about it with me. I am searching scriputre for the truth and letting that speak for me instead of falling behind the GARBC party line.

    With that being said, I would like to hear from CT or NCT what the stance is on end times is. Even if it is one mans opinion through scripture.

    Thank you all for taking the time to answer my questions and know they will be considered in the light of scripture as I am not married to anything as of yet.

    Dave

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    Disciple...you are aces once again. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I will read over what you wrote and consider it through scripture and prayer.

    Thanks,

    Dave
    you're quite welcome. it is my pleasure. also, if you noticed i conspicuously avoided the question about the antichrist. this is because i do not want to get caught up in identifying/describing a person or a figure that carries so much baggage with it in the contemporary church. the antichrist and the rapture seem to get way too much air time these days. i think the Scripture is purposely vague as to any suggestion of identity but it is at least connected to the roman empire and its persecutions of the Christians. it also seems to be connected to the heresies that denied certain things about Christ (His humanity, His deity, His atonement, etc.). beyond that, i'm not sure the apostles had any one individual in mind. frankly, i think there is some truth to all systems of eschatology (i.e., preterist, historicist, futurist, idealist). so i don't want to get hung up in speculation as i don't think we have enough information to decide with 100% certainty what the apostles had in mind here. at a minimum, it is the godless systems, internal (heresies) and external (anti-Christ{ian} governments) to the church, that are/were opposed to Christ and His kingdom. i don't know that we need to get much more specific than that. what are your thoughts?
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Well what about the man of sin described in 2 Thessalonians 2?

    I guess I would like to hammer out just what is going to happen in the future.

    Is there going to be a "Man of sin" come before Christs return?

    1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[1] had come. 3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[2] is revealed, the son of perdition, 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[3] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    There will be a falling away and then the man of sin will be revealed. This temple of God...would that talk of a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem?

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    Well what about the man of sin described in 2 Thessalonians 2?

    I guess I would like to hammer out just what is going to happen in the future.

    Is there going to be a "Man of sin" come before Christs return?

    1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[1] had come. 3Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[2] is revealed, the son of perdition, 4who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[3] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

    There will be a falling away and then the man of sin will be revealed. This temple of God...would that talk of a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem?
    to be honest, i don't even have a good guess on what that means. but i do not think there is enough information to say exactly what the apostasy means, what the man of sin (son of perdition) means or what the temple of God means. i have heard a pseudo-JW say that this is a reference to the roman catholic church and the idea that of the Messiah being worshipped as God (deity of Christ and the Trinity which is symbolized by 666). from other Scripture we know that this is hogwash. but the point is that we can only guess since we do not have the apostolic witness of 100% certainty of what exactly this means and what things fulfill (will fulfill) these things. certainly we have the Spirit in the church, but this is something different than being inspired or having the living apostolic witness among us or in having the word of a modern day prophet (of the OT type). this is what the roman catholic church, the mormon church, the JWs, etc. promise to offer so that we can be assured that there are no unanswered questions about revelation (unfortunately they all give us different answers!). so i would never write a book telling everyone what such and such fulfillment is and will look like in exact detail as i hear many dispies do. we just don't have enough info to paint a very clear picture.

    now i know that this is pretty much a cop-out and i must confess that i have often wondered about and been confused about 2 Thess (i figured it would come up) but i know that i'm uncomfortable with giving the details of what that might mean since i'm really only guessing. 2 Thess was an early epistle (i think about AD 52) and may refer to the roman empire or may refer to a jewish element. it was before any great persecutions (persecutions up to this time were localized and were mainly from the jewish socio-political group, the sannhedrin). i think the point is at a minimum that certain things rule out the possibility that the resurrection and judgment had occured before the writing of his letter (a misunderstanding based on a letter from an imposter of paul). if this letter is truly pauline (which i think it is), it indicates that he'd talked to them about these things before and that they should not have been deceived by this false letter if they had been listening and taking to heart what he had previously told them. unfortunately, we are without the precise teaching of what he revealed to them so we have to piece it together the best we can. and that is why i'm uncomfortable listening to someone else who is just making an educated guess (i.e., they do not have the apostolic witness that so and so and such and such is going to be the fulfillment). so there's my pathetic cop-out to the issue.
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    The man of sin may be a particular ruler of Rome or just the head of Rome in general. Certainly those who suffered persecution at the hands of Rome and their children (the Protestants) have understood that Rome is the heart of false religion and antichrist. All has been fulfilled except the salvation of the final elect and the Second Coming of Christ.

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Quote Originally Posted by bgamall
    The man of sin may be a particular ruler of Rome or just the head of Rome in general. Certainly those who suffered persecution at the hands of Rome and their children (the Protestants) have understood that Rome is the heart of false religion and antichrist. All has been fulfilled except the salvation of the final elect and the Second Coming of Christ.
    is that a prophecy or an apostolic declaration? or is that more of an educated guess?
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave
    Well what about the man of sin described in 2 Thessalonians 2?
    this is from a very helpful commentary that i have called IVP Bible Background commentary:

    2:3-4
    The first prerequisite is either the "rebellion" (niv, nrsv, tev) or the "apostasy" (nasb). If it is a "rebellion" against God, it is the worldís final insult to him (2:4); if "apostasy," it refers back to Jesusí sayings later written in Matthew 24:10-13. Both sins are characteristic of Jewish lists of end-time sufferings, but because Paul omits most of the signs found in such lists and focuses only on those cited by Jesus, the term here might mean apostasy. In either case, Paul indicates that the term does not apply to his readers (2:10-15).

    The figure of a general future antichrist (as he is commonly called) seems to occur mainly in later Jewish texts, but contemporary Jewish texts do describe some past or present rulers in similar terms (cf. also the evil rulers in Dan 9Ė11); the tradition of pagan kings who made themselves out to be gods is also quite ancient (Isaiah 14:13-14; Ezek 28:2; Dan 6:7). The *Dead Sea Scrolls speak of a "man of lies" who opposed the founder of their community; the *Psalms of Solomon portray the Roman general Pompey in such terms; and Roman emperors lent themselves to such portrayals in general. Nearly a decade before this letter, Gaius Caligula had tried to set up his image in the Jerusalem temple, nearly sparking a revolt. (Caligula immediately preceded Claudius, the current emperor in a.d. 41-54.) Two decades after this letter, when Titus destroyed the temple, his soldiers desecrated the temple by paying divine honors to the insignia of Emperor Vespasian on the site of the temple.

    The imagery used here derives especially from Jesus, however (cf. Mt 24:15), who took it from Daniel (Dan 7:25; 8:11; 9:26-27; 11:31, 36; cf. 2 Chron 33:7; Ezek 8:3). Some scholars who have examined the prophecies carefully have concluded that Daniel 11 describes the abomination caused by Antiochus Epiphanes; yet the "end" seems to come at that time (12:1), about two centuries before Jesus. Like the promise of the land to Abrahamís descendants, deferred repeatedly during the period of the judges, between David and Josiah, and afterward due to Israelís disobedience, this text might be an example of deferred *eschatology. If one counts the period of Daniel 9:24-27, however, the anointed prince (whom some held to be the Messiah) was to be "cut off" around the year that Jesus died; the destruction of the city followed forty years later, again indicating a delay of at least forty years. Evangelical interpreters differ as to whether (1) a specific future tribulation remains (perhaps 2 Thess 2:8-9), (2) the Jewish war in a.d. 66-70 fulfilled it completely (cf. Mt 24:15-21), (3) the whole course of history constitutes this period (cf. comments on Revelation, especially chap. 12). or (4) the language is reused in different ways, all of which are true.

    2:5
    The Thessalonians apparently misinterpreted Paulís talk about the future *kingdom (Acts 17:7), much of which seems to derive from teachings of Jesus that Paul is transmitting to them (2 Thess 2:15).

    2:6-7
    The interpretations of this passage are more diverse than those of most passages in the *New Testament. Even the translation is not certain (is the restrainer "taken out of the way" or does the lawless one "come forth from the midst" at the end of v. 7?). Views of the "restrainer" are plentiful. Some have thought that the "restrainer" is one prerequisite for the end stated by Jesus, the preaching to all the nations (Mt 24:14); this view makes some sense, but the completion of this preaching was technically to precede the end itself, not the rebellion that preceded the end.

    The "restrainer" could be simply Godís sovereign restraint (e.g., Ezek 5:11); it could be the archangel Michael, angelic protector of Israel in Jewish tradition (also Dan 12:1); it could be the presence of Christians in Jerusalem (Mt 24:16-21); or it could be, as many scholars have argued, the ruler preceding the self-deifying emperor or succession of emperors. (Those who hold the last view point out that the name of the emperor when Paul was writing this letter was Claudius, which was related to a Latin word for "restrain"; he immediately preceded the persecutor Nero, on whom see introduction to 1 Peter.) Many of the early church fathers took the view that the "restrainer" was the Roman Empire.

    One popular modern view that has no specific contextual support is that the "restrainer" is the *church, which had inadequate social power in Paulís day to perform that function. The churchís removal from the earth by the *resurrection described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 does not fit this context, because the Thessalonian Christians were to receive rest from affliction only at the day of judgment (2 Thess 1:6-9), and be gathered (2:1) only in the day of the Lord (2:2), which was to be preceded by the rebellion (2:3-4), which in turn was to be preceded by the restrainer (2:6-7). Although no ancient Christian authors attest the view that the restrainer is the church (the idea of a rapture before the tribulation first explicitly appears in history around 1830, as a corollary of dispensationalism), the many adherents of this view today cite various other New Testament texts for its support.

    In any case, the Thessalonians would apparently understand what Paul means (2:5), and his point is not in question: this event has not yet happened, so the rebellion and hence the day of the Lord and the churchís gathering are still future.

    2:8
    Paul describes the end of the lawless one in terms borrowed from Isaiah 11:4 (cf. Hos 6:5) and similar to those in other Jewish texts. Paul contrasts Jesusí own coming (cf. 2 Thess 2:1) with the lawless oneís (2:9); on such contrasts see comment on Revelation 13.

    2:9
    Deceptive signs already occurred in Paulís day. Sorcerers and shrines of healing gods were common; although healing was not the primary focus of the imperial cult, some people in the eastern Mediterranean also invoked the spirit of the emperor, who was worshiped as a god, to deliver or heal them. Propaganda circulated that the emperor Vespasian (to whose insignia homage was paid on the site of the temple in a.d. 70) worked miracles, but emperors themselves were not usually known as miracle workers. Although miracle-working false prophets appear early in the Bible (Ex 7:11), Paulís source for their association with the end is probably again Jesusí teachings (cf. Mt 24:24).
    When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.
    --Erasmus

    A room without books is a body without soul.
    --Cicero

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    Re: Questions From A Dispie

    Quote Originally Posted by Amish Dave


    1. So, the old testiement saints are not a part of the church? What class of people are they? Will they be distinguished from the church in heaven?

    2. What does the 1000 year reign in Revelations pertain to then?

    3. How do you explain the 70 weeks of Daniel?

    4. What happends in end times according to NCT?

    5. How does the antichrist fit in to the picture?

    6. The promises in the old testiment were very specific. So were the curses. Curses are literal but the promises were spiritual? Did God then trick the jews into believing that they were going to receive promises that God had no intention in honoring? (The answer is no of course, but how do you explain that?)
    Hey there Dave,

    I will try to answer your questions the best I can:


    1) The Old Testament saints are a part of the Body of Christ. They were justified by faith, just as Abraham was (James 3: 21-23) Read about other Old Testament characters in Hebrews 11--a chapter often referred to as the 'hall of faith.'

    For thousands of years, most of the Gentiles were left to walk in their own ways (Acts 14:16), without God, without hope, and outside the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12) But Christ's atoning death on the cross has reconciled both Jew and Gentile into one Body (Ephesians 2:16) The middle wall of partition has been torn down permanently (Ephesians 2:14) There is now no distinction between Jew and Gentile in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28) and all who believe on Jesus are of Abraham's seed, and are heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29)

    Dispensationalism, unfortunately, tries to build back the wall that was torn down. It tries to divide Jew and Gentile again.


    2) I believe the term '1000 years' in Revelation 20 is indicative of the time period between Christ's First and Second Advent. Sometimes, in Scripture, numbers are used symbolically, including the number '1000', such as in Psalm 50:10, where the Lord declares: "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 relate that a thousand years is as a day to the Lord. The article 'as' turns it into a simile--in this case, it is a way of expressing how time, to God, is different than the way we see it.

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