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Every Eye Will See Him

27 Jan
every eye will see him

from Google Images

Many folks have used Revelation 1:7 to say that Jesus’ Second Coming has not yet occurred. After all, if every eye would see the Lord, coming on a lily white, cumulus cloud when he returns, and, given the fact that no one has reported seeing such a news worthy event up to this present day, then surely we must still look for Jesus’ Second Coming in the future. Personally, I think it is high time we stop shooting from the hip with the word of God and take the time to investigate what the text really says. Do you really believe you are able to interpret Jesus’ coming by understanding Biblical language in a 21st century context? We need to consider the fact that the whole Bible, that is, the first and second covenants, were written by Jews and for Jews, using a Jewish manner of speaking. In other words, we need to acquaint ourselves with the Jewish culture of the day, and take advantage of the Greek lexicons and other scholarly writings about the Bible available to us today.

First of all, we need to realize that where we place the date of the writing of the Apocalypse in the first century has an intense eschatological consequence, as far as our ability to understand the truth contained in this book is concerned. For example, if we have the wrong date of the writing, how could we know who Babylon or the Harlot are? Who is the Beast and the False Prophet, if we place the date of the writing of the Apocalypse **after** their judgment? A false dating of this book dooms the Bible student to accept a false interpretation of the things he reads in this marvelous prophecy.

As I mentioned above, John tells us that Jesus is coming and “every eye will see him” (Revelation 1:7). Context is very, very important at this point. Is John speaking of every eye in a global sense, or is he speaking of every eye in a local sense? Well, verse-7 tells us that “those who pierced Him; (would see him) and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him” (NASB). In other words, the Jews of the first century AD are the **they** who would see him! Obviously, this has to do with the judgment of those who were responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion. The Apocalypse is all about the judgment of those responsible for Jesus’ death and that of his disciples and Apostles, and their “eyes would see Him; and all the tribes of the earth (meaning the land of the Jews or Israel) will mourn over Him” (because he is the coming Judge). Obviously, the parenthesis are mine in that excerpt.

Notice what we are told in one of the Gospel narratives:

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:24-25 NASB)

“All the people” in the text refers to the Jewish authorities, but do you see what they are saying? They are admitting to the blood guilt of Jesus. These are those whose eyes would see Him (Revelation 1:7). There’s really no room for debate here. Three times Pilate tried to release Jesus, but he was prevented by the Jewish authorities and a threat of a riot by close to a million or more Jews, if we can believe Josephus’ account of how many Jews were celebrating the Passover in 66 AD, and how much difference would there be thirty some years earlier?

Finally and concerning “every eye shall see Him,” Jesus claimed in Matthew 16:27-28 that he would come to vindicate the deaths of his disciples and their reward would be with him. This is not only speaking of the judgment, but also the resurrection of the saints, because one cannot separate those events from the coming of the Lord. Moreover, Jesus said all this would occur in the expected lifetimes of his disciples (Matthew 16:28; 23:34-36; compare Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62). Did they see him (Revelation 1:7), certainly not physically, but they saw his judgment coming in the war with Rome cir. 66-70 AD, just as Pharaoh, hundreds of years earlier, saw his judgment coming from the Lord in the person of the Assyrian king (Isaiah 19:1).

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30 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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30 responses to “Every Eye Will See Him

  1. Alex

    March 7, 2019 at 20:43

    >Did they see him (Revelation 1:7), certainly not physically, but they saw his judgment coming in the war with Rome cir. 66-70 AD, just as Pharaoh, hundreds of years earlier, saw his judgment coming from the Lord in the person of the Assyrian king (Isaiah 19:1).

    Yes! Daniel 7 is symbolic not literal—what happens among the beasts and the son of man represents what happens among the pagan kings and the “saints of the most high” on earth. The coming of the Son of Man to the judgement throne symbolizes a moment in time when the pagan kings will be defeated and God’s people will be given their authority over the earth.

     
    • Eddie

      March 8, 2019 at 07:51

      Greetings Alex, and thank you for reading my studies and especially for your comment. Lord bless you.

      “…what happens among the beasts and the son of man represents what happens among the pagan kings and the “saints of the most high” on earth. The coming of the Son of Man to the judgement throne symbolizes a moment in time when the pagan kings will be defeated and God’s people will be given their authority over the earth.”

      Okay, but what proof would you offer that this is so? I find nothing in the word of God, nothing in the parables of Jesus that we should look for such a thing. Rather, I see multiple warnings of the Judgment of Jerusalem, the Temple and the nation of the Jews, but nothing that would show me that the Lord wished to take away the reigns of government from the nations.

      Concerning our being given authority over the earth, we have it. We have the privilege of preaching the Gospel to the world and bringing the nations into submission to Christ. This is what the Jews failed to do under the Old Covenant, but no generation of believers have failed to be obedient to this command throughout our history. When the Jews’ nation was destroyed in 70 AD, that ended the Old Covenant, and that also established the New Covenant. In effect the world was told that the Jews no longer represented the Lord. Rather, he is represented in and by the Church of Christ. This is the **authority** which we have been given. It isn’t physical authority, we don’t **physically** rule anyone. It is **spiritual** authority. Physical authority failed, and we see that in the destruction of the Old Covenant and the Jew’s nation. Spiritual authority was given to the Church and that was established with the New Covenant cir. 70 AD. Certainly, it was initiated at Pentecost, but the Jewish authorities took issue with apostolic authority, and that controversy wasn’t fully consummated until the Jews were taken out of the way cir. 70 AD.

      Thanks again for reading, Alex, and my the Lord bless you as you consider these things.

       
      • Alex

        March 8, 2019 at 14:31

        Psalm 2 awaits God’s king who will subdue the nations and take them as his inheritance. Using this psalm, Jesus promises his followers authority over the nations in Revelation 2. Paul says Christians will judge not only the angels but also the world and Jesus says after “Babylon” has fallen he will rule the nations with his followers for a thousand years. In the Benedictus Zechariah sees that the Messiah’s coming will mean that the faithful will be given “rest from their enemies so that they might serve God in peace.” In the parable of the Minas the followers of Jesus are given authority over “cities” at his return.

        So if the judgement on Israel in AD 70 is a physical event, why should we conclude that the kingdom of God and the judgement of the nations is a spiritual one?

         
        • Eddie

          March 9, 2019 at 06:28

          Greetings Alex, and thank you for your reply to my earlier post to you.

          In Acts Peter and John saw the fulfillment of Psalm 2 in the Jews’ and Pilate’s and Herod’s judgment of Jesus. They gathered themselves, as representatives of the world that then existed, against the Son of God (Acts 4:25-27). He gained victory over them in that he was able to turn back their judgment of him by rising from the dead. He made an open show of them, in that they had no power over him. If Peter and John, saw Psalm 2 fulfilled in the first century AD, by what authority do you believe it is yet to be fulfilled?

          Concerning Revelation 2:26, I am uncertain as to what you believe this means. Are you looking for political power? If so, it is not promised to you here. This promise has to do with establishing the Second Covenant with the Church. In other words we are the power through which the word of God comes to the nations. Up until 70 AD that power was given to the Jewish nation, but in the Lord’s judgment upon them, he took that authority away from them and gave it to a ‘nation’ producing the fruits, namely the Church. The Second Covenant was established cir. 70 AD with the destruction of “Babylon” (Jerusalem).

          The judgment of Jerusalem was both a physical and a spiritual event. It was a physical nation, and the Lord returned and judged her through Rome. It was spiritual, as well, because Jerusalem was endowed with authority to be a priest to the nations, i.e. be the representative of the Lord to the world (Exodus 19:6). We, the Church, are not a physical entity. You cannot point to us and say: “There is the Church!” Certainly, we are physical people, but we have no central government. We have no national capital or national leader (other than Christ), and we have no Laws or Constitution that define us. We are scattered among the nations of this world, but we are all endowed with authority from heaven to be a light wherever we are and point folks to Christ. No one has that authority except us (Revelation 1:6; see my study John’s Testimony Regarding Jesus).

          Once again, thank you Alex for your wiliness to participate in this discussion with me. Lord bless you, and may you be guided by him into all truth.

           
        • librarygeek

          April 24, 2019 at 00:12

          I think the answer to Alex’s question “So if the judgement on Israel in AD 70 is a physical event, why should we conclude that the kingdom of God and the judgement of the nations is a spiritual one?” is the same answer Jesus gave to Pilate and others who questioned Jesus about His Kingdom: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36). If it was true then are we right to believe it isn’t true in our day and at His 2nd Coming?

          We assume as the Jews did at His first coming that the Savior will set up a political kingdom on this Earth and over throw the human power mongers who reign over us. But does any scripture really say that is true? Or do we like first century Jews rather wish it to be true?

           
  2. intanglegary

    February 27, 2019 at 21:30

    Hello again Eddie,

    That last batch of responses was quite a bit to absorb, I’m really going to have to select the most important parts for this reply. I have started a fresh section for this one – the reply levels run out at two or three levels anyways. I’ll start with your question:

    Concerning: Matthew 24:32-34 and “literally taking away from the very essence of Christianity…” What exactly is “literally taking away from the very essence of Christianity” according to you?

    To say that the second coming of Jesus has already occurred, is to say that we don’t need to follow the command of Jesus to “watch and wait” for his return. It also voids the many promises regarding his return, that we’ll be rewarded with new bodies, that we’ll see Jesus as he really is, no less than face to face, etc. Did any of this already happen? Jesus warned us to not be fooled – we won’t miss it. Certainly, two thousand years worth of Christians will not miss it, they’re all going to be there, as the bible clearly states.

    These are the promises that every Christian holds dear, we must be able to trust the words of Jesus, and the scriptures that we accept as divinely inspired.To claim that Jesus quietly returned without “every eye” seeing him, as promised, is tantamount to invalidating the blessed hope that truly does define Christianity.

    About the spiritual vs. physical question, isn’t it true that a spiritual body can choose to be seen by the physical eye? And, if we are to receive spiritual bodies, won’t we still have eyes to see? This whole debate is simply another attempt to prove that Jesus returned without “every eye” seeing him, as promised. However, the reverse point is the main point, Jesus meant what he said about every one seeing his return. In fact every Christian, alive or dead, upon his return, will meet him the air, as promised. Call that spiritual or physical, does it really matter? It only seems important for the Full Preterist narrative. Jesus will not sneak back, he will return in glory and every eye will see him, that’s a promise.

    And, of course, the main point here really is all about Matthew 24:33-34:

    Even so, when you see ALL THESE THINGS, you know THAT IT IS NEAR, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until ALL THESE THINGS have happened.

    Parsing through these words presents a real struggle for every serious Christian, just google them and you’ll quickly find a whole range of interpretations, including that Jesus failed to fulfill his promise, thereby invalidating the entire gospel. And, this would be a serious problem, IF Jesus failed to fulfill any one of his promises. I’m pretty sure you would agree, the bible is either all true, or it is useless.

    So, Eddie, you have claimed that these words predict a specific time frame for the second coming of Christ, and I’ve interpreted them to mean something other that. Clearly, I’ve also struggled with these verses and am not totally confident that I know exactly what they mean. However I am quite confident that it is incorrect to interpret them as a promise by Jesus to return within his own generation.

    As I’ve already stated, my best guess is that Jesus is referring to the generation that “sees all these things” as the generation that will not pass away. This is a common interpretation held by many Christians. But, it’s also important to note that these words DO NOT predict that Jesus would return within whichever generation is referred to. It predicts that “this generation” will not pass away until “all these things” have happened. And, what are “all these things”? The things that will let you know that the time near. It does not say that Jesus will return within that generation, only that all the things you need to know that it is near will have happened, within that generation.

    Perhaps a technicality, but these words reduce down to the return if Jesus is “at hand”, is “near”, is “right at the door”, and in this sense is consistent with many other verses in the bible that tell us that we are to be constantly prepared for the Lord’s return, to patiently watch and wait, because the Lord will return like a thief in the night – when least expected. And like all the other verses, it does not promise any specific time frame. We may be able to watch and see signs that show it’s getting closer, but the bible makes it clear that even Jesus did not know when he would return.

    If Jesus had promised to return within his own generation, wouldn’t you expect that idea to be referenced elsewhere in scripture? And, yet, it never is. Do any of the new testament authors refer to the second coming of Christ in these terms? No, they never do, and there are plenty of opportunities for them to use this interpretation to explain what Jesus meant by all these “at hand” and “near” and “quickly” references.

    Did Paul tell the Thessalonians, “hey don’t worry, the time is almost up since we only have our own generation to wait”? No, he explained to them exactly what would happen at Christ’s return, and told them not to worry about their loved ones that had already passed away – no one was going to miss out. Wouldn’t it make sense for Paul to discuss the specific timing, if only he knew what it was?

    When John wrote his gospel, did he use any specific knowledge to clarify the rumors about the timing of Jesus’ return?

    John 21:22-23 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

    No mention of a promise to return in any specific time frame. Already well into at least the middle of their own generation, if John believed that Jesus had promised to return within his own generation, doesn’t it make sense that he would make that clear right here, that “Jesus predicted his return in his generation, not necessarily just in John’s own lifetime”. No, he missed a real opportunity to make this crucial point. He simply reiterates the fact that the rumors were mistaken about what Jesus said, and tells them clearly what Jesus did not say.

    And, of course, when confronted by the scoffers of his time, and projecting into our times, did Peter explain that they all had just a little more time to wait, since Jesus had promised to return within his own generation, “just hang in there, not too much longer”?

    2 Peter 8-10 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

    No, if Peter believed that Jesus had promised to return within his own generation, he had a really strange way of expressing it. Instead he gives the perspective that Jesus actually gave, and what Jesus actually meant. While it was clear that Jesus promised to return, in glory, the grand circus one could say, and that he had stated over and over again that his return was at hand, near, right at the door, the specific timing remained a complete mystery.

    Honestly, Eddie, wouldn’t Peter have put the mystery to rest, if he had any specific knowledge of the timing? He could have noted that he was, at this point, getting on in age. He could have stated the fact that he was there when Jesus promised to return within their generation – it’s got to be just a little while longer… No, he says none of that. Instead he explains that the Lord keeps a different clock than we do and the timing is up to him. Furthermore, his timing is still accurate and his reasons for waiting are for the benefit of those that might perish.

    The bible makes it clear, that while we are commanded to watch and wait, that the second coming is quite near, it also makes it clear that it will come at an unexpected time, at a time that is not predicted anywhere in the bible. The specific timing belongs to God alone, and he is not slow in keeping his promise, no matter what anyone thinks. This is what the bible teaches.

    I’m not claiming that Matthew 24:33-24 contradicts other parts of the bible, I’m saying that since it must be in alignment with the rest of the bible, the interpretation that Jesus promised to return within his own generation is in contradiction with the rest of bible. It’s this interpretation that is in error, and starting with a contradiction can lead to all kinds of wrong assumptions, even to twisting the word to fit a false narrative. Obviously, the idea that the Lord has already returned in 70 AD, without fulfilling every one of his promises, is also in direct contradiction with the bible.

    So, while I can appreciate many parts of the Preterism doctrine (especially as it relates to understanding Daniel 9), it also seems clear that Full Preterism, specifically the idea that the second coming has already occurred in 70 AD, is not supported by scriptures.

    God Bless,
    -Gary

     
    • Eddie

      February 28, 2019 at 08:27

      Greetings Gary, and thank you for your comment. For the record you addressed only two of my points / questions in my previous reply. I understand it was quite long, but you spent three and a half pages in my Word document to tell me the Lord couldn’t have really meant what he clearly stated, namely, that he would return in the first century AD before the generation that crucified him and killed all his Apostles died out. Moreover, you tried to do so without quoting Scripture to support your arguments. You merely argued that Jesus couldn’t have meant what he clearly said he would do.

      What do I see as the main problem for your argument? It is this: you have an idea about what the return of the Lord would look like, what the resurrection and judgment would look like and what the rewards of the believers would look like, and you interpret all of Scripture to meet that criteria. Even Jesus, himself, **must** meet your criteria (cp. Isaiah 55:8), for you to believe what he says. Jesus was rejected as the Messiah in the first century AD simply because he didn’t meet the criteria of first century Jewish understanding of the Scriptures (John 12:34).

      I used to be a futurists, much like yourself. However, once I realized that I must yield my thoughts to Jesus and let him mold my opinions according to his word—i.e. the words the New Covenant Scriptures attribute to him—then I found I could no longer believe as I had believed up to that point in time. That was an epiphany for me. You need an epiphany, Gary. Until you have one, you won’t be able to see beyond your opinion and all of Scripture will have to be force fitted to your understanding. Have a great day, my friend. May the Lord bless you with great understanding of his word.

       
      • intanglegary

        March 3, 2019 at 18:13

        Eddie,

        Jesus clearly said that he would return to reward those that believe in him, and he was very specific about what our rewards would be. He made it clear that every eye would see him and that every knee would bow. I’m choosing to believe Jesus because that’s what it means to be a Christian.

        He was not so clear about exactly when this would happen, in fact he claimed to not even know himself. And it was also clear that his disciples did not know when he would return and did not preach about any specific time frame. However, Jesus was very very clear that we should be faithful until the end, and those that do remain faithful, watching and waiting, preparing to meet him, will receive his full reward – alive or already dead in Christ, they will all meet Jesus and see him face to face.

        This is my criteria for believing Jesus, that he must fulfill his promises, and this is the exact criteria that the bible teaches. My idea about the return of Christ, is simply what Jesus said about it, no more and no less. Any teaching, even an epiphany, that subtracts from that, must be rejected – the bible is full of warnings about these false doctrines, and how we are to guard against them.

        Of course, I am in need of some kind of my own epiphany, there is no doubt about that. My primary concern is that the same words of God, enhanced by the same Holy Spirit, can lead to such confusion across the church. This is what does not make sense to me, many of these divisions are fundamental and in direct contradiction, many of them must be false since they cannot all be true. Is there any hope of reconciliation, short of the final return of Jesus?

        And, it’s not just about Full Preterism, which represents only a tiny fragment of proponents. I can tell you that it’s quite frustrating to sit in a main stream church that teaches a secret rapture, and to just have to sort of bite my tongue about it. For many this is their epiphany, no less than the holy grail – it’s just no fun suggesting that it’s not going to happen that way.

        Clearly, the pastor has a deep passion for Jesus and has studied the matter in far more detail than I. Suffice it say that he has my total respect, and yet is also totally wrong about a very important doctrine. Awkward moment? Why can’t I find this rapture thing, reading the exact same scriptures, praying for guidance from the same Holy Spirit? It’s not that I haven’t looked, it’s just that it’s not in there. It this really how Christianity is supposed to work?

        Our modern day church can’t even agree on which day is the appropriate day for corporate worship, and the endless arguments have fragmented the denominations into so many little pieces, it’s hard to recognize it as the church of Christ. We sit in our church on Sunday morning, while the church down the street was just yesterday teaching that as a grave sin. Is this really how Jesus wanted the church to be? Hard to believe that he’s happy about it…

        May God bless us with a better understanding,
        -Gary

         
        • Eddie

          March 3, 2019 at 20:28

          Greetings Gary, and thank you for your heartfelt reply. You said:

          I can tell you that it’s quite frustrating to sit in a main stream church that teaches a secret rapture, and to just have to sort of bite my tongue about it. For many this is their epiphany, no less than the holy grail – it’s just no fun suggesting that it’s not going to happen that way.

          I can relate. I am often troubled by how many in my fellowship take the teaching of a ‘famous’ preacher and believe he is the man of God for our era. He is wrong in prophecy, and the dates fail, but he isn’t a false prophet. It simply boggles the mind what some of my brethren are willing to overlook in order to believe their favorite teacher.

          Clearly, the pastor has a deep passion for Jesus and has studied the matter in far more detail than I. Suffice it say that he has my total respect, and yet is also totally wrong about a very important doctrine.

          I understand perfectly. I disagree with some important teachings that my pastor preaches, but I have tremendous respect for him. He loves the Lord and that’s what counts. Doctrines are fine; if they are true, they set us free from many things that bind us. However, what doctrine cannot do is **save** anyone. Lots of people are wrong in their understanding, but they love the Lord, and he looks upon the heart. They’re all saved, every one of them. Some folks don’t see it this way, and they try to tell us you must believe **this** or **that** teaching to be saved. Not true. All one needs is Jesus.

          Our modern day church can’t even agree on which day is the appropriate day for corporate worship, and the endless arguments have fragmented the denominations into so many little pieces, it’s hard to recognize it as the church of Christ. We sit in our church on Sunday morning, while the church down the street was just yesterday teaching that as a grave sin. Is this really how Jesus wanted the church to be? Hard to believe that he’s happy about it…

          I wouldn’t be overly concerned about this, Gary. Look at it this way. There is not a doubt in my mind that you love the Lord and are saved. I believe you feel the same about me. Yet, we differ on a very important matter. From my perspective I am free and no longer troubled about when the Lord will return. Again, from my perspective, I see you troubled about what the Lord will find at his return. Your perspective would be different, but I said that to say this. At any given moment, the Lord could, if he really wanted to, expose the error of what you or I believe, and he could do it in a very convincing manner (viz. Paul’s Damascus experience). No doctrine, no error – nothing – is too great for him to handle. The fact that he has not exposed your error (or mine, if you are correct) tells me that he doesn’t mind all that much. There are more important things at work here. We can discuss our differences in a friendly manner. Sometimes I push the envelope a bit, but by and large our discussion, though heated at times, is a friendly one. We treat one another like brethren. That is more important than right doctrine.

          In view of this fact, I’m ending our discussion on this topic. You know what I believe and I know what you believe. We need not rehash it all in every reply. I was a Sunday school teacher for over 25 years in my church fellowship. Recently, I told my pastor I wanted to quit. The leadership knew I had changed my eschatological outlook. I told them, but said I wouldn’t push it upon my brethren. They were comfortable with that. Nevertheless, the more I studied and tried to relate what I found to my class (studying the book of Hebrews) the more I simply couldn’t keep from speaking about it. The message is everywhere. I remembered 1Corinthians 11 and eating before my brethren. I took that as spiritual food; my class and my church took it as physical food. Yet, the Gospels tell us to share our riches with those who lack, so why “eat my steak” at home? Why not share it. Therefore, I concluded it was spiritual food that Paul had in mind. I shouldn’t keep telling my brethren what the Lord gave me to “eat” (spiritually). Therefore, I told my pastor that in good conscience I thought I should quit immediately. No problem.

          I told you this, because this is how I see the way our discussion has turned. It can do no good to continue. I hope you understand. Nevertheless, don’t be afraid to stop by and reply to a different study. I will enjoy hearing from you. Lord bless.

           
  3. intanglegary

    February 16, 2019 at 20:44

    Eddie,

    Seems you’re getting a bit circular again. Clearly Jesus did not promise to return within his own generation, since he has not yet returned. So, yes, many have struggled with Matthew 24:34, but the final interpretation must not present contradictions to other parts of scripture. So, how should we properly interpret this part of the Olivet Discourse?

    We could take the position that Jesus did predict his second coming would occur within his own generation, the starting point for Full Preterism. Then we’re left with twisting around the rest of the bible to fit that narrative. You know, Jesus didn’t really mean every eye would see, when he said that every eye would see. New immortal bodies? No, that’s just a bunch of spiritual mumbo jumbo that’s really hard to understand, especially if you’re not a Jew living in the first century AD. New heavens and a new earth? It’s all just very colorful language, hardly the blessed hope we’re all expecting. There’s really no need to watch and wait, to earnestly prepare for the return of Jesus, he already came and went…

    Or, if that doesn’t ring true, we could start with the rest of the bible, where we are commanded to watch and faithfully wait for our Lord’s return. We are told to not be fooled by anyone, no one will miss the glorious event – every eye will see. And, at that time, the dead in Christ will be resurrected and, together with those still alive, they will meet the Lord in the air, receive new immortal bodies, see Jesus face to face, know him as he really is, and live with him forever.

    Then, when we make our way back to Matthew, it’s clear that one of the many interpretations of Matthew 24:34 is totally wrong. Jesus has not already returned, we still see him only as a vague impression of who he really is. We did not meet him in the air, and we did not receive our new immortal bodies. I’ve always read Matthew 24:34 in full context:

    Matthew 24:32-34 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

    We don’t like it when the bible is ambiguous, but this is clearly a case where so much focus has been placed on this one passage, with so many divergent interpretations, it’s evident that it’s one of the most difficult in all the bible – many doctrines pivot on this one point. It’s quite likely that Jesus is referring to the generation that witnesses the signs that will not pass away. This would at least be consistent with the rest of the bible. But, it’s also very clear that he was not promising to return within any specific time frame, this is proven false by the rest of the bible.

    About the Hymenaean Heresy, as I’ve already said, I can only guess what arguments were used by Hymenaean to convince anyone that the resurrection had already occurred, but they must have been pretty similar to those used by Full Preterism today. The bible makes it clear that while these are totally false arguments, they will nonetheless, spread like gangrene and destroy the faith of some. My inability to explain how they did it is clearly no argument in favor of the heresy.

    As I have noted, selling these false arguments would have been much easier in the time of Hymenaean, since much of the gospel was spread only by word of mouth – they did not have the authoritative bible reference that we take for granted today. For instance, Paul dispels just such a false doctrine in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, where he makes it clear what will happen when Christ does return.

    Some of the Thessalonians had been taken in by this false teaching and Paul’s letter was setting the record straight, they need not be worried about missing out, or that their loved ones may have missed out. Every Christian, remaining alive or already dead in Christ, will meet Jesus in the air – there will be no more doubt about when Jesus is returning. At that time, everyone will know. This is what the bible consistently proclaims.

    The real mystery is how anyone could still believe this today, now that we have Paul’s letter in hand – he put the false doctrines to rest and made it clear to the Thessalonians, and to us, exactly what we are to expect. In fact, we have the complete gospel where we’re taught that the primary mission of every Christian is to watch for the Lord’s return, to prepare ourselves to meet him. And that when he does return, he will come with our rewards in hand – he will complete his glorious mission. Compared to that final cataclysmic event, 70 AD is hardly a blip on the radar.

    Call it a circus if you like, but when Jesus does return, we’ll all be on the merry-go-round, one way or another. Or, perhaps, for some, it’ll be more like the roller coaster. For us that believe in Jesus, holding firm until that day, ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Like the bible says, when Christ returns, nothing will be the same, and everyone will know exactly which ride they’re on!

    God Bless,
    -Gary

     
    • Eddie

      February 17, 2019 at 05:31

      Greetings Gary, I must say that I have to admire your stamina. I was certain you wouldn’t reply to my last response to you. May the Lord bless you and help you in your quest to understand his word.

      Seems you’re getting a bit circular again. Clearly Jesus did not promise to return within his own generation, since he has not yet returned.

      In Matthew 16:27-28 Jesus claimed he would come in the glory of his Father, with his angels and reward everyman according to his works. Then in verse-28 he says: “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” The question is Gary, did he do it? Did he return in **the first century AD** before his generation died off? Clearly, he claimed he would. Lots of scoffers today, such as Jews, Moslems and atheists are quick to say that Jesus simply couldn’t be the Son of God, and the New Testament Scriptures couldn’t be inerrant, because Jesus couldn’t do what he claimed he would do? The surprise is that so man of Jesus’ disciples agree with the scoffers, at least to say Jesus didn’t return in the first century as he clearly promised to do.

      Concerning Jesus’ promise to return in Matthew 24, you said:

      We could take the position that Jesus did predict his second coming would occur within his own generation, the starting point for Full Preterism. Then we’re left with twisting around the rest of the bible to fit that narrative.

      The question remains: who is **twisting** the Scriptures, Preterists or Futurists? You demand a physical return of Jesus—one in which everyone would see him with their physical eyes, and he would return to a physical Jerusalem to reign on a physical throne over a physical nation and would thereby bring all nations to submit to him. Yet, Matthew 16:27 clearly claims that Jesus would return in the glory of his Father. How did the Father come in the Old Testament?

      The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. (Isaiah 19:1 KJV)

      Did the Egyptians see the LORD with their physical eyes? Did he arrive in Egypt on a physical cloud? Did the hearts of the Egyptians physicallymelt? You see, Gary, coming in the glory of the Father doesn’t require a physical event. It was a event that had physical consequences. So, too, Jesus promise to come in the glory of the Father (Matthew 16:27; cp. 26:64-65) was a spiritual event that had physical consequences—the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple.

      You quoted Matthew 24:32-34:

      “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (emphasis mine)

      We don’t like it when the bible is ambiguous, but this is clearly a case where so much focus has been placed on this one passage,

      Gary, what is so**ambiguous** about this Scripture? Is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” ambiguous? If not, how is “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” ambiguous? Jesus reiterated that he would return in **that** generation—his generation. In fact, he just finished telling the Jews all these things would come upon “this generation” (Matthew 23:36). What things? Well, Jesus just finished calling the scribes and Pharisees into account, and he said that he would send them prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of whom they would kill and crucify; and others they would scourge in the synagogues, and persecute from city to city. This they would do in order that upon **them**– that nation, the Jews – would come the guilt of all the righteous blood that was shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel (in Genesis – the first book of the Law) to the blood of Zacharias, the son of Barachias (2Chronicles – the last book of the Old Covenant in the Tanach – See Matthew 23:34-34). In other words, that generation, i.e. Jesus’ generation was the final generation of the Old Covenant. It was **their** end of the age, **their** end time, **their** last days. The age of the Gospel never ends according to Daniel 2:44. And, Gary, the image of Daniel 2 concerned Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. In the days of those kingdoms the Kingdom would be set up that would never end—and that is the Kingdom we preach.

      Who is twisting the Scriptures, Gary, those who accept Jesus at his word and take his word to be fulfilled spiritually, or those who demand a physical fulfillment of all these things? Personally I think the answer is obvious.

      May the Lord bless you as you consider these things.

       
      • Gary

        February 25, 2019 at 17:54

        Twisting scripture is starting with a narrative and then twisting the rest of the bible to fit that scheme – interpreting some words of Jesus in a certain way, and then dismissing the rest of Jesus words since they don’t agree with the first premise.

        Full Preterism isn’t the only doctrine to make this error, many Futurists have taken a certain interpretation of Daniel 9 and “twisted” the rest of the bible into a complete end times narrative. Problem is that Daniel is quite ambiguous, and it’s just too easy to start with a false premise and build an entire story to fit the rest of the bible into that mold.

        The Rapturists do the same thing to 1 Thessalonians 4, starting with the notion of a “secret” rapture and then forcing the rest of the bible to match that idea. I’ve always preferred to read the bible in plains terms and try to find the ideas the best bring things into harmony. It seems clear that Paul is describing the second coming of Christ, the resurrection which will start at his arrival, and what will happen to those Christians still alive at that point in time. No need to make up something else…

        Jesus plainly teaches that every eye will see his return, we are not to be fooled by anyone into thinking that we’ve missed the event – we’ll all be fully aware. Upon his return, both alive and dead in Christ will meet him in the air, and our old perishable bodies will be transformed into new immortal ones. We will see Jesus face to face and know him as he is, and we will live with him forever.

        So, the Full Preterist, having accepted a specific interpretation of Matthew 24:32-34, is left with the hefty task of explaining away these promises – literally taking away from the very essence of Christianity. Paul clearly explains to the Thessalonians that, when Jesus returns, they will be with him. And that same promise applies to us, to all Christians that have lived through the ages, and to those that are still alive today. When Christ returns, he will deliver on his promises, and no one will miss out, alive or dead, every knee will bow.

        Since that event has not yet occurred, as described throughout the bible, then we’re left with the conclusion that Jesus did not promise to return in his own generation, there are simply far too many “words of Jesus” that prove this interpretation false. When Jesus does return, we won’t be having any debates about it, this is what Jesus promised, this is the right answer to any and all scoffers.

        This whole spiritual vs. physical return of Jesus is really just another non-issue, I mean, really does it matter at all to make this distinction? I’m certainly not using this as an argument and don’t really see the point. The closest the bible comes to saying that his return will be physical is:

        Acts 1-“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

        But, of course there’s enough ambiguity, even in this plain statement, to still call his return more spiritual in nature. It’s clear that our perishable bodies are quite physical in nature, and that our new bodies will be spiritual:

        1 Corinthians 43-44 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

        Is this really an important distinction? Not in my opinion. The promises of Christ are far more important. When Jesus returns, he will transform our physical bodies into spiritual ones – this is what’s important, every one of us will be changed in an instant. He promises that every eye will see this, that alive or dead in Christ, we will all be present with Jesus – when he does return.

        In the meantime, we are commanded to watch and to wait, to hold strong until the very end, -this is the simple message of the bible. Jesus promised to return in glory, to bring an end to this evil and sinful world, to usher in a new age, literally a new heavens and a new earth. And he promised to bring his rewards to those that believed in him. First believe these words of Jesus, these many commands and beautiful promises, then read the rest of the bible in that context.

        This is rightly dividing the word of truth, in my humble opinion…

        God Bless,
        -Gary

         
        • Eddie

          February 26, 2019 at 06:55

          Greetings Gary and thank you for your comment and determination in this little discussion.

          If you wish to have your comments appear at the top of the page, simply go to the bottom of the page and **reply** in the “comment box” there without actually replying to a specific comment of mine. That way your most recent comments won’t appear in the midst of previous comments. If you don’t want to do that, then just disregard this hint. I’m simply trying to be helpful, in case you would rather not search for your comments and mine in the midst of previous ones.

          Concerning “twisting Scripture,” if you define **twisting** Scripture by saying an interpretation of Matthew 24:32-34 doesn’t agree with what Paul said in 1Thessalonians 4:13-17, why wouldn’t that work the other way around? That is, wouldn’t **your interpretation** of Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians be contrary to what Jesus clearly claimed in Matthew? In other words forcing Thessalonians to agree with Matthew is just as bad as forcing Matthew to agree with Thessalonians. Therefore, your demand for a literal, physical return of Jesus doesn’t make such a return necessary. It is rather for us to honor Jesus’ words and submit our thoughts, i.e. our understanding of the text to the clear reading of the Scriptures themselves, not the other way around.

          Concerning Daniel 9, chapter 9 begins with Daniel’s prayer to the Lord to permit the Jews to return to their homeland, because the 70 years prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled. The Lord’s response was that 70 weeks of years or 490 years were determined upon the Jews. There is nothing ambiguous about that. Count 490 years and you come to Jesus, his ministry and the beginning of his apostles’ ministry, and the count ends with the death of Stephen. At that point, cir. 40 years are added to parallel the Jews’ 40 years in the wilderness before entry into the Promised Land was possible, which in the context of the first century AD would bring us to cir. 70 AD, give or take. Therefore, one simply cannot cause or force Daniel’s 490 years to go beyond the first century AD.

          Concerning your words: “No need to make up something else…”, what am I making up? I’ve used Scripture to support every claim I’ve made. What can be clearer than Matthew 16:27-28 or Matthew 23:29-36? To whom was Jesus speaking, when he claimed “all these things will come upon **this** generation?” Notice he didn’t say **that** generation, as though it was a generation far removed from him, but he said **this** generation, which was in close proximity to him. I’m merely trying to honor Jesus’ words. What is so ambiguous about his words?

          Concerning Revelation 1:7, let me quote the verse:

          BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. (Revelation 1:7 NASB)

          First of all, do you really expect Jesus to come out of heaven on a bright cumulus cloud? I hope we can agree he won’t. After all, did Pharaoh really see the Lord coming on a cloud to judge Egypt in Isaiah 19:1? If we can agree to this, then it seems obvious that John is writing in hyperbole / apocalyptic (exaggerated) language, similar to how Mark writes about John the Baptist:

          “all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:5).

          Certainly, every last man, woman and child of Judea and Jerusalem neither went out to see John the Baptist, nor were all of them baptized by him. Therefore, when John says “…every eye will see him”, he isn’t speaking literally. We can understand this type of language in the manner in which we use it ourselves, when we describe an important event. We often say: “Everyone was there!” Yet, the person or persons we’re speaking with don’t take us literally. Rather, they automatically know that not everyone in the world attended the event. The phrase is simply understood without explanation. What I find odd is that I must explain Revelation 1:7 to you. Really! **every eye** will see him? It seems to me that you are forcing this interpretation upon the text and, furthermore, requiring much clearer texts, such as Matthew 16:27-38 and Matthew 23:29-36 and Matthew 24:32-34 (all of which agree with one another) to agree with your interpretation of Revelation 1:7 which is clearly taken out of context.

          Long comments, such as yours, sometimes demand longer comments from me, so I’ll divide this reply to you into two replies of about equal length. This way, folks who wish to read what we say here are more apt to read the whole discussion, if it is divided into several equal portions. So this comment will be:

          CONTINUED BELOW…

           
        • Eddie

          February 26, 2019 at 06:57

          CONTINUED FROM ABOVE:

          Concerning: Matthew 24:32-34 and “literally taking away from the very essence of Christianity…” What exactly is “literally taking away from the very essence of Christianity” according to you? Is it 1Thessalonians 4:13-17? Well, what does that mean? It seems to me that you want to force your interpretation of 1Thessalonians 4:13-17 upon Matthew 24:32-34. Yet, Jesus claimed Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35), meaning: it cannot be read in such a manner that one passage is forced to contradict another passage. You claim:

          “Since that event has not yet occurred, as described throughout the bible, then we’re left with the conclusion that Jesus did not promise to return in his own generation.”

          In other words, since your interpretation of 1Thessalonians 4:13-17 **must** be correct, then Jesus **could not have meant** what Matthew 16:27-28, Matthew 23:29-36 and Matthew 24:32-34 clearly claim concerning Jesus’ return in that generation.

          The question arises then, how does your conclusion about **Jesus’ words** fit with what the writers of the New Covenant Scriptures claim about what Jesus said? Peter claimed that the prophets of old prophesied not for their time, but for the time of those to whom Peter wrote in the first century AD. Here, Peter tells his readers to wait for the grace that was to come to them at the revelation of Jesus (1Peter 1:10-13). Furthermore, Peter claimed the **end of all things** was near (1Peter 4:7), that is, the end was near in the first century AD, at least this is what Peter told his immediate readers, and don’t forget, Peter actually heard what Jesus claimed in Matthew 16, 23 & 24. His statements in his epistles are **Peter’s** interpretation of what he heard Jesus say.

          John the Baptist claimed, “the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). James, who lived in the same home as Jesus, also claimed, when he wrote to the Diaspora, that Jesus’ return was near even at the door (James 5:8-9). Paul also claimed the coming of the Lord was “near” (Philippians 4:5), in a very little while (Hebrews 10:37). This doesn’t sound like 2000 years and counting. Rather, it shows that all the New Covenant writers believed Jesus meant what he said, namely, that he predicted he would return within that generation that condemned him to die on the cross.

          You said:

          “This whole spiritual vs. physical return of Jesus is really just another non-issue, I mean, really does it matter at all to make this distinction? I’m certainly not using this as an argument and don’t really see the point.”

          I am astonished that you would say this. Exactly how does “every eye” see the Lord (Revelation 1:7), as you claim they would, if it wasn’t a “physical” event? Again, did Pharaoh see the Lord coming on the clouds in Isaiah 19:1? Clearly, he didn’t, so the Lord came spiritually and worked through the king of Assyria to judge Egypt. In other words, the Lord came “spiritually” (not physically) to Egypt and judged that nation. This would suggest that a “spiritual” coming of Jesus would occur in the first century AD through Titus and his armies, when Jesus came to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple (cp. Matthew 26:64).

          If Jesus comes to a physical Jerusalem and sits on a physical throne, and is physically seen by every eye of every man woman and child on earth, then Jesus comes physically. If Jesus comes through a physical general (or king) and destroys or judges Jerusalem, while Jesus reigns in the heavens, then Jesus’ coming is spiritual. It has **physical** results, but no one “sees” him with their physical eyes, he doesn’t physically come to Jerusalem, and he doesn’t physically sit upon a physical throne in the Middle East.

          Concerning Acts 1:11 and Jesus’ coming in like manner that he left from Mount Olivet, I speak at length about this very matter in a previous study entitled: “In Like Manner.” Please see it as my reply to this point.

          Concerning “he will transform our physical bodies into spiritual ones,” the Bible never says that. What we are told in 1Corinthians 15:52 is that the dead in Christ will be raise imperishable, but we who are alive will be changed. That is, those who were dead would be raised to life and given an imperishable, spiritual body (1Corinthians 15:44, 52), but those who are alive would be changed. Yet, nothing is said of the living, physical believers given spiritual bodies. All the Scripture claims about the living is that they would be changed. The word in the Greek is “allasso” (G236). The same word is used in Acts 6:14 for “changing” the customs of Moses, and in Hebrews 1:12 for changing the face of nature as it gets older. Allasso (G236) doesn’t mean we are given a spiritual body. It simply means something occurs to us that “changes” us into something we weren’t before. It has to do with Jesus making his abode with us forever (Revelation 21). It has to do with restoring man’s relationship with God to what it was before Adam rebelled. When we die, and it is appointed that all men will die once (Hebrews 9:27), then we’ll be given spiritual bodies, but not before.

          Concerning your saying: “In the meantime, we are commanded to watch and to wait, to hold strong until the very end,” Proverbs tells us that

          “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

          Gary, do you really believe the Lord would tell us for 2000 years (and counting) that he is coming soon (Revelation 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10, 12, 20) but keep deferring that hope to another generation into the future? He tells us that such a thing makes one’s heart sick. Is that what the Lord has been doing with his people for 2000 years, making us sick? I’m telling you that he has kept his promise in the very generation that he predicted he would come to reward his saints, and his doing so is a tree of life for the soul.

          Lord bless you Gary while you consider these things.

           
    • Patricia Watkins

      February 18, 2019 at 21:57

      Hi Gary,

      My position sits somewhere between yours and Eddie’s, in that I see scripture laying out a pattern for a THIRD coming of Christ, with another THIRD physical resurrection and rewards for all the New Covenant saints in our future, as well as two past fulfilled physical resurrections for the Old Covenant saints back in AD 70. Identifying each of these three resurrections is the only way to reconcile the scriptures that seem to conflict with each other. The veiled language is there in scripture to indicate this pattern of three comings of Christ and three resurrections.

      Gary, I’m sure you already agree that Christ’s “First Resurrection” took place in the past, when Christ the First-fruits arose from the dead along with the group of saints in Matthew 27:52-53. This “First Resurrection” is the one which Hymenaeus and Philetus built their false doctrine around, which included the 144,000 First-fruits (from Rev. 14:1-5) who came out of the grave with “Christ the First-fruits” (as I Cor. 15:23 calls Him) back in AD 33. Seeing and/or hearing about that group of saints resurrected from graves around Jerusalem was so astoundingly memorable that Hymenaeus and Philetus thought it was the one and only resurrection that would ever take place. It wasn’t, of course, and Paul corrected their error in I Thess. 4, as you have noted.

      Gary, part of your expectation for a “rapture” is different from what Paul predicted. There is NO prediction of a TRANSLATION of the living saints who had not yet died mentioned anywhere in I Thess. 4 or in I Cor. 15:51-53 either. Only a change of the DEAD body forms of saints turning into incorruptible ones is ever described. Nobody but resurrected saints were going to participate in the I Thess. 4 rapture.

      The I Thess. 4 saints who had already been made “alive” by resurrection, and who had “remained” on the earth were those like the Matthew 27:52-53 saints raised with Jesus, but who would “remain” on the earth until the AD 70 physical resurrection of the rest of the saints up to that point in time. Together, along with the newly-resurrected saints, they met the Lord in the air when Jesus “received them unto Himself” and returned to heaven with them.

      The “apantesis” term Eddie has emphasized doesn’t eliminate a physical return to heaven, because Christ was taking His Old Covenant “bride” back to His own home in heaven with Him, for the marriage of the Lamb. The bride never meets the groom to take him back to her old home. And a marriage is usually consummated in a physical sense, so the analogy of a physical gathering of the resurrected saints to meet the physically-returning Christ who takes them all back to heaven with Him is perfectly suitable.

      God intended to have three physical resurrection events for harvesting the bodies of His saints out of the dust, to match with the picture type of the three required harvest feast celebrations of Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. All three resurrections would be spaced out over time, each of them staged to occur at those precise festival times of the year. Those three harvest feast celebrations were designed around the distinctive rainy seasons of Israel’s climate – the “latter rain”, which preceded both the spring barley harvest at Passover (for the First Resurrection), and also the wheat harvest before Pentecost, 50 days later (for the AD 70 second resurrection). That leaves the last, third resurrection to take place in the future during the seventh month when the Feast of Tabernacles would have been celebrated, before the “early rain” of the winter season.

      The connection between the three “harvests” of the saints’ bodies and these rainy seasons is found in James 5:7 (ESV). “Be patient therefore brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the EARLY and LATE RAINS. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (Out of three total comings, the second coming in AD 70 was at hand for James’ readers on that year’s Pentecost day, following the latter rain season.)

      Hosea 6:3 (KJV) is the companion verse to James 5:7. “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come to us as the rain, as the LATTER and FORMER RAIN unto the earth.” (Just as the predictable rainy seasons resulted in the three harvest times in Israel, the Lord would time His coming returns and the resurrections to take place at the same time the harvest feast celebrations took place, based on those rainy seasons.)

      Jesus also spoke of two future comings which the saints were to look for and to remain ready. The context of Luke 12:35-40 (Interlinear) was Christ’s warning to the disciples and to the people to be prepared with their lamps burning, as if they were men waiting for their lord to return from the wedding feasts (plural). Luke 12:38 then says, “And if he come in the second watch AND in the third watch he come, and find them thus, blessed are those bondmen.” (If the Lord returned both of those times and found His bondmen prepared and ready at both of those returns, the bondmen would be blessed.) Peter then wanted to know if Christ was giving this warning to the disciples, or if it was “to ALL”. Jesus answered by applying this warning generically – to whoever was a faithful and wise steward. That applied to the first-century generation of saints who expected – and experienced – a Pentecost day bodily resurrection at the Lord’s physical return. It also applies to us saints today, who are to expect – and will someday experience – a bodily resurrection at the next return of the Lord in the same month that the Feast of Tabernacles would have been celebrated back under the Old Covenant. This is why we have that one particular feast mentioned for remembrance in Zechariah 14:16-19.

      It’s significant Gary, that Jacob was a type of Christ in the OT, and Jacob took two wives, Rachel and Leah, who “built the house of Israel” (Ruth 4:11). These two sisters provided a symbolic example that used the beloved Rachel to represent the originally-chosen children of Abraham under the Old Covenant. Leah, the one not favored by Jacob’s choice to begin with, corresponds to the Gentile nations who were on the outside of God’s promises to begin with, who eventually as believers under the New Covenant started producing far more “children” for Christ than the Jews did. That’s because the Jewish nation under the Old Covenant, like Rachel, died in the vicinity of Jerusalem in the AD 70 era.

      Why shouldn’t there be a corresponding resurrection and judgment devoted to each of these Ages – the New Covenant Age and the Old Covenant Age? There is NO scripture that limits the resurrection to a single event, and one event only. This is merely a presumed tradition supposing that there is only one.

       
      • Patricia Watkins

        February 19, 2019 at 09:38

        Oops, sorry Gary – I posted a mistake in the first paragraph that I didn’t catch last night. I meant to say that there have been two past fulfilled physical resurrections: one for Christ and the Matthew 27:52-53 saints back in AD 33, and another resurrection in AD 70. Just to clarify, because that sounded confusing.

         
  4. intanglegary

    February 2, 2019 at 18:30

    Eddie,

    Yes, you will not be able to convince me that the Lord has already come, since this is clearly a false doctrine. When Jesus does return, we are promised immortal bodies, we will become like Jesus, we will see him as he really is, face to face, and we will live with him forever. And those that have died in Christ will be raised up at the same time, at the second coming of Jesus, to meet him in the clouds.

    It’s a pointless argument to insist that this event already occurred, twisting every scripture to fit that sad narrative. Seriously, Eddie, what does your doctrine say for you and I, for all modern day Christians? I’m clearly still living in a perishable body, and I’ve never seen Jesus as he really is, face to face, knowing him as he knows me. Have you seen Jesus face to face? Did he reward you with a new body?

    No, it’s just all too obvious that this has not yet happened – all the promises that Jesus made, throughout the bible, the very main point of the bible, the promise that when Jesus returns, he will bring us our reward. Full Preterism would sacrifice all of this for the silly notion that Jesus already came and went and all the Christians since 70 AD missed it. This is just crazy talk.

    The news of 70 AD didn’t spread like wildfire, more like a wet match. I’d never even considered the idea until I started researching different views of eschatology, literally stumbling onto it from searching the internet. The promise of Jesus’ second coming, the good news, is what spread like wildfire. The idea that we all missed it has been heard by only a small set of people, and believed by even fewer.

    About the resurrection, it will occur at the end of our age, when Jesus does return, just like the bible says – there’s really no choice for me to make beyond accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Still alive or already dead in Christ, we’ll meet Jesus in the clouds and receive our reward, just like the bible says – this is the blessed hope.

    The bible is actually quite ambiguous about the exact state of the dead, even those awaiting new life at the resurrection. However, Jesus does make it clear that Abraham is alive in 32 AD, well before even his own resurrection:

    Matthew 22:30-32 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

    So, Eddie, using your logic, we could make the argument that the resurrection had already occurred well before 70 AD. In my opinion, that would also be misinterpreting scriptures, it would be contradicting many other scriptures that fix the time of the resurrection at the second coming.

    My best understanding of this paradox is that Jesus often speaks in a timeless sense. Abraham is alive at the time Jesus walked the earth because, in the context of God, the resurrection has already occurred, even though we’re still quite restricted by time and must still wait for the second coming and the resurrection to happen in our own sense of time sequenced events.

    A similar paradox is presented when Jesus tells one of the criminals “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Of course, this passage has also sparked much debate about what happens to us when we die in Christ, and what states exists between death and resurrection. For myself, while it’s more aesthetically pleasing to think we go to be with the Lord as soon as we die, it’s just as likely that we just sort of blink out of time and then awaken at the end of the age.

    Not sure it really matters all that much, and none of this provides a valid argument to believe the resurrection has already occurred. Just a lot more twisting scripture to fit a narrative. And, in this case, a clearly false narrative. The bible is quite explicit about this:

    2 Timothy 15-18 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

    God Bless,
    -Gary

     
    • Eddie

      February 2, 2019 at 19:45

      Not trying to convince you Gary, just wondering why you still come with the same type of question. After all a while back you claimed:

      I think our discussion has become a bit circular, you clearly believe that Jesus promised to return in the first century and I’m totally convinced that he did not. Seems we’re stuck on that one point and I can see that you’re quite locked into Full Preterism, even though the implication would be that Jesus failed to deliver on all the other promises that his second coming was to bring. [Gary – April 8, 2018 – on “Not With Observation“]

      Why are you still trying to convince me that you are correct?

      All of your replies are off the cuff, no substance and no Scripture. For example:

      The news of 70 AD didn’t spread like wildfire, more like a wet match.

      Were you there? How would you know how fast such news would spread?

      About the resurrection, it will occur at the end of our age, when Jesus does return, just like the bible says.

      Yet, the Bible says Jesus appeared in the end of the age (Hebrews 1:2), and promised he would return before that generation died off (Matthew 16:27-28).

      What seems to be the problem is you already have it all figured out and, naturally, the Bible must agree with you. When you are faced with a Scripture like Hebrews 1:2 or and Matthew 16:27-28, they must be interpreted to mean something that wouldn’t be obvious to the natural understanding.

      The Bible was written by Jews, to Jews and for Jews. When it speaks of “the end of the age” it is speaking of the end of the Old Covenant or the end of the Jewish age (Deuteronomy 31:28-29), the end of when God addressed the world through them.

      You attempted to answer whether or not Abraham is alive–he is according to God, but not really alive according to us and the ‘future’ resurrection. But, really what does that mean? Is that a yes or a no? You didn’t even attempt an answer about yourself. Do you believe when you die you will go to be with the Lord? If you do, you must believe the resurrection already occurrred, beause there is no immortality without a resurrection. But if you don’t go to be with the Lord when you die, how would you interpret the Scripture that as a believer you will never die (John 11:26)?

      You cannot have immortality without a resurrection and you cannot have a resurrection without the return of Christ. Think about it before (or if) you reply again.

      One simply cannot cast the Scriptures above aside in favor of: “Well, I didn’t see Jesus come, therefore, he couldn’t have come!” I have to wonder where “faith” is in that statement. Nevertheless, if you say its there, I know you belive it. Have a great day Gary, and may the Lord guide you in your studies.

       
      • intanglegary

        February 3, 2019 at 17:33

        Eddie,

        You’re the one that claimed the news of the second coming in 70 AD spread like wildfire. Were you there? Do you have any evidence of this? Clearly if it did spread like wildfire, then it would still be news today – and it’s not, hardly an obscurity. It’s self evident that your claim is false.

        You claim that there can be no immortality without a resurrection and that you cannot have a resurrection without the return of Christ. But then you agree that Abraham was already alive before the resurrection and before the return of Christ, supposedly in 70 AD. This argument makes no sense.

        Faith comes from believing what the bible says, not from what we want it to say. The bible says that when Jesus returns, he will bring us our reward. So, Eddie, again, have you seen Jesus face to face? Have you received a new immortal body? Do you recall being gathered up in the clouds to meet Christ with all the other Christians, both alive and dead?

        Since we haven’t received what Jesus promised to bring us upon his return, it directly follows that he has not yet returned. That’s simple logic. That’s simple faith. To argue that he has already returned, but failed to deliver on his many promises, that’s a very sad position to be in.

        So, Eddie, I do still get emails from your blog, and read through many of them. And I do appreciate the time you spend and your dedication to study God’s word, working hard to make rational sense out of it. But, more times then not, I’m left feeling that you are more intent on twisting the word to fit your own narrative, as you declare yet again, that all the facts line up around 70 AD – your holy grail it seems.

        I guess I’m worried about you, Eddie. A Christian brother that clearly invests way more time and effort than I ever have, reading the same word as I do, guided by the same Holy Spirit. And, yet, still insisting on such a radically different interpretation. It does bother me Eddie. The fact that there can be such a wide divergence amongst serious Christians really bothers me.

        So, I hope that I’m not being too annoying and I truly do not want to offend you, but I do believe that you are not only holding on to a false doctrine, you’re also preaching a false doctrine. Clearly, if you are wrong about the resurrection, then you have placed yourself in alignment with Hymenaeus and Philetus. And that is dangerous ground to be standing on…

        God Bless you Eddie,

        -Gary

         
        • Eddie

          February 4, 2019 at 08:09

          Greetings, Gary. You know what. I was offended with the “twisting” the Scriptures remark, but I can see you didn’t mean any offence by reading your latest reply. Thank you for your concern, but really, you needn’t worry about me. We differ on many things, but I don’t worry about you. We’re in the hands of the Lord, and that’s a good place to be.

          Concerning the Hymenaeus Heresy (2Timothy 2:17-18), which concerns preaching that the resurrection is past, think about what you are saying Gary. Let’s suppose for a moment you are correct that Jesus would come and every eye in the world would see him, that it would be such an earth shattering event that none could miss it, and that this is what the Apostles preached. How could someone like Hymenaeus convince folks that such an event had already occurred? This fact alone ought to make your understanding suspect. How could anyone believe the resurrection had already occurred in the days of the Apostles, if they described that event as you have in this discussion? Notice the problem:

          Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 NASB)

          But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some (2 Timothy 2:16-18 NASB).

          If the Second Coming and the resurrection have all the “bells and whistles” that you claim they have, how could anyone during the days of the Apostles’ testimony be deceived into thinking they had missed those events, that they had already occurred (2Thessalonians 2:1-2; 2Timothy 2:17-18)?

          Concerning “wildfire”, that’s a term only you have used to describe how I thought the news would spread. I used the Biblical term “lightning”, which is an obvious metaphor for “quickly”, which is the definition I used, and that only once.

          Concerning Abraham being alive before 70 AD, that was never my claim. He and all the Old Covenant saints were dead awaiting resurrection. The Scriptures claim there is no consciousness in the grave, because there our thoughts perish (Psalm 6:5; 146:4). No, according to Scripture Abe saw Jesus’ day in vision and was glad (John 8:56), and was content to wait (Hebrews 11:13). So, if good ol’ Abe is alive today, it is because the resurrection has already occurred.

           
        • intanglegary

          February 5, 2019 at 20:29

          Eddie,

          I’m not the one claiming the Lord’s return will be glorious, with all the bells and whistles, and that he will bring us our many rewards whenever he does come. The bible says this so clearly in so many places. In fact, this is the good news, it’s what the bible is all about. Waiting for the Lord’s return, trusting that one day we will see him face to face, that we will receive immortal bodies, and we will live with him forever. This is what it means to be a Christian.

          And I really don’t feel like I need to quote you a lot of scriptures, you’re clearly more studied than I, and I know you know them very well. But, again, it was Jesus that claimed Abraham was alive, before the resurrection: Matthew 22:32 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Jesus made this statement, before even his own resurrection. Abraham is still alive today, still before the resurrection.

          Perhaps twisting scriptures is an overstatement, but it really seems like anywhere there’s a little ambiguity, it always ends up with the same conclusion, that Christ already returned in 70 AD. It really seems like you started with a conclusion and then interpreted the rest of bible to fit that narrative. Here’s another example, you asked:

          Was Matthew “twisting” scripture when he claimed **all** Judea came out to be baptized by John (Matthew 3:5-6)?
          Did you know that the Greek word for **all** in Matthew 3:5 is the same Greek word for **every** in Revelation 1:7?

          So, yes, I looked up the Greek and the same word is used. But, so what? Context does matter, and no where is it claimed that every time a word is used, it has to carry exactly the same meaning. Here’s the NIV translation for the same verse:

          Matthew 3:5 (NIV) People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.

          So, no, Matthew was not twisting the scriptures, although there is some ambiguity amongst the various translations. In this reading, it’s made more clear that the word for “all” is not applied to the people, it’s applied to the areas that they came from, and it’s done twice in the same verse, “all Judea” and the “whole region of the Jordan”, so this seems more likely to be the correct translation.

          In Revelation 1:7, this ambiguity does not exist, the word for “every” (yes, the the same “word” used by Matthew) is clearly applied to people:

          Revelation 1:7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
          and “every eye will see him,
          even those who pierced him”;
          and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
          So shall it be! Amen.

          And, again, in Romans 14:11, the Greek word for “every” clearly refers to the people:

          Romans 14:11 It is written:
          “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
          ‘every knee will bow before me;
          every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

          So, Eddie, perhaps you’re not intentionally twisting scripture, but your arguments are not supported by scripture. It’s clear that the resurrection has not yet happened and that we are still awaiting the return of Christ, with all the power, glory, and rewards that the bible boldly states he will bring at that earth shattering event.

          In the case of the Hymenaeus Heresy, the bible doesn’t supply much detail other than clearly isolating it as false doctrine, and that teaching the resurrection had already passed was the most critical falsehood. But, keep in mind that at that time much of the bible that we take for granted was still being written, and the good news was spread mostly by word of mouth. At that time, it was much more difficult to defend against false statements.

          It does seem clear that Paul addresses a similar Heresy to the Thessalonians, making it very clear that they had not missed the second coming, even though it seemed that some were spreading that false notion, and at least some of them were buying into the idea. Who knows what arguments they could have used, except we are told they were false ones. Paul gave them the real truth that they would not miss it, and their loved ones that had already passed would not miss it, as they would all be an integral part of that grand event:

          1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

          So, today, we have these same words, all neatly canonized, and should also be encouraged by them. If we die in Christ, we’ll be resurrected upon his return, and if we’re still alive we’ll be caught of together with them, to meet the Lord in the air (or clouds). So, given that we have the complete scriptures, it is quite difficult to imagine how anyone could still be persuaded by Hymenaeus and Philetus.

          God Bless,
          -Gary

           
        • Eddie

          February 6, 2019 at 04:58

          Gary, I never denied the Lord’s coming was glorious. What I denied is the circus you are projecting as your interpretation of the Scriptures. And, yes, you are required to back up your “bells and whistles” interpretation of the text. Whether or not I study the Scriptures more than you is not the point here. You need to prove your case, and you aren’t doing that.

          You claim that every last man woman and child will see the Lord at his coming. This is what I call the “circus” part of your understanding of the Second Coming. It is like we await the Great Magician – the Great Houdini’s Return. How is it possible for “every” eye of every last man, woman and child to see Jesus coming to Jerusalem? How can the America’s see that, or folks out in the ocean or under the ocean or in the heart of the earth mining its minerals? You make blanket statements that simply are not supported in the Scriptures. You say they are, you may even **think** they are, but they are not. So, prove me wrong!

          Concerning the Hymenaean Heresy, it doesn’t make any difference that it is not described in the Bible. My point is this. If you claim the Apostles taught what you claim about Jesus’ Second Coming—you know “the Greatest Show on Earth” type of Second Coming—if that is what you claim and the Apostles taught, how could first century believers be deceived concerning the timing of the Second Coming and the resurrection? Folks were saying it was already past or had arrived, and some believers were falling for their lies. How could that be true, if absolutely no one could miss the Great Event? Your argument simply doesn’t make sense. You have your eye on the Great Houdini and miss what the Bible clearly tells you. You read the Bible like a gentile living in the 21st century, but you need to understand it like Jews in the first century AD. Hyperbole was common in their writings, so “all” the people coming out to be baptized was understood in the same manner that we understood our children when they tried to convince us to let them go to an ‘important’ current event: “But Dad, **everyone** is going to be there!” Hyperbole was a valid literary tool used for emphasis back in the first century AD. So, “every eye” does not mean Houdini is coming and will wow you and cause every last man, woman and child on earth to see him arrive.

           
  5. Patricia Watkins

    January 27, 2019 at 23:26

    Hi Eddie,

    You’re spot on with this interpretation of “every eye shall see Him” being particularly those who pierced Christ, and not every inhabitant of the planet seeing Him simultaneously, as is the usual interpretation. The key is the word “EVEN”, which is the Greek word “kai”, which in this case means “namely,” or “that is,” or “specifically”.

    We have another example of the word “even” used in the same manner in James 3:9. James was speaking about the tongue when he said, “Therewith bless we God, EVEN the Father” (namely, the Father) “and therewith curse we men which are made after the similitude of God.”

    So, the Rev. 1:7 verse goes “and every eye shall see Him, EVEN they which pierced Him” (namely, or that is, or specifically they which pierced Him). As you said above, Eddie, it would be the TRIBES OF THE EARTH, or the land of Israel, who would be mourning when they saw Christ’s return. And we have not had any tribes of Israel ever since the tribal genealogies were burned up in Jerusalem in the AD 70 era. God intended to obliterate the records of the tribes because by then, they had served their purpose and were not needed any more.

    One point where you and I would differ, Eddie, is that I do believe that this was a physical return of Christ on the Mount of Olives in AD 70, as promised in Zechariah 14:4-5. Since it was a local event, it was that generation of those in the city of Jerusalem who would have seen his physical return – not every person on the planet simultaneously.

    A while back I did a study on this Rev. 1:7 verse at this link, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/end-times-forum/'-and-every-eye-shall-see-him'-how-scripture-defines-'every-eye'/

     
    • Eddie

      January 28, 2019 at 07:44

      Greetings, Patricia, and thank you for reading and for your well thought out commentary. We needn’t agree on all things, and I see no reason that my point of view (second last paragraph) needs defending. We can agree that we differ on this point. Lord bless you.

       
  6. intanglegary

    January 27, 2019 at 20:53

    Eddie,

    You’re truly twisting scripture to fit your own narrative. Every eye means just what it says, couldn’t be more clear. The verse (Rev 1:7) says “every” eye, “even” those that pierced Him. It does not say only those that pierced him as you are interpreting.

    The bible is full of warnings about false gospels claiming that the Lord has arrived. And we are instructed to ignore every one of them – because everyone will know for themselves, without any room for doubt, that Jesus has arrived.

    Until then, God Bless,
    -Gary

     
    • Eddie

      January 27, 2019 at 22:13

      Greetings Gary, and welcome. It has been awhile. :-)

      Am I really “twisting scripture” to fit myself and what I believe, Gary? How have I twisted anything here? Was Matthew “twisting” scripture when he claimed **all** Judea came out to be baptized by John (Matthew 3:5-6)? Doesn’t **all** always mean **all** just like, in your opinion, **every** means just what it says (as understood in our modern culture)? If you wish to make an exception with John in order to say not every man woman and child went out of Judea to be baptized by John, why must **every** in Revelation 1:7 mean every eye of every man, woman and child in the world?

      Did you know that the Greek word for **all** in Matthew 3:5 is the same Greek word for **every** in Revelation 1:7?

      Concerning warnings about false gospels that claim the Lord has already arrived, your argument isn’t logical. Even according to your own eschatology the Lord will definitely come one day. After that day would it be a “false gospel” to preach he had already come? This argument is false. If the New Testament is true, after the Lord came, whether in 70 AD or 2000 years later, saying that he had already come (after he came) would not be a false gospel. It would be a false gospel to deny it.

      May the Lord bless you as you seek to understand his word.

       
      • intanglegary

        January 31, 2019 at 15:52

        Eddie,

        It’s clear that the bible does use figurative language, and that this leaves open some liberty in the interpretation. However, these figurative portions are still intended to make a specific point, and interpreting Rev 1:7 to be describing a local event, witnessed by only a small subset of the world’s population, is twisting the meaning to fit a narrative. The verse adds “even those who pierced him” to make it clear that this is not a limited set. Your interpretation concludes the very opposite meaning.

        Another example is Matthew 24:23-27 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

        So, yes, clearly figurative language. Does this mean that the second coming of Jesus will look like lightning in the sky (I thought he would look like a man riding a white horse)? What are we supposed to interpret from this warning? Jesus makes it clear that we should ignore any and all messages claiming that Christ has returned. And we are told why to ignore them, because we’ll be first hand witnesses to the event and we won’t need “anyone” to convince us that we missed it.

        And, of course 1 Thessalonians 16-17 paints a vivid picture of Christ’s return “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

        But, again, what is the main message? It’s that no one is going to miss out, even those already dead in Christ will be personally involved. So, should we believe that this doesn’t really mean God will be blowing a literal trumpet, that this is just figurative language? Well, maybe. But should we believe that this grand event already happened and that we all missed it? Not a chance.

        When Christ does return, everything will be different:

        1 Corinthians 15:51-53 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

        1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

        1 Corinthians 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

        When that trumpet sounds, when Jesus does return, we are promised immortal bodies, we will become like Jesus, we will see Him as He really is, face to face, and we will live with Him forever. Seriously, did this already happen, and we all just missed it? In that new age there will be no “false gospel” since, as surely as Jesus lives:

        Romans 14:11 It is written:
        “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
        ‘every knee will bow before me;
        every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

        So, how should we interpret the word “every”? Well, it seems clear that, after Christ does return, no one will exist that can still deny Him, so, as figurative as this may be, it pretty much includes everyone. At that time, no one will be able to ask “where is Jesus?”, we will know fully, even as we are fully known.

        God Bless,
        -Gary

         
        • Eddie

          February 1, 2019 at 08:08

          Greetings Gary, at the end of the day we are going to have to agree to disagree. I see no point in trying to convince you about how you need to read the Apocalypse. I’ve written how Revelation 1:7 should be understood and backed my understanding up with Scripture and how the Greek is understood by scholars who wrote the Greek Lexicons that we use to help us in our studies.

          “All” Judea in Matthew 3:5 is the same Greek as “every” eye in Revelation 1:7, yet, clearly, Matthew didn’t mean all the people who lived in Judea went out to be baptized by John. If **every** eye of every last man, woman and child in the world saw a physical Jesus returning in the clouds, what would that look like? How could someone fishing or swimming in the ocean see Jesus descending upon Mount Olivet? How could everyone in America, Canada, Argentina and folks in a submarine (all at the same time, mind you) see that? I offered a simple, plausible explanation of the Scriptures, but you say I am twisting them, but it seems alright if you make a circus out of them. How is the circus you want me to believe not **twisting** the Scriptures?

          Concerning the verse adding “even those who pierced him”, The word “even” is G2532 and is often translated “and” in the Bible. Yet, this word cannot alway mean “in addition to” as you seem to desire it to mean. It also has an explanatory meaning as in Acts 23:6 where Paul speaks of the “hope and resurrection of the dead.” the **hope** and the **resurrection** are the same here. The **hope** of the dead is the **resurrection** of the dead. So, too, the “every” eye in Revelation 1:7 is of those who pierced Jesus, as was prophesied in Matthew 26:64. Moreover, the verse continues with “…and all tribes (G5443) of the earth will mourn because of him.” The Greek word is translated into ‘tribe’ everywhere in the New Covenant Scriptures **except** in Revelation. It nearly always refers to all the tribes of Israel.

          Concerning Matthew 24:23-27, I have neither claimed that Jesus is in a secret room somewhere, or that he is in the wilderness, and you should go out to see him? Believe me, just as no one could hide a lightning bolt out of the sky, no one could keep the fall of Jerusalem secret. It was known throughout the world. No one missed it. The news spread quickly (like lightening). The war lasted for 3 ½ years, and everyone would have been wondering how the rebellion was going. Once the war began, folks would have understood Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 26:64. He didn’t have to be literally seen for folks to know he had come to judge the Jews and the world (cp Matthew 16:27-28).

          Let me ask you a question, Gary. Is Abraham lying in a grave somewhere, or is he in heaven? Do you believe you will go to heaven when you die? If you do, and / or that folks like Abraham are with Jesus, then you have agreed that the resurrection has already occurred, because before our resurrection, there can be no such thing as immortality for you and me (or even Abraham for that matter). On the other hand, if Abraham is alive today, the resurrection has occurred, and you and I go to be with Jesus when we die. If not, when we die we are in a place where nothing but blackness of darkness exists, where our very thoughts perish, and there we’ll stay, while we ‘wait’ unconsciously for Jesus. Pick one or the other, my friend, because you can’t have life and no resurrection too, and you can’t have a resurrection without the Second Coming.

          Lord bless you as you ponder his word.

           
        • intanglegary

          February 13, 2019 at 14:30

          Eddie,

          The bible does not describe the Lord’s coming as a circus, and neither have I. The bible tells us in plain and simple language what we are to expect at the second coming of Christ. I’ll repeat these scriptures from my previous posts, and ask you the same unanswered question that I’ve already asked twice:

          Thessalonians 15-17 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

          1 Corinthians 15:51-53 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

          1 John 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

          1 Corinthians 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

          So, Eddie, have you seen Christ face to face? Do you know him fully, even as he knows you? Were you caught up in the clouds along with the resurrected in Christ? Did you receive a new immortal body?

          These are just a few of the promises that the bible gives us, that Jesus gives directly to each of us – to “every” one of us. We have the blessed hope for Christ’s return, and for the many blessing that he will bring for those that believe in him, and believe in his words. And the bible is clearly not just written for the Jews, but for “every” one of us:

          Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

          It’s a real mystery why anyone would want to try so hard to prove that Jesus already came and went, and failed to reward us, as promised – this is clearly the saddest of all doctrines. The fact that I cannot explain the heresy is not a valid argument in support of the idea. It was false doctrine when Hymenaean spread it, and it’s just as false today.

          God Bless,
          -Gary

           
        • Eddie

          February 13, 2019 at 17:23

          Greetings Gary, you claimed:

          “The bible does not describe the Lord’s coming as a circus, and neither have I.”

          Well, thank you for clearing that up. Nevertheless, you haven’t really addressed why I said that.

          Later in your reply you claimed:

          “It’s a real mystery why anyone would want to try so hard to prove that Jesus already came and went, and failed to reward us, as promised – this is clearly the saddest of all doctrines. The fact that I cannot explain the heresy is not a valid argument in support of the idea. It was false doctrine when Hymenaean spread it, and it’s just as false today.”

          Gary, you are telling me what my argument is and then you go about refuting your own words. First of all, I never claimed Jesus “failed to reward” his people. You claimed I said that. I claimed Jesus promised to return before that generation of believers would die out and reward their faithfulness and judge their enemies (Matthew 16:27-28). Jesus did that in 70 AD. You still haven’t shown how Jesus’ return could still be in the future without contradicting his statement about coming in that generation.

          Moreover, you haven’t explained how the Hymenaean heresy could undermined the faith of anyone who believed as you do concerning the Second Coming of Christ. If absolutely every last man woman and child couldn’t miss Jesus’ coming, how could Hymenaeus ever have succeeded in overthrowing the faith of a single believer? The Hymenaean heresy could have succeeded only if Jesus’ coming was **not** as you claim.

          Now, I’ll attempt to address the Scriptures you mentioned. I didn’t do so earlier, because we believe differently about them, and I presume it would take a very lengthy reply to try to address those Scriptures. Considering the fact that in March of 2018 your signed off our discussion with:

          I think our discussion has become a bit circular, you clearly believe that Jesus promised to return in the first century and I’m totally convinced that he did not. Seems we’re stuck on that one point and I can see that you’re quite locked into Full Preterism, even though the implication would be that Jesus failed to deliver on all the other promises that his second coming was to bring. [Gary – April 8th – on “Not With Observation“]

          I thought it would be a useless effort to attempt an explanation. However, since you reposted them, I’ll try to be as brief as possible.

          1Thessalonians 4:15-17 describes the return of Jesus in 70 AD. Contrary to what is normally believed, namely: we go off to heaven to be with him, he returns to be with us. It is a restoration of Eden, as far as our relationship with God is concerned (cp. Revelation 21:1-4). The Greek word for “meet” the Lord in the air is apantesis (G529). It has to do with going out from one’s city to “meet” a visiting dignitary and return to your city with your illustrious visitor. This is what is pictured in Revelation 21:2-3. This is a spiritual matter not the physical one that you look for.

          1Corinthians 15:51-53 describes what happened to believers when Jesus returned in 70 AD. Before that time, we didn’t have immortality. All the dead were dead, and their thoughts perished when they died. There was nothing for them but blackness of darkness where there was absolutely no consciousness. This is what the Scriptures describe. The Lord told Adam that in the day he ate the forbidden fruit, he would die. This death was spiritual not physical. This is why Paul could claim in his epistle to the Ephesians that believers were “quickened” i.e. made alive, who were **dead** in their sins (Ephesians 2:1). Obviously, those to whom Paul wrote weren’t at one time physically dead before their encounter with Christ, they were spiritually dead.

          1John 3:2 isn’t speaking of an actual “physical” vision of God—What would that look like anyway, since God isn’t physical? It has to do with our “change” in 1Corinthians 15:51. We might be able to understand John better by looking at Paul’s description of it in 2Corinthians 3:18. The veil is taken away and we are changed gradually by the Lord. In a sense it is our transfiguration. It won’t become fully complete until the second death, which has no power over us. When we die and go to heaven the process will be complete. What was done here will have its fulfillment there, which is an answer also to your query about 1Corinthians 13:12, except that you have the wrong idea about our **fully** knowing God. God is infinite and cannot be fully known by you or me. Jesus claimed eternal life is knowing God. In other words, it will take eternity to know him fully. The Scripture (1Corinthians 13:12) says we shall know ourselves just as we are known by God.

          Have a good day, Gary.

           

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