The Olivet Discourse

Discussions on Christian eschatology including different views pertaining to Jesus' second coming, rapture and tribulation, the millennium, and so forth.
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Philip
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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#46

Post by Philip » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:03 pm

DB, I must say I have really enjoyed this thread, as there is so much to chew on. I have mentioned much on the forum of the problems with the various endtimes views, as they all turn upon currently missing info or assumptions to work - meaning that without the missing info, or if one gets a key variable wrong - well, every view is speculation at best.

Michael Heiser has weighed in on Gentry's views here: http://drmsh.com/why-an-obsession-with- ... e-part-12/

Interestingly, Heiser notes:

"With no seven year tribulation pending, there's no rapture pending, since all views of the rapture see it as logically having something to do with escaping a great tribulation or separating the Church from Israel."

For the pre-tribber rapture crowd, Gentry's views must seem shocking. But people have a habit of reading prophetic passages through their traditions, fitting them in wherever it seems to fit. Obviously, this has been a cottage industry. Even the great Geisler has gotten caught up in his pre-trib rapture views. Exchanging emails a few years ago with Dr. Heiser, I asked him about Geisler's last days views, and he emphasized that even the great Geisler bases his view with certain assumptions plugged in - it's like an algorithm - you can plug in whatever data you want, but if the algorithm itself is built using flawed data or assumptions, the resulting conclusions will be wrong. And Heiser said to me, "They ALL do it!" (per whatever endtimes scenario whatever theologian asserts)

Here, Geisler gives his six reasons why he believes a (future) Pre-Tribulation Rapture makes good biblical sense:

https://oneyearbiblesite.wordpress.com/ ... kes-sense/

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#47

Post by DBowling » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:51 pm

Philip wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:03 pm
DB, I must say I have really enjoyed this thread, as there is so much to chew on. I have mentioned much on the forum of the problems with the various endtimes views, as they all turn upon currently missing info or assumptions to work - meaning that without the missing info, or if one gets a key variable wrong - well, every view is speculation at best.

Michael Heiser has weighed in on Gentry's views here: http://drmsh.com/why-an-obsession-with- ... e-part-12/
One quick comment, just to avoid confusion...
Peter Gentry (who Heiser responds to in your link) is not the same person as Kenneth Gentry who I reference in my posts.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#48

Post by Philip » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:01 pm

Oops - sorry DB - as it's as then name is a bit obscure, and especially given the topic - But I should have realized. But the issues of those looking to a future rapture vs. those who say the "last days" references were to the first century remains.

DB, you, yourself must have been greatly surprised when you began to realize that the texts themselves seemed to point in a different direction?

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#49

Post by DBowling » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:37 pm

Philip wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:01 pm
DB, you, yourself must have been greatly surprised when you began to realize that the texts themselves seemed to point in a different direction?
Yes... I was...
Understand that I was raised and trained in pre-trib pre-mil eschatology. I mean "Things to Come" by Pentecost was almost inspired eschatological commentary for me.

My first exposure to what would dramatically change my perspective on the Great Tribulation was hearing Kenneth Gentry on a Christian radio station a number of years ago. He was discussing his book The Beast of Revelation (the one I have a link to in an earlier post) and I was shocked.

The key for me was realizing that the time indicators for The Great Tribulation found in the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24:34), Rev 1:1-3, and Daniel 9 all clearly point to Rome's destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Once I realized that "The Great Tribulation" was a thing of the past (but still relevant for Christians going through tribulation in any age) then I was compelled to dismiss as unScriptural certain eschatological beliefs that I had held previously but had nagging questions about.

Again I don't claim to understand every piece of imagery in Revelation, but I think my original post in this thread is a pretty solid understanding of the basic sequence of events that Jesus gives in the Olivet Discourse. And I use this basic sequence of events as the basis for my general approach to eschatology in general.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#50

Post by Philip » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:10 pm

Tradition has a very big hold over so many Christians - to the point that they have intermingled it with, in their mind, Scripture, to the point that they believe they are one and the same. And there is a vagueness and mystery to many relevant passages that people are quick to blend their traditions and speculations with it. And because on the surface, certain things seem to fit so well with various views. I'm convinced that God wants us to wrestle with Scripture - He didn't want to spoon feed everything. But He made the essentials crystal clear!

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#51

Post by Philip » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:41 pm

OK, came across this - from Dr. KENNETH Gentry - his reasoning per both recorded history and Scripture as to why he thinks the Beast was Nero, and why the tribulation referenced was in the first century:

https://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.c ... /beast.php

I also find it fascinating that the numerical value of Hebrew spelling of Nero Caesar’s name, "Nrwn Qsr," is 666 - how can this be a coincidence???!!! Even more incredible, “Nero Caesar,” when spelled in Hebrew by transliterating it from the widely used Latin spelling equals 616, which is the number used in an apparent earlier papyrus fragment - which would reconcile the difference in the numbers of the Beast used in different manuscript fragments. Or as Gentry states, "Such a conjecture would satisfactorily explain the rationale for the divergence: so that the non–Hebrew mind (per the transliteration from Latin) might more readily discern the identity of the Beast."

From Wikipedia: "In 2005, however, a fragment of papyrus 115 was revealed, containing the earliest known version of that part of the Book of Revelation discussing the Number of the Beast. It gave the number as 616, suggesting that this may have been the original. One possible explanation for the two different numbers is that they reflect two different spellings of Emperor Nero/Neron's name, for which (according to this theory) this number is believed to be a code."

The remarkable thing, to me, about Gentry's assessment of who the beast was and the history around it, seems rather straight forward, as he doesn't have to distort or morph the text or the known history of Nero and Rome to make it nicely fit. The text does have symbolic imagery, but it makes sense and fits perfectly. But it's the immediacy of the prophesied events and the warnings to existing churches to be prepared, that make a lot more sense per the known historical events soon to unfold, particularly the terrible persecutions by Nero, and the ultimate judgement of Israel's rejection of the Messiah - the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. To the Christians and Jews living prior to 70 AD, the nightmare to come would have been their unimaginable Holocaust!

Astonishingly, Revelation 13:5 states: "And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months." And guess just how long Nero's persecution of the Christians lasted? 42 months! Church historian Mosheim noted: Nero's savage war on Christians "commenced at Rome about the middle of November, in the year of our Lord 64." Do the math - Nero died on June 8, A.D. 68 - or right at 42 months. How could that be a conincidence???!!!

With Nero's death, the resulting chaos and warfare, it looked as if Rome was indeed finished - Revelation 13:3: "I saw one of his heads (Nero / the political head of Rome) as if it had been slain (as if the Beast / ROME had come to an end - per it's post-Nero's death and chaos), and his fatal wound (Rome's) was healed (per Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty, who rescued the Roman Empire from what had initially looked like her end (again, per the horrific post-Nero chaos). And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast."

Gentry emphasizes that: "Most commentators agree that the Beast imagery in Revelation shifts between the generic and the specific. This is important to grasp: sometimes the Beast represents a kingdom, sometimes a particular, individual leader of that kingdom."
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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#52

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:20 am

DBowling wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:46 am
PaulSacramento wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:08 am
But, doesn't Paul seem to believe that Jesus would come back in his lifetime?
I think Paul clearly thought that Jesus "could" come back in his lifetime.
But I don't think Paul ever teaches that Jesus "would" come back in his lifetime.

And that is consistent with what Jesus teaches in the Olivet Discourse.
In Mat 24:42 Jesus tells us...
"be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming."
and in verse 44
"you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will."

Jesus tells us that we do not know when he will return, so we we should always be ready for his return.

That is the Scriptural principle of the immanency of Christ's return.
We don't know when Christ will return, but it could be today. So we need to always be prepared for his return.

Paul never teaches that Jesus "would" return in his lifetime, but I think he probably believed that Jesus "could" return in his lifetime.
Yep, I agree with this.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#53

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:27 am

Based on my studies it would agree that the most biblical interpretation of the great tribulation is that it happened after Jesus' death and continued on during the persecution of the Christians, the destruction of the temple and so forth.
One could argue that up until the 4th century when Christianity stopped being a persecuted religion in one way or another.
I think if you take it a a future event, the things that Jesus explicitly states about WHEN ( with the generation hearing His discourse) would be wrong.


That said, all apocalyptic prophecies have elements of Past, Present and Future.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#54

Post by Philip » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:17 am

My only question is, as many things and key persons in Scripture represent a "type" - might their be some future parallel of that first century's tribulation - beyond the one that John warned the churches of and culminated in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem? If so, I don't see that a rapture of the future church would necessarily be involved. But if such a parallel, future event is possible, it's clearly not prophesied or referred to. And it would seem that what we are waiting upon - what God is waiting on - is the salvation of all who will eventually place their faith in Christ - and then He will return. Just as Heiser stated, if the tribulation John warned of was all first century, there is no future rapture of the church prior to Jesus return.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#55

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:14 am

I think that history repeats itself and history confirms this, over and over.
Christians ARE being martyred here AND now, as they have been ( as have other faiths).
There may will be another tribulation.

Now, the rapture, that is another story ( what it IS, what will happen, etc).

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#56

Post by Philip » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:41 am

Below, according to Wikipedia, is how the Roman Emperor Nero's name is calculated as a number. And, as previously mentioned, while most of the oldest manuscripts give the number of the beast as the well-known 666, yet another early manuscript gives that number as 616. But as seen below, it makes sense as to why there would be these two different numbers - as one is derived from Greek transliterated into Hebrew, and the other transliterated from Nero's Latin title ("Neor Caesar") into Hebrew.

Image

Here, Michael Heiser explains the issue of the two different numbers in the oldest manuscripts, and he also quotes Bruce Metzger on it: http://drmsh.com/616-or-666/

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#57

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:58 am

Good catch Phil, I was looking for this and was going to scan and post the page from one of my books,
LOL !

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#58

Post by Stu » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:08 am

The Pope's name (VICARIUS FILII DEI) also equals 666.

VICARIUS - substituting for, or in place of
FILII - means son
DEI - means GOD

http://biblelight.net/666.htm
Only when the blood runs and the shackles restrain, will the sheep then awake. When all is lost.

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#59

Post by Philip » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:16 am

This belief that the tribulation and the beast John warns of was meant to be about events and an antichrist figure in OUR future is powerfully ingrained in the minds of millions of Christians. Look at this off of today's Drudge Report headlines: https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian ... gets-64060. Look at the millions of books people like Tim LaHaye wrote with a rapture theme. What this tells me is that people don't realize Jesus could come back at any time, the only delay being, how many more are there that will eventually desire and receive salvation before? There will be a time when the only unsaved will be the ones who have permanently closed off their hearts to Jesus - and, of course, He already knows who is on that list.

The other disturbing thing is, these theologians and people who have so long associated themselves with a future tribulation and rapture assertions, that have written so many articles and books - even great men like Norman Geisler - likely find it very difficult to do a u-turn and say they have reconsidered, or that they might be wrong. It would almost be like Hugh Ross suddenly having to say he finds the Young Earth position credible. :lol: But truthfully, it's a shocking thing to realize that key first century facts add up to what John was speaking of. But is it ALL of what he was referencing? As mentioned, will the present / future church not still go through a similar tribulation of it's own, just before Christ comes back - yet without any supposed rapture, as the urgent specifics of what John wrote to the churches of his time were fulfilled in that first century.

One thing is certain, John wrote URGENTLY to churches that existed in HIS time, and that he expected to understand whose name would add up to the number of the beast. And those churches were the very ones in the path of the Romans and Nero's focus of terror upon first century Christians.

So this Preterist belief of a first century fulfillment of the tribulation and end also has a variety of beliefs within its camp - as you have the FULL Preterists and the partial ones - see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preterism

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Re: The Olivet Discourse

#60

Post by DBowling » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:53 am

Philip wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:16 am
So this Preterminist belief of a first century fulfillment of the tribulation and end also has a variety of beliefs within its camp - as you have the FULL Preterminists and the partial ones - see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preterism
There is a biiiig difference between Partial Preterists and Full/Hyper Preterists.

Partial Preterists believe that the prophecies regarding The Great Tribulation were fulfilled during the timeframe of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD, and prophecies regarding The Second Coming of Jesus, The Resurrection, and the Final Judgement are still future events. And that is the Scriptural position that I embrace.

Full/Consistent/Hyper Preterists believe that all of the prophecies above including the Second Coming and the Resurrection were fulfilled in 70 AD.

It is pretty easy to demonstrate that Full/Hyper Preterism is unScriptural.
The most obvious is that Revelation places "1000 years" between the Great Tribulation and the Final Judgement.
And Matthew 25 explicitly associates the Second Coming of Jesus with the Final Judgement.

So using Scriptural time indicators.
The Great Tribulation would take place during the time frame of Jesus' contemporary generation, it would occur shortly after John had his vision. and It would take place around 490 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

On the other hand...
The second coming of Jesus would take place after "a long time" at a time known only to the Father. And Revelation places "1000 years" between the the Great Tribulation and the Final Judgement which Jesus directly associates with his second coming in Mat 25.

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