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John Reece
09-10-2015, 01:23 PM
Note to Geert and all other cabalists: please, do not post anything in this thread.

Ephesians 1:22 καὶ πάντα ὑπέταξεν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ καὶ αὐτὸν ἔδωκεν κεφαλὴν ὑπὲρ πάντα τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, 23 ἥτις ἐστὶν τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ, τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν πληρουμένου. (1:22 God put all things under Christ’s feet and gave him to the church as supreme Lord over all things. 23 The church is Christ’s body, the completion of him who himself completes all things everywhere (TEV). There: I have justified putting this in BL310 :smile:.

This not the EndTime; this is the time when God is advancing his kingdom in the world in ways that are not well-known or celebrated in nations that have gone the way of all flesh.

Christian nations have risen and fallen throughout history, successively replaced by new Christian nations raised up by God to continue the advancement of his kingdom made manifest in the world via his faithful people.

http://therightscoop.com/christian-china-is-rising/


Eph. 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles, pray to God. 2 Surely you have heard that God in his grace has given me this work to do for your good. 3 God revealed his secret plan and made it known to me. (I have written briefly about this, 4 and if you will read what I have written (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph+1-2&version=ESV), you can learn about my understanding of the secret of Christ.) 5 In past times human beings were not told this secret, but God has revealed it now by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 The secret is that by means of the gospel the Gentiles have a part with the Jews in God’s blessings; they are members of the same body and share in the promise that God made through Christ Jesus. 7 I was made a servant of the gospel by God’s special gift, which he gave me through the working of his power. 8 I am less than the least of all God’s people; yet God gave me this privilege of taking to the Gentiles the Good News about the infinite riches of Christ, 9 and of making all people see how God’s secret plan is to be put into effect. God, who is the Creator of all things, kept his secret hidden through all the past ages, 10 in order that at the present time, by means of the church, the angelic rulers and powers in the heavenly world might learn of his wisdom in all its different forms. 11 God did this according to his eternal purpose, which he achieved through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence. 13 I beg you, then, not to be discouraged because I am suffering for you; it is all for your benefit. 14 For this reason I fall on my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its true name. 16 I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves, 17 and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, 18 so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love. 19 Yes, may you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God. 20 To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: 21 to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever! Amen.

Teallaura
09-12-2015, 12:31 PM
Um, I can see where the citations support the argument that it may not be the end times but it doesn't seem to support the categorical assertion.

:shrug:

John Reece
09-12-2015, 12:38 PM
Um, I can see where the citations support the argument that it may not be the end times but it doesn't seem to support the categorical assertion.

:shrug:

Hi Teallaura.

I woke up this morning with that on my mind; so I am now preparing a post to deal with it. Please let me know what you think after you see it.

Teallaura
09-12-2015, 12:42 PM
Okay. :smile:

John Reece
09-12-2015, 05:04 PM
In the NT there are two different end-points in time: the first is the time of the end of the OT era that was predicted by Jesus to occur within the lifetime of his contemporaries; the second is the time of the end of the NT era which is unknowable but which can only happen when a certain goal/consummation/end is achieved.

Consider the following diagram:

.........................AD 30_________________________

BC___________________________________________AD 70

The top line represents the New Testament era; the bottom line represents the Old Testament era.

There is a 40 year ―one generation ― overlap between the two eras.

Circa AD 30 the NT era was inaugurated by the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, which marked the beginning of a wholly different era from that of the OT. The NT era is destined to continue until a certain end/goal [τέλος (telos)] is achieved: that is, the maturation of the Body of Christ, the process of which is described by Paul in Ephesians 4:1-16. (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph+4%3A1-16&version=ESV) ― the end/goal being "until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood [(Greek: εἰς ἄνδρα τέλειον "unto a mature man" = the corporate Body of Christ as a single whole mature being], to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

It is not yet possible to say that we are now any where near the end of the process that leads to that goal/end.

When I say that we are not in the end times (or the EndTime, or whatever terminology one might conceivably use), I mean to say that we are not on the threshold of the goal/end that Paul described in Ephesians 4:1-16 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph+4%3A1-16&version=ESV), and we are not living in the time of the end of the OT era which was centered in the temple in Jerusalem ― in which the first Christians as Jews continued to worship during the 40-year overlap diagramed above ― until the Romans destroyed that temple in AD 70.

John wrote Revelation during the latter end of the 40-year overlap, which is made manifest by the Hebrew/Aramaic nature of the language as well as the content of Revelation, wherein the Temple in the New Jerusalem of the NT era (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev+21%3A9-27&version=ESV) is described in terms that are radically different from terms descriptive of the mundane doomed temple in old Jerusalem: "I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb."

This ― the beginning of the 21st century ― is neither the end time referred to in 1 Corinthians 15:24 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+cor+15%3A24&version=ESV), nor is it the end time of the OT era that happened before "this generation" ― the last generation of the OT era (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?8347-Matthew-24-34) expired.

Teallaura
09-13-2015, 02:02 AM
That certainly deals with the categorical assertion. I'm not sure the assertion it is based on is knowable, however.

It's something to consider. :ponder:

John Reece
09-13-2015, 02:39 AM
That certainly deals with the categorical assertion. I'm not sure the assertion it is based on is knowable, however.

It's something to consider. :ponder:

:thumb:

I have been considering/pondering/thinking and praying about it for 3 decades.

John Reece
09-14-2015, 11:43 AM
Continued from prior post↑ (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?8365-This-Is-Not-the-EndTime&p=244090&viewfull=1#post244090).

Consider the following diagram:

.........................AD 30_________________________

BC___________________________________________AD 70

The top line represents the New Testament era; the bottom line represents the Old Testament era.

Or, to put the same thing differently, the top line represents the New Covenant era; the bottom line represents the Old Covenant era.

The destruction of the physical temple in Jerusalem in AD 70 was not simply the destruction of a building; rather it was the final climax of God's judgement upon the faithless descendants of those who killed the prophets and compounded the deeds of their fathers by killing the Father's own Son.

Consider this parable, which relates to the diagram above:


Matthew 21:33-46 (ESV)

The Parable of the Tenants

33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord's doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

Now consider this teaching/prophecy, which also relates to the diagram above.


Matthew 23:13-36English Standard Version (ESV)

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

John Reece
09-15-2015, 02:42 PM
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus distinguishes the παρουσία (parousia "visitation" Mat 24:27 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A27&version=ESV)) of the Son of Man from the ἐρχόμενον (erchomenon "coming" Mat 24:30 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A30&version=ESV)) of the Son of Man. The two terms respectively refer to two different phenomena that relate to two different points in time, one ancient and the other still ― 2000+ years later ― in the indefinite future.

The word "visitation" as a rendering of παρουσία (parousia) is used by R. T. France at Matthew 24:3 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A3&version=ESV) in his 2007 NICNT commentary, wherein he gives this explanation of his terminology in a footnote:


παρουσία is not a purely Christian term. Outside the NT παρουσία (which by etymology means “presence,” hence “arrival”) is used for a formal visit by a dignitary (king, governor, etc.), or for the manifestation of a divine figure; for many examples see A. Oepke, TDNT 5.859–865. Its use in the NT as a technical designation for Jesus’ eventual return, is traditionally translated “coming,” but in this context that translation would invite confusion with the different term ἐρχόμενος [erchomenos] in verse 30 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A30&version=ESV). I have therefore translated it by “visitation” in an attempt to capture its wider connotation, but in the commentary I shall use the transliterated term parousia for clarity.

Matthew 24:30: "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming [ἐρχόμενον (erchomenon)] on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory."

The text above (24:30) is an allusion to Daniel 7:13-14 which describes not a "coming to earth" but rather a coming to God to be receive vindication and authority. As France says (quoting Lamont) in his 1985 TDNT commentary, "'The coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven was never conceived as a primitive form of space travel, but as a symbol for a mighty reversal of fortunes within history and at the national level.' Such language fits well with the apocalyptic language in verse 29 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A29&version=ESV) in describing the destruction of the temple, viewed as an act of divine judgment, whereby the authority of Jesus is vindicated over the Jewish establishment which has rejected him. (For this understanding of the significance of the destruction of the temple, cf. 23:29-39 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+23%3A29-39&version=ESV).) The language is allusive rather than specific, and depends for its force on a familiarity with Old Testament imagery which is unfortunately not shared by all modern readers!"

Again, France, this time in his NICNT commentary (Eerdmans, 2007):


Matthew’s other addition to the Son of Man saying of Mark 13:26 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mar+13%3A26&version=ESV) is the puzzling introductory clause “And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven”, which, because of its obscurity, I have left to the last for comment in the hope that the sense of the rest of the saying may cast light on it. Some interpreters take the “of” to be epexegetic: “the sign which is the Son of Man in heaven;” in that case there is no separate “sign” in view, but the Son of Man himself. But if it is taken to speak of an actual sign belonging to or about the Son of Man, the sense will depend on whether “in heaven” is taken to specify the location in which the “sign” will be seen or as linked more closely with the immediately preceding words “the sign of the-Son-of-Man-in-heaven,” i.e. the sign of the heavenly authority of the Son of Man. Some take it in the former sense, and speak of a symbol visible in the sky, but there is little in the context to indicate what sort of “sign” might be expected. Some patristic writers supposed that the prediction was of a vision of a cross in the sky such as Constantine is reputed to have seen (Eusebius, Vit. Const. 1.28), but there is nothing in the context to suggest that and surely it would require some indication of what sort of “sign” to look for. If, however, “in heaven” is taken with “the Son of Man,” the following clauses perhaps suggest an answer. The tribes are to see the vindication and enthronement of the Son of Man in heaven, but how are they to “see” it, i.e. to know that it is true? Not perhaps by a celestial phenomenon, but by what is happening on earth as the temple is destroyed and the reign of the “Son-of-Man-in-heaven” begins to take effect in the gathering of his chosen people. In that case the “sign” is not a preliminary warning of an event still to come, but the visible manifestation of a heavenly reality already established, that the Son of Man is in heaven sitting at the right hand of Power (26:64 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+26%3A64&version=ESV)).

The disciples had asked for a “sign” of the parousia and the end of the age, but Jesus will give no such sign because the parousia will be sudden and unexpected (verses 27 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A27&version=ESV), 36–44 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A36-44&version=ESV)). He has urged them too not to interpret current events as signs of the end for Jerusalem (verses 4–14 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A4-14&version=ESV)), and while he has himself given them one cryptic sign of when that event is to be expected (verse 15 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A15&version=ESV)) he has warned them that visible “signs and wonders” are rather the province of false prophets (verse 24 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A24&version=ESV)). It would be consonant with that generally negative approach to the sort of “signs” the disciples (and earlier the Jewish leaders, 12:38 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+12%3A38&version=ESV); 16:1 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+16%3A1&version=ESV)) wanted that the “sign” here offered is not a prior notification but simply the visible evidence of what has already been achieved.

The parousia ("visitation, arrival, presence") of Christ that is yet future at the beginning of the 21st century is not to be accompanied or preceded by any signs. Rather, it will happen when it is totally unexpected (Mat 24:36-44 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A36-44&version=ESV)), so there is no way to know at any time in history that it is imminent, that is, about to happen.

Three decades ago I committed myself to a period of seeking God to disabuse my mind of all presuppositions including my own as well as of others with regard to the meaning of the Olivet Discourse ― all the while repeatedly re-reading the Greek text to marinate my mind in it. What happened via that process was that I was given a clear impression of how thoroughly localized in terms of time, place, and persons involved was the text ― so much so that to project onto or into the text notions of "double-fulfillment" thousands of years later was to rewrite the text and make it say things that it simply did not say.

Teallaura is quite right to say that what the thread title asserts in "not knowable" ― that is, with regard to whether of not this time in which we now live may turn out to be the time that what Jesus taught with regard to his parousia ― his yet future "visitation, arrival, presence" ― will be fulfilled. The point I have been trying to make is that our present generation is not uniquely qualified to be the terminal generation about which Jesus taught in Matthew 24:4-26 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A4-36&version=ESV) and 24:29-35 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A29-35&version=ESV), because that pre-AD 70 generation was the one uniquely specified by Jesus as the one upon which the judgment he was specifying would fall (Mat 23:13-36 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+23%3A13-36&version=ESV)).

Rather than trying to make the scriptures say and mean for us what Jesus said they meant for his contemporaries, we should be totally focused on living out the gradual growth of the kingdom of God that the parables of Jesus describe, and living the life explained by what Paul wrote in Ephesians 1-3 (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?8365-This-Is-Not-the-EndTime&p=243040&viewfull=1#post243040) ― focused not on fantasies of being imminently rescued from the world but rather on manifesting Christ in the world.

John Reece
09-15-2015, 03:56 PM
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus distinguishes the παρουσία (parousia "visitation" Mat 24:27 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A27&version=ESV)) of the Son of Man from the ἐρχόμενον (erchomenon "coming" Mat 24:30 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A30&version=ESV)) of the Son of Man. The two terms respectively refer to two different phenomena that relate to two different points in time, one ancient and the other still ― 2000+ years later ― in the indefinite future.

The word "visitation" as a rendering of παρουσία (parousia) is used by R. T. France at Matthew 24:3 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A3&version=ESV) in his 2007 NICNT commentary, wherein he gives this explanation of his terminology in a footnote:


παρουσία is not a purely Christian term. Outside the NT παρουσία (which by etymology means “presence,” hence “arrival”) is used for a formal visit by a dignitary (king, governor, etc.), or for the manifestation of a divine figure; for many examples see A. Oepke, TDNT 5.859–865. Its use in the NT as a technical designation for Jesus’ eventual return, is traditionally translated “coming,” but in this context that translation would invite confusion with the different term ἐρχόμενος [erchomenos] in verse 30 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A30&version=ESV). I have therefore translated it by “visitation” in an attempt to capture its wider connotation, but in the commentary I shall use the transliterated term parousia for clarity.

Matthew 24:30: "Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming [ἐρχόμενον (erchomenon)] on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory."

The text above (24:30) is an allusion to Daniel 7:13-14 which describes not a "coming to earth" but rather a coming to God to be receive vindication and authority. As France says (quoting Lamont) in his 1985 TDNT commentary, "'The coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven was never conceived as a primitive form of space travel, but as a symbol for a mighty reversal of fortunes within history and at the national level.' Such language fits well with the apocalyptic language in verse 29 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A29&version=ESV) in describing the destruction of the temple, viewed as an act of divine judgment, whereby the authority of Jesus is vindicated over the Jewish establishment which has rejected him. (For this understanding of the significance of the destruction of the temple, cf. 23:29-39 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+23%3A29-39&version=ESV).) The language is allusive rather than specific, and depends for its force on a familiarity with Old Testament imagery which is unfortunately not shared by all modern readers!"

Again, France, this time in his NICNT commentary (Eerdmans, 2007):


Matthew’s other addition to the Son of Man saying of Mark 13:26 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mar+13%3A26&version=ESV) is the puzzling introductory clause “And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven”, which, because of its obscurity, I have left to the last for comment in the hope that the sense of the rest of the saying may cast light on it. Some interpreters take the “of” to be epexegetic: “the sign which is the Son of Man in heaven;” in that case there is no separate “sign” in view, but the Son of Man himself. But if it is taken to speak of an actual sign belonging to or about the Son of Man, the sense will depend on whether “in heaven” is taken to specify the location in which the “sign” will be seen or as linked more closely with the immediately preceding words “the sign of the-Son-of-Man-in-heaven,” i.e. the sign of the heavenly authority of the Son of Man. Some take it in the former sense, and speak of a symbol visible in the sky, but there is little in the context to indicate what sort of “sign” might be expected. Some patristic writers supposed that the prediction was of a vision of a cross in the sky such as Constantine is reputed to have seen (Eusebius, Vit. Const. 1.28), but there is nothing in the context to suggest that and surely it would require some indication of what sort of “sign” to look for. If, however, “in heaven” is taken with “the Son of Man,” the following clauses perhaps suggest an answer. The tribes are to see the vindication and enthronement of the Son of Man in heaven, but how are they to “see” it, i.e. to know that it is true? Not perhaps by a celestial phenomenon, but by what is happening on earth as the temple is destroyed and the reign of the “Son-of-Man-in-heaven” begins to take effect in the gathering of his chosen people. In that case the “sign” is not a preliminary warning of an event still to come, but the visible manifestation of a heavenly reality already established, that the Son of Man is in heaven sitting at the right hand of Power (26:64 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+26%3A64&version=ESV)).

The disciples had asked for a “sign” of the parousia and the end of the age, but Jesus will give no such sign because the parousia will be sudden and unexpected (verses 27 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A27&version=ESV), 36–44 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A36-44&version=ESV)). He has urged them too not to interpret current events as signs of the end for Jerusalem (verses 4–14 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A4-14&version=ESV)), and while he has himself given them one cryptic sign of when that event is to be expected (verse 15 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A15&version=ESV)) he has warned them that visible “signs and wonders” are rather the province of false prophets (verse 24 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A24&version=ESV)). It would be consonant with that generally negative approach to the sort of “signs” the disciples (and earlier the Jewish leaders, 12:38 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+12%3A38&version=ESV); 16:1 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+16%3A1&version=ESV)) wanted that the “sign” here offered is not a prior notification but simply the visible evidence of what has already been achieved.

The parousia ("visitation, arrival, presence") of Christ that is yet future at the beginning of the 21st century is not to be accompanied or preceded by any signs. Rather, it will happen when it is totally unexpected (Mat 24:36-44 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A36-44&version=ESV)), so there is no way to know at any time in history that it is imminent, that is, about to happen.

Three decades ago I committed myself to a period of seeking God to disabuse my mind of all presuppositions including my own as well as of others with regard to the meaning of the Olivet Discourse ― all the while repeatedly re-reading the Greek text to marinate my mind in it. What happened via that process was that I was given a clear impression of how thoroughly localized in terms of time, place, and persons involved was the text ― so much so that to project onto or into the text notions of "double-fulfillment" thousands of years later was to rewrite the text and make it say things that it simply did not say.

Teallaura is quite right to say that what the thread title asserts is "not knowable" ― that is, with regard to whether of not this time in which we now live may turn out to be the time that what Jesus taught with regard to his parousia ― his yet future "visitation, arrival, presence" ― will be fulfilled. The point I have been trying to make is that our present generation is not uniquely qualified to be the terminal generation about which Jesus taught in Matthew 24:4-26 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A4-36&version=ESV) and 24:29-35 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+24%3A29-35&version=ESV), because that pre-AD 70 generation was the one uniquely specified by Jesus as the one upon which the judgment he was specifying would fall (Mat 23:13-36 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+23%3A13-36&version=ESV)).

Rather than trying to make the scriptures say and mean for us what Jesus said they meant for his contemporaries, we should be totally focused on living out the gradual growth of the kingdom of God that the parables of Jesus describe, and living the life explained by what Paul wrote in Ephesians 1-3 (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?8365-This-Is-Not-the-EndTime&p=243040&viewfull=1#post243040) ― focused not on fantasies of being imminently rescued from the world but rather on manifesting Christ in the world.

John Reece
09-30-2015, 04:07 PM
Text: Hebrews 1:1-2 (NA27):

Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις 2 ἐπ᾿ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι᾿ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας

Transliteration (Accordance):

Polymerōs kai polytropōs palai ho theos lalēsas tois patrasin en tois prophētais 2 ep’ eschatou tōn hēmerōn toutōn elalēsen hēmin en huiō̧, hon ethēken klēronomon pantōn, di’ hou kai epoiēsen tous aiōnas

Translation (NRSV):

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.

Grammatical Analysis (Zerwick/BDAG, meanings in this context):

πολυμερῶς : (adjective πολυμερής of many parts), bit by bit, gradually.
πολυτρόπως :(τρόπος way) in many ways.
πάλαι : of old, in time past.
λαλήσας : aorist participle of λαλέω speak.
τοῖς πατράσιν : dative plural of πατήρ, not to be confused with the patriarchs ; our forefathers.
ἐν : ?instrumental by ; better, in.
ἔσχατος : last, ἐπ᾿ ἐσχάτου end ; ἐπ᾿ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν being LXX expression for the future messianic age, τούτων introduces an eschatological note, as it were in these last days.
ἐλάλησεν : aorist of λαλέω speak.
ἐν υἱῷ : by a son, without article seemingly stressing sonship in contrast to prophets.
ἔθηκεν : aorist of τίθημι set ; appoint.
κληρονόμος : (< κλῆρος lot + νέμω distribute) inheritor.
ἐποίησεν : aorist of ποιέω make, create.
οἱ αἰῶνες : plural Hebraism the created worlds.

Comment from The Epistle to the Hebrews (Hermeneia: Augsburg-Fortress, 1989), by Harold W. Attridge:


2. The final and decisive address of God to humanity occurs not “of old” but, literally, “at the end of these days” (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων). The phrase is derived from a scriptural expression for the future, which came to be used in an eschatological sense. The lively sense that the author and his community live at the final point of God’s dealings with humanity is not, of course, unique, but is shared by Jewish apocalyptists and by many early Christians.

.........................AD 30→______________________ →
....................................Ephesians 1-3 (https://www.biblegatway.com/passage/?search=eph+1-3&version=NRSV[/url) "forever and ever"

BC→________________________________█ AD 70
.................................Hebrews 1:1-2↑ "these last days"

John Reece
10-01-2015, 02:22 PM
Text: Hebrews 1:1-2 (NA27):

Πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις 2 ἐπ᾿ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι᾿ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας

Transliteration (Accordance):

Polymerōs kai polytropōs palai ho theos lalēsas tois patrasin en tois prophētais 2 ep’ eschatou tōn hēmerōn toutōn elalēsen hēmin en huiō̧, hon ethēken klēronomon pantōn, di’ hou kai epoiēsen tous aiōnas

Translation (NRSV):

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.

Grammatical Analysis (Zerwick/BDAG, meanings in this context):

πολυμερῶς : (adjective πολυμερής of many parts), bit by bit, gradually.
πολυτρόπως :(τρόπος way) in many ways.
πάλαι : of old, in time past.
λαλήσας : aorist participle of λαλέω speak.
τοῖς πατράσιν : dative plural of πατήρ, not to be confused with the patriarchs ; our forefathers.
ἐν : ?instrumental by ; better, in.
ἔσχατος : last, ἐπ᾿ ἐσχάτου end ; ἐπ᾿ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν being LXX expression for the future messianic age, τούτων introduces an eschatological note, as it were in these last days.
ἐλάλησεν : aorist of λαλέω speak.
ἐν υἱῷ : by a son, without article seemingly stressing sonship in contrast to prophets.
ἔθηκεν : aorist of τίθημι set ; appoint.
κληρονόμος : (< κλῆρος lot + νέμω distribute) inheritor.
ἐποίησεν : aorist of ποιέω make, create.
οἱ αἰῶνες : plural Hebraism the created worlds.

Comment from The Epistle to the Hebrews (Hermeneia: Augsburg-Fortress, 1989), by Harold W. Attridge:


2. The final and decisive address of God to humanity occurs not “of old” but, literally, “at the end of these days” (ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων). The phrase is derived from a scriptural expression for the future, which came to be used in an eschatological sense. The lively sense that the author and his community live at the final point of God’s dealings with humanity is not, of course, unique, but is shared by Jewish apocalyptists and by many early Christians.

.........................AD 30→______________________ →
....................................Ephesians 1-3 (https://www.biblegatway.com/passage/?search=eph+1-3&version=NRSV[/url) "forever and ever"

BC→________________________________█ AD 70
.................................Hebrews 1:1-2↑ "these last days"

The top line of the diagram represents the "new age" inaugurated by Jesus' death/resurrection/ascension circa AD 30.

Bill the Cat
10-01-2015, 09:08 PM
I honestly disagree that the OT era ended in 70 AD. I think it ended on Calvary when the Lord was sacrificed, the veil rent in twain, and the old system of priesthood became obsolete. Novatian, citing Paul, called Christ "The end of the Law", as did Irenaeus and Augustine.

John Reece
10-01-2015, 11:15 PM
I honestly disagree that the OT era ended in 70 AD. I think it ended on Calvary when the Lord was sacrificed, the veil rent in twain, and the old system of priesthood became obsolete. Novatian, citing Paul, called Christ "The end of the Law", as did Irenaeus and Augustine.

Good point, one that I will not dispute.

I have been thinking about the fact that the disciples of Jesus continued to observe the law, to attend temple services, to conduct themselves as Jews practicing circumcision to distinguish themselves from Gentiles for many years after the death, resurrection, and enthronement of Jesus.

Not only did Christians consider themselves to be Jews for many years after Jesus' death on the cross, they were considered to be such by both non-Christian Jews and the Roman government during the time from circa AD 30 to circa AD 70.

The destruction of the temple marked the end of all that once and forever.

So I cannot help but see, for many reasons, an overlap between the years from Jesus' death circa AD 30 to the cessation of Christian observance of Jewish services in the temple circa AD 70 ― even as I accept your point about what in reality happened in the realm of the Spirit when Jesus died on the cross circa AD 30: that is why I say that that date marks the inauguration of Christ's reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever and ever (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph+3%3A20-21&version=NRSV).

I appreciate your response, because everything I post is tentative pending correction by both friends and further consideration of biblical texts and history ― not to mention ultimately when I see Him face to face (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+cor+13%3A12&version=NRSV) :smile:.

Thanks, Bill!

John Reece
10-06-2015, 02:47 PM
Further thoughts with regard to this post↑ (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?8365-These-Are-Not-The-Last-Days&p=251498&viewfull=1#post251498).

The Old Covenant was not an invisible reality confined to the realm of the Spirit and limited to unilateral action on the part of God. It was a public reality initiated by God but also engaged in by the people of the Covenant.

Such a Covenant would not likely come to a final end without any public action corresponding to the public nature of its beginning.

With that in mind, consider Hebrews 8:13 in the context of the entire chapter (color emphasis added):


Heb. 8:1 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

Heb. 8:3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

Heb. 8:7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:


“The days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.

Heb. 8:9 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
and I turned away from them,
declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the house of Israel
after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbors,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

Heb. 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Bill's point relates to the fact that Jesus' death on the cross made the Old Covenant obsolete; my point relates to the fact that, at the time the book of Hebrews was written, the Old Covenant was obsolete; however, it had not, as of that time, yet disappeared ― that did not happen until AD 70.

John Reece
10-20-2015, 03:17 PM
I propose to supplement ― and in some senses correct ― what I have posted above by means of excerpts from a book I read many years ago (I wish I had re-read it recently before starting this thread): The Eclipse of Christ in Eschatology: Toward a Christ-Centered Approach, by Adrio König ― adapted from Jesus die Laaste, Gelowig-Nagedink Deel 2 (Pretoria: DRC Bookshop, 1980). First published in the UK in 1989 by Marshall Morgan and Scott Publications LTD. Copies available at Amazon.com for as much as $183.01 new and as little as $62.45 used.


Preface

This book presents a new approach to the "last things." It is so new that occasionally some readers might disbelieve their own eyes. For example, we affirm that not only will Jesus Christ come again in the last days, but that he was born in the last days, that the Holy Spirit was poured out in the last days, and that the first Christians even lived in the last hour.

John Reece
10-22-2015, 09:27 PM
I propose to supplement ― and in some senses correct ― what I have posted above by means of excerpts from a book I read many years ago (I wish I had re-read it recently before starting this thread): The Eclipse of Christ in Eschatology: Toward a Christ-Centered Approach, by Adrio König ― adapted from Jesus die Laaste, Gelowig-Nagedink Deel 2 (Pretoria: DRC Bookshop, 1980). First published in the UK in 1989 by Marshall Morgan and Scott Publications LTD. Copies available at Amazon.com for as much as $183.01 new and as little as $62.45 used.


Preface

This book presents a new approach to the "last things." It is so new that occasionally some readers might disbelieve their own eyes. For example, we affirm that not only will Jesus Christ come again in the last days, but that he was born in the last days, that the Holy Spirit was poured out in the last days, and that the first Christians even lived in the last hour.

Eerdmans owns the copyright for The Eclipse of Christ in Eschatology: Toward a Christ-Centered Approach, by Adrio König. Having consulted Eerdmans about what I proposed above, I have been informed that I must confine myself to Eerdmans guidelines for Fair Use. That will require more work on my part than I have time and energy for at present.

I may come back to this when I have finished some of the other six threads I am currently running.

John Reece
10-23-2015, 12:34 PM
With regard to The Eclipse of Christ in Eschatology: Toward a Christ-Centered Approach (Eerdmans, 1989), by Adrio König, I. John Hesselink of Western Theological Seminary wrote the following:


"Adrio König, one of South Africa's leading theologians, ... makes an impressive case for viewing the entire history of Jesus Christ as the content of eschatology, not simply his resurrection and return in glory. König has mastered the best of current biblical and theological scholarship in this field and shows where most of it falls short of a radical Christocentric eschatology. This is a seminal work which will challenge the church and the theological world for some time to come."

Because Eerdmans strictly enforces their difficult-for-me-to-measure Fair Use Guidelines ― in terms of "5%" ratios and word counts ― perhaps I may simply share some scriptures that support König's thesis.

John Reece
10-25-2015, 01:56 PM
With regard to The Eclipse of Christ in Eschatology: Toward a Christ-Centered Approach (Eerdmans, 1989), by Adrio König, Ray S. Anderson of Fuller Theological Seminary wrote the following:


"König is persuasive and provocative. His biblical and historical approach to systematic theology stays close to the pulse beat of the divine heart which we encounter in the Christ for us, in us, and with us. Eschatology has to do not with the last things but with the person of Christ, who is the first and the last One.

With this book König has pointed the way forward for a whole new generation of theological studies. This book combines the critical dogmatic inquiry with careful exegetical work in the finest tradition of biblical theology. The result is a book on eschatology which is irenic in tone, relevant to contemporary issues, and surprising in its simplicity. This book will inspire pastors to preach once again with conviction on the eschatological themes essential to Christian life and faith. It might also put eschatology back once again into the theological curriculum!"