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Post edited for clarity:
God bless friend. Yes, I know "spiritual signs" are important. These can be just as "explained away" too though. "The love of many (most in the original Greek) will grow cold". Well when did that happen exactly? Or has it yet? When we will know it "finally fully manifested? But the fact is, Jesus Christ Himself spoke of great earthquakes in diverse places, famines, pestilences, signs in the heavens above & on the earth below (& the original Greek words used don't point to some atherial "hyper-allegorization" definition, but exactly what it sounds like he said). So, we can "over-spiritualize" anything, but if Jesus spoke, & recorded in scripture, these physical signs marking the end, then we can't just redefine what He said to fit our eschatological paradigm. Sure, the first century Christians had both physical earthquakes & the "spiritual signs" of Persecution, love of many growing cold, etc. But so does this generation on a much larger & much more prevelant scale. So not sure what the point of that is...unless you're alluding again to preterism? Maybe you're not, and if not forgive me, I'm just kinda used to being ready for it - 😊. If Jesus spoke of birth pangs & an increase in these physical geological signs of the earth groaning before His second coming, I take Him at His Word & believe Him & that pretty much settles it for me. I don't have to ignore one group of manifestation signs (physical) for just another (spiritual). So I'm looking for all of the specific signs Jesus spoke of, & awaiting His return, looking for the blessed Hope of His coming, longing for the day that He Himself wipes away every year, & there is no more sickness, sorrow, or death. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
| 2016/4/19 10:22|
| Re: Spiritual or Physical?|
Then after He said these things, he was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taking up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched him go into heaven.
Brothers did this event as recorded by Luke actually happen in actual physical space time? Luke was a meticulous historian as well as a trained physician. So I think he would deal in facts in the physical realm.. But interested to know what your thoughts are.
| 2016/4/19 10:30|
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Post edited for addition at the end:
And yes, some of these things mean that "THE END IS NOT YET", but they are the beginning of sorrows, the birth pangs (contractions), that are "signs of the times". So they aren't "THE END", but the events that immediately precede the end, so they are important markers & indicators too. Obviously the actual Return of Jesus is the point & the blessed hope. It is what I am longing for, looking towards, & awaiting. When I see what look like "contractions" along the way, I do get excited, knowing it is near & could be nearer than we might think. Some may be Bracton-Hicks, but that's ok - what woman wasn't sure if her contractions late were "go time" or strong Braxton Hicks? Is she mocked & made fun of? Told she doesn't know what she's talking about so shouldn't be announcing any contractions until the baby falls out on the floor? 😊 Of course not. Even Braxton Hicks mean it's getting close to the real thing. I hate to overuse this analogy, but it's the one Jesus used in scripture (a woman in labor, birth pangs, etc.) so I figured it was a good one.
And my wife is due this month. Imagine if she shared with me she thought she was having a contraction and I said, "It should be undeniable if it's real!" Or "quit crying wolf! It's either time to have a baby or you're getting all worked up for nothing again!" Or "just shut up until you are certain. I'm going to sleep! Don't wake me unless you KNOW it's a baby coming forth!" How foolish would that attitude be? It would be unwise, proud, & not understanding at all. That's how it can come across sometimes when people point to potential signs of the times and are critiqued, criticized, & put down into oblivion under an electron microscope.
| 2016/4/19 10:37|
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"Right after this verse in Matthew 24, He elaborates that nations rising against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms, famines, pestilences and earthquakes are ONLY THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS, but does not tell us when the beginning of sorrows starts."
Of course He tells us, you just quoted Him telling us. You might not understand it Julias or it may not fit into your particular "ism," but He says that when nations rise against nations and kingdoms rise against kingdoms, this is the beginning of sorrows. So there you are, that is the beginning :)
"After the Lord talked about the "Beginning of Sorrows", He says this: Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. We know that this took place in the 1st century and increasingly each century, thereafter."
I love the way you write " We know that this took place in the 1st Century."
Who is the "we," Julias? Are you speaking for us all collectively or are you speaking of people of your " ism?"
Christians have never been hated by " all nations," for His name sake. They have been hated by this nation and that nation or this group or that group but they have never been hated by all nations this is yet to come and is certainly on the horizon. Bro Blaine could tell you that out of just over 200 nations, Christians are now persecuted in over 160 nations. This is the greatest persecution that we have seen but it is still not " all nations." This is yet to come.
I appreciate brother that you have a certain theological paradigm and everything has to be shaped to fit that view, actually all "isms," do that. They take a theological grid and place it over Scripture then bend the Scriptures to make it fit their own views.
You are entitled to your viewpoint bro Julias just as people are entitled to disagree with it. In the end agreeing to disagree when there is an impasse is a great place to be. It takes all the sophistry out of it and leaves it in the hands of the Lord. I think the more mature we become in the Lord the quicker we get to the point of realizing if a conversation is bearing fruit or not or just simply divisive. It;s a learning curve that we are all somewhere on.............bro Frank
| 2016/4/19 10:40|
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God bless friend. Yes, I know "spiritual signs" are important. These can be just as "explained away" too though.
Hey there, Jeff. I am not trying to "explain anything away", just noting that Jesus and the Apostles (especially the Apostles spoke more often of spiritual signs). In fact, right off hand, I don't recall the Apostles speaking of any physical signs. I wonder why?
"The love of many (most in the original Greek) will grow cold". Well when did that happen exactly? Or has it yet?
Reading historical accounts of Christianity it seems that "the love of many waxing cold", seems to be a recurring theme during bouts of great persecution in the past and the parallel betrayal from false brethren throughout the centuries. Even in the Book of Revelation, Jesus is speaking to churches of that time whose love has become cold. Actually, neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, which is worse.
Of course, each day that goes by, we are one day closer to the end which no one knows, exactly. We don't know the hour or the day, and Jesus said, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."
But the fact is, Jesus Christ Himself spoke of gray earthquakes in diverse places, famines, pestilences, signs in the heavens above & on the earth below (& the original Greek words used don't point to some atherial "hyper-allegorization" definition, but exactly what it sounds like he said).
Yeah, I am not discounting the fact that posters in this thread are talking about real earthquakes. We certainly have had some real bad ones and they do seem to be increasing. We have also had tsunami's and volcanoes, hurricanes other things. And even though Scripture does use the word "earthquake" in other places in the Bible as figurative language, I do believe in the context that Jesus was speaking, He was speaking about real, geological earthquakes. So, I am tracking with you on that and to tell you the truth the only eschatological paradigm that I have is that Jesus said, "occupy till I come" and that one day, (whether I am here or not), He will come so be ready (spiritually), now. In the meantime, He told me to "take heed that no man deceive you" and that many terrible things will happen, "but the end is not yet."
One thing he does say in referring to (approximately) when "the end will come", is that "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt 24:14)
Sure, the first century Christians had physical earthquakes & the "spiritual signs" of Persecution, love of many growing cold, etc. But so does this generation on a much larger & much more prevalent scale. So not sure what the point of that is...unless you're alluding again to preterism?
Of course. Like I said, every day we are one day closer to the end. To Jesus coming back and the heavens and the earth being dissolved (2 Pet 3:10). I'm not a Preterist so I don't know what relevance that has.
I am just saying that today we see more of these geological signs than presumably, ever before. So, does that mean these are the days, or will there be even worse days 40 years from now where these geological upheavals are even worse than today? Who is the expert that says in our day, these signs are the worst they have ever been and they won't get any more terrible 20-40 years from now? Presumably, since the "earth is groaning", these signs will be worse in 40 years.
Many have tried in every generation to pin point when the Lord is coming back and to read the "signs". No one has ever been able to time the Lord's return as everyone has thought they are living in the "Last Days", and they were right, they were living in the Last Days. Scripture tells us the Last Days started after the Lord's resurrection.
Many now think the Lord is returning in 2018. Scientists predicted the worst solar storm in 150 years in 2012. And there have been a high number of recent devastating hurricanes, and the killer Tsunami in December of 2004. There have been many wars and rumors of wars over the past 100 years and China boasts a military of over 200,000,000 men. There are more nuclear threats today than ever, and the genetics nightmare is just getting started not only with our food sources but animals and humans.
So, I definitely agree that obviously things are degenerating on earth and I have not even spoken about how things are degenerating sociologically and spiritually. Things that we never would have believed would happen 20 years ago.
Do I think the end is coming soon? Yes, I do. But it could be 20 years from now or more or less. I see a lot of false belief systems being formed around eschatology and I think we must be CAREFUL not to violate the Lord's warning to set any dates, lest we end up like the 10,000 Millerites back in 1844 who gave away their possessions, quit their jobs, sold their homes, and were greatly embarrassed when the Lord didn't return in 1844. So they instead started the Seventh-Day Adventist false religion to save-face. Seventh-Day Adventism won't save you.
The Scriptures say that we should "encourage one another and so much the more as we see the day approaching".
The fact that the Lord has not come, shows my how great His patience, mercy and compassion are. I think we can all take advantage of this "extra" time we have to make sure our lamps are full of oil and that we are adhering to Jude 1:22-23.
And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 1:22-23)
| 2016/4/19 11:05|
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A few things in response:
1.) The apostles didn't mention physical signs because Jesus had set out those end time prophecies & it wasn't for their day immediately, so why would they mention it? Jesus already had.
2.) kinda Funny you should mention Acts 1:7, where Jesus says, "it's not for you to know the times or seasons my Father has set" because IN CONTEXT, that's Jesus answering the apostles on "when will the kingdom be restored to Israel". You may reinterpret that to fit your belief (I take it all at face value), but it certainly had NOTHING to do with physical signs or the like, but when the kingdom would be restored to Israel.
3.) I have never set a date. Ever. I do believe some of the recent things in the past year or so were significant prophetically, but I have never set a date. And furthermore, Jesus said "no man knows The DAY nor the HOUR", but he rebuked the Pharisees for "NOT DISCERNING THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES." So while we can't pinpoint a date, we can see the big picture of the signs in prophecy.
4.) When someone mentions potential signs of the times & immediatey the Millerites, Harold Camping, David Koresh, or some other false cults are thrown out there in their face, it's disheartening & disingenuous. You may not mean it that way, but counterfeits don't nullify what is genuine, but actually confirm it (that's why counterfeiters counterfeit 100's cause the real ones have real, substantial value). And the devil, the "counterfeiter" (deceiver), knows this.
Anyways, God Bless!
| 2016/4/19 11:31|
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Thanks I appreciate your response. I am not ascribing to any "ism", just trying to understand the Word. I have seen good Christians deceived through the years and you do know that Jesus and Paul and the other apostles warned true Christians about deception all the time. Who is to say that many of the Millerites were not true believers?
So many have been deceived. I wonder how many of them were sincere believers?
A lot of mainstream Christian leaders have built end-times ministries such as Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHaye, and others. Sorry, I don't keep up with the newer ones.
One thing we do agree on is that today, we are one day closer.
Hallelujah! Our redemption is drawing nigh!
| 2016/4/19 12:08|
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Thanks. I am not 100% sure anyone necessarily has ALL of the exact specific details figured out completely without any wrong understanding on anything (we all see in part & even prophesy in part as looking through a glass dimly - 1 Corinthians 13)? Maybe? I'm not certain. That's not an excuse to disregard the whole conversation, but an observation that we all may be wrong on some things in some areas.
But, IN CONTEXT, the warnings in scripture concerning, "beware that no man deceives you" is immediately followed with "many will come in my name claiming to be the Christ & deceive many". This has to do without a totally false antichrist religious teaching, not a potential misunderstanding of some eschatological/prophetic passage.
Or statements concerning false teachers & false prophets speaks of the bad fruit they produce & certain things that mark them (covetousness, fleecing the flock, murderous & adulterous hearts manifesting in their behavior, etc.). These passages aren't talking about someone not having their "eschatological chart" just right on every point. Context matters. While I disagree severely with Tim Lahaye, Hal Lindsey, & others, I don't think they are necessarily "wolves" or "false prophets/teachers" Biblically speaking. I think they were men who misunderstood certain aspects of scripture, particularly eschatology & prophecy.
When we quote verses, we can't apply them to anything & everything outside of what they were speaking to in their original context. I am sure you know this & don't intend to "insult your intelligence", but just a reminder to us all to look at the Word in context.
| 2016/4/19 13:17|
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Have a blessed day.
| 2016/4/19 13:21|
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You too friend.
| 2016/4/19 13:29|