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Syria & Israel: Examining the Positive Prophecies for God's Heart/People....

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Gxg (G²), Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Blessings...

    Seems every time you hear about Syria recently that there's bad news - and it also seems many tend to be thinking that there's no hope for it. It's bad enough that two million Syrians have fled their country – and a further 4.3 million have been forced from their homes while remaining within the nation's borders as war continues to rage....but even worse to see the ways that the U.S has been funding those on the side who've been harming many in Syria -Syria currently and Libya alongside other places being caught up in so much political intrigue ( #51 /#22#53 )​


    However, what also seems highly intriguing to me is the ways many have been making commentary on the ways that the people of Syria (especially the believers) has all been prophesied - with others seeming to be flippant in saying "Well, this is just Biblical prophecy that Syria is being harmed - so the believers there don't matter since it's all about people rising up to be judged by Israel!!!!" ..​

    As much as I've prayed for Israel and feel the Lord will use it and that it has purpose, it is highly problematic to me whenever others act as if the other nations who suffer (like Syria) have no positive place in Biblical prophecy - and then dismiss what goes on with God's people in those nations as if it's of no consequence.​


    Many - as it concerns prophecy on Syria - have gone to the following:
    * Isaiah 17:1-3 — “The oracle concerning Damascus. ‘Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks to lie down in, and there will be no one to frighten them. The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and sovereignty from Damascus….’”


    “And at evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more.”


    Damascus is one of the oldest cities of the world and many have claimed that it has never been destroyed....and have wondered that rather than it being wiped out by a nuclear strike by Israel that it might meet it's demise because of a smaller intentioned strike to take out it's chemical weapons plants only to realize a larger than life explosion of other material?

    But there are several issues with that - one of the biggest being that we really have NO evidence of chemical weapons being present within Syria.....'

    And the other being how prophecy can be interpreted. Heard the prophecy about Damascus being destroyed the other day - in a manner that seemed very callous to what was going on in Syria and acting as if it was solely a matter of "Biblical Prophecy" as opposed to the reality of artifically seeking to destroy others and justify the destruction of others (especially the Christians suffering there) as if it was simply destined to happen ....and it bothered me that so many seemed quick to run to Isaiah 17 without addressing the FULL context of scripture/seeing all the factors that are connected with it.


    There were a couple of places that seemed to have good info - one of them being here and here:

    Whenever others claim "Damascus has NEVER been destroyed!!!" - I see a lot of inconsistency. For there are several other references to the Fall of Damascus and I think primarily it is in reference to things that have already happened when it comes to Isaiah. Not to nuclear or chemical weapons attacks. For in the 4th year of Ahaz (as seen in 2 Kings 16:9), Damascus fell to the Assyrians and he carried off the people to Kir. However, here in Hezekiah's reign another overthrow is foretold.....as seen in 2 Kings 17:6

    "In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan and in the cities of the Medes."


    One should also consider references such as Jeremiah 49:23-24 and Zech 9:1 and Micah 1:6 - but suffice to say, the way many fundamentalists read the scriptures on Syria often seems to be in a literal application divorced from the culture it was spoken in.....centuries removed/divorced from events. It's sad to see the way that many Evangelical Christians celebrate the destruction of other nations in the name of supporting Israel and yet no one considers the ways that the Gospel is neglected - as well as not truly seeing people as the Lord does. John Hagee comes immediately to mind in how much he has done the same as others seem to be doing with Syria - championing war mongering in the name of Israel being established and having a mercenary mindset that is not concerned with the salvation of all (more shared in #18 /#355 ).


    There does seem to be a lot of the END-Times sensationalism that seems to be going on with events in the Middle-East and the many ways people seem to be continually saying that it's the end of the world - and as much as I may enjoy/adhere to aspects of Futurism to see the way many futurist individuals have spoken on the times (i.e. Claiming "Well you know - Damascus was prophesied to be COMPLETELY destroyed in order to save Israel according to Isaiah 17 - with that being what's going on with the deaths in Syria"....or saying "The world is going to Hell just as the Lord always intended it!!! God's Judging!!!", etc.) .........I just don't see why it seems so many don't seem to want to acknowledge that perhaps we're not in the End as many prophesy - and are simply experiencing things relative to where we are.​

    I acknowledge that having some leanings toward partial preterism and futurism mixed makes a lot of difference in how I choose to respond - noted in #43 /#49 /#118 /#213 - but on the futurism aspect, it is interesting how many point to negative prophecies about Syria and yet never consider the good ones that have been made as well. For Isaiah describes a time when Egypt and Assyria - along with Israel - will be a blessing on the Earth. Interestingly enough, what was Assyria in Isaiah's day includes parts of Turkey, Iraq and Syria today. Assyria was an ancient empire whose capital city was Nineveh (II Kings 19:36). It was primarily located in Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the western end -- roughly where Iraq is currently located. The Assyrian Empire extended from Ur of Chaldes, up the Tigress-Euphrates valley toward Baghdad then across to the Mediterranean, taking in modern day Syria.

    [​IMG]




    So Assyria in the Bible included modern day Iraq and Syria. And by substituting the names of these present-day countries, we come up with remarkable scripture as it relates to prophecy
    Isaiah 19:19-21Isaiah 19
    20 And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.

    21 Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. 22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.

    23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.

    24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, 25 whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”



    Amazing to consider the ways that we often act like Jonah - wanting to see the destruction of Assyria and yet never considering God's heart for it ...or never seeing the people within it who were destined to serve the Lord/be used of him
    [​IMG]









    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    God has a heart for Syria - as well as other nations in Biblical prophecy (more shared in #12 ) - with much of the Gospel and the Church itself beginning with the Apostle Paul IN Antioch and Damascus (in Syria) when seeing Acts 9 and Acts 11.....the Church exceptionally strong there. And with the destruction befalling it, I think we need to remember that it's not ALWAYS a matter of God bringing a negative judgment. And in many ways, it would do a lot of good if others in the Body of Christ would realize how the West is Helping to Destroy Christianity in Syria...​



    Many things we place on God - but really, some things can simply be the actions of man. Something my cousin and I were discussing the other day was that it often seems people tend to be looking continually for what they deem to be End-Time events signs - from what's going on in Israel to the wars seeming to begin - and yet no one considers if perhaps it's possible to have events scripted/played out (like dramas) in an artificial manner where it seems like the real deal - and yet it's not anywhere close to how the Lord intended it. Simply for the sake of ensuring deception and throwing others off into getting excited/riled up over events thinking they meant one thing when they really were jumping the gun - and still missing the main goal....​




    Blessings​
     
  2. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  3. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    It also shows where KNOWING the Lord also included knowing him intimately in the sense of relationship....context always makes the difference when it comes to what the Lord noted - and what played out historically with others coming to trust in Him/being deemed his people.

    The same dynamic of knowing the Lord in being saved/following Him is also noted in the story of Naaman the Syrian (from the nation of Aram where Syria is at) - from 2 Kings 5 whom Christ referenced later on when it came to the people he chose to interact with and saying what it meant to follow the Lord:


    Luke 4:18

    Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

    16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
    18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He has anointed Me
    To preach the gospel to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,[j]
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
    19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”[k]

    20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”


    23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum,[l] do also here in Your country.’” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath,[m] in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

    Surprises and Disappointments-
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  4. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Take your Isaiah prophecies and go to 2 Kings 16 and read on.
     
  5. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Did - long ago (as well as the entire text of I-II Kings on the ways the Lord raised up Aram and used it for His Glory - alongside using Syria). II Kings 16 does not in any way address the whole of what Isaiah or other scriptures say whatsoever. One should read the whole of Isaiah as well as the rest of II Kings and scripture when it comes to Syria.
     
  6. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    That's the problem...it was long ago and it will not happen again. Isaiah tells you who he prophesied to and when it was...however if you want to ignore that...go right ahead.

    Isaiah 1:1
    The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

    You have no warrant to project this prophecy onto the 21st century Damascus because Isaiah has told you when it applies.
     
  7. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    None of that is in any way dealing with the text nor the concept of prophecy being both present and future. That's basic in dealing with eschatology - and thus, for anyone universally assuming all things occurred (As goes Full Preterism in many respects), that's their choice. It already ignores scripture - and quoting Isaiah 1:1 doesn't show at any point where any prophesies were not for 21st century seeing how that was dealing with the 1st chapter addressing those in that era as well as others - with prophecies seen during the reigns of others pertaining to the future since prophecies spoken concernin Judah and Jerusalem were also in regards to their future with other nations (be it in that era or later). To assume Isaiah isn't to be applied to the 21st century is your own assumption..in the same way others assume that all prophecies made by the prophets - be it major (i.e. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, etc.) or minor (i.e. Zechariah, Joel, etc.) - were all fulfilled before the 1st century.

    One loses all rights talking on what Isaiah can or cannot speak on when it comes to ignoring the way prophecy was understood in the Judaic background of the 1st century with it applying to the future of yet-to-come events - including prophecies made in Isaiah about the MESSIAH and His reign (Isaiah 61 being one amongst many) which are still relevant in light of where they still occur today in the ministry of Christ to the world....and it's the same dynamic with other prophecies Isaiah made to Judah/Jerusalem who were types of the Body of Christ. “When” a prophecy is said to be fulfilled is very important to know in determining what events fulfill the prophecy. Time indicators can tell us if the prophecy is going to be fulfilled in the distant future or in the near future. Sometimes a prophecy’s fulfillment is open ended.

    One can see this basic when it comes to things such as "The Day of the Lord is near" commentary in Isaiah and other prophectic texts. For the Day of the Lord refers to God’s special interventions into the course of world events to judge His enemies, accomplish His purpose for history, and thereby demonstrate who He is — the sovereign God of the universe (Isa. 2:1–2; Ezek. 13:5, 9, 14, 22–23; 30:3, 8, 19, 25–26). The evidence for this significance of the Day of the Lord is found in references in the Scriptures to past Days of the Lord..and the Bible indicates that there have been several past Days of the Lord in which God exercised and demonstrated His sovereign judgment on other nations. For He raised up Assyria to judge the northern kingdom of Israel during the 700s B.C. (Amos 5:18, 20), Babylon to judge the southern kingdom of Judah during the 600s and 500s B.C. (Lam. 1:12; 2:1, 21–22; Ezek. 7:19; 13:5; Zeph. 1:7–13; 2:2–3), Babylon to judge Egypt and its allies during the 500s B.C. (Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 30:3), and Medo-Persia to judge Babylon during the 500s B.C. (Isa. 13:6, 9) - and yet many things spoken in their day which seemed to have an IMMEDIATE fulfillment (as was the case with the Prophet Joel prophesing in Joel 2) found their fulfillment many centuries later (like with Peter quoting a passage from Joel to discuss Pentecost - or Paul referencing Hosea to discuss the Gentiles being brought to be a part of God's Body of Israel.....even though the original context he spoke in with Romans 11 did not literally show the prophecy of Hosea to be the EXACT same as what Hosea prophesied).

    On that issue, this is a basic concept when it comes to the reality of why the Apostles quoted scripture often as they did. Paul read, used, and interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures in ways common to his day, age, and culture – but he now saw, through the grace of God, that Jesus Christ, God’s Messiah, was the focal point of the entire story. Paul reads everything through Christ...as seen in how Paul quotes Isaiah 49:8 in 2 Cor 6:2. But Paul’s reading and use of Isaiah’s words is not bound by the original intent of the prophet or the context of the original audience. Paul transforms the words of Isaiah to speak into a new situation. Paul saw what Isaiah did not, that all of God’s saving activity through history is ultimately. …embodied somehow in the death and resurrection of Christ - and Paul expresses that conviction by fostering a deep theological connection between the two events of deliverance from Babylon and resurrection of Christ

    We see the same dynamic with Paul in his quoting of Hosea - as Paul’s use of Hosea in Romans 9:25-26 is analogical in nature......a matter of Paul drawing a comparison /analogy between the calling of Gentiles from unbelief and the restoration of Israel from exile and judgment. ..for just as God can bring Israel back from the dead, he can also call Gentiles to new life. What is occurring is that Paul is not choosing to go for reinterpreting these verses in Hosea - but rather, Paul is drawing a parallel between the future restoration of the Jews and the present salvation of the Gentiles in order to highlight the graciousness of God toward those who have no claim on His mercy. It is a matter of the apostle underscoring a point of continuity between these two distinct situations without equating them or suggesting that one fulfills the prediction of the other. While Paul applies promises of Israel’s restoration to Gentiles in Romans 9:25–26, he does so not to include Gentiles in his concept of “Israel,” but rather to explain something that is true of both the future restoration of Israel and the present salvation of Gentiles. In the original context these passages from Hosea refer to the spiritual restoration of Israel. But Paul finds in them the principle that God is a saving, forgiving, restoring God, who delights to take those who are “not my people” and make them “my people.” An Paul then applies this principle to Gentiles, whom God makes his people by sovereignly grafting them into covenant relationship (more shared in Paul's Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:25-26 and Did Paul Misinterpret the Old Testament - Audio ).


    We see the same dynamic in Galatians. For there, in Galatians 3:15-29, Paul uses a play on words to make a theological point - as he intentionally twists around the singular and plural nature of the collective noun “seed”. The promise to Abraham was that he would be the father of a great nation.
    The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. (Gal 3:16 NIV)
    However, Gen 13:16 has God telling Abraham And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. (KJV)...so clearly the intent of “seed” here is plural. The entire point of the promise is that the offspring will be many, not one.....and yet Paul exploits the singular form of seed to argue that the promise to Abraham was for one son, not many, and that that son was Christ....a point not surprising when seeing the Christ-centered theology throughout his writing – in Jesus, Israel’s story finds its completion, its end point.

    The same dynamic is also seen elsewhere. Romans 11:26-27 has Paul quoting Isaiah 59:20..where he says, "As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob"

    And yet, both the Septuagint and the Hebrew clearly state that the redeemer will come to Zion in Isaiah 59:20-21. Paul’s creative citation of Isaiah has ample precedent in the ancient world, where texts were mined and adjusted to allow alternate meanings of the text to emerge.

    As Peter Enns’ excellent book, Inspiration and Incarnation notes well, “biblical interpreters exhibit for us an attitude toward biblical interpretation that operates on very different standards from those of modern interpreters. ...They were not motivated to reproduce the intention of the original human author.... They were much more concerned to dig beneath the surface to reveal things "


    If one looks at Isaiah’s prophecies literally and compare them to history, they'll see that while some of them have been fulfilled, others were only partially fulfilled and still others not at all. For an example of a partial fulfillment read Isaiah 9:6-7. In this prophecy the child was born and the Son was given, but the rest awaits a future fulfillment. And for one that hasn’t been fulfilled at all, read Isaiah 2:1-5. In the first place Isaiah identified the prophecy as referring to the End Times. And in the second, there’s never been a time in history when this statement has been literally true..
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  8. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Discussing the "Who?" and "When?" are not the same as saying that the prophecy/content thereof was meant to be seen as being FULFILLED in that time at all points - as it's like a Church receiving a prophecy with it being written down ....the "Who?" being the name of the Church spoken to and the "When" being the time it was spoken (i.e. Date, location, temperature, etc.) - even though the content of the prophecy itself was applied to the future and not literally fulfilled. This is why it is noted that prophecy itself within Isaiah was not something that was fully fulfilled - and it takes a lot in trying To understand God's Word with Isaiah's Unfulfilled Prophecies.

    For another, in Luke 4 it says this:
    16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah was written,

    18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath 18 The The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.


    20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.



    The quote Christ noted is from Isaiah 61:1-2. However, open Isaiah 61 and notice that Jesus stopped reading halfway through verse 2 - as the second half of the verse describes "the day of vengeance," which is still in the future! Jesus only fulfilled the first part of the verse, "proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord," at his 1st coming. He will fulfill the 2nd half of the verse at his 2nd coming.

    However, what you have are several prophecies in the old testament that have not been fulfilled YET. But one can safely rest assured that those prophecies will be fulfilled someday in the future.

    And as said in the OP, the prophecies concerning Assyria being called "The Work of God's Hands"/the Lord redeeming it fully have yet to have been seen as fulfilled in history. And there are many Biblical reasons behind why others have noted that the Lord still has things to come. One's eschatological standpoint will make a difference in how that occurs - as there are many schools of thought .....one solid one being Apostolic Premillennialism”..different from other forms of pre-millennialism (and based more so on the Christ Victor view) by it being more optimistic with the end times — more focused on the Apostolic character of the church that is supposed to be coming. ...

    With Isaiah 17, although there are prophecies that have YET to be fulfilled, the prophecy concerning Damascus seems to have already taken place several times - and others (who are Partial Preterists) have given good reasons for such:

    That said, hopefully you have some better arguments than the ones given thus far...
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  9. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Indeed it is except that the prophecy demonstrates itself beyond that. Now, you say it was not fulfilled but Isaiah clearly states he prophesied during the reign of 4 kings of Judah. As you read 2 Kings it's irrefutable that they were fulfilled.


    Indeed. It's obvious Jesus is fulfilling a prophecy of Isaiah...yet when you go back and read that prophecy it's obvious within it's context it was messianic, so if you go back to Isaiah 61 this is obvious...why? beacuse it clearly says it after the return of the exiles and rebuilding of Jerusalem...you can't miss it holding context and understanding the history.
    Actually when you understand them...you don't. Hopefully you will not continue to ignore history nor the language of prophecy. Isaiah 17 was definitely fulfilled...but rather than try and convince you...when you see it NOT happen...talk to Jesus about it in eternity...He'll tell you "Isaaih 17 was fulfilled when the Medes took down Babylon when Daniel prophesied the writing on the wall to Belshazzar. The Medes conquered Babylon that night".

    Now...we don't have to debate this...let's just wait and see....:thumbsup:
     
  10. Bible2

    Bible2 Guest

    Damascus could be nuked by Israel during a future all-out war (Isaiah 17:1). Yet this war will also break the power of Israel (Isaiah 17:4).

    One way this double-edged war could happen is the U.S. could build up the Iraqi Army until it's huge enough and well-equipped enough to serve as a proxy army, for the U.S. and Israel, for an all-out ground invasion of Iran, in order to end Iran's nuclear weapons program and extremist regime. As part of the buildup of the Iraqi Army, the U.S. could reinstall some of the former Baathist military hierarchy to run the Iraqi Army more efficiently and ruthlessly. And if the current Shiite-dominated government of Iraq balks at any invasion of fellow-Shiite Iran, this could lead the CIA, the Mossad, and possibly also (Sunni Arab) Saudi Intelligence, to bring about a Baathist coup d'etat in Iraq. For all 3 of these intelligence agencies would love for Iraq to attack their common mortal foe Iran, and the Iraqi Baathists could agree to do this, for they see non-Arab Iran as a great enemy of Arab autonomy.

    To help get the Iraqi masses and the world behind the idea of an all-out Iraqi invasion of Iran, false-flag operations could be managed by the CIA and the Mossad by which it will be made to seem that (non-Arab, Persian) Iran is attacking the Iraqi Sunni Arabs and their little children terroristically with "dirty bombs" made from Iranian-enriched uranium, so that the Iraqi Arab masses will become enraged and begin to call for all-out retaliation against (what they could call) "the vile Persians". And the world could see an Iraqi invasion of Iran as being completely justified by self-defense.

    But then, right when Iraq is all ready to invade Iran, the ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel (who by that time could be led by a false Messiah) could destroy the Muslim Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque (the 3rd-holiest sites in Islam) on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, to prepare the site for the building of a 3rd Jewish temple (Revelation 11:1-2, Matthew 24:15, Daniel 11:31,36; 2 Thessalonians 2:4). This could so enrage Muslims worldwide, including the (Muslim) Iraqi Army, that the Iraqi Baathist Generals could see it as a perfect excuse to abandon the plan to invade huge Iran, and instead (pretending that they're doing so in the name of Islam) turn and send their vast army against the little territory of Israel, completely defeating it (Daniel 11:15-17; in verse 17, the original Hebrew word translated as "daughter" is "bath").

    But this wouldn't be the ultimate reason for the Baathist attack, which could continue on south to also defeat and occupy Egypt (Daniel 11:15). For Egypt is ruled by the U.S.-supported Egyptian Army, which the Baathists could see as being a puppet of the U.S., just as they could see Israel as being a colony of the U.S. Baathism's ultimate aim is to unite all Arab lands from Oman to Morocco into one massive, powerful United Arab States free of all foreign hegemony.

    The all-out Iraqi attack on Israel could be joined by the entire (Baathist) Syrian Army (with all of its missiles, many tipped with nerve agents), as well as by all of Iran's long-range missiles and all of Hezbollah's and Hamas' missiles and guerrillas. Israel could find itself suddenly attacked from 3 directions at the same time, with tens of thousands of missiles raining down on its cities and military bases, and tens of thousands of Iraqi tanks (meant to defeat and occupy huge Iran) pouring across its borders. As Israel starts to see its little sliver of land completely overrun, and sees that its total defeat is imminent and assured, in retaliation it could drop nuclear bombs on Baghdad, Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), Tehran, and other major cities of Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

    There could be so many nuclear explosions sending so much radioactive dust and ash so high into the atmosphere that it could be blown eastward and fall on hugely-populated South Asia, ruining so many crop fields and immune systems there with radiation that 1/4 of the world's population could end up dying from the war and its aftermath of famines and epidemics. This could fulfill the horrible war which will begin the future tribulation of Revelation chapters 6 to 18 and Matthew 24, which war will, with its aftermath of famines and epidemics, end up killing 1/4 of the world (Revelation 6:4-8). The "great sword" of this war (Revelation 6:4) could be Israel's nuclear weapons. This war could be blamed not only on the "religious fundamentalism" of Islam and Judaism, but also on religious fundamentalism in general, and so could lead to a worldwide crusade against all forms of religious fundamentalism, including Christian fundamentalism, i.e. the (correct) idea that the Bible is wholly true (2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 4:4) and that all other religions are cursed (Galatians 1:8-9, John 14:6, John 3:36, Acts 4:12).

    After an Iraqi Baathist General who could lead the defeat and occupation of Israel and Egypt mysteriously disappears from the scene (Daniel 11:19), the Antichrist, who could be an Arab, could arise peacefully out of Lebanon (from the modern city of Tyre: Ezekiel 28:2; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4), and he could take up the mantle of Baathism and vow to (in his words) "complete the great work of Arab liberation and unification". The first thing that the Antichrist could do once he's given control (Daniel 11:21) of a Baathist confederation of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and a "United Palestine" (i.e. a defeated Israel), is to perform a small and localized attack against an army of ultra-Orthodox Jews holed up in the walled Old City of Jerusalem and led by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish false Messiah (Daniel 9:26a, Daniel 11:22). They could have managed to hold off the first Baathist attack even as it overran the rest of Israel, because the walled Old City of Jerusalem is considered holy to the Muslims, and so it's not to be bombarded or destroyed. The Antichrist could manage in some way to take the Old City without doing it much harm.

    Then, instead of executing all the ultra-Orthodox Jews and their false Messiah, the Antichrist will do an amazing thing. He will "cut" a peace treaty with them and their false Messiah (Daniel 9:26a, Daniel 11:23), permitting them to keep a 3rd Jewish temple (Revelation 11:1) which they will have built on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, and to keep control of the Old City, for at least 7 more years (Daniel 9:27a), so long as they give up the outer court of the temple (Revelation 11:2a) to the Muslims so that the Muslims can rebuild the Al Aqsa Mosque on the southern end of the Temple Mount and resume worship there. By this peace treaty, the Antichrist could present himself to the world as (in his words): "A reasonable man, a man of peace. I am no Hitler. I do not desire a second Holocaust. I am willing to give the religious Jews in the Old City seven years to show that they are willing to live peacefully with others, that they are different than the Zionist Jews who have just destroyed the world with their nuclear weapons".

    And if the Antichrist gets flak from his fellow Baathists for letting the ultra-Orthodox Jews keep the Old City of Jerusalem, he could explain to them privately that (in his words) "It's all a temporary ruse, meant to keep world opinion off guard while we consolidate our position". The Baathists could consolidate their position by becoming so well dug-in, and so well equipped and advised militarily by the Russians (in the name of "Arab self-determination"), that a U.S. counter-attack to "restore" (i.e. to take back) Israel and Egypt could fail, and leave the Baathists in control, and in a position to extend their power over all the rest of the Arab nations. For if the Baathists defeat Israel, they will be hailed by the Arab masses as magnificent heroes, so that the Baathists could have no problem persuading the Arab masses to support them. And the Baathists could justify their defeat of the Egyptian military regime, and then their subsequent defeat of other regimes such as in Jordan, by railing against them as being (what they could call):

    "These vile cronies of the Americans. These cronies pretended to be for the Arab people while in fact they were taking American bribes in the billions, completely selling out our Palestinian brothers to the endless cruelties of the Zionist occupation, and keeping you, the great majority of the Arab people, in poverty. These cronies, like the Zionists themselves, were the American bulwarks against our glorious Arab unification and return to world power. Join now with us, the Baathists, that we might bring about the long-awaited Arab Renaissance, the long-awaited Arab Resurrection [the Arab word 'Baath' can mean 'Renaissance' and 'Resurrection'], that we Arabs might all rise up together and unite, from Oman to Morocco, into one great United Arab States, one great Arab Empire, shaking off completely all the shackles of the West, placed upon us so long ago, and return to our former glory as we had during the Middle Ages, when we were free and far superior to the West".

    The Baathists could also rail against the kings and sheikhs of the Arab Gulf States for (in their words) "hoarding the huge oil wealth given by Allah to all the Arabs, and keeping the Arab masses in poverty and subjugation to Western interests". The Baathists are socialist, and so could call for the distribution of the Arab oil wealth to the Arab masses (Daniel 11:24). In this way, and by their defeat of Israel, the Baathists could easily turn the masses to their side in every Arab nation.

    During the first few years of the 7-year peace treaty referred to earlier, the Antichrist could employ Baathism as the means by which he will gradually and peacefully put together a United Arab States, or Arab Union, stretching from Oman to Morocco. Once he has accomplished this, he could then begin to downplay Baathism and start speaking of "world peace and the unity of mankind". He could convince an oil-thirsty European Union to let the oil-rich Arab Union join it, thereby forming a massive Mediterranean Union, which he could manage to peacefully gain control of and use as his base of power to eventually exert his hegemony over the entire earth (Revelation 13:7b).

    Then, only some 3.5 years after making the peace treaty, the Antichrist will break it, attack the 3rd Jewish temple in Jerusalem, stop the daily Mosaic animal sacrifices offered in front of it, and sit (at least one time) in the temple and proclaim himself God (Daniel 11:31,36, Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4). He will then rule the whole earth by the power of Lucifer (Satan, the dragon: Revelation 12:9) for 3.5 literal years (Revelation 13:4-18, Daniel 7:25, Daniel 12:7, Revelation 12:14), or 1,260 literal days (Revelation 12:6). The return of Jesus Christ from heaven (Matthew 24:30, Revelation 19:11-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) may not occur immediately after the 1,260 days of the Antichrist's worldwide reign are over, but could occur 75 days later, on the 1,335th day after the Antichrist and his followers set up the abomination of desolation (possibly a standing, android image of the Antichrist) in the holy place (the inner sanctum) of the 3rd Jewish temple (Daniel 12:11-12, Daniel 11:31, Matthew 24:15). The 75 days could be taken up by the vials of God's wrath which will be poured out on the Antichrist's worshippers (Revelation 16).

    When Jesus returns, he will completely defeat the Antichrist (the individual-man aspect of the beast) (Revelation 19:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9), and he will have Satan bound in the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1-3). Then the returned Jesus and the bodily resurrected church (including those in the church who had been beheaded by the Antichrist) will reign physically on the earth for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 5:10, Revelation 2:26-29, Psalms 66:3-4, Psalms 72:8-11, Zechariah 14:8-21).
     
  11. Bible2

    Bible2 Guest

    Just as partial preterism admits that Jesus skips thousands of years in Matthew 24:30, so partial preterism should be able to admit that Matthew 24:34 refers to the fulfillment of "all these things", all the events of the tribulation and Jesus' 2nd coming and the gathering together (rapture) of the church "immediately after" the tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Revelation 19:2 to 20:6), which events Jesus had just finished describing in Matthew 24:2-31, and which he would later show in great detail in Revelation chapters 6 to 19. Matthew 24:34 didn't mean that the tribulation, 2nd coming, and rapture would be fulfilled during the temporal generation alive at the time of Jesus' first coming, for none of those things was fulfilled during that temporal generation.

    Instead, Matthew 24:34 could mean that the temporal generation which would see the 1948 AD reestablishment of Israel, which could be symbolized by the rebudding of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32-34, Hosea 9:10, Joel 1:6-7, Luke 13:6-9, Matthew 21:19,43), won't pass, i.e. won't die off completely, until the future tribulation and 2nd coming of Matthew 24 and Revelation chapters 6 to 19 are fulfilled. A temporal generation may not pass until 70 or 80 years (Psalms 90:10), or 120 years (Genesis 6:3).

    This doesn't require that the 2nd coming will occur right before, like one year before, that generation will pass: i.e. 69, or 79, or 119 years after 1948: in 2017, 2027, or 2067. And if the tribulation which will immediately precede the 2nd coming and rapture (Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Revelation 19:7 to 20:6) will last 7 years (Daniel 9:27), the tribulation's first year didn't have to be in 2011, and won't have to be in 2021, or 2061, but could be in a future year (e.g. 2020) earlier than 2021.

    Matthew 24:34 could also include the meaning that the figurative, all-times generation of the elect (Matthew 24:22, Luke 16:8b, Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4) won't pass away from the earth during the future tribulation of Matthew 24 and Revelation chapters 6 to 18, but that some of the elect will survive (Matthew 24:22) until Jesus' 2nd coming (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:21-23,51-53) "immediately after" the tribulation of Matthew 24 and Revelation chapters 6 to 18 (Matthew 24:29-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Revelation 19:7 to 20:6).

    ~

    The rebudding of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32) can refer to the 1948 reestablishment of Israel, just as Jesus' cursing of the fig tree (Matthew 21:19) was symbolic of his curse on unbelieving, Old Covenant Israel (Matthew 21:43). The Israel that was reestablished in 1948 is the same Old Covenant Israel that Jesus cursed at his first coming, for it still rejects Jesus and still considers itself to be under the Old Covenant. This Israel merely "putting forth leaves" again (Matthew 24:32) in 1948 was nothing more than a restoration to what the fig tree in Matthew 21:19,43 had been before it was cursed forever by Jesus and then destroyed in 70 AD: a tree with leaves, but without any fruit. And the unbelieving, Old Covenant Israel that was reestablished in 1948 may never bear fruit, for it could be destroyed before Jesus' 2nd coming, during a future war, by a Baathist army, just as it had been destroyed in 70 AD by a Roman army.

    That will happen during the future millennium.

    *******

    That brings to mind 2 Peter 1:20.
     
  12. Bible2

    Bible2 Guest

    Note that 2 Kings 16:9, like Jeremiah 49:23-27, makes no reference to all the buildings of Damascus being ruined, for the subsequent verse in 2 Kings 16 refers to Damascus still existing as a city, with even a still-existing altar (2 Kings 16:10). Also, 2 Kings 16:9, like Jeremiah 49:23-27, makes no reference to all of Damascus' people being killed or taken into captivity. Compare the partial captivity of Jerusalem in Jeremiah 52:16.

    *******

    Note that Isaiah 1:1 isn't referring to when all of the book of Isaiah's visions apply, but simply to when they were seen by Isaiah.

    For Isaiah prophesied God creating a new heaven and earth (Isaiah 66:22, Revelation 21:1-8) some 3,700 years before its (still future) occurrence. For Isaiah gave that prophecy some 700 years before Jesus' first coming, but it won't be fulfilled until some 1,000 years after Jesus' 2nd coming (Revelation 19:7 to 21:8).

    Other books in the Bible also contain prophecies of events that wouldn't occur for 3,000 to 4,000 years. For example, Ezekiel prophesied of the Gog/Magog event (Ezekiel chapters 38-39, Revelation 20:8-9) some 3,600 years before its (still future) occurrence. For Ezekiel gave that prophecy some 600 years before Jesus' first coming, but it won't be fulfilled until some 1,000 years after Jesus' (still future) 2nd coming (Revelation 19:7 to 20:10). Also, God prophesied Jesus' spiritual defeat of Satan at the Crucifixion (Genesis 3:15, Hebrews 2:14) some 4,000 years before its occurrence.

    *******

    Note that Isaiah 17 isn't about Babylon, but Damascus. Were you thinking of Isaiah 13 instead? If so, in Isaiah 13:1, "Babylon" isn't the ancient city of Babylon, but the present-day city of Babylon (in Iraq), which the Antichrist (the individual-man aspect of the beast) will transform into his world capital during the future tribulation of Revelation chapters 6 to 18 and Matthew 24.

    For the 7 heads of the beast in its empire aspect (Revelation 13:1, Revelation 17:3) represent 7 empires (Revelation 17:9-10): Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and (possibly) Islam. The first 5 had fallen by the time of John the apostle in the first century AD: "five are fallen" (Revelation 17:10, Revelation 1:1b-2). The 6th (Rome) existed at the time of John: "one is" (Revelation 17:10). The 7th (possibly Islam) hadn't come by the time of John: "the other is not yet come" (Revelation 17:10). The empire of the Antichrist (the individual-man aspect of the beast) will be a different, still-future, 8th head (Revelation 17:11), which will be a revival of one of the 5 empires that had fallen by the time of John (Revelation 17:8,10,11). It will be a revival of the empire of Babylon. The Antichrist will transform the present-day, rebuilt city of Babylon (in Iraq) into the capital of his world empire, only to see his city of Babylon ultimately destroyed at Jesus' 2nd coming (Isaiah 13).

    Before the 2nd coming, when the world is brought into the worship of Lucifer (the dragon, Satan) and the Antichrist, during the Antichrist's future, literal 3.5-year worldwide reign (Revelation 13:4-18, Revelation 12:9), the Antichrist will build their main temple in the city of Babylon. For a temple to "wickedness" will be built in Shinar (Babylonia) (Zechariah 5:8,11), and the Antichrist is called "that Wicked" (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Also, the dragon has been the god worshipped in the city of Babylon since ancient times.

    The Antichrist may claim to be Nebuchadnezzar returned, and so reinstitute the system that Nebuchadnezzar set up whereby everyone had to worship an image or be killed (Daniel 3, Revelation 13:15). The Antichrist may also claim to be, at the same time, the return of Nimrod (the founder of Babylon: Genesis 10:8-10), and Hammurabi, and Asoka, and other famous rulers of the past. For he may claim that he has had many different "past lives" as various "enlightened" rulers.

    Besides building a main temple in Babylon, the Antichrist will also sit (at least one time) in a future, 3rd Jewish temple in Jerusalem, and declare himself God there (2 Thessalonians 2:4, Daniel 11:36,31, Matthew 24:15, Revelation 11:1-2). The Antichrist could also sit (at least one time) in other religions' holiest shrines, and declare himself to be God there as well. For example, he could also sit in Islam's Kaaba in Mecca, in the Sikhs' Golden Temple in Amritsar, in Catholicism's St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, etc.

    -

    In Isaiah 13:3, the "sanctified ones" who "rejoice in [YHWH's] highness" are the obedient people in the church in Revelation 19:7-8, after the future tribulation of Revelation chapters 6 to 18 and Matthew 24. They will be, in Isaiah 13:4-5, the "host of the battle" from "heaven", when they physically descend from the sky (the first heaven) with Jesus as he wages war against the armies of the world at his 2nd coming (Revelation 19:14-21). So in Isaiah 13:6,9, the "day of the Lord" is the same as the future, 2nd-coming day of the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:7-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

    Isaiah 13:10 refers to the same future, 2nd-coming time as Matthew 24:29-31.

    Isaiah 13:11 refers to Jesus' defeat of the world's armies at his 2nd coming (Revelation 19:19-21, Zechariah 14:3-21).

    Isaiah 13:16 refers not to what Jesus or the church will do, but to what some unsaved "Medes" (Isaiah 13:17-18) will do to the inhabitants of the city of Babylon at the time of Jesus' 2nd coming. By "Medes" is meant the native inhabitants of that part of the Middle East that in ancient times was called "Media" and is now part of Iraq.

    In Isaiah 13:17, the "Medes" aren't the ancient Medes that conquered the ancient city of Babylon (Daniel 5:28,31). For the ancient Medes didn't make the ancient city of Babylon uninhabited (Isaiah 13:19-22) when they defeated it, but instead kept it as a thriving city which continued on for centuries.

    In Isaiah 13:19-22, the total and eternal destruction of the city of Babylon has never been fulfilled. For Saddam Hussein rebuilt the city of Babylon (using bricks he inscribed with "built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar"). And after his defeat, U.S. forces built a military base in Babylon. And in the future, the Antichrist will transform the city of Babylon into his world capital. Isaiah 13:19-22 won't be fulfilled until this city is destroyed at Jesus' 2nd coming.
     
  13. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Isaiah doesn't state that whatsoever and thus argument via assertion doesn't do anything if one's going to talk on what did happen. And that has been noted for a long time by many scholars when it comes to II Kings:cool:



    None of that - nonetheless - shows where the entire prophecy was fulfilled in the immediate sense or within that century (As you argued ) when saying prophecy was spoken for a specific age - and other parts of the prophecy pertained to His work in the future when it came to reigning and ruling over the nations fully. That cannot be avoided
    Argument via assertion doesn't deal with the text...but if that's the best you have, so be it. For it doesn't take much to claim someone doesn't understand the text even after they argue past it:cool:
    Again, as you've already avoided the history/language of prophecy and violated the basic rules of Biblical hermeneutics when it comes to addressing context, it's really inconsequential what you think. It was already discussed before where Isaiah 17 was fulfilled and thus it is a moot argument talking as if was not noted - as well as a matter of arguing based on what you think rather than on the basis of what was said:cool:



    Indeed. It's obvious Jesus is fulfilling a prophecy of Isaiah...yet when you go back and read that prophecy it's obvious within it's context it was messianic, so if you go back to Isaiah 61 this is obvious...why? beacuse it clearly says it after the return of the exiles and rebuilding of Jerusalem...you can't miss it holding context and understanding the history.

    Arguing via assertion doesn't address the text - and thus, it's humorous but insufficient arguing as you have, seeing that you already ignored the history and language of Biblical Prophecy and Biblical Hermenutics when it comes to basic rules of interpretation. That's unfortunate when it comes to not realizing that you don't understand as well as you claim - but that's the way it is. It was already noted where Isaiah 17 was most likely fulfilled - thus making your argument moot as well as based on what you wanted to argue rather than arguing on the basis of what was said.

    But ultimately, Jesus will handle it :cool:;)
     
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  14. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Although you said more, I do think you gave an interesting yet creative scenario which could occur potentially - as the aspect of one leader rising up in the aftermath of fundamentalism on all sides leading to war/destruction and having that leader lead a crusade against all forms of Theistic religion (similar to what occurred in "The Book of Eli" with them blaming Bibles for the war and burning them all) - with the exaltation of "No God or gods!!!" and secular ideology ruling and influencing others in the same way Russia itself was dominated by Atheistic thought during the U.S.S.R era and sought to harm the Church immensely because it blamed it for the woes of the country...

    I say that in light of history...for many have been discussing the ways that a lot of the developments in our time as been Secular Humanism in the End Times, with the former on the rise and growing in control of much in the world---from human genetic enhancements/claiming to improve the human condition and doing a lot of messing with things/trying to get patents on biological elements (be it with Monsanto in its work with food or others working with gene therapy/finding ways to alter humanity in its evolution, regulation on human repopulation, eugenic population control, etc). In many ways, we're moving towards an alternative humanity: transhuman existence. We are enabling what once was purely science-fiction to become reality (take cybernetic limbs for example). We are spending increasingly more time interacting with computers than directly with other humans. This is based more on the technological than the biological. How then will our Scientific advances / ethics and laws alter to cope with these kinds of changes, and what impact will it have on our humanity?

    Militant Atheism is what often tends to come about from those venues....as well as social darwinism amongst other things (similar to the Eugenics programs hailed by Hitler in the Holocaust, alongside Margret Sanger in her plans for minorities in America with the Negro Project...and of course, the ways that Stalinism arose once Germany was defeated)....although when seeing others claiming things within the world of Islam will begin to take stage in regards to being used by the Anti-Christ, I will say it's interesting seeing the ways that Hitler himself interacted with people from Radical Islam (a real threat)---for he worked with others who were leaders in radical Islam such as the Grand Mufti ( the highest official of religious law in a Sunni or Ibadi Muslim country), Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin el-Husseini (more shared here, here, here and here )---more shared at Haj Amin Al-Husseini - Nazi collaborator and model for today's Islamists - Militant Islam Monitor andHitler's Mufti | Catholic Answers. There was a good documentary one of the messianic leaders of my fellowship showed me when we did a study on Islam/the dangers to be aware of.....and it was interesting seeing the hate that hate produces:



    Granted, other Grand Muftis of today have denounced violence on multiple fronts (more here, here, here and here )--although it is still a serious issue to see others proclaimign violence. Palestinian Grand Mufti shocked Israel when it came to Fatah’s Muhammad Hussein urging killing Jews...(more here , here and here /here) - and in the End Times, I can definitely see a coalition of multiple forces coming together from all streams to persecute God's people.

    You never know....
     
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  15. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    There is the reality that many are not aware of the ways things could be fulfilled IMMEDIATELY in light of what Christ noted - and that in the immediate sense the Lord was speaking of, one avoids a lot of gymnastics and hoops trying to explain away a host of issues when it comes to how other concepts don't seem to line up easily...with other things (i.e. the rapture) not being clear in scripture and thus adding a level of expectation that were not expected in the time of Christ.

    With the Rapture, Many Evangelicals have long challenged the concept of the Rapture after doing further review and realizing that the ideology seemed to gain more traction after the "Left Behind"series from the 90s/early 2000s and others saw that it wasn't always something found in the Church.....and much of it having its roots in dispensationalism when it arrived with others such as John Nelson Darby...

    For some excellent reviews on the matter:

    One of the best books I think that addresses the issue of the Rapture is by N.T Wright called Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church.
    [​IMG]


    Still trying to work my way through it - and in it, Wright challenges the notion of “going to heaven when you die” and spending an eternity in some bodiless future. For if this was the case, Wright says, “then what’s the fuss about putting things right in the present world?”

    For some quotes from the work:
    “Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of God's new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord's Prayer is about.”

    “Note, though, something else of great significance about the whole Christian theology of resurrection, ascension, second coming, and hope. This theology was born out of confrontation with the political authorities, out of the conviction that Jesus was already the true Lord of the world who would one day be manifested as such. The rapture theology avoids this confrontation because it suggests that Christians will miraculously be removed from this wicked world. Perhaps that is why such theology is often Gnostic in its tendency towards a private dualistic spirituality and towards a political laissez-faire quietism. And perhaps that is partly why such theology with its dreams of Armageddon, has quietly supported the political status quo in a way that Paul would never have done.”

    Rapture Theology: History & Influence
    N.T. Wright on Heaven & Rapture Theology

    As it concerns Partial Preterism, There's also the reality of how they see the Kingdom of God as something that has already happened:
    Luke 17:21
    The Coming of the Kingdom of God

    20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”[a]



    In Church history, there a number of quotes from the Church Fathers to show just how much of Jesus' prophecies in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 came to pass in 70 AD....more shared here and here. For there's nothing in scripture which seems to do a good job of showing why it's off to say that Jesus mentioning the "abomination that causes desolation" has seen its fulfillment when the Romans desolated the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD...and that Revelation's "Beast" to likely be a reference to Nero and/or Domitian and/or the imperial power in Rome in general that they used in persecution against God's People Israel (the Believing Remnant - Jew and Gentile)..


    If interested, this is a debate on the issue that was very informative...from Messianc Jew, Dr. Michael Brown.

    Dr. Brown is a Messianic Jewish apologist and one of the foremost scholars on the subject of Jewish culture/thought, as well as one who's a Futurist...whereas Dr.Demar is a Preterist (Partial Preterist) who is has long had an issue with much of what's discussed within the "Left Behind"/End Times eschatology. Dr Brown is someone whom many of my friends/family have either known or worked with personally...whereas Dr. Demar is someone who used to teach at my highschool when I was a freshman.

    The discussion was very cordial and it was wonderful to see how they discussed many differing issues that are often not acknowledged in certain circles. For other articles that may be of interest to you, one can go online/investigate the following--as they deal with many scriptures on the subject that are good for study:


    Fr Thomas Hopko points out, every generation has its dragon, its beast, its false prophet, and its 666. we have been in the end times since Pentecost.

    Technically, I'm sure they thought the End Times were upon us at the fall of the Roman Empire. Contemporaries of St. Augustine, as they saw the visigoths ascend into Rome raping and pillaging the greatest empire in human history, PROBABLY felt the world was about to end....and Catholics, as the Reformation tore Europe apart, thought the same thing, just like folks in the Europe as the Black Death tore apart half the population....and the people living in the World War II era of 6 million Jews exterminated and a mad German with Japanese and Italian help was hell-bent on conquering the world, people thought those were the endtimes...

    In the big picture, NOBODY knows when those times will be. We do the best we can as Christians with our time on Earth and let the Lord make the decisions. And we have to keep this in mind when considering how every generation (including the era of the Dark Ages) felt they were the last. Things could go on for another 400 years for all we know...

    But of course, every generation tends to think highly of itself in one way or another - as if it alone is worthy of being the one Christ shows up in rather than another link in the chain that precedes more centuries of time before the Lord returns. C.S Lewis noted it best when it came to his thoughts on intergenerational perspectives - and the reality of “chronological snobbery....the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited" - as noted in Surprised by Joy.
     
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  16. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Continuining from before...

    I have shared more views on where I stand (pertaining to Israel ) here, haven't really seen a lot of good arguments as to why what happened in 1948 as a fulfillment of Matthew 24 - (here and here and #188 ). Even I have shared sentiments with others saying that Israel (the Israeli State) has significance - although I do not subscribe to the view of 1948 being ordained by the Lord as the best/only way for things to have developed (seeing how the Lord works through the actions of men and many things are not a matter of "Fate" as much as God working through the mistakes of men for other reasons....even if the actions of men can stage counterfeits just as it was with the Temple itself/priesthood and others thinking that symbolism equated to the substance of what was really present even though God in his actions were not reflected.).

    It is possible that the land having others come back to it in disbelief has not been seen yet and was never intended to have others come back to it in the way/manner in which the nation has been established. On the issue, one view that comes to mind is what the scriptures also discuss---in line with the reality of multiple gatherings--that there are many for the view of 2 worldwide gatherings that believe the present state of Israel is in no way a fulfillment of those prophecies that speak of a worldwide regathering in faith in preparation for blessing...but rather a fulfillment of those prophecies that speak of a worldwide regathering in unbelief in preparation for judgement. Ariel Ministries discussed it best, IMHO, as seen in their article entitled THE MODERN STATE OF ISRAEL IN BIBLE PROPHECY.....concerning the passages of scripture that deal with the issue.

    </DIV>
    T.L. Frazier (an Orthodox Christian) made a solid case for why Zionism and the belief that the establishment of Israel in '48 is connected to eschatology in some way are essentially incomplete. It was a very compelling read, to be sure. It covers a broader spectrum of eschatological belief. For more, one can investigate the following:
    [​IMG]


    Not necessarily, seeing the ways Egypt was full of believers who transformed their era and the Church (when seeing the Coptic believers - who keep the passage in mind).

    Indeed....
     
  17. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    Was talking with one of my dear brothers in the Lord who was an Orthodox priest and he was saying to me how he felt that perhaps we've misinterpreted prophecy to mean something radically different than what others think. He was suggesting that perhaps the Lord has delayed in His return due to honoring the prayers/requests of others who were trying to make things better rather than allowing them to get worse and persecution of the saints to come at the highest levels ever in the U.S---and of course, my thoughts were that from the perspective of those being persecuted in the GLOBAL churches around the world, the Church has been persecuted more than ever before anyhow. ....but for others, the mindset is that believers are to get involved and finding ways of addressing that rather than sitting back/doing nothing due to the call of loving justice/mercy and speaking on behalf of the rights of the oppressed.

    For others, it's a matter of getting socially involved in the lives of others knowing that the Kingdom of God established before the return of Christ involves believers becoming dominant in society/influencing the world for Him....

    Some have felt that perhaps with going into 2012 the reality is that we're not on the brink of the Beginning of the End....but rather, the Beginning of the Beginning. And how wild would it be if other generations looked back/considered the times we lived in as a matter of "The Dark Ages" compared to where they were at - prior to the return of Christ in THEIR times..


    Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four

    Hans Rosling: Stats that reshape your world-view


    You never know...

    As bad as things seem, I do think it's interesting to see the ways that they have also improved (and I acknowledge that having some leanings toward partial preterism and futurism mixed makes a lot of difference in how I choose to respond - noted in #43 ) and I do take encouragement in that as well. There were some excellent presentations I saw once that really spoke to me on the issue..

    And as others have noted, every society felt its problems were the worse that had ever been. People in the Great Depression era had others preaching righteousness amongst a time where there was much economic injustice and racism--with the Dust Bowl/Dust Storms that ravaged the U.S seeming to be an end times scenario of the Lord destroying the nation. The same things occurred with World War I-II and others feeling that the rise of Hitler and others who nearly wiped out the Jewish people and other believers around the world was going to bring back the return of CHrist....and even in times like the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages, we have technology like cars and think it can't get anymore advanced than what we have now...and yet they were thinking the same as us when it came to the horses/carriages and forms of military technology they made available that were unprecendented....and when things broke down for centuries, they were thinking "Surely the end is near when seeing how much mess happens.

    Every generation thinks they're the last when seeing how what they had to deal with is worse than another---and the same can continue in our own for a LONG time, IMHO. People never stop to consider "What if man ended up living here for another 300yrs and found ways to do space travel into other worlds----or (if God allowed) encounters other lifeforms and that puts another big shift on the way we see eschatology? What if men were still living on the earth and yet others had travelled to the stars/colonizing things while mess was happening on earth?" It's possible for all of that to happen and yet many things with Biblical prophecy not be fulfilled at all since interpretation makes a difference-----with it being the case that a one-world government could arise when man makes even more radical strides in technology and is interstellar in scope/impact, yet things come to the point of immediate extinction and then Christ returns.

    If something were to happen such as ancient beings like the Watchers (from Genesis 6( revealing themselves under the guise of being the ones who helped to create all life...in the form of "divine/alien beings"..and they were to give mankind significant technological advancements (just as it was with the angels mixing with man in Genesis 6 and helping man develop in ways that the Lord disapproved of), it could be the case that it'd lead to all others disagreeing with them being deemed as the enemy and a massive worldwide persecution occuring towards all believers or anyone not getting with the program. I've already shared elsewhere in #42/ #30 / #102 where I stand on the issue of E.Ts being real and how that makes a difference when it comes to the atonement.


    What tends to get people is a demonstration of power/signs and ability--the entire reason why many cults have been set up around certain personalities and those deemed to be false prophets/messiahs in the scritptures were able to come in/steal the affections and worship of others AWAY from Christ ( Matthew 24:10-12 /Matthew 24:23-25 / Matthew 24, Mark 13:21-23/ Mark 13, 2 Corinthians 11:12-14 , 2 Peter 2:1-3 /2 Peter 2 , 1 John 4:1-3 , Revelation 19:19-21 / Revelation 19 ). The scriptures make very clear that people are more than ready and willing to worship others who're convincing enough...and for anyone studying what has occurred with what's known as New Age theology/thought, the amount of people into following spirit guides and deeming alien beings as the "saviors/creators of mankind" is not made up.

    This is not something that is in any way new, by the way. If anyone recalls what occurred with the group known as Heaven's Gate (religious group), where they followed their leader (Marshall Herff Applewhite ) into committing mass suicide during 1997 in order to reach an alien space craft which they believed was following the Comet Hale-Bopp, which was at its brightest. Other groups with similar ideologies have been in existence for a long time when it comes to New Age worship of heavenly beings (as discussed here and here and here)---with it being very popular/something many today are following and see all the time in the media and bookstores---much of it in line with what the scriptures warn against when it comes to others worshipping heavenly beings ( Colossians 2:17-19 /Colossians 2 ) due to the glory they may possess.....and with worshipping, it doesn't have to be seeing something as "deity" in order to be worship since the issue is whatever takes your focus and what you celebrate.

    And even within ancient history, the same mindset has been present. Anyone studying history will remember how the Aztecs themselves felt that the Spanish Conquistadors were "gods" when they came over looking in the same way as their mythology described their gods to be...in regards to their complexion (white) and the silver they brought over. And other instances were similar with conquering nations, especially those with new inventions such as guns/firearms whenever they'd fight against cultures less advanced....and not knowing what to make of such occurrences. There may be more skepticism with others if something similar happened with UFO occurrences, as much of what occurs today in many documentaries on the History Network (like on shows such as "Ancient Aliens"...) are geared at getting people to not even think of supernatural accounts in the Bible or mythology as "divine occurrences"---with people being trained instead to consider all "supernatural" accounts as being explainable via science/naturalism. This is something that I've seen directly with others, as there was one gentleman I grieve for since he used to be a very passionate believer in the Lord (from what I saw, as seen here)--but in time, he arrived at the conclusion that atheism was rational and that aliens were the ones who wrote the scriptures, with them not being able to even be trusted

    While it would not necessarily be the case that a UFO would not be automatically worshipped by all others as having "god-like" status, worship will occur...for the mindset of rationalism/naturalism would be worshipped by many since they'd easily say (as many already have) that what occurred is proof that there's a rational explanation for what has been deemed "supernatural" in history ...and that with Christianity itself/the scriptures, they would be put in the same category as simple encounters with alien beings who set it up. Essentially, it's a further development of the development of Secular Humanism (which by itself is a religion, as discussed here and here) which places man at the center and focuses solely upon the material, with the creation determininng its own destiny in glorifying itself (Romans 1:24-26 /Romans 1 )--and that is an act of worship in/of itself.
    __________________



    From a Futurism perspective, it'd make sense to have the advancement of technology if thinking an Anti-Christ figure is going to come on the scene. One thought to consider is that perhaps human beings are being prepared *physically* rather than mentally and emotionally for that day. For so much focus is given to what we know, or don't know ... and how we feel about it, or don't feel about it ... and yet, with each passing day, we are physically becoming more and more "synthetic" and "artificial".


    In our diets, our medical health, how we are medicated to perform/behave/societally trained - and even things which had potential for good (like certain types of medication and much of what comes out in the world of pharmacy ) has been used as what others turn to. Even the foods we eat are quickly becoming PATENTED so that corporations control the food supply and it is predomatiately the result of Genetic Engineering that is not natural. It's as though we are quite literally a new species ... some version of "homo sapien" that is more akin to a domesticated pet engineered by masters, rather than the original version of the wild animal. In many ways, we struggle to find our identities, and our identities are so important to us ... because we are artificial and trying to figure out if we're really alive or not, like a robot becoming sapient and self aware.

    If the Kingdom of God is within us, IMHO, I see no reason why the Kingdom of the Adversary won't attempt to manifest itself from within us first, and then to the outer world. As though we are pet conduits being created to house the spirits of the fallen. In many ways, it's irrelevant what we think we know to be true, if we are just hosts for the parasitic spirits to live out their fantasies through us in every way they can conceive. They can let us think whatever we want to think ...and man will obey anyway because he will be filled with the Unholy Spirit. If God is creating a new creature within us (II Corinthians 5 - "New Creation") ... why wouldn't the angels/watchers/demons/Satan/etc attempt to do the same via technology?

    Not many of us are able to realize the physical battles occurring where there has been a substantial drive to transform humanity from the inside out---and this, by no means whatsoever, has been something very secret. There was an excellent documentary series I recently saw on that very subject, as seen here:


    .
     
  18. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    I still find it, of course, a bit unsettling to consider the ways that a Skynet reality (or that of the Matrix) is something that'd not be that impossible - man setting up his own destruction due to the ways he neglected the natural world the Lord made....and placed himself in a position where he began to abdicate his abilities to the mechanical world (or the synthetic/artificial and bio-technological) when he damaged the natural world/its ability to sustain him. I say that in light of the sheer amount of damage man has been doing to himself as well as the Earth....

    We can see this directly in the ways that key animals have been going extict due to mankind being quite ruthless with his environment - especially those animals that keep the food supply going. And sadly, without the use of a broad group of insect pollinators, including honey bees, mason bees, moths, flies, and butterflies, most of our crops and fruiting trees will no longer produce food for mankind and animals. Already our crops are being affected by bee colony collapse.

    There was an amazing documentary I came across recently that helped to bring a lot of things into focus.

    Amazing documentary - and glad I was able to learn of it in regards to the ways that how we treat the workers who make our honey/keep the eco-system going can easily result in dealing with more problems to work with that you'd never have considered.....from food to dealing with the bees we get in place of ones we kill off (Killer Bees) which are far less tolerant/more 'thuggish' and more than ready to strike back at those hitting them


    But with the thought coming up that many may have to end up pollinating by HAND when the bees die - the concept of machines becoming a real reality does not seem that far off. And with mankind becoming more and more synthetic and artificial - especially as it concerns our food supply being so greatly damaged, I do wonder how things will transpire. For an excellent interview on the issue:

    So many have ignored the way corporations have been trying to take over the food supply ALL over the world - and doing extensive damage as a result. And some of it is no surprise. Having to do a research project on the issue recently for a Graduate School project and being shocked to see the ways the president promised to not support Monsanto - only for them to maneuver/outfox the Presidential administration to have essentially no limits in what they do - it is something I wish more were aware of. Some of the issue was discussed more in-depth elsewhere in places such as Green Patriarch, bee colony collapse, EPA, and use of pesticides & herbicides andOT: The President has signed into law the Protection of Monsanto - as well as BLUE GOLD: World Water Wars and Fighting Privization of Natural Resources in Crisis


    Nonetheless, the Kingdom of Christ still lives.

    I really do think that perhaps the Gospel is being set up in a position to spread even further due to where others are now forced to go back/see what is essential - and remember that the Lord's people have forced WORSE times...and yet thrived because they kept the main thing the MAIN thing - and learned to find creative solutions/ways of representing Christ wherever they were at...to the point that the people became won by their radical devotion to the Lord/seeing how the Lord blessed their communities. It's the time of the village culture to arise again...and for us to have hope.

    There was an excellent article I came across elsewhere that some other Orthodox folks were blessed by - from other believers fighting the battles we've had over the Food Supply/Monsanto and Environmental stewardship...and they shared on how there's so much focus on fear/sorrow in the times we live in - with us always despairing over the worse when we should be the people who do as Paul said and REJOICE ALWAYS ( Philippians 4:3-10 / Philippians 4 ) when it comes to the Gospel/suffering for it - or like James who said we're to "Count it PURE JOY" whenever we face trials/difficulties of all kinds ( James 1:2 ) - for as much as people get paranoid on the times we live in, the only conspiracy that matters/needs to be spread, if believing the Lord is, one focused on seeding the Kingdom not of this world ( Matthew 17:19-21 /Luke 13:18-20 ). Concerning the article:

    • A Global Conspiracy of Epic Proportions - Sustainable Traditions
    [​IMG]


    All of that is noted simply to bring home the point that every generation can always get worse compared relatively to what happened in the one before it---and interpretting how things go isn't always "black and white"...for some things take a lot of time to know fully.

    Our generation has seen a lot of mess, but it can always get worse---and even when you don't think that it can get worse, it can get worser----and in all of that, people still live and survive.


    If I may say....


    Lot came out of a very godless culture, even being willing to offer up his own daughters in Genesis 19-20 when it came to the men of the town wishing to rape his guests. That's highly evil---and yet, the scriptures declare that Lot was a righteous man. Even though he was a ruler in the city (as that was what it meant to sit in the city gate as he did ), he was considered "godly" for his time.....and something to consider is that the standards of righteousness can go up over time.

    There are things Lot would see in our time and literally PUKE, even though we look backward/wonder "how is it you ever came to tolerate the things you did, Bruh?"...and the reason why was because there was a limit to what he was able to see, counter to what we've grown up seeing/getting used to. It reminds me of how people we deem to be "barbarians" would probably consider others in our time to be FAR worse/more evil..."refined" or "civilized" barbarians, who have more specialized ways of doing evil...but barbarians nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  19. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) CF Ambassador

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    On this and the rest of what you noted, very good analysis and great points based on the text
     
  20. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    Response for Bible2 and Gxg (G2) on Damascus...

    First I must acknowledge my error of mentioning events of the prophecy of Isaiah 11 as Isaiah 17...that's my mistake.

    Simply put, when you research Damascus being taken...the prophecies themselves tell you that they are speaking to that day. To deny they do that...is really to be in denial, because they speak of geographical landmarks of that day. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and Zechariah are all prophesying concerning this time frame.

    Let's take Amos as an example:

    Amos 1:4, 5:
    4 &#8220;So I will send fire upon the house of Hazael And it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad.
    5 &#8220;I will also break the gate bar of Damascus, And cut off the inhabitant from the valley of Aven, And him who holds the scepter, from Beth-eden; So the people of Aram will go exiled to Kir,&#8221; Says the Lord.


    When you take that and read 2 Kings 16:9:
    9 So the king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and captured it, and carried the people of it away into exile to Kir, and put Rezin to death.

    To not see that as fulfillment is pretty much to be in denial. To carry on thinking it applies today, is simply wrong and ignoring the prophecy was fulfilled. Hazel was the king of Aram, which had oppressed Israel and God is now to destroy his house in the judgement as Damascus is taken.

    At this point, I'll just leave this thread and allow Gxg (G2) to ride on in fantasy, thinking that Damascus 2013 (or future), is in view. It's going to play out and we'll find out this is simply erroneous because it ignores the history recorded in the scriptures.

    All this thinking of nuclear war being in view and not understanding the language of judgment AS GIVEN IN SCRIPTURE.

    Let's just watch the idea that this thread projects, (that these prophecies apply today)...NOT happen. Then what? Well...the next time Damascus is in the news... it'll start again, OR people will stop denying biblical history...:thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
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