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The End of Times

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by e4God, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    Do you suppose that the Modern Church will be as clueless at the End of This age as the Synagogue was at the end of the last one?

    Will today's Church be ready? 

    Or will they defend the status quo even in the face of miracles and the obvious presence of God?
     
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  2. Blessed-one

    Blessed-one a long journey ahead

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    that depends...

    John 10:27
    My sheep listen to my voice; i know them and they follow me.
     
  3. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    This seems to refer to individuals, not the church. I could be wrong here. Just wondering out loud.

    Do any of you know scripture that points to a role for the church in the end times prophecies?
     
  4. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

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    Most people who are hung up on "end times prophecies" (eg. dispensationalists) have a weak and inadequate ecclesiology. They believe the Church is only an "interim plan" of God made necessary after the Jews rejected Jesus. They do not see the Church as the true Israel and, therefore, do not understand its eschatological mission. In fact, they reduce eschatology to nothing more than a synonym for "end times."

    The phrase "end times" refers specifically to the period leading up to the end of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New Covenant. By enduring through persecution and suffering, the true Israel emerged from that ordeal vindicated, just as Jesus, having endured even to death on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended on high as the true King of Israel, who is King of kings and Lord of lords.

    In Jesus, the eschatological kingdom of God has begun. But the world does not yet see it in its fullness. The Church, however, sees it springing forth into being in the most minute details. Like a mustard seed planted in a garden or a treasure hidden in a field, the kingdom is planted in the hearts of all believers who, joined together as one, are being built together into a holy temple, a dwelling place for God, by the Holy Spirit. The end of history is the full consummation of the kingdom of God, Jesus himself being personally present in the midst of a fully redeemed, fully restored creation.

    To this hope, the Church presses, empowered by the Holy Spirit, calling out God's chosen ones from every nation, tribe, people and tongue. If we constantly focus on things that "end," such as disease, death and the present world, then we will always feel as though we are living in the "end times" and we will, indeed, miss out on the glorious fulfillment of our hope. But if we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, we will run the race with confidence, looking forward to what is to come with the hope we can see embodied in him. In Jesus we see the end, and it is something we should be running to, not from.
     
  5. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    Patmosman: 

    Great Comments! But I am confused about something you said.

    Have never heard "end times" described as the time leading up to the New Covenant. My understanding is that the New Covenant was ushered in with Christ's resurrection. Isn't this the gospel promise of salvation by faith in Christ's redemptive work?

    When I say "end times" I refer to the events surrounding the second coming of Christ.

    Please understand that I am not really trying to start a typical "end times prophecy" discussion, which will mostly just draw pre, mid, and post trib arguments.

    I had something different in mind.

    Could not agree more ! That is where I was going.

    I spent most of my life not worrying much about the end, because I figured on being with Christ in glory... But am now more interested in the work that needs to be done before Jesus comes again.

    If the Church were running toward Jesus, what would that look like?

    If this a given, then maybe the real mission is to disciple and equip.... Point to Jesus, effectively, rather than run toward Jesus ?

    True to this forum's goal, I was questioning whether or not the Church of today is adequately preparing people for the next BIG EVENT. Have we a socially acceptable gospel that no longer saves souls? Are churches run too much like businesses or service organizations and not producing powerful and mature spirituality? Or is everything in pretty good order in the Church?

    Should we still look and feel like an Acts Chapter 2 body? Why or why not?
     
  6. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Scripture teahes that The "New Covenant age" is an age that has no end. It is said to be Everlasting.

    If you believe the New Covenant age began at the resurrection, and scripture teaches that it is an age without end, I'm unclear why you believe the New Covenant Age is coming to an end.

    Patmosman is correct in citing that the only "End times, Last Days, Last hour" spoken of in the Bible referred to the time of the "End" of Operational Biblical Judiasm, in the Generation of Jesus and His apostles, and that "End" came on time, as prophesied and we today, now have the very thing that was but a "promise" for all the faithful leading up to that generation. Salvation.

     
     
  7. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    So you are saying that the New Covenant includes the Tribulation and Millenial Reign?

    I have some scriptures in mind. They seem to clearly speak of the last days as near the second coming.

    2 Peter Chapter 3 is one of them.
     
  8. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

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    The "last days" began at Pentecost. See Acts 2:14-21 and Hebrews 1:1-2. If we are correct in assuming the term is synonymous with "end times" (and we have no reason to question that assumption), then it refers also to the period of transition when the Old Covenant was being supplanted by the New Covenant.

    Explaining the siginficance of terms like "end times" and "last days" for the original first century believers will require a lengthy post which I will need the next few days to work on. Stay tuned!
     
  9. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    OK. I see some of this.... But... The reference I gave uses the words last days to refer to the 2nd coming of Christ. If an age will be without end, then what of tribulation, millenial reign, and the new heaven and new earth that are promised? That's a lot of stuff to fit into one age...

    Before giving further consideration to the significance of the 'end times' and 'last days', and the instructions we have received about these times, I would like to get some thoughts about where the Jews and Gentiles fit into all of these times and days?

    The Jews were God's chosen. His people... His Children. When we Gentiles become God's Children by faith in Christ, aren't we grafted in to the Tree of Life, and thus made heir to the promises made to Abraham? If so, why aren't we heir to the same laws? 

    I gather that the answer is yes, and that salvation is freely offered to both Jew and Gentile... 

    So... Wouldn't the end times prophecies apply to us in the same way as to the Jews?
     
  10. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    OK. I see some of this.... But... The reference I gave uses the words last days to refer to the 2nd coming of Christ. If an age will be without end, then what of tribulation, millenial reign, and the new heaven and new earth that are promised? That's a lot of stuff to fit into one age...

    Before giving further consideration to the significance of the 'end times' and 'last days', and the instructions we have received about these times, I would like to get some thoughts about where the Jews and Gentiles fit into all of these times and days?

    The Jews were God's chosen. His people... His Children. When we Gentiles become God's Children by faith in Christ, aren't we grafted in to the Tree of Life, and thus made heir to the promises made to Abraham? If so, why aren't we heir to the same laws?

    I gather that the answer is yes, and that salvation is freely offered to both Jew and Gentile...

    So... Wouldn't the end times prophecies apply to us in the same way as to the Jews? If so, then I would like to return to my opening question before taking up this one...
     
  11. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

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    You refer, I presume, to the following passage:

    Peter is here employing the same imagery as John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11) to illustrate the disruptive and utterly cataclysmic effect of the presence of God breaking forth into the midst of a corrupt and fallen creation. As in the days of Noah, the outwardly visible effects of sin upon the world were wiped away, so in Christ, God is acting to purge creation of the root cause of its fallenness. “The heavens and earth that now exist” are not creation as God intended it to be. What is seen in the visible realm is the effect of sin upon creation, not the true creation God established “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1).

    As Adam and Eve’s inner corruption was exposed in the fall (Genesis 3:6-7), so the utter corruption of all creation brought on by the fall is also to be exposed. Thus, Peter admonishes his readers to live “lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming day of God” (v. 12a). Unlike Adam and Eve, who responded to the presence of God by fleeing in fear, we are to respond by living the kind of life that incarnates the presence of Christ in the midst of the world. This is not a reactive response to a warning about “the coming day of God” but, rather, a proactive participation in actually bringing it to fulfillment! Such a presence of holiness and godliness in the midst of an unholy and ungodly world is incendiary. “The heavens and earth that now exist” simply cannot endure the onslaught. They will ultimately crash and burn under the weight of the inescapable presence of a holy God breaking forth into its midst through the life and witness of a people being transformed by the power of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

    There is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles under the New Covenant. All who are in Christ are God's elect, his true Israel, regardless of national or ethnic origin. 

    Christ is the fulfillment of the law. Those who, by faith, accept his sacrifice for their sins are free with regard to the law, not to ignore it but to fulfill it in acts of love. 

    Just what "end times prophecies" do you refer to? The decisive eschatological "event" through which all of history is understood has already happened: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The "future hope" toward which we point is not based on some "as yet unfulfilled" prophecy. It is firmly rooted in what God has already accomplished in raising Christ from the dead: in the fullness of time he will do likewise for all of creation. The Church, the true Israel of God, is the living and ongoing embodiment of that hope.
     
  12. parousia70

    parousia70 I'm livin' in yesterday's tomorrow Supporter

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    Not exactly.
    The Tribulation and millennial reign were events that happened at the consumation of the Old covenant, and when they came to pass, the New and everlasting Covenant was fully established.

    Yes, the "last days" ended with the 2nd coming, and began with Jesus earthly ministry. The "Last Days" were the "last days" of the Old Covenant, and scripture affirms that they took place in the apostles generation, exactly as prophesied.

    We today are living "Beyond the End times"

    ************************************
     
  13. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

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    Coming to the proper historical context for such terms as "end times," "last days" and "end of the age" requires an understanding of the whole history of Old Testament Israel from the time of the Exodus onward, and how that history met its climax in the cataclysmic events during the period of A.D. 30-70.

    Almost from the moment the Israelites left Egypt, there began to emerge among them a spirit opposed to God and his will for his "chosen people." Later, the prophets would call it a spirit of "prostitution" or "adultery." The seeds of this contrary spirit are seen being planted in the recurrent "quarrelings" of the Israelites as they journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. Whenever, it seems, they face the slightest adversity, they raise their voices in the whining chorus, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?" (Exodus 17:3), or hunger or any number of other physical or material inadequacies.

    While it would appear, in most instances, that the Israelites are merely complaining about a lack of material or physical necessities, there are also strong hints that the real problem runs much deeper than its surface manifestations. This is seen, most dramatically, in the infamous "golden calf" episode (Exodus 32).

    The essence of this contrary spirit would appear to be nothing more than a desire tor return to the comfortable life of subjugation. Freedom is too heavy a responsibility for the Israelites. It is won only through suffering, tribulation and living in a manner wholly distinct from that of the "nations," that is, the Gentiles. Seeing such freedom as a burden instead of a blessing, the Israelites long to go "back to Egypt" and live as slaves. But their real "spiritual" desire is to be "like the other nations." Their desire to return to a life of bondage reflects their inward corruption by a demonically inspired force of wickedness.

    Ultimately, this spirit of prostitution becomes so deeply embedded that the Israelites fall into overt apostasy, forcing God to, in essence, grant them the true desire of their heart to be subjugated again, this time at the hands of the Babylonians.

    But not all of the Israelites were enslaved by the spirit of prostitution. As God promised Elijah the prophet, "Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him" (1 Kings 19:18). This is the remnant, the true Israel, chosen not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

    By that same Spirit, God raised up prophets who foretold the coming of a deliverer , an "Anointed One," God's Messiah, who would lead Israel out of captivity, vanquish all Israel's enemies, and establish a kingdom that would last forever. Yet the message of the prophets was a double-edged sword. Those enslaved by the spirit of prostitution would hear one thing, while the true children of Israel would hear another. Israel "according to the flesh" heard the prophets speak merely of deliverance from their physical captivity: God would (and eventually did) deliver them out of Babylon and bring them home to the Promised Land.

    The true children of Israel, however, heard in the prophets' message a promise of an even greater deliverance: the deliverance of the true Israel from the demonic forces which had enslaved her for generations and, by the time of Jesus, was personified by the very establishment which claimed to be the guardian of Israel's religious heritage.

    From the time of Israel's establishment as the covenant people of God, then, the "wheat" and the "tares" had been growing alongside each other. When Jesus arrived on the scene, his message, like that of the prophets before him, was a double-edged sword: imminent judgment upon the enemy of Israel, but swift and sure deliverance of the true people of God. But Israel's enemy was not Rome and the true people of God were not the religious elites who had set themselves up as spiritual leaders. On the very contrary, Israel's enemy was the religious establishment itself and the true people of God were the very people being oppressed by the religious elites. This is the message which Jesus proclaimed in cryptic parables whose true meaning would escape the children of the world, but which would be understood by the true Israel as announcing that the "age" of her captivity was coming to an "end."

    But that "end" would not come before a time of testing; a trial by fire which would burn off the dross and refine the gold. The true children of Israel would endure suffering, tribulation and persecution. They would not complain or fall away, although many of their family and friends would. As Christ endured suffering and death and was vindicated in his resurrection, so the true firstfruits of God's new creation, his New Covenant people, the true Israel, would likewise endure even unto death, holding firm to the sure hope that they, like Jesus, would at last be vindicated and share with him in the glory of the resurrection.

    For the first generation of Jesus' disciples, that vindication came with the fall of the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70. From that ordeal, which brought the history of Old Testament Israel to its decisive climax, the Church emerged as the true Israel of God, a people not bound by ethnic origins or national boundaries, but scattered throughout the ends of the earth, to be gathered together by the "angels," that is the "messengers" of the New Covnenant, in anticipation not of "the end of the world," but of a "world without end." As God raised Jesus from the dead, as he raised up a New Covenant out of the smoldering ruins of the Old Covenant, so he will redeem his whole creation to reflect his glory, with Jesus himself being personally present in our midst. To this hope the Church still presses, even as she embodies it, through every trial and tribulation, at this very moment.
     
  14. NumberOneSon

    NumberOneSon The poster formerly known as Acts6:5

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    Well said, James. Very well said.

    In Christ,

    Acts6:5
     
  15. Pastor N.B.

    Pastor N.B. Member

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    Hi,
    here are a couple thoughts that are faith builders for me.

    Matt. 24 is all about 'end times'. Verse 14 tell us a factual Truth. And Christ says that this generation shall not pass until all things be fulfilled! :clap:

    Then there is the increase of knowledge in the last day prophecy. Surely this was not for us to just watch the NBA, huh? :)

    Seriously though, Matt. 10:23 will be by just the few real Christians seen on World Wide satellite, like the Sept. 11 disaster, & this is what will carry the Latter Rain Gospel to the ends of the earth! (Joel 2:28-29) We do know that the Word tells us that before the Master returns, that there will be an earth shaking event take place in Christianity? :sleep: (Matt. 25)

    "Now we beseech you, [brethern], by the [coming of our Lord Jesur Christ], ... That ye [be not soon shaken in mind, or troubled] .... (when? notice) **Let no man deceive you by [any means]; for that day shall [not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition]. :cry: 2 Thess. 2:1-3 (in part only & added emphasis)
    And what are we seeing in todays setting???

    Now comes my question: Can 'i' be a real Christian & be as silent as the dead about the next few verses without being in the [falling away]???
    And can we love the sheep of the wrong doctrinal folds & not teach the truth about their error? John 10:16 & Rev. 18:4 are an eternal life or eternal death matter that comes to mind.

    A true friend in the Master's 'closing work',
    Pastor N.B.
     
  16. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    Well, I have wondered (wandered) in this direction in some of my own studies, but...

    This is not what I was taught. Not at all.

    What is this view? Does it have a name?
     
  17. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    And what of Daniel's 70 weeks?

    The prophecies of Revelation?

    Trumpets, vials, bowls, oceans turned to blood?

    Christ's triumphant return?

    The final battle ?

    IF not the end times, what are these ?
     
  18. Warrior4Jah

    Warrior4Jah Conservative on a mission

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    *shakes his head vigorously* :scratch: :confused:

     

    As I go through this thread im becoming exceedingly confused! Here is what I know! There will be the second coming of Christ, He shall take all followers who believe in Him. After the Antichrist has risen and signed the treaty with the Nation of Israel, this will signal the seven year Tribulation. There will be the horses, the pale hores, the black horse etc. The seven seals, etc. The plagues, etc. Including the earthquake God shall rellease upon the earth. I almost forgot about the Two Witnesses who shall preach the word, anyone  who trys to harm them  will be burned to death, etc. And I almost forgot about the 144 thousand evangelists who will travel the globe, bringing more and more to Christ.  Eventually at the end the survivors who have come to believe in and accept Christ will witness Jesus returning to set up his thousand year kingdom, in which satan shall be cast into the pit until the 1000 years are up.

    This is what I know.
     
  19. jenlu

    jenlu Member

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    My advice e4God...read "Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church" by Gary DeMar...He explains this point of view very well...You say you have "wandered" in this direction in your studies...well go with it...read this book with the bible right beside...it will answer many of your questions...Daniels 70 weeks? Revelations? End times?...same for you warrior...it may change what you "know" a little though...
     
  20. e4God

    e4God Visiting WebHead

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    Yes...

    And Amen !

    What is this about if not end times?
     
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