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Author Topic: Missed it by that much...and other unfulfilled predictions  (Read 11188 times)
EverAStudent
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« on: May 23, 2011, 11:58:37 am »

Yes, so you and I did not get raptured ("snatched away" in the Greek).  Well, that figures.  Now I have to face all those issues and trials I was already up against.  sigh.... and the lawnmower and the A/C are broken...

The whole thing reminds me of GCI when they predicted we would win the entire world for Christ (just GCI all by itself) within 21 years of 1981.  Or when they predicted/demanded that our church would triple in size in just one year for the expansion campaign...what was that campaign slogan they wrote a cheesy song about?Huh  83 in 83? or 99 in 99? or 103 in 2003?   or whatever...

Maybe our spiritual goals ought to be more personally holiness in nature and not quite so numeric and externally focused....just sayin'...
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Innerlight
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 09:38:43 am »

Editorial Note: This piece was co-authored by Patheos columnist Kyle Roberts and Adam Rao, who is Pastor of Teaching and Strategic Leadership at SafeHouse Church in Minneapolis, MN.

In the weeks leading up to May 21, Christians everywhere denounced Harold Camping's prediction that the world was coming to an imminent end. Many did so on the basis of Jesus' words in Mark 13, that "no one knows about that day or hour" except the Father. What remains troubling, however, is that many of those denouncements suggested that Camping was wrong about the date, but not necessarily wrong about the event itself. Maybe it's high time to reconsider the theology behind the very idea of the rapture. For some time, theologians (such as N.T. Wright and Jürgen Moltmann) have been pressing for a de-raptured eschatology to permeate the general Christian consciousness.

Rapture theology has captivated the contemporary public imagination. The most recent iteration was the popular Left Behind material. Prior to that, in 1970, Hal Lindsey's The Late, Great Planet Earth fascinated countless Christians. In contrast, contemporary evangelical theological scholarship found its voice, to some extent, as a counter to the sensationalist eschatologies of dispensational fundamentalism. George Eldon Ladd's influential work on New Testament eschatology moved evangelical theology away from a focus on literal fulfillment of end-times scenarios, especially literalistic readings of Revelation and "rapture" theologies connected to tribulation schemes. Yet within popular evangelicalism, fascination with the rapture continues to pervade preaching and teaching about the "end of the world." This is a problem.

Biblically, rapture theology finds its roots in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, with its language of being "caught up . . . in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." N.T. Wright suggests, however, in Surprised by Hope, When Paul speaks of "meeting" the Lord "in the air," the point is precisely not—as in the popular rapture theology—that the saved believers would then stay up in the air somewhere, away from earth. The point is that, having gone out to meet their returning Lord, they will escort him royally into his domain, that is, back to the place they have come from. (p. 133)

Moreover, while rapture theology retains the apocalyptic vision of the New Testament, it does so in precisely the opposite direction of the biblical authors (see Moltmann's The Coming of God, p. 159). Rather than seeing the apocalyptic as a reason to resist evil, rapture theology suggests that Christians are meant to escape this world and that the destiny of this world is destruction. In such a view, Christians will be swept off the face of the planet, leaving it to the devices of evil and the horrors of tribulation.

The biblical witness suggests exactly the opposite, that Jesus is already king and that his kingdom has already made inroads into this world, which will one day be ratified and confirmed (at his Second Coming). Tribulation is a past and present reality, and the church is called to endure it on behalf of the world and to stand up against it through the power of the Spirit. Rapture theology, in which Jesus will take his people away and leave the world to the devices and whims of evil, runs counter to the good news that the kingdom of God has already come in Christ (e.g., Mk. 1:14-15).

In contrast to rapture theology, a biblical eschatology:

1) Affirms the inherent value of the earth and motivates care for creation. Rapture theology suggests that we are "just passing through" this temporary dwelling place. Eventually we will escape this world and find our final home in an ethereal realm, a "heaven" filled with mansions and streets of gold. Again N.T. Wright helps to re-frame our expectations. God's plan is for "a new heaven and a new earth" (Rev. 21:1), what Wright calls "life after life after death" (pp. 148ff). Since the goal is the re-creation and redemption of this world, we have motivation to care for and cultivate it now.

2) Offers a compelling vision for resistance against evil, injustice, and all forms of oppression in the present world order. Rapture theology generates an "escapist" mentality whereby our best hope for dealing with injustice, wickedness, and hopelessness is to simply fly off to a perfect spiritual world unhampered by sin and finitude. Most harmfully, rapture theology sees injustice, oppression, and even natural disasters as predictive signs of the end of this life for Christians, rather than as the evil and discord they really are.

3) Redefines Christian mission as anticipation of and participation in the kingdom of God. Salvation, as Wright suggests, enables us to be witnesses to and signs of the ultimate salvation of the cosmos, as well as participants in that salvation (p. 200). That's why the biblical witness says that Christians are to be agents of reconciliation with those who do not yet know God and are to participate in the restoration of the cosmos (2 Cor. 5:20). In contrast, rapture theology suggests a sudden, disruptive end to that project, cutting off hope for reconciliation and renewal.

A de-raptured theology reorients evangelism and the meaning of salvation around the centrality of the kingdom of God. Rapture theology tends to use scare tactics—"Don't get left behind!"—that market individual salvation as an economic transaction rather than a new way of living justice, righteousness, and peace. A de-raptured evangelism is an invitation to embrace the reality of the Kingdom inaugurated by Christ.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2011, 10:27:42 am »

I have read an entire book by NT Wright on his view that there is no coming literal millenial rule of Christ, no rapture, etc.  Like most of what Wright has published as of late, I found his exegesis unscholarly and frankly illogical.  It does a tremendous disservice to books like 2 Peter to assume that all the detailed depictions of the heavens and earth being consumed in fire are metaphors for "the world will continue on just as it is with tiny incremental improvements made by the church until one day it becomes paradise again."  

Moreover, nothing about the rapture passages suggest that it is a metaphor for the vigilant church, seeing her King coming from afar, and flies itself into the sky to escort Him back to His throne.  Everything in those passages suggest the church is "snatched away," is transformed in the blinking of an eye (hardly time for a voluntary gesture), and is taken completly by surprise at the events as opposed to seeing it all coming and ushering it all in.  

And the notion that there is not a great time of tribulation on the earth during which the promises to Israel will be fulfilled that all her unbelieving  remnant will be saved is beyond comprehension to me.  Why talk of a third of the unbelieving planet being destroyed in warfare and one third of the unbelieving people dying by plagues and only AFTER that yet another eternal judgment, if none of that actually happens?  That would be gratuitous fear mongering by John, Daniel, and Peter, would it not?  

No, just as Daniel foretold literal coming events, I must assume that Peter and John and Paul have done so as well.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2011, 10:40:09 am »

I should probably add that I think that as much damage as fakes or self-deluded end-time "prophets" have done, they are far less dangerous to the world and to the church than are "serious theologians" like NT Wright who are badly mistaken in their theology and lead entire generations of congregations astray. 

Such poor theologlians as Wright breed the likes of Rob Bell's who deny the very essence of the second death and lull the church into thinking that no one really gets punished in everlasting torment and that this world is becoming paradise, just wait a little longer for it.  Imagine, with no coming judgment (or even no coming great tribulation on earth) then there is nothing ever to worry about, no need to evangelize (everyone gets saved anyway), and everyone will inherit the benefits of paradise. 

Poor, poor, deluded apostle Paul, who worked so hard and gave his life unnecessarily in the pursuit of trying to win some to Christ so as to save their souls, never realizing that all those souls would be saved anyway, regardless of what he did or did not do...poor, poor, deluded Paul.
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 10:17:50 pm »

Inner,

It is not just "Rapture" theology that gives these negative results. The same would be true of any of the eschatologies that teach that Jesus is coming back Any Day Now, regardless of whether He is coming back for a Rapture or to begin a Millennial Reign or to destroy the entire Heavens and Earth and create a new one. And regardless of whether its advocates set a specific date.



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Innerlight
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 08:44:11 am »

A couple of points to counter:

Neither Wright, the author of the article, or myself, have ever used the word "voluntary".  This is the second time you have accused me of this.  Nowhere is this ever suggested, by me or anyone....

NT Wright is no theological lightweight, and I assume he poured considerable time and talent into his research.

You keep defending the word rapture, and no one is denying the mechanics of it will happen, but perhaps how it happens could be in a different form than those espoused by Scofield and Margaret McDonald, not to mention Hagee, Hal Lindsey, et al.

These aren't new ideas, you will find them in study Bibles, and writings of the early church fathers.     

Last, have you read Rob Bell's book?  I haven't, but plan on reading it this summer.  BEFORE I read any negative commentaries.  this is the sad tale of evangelicals.  A brother in Christ (Rick Warren, NT Wright, Rob Bell, Doug Patchitt) writes a book, puts it out for consumption, and perhaps jealous pastors, with ego in the game, can't wait to pounce and rip them to shreds on public forums. 

It's only by reading other points of view, and stretching and growing, that we uncover new ways of thought, and experience personal revelation. 

Also, please don't make assumptions that I agree or disagree with any of this, I'm putting it out there for anyone to read and discover for themselves. 
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2011, 11:32:34 am »

Greetings Innerlight.  It is not my intent to make you angry, so for that I apologize. 

Regarding the "metaphor" theory of the rapture concept, as you forcefully point out, it fails as soon as it is invoked.  If the "catching away" is not a voluntary escort parade for the King, as you assert it is not, the metaphor is broken and has no value.  If the people who are to be subjugated are not escorting the King of their own energy or will, then this is NOT a picture of the parade escort, it is a picture of something else.  But what?  The King does the snatching away by His will and by His energy and by His ability; He brings the people to Him, and not only brings them to Himself, but then He transforms them in the twinkling of an eye. 

How long does the King keep His people "with Him" in the heavens?  The text does not specify.  The metaphor would require an immediate return to the kingdom where the King immediately takes His place on the throne.  But as we have seen, the metaphor is already broken and does not adapt itself to the text of Scripture.  So how long does Christ keep His saints with Him in the heavens as He transforms them?  A day, a week, 3 years, 7 years?  Without nore details, this is not known or knowable.  Thus, to dismiss the "snatching away" as inconsequentially quick is biblically unsupportable.  It really could be for the 3 to 7 years of the tribulation, depending of which eschatological theory you embrace.

Have I read Bell's latest book, Love Wins, no.  I have exposed myself to much of Bell's written and spoken theology and have found very much of it to be humanistic moralizing instead of biblically astute analysis.  From the quoted sections of Bell's book that other reviewers have published, I see his pattern to be consistent with his past teachings.
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2011, 12:52:03 pm »

Quote from: MidnightRider
It is not just "Rapture" theology that gives these negative results. The same would be true of any of the eschatologies that teach that Jesus is coming back

So, if you do not believe Jesus is ever coming back, what then do you do with Jesus own promises, "I will come again" (John 14:3b), "I will come to you" (John 14:18b), "I will go away and I will come to you" (John 14:28b), "I will come...I will come" (Revelation 3:3b)?  Or what do you do with the promise of the angels, "They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)?  Or what do you do with John's quote of Jesus's own words, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)?

Perhaps the abuse of eschatology by modern prophets has made the subject distatesful to some, but in any Christian theory one must account for the numerous New Testament promises that Jesus will return and take up His rule over the planet from a throne in Jerusalem. 
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Innerlight
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2011, 01:13:10 pm »

You are so, so, so, missing my point.  Best I can say is find some books that explain this better than I can, as obviously I am not.  Also, I am ending this subject here and now, as I am not going to get into a theo-speak war of words. 
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 03:55:32 pm »

Greetings Innerlight.

Quote from: Innerlight
Also, I am ending this subject here and now, as I am not going to get into a theo-speak war of words. 

No one is ever obligated to converse with me, or is under compulsion to engage me in dialogue, or is required to continue in a conversation that has already been under way.  Thanks for the opporunity to exchange the ideas we did toss onto the table together.  Again, you seem angry, referring to our brief exchanges as a "theo-speak war of words."  Surely this was a civil interaction, was it not?  Disagreement over a biblical concept should not be the cause of offense, for surely we willk often disagree.  Nonethelesws, I am sorry if it has upset you.
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 07:10:11 pm »

So, if you do not believe Jesus is ever coming back, what then do you do with Jesus own promises, "I will come again" (John 14:3b), "I will come to you" (John 14:18b), "I will go away and I will come to you" (John 14:28b), "I will come...I will come" (Revelation 3:3b)?  Or what do you do with the promise of the angels, "They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)?  Or what do you do with John's quote of Jesus's own words, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)?

I think I answered this on the other thread. I guess I could ask you about those verses. Jesus said He was coming quickly, and John wrote that in a book of "things which must shortly take place". If you think this still hasn't happened after 1900+ years, then what do soon, quick, shortly, etc., mean to you?

Quote
...
in any Christian theory one must account for the numerous New Testament promises that Jesus will return and take up His rule over the planet from a throne in Jerusalem. 

Help me out. What verse(s) are you talking about here?

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EverAStudent
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2011, 07:47:11 am »

Greetings Midnightrider.

New Testament Millennial Prophecies

Midnight asked what verses state that Jesus not only says He is returning to the earth, but also state He will rule here with His saints for one thousand years.  Of course these passages all quote Jesus and His angels as saying He will return one day: "I will come again" (John 14:3b), "I will come to you" (John 14:18b), "I will go away and I will come to you" (John 14:28b), "I will come...I will come" (Revelation 3:3b)? "They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)? "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)?

But these following verses (and I am not even going into the Old Testament predictions of a temporarily “restored” national Israel in which long human life and global respect are granted to the Jews) also explain a coming Millennium reign.

Quote
'Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; (Revelation 2:25-27)


Note: After the rapture, after the Millennium, after the judgment, in eternity, only God sits on a throne, there are no rulers except God, and there are no judges except God, and no priests except Jesus, as discussed in the last three chapters of Revelation.  Yet, in the Millennium the Bible tells us the saints will also be rulers, judges, and priests side-by-side with Jesus.  This is not a contradiction but actually describes two different times: the Millennium (with human rulers, humans on thrones, human judges, and human priests) followed by Eternity (with only God ruling, judging, and being the priest).  Therefore, all references to ruling with iron rods and the saints ruling with Jesus have to refer to an earthly time prior to eternity, and a great many theologians also see this an earthly rule as the Millennium.  

In the Millennial interpretation the saints, having been resurrected in the first resurrection (the rapture if you prefer) return with Jesus three to seven years later to be the administrators of His Millennial rule, where He sits on the throne literally on Mount Zion, the temple mount in Jerusalem.  As administrators of Jesus the King, I believe we will be the peace officers, criminal court officials, city planners, public service workers, military, etc.

Quote
And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)


Quote
[Jesus showed John after the Great Tribulation] an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:1-6)


Early Church Fathers on a First Resurrection (the rapture) followed by a Millennial Reign of Christ followed by the Final Judgment

Similarly, some of the early church fathers wrote excitedly about desiring to see the first resurrection (the rapture) after which will come the Millennium and after that the final judgment.

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Justin Martyr (c. 100 - 165) “I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.” (DJ, 80)


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Irenaeus (c. 125-202) “It behooves the righteous first to receive the promise of the inheritance which God promised to the fathers, and to reign in it, when they rise again [in the first resurrection, the rapture] to behold God in this creation…’Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’” (AH, 5.32)


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Lactantius (c. 240-320) “The dead will rise again, not after a thousand years from their death, but that, when again restored to life [in the first resurrection, the rapture] they may reign with God for a thousand years.” (DI, 7.22)

“When the thousand years shall be completed, the world shall be renewed by God, and the heavens shall be folded together…at that same time shall take place that second and public resurrection of all, in which the unrighteous shall be raised to everlasting punishments.” (DI, 7.26)


It is a common error to do a word search of the early church fathers for the term “rapture,” not find it used, and to conclude they did not believe in the removal of the righteous living and dead from the world prior to the Great Tribulation and prior to the Millennial reign of Christ, after which would be the second resurrection of the dead in which the unrighteous are raised up for final judgment.  The mistake is in looking for the word “rapture” instead of the phrase, “first resurrection” as described in Revelation 20:4-13.  In fact, some of the early fathers did see in the Scriptures a first resurrection [the rapture], a Millennial reign of a literal thousand years, a second resurrection of the unrighteous, the final judgment, and the inception of eternity.  

Blessings to you, and thanks for the conversation.
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Innerlight
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2011, 09:15:43 am »

EAS,

I do love the back and forth.  I wsh we could speak personally, cuz it's obvious I'm not stating this the right way.

I believe in a rapture...I don't dispute that.  All I'm saying is it may be in a different way/shape/form than what the dispensationalist have drilled into our heads these many years.

 
Please see my post, written by a student, with quotes from Ben Witherington.  It states my position better than I could.

regarding your last post, i would probably agree with 95% of that...I think you may be getting me mixed up with Mr. Midnight Rider Grin 
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EverAStudent
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2011, 09:36:43 am »

Ha!  I think you are right about me getting you confused with Mr. Midnight!!!!  Sorry about that (again?Huh).  I will go back and edit my last posts.   Cheesy
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2011, 03:28:40 pm »

Greetings Midnightrider.

Greetings. Thanks for your response.

Quote
New Testament Millennial Prophecies

Midnight asked what verses state that Jesus not only says He is returning to the earth, but also state He will rule here with His saints for one thousand years.  Of course these passages all quote Jesus and His angels as saying He will return one day: "I will come again" (John 14:3b), "I will come to you" (John 14:18b), "I will go away and I will come to you" (John 14:28b), "I will come...I will come" (Revelation 3:3b)? "They also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)? "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:20)?

But these following verses
...
also explain a coming Millennium reign.

Quote
'Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; (Revelation 2:25-27)


This passage says that Christ has _already_ received the authority from the Father to rule the nations with a rod of iron - it is "have received", past tense.

When Jesus had risen from the dead, He told his disciples the same thing:
"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18b)
Again, "has been" - past tense.

Christ was already sitting on a throne when John wrote the Revelation:
Revelation 1:4 "John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne ..."

So I don't see how your verses show that Jesus has to come back in our future (centuries after He said He would return "soon", "quickly", etc.) and sit on a physical throne in Jerusalem to get any more authority than He already has.

Quote
...
Blessings to you, and thanks for the conversation.

Likewise.
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MidnightRider
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2011, 03:30:51 pm »

...
Note: After the rapture, after the Millennium, after the judgment, in eternity, only God sits on a throne, there are no rulers except God,
...

Could you explain this a little more? Is there a verse that teaches this?
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2011, 12:59:35 pm »

Quote from: MidnightRider
Could you explain this a little more? Is there a verse that teaches [that there is only one throne in the New Jerusalem]?

I believe there are several.  First it is important to note that a future time is coming at the end of time ("then is the end") when Jesus will deliver His kingdom to the Father and as a result "all rule and all authority and power" cease.

Quote
Then is the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God, even the Father, when He makes to cease all rule and all authority and power. For it is right for Him to reign until He puts all the hostile ones under His feet; the last hostile thing made to cease is death. For "He subjected all things under His feet;" but when He says that all things have been subjected, it is plain that it excepts Him who has subjected all things to Him. But when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who has subjected all things to Him, that God may be all things in all.
(1 Corinthians 15:24-28)

Keep an eye on the phrase "God may be all things in all."

After Jesus delivers His kingdom to the Father, and they become all-in-all, the old heavens and earth are destroyed, and Jesus creates new ones.  God brings His heaven down to that new earth in the form of a city, New Jerusalem.

Quote
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea no longer is. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, having been prepared as a bride, having been adorned for her Husband.
(Revelation 21:1-2)

In the next few verses it talks about the throne of God being in New Jerusalem.   In the Greek (I am not proficient in Greek, but still studying) the throne is singular, one throne but multiple persons who sit on it.  If the Greek had meant to say there were thrones for the Father and the Lamb, it would have had to be in the plural form, but it is not.

Quote
And the One sitting on the throne said, Behold! I make all things new. And He says to me, Write, because these Words are faithful and true. And He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. To the one thirsting, I will freely give of the fountain of the Water of Life. The one overcoming will inherit all things, and I will be God to him, and he will be the son to Me.
(Revelation 21:5-7)

And he carried me in spirit onto a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, holy Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God,
(Revelation 21:10)

There is only one throne on which sit the Father and the Lamb, and there is no temple in this New Jerusalem.  

Quote
And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, even the Lamb.
(Revelation 21:22)

The Father and the Lamb are the temple, the presense of God with man literally.  They have become all-in-all.

Again, the narrative continues explaining once more there is only one throne, because Yahweh is one God, but He is also mutliple persons.

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And he showed me a pure river of water of life, bright as crystal, coming forth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of its street and of the river, from here and from there, was a tree of life producing twelve fruits: according to one month each yielding its fruit. And the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations. And every curse will no longer be. And the throne of God and the Lamb will be in it; and His slaves will serve Him.
(Revelation 22:1-3)

One day all rulers and thrones except Yahweh will be abolished.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 01:37:53 pm by EverAStudent » Logged
MidnightRider
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2011, 05:53:52 pm »

Quote from: MidnightRider
Could you explain this a little more? Is there a verse that teaches [that there is only one throne in the New Jerusalem]?

I believe there are several.  First it is important to note that a future time is coming at the end of time ("then is the end") when Jesus will deliver His kingdom to the Father and as a result "all rule and all authority and power" cease.
...

OK, thanks for the explanation. I will have to think about that one for a while.
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2xA Ron
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« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2013, 09:10:23 pm »

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Maybe our spiritual goals ought to be more personally holiness in nature and not quite so numeric and externally focused....just sayin'...

Agreed with the original post!!

It seems to be a big temptation, especially for churches, to fixate on the Great Commission as the highest ordnance of God and make fulfilling it by increasing the numbers of the church the sole goal of Christian living.  Maybe its because of greed and a lust for fame.  Maybe its just because playing a numbers game is easier.  It's easy to measure a church's membership numbers.  There are also plenty of established ways of drawing in large crowds and getting them to sign up for whatever you're pushing, "gospel" included.  It's also perfectly possible for a church to grow numerically at an astounding rate even if all they have is religion and no real relationship with Christ (I mean, just look at the Mormon church, or the growth of Islam).

But Christ's biggest and most often repeated commandments didn't have anything to do with evangelism (at least, not directly).  The most central commandments of the law, on which all scripture hangs--according to Jesus--, do not mention the need to proselytize.  Those commands are to love God completely, and to love one another (Matthew 22:37-40).  It was that last commandment which was supposed to be the mark of Christ's true followers (John 13:34-35 and also all over the place in 1 John).  But love is sacrificial at times: it doesn't appeal to greed.  Love requires humility so, so often: it doesn't appeal to pride.  Love can't be measured and requires so many expressions that it defies even definition.  Love is also ridiculously hard at times, and often requires extraordinary change at the deepest levels of our being, as well as the receiving and application of many life-lessons that simply cannot be taught from a video, a booklet, or a three-day seminar.  Finally, love cannot exist outside of a relationship--and next to religion, a relationship is undefinable, uncontrolable, unpredictable, and risky.  Yet the love that Christ came to give us cannot be found anywhere else and its rewards cannot be calculated, nor obtained by any other means.
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