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Willie T

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Willie T

 The first four paragraphs of this kind of surprised me..... thus, the rest was quite interesting.

 

An eschatological theme that is as widely misunderstood as it is commonly discussed in popular prophetic literature is the "last days.”  This factor of eschatological chronology is an important concept that requires a deep appreciation of the complexity of God's sovereign governance of history and the outworking of His redemptive purposes.  Unfortunately, the idea of the last days is greatly abused by many.

In a popular work, the writer comments about those that were living among the "generation” (Matt. 24:34) of World War I: "There is no question that we are living in the last days.  The fact that we are the generation that will be on the earth when our Lord comes certainly should not depress us."

The average Christian believes his is the very last times, that he is living in the shadow of the Second Coming.  Consider some representative statements pointing in alarm to the imminence of the end in the "last days":
(1) The Antichrist "is now close at hand.”
(2) "The world is failing, passing away, and it witnesses to its ruin, not now by the age, but by the end of things.”  Because of this the Christian should know
(3) that "still more terrible things are imminent.”  Indeed,
(4) "Already the heavenly fire is giving birth, already the approach of divine punishment is manifest, already the doom of coming disaster is heralded.”
(5) Because of world circumstances the plea is: "Consider, I beg you, whether the age can bear this for long?”
(6) "All creation now waits in suspense for his arrival.  The world, which must be transformed anew, is already pregnant with the end that is to come on the final day.”  How often have we heard such cries of the end?  Are not these the concerns of so many of the current crop of prophetic studies so wildly popular in our time?

I should confess to the reader, though, that I have not been entirely up front.  All of the statements in the immediately preceding paragraph were made, not by contemporary prophetic writers, but by Christians living well over a thousand years ago.  The following is a list of the sources:
Number (1) is from Tertullian (160-220), De Fuga 12.
Numbers (2) and (3) are from Cyprian (A.D. 195-258), De Mort 25.
Number (4) is from Firmicus Maternus (ca. A.D. 346), De Errore Profanarum Religion 25:3.
Number (5) is from Evodius of Uzala (ca. A.D. 412).
Number (6) is from Paulinus of Nola (A.D. 353-431).  Too many have misunderstood the eschatology of Scripture and the function of the "last days” in eschatology — and that, for untold hundreds of years.

Properly understood the idea of the last days is focused on the most important episode of history: the life of Jesus Christ lived out in fulfillment of divine prophecy and of redemptive history.  Christ is the focal point of all Scripture.  He is anticipated in the Old Testament revelation and realized in the New: "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).  As such He stands as history's dividing line — hence the historical appropriateness and theological significance of dividing history between B.C. and A.D.

There are many prophetic references looking forward to the "Messianic age of consummation” introduced by Christ.  This era is frequently deemed "the last days” or "the latter days."  "The expression then properly denoted the future times in general; but, as the coming of the Messiah was to the eye of a Jew the most important event in the coming ages, the great, glorious, and crowning scene in all that vast futurity, the phrase came to be regarded as properly expressive of that.  It was a phrase in contrast with the days of the patriarchs, the kings, the prophets, etc.  The last days, or the closing period of the world, were the days of the Messiah."  His coming was "nothing less than the beginning of the great eschaton of history."

It is when Christ came that "the fullness of times” was realized: "The phrase pleroma tou chronou, Gal. iv. 4, implies an orderly unrolling of the preceding stages of world-history towards a fixed end."  Hence, the preparatory preaching at the beginning of His ministry: "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15;  Matthew 4:17).  Prior to this, the Old Testament era was typological and anticipatory.  The Old Testament era served as the "former days” (Mal. 3:4)  that gave way to the "last days,” the times initiated by Christ's coming: "God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Thus, we find frequent references to the presence of the last days during the New Testament time.  The last days are initiated by the appearance of the Son (Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20) to effect redemption (Hebrews 9:26) and by His pouring out of the Spirit (Acts 2:16, 17, 24; cf. Isa. 32:15; Zech. 12:10).  The "ends of the ages” comes during the apostolic era (1 Cor. 10:11).  These will run until "the last day,” when the resurrection/judgment occurs to end history (John 6:39; 11:24; 12:48).  But before the final end point is reached, perilous times will punctuate the era of the end (2 Timothy 3:1) and mockers will arise (2 Peter 3:3).

The last days of Old Testament prophecy anticipated the establishment of Mount Zion/Jerusalem as the enduring spiritual and cultural influence through the era.  This came in the first century with the establishment of the New Covenant phase of the Church, the focal point of the kingdom of Christ (cf. Joel 2 with Acts 2:16ff; Hebrews 12:18-27).

Because the last days have been with us since the first-century coming of Christ, there are no days to follow.  There is no millennium that will introduce another grand redemptive era in man's history (see discussion of "Millennium” below).  With the coming of Christ, earth history reached "epochal finality."  The idea of the appearance of Christ as the "Last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45) is indicative that there is no different historical age to follow.  The finality has come, though it has undergone continuous development since its arrival in the ministry of Christ.

It is primarily in the dispensational literature of the millennial discussion that reference to the "last days” generates erroneous conclusions.  Dispensationalists point to contemporary international social decline as indicative of the onset of the "last days": "The key that would unlock the prophetic book would be the current events that would begin to fit into the predicted pattern."  "The conflicts that we see in our world today are symptoms of the day in which we live.  They may be symptoms of the last days."  Such observations overlook the biblical function of the "last days” in regard to the grand sweep of redemptive history.  The "last days” of postmillennialism comprise the great era of redemptive history that gradually will issue forth in historical victory for the Church of Jesus Christ; the "last days” of dispensationalism introduce the collapsing of culture as the Great Tribulation looms (after which will follow the discontinuous personal reign of Christ on earth).

Edited by Willie T

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Civilwarbuff
4 minutes ago, Willie T said:

 The first four paragraphs of this kind of surprised me..... thus, the rest was quite interesting.

 

An eschatological theme that is as widely misunderstood as it is commonly discussed in popular prophetic literature is the "last days.”  This factor of eschatological chronology is an important concept that requires a deep appreciation of the complexity of God's sovereign governance of history and the outworking of His redemptive purposes.  Unfortunately, the idea of the last days is greatly abused by many.

In a popular work, the writer comments about those that were living among the "generation” (Matt. 24:34) of World War I: "There is no question that we are living in the last days.  The fact that we are the generation that will be on the earth when our Lord comes certainly should not depress us."

The average Christian believes his is the very last times, that he is living in the shadow of the Second Coming.  Consider some representative statements pointing in alarm to the imminence of the end in the "last days":
(1) The Antichrist "is now close at hand.”
(2) "The world is failing, passing away, and it witnesses to its ruin, not now by the age, but by the end of things.”  Because of this the Christian should know
(3) that "still more terrible things are imminent.”  Indeed,
(4) "Already the heavenly fire is giving birth, already the approach of divine punishment is manifest, already the doom of coming disaster is heralded.”
(5) Because of world circumstances the plea is: "Consider, I beg you, whether the age can bear this for long?”
(6) "All creation now waits in suspense for his arrival.  The world, which must be transformed anew, is already pregnant with the end that is to come on the final day.”  How often have we heard such cries of the end?  Are not these the concerns of so many of the current crop of prophetic studies so wildly popular in our time?

I should confess to the reader, though, that I have not been entirely up front.  All of the statements in the immediately preceding paragraph were made, not by contemporary prophetic writers, but by Christians living well over a thousand years ago.  The following is a list of the sources:
Number (1) is from Tertullian (160-220), De Fuga 12.
Numbers (2) and (3) are from Cyprian (A.D. 195-258), De Mort 25.
Number (4) is from Firmicus Maternus (ca. A.D. 346), De Errore Profanarum Religion 25:3.
Number (5) is from Evodius of Uzala (ca. A.D. 412).
Number (6) is from Paulinus of Nola (A.D. 353-431).  Too many have misunderstood the eschatology of Scripture and the function of the "last days” in eschatology — and that, for untold hundreds of years.

Properly understood the idea of the last days is focused on the most important episode of history: the life of Jesus Christ lived out in fulfillment of divine prophecy and of redemptive history.  Christ is the focal point of all Scripture.  He is anticipated in the Old Testament revelation and realized in the New: "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).  As such He stands as history's dividing line — hence the historical appropriateness and theological significance of dividing history between B.C. and A.D.

There are many prophetic references looking forward to the "Messianic age of consummation” introduced by Christ.  This era is frequently deemed "the last days” or "the latter days."  "The expression then properly denoted the future times in general; but, as the coming of the Messiah was to the eye of a Jew the most important event in the coming ages, the great, glorious, and crowning scene in all that vast futurity, the phrase came to be regarded as properly expressive of that.  It was a phrase in contrast with the days of the patriarchs, the kings, the prophets, etc.  The last days, or the closing period of the world, were the days of the Messiah."  His coming was "nothing less than the beginning of the great eschaton of history."

It is when Christ came that "the fullness of times” was realized: "The phrase pleroma tou chronou, Gal. iv. 4, implies an orderly unrolling of the preceding stages of world-history towards a fixed end."  Hence, the preparatory preaching at the beginning of His ministry: "The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15;  Matthew 4:17).  Prior to this, the Old Testament era was typological and anticipatory.  The Old Testament era served as the "former days” (Mal. 3:4)  that gave way to the "last days,” the times initiated by Christ's coming: "God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Thus, we find frequent references to the presence of the last days during the New Testament time.  The last days are initiated by the appearance of the Son (Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20) to effect redemption (Hebrews 9:26) and by His pouring out of the Spirit (Acts 2:16, 17, 24; cf. Isa. 32:15; Zech. 12:10).  The "ends of the ages” comes during the apostolic era (1 Cor. 10:11).  These will run until "the last day,” when the resurrection/judgment occurs to end history (John 6:39; 11:24; 12:48).  But before the final end point is reached, perilous times will punctuate the era of the end (2 Timothy 3:1) and mockers will arise (2 Peter 3:3).

The last days of Old Testament prophecy anticipated the establishment of Mount Zion/Jerusalem as the enduring spiritual and cultural influence through the era.  This came in the first century with the establishment of the New Covenant phase of the Church, the focal point of the kingdom of Christ (cf. Joel 2 with Acts 2:16ff; Hebrews 12:18-27).

Because the last days have been with us since the first-century coming of Christ, there are no days to follow.  There is no millennium that will introduce another grand redemptive era in man's history (see discussion of "Millennium” below).  With the coming of Christ, earth history reached "epochal finality."  The idea of the appearance of Christ as the "Last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45) is indicative that there is no different historical age to follow.  The finality has come, though it has undergone continuous development since its arrival in the ministry of Christ.

It is primarily in the dispensational literature of the millennial discussion that reference to the "last days” generates erroneous conclusions.  Dispensationalists point to contemporary international social decline as indicative of the onset of the "last days": "The key that would unlock the prophetic book would be the current events that would begin to fit into the predicted pattern."  "The conflicts that we see in our world today are symptoms of the day in which we live.  They may be symptoms of the last days."  Such observations overlook the biblical function of the "last days” in regard to the grand sweep of redemptive history.  The "last days” of postmillennialism comprise the great era of redemptive history that gradually will issue forth in historical victory for the Church of Jesus Christ; the "last days” of dispensationalism introduce the collapsing of culture as the Great Tribulation looms (after which will follow the discontinuous personal reign of Christ on earth).

To make a long story short as Messiah told his disciples that no one, not even the Son knows when these things shall come to pass only the Father......Matthew 24:36 broadly paraphrased of course.

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Willie T
5 minutes ago, Civilwarbuff said:

To make a long story short as Messiah told his disciples that no one, not even the Son knows when these things shall come to pass only the Father......Matthew 24:36 broadly paraphrased of course.

Or................. when they DID happen.

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Civilwarbuff
2 minutes ago, Willie T said:

Or................. when they DID happen.

Well, since what is to happen is supposed to be worse than anything that has ever come before or after could you please point to what event happened that was worse than the Flood which BTW only wiped out all which walked on the surface of the earth except for what was with Noah?

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Willie T
1 minute ago, Civilwarbuff said:

Well, since what is to happen is supposed to be worse than anything that has ever come before or after could you please point to what event happened that was worse than the Flood which BTW only wiped out all which walked on the surface of the earth except for what was with Noah?

That's not too hard.  The entire system of Religion God's people had come to rely upon was effectively wiped out.

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Civilwarbuff
1 minute ago, Willie T said:

That's not too hard.  The entire system of Religion God's people had come to rely upon was effectively wiped out.

It was not wiped out; the Jews still worshiped God the same way except for blood sacrifices in the Temple.  Worship still centered around the Synagogue and the reading of scripture.

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Becky
Moderator
8 minutes ago, Civilwarbuff said:

It was not wiped out; the Jews still worshiped God the same way except for blood sacrifices in the Temple.  Worship still centered around the Synagogue and the reading of scripture.

When did the blood sacrifices stop? 

 

Dan_9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. 
 

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Civilwarbuff
2 minutes ago, Becky said:

When did the blood sacrifices stop? 

With the destruction of the Temple or maybe the desecration.  IIRC, that was where they had to be made.  Hence Jews coming to Jerusalem from all (if able) to make their sacrifice.

Edited by Civilwarbuff

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Becky
Moderator
44 minutes ago, Willie T said:

I should confess to the reader, though, that I have not been entirely up front.  All of the statements in the immediately preceding paragraph were made, not by contemporary prophetic writers, but by Christians living well over a thousand years ago.  The following is a list of the sources:

How did i know. 

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Becky
Moderator
Just now, Civilwarbuff said:

With the destruction of the Temple or maybe the desecration.  IIRC, that was where they had to be made.  Hence Jews coming to Jerusalem from all (if able) to make their sacrifice.

Dan_9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. 
 

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Willie T
20 minutes ago, Civilwarbuff said:

It was not wiped out; the Jews still worshiped God the same way except for blood sacrifices in the Temple.  Worship still centered around the Synagogue and the reading of scripture.

Yes it WAS "EFFECTIVELY" wiped out.  You Jews can worship a lamp-post, for all the good it will do.  God no longer recognizes that kind of worship.

Edited by Willie T

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Civilwarbuff
3 minutes ago, Becky said:

Dan_9:27  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. 
 

I was speaking of 70AD......

 
When did Jews stop offering sacrifices, and why?
For the most part, the practice of sacrifice stopped in the year 70 C.E., when the Roman army destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, the place where sacrifices were offered. The practice was briefly resumed during the Jewish War of 132-135 C.E., but was ended permanently after that war was lost. There were also a few communities that continued sacrifices for a while after that time.
 
We stopped offering sacrifices because we do not have a proper place to offer them. The Torah specifically commands us not to offer sacrifices wherever we feel like it; we are only permitted to offer sacrifices in the place that G-d has chosen for that purpose. Deut. 12:13-14. It would be a sin to offer sacrifices in any other place, akin to stealing candles and wine to observe Shabbat.
 
The last place appointed by G-d for this purpose was the Temple in Jerusalem, but the Temple has been destroyed and a mosque has been erected in the place where it stood. Until G-d provides us with another place, we cannot offer sacrifices. There was at one time an opinion that in the absence of an assigned place, we could offer sacrifices anywhere. Based on that opinion, certain communities made their own sacrificial places. However, the majority ultimately ruled against this practice, and all sacrifice ceased.
 
Orthodox Jews believe that when the messiah comes, a place will be provided for sacrificial purposes.
http://www.jewfaq.org/qorbanot.htm

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Civilwarbuff
3 minutes ago, Willie T said:

Yes it WAS "EFFECTIVELY" wiped out.

You can believe that if you want but you are incorrect.

5 minutes ago, Willie T said:

God no longer recognizes that kind of worship.

I don't believe God really ever recognized blood sacrifice as true worship; least ways that is what David said:

 Psa 51:16  Indeed, you do not delight in sacrifices, or I would give them, nor do you desire burnt offerings.
Psa 51:17  True sacrifice to God is a broken spirit. A broken and chastened heart, God, you will not despise.

Blood sacrifice was merely symbolic until Messiah.

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Willie T
7 minutes ago, Civilwarbuff said:

You can believe that if you want but you are incorrect.

I don't believe God really ever recognized blood sacrifice as true worship; least ways that is what David said:

 Psa 51:16  Indeed, you do not delight in sacrifices, or I would give them, nor do you desire burnt offerings.
Psa 51:17  True sacrifice to God is a broken spirit. A broken and chastened heart, God, you will not despise.

Blood sacrifice was merely symbolic until Messiah.

But, definitely required.

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Civilwarbuff
4 minutes ago, Willie T said:

But, definitely required.

Doesn't seem like it.......

 
How do Jews obtain forgiveness without sacrifices?
Forgiveness is obtained through repentance, prayer and tzedakah (charity or other good deeds).
 
In Jewish practice, prayer has taken the place of sacrifices. In accordance with the words of Hosea, we render instead of bullocks the offering of our lips (Hosea 14:3) (please note: the KJV translates this somewhat differently). While dedicating the Temple, King Solomon also indicated that prayer can be used to obtain forgiveness (I Kings 8:46-50). Our prayer services are in many ways designed to parallel the sacrificial practices. For example, we have an extra service on Shabbat, to parallel the extra Shabbat offering. For more information about this, see Jewish Liturgy. As we shall see, the purposes for bringing sacrifice are very similar to the purposes for prayer.
 
It is important to note that in Judaism, sacrifice was never the exclusive means of obtaining forgiveness, was not in and of itself sufficient to obtain forgiveness, and in certain circumstances was not even effective to obtain forgiveness. This will be discussed further below.
 
But isn't a blood sacrifice required in order to obtain forgiveness?
No. Although animal sacrifice is one means of obtaining forgiveness, there are non-animal offerings as well, and there are other means for obtaining forgiveness that do not involve sacrifices at all. The Biblical book of Jonah tells of an entire community condemned to destruction that was forgiven when they simply repented and fasted, without ever offering any sacrifice, blood or otherwise. (Jonah 3)
 
The passage that people ordinarily cite for the notion that blood is required is Leviticus 17:11: "For the soul of the flesh is in the blood and I have assigned it for you upon the altar to provide atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that atones for the soul." But the passage that this verse comes from is not about atonement; it is about dietary laws, and the passage says only that blood is used to obtain atonement; not that blood is the only means for obtaining atonement. Leviticus 17:10-12 could be paraphrased as "Don't eat blood, because blood is used in atonement rituals; therefore, don't eat blood."
 
http://www.jewfaq.org/qorbanot.htm

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Becky
Moderator
3 minutes ago, Civilwarbuff said:

How do Jews obtain forgiveness without sacrifices?

The Cross of Christ 

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