Was Jesus Really Coming Soon?

“For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”  Mt 10:23.

“Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”  Mt 16:28.

“they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory… Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”  Mt 24:30, 34.

“Behold, I am coming quickly!” (soon). Rev 22:7, 12, 20.

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand.” Rom 13:12.

“The Lord is at hand.” Phil 4:5.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1Thes 5:23.

“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.”  Heb 10:37.

“Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”  Jas 5:8.

“For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.  And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.  “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;  men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.  Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”  Lk 21:23-27

Moonbeam

8.30.10

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We Are Equal to Angels

Luke 20:27  Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, 28  Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 29  There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. 30  And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. 31  And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. 32  Last of all the woman died also. 33  Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. 34  And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35  But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36  Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

What does this passage really say? It says a number of things, and most of them go against what we have traditionally believed and taught.

Notice this verse in particular:

35  But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

Those that are accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead? What’s this? Some people won’t be resurrected from the dead? But don’t we read that all will rise?

John 5:28  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

That says all people who ever lived will rise from the dead, right? Well, maybe not. Look at this:

Mark 1:5  And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Yes, the word “all” is the same word (pas). We know that everybody in Judaea was not baptized of John. And we also know from the passage we are studying that not all people are counted worthy to be resurrected.

Let’s look at how Young’s literal translation presents this verse about the resurrection:

Luk 20:35

but those accounted worthy to obtain that age, and the rising again that is out of the dead, neither marry, nor are they given in marriage;

Obtain that age? What does that mean? In what age were these words spoken and what age was to come? Well, we know the age at the time was the Mosaic age. If we didn’t already know, the question asked of Jesus pertained to the Mosaic age. Men living under the law of Moses had to marry their brother’s wife if their brother died childless (Dt 25:5, Mt 22:24).  So these Sadducees were trying to test Jesus to see what Jesus would say about how that would work in the next age (the resurrection).

Based on what we have learned, we can understand that the resurrection was something some (not all–only those worthy) would obtain as they obtained the next age.  And when the age came the citizens of that age would not marry or be given in marriage.

Whoa! An age was coming after the Mosaic age when people wouldn’t marry? Yes, it is so. The context here clearly shows that Jesus was differentiating the law requiring the Jews to marry their dead brother’s wife from Christ’s new law that was coming in the next age when marriage would not be what MADE children of God like it did when Jews were born into their religion. The new age would be only for those who were planted in the likeness of Christ’s death and risen in the likeness of his resurrection in order to walk a new life (Ro 6:5-11). It would be only for resurrected people.

Ephesians 5:14  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

This resurrection is spiritual, not physical. The Sadducees didn’t know the scriptures or they would have understood that.

We might have a hard time understanding how people in the Christian age do not marry. Again, this is spiritual, not physical. Look at this:

Galatians 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

If there is neither male nor female in the kingdom of God, then obviously Christians do not marry. We are children of the resurrection and we are equal to the angels! And, praise God, neither can we die anymore for we are children of God! We have eternal life! Praise his high and holy name!

Moonbeam

8.27.10

Can a Prophet Die out of Jerusalem?

Luke 13:33  Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

Since we know for a fact that prophets did die out of Jerusalem and we know for a fact that Jesus didn’t lie here, we have to figure out exactly what he was saying. I think the following verses help.

Luke 11:30  For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.31  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 32  The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

The first thing we see here is that the word “generation” does in fact MEAN generation. If it meant race or human beings, the Ninevites couldn’t be distinguished from that generation to whom Jesus spoke. Jesus also said he would be rejected of that generation. He has not been rejected by all people. It is only when we want to place the events of the DOJ at the supposed “end of time” and deny that Matthew 24 has already happened that we try to redefine the word “generation.”

But that was just a side note. Back to the issue at hand.

Luke 11:48  Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.49  Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: 50  That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;51  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

Now we see that the blood of all the prophets and apostles would be required of that generation. All the blood of the prophets from the foundation of the WORLD would be required of that generation. But let’s go further.

Matthew 23:34  ¶Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: 35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Again, we see that that generation would bear the guilt for all the blood shed on the earth. But THIS time we see what CITY it is that will bear the guilt. It is Jerusalem. Her house is going to be left to her desolate.

Revelation 14:8  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Revelation 16:5  And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6  For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

This is still Babylon, the fallen city. Who do you reckon she might be? Let’s see, she has shed the blood of saints and prophets. Who was it that Jesus said would pay for all the blood of the prophets that was shed on the earth? Think, think, think. Oh yes, Jerusalem!

And on we go:

Revelation 17:6  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Revelation 18:24  And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Remind you of this?

Matthew 23: 35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth . . . 36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. 37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee . . . 38  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate

Revelation 18:19  And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Now back to a prophet’s not perishing out of Jerusalem. Again, since we know some apostles (who prophesied) died in Rome and we know Jesus absolutely did not lie when he said it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem, and since we see Jesus here saying Jerusalem would pay for all this bloodshed and we see a city in Revelation paying for it, we can absolutely necessarily infer that the city in Revelation paying for all the blood is Jerusalem. So apparently what Jesus was saying was that a prophet couldn’t perish unless Jerusalem was the source of the bloodshed and the one who would be responsible and have to pay. If that’s not it, I’d appreciate any other ideas.

Oh, one more verse:

Revelation 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Ah, yes, just as we would expect. OLD Jerusalem is destroyed and the NEW city is rightly called NEW Jerusalem. No, not new Rome, which would perhaps be the case if it had been ROME that was being destroyed. New Jerusalem–replacing the old Jerusalem that was destroyed for all the blood she shed. God is so amazing! I stand in awe of his wisdom and power and amazing ability to present this lovely and perfect story!

Moonbeam

8.26.10

How We Get Our Creed

It’s interesting how we arrive at some of our conclusions and from where we take our practices:

We take the day (Sunday) on which to observe the Lord’s supper from a day that is most likely mentioned only because an amazing miracle of raising the dead took place.

We take the weekly observance of the supper from Jewish sabbath practices.

We take the unleavened bread from Passover even though Passover didn’t take place on Sunday (our day) and Jesus didn’t institute the supper on Sunday (and if the supper was actually taken on the day of Pentecost, the Sunday on which the church began, then the bread had to be leavened).

We take the non-alcoholic grape juice from injunctions against actual drunkenness.

We take the tiny pinch of bread and little bitty drop of grape juice from Paul’s addressing an abuse in 1 Corinthians 11 (we want to make sure we don’t actually fill any hunger) and probably also from the Catholic Church.

And, abracadabra and presto changeo! we have our creed!

Oops, I mean our doctrine, which, of course, is based completely on Bible authority because we always speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent, cross my heart and hope to die, amen. 

Moonbeam

8.26.10

Day of Redemption

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

I never cease to be amazed when I stop to think these days about what the Bible is really saying. THESE PEOPLE (the Ephesians of the first century), not you and I, were sealed by the Spirit UNTIL the day of redemption. They are not lying in their graves, all decayed, sealed with the Spirit and still waiting. No, the day of redemption was coming in their lifetime, as we can easily see by these verses:

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

I could smack myself for just believing what I was taught all those years and not accepting the truth of God’s word.

Moonbeam

8.23.10

Breaking Bread

Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

We are told that we are required to meet on the first day of the week to break bread (and that is definitely the Lord’s supper) because we have this example before us. BUT we are told we can ignore the daily meeting of the disciples and the breaking of bread (which is definitely NOT the Lord’s supper, although the terminology is the same) even though we also have THIS example before us.

No, I don’t understand it. But some uninspired person sometime somewhere figured it all out like that and that’s the creed we have followed for many years. If it is so, I wish somebody could explain it in a way that makes sense to me.

Moonbeam

8.23.10

What Are the Melting Elements?

Gal 4:3 So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles (stoicheion) of the world.

Gal 4:9 But now that you know God-or rather are known by God-how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles (stoicheion)? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles (stoicheion) of this world rather than on Christ.

Col 2:20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles (stoicheion) of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:

Hbr 5:12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths (stoicheion) of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!

2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements (stoicheion) will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

2Pe 3:12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements (stoicheion) will melt in the heat.

“Then we must consider in what sense men living in the world are said tobe the ‘world,’ and the ‘heavens and earth’ of it. I shall only insiston one instance to this purpose, among the many that may be produced,Isa. Ii. 15, 16. The time when the work here mentioned, of planting theheavens, and laying the foundation of the earth, was performed by God,was when he ‘divided the sea,’ verse 15, and gave the law, verse 16, andsaid to Zion, ‘Thou art my people,” – that is, when he took thechildren of Israel out of Egypt, and formed them in the wilderness into achurch and state. Then he planted the heavens, and laid the foundationof the earth, – made the new world; that is, brought forth order, andgovernment, and beauty, from the confusion wherein before they were.This is the planting of the heavens, and laying the foundation of theearth in the world. And hence it is, that when mention is made of thedestruction of a state and government, it is in that language that seemsto set forth the end of the world. So Isa. xxxiv. 4; which is yet butthe destruction of the state of Edom. The like also is affirmed of theRoman empire, Rev. vi. 14; which the Jews constantly affirm to beintended by Edom in the prophets. And in our Saviour Christ’s predictionof the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv., he sets it out byexpressions of the same importance. It is evident, then, that in theprophetical idiom and manner of speech, by ‘heavens’ and ‘earth,’ thecivil and religious state and combination of men in the world, and themen of them, are often understood. So were the heavens and earth thatworld which was then destroyed by the flood.” John Owen, Puritan preacher, 17th century (http://www.tentmaker.org/books/heavenandearth.htm)

Moonbeam

8.22.10