Who Are The Elect?

The following was written by Phillip Stratton, a friend of Soteriology 101, and posted with full permission. Thank you, Phillip!

To both Calvinists and Arminians, the identity of “the elect” is widely accepted as “the saved ones”. Even if the sides disagree how one becomes saved the usual consensus is that new covenant believers are “the elect”. To see if that definition fits, let’s take a look at one passage in the New Testament where the term “the elect” is used as well as the term’s Old Testament roots .

2 Timothy 2:10 (NKJV), “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

Who were/are “the elect” for whom Paul was willing to suffer with much hardship?

The two most widely accepted interpretations are the unconditional elect and/or the conditional elect.  According to Calvinism, the former, the elect are those predestined and predetermined by God for salvation from eternity past.  This group is certain and locked in.  The elect will be saved and the non-elect will be lost.  Period.  According to Arminianism the elect are those foreseen by God who will accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior by their own free will; ie. conditional elect.  Those who are “in Christ” are the elect of God.  In short, one becomes elect when he or she elects to believe.  However, neither of these widely accepted interpretations fit the content and grammar of the text.  

Who Are the “They Also”?

Look, again, at the text….

“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

John Calvin writes… “When Paul says that he endures everything for the sake of the elect, he reveals how much more important the edification of the church is for him than his own safety. For Paul is not only prepared to die but even to be known as a criminal in order to promote the welfare of the church.” (1 & 2 Timothy & Titus: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, pp.134-135)

If the elect, and the elect alone, are guaranteed salvation, why the “they also”?  For Calvinism to be correct the word “also”, or “too” would have to be omitted.  John Piper does as much when he preaches on this verse (please see video link provided).

Three times Piper quotes this verse and all three times he omits the word “also”.  Once might be a mistake.  But three times?  Then what about the elect “may” obtain salvation?  In Calvinism, the elect are guaranteed salvation.  There is zero chance that one of God’s elect will be lost.  So why would Paul say “may” obtain, clearly suggesting that they “may not”?  If Paul was preaching Calvinism, the verse would have to read….

“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they (alone) will (not “may”) obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

The Arminian definition of the elect also suffers problems with this verse.  Again, according to Arminianism, the elect are those “in Christ”.  Here’s how Brian Abasciano defines the Arminian view of election….  

“By way of summary, there are two different views of election conditioned on faith. First, individual election is the classic view, in which God individually chose each believer based upon his foreknowledge of each one’s faith and so predestined each to eternal life. Second, corporate election is the main alternative view, holding that election to salvation is primarily of the Church as a people and embraces individuals only in faith-union with Christ the Chosen One and as members of his people.”

He clarifies this statement with the following….

“In the New Testament, only believers are identified as elect.”

http://evangelicalarminians.org/the-facts-of-salvationc-conditional-election/

Is that true?  The book of Timothy is found in the New Testament.  Let’s see….

“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of those in Christ Jesus (or believers), that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

But haven’t those in Christ already obtained salvation?  Can someone be “in Christ” and still be lost?  Doesn’t make sense.  And we still have the problem of the “they also”.  Since the “also” or “too” introduces another category of people, in this instance, the other category would have to be those not “in Christ” or the Lost (unbelievers).  Inserting “believers” in place of “the elect” suggests that non-believers can and, indeed, have obtained salvation as well.  It just doesn’t work.  A non-believer can obtain salvation, but only by becoming a believer.  Thus a non-believer will not obtain salvation. 

Whoever the elect are, Paul definitely considers them to be lost.  And the “they also” inserts the notion that someone other than the elect can obtain salvation as well.  If “they” refers back to “the elect”, then the “also” means someone other than the elect can obtain salvation as well.  That “other category”, in context, would have to be the non-elect. That makes hash of Paul’s purpose and theology. There is a much easier explanation.

If “The Elect” are not the “Saved Ones”…?

So who are the elect?  What do the scriptures say?

For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me.

Isaiah 45:4 (NKJV)

O seed of Abraham His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!

Psalm 105:6 (NKJV)

Nowhere in God’s word is there a more clear and concise rendering of who the elect are.  It is Israel.  And its not limited to the Old Testament.  We find the word “elect” 4 times in the gospels and each time Jesus is referring to the Jews (Matthew 24:22, Matthew 24:24, Matthew 24:31, Luke 18:7).  But does it work within the scope of 2 Timothy 2:10?  Let’s see….

“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of Israel, that they too may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

That interpretation seems to work perfectly within the text.  Paul is saying he is enduring hardship for his fellow Israelites so that they also, along with the Gentiles to whom he was an apostle, may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.  But does Israel fit the immediate context?  Let’s look at the previous verses….

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David (a Jew from the tribe of Judah; one of the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel), was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble (at the hand of the Jews) as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

2 Timothy 2:8-10 (NKJV)

Yes.  Israel, or the Jews, fits the immediate context.  How many times do you hear Calvinists screaming “Context, context, context!”  Well, we have context.  Do we have any other scriptural support that suggests Israel being Paul’s focus here?  Yes.

For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites

Romans 9:3-4a (NKJV)

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

Romans 10:1 (NKJV)

For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.

Romans 11:13-134 (NKJV)

For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”

Acts 28:20 (NKJV)

Was Paul willing to be eternally cut off from Christ for the Gentiles?  Nope.  Was it for the hope of the Church that Paul was bound with chains?  Nope.  Paul’s heart, focus and goal was always for the salvation of his fellow Jews because the Gentiles were accepting the Gospel while his countrymen spurned it.  The very ones who hunted him down, stoned him, and left him for dead (Acts 14:19), and even had him imprisoned.  Paul could just as easily have said….

“I endure all things for the sake of the circumcision, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

Grammatical Analysis

“2Tim 2:10 – διὰ τοῦτο πάντα ὑπομένω διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς ἵνα καὶ αὐτοὶ σωτηρίας τύχωσιν τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ μετὰ δόξης αἰωνίου

My literal translation – ‘on account of this, these [things] I am enduring on account of the elect [ones] in order that even to/for/with/by them salvation/deliverance they should obtain/experience, the [kind that is] in Jesus, with everlasting glory.’

The και – meaning ‘even’, has to do with Paul’s introducing another category of people, besides the Gentiles to whom he is an apostle, and whom he is wanting to see saved. This other category he also wants to see saved and is willing to keep enduring all things so that might happen.

That other category is ‘elect ones’, and so Phillip has context and other passages on his side pointing to ‘elect ones’ here meaning Jews who are not yet saved, but on account of whom (their forcing Paul’s arrest and trial by Rome) he is enduring his current imprisonment.”

“The context leans towards identifying the ‘elect’ as the same ones ‘on account of which’ he is willing to endure suffering, that they also (the ones causing the suffering) ‘may obtain’ salvation… but not certain they will.”

From longtime friend of the Soteriology 101 blog, Brian Wagner

Brother Brian’s analysis and rendering is spot on.  What can we take from these observations?

1. “The elect” are the elect if they obtain salvation or not
2. There is a high probability the “the elect” will not obtain salvation
3. The elect are the ones who have imprisoned him and want him dead

What has been provided is sound exegesis.  We have context, grammar, and other scriptural support.  Both the Calvinist and Arminian interpretations have nothing.

A Category Error

So when Calvinists or Arminians alike assume “the elect” are the new covenant believers, they are not speaking in the same categories as the biblical authors do. The OT is abundantly clear that Israel is the elect of God.  Nothing in scripture says He ever abandoned Israel.  Jesus confirms their election during His earthly ministry when speaking of His second coming in the last days.  The apostle Paul states that Israel never lost their election (Romans 9:4-5, Romans 11:2, Romans 11:28, 2 Timothy 2:10).  Saved or lost, they are still His chosen people.  God swore He would never forsake His chosen people (1 Samuel 12:22).

“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of Israel, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the Jews, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the circumcision, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”

Each works perfectly within the context and grammar without doing damage to the word of God.  Even though Paul was called by God to be an apostle to the Gentiles, his heart was always for his fellow Israelites and their salvation. Calvinists will tell you that we preach the gospel indiscriminately to everyone because we don’t know who “the elect” are.  Well, Paul knew precisely who the elect are and, apparently, so did Timothy.  Of course the apostle should have known who the elect were.  The OT scriptures told him plainly.

904 thoughts on “Who Are The Elect?

  1. I don’t know why you changed the subject to fallen angels, so your response is incoherent. Also not all fallen angels are in chains….they roam freely.

    Luk 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

    25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

    26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

    1. What fallen angels were not cast down to hell and bound in chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgement? Yes they roam and so does Satan but he has been plundered and bound by Christ, limited in his ability to usher in antichrist and the final revolt of all nations, until God no longer restrains him in this way. He was forbidden to keep the gentiles ( i.e the nations) deceived. They now have the ability to come to know the True God. Thus Jesus has ALL authority is heaven and in earth and because of that we can teach all nations and baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teach them to observe the new Law of Christ in the power of the Spirit. See Matt 28.

      1. DNJohn says: “Yes they roam and so does Satan”

        No matter how you spin it, Satan can’t roam during the Millennium.
        REV 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

        3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

        Conclusion: The Millennium is future, we are not in the Millennium.

      2. Prove that it is future. Nero and domitian were beheading Christians right and left in the time of the writing of revelation and John saw their souls in heaven through the first ressurection. The lived and reigned with Christ and Christ will continue to reign forever. Christians in Eqypt were recently beheaded by terrorists, their souls are reigning with Christ. All those who die in Christ experience this first resurrection and reign with Christ. When he comes back on the last day and puts down all earthly authority, he will hand it over to God the Father and God will be all in all. I corinthians 15. The fallen angels were cast into hell, chained in chains of darkness and yet still roam. Yes same is true for Satan but he is limited and restrained…that is what the binding means scripturally. It is figurative language and Revelation is “signified”…expressed in signs and figures..

        Secondly, to reply to your notion that Jews are guaranteed pardon by virtue of being Jews, Jesus teaches otherwise. God shows no partiality in this regard. Jesus taught Nicodemus , a Jew of the highest order, that a man must be born again, of water and the Holy Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God. He told the pharisees, also Jews, that ” Unless you believe that I AM he, you will die in your sins and where I am going you Cannot come. ” John 8:24,25.

      3. dnjohn,

        Really? Nero committed suicide in Rome. He never made it to Israel.

        There are two resurrections.

        1 for the righteous
        1 for the unrighteous

        There is not more than 1 for the righteous.

        Ed

      4. The righteous are raised on the last day. Not 1000 years before the Last Day. One general bodily resurrection of the righteous and the unjust on the Last Day.

      5. YES!! John 5:28-29:
        “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

      6. dnjohn,

        You have no idea of what LAST DAY means here. Again, I repeat, Revelation chapter, what? 20? There is only 2 resurrections.

        1. RIGHTEOUS
        2. Unrighteous

        That’s it! No more.

        Ed

      7. Sorry. This dispensational interpretation was never believed anywhere by anyone until the late 19th century. It is not of the Faith but is a false doctrine. The gospels never tell of two seperate judgements and two seperate bodily resurrections. Neither does the book of revelation. The judgement seat of Christ is the great white throne. The first resurrection is expressly described as spiritual.. the Second resurrection is bodily. The kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God are phrases interchangeably used and dispensationalism keep making false distinctions. One resurrection, one judgement, two results.

      8. dnjohn,

        As usual, you show your ignorance of scripture every time you mention the word Jews. I have already said that they will be judged by the law of Moses, and found guilty.

        But since they are blind:

        They get mercy on THAT ALONE.

        And you keep saying that their blindness is due to a JUDICIAL ACT of their unfaithfulness.

        THAT IS INCORRECT, Orthodox man.

        Ed

      9. Ed, If what you are saying is true, why did Jesus say they were not of God and not his sheep and therefore they could not recognize his divine voice in John 10. Please review that chapter. Why does Jesus in other passages pronounce woe on them for their blindness? Why does Paul say that they need only turn to the Lord and the veil would be taken away in 2 Corinthians 3?

      10. dnjohn,

        Obviously you did not read my BIBLE REFERENCES of the previous chapter. As I told Richard, PLEASE READ THE WHOLE BOOK BEFORE GIVING A BOOK REPORT.

        Previous chapter:

        John 9:

        39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

        40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

        41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

      11. No one is preemptively made blind by God. Jesus is the light that enlightens every man. John 1. It is only after they close their own eyes to the Truth that God judicially blinds them…for “judgement” I came into the world…it is a judicial response to their wilfully closing of their own eyes.
        Matthew 13:15 says they have closed their own eyes. This came first.

      12. DNJohn writes:
        “When he comes back on the last day and puts down all earthly authority, he will hand it over to God the Father and God will be all in all. I corinthians 15.”

        My Response:
        Excellent point – It is also known as the Second Coming of Christ, which will occur on the last day, when death, the last enemy is destroyed and Jesus hands back the kingdom to the Father. No room for an earthly millennial reign in those passages.

        Secondly, regarding the Jews being guaranteed pardon by virtue of being Jews? I agree with you! Not only does Jesus teach otherwise, Paul taught otherwise in Romans 9-11, the Jews were broken off because of unbelief, and can only be saved through faith like the Gentiles. Many thousands of them have already died in unbelief. “Unless you believe that I AM He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

  2. DNJohn

    I don’t know why you changed the subject to fallen angels, so your response is incoherent. Also not all fallen angels are in chains….they roam freely.

    Luk 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

    25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

    26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

  3. DNJohn said: “The righteous are raised on the last day. Not 1000 years before the Last Day. One general bodily resurrection of the righteous and the unjust on the Last Day.”

    Nope, wrong again:

    Rev 20:4 and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

    5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

  4. There are two resurrections.

    1 for the righteous
    1 for the unrighteous

    There is not more than 1 for the righteous.

    Ed

    Richard responds:
    There is more than one resurrection for the righteous, in a sense.
    First there is Jesus, then the saints raised at the same time that wandered around Jerusalem, then at the Rapture, Pre/Mid/Post or whatever. Then the two witnesses in Revelation who come to life and ascend into heaven, And then the resurrection at the start of the Millennium and they reign with Christ a thousand years. Apparently this is called the first resurrection because it is that last phase of the righteous resurrection. In other words the first resurrection is a class of the righteous vs the lost being raised at the end of the Millennium. The lost, the second resurrection are all raised at the same time, while the righteous have an order to the timing of their resurrection….
    1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 
    1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming…..

    1. Richard, Is not the entry into life after death called a resurrection in scripture? It was even for Jesus himself….”he was put to death in the flesh but “make alive”or “quickened” in the spirit, in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison…” This is in Peter’s epistle. The same is true for the first resurrection when St.John saw the souls ( not the bodies) of those who were martyrs for Jesus and he says that they lived and reigned with Christ…and the rest of the dead lived not till after the 1000 years were finished. This is the first resurrection. It says the “rest of the dead” referring to the general resurrection because those who only had the first ressurection are still “bodily” dead but made alive in the spirit. The thousand years is 10 to the power of 3. They would have tribulation for a mere 10 DAYS symbolically and have glory
      and reign with christ 10x10x10 YEARS. It is showing how the glory so outweighs the temporal affliction endured in their martyrdom.

    2. Richard,

      I want to follow up on my first reply..

      Same concept of spiritual resurrection in John 5, we see the spiritual resurrection and the bodily one.

      “Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and NOW IS, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, 27 and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for THE HOUR is coming when all who are in the TOMBS will hear his voice 29 and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

      1. Present…first ( spiritual) ressurection…coming and “Now is”.

      2. Future….second resurrection of the body.. their is no ” now is” mentioned. That is on the last day at the second coming and includes the righteous and the unrighteous as John 5 makes clear.

      Dn John

  5. Dn John,
    Jesus’ style is to sometimes mention two events that are separated by great time length without the time interval being mentioned. That is the case in John 5. His point is that there is a resurrection of the saved dead, and a different resurrection of the lost dead. A similar situation is found in Dan 12:2, where Daniel mentions two resurrections as though they are at the same time, but we know from other Scriptures they are a thousand years apart….again, the emphasis is on contrasting the saved and lost, not the mention of their different timings.

    1. Richard, again you ignore the simple and straightforward passages in favor of twisted convoluted explanations. Jesus is very clear that the righteous and unrighteous will both be raised in the same hour. He says it in plain simple language as was pointed out to you by DNJohn.

      John 5:28-29
      “Do not marvel at this; for THE HOUR IS COMING IN WHICH ALL who are in the graves WILL HEAR HIS VOICE AND COME FORTH—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”

      It’s simple and straightforward – IN THAT HOUR….ALL WHO ARE IN THE GRAVES….WILL HEAR HIS VOICE….AND COME FORTH….THE GOOD AND THE EVIL…..TOGETHER!!!

      Jesus will remain reigning in heaven until that time ( Note the connection between Psalms 110:1 and 1 Cor. 15:24-26).

      Psalms 110:1
      “The LORD said to my Lord,
      “Sit at My right hand,
      Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

      1 Corinthians 15:24-26
      “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, WHEN HE PUTS AN END TO ALL rule and all authority and power.”

      “FOR He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet” (Footstool as per Ps. 110:1).

      “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (In the general resurrection John 5:28-29).

      When you consider Paul’s explanation of Psalms 110:1; Christ is to remain reigning at the right hand of the Father UNTIL the last enemy to be destroyed is death itself. According to v.24 that’s when the end comes, when He delivers the kingdom to the Father. The subject here is the resurrection; the hour in which all who are in the graves – both the good and the evil – will hear His voice and come forth to be judged. That is the hour in which death will be destroyed! Therefore, when Jesus does come again, it will spell the end!

      Matthew 25:31-33
      “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.”

      And the goats who are on His left, will go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous, who are the sheep on His right hand, into eternal life (Matt. 25:46).

      1. Aidan,
        The word “hour” in Greek is not packaged nice and neat to make your theology work, as it has a broad meaning according to context.

        ὥρα
        hōra
        ho’-rah
        Apparently a primary word; an “hour” (literally or figuratively): – day, hour, instant, season, X short, [even-] tide, (high) time.

        In addition, you have to deal with multiple resurrections separated by 1000 years…..Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.
        Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: “First” implies another resurrection. So I remain unconvinced by your arguments, Acts 17:11….they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 

      2. Regarding John 5:28-29, Richard wrote:
        “The word “hour” in Greek is not packaged nice and neat to make your theology work, as it has a broad meaning according to context. Apparently a primary word; an “hour” (literally or figuratively):”

        My response:
        Tell me then, what FORCED you to give the word “hour” a broad or figurative meaning according this particular context? Lets see from your answer who it is that’s trying to impose their theology into this passage!

        In addition, what you are obviously not willing to deal with, is the fact that the style in which the book of Revelation was written in, is in apocalyptic imagery and highly symbolic and figurative language. Therefore, one needs to be very careful what language he takes as literal. For that reason I remain unconvinced by your arguments.

    2. So dispensationalism thinks we should interpret clear straightforward sayings of the Lord and the Apostles by apocalyptic sign and symbol -filled literature in the Book of Revelation? Seems backwards.

  6. The first resurrection ” Now is” according to Jesus (John 5)and does not wait for a future so called ” rapture of the Church”. The resurrection from the “graves ” i. e the bodily resurrection,occurs in the future and includes both the righteous and the wicked. John 5 should be considered with revelation 20.

  7. Aidan said:
    “Tell me then, what FORCED you to give the word “hour” a broad or figurative meaning according this particular context? Lets see from your answer who it is that’s trying to impose their theology into this passage!”

    Richard replies:
    The meaning of hour that in context doesn’t force me to contradict Scripture is the path I’ve chosen. You are only concerned with preserving your novel theology and have no regard for contradictions.
    1 Joh 2:18 Little children, it is the last time…..here ὥρα is translated time. So last time, last hour…yet we know it’s been 2000 years. So I have precedent and the advantage of not contradicting other Scriptures.

    1. Richard,

      you bring up a good point..

      We have been in the last days since the coming of Christ since there is no epoch after this except the eternal state so it is the Last time indeed. The Apostles said it was the Last days in Acts 2 and Paul did in Hebrews 1 as well.

      1. Actually DN John, there is another epoch….the 1000 year Millennial reign of Jesus from Jerusalem when Satan is imprisoned, then after that comes the Eternal state.

      2. Richard,

        The NT knows only two ages. This age and the age to come., the eternal state. No middle earthy millennial age on earth known to Jesus or the Apostles. Nothing in Revelation 20 says anything about an earthly reign or an earthly Davidic throne. It is heavenly and in progress right now. The saints reign is earthly in the spiritual sense that through their intercession with Christ pictured clearly in the book of revelation,, they no doubt affect things on earth ( Rev 5:8). They will also reign on the new earth in the new creation forever. A temporal literal 1000 year earthly political reign does not satisfy the prophesies that all say that it will be forever. Paul is not wrong in in 1 Cor 15. This age and the age to come of the eternal kingdom. This is the last days. The last time. After this, time will be no more. The coming of christ is at the end of the ages.Hebrews 9:26 Jesus ” has appeared once at the END OF THE AGES to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

        The word of God says he came at the end of the ages. No middle millenial age after this. Just the eternal state.

    2. Richard wrote:
      “The meaning of hour that in context doesn’t force me to contradict Scripture is the path I’ve chosen. You are only concerned with preserving your novel theology and have no regard for contradictions.”

      My response:
      I think its fairly evident that the only contradictions you’re worried about, is the one that would force you to contradict your invented theology.

      Then you wrote:
      “1 Joh 2:18 Little children, it is the last time…..here ὥρα is translated time. So last time, last hour…yet we know it’s been 2000 years. So I have precedent and the advantage of not contradicting other Scriptures.”

      My response:
      Oh! But you do contradict other Scriptures, because that’s not the meaning of “hour” in every other passage, and you know it! And it doesn’t matter whether John is referring to Jesus second Coming or not, because the context here demands he is simply speaking of the “time” they were living in! But Christians have always been living in “the last time”: John lived in the constant expectancy of Jesus’ return knowing that the Lord’s return could come at any time.

      The “hour” of His Coming was not revealed even to Jesus on earth, and in light of this uncertainty He repeatedly warned His disciples.

      (Matt 24:36, cp Mk 13:32) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Don’t you think that this passage refers to a specific hour?

      (Matt 24:42-44) “Therefore be on the alert (calling for this to be His disciples’ lifestyle) for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. THEREFORE you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Don’t you think this passage refers to a specific hour?

      (John 5:28-29) “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” An hour in which all who are in the graves hear His voice and rise from the dead, both good and evil? Certainly from the language that is used and context, there is no reason why this should not be taken in its most natural sense to refer to a specific hour. This is the hour when the Son of Man comes again in final judgment, and is in keeping with what the rest of Scripture teaches concerning His Second Coming. Indeed, I am the one who has the advantage of not contradicting other Scriptures on this matter.🙂

  8. DNJohn

    There’s simply no support from Scripture to ignore these verses, and in fact we are warned not to subtract from this Book,…
    Rev 22:19…. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Rev 20:2….And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a THOUSAND YEARS,

    Rev 20:3….And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the THOUSAND YEARS should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

    Rev 20:4…. and they lived and reigned with Christ a THOUSAND YEARS.

    Rev 20:5….But the rest of the dead lived not again until the THOUSAND YEARS were finished. This is the first resurrection.

    Rev 20:6…. but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a THOUSAND YEARS.

    Rev 20:7….7 And when the THOUSAND YEARS are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

    1. I am not ignoring those verses at all just don’t see the reference to 1000 years to be literal or earthly. This is a highly symbolic book so I let the other passages that are not symbolic inform on what it means. Jesus has been reigning 1000 years and more on his heavenly throne with the souls of his martyrs and faithful ones who have experienced the first ressurection and are safe from the 2nd death.

    2. How do you know that Revelation is always a chronological story line? Chapter 19 and 20 are telling the same events from a different vantage point. They are not chronological. The visions are written down one before the other but that does not mean that the events portrayed in the vision are consecutive. Its the same battle in both chapters viewed from a different camera angle, so to speak.

      Again, Jesus appeared once at the “end of the ages” to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:26

      Why does dispensationalism ignore that Jesus incarnation was at the end of the ages and instead add another age of time before the eternal state? New testament speaks only of this age and the one to come in scores of passages e.g Eph 1:18-23.

    3. Richard, if an “hour” can refer to an indefinite period of time, why is it impossible for a 1000 years to refer to an indefinite period of time?

  9. Act 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore AGAIN the kingdom to Israel? Jesus didn’t say, you are wrong, there is no earthly Kingdom. Instead, he said it’s not for them to know the time when he will restore the Kingdom to Israel. So it’s future and it’s coming, We are told to pray for the coming Kingdom….thy Kingdom come, thy will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven. The return of the Jews to the land of Israel and the rebirth of the nation is a harbinger its fulfillment. Isa_66:8  Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. The answer to that question is….yes. The nation of Israel was born in one day….May 14, 1948. The Jews need to be in the land of Israel at the return of Jesus for prophecy to be fulfilled. Zec 12:11  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 
    Zec 12:12  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 
    Zec 12:13  The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 
    Zec 12:14  All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

    1. Besides hear the words of our Lord about the coming of the Kingdom.

      Luke 17:20,21

      20And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

  10. That’s the invisible aspect of the Kingdom. You left out the hundreds of verses about the visible aspect of the coming Kingdom….it will be very visible….Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Act 1:9  And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 
    Act 1:10  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 
    Act 1:11  Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. 

    1. I believe in the visible aspects too. Certainly as the body of Christ and his kingdom on earth, the church is visible and the new creation will be visible. But not visible in the sense of being a worldly political thing, like dispensationism teaches.

      I believe the Jews return to the Holy land is certainly part of the great tapestry of God’s providence and is for salvific purposes in his plan for history. Many believe that there will be great numbers of Jewish converts to Christ before the last day and that it is the surest sign that the Lord is close at hand. It is providential but is not the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises.. Those are fulfilled in Christ according to the Holy Apostles.This is not only mentioned but stressed at length in the NT.

      What we do know is what happens when he does return. It is the consummation of the age and the beginning of the world/age to come.. Jesus was incarnated at the end of the ages. When he comes time is done. The Eternal State has begun.

      What I do have a problem with is dispensationalism teaches contrary to New Testament revelation..that a political worldly kingdom for a 1000 literal years is what is prophesied as the kingdom of the Lord and it is not at all. We believe in a realized milennium as described in Revelation 20…in symbolic language.

      The position commonly called but not aptly called Amillenialism is very much substantiated in the NT And it is historical position of the Church. The 5th General Council condemned millenarianism ( chiliasm) as a heresy. It has never been the teaching of the church but in this dispensational form was thought up in the late 19th century and has gotten Christians off track into much sensationalism and the false belief that if they are not prepared for the second coming that they will have a second chance after the rapture and that the antichrist is of no real concern as they will be raptured out before he is a threat to them. Not true. No pre tribulation rapture. And it denies the NT teaching that the church is the continuation and renewal of Israel and not a parenthesis but a continuation of the one people of God.

      It is judgement day for all when he returns. May be ready and watchful and doing the Lord’s work with a clean heart so as to be welcomed when he returns to judge the living and the dead and create new heavens and new earth. Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

  11. Aidan said:

    Richard, if an “hour” can refer to an indefinite period of time, why is it impossible for a 1000 years to refer to an indefinite period of time?

    I never said it was impossible. 1000 years can refer to an indefinite period of time, but not likely in this instance; it is mentioned specifically 6 times in one chapter, Rev 20.
    God owns the cattle upon a thousand hills, Psa 50:10 The context here would be an indefinite number. What about 1003 hills? So it’s just a large number meaning every.ie , God owns the cattle on every hill on earth. Context…..

    1. Hi Richard,

      I am curious your view of the tribulation for 10 days spoken of Revelation 2:10? Literal or not?

      1. Smyrna is a literal church, so why would the ten days be anything but literal. On the other hand there are Biblical principles there that apply to all time…..don’t be afraid, be bold and faithful, even in the face of death.

  12. Dn John said:

    And it denies the NT teaching that the church is the continuation and renewal of Israel and not a parenthesis but a continuation of the one people of God.

    Where does it say in the Bible the church is the new Israel? Also, there is one people of God IN CHRIST, but different roles for the people. There are two future Temples to be built, it won’t be done by the church. They will be built by the Jews in the land of Israel. Paul mentions the first future Temple….2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. And then there is the Millennial Temple, which the church doesn’t even want to acknowledge, but there it is in vivid detail..Eze 40-48 Eze 41:1  Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle. It would be very difficult if not impossible to spiritualize this ornate elaborate description of the plans. The tabernacle in the wilderness was literal, Solomon’s Temple was literal, Zerubbabel’s Temple was literal, Herod’s Temple was literal, and so will the Millennial Temple. There is no other way to interpret it and remain consistent.

    1. Here is an excerpt of Dr Kim Riddlebarger discussing the Ezekiel Temple from a perspective that i found insightful from an amillenial perspective.

      Meg. T. asks:

      “Dr. Riddlebarger, what is your take on Ezekiel’s description of the Temple? I’ve never heard an amil explanation of the cooking pots and rooms for slaughtering the sacrifices of the people, and the chamber for the prince & his sacrifice. Puzzled.”

      Tyler asks:
      “Dr. Kim, I was wanting to understand the Amill interpretation of Ezekiel 40-48. There is a lot of talk about a future temple. Thanks for your help.”
      ___________________________________

      These are great questions because discussions of the temple come up frequently, especially in light of the dispensational expectation of a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem during the tribulation and then during millennial age. While I don’t have the space to cover all of the details that Meg mentions, hopefully, I can give you a sense of how these things should be interpreted.

      For starters, G. K. Beale has written an important book on this topic and anyone who has questions about Ezekiel’s vision should get it and read it carefully (The Temple and the Church’s Mission). For more information about Beale’s book, The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God. As Beale points out, there are four main interpretations of Ezekiel’s prophecy and how it is fulfilled (or not) in the New Testament. Dispensationalists believe that this vision is a prophecy of an earthly temple to be built within Israel during the millennial age (cf. Pentecost, Things to Come, 393; Walvoord, Major Bible Prophecies, 169). Dispensationalists base this interpretation upon their literal hermeneutic, which they say demands that a prophecy such as this one be interpreted literally, unless there is good reason to believe the prophecy should be interpreted figuratively.

      Unlike dispensationalists, advocates of the other main interpretations all agree that the context demands a figurative interpretation. I agree. Some see this an ideal temple never intended to be built upon the earth (in my estimation, the weakest interpretation), others see this as a vision of the ideal temple (OK, as far as it goes), while still others see this as a picture of a real heavenly temple, which will be established on the earth in a non-structural way in the latter days (Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission, 335).

      In other words, I believe Ezekiel is giving us a picture of the new earth in the prophetic terms with which his readers were familiar (Hoekema, The Bible and Future, 205). This is a picture of the new earth as the dwelling of God. Ezekiel prophesies it in earthly terms (complete with all the temple utensils), while John describes its fulfilled version (in eschatological terms).

      Based upon a number of factors, I think it is clear that the prophecy is points to a non-structural end-times temple.

      First, the prophecy cannot be interpreted literally and still make any sense. When God places the prophet on a very high mountain (40:1-2) he sees something like a city (obviously Jerusalem). Yet, there is no such high mountain near Jerusalem from which the prophet could have had such a vantage point. But this literal high mountain is required by the dispensational view. Where is it? Given the nature of Ezekiel’s prophecy, this language should alert us to the fact that what follows is given the symbolic geography of the prophet.

      This is confirmed in Revelation 21:10, where John is carried away “in the Spirit” to a high mountain from which he sees the Holy City coming down out of heaven. Obviously, the visions are related to each other as type-antitype (earthly language, eschatological fulfillment). What Ezekiel promised, John sees as a reality, and yet the reality seen by John far exceeds anything in Ezekiel’s vision. As Beale points out, there are a significant number of other instances in this prophecy which make the literal interpretation very unlikely, if not impossible (pp. 337-340).

      Second, there are a number of features within the prophecy which refer to something much greater than a localized temple in Jerusalem during the millennium. In verse 40:2, it is clear that Ezekiel sees a structure “like a city” (the temple), while in the final verse of the prophecy (48:35) he says that the cities’ name is “the Lord is there.” Here we have the expansion of the localized temple into an area the size of the entire city of Jerusalem. This expansion of God’s temple is a consistent theme throughout Ezekiel (Beale, pp. 340-345) There are allusions to Eden throughout the prophecy (47:1-12). The city is depicted as a perfect square and the reference to the river is obviously symbolic, since it is deep enough that it can only be crossed by swimming (47:5).

      Finally, it is obvious that Revelation 21 presents Ezekiel’s vision in its consummated fulfillment. In other words, John is given a vision of the same temple, but now from the vantage point of Christ’s death and resurrection and the dawn of the new creation–something which would have made no sense whatsoever to Ezekiel or his hearers. As Beale points out (pp. 346-345), the new heavens and earth are now the holy of holies, as well as the new Jerusalem, and the new Eden. On the last day, all creation becomes the temple of God. The temple has been expanded (extended) from a building, to a city, to all of creation.

      This means that Ezekiel’s vision is a prophecy not of an earthly temple (although the prophet uses earthly language his readers could understand), but of an eschatological temple, depicted in its consummated form and unspeakable glory by John in Revelation 21-22.

    2. The 70 weeks of Daniel prophesy was literally fulfilled in the 1st century AD in the incarnation of Christ and his saving work and in the destruction of the temple by Titus.( AD 70) That was the abomination of Desolation prophesied by Christ in Matthew 24. Thus, No need for a rebuilt temple for this 70 weeks prophesy ( Daniel 9) to be literally fulfilled.

      The Thessolonians prophesy does not necessarily have to occur in a Jewish rebuilt temple. Perhaps Paul did not mean that. In his writings, he uses the phrase temple of God in reference to the Church again and again…so we should hesitate being dogmatic that it must be a rebuilt temple but should just leave it as a possibility.

      It is a mistake to identify this prophesy with the 70 weeks prophesy or the Olivet discourse of Matthew 24. The fact that the Lord says “when you see…” in Matthew 24 indicates it would be witnessed by some of his audience and not to be projected thousands of years into the future.

  13. Richard wrote:
    “I never said it was impossible. 1000 years can refer to an indefinite period of time, but not likely in this instance; it is mentioned specifically 6 times in one chapter, Rev 20.
    God owns the cattle upon a thousand hills, Psa 50:10 The context here would be an indefinite number. What about 1003 hills? So it’s just a large number meaning every.ie , God owns the cattle on every hill on earth. Context…..”

    My response:
    Context? Seriously? This is what I’ve been saying to you all along. Context and language is precisely how I answered your point regarding what you said on 1 John 2:18. But you have yet to give an answer to that post.

    And I disagree with the assertion that because something is mentioned 6 times in one chapter it has to be literal.
    Where’s the rule that says, ‘this is the criteria that necessitates a literal interpretation’? We know that that’s not true, because “bones” is mentioned at least 8 times in Ezekiel 37 and yet the passage clearly speaks of them as figurative. Same with Ezekiel 34, where the terms shepherd, flock, and sheep are all mentioned multiple times in the one chapter and yet they are clearly spoken of as figurative. Therefore, the number of times something is mentioned – in one chapter – has nothing to do with whether it is figurative or literal.

    Deut. 7:9 “God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him..” What if the expression “a thousand generations” were to be mentioned several times in this one chapter? Would that then make it literal? What about Psa. 50:10? “For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills.” What if the expression “a thousand hills” was used several times in this one chapter? Would that make it a literal thousand hills? Only the cattle on a thousand hills is God’s, but the cattle on the 1001 hill, and the 1002 hill onwards are not His? To ensure we interpret Scriptures properly, we must be very careful what rules we follow!

    But really I digress a little, because we were talking about whether the term “hour” is literal or figurative. And I was saying that it is used both ways in Scripture depending on its context.

  14. Aidan,
    This is commonly referred to as the Golden Rule for Scripture interpretation; I think it is wise advice.

    “When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.”–Dr. David L. Cooper (1886-1965),
    founder of The Biblical Research Society

    1. Another rule is that one must read scripture differently according to the genre of literature used. That plain sense rule is used by dispensationalism when they want to interpret phrases in apocalyptic or non prose literature as literal, ignoring the literary genre the phrase is contained in. Other Biblical scholars outside of the Ryrie, walvoord, Dallas seminary camp will see these things differently, taking into account literary type, biblical typology and the New Covenant Hermeneutic etc.

      1. Rev 20:4…..and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 
        Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
        Context, context. 

      2. Richard wrote:
        “Job doesn’t agree with you. He is looking forward to being resurrected and being with Jesus ON THE EARTH. I’ll trust him over your tradition of men theology any day.

        Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
        Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
        Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another;”

        My response:
        I have no problem understanding that Jesus the redeemer of mankind came and stood upon the earth, for the word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Nor do I have a problem over the fact that there would be a future bodily resurrection of both good and evil together (John 5:28-29). But I don’t see any mention in either text of a millennial reign with Jesus on earth. You’ll have to explain how you saw that in these particular texts.

    2. Richard, symbolic writing, as in Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah and Revelation, gives numerous problems–not only to any reader, but also the constant student or teacher.

      Here are some other rules for study and interpretation:
      1. What did the book mean to the people of that day? Any interpretation that overlooks this point is useless. This involves:
      a. Understanding the conditions of the day; and
      b. The spiritual needs of the hour: encouragement.

      2. An understanding of the Old Testament prophets, and their use of symbols, especially Ezekiel, Daniel, and Zechariah. There are over four hundred allusions to the Old Testament, but not a direct quotation.

      3. All interpretations must be consistent with the teaching of the New Testament.

    3. Another question to ask is how has the Church universally understood this since apostolic times? The Church being the ” pillar and bulwark of the Truth” ( 1 Timothy 3:15)as St Paul says and “taught all truth by the Spirit of Truth” himself (John 14:26) , and secure against the Gates of hell ( Matthew 16:18) and promised to be glorifying God in all generation forever( Ephesians 3:21) Then one has to ask themselves, where is this original Apostolic Church? Private interpretation cannot be the answer indicated as it has led to contradiction and confusion, which God is not the author of and the Spirit does not mislead or contradict himself.. Where is the “one voice” proclamation of the “faith once delivered unto the saints”? Just questions to think about. Dispensationalism is a system forced onto the Bible shattering it into pieces, based on faulty interpretive rules and not caring at all what the Church, especially in the first millennium, has consistently and everywhere taught with consensus. Dispensationalism has destroyed the unity of scripture. Paul taught that all the covenants have a unifying promise( ” covenants of the promise”) and that the old testament saints were justified in faith and grace, not in works of Law. He says the coming of the Law did not annul the Abrahamic justification in faith. Anyway, Dispensationalism is a system contrary to what the apostles taught in writing or by word of mouth and handed on in the Churches.

    4. Richard wrote:
      “Rev 20:4…..and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
      Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
      Context, context.”

      My response:
      The theory that Christ will return to earth and reign for a thousand years in Jerusalem with His saints is based on a distortion and perversion of this text. To build this theory you must make Revelation 20:1-10 say what it does not say. It would have to mention the Second Coming, Christ on earth, Jerusalem, a rapture, or bodily resurrection of all the righteous, 7 years of great tribulation, the throne of David and the reign of Christ, a restoration of the nation of Israel, rebuilding of the temple, conversion of the Jews etc., etc. All these things are necessary ingredients for these various millennial theories, yet none of them can be found in the text. Remember, context, context, context!!

  15. Response to Aidan:

    Job doesn’t agree with you. He is looking forward to being resurrected and being with Jesus ON THE EARTH. I’ll trust him over your tradition of men theology any day.

    Job 19:25  For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 
    Job 19:26  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 
    Job 19:27  Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another;

    Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 

    1. Yes, the eternal state includes not only a new heaven but a new EARTH. So yes on the earth. The earth free of the curse and renewed. The book of Job does not disagree.

      1. Reply to DNJohn

        Gee, it doesn’t sound to me like the earth is free of the curse when Jesus returns……why are people fleeing? Zec 14:5  And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; Why is there a plague? Zec 14:12  And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. Why is Judah fighting at Jerusalem? Zec 14:14  And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; Why will people be defying Jesus if it’s the Eternal state? Zec 14:16  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 
        Zec 14:17  And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. Droughts in the Eternal, free of the curse Earth? Zec 14:18  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. I think you have you theological calendar backwards.

      2. Zechariah 14:1-21. Is an image of the day of the Lord. Snap shots of ” that day”. Is is about the enemies worldwide against the people of God and Jesus coming and defeating them and meting out his punishments to them for their sins and persecutions against the church .
        It tell also of good things like the sanctification of all things, even common pots will be holy etc. The feast of tabernacles is the Worship of Jesus the Divine Word who tabernacled among us and those who reject that worship are condemned. No going back to the types and shadows of the old law when the reality is Christ! This is symbolic when they speak this way.

        The mount of olives is about the messianic age and applies to the incarnation and second coming. Jesus stayed on the mount of olives during holy week and he spent the night there when he was betrayed. ( orthodox study bible)Maybe he will touch down there and split the mount when he returns literally. We will have to find out then if it was literal or not.

        If he did split the mount on that day, it would be an awesome display of power…and we know he is coming in power and glory…so I am not sure if that is literal or not.

        Christ is the Living Water. This is edenic imagery for sure. Imagery of the river of life of paradise.

        When it says ” on that day” it does not mean that it has to be in the same place. As God punishes the wicked we know they are not with the righteous but experience the barrenness of the outer darkness. God will not rain on them his grace but they will be excluded.

        There will be the curse when he comes but he will renew the earth and the heavens and the curse will be gone.

        These are snap shots, so to speak. It does not mean God will be ruling and still there will continue to be these evil things…but he will find these evil things happening and will avenge them…on that day when he comes to judge the earth.

  16. Richard wrote:
    “Job doesn’t agree with you. He is looking forward to being resurrected and being with Jesus ON THE EARTH. I’ll trust him over your tradition of men theology any day.

    Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
    Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
    Job 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another;”

    My response:
    I have no problem understanding that Jesus the redeemer of mankind came and stood upon the earth, for the word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Nor do I have a problem over the fact that there would be a future bodily resurrection of both good and evil together (John 5:28-29). But I don’t see any mention in either text of a millennial reign with Jesus on earth. You’ll have to explain how you saw that in these particular texts.

  17. Hey Richard, how do you explain the fact that the rebuilding of the Tabernacle of David has already occurred, but not literally (Acts 15:13-19)?

  18. Aidan said:
    Nor do I have a problem over the fact that there would be a future bodily resurrection of both good and evil together (John 5:28-29)

    Ok, I’ll show you where there are multiple resurrections….again.

    Rev 20:4 and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. They were beheaded etc, didn’t receive the mark etc and they lived and reigned with Christ A THOUSAND YEARS. Got it? The Millennium. Now here’s a SEPARATE resurrection:
    Rev 20:5 BUT (that’s an adversative) Rev 20:5  But REST OF THE DEAD lived not again UNTIL the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. So you have the former dead, the righteous living with Christ, and the future resurrection…got it? AFTER THE THOUSAND YEARS….got it?….If you don’t get it, then you are in denial…the issue then becomes ….why?

  19. Hey Richard, how do you explain the fact that the rebuilding of the Tabernacle of David has already occurred, but not literally (Acts 15:13-19)?
    Answer: That’s your interpretation, but it does not follow it must be correct. I don’t even know what your point is.

  20. DN John said:
    There will be the curse when he comes but he will renew the earth and the heavens and the curse will be gone.
    Answer:
    No, there will still be rebellion and death, plagues, droughts during the 1000 years. So the curse will not be gone, that’s how you can tell it’s not the eternal state. It’s better with Satan in prison, animals tame etc, but people will still rebel. People will live longer, but they will still die….Isa 65:20  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

    1. Isaiah 65 is about the new heavens and new earth…It states such right in the passage.. that is how you know that those sayings are figurative of eternal life. If there was death, there would be crying. Notice 18 says rejoice forever ( not a mere 1000 years) and he says the voice of crying would not be heard….. See the earlier verses below.

      17 For, behold, I create NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

      18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

      19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

      20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

      21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

      22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

      23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.

      24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

      25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

      1. DN John said:
        Isaiah 65 is about the new heavens and new earth…It states such right in the passage.. that is how you know that those sayings are figurative of eternal life.
        Response:
        I agree, but there are no chapters in the original manuscripts, so you can’t say chapter 65 is only about the eternal state. So it is referring to the eternal state and the Millennial state, which can be distinguished by people getting old and dying. How you come to the conclusion that people getting old, and sinners and infants dying is figurative of eternal life is beyond me.

  21. DN John said:
    The Church being the ” pillar and bulwark of the Truth”
    Response:
    This means that the church is to support the truth, but is not truth itself.
    The church must conform to the Scriptures, which are truth, Joh 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth…. and not vice versa…Act 17:11 …they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    1. Christ is truth, God is Truth, the Spirit is truth. Therefore God’s word is truth. I believe in the Divine inspiration and usefulness of Scripture. ( 2 Tim 3:16,17) I also believe there is both Holy tradition….things handed on from the Apostles by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess 2:15) and traditions of men, which our Lord condemns. ( Mark 7).

  22. Aidan said:
    The theory that Christ will return to earth and reign for a thousand years in Jerusalem with His saints is based on a distortion and perversion of this text.

    Response:
    So John is inspired to write that there will be a thousand year Millennium 6 times in 6 verses, Rev 20:2-7, and it is a perversion of the text to believe it literally, but you spiritualize it, and contradict other Scriptures and that’s ok with you. To each his own.

  23. DN John said:
    traditions of men, which our Lord condemns. ( Mark 7).
    Why would you believe what the Lord condemns?!
    Any traditions have to be judged by Scripture, even Paul had to pass that test….
    Act 17:10  And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 
    Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the SCRIPTURES daily, whether those things were so. Notice they didn’t evaluate them of the basis of traditions oral or written.

  24. DN John said: “traditions of men, which our Lord condemns. ( Mark 7).”

    Response: Why would you believe what the Lord condemns?!
    My response is wrong, I misunderstood. Now I see you were contrasting the traditions of men, with the Truth. I agree.

    1. Hi Richard,, I just read the Isaiah 66 chapter from the Septuagint and it shed more light on the text. In that passage we see the effects of the fall progressively undone beginning it seems in reverse order. In the New heavens and earth he first reveals that Joy is restored and there is no more premature death i.e infants, old men not living out all their days, making it to a hundred would be thought of as being accursed…This is the banishment condition….this is what happened outside the garden ….that is done away with…then man is brought back into Paradise and it gets better…. No more futile labor:

      21and they shall build houses, and themselves shall dwell in them; and they shall plant vineyards, and themselves shall eat the fruit thereof.

      22They shall by no means build, and others inhabit; and they shall by no means plant, and others eat

      Then they Get to eat of the very Tree of Life!

      V22b for as the DAYS OF THE TREE OF LIFE shall be the days of my people, they shall long enjoy the fruits of their labours.

      No more curse of Adam and Eve!

      23My chosen shall not toil in vain, neither shall they beget children to be cursed; for they are a seed blessed of God, and their offspring with them.

      Communion with God is back, no more hiding or banishment but sweet communion…nobneed for man in anguish to call out to God because he hears them before hand and answers while they are still speaking!

      24And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will hearken to them; while they are yet speaking, I will say, What is it?

      The curse on creation…animals etc is done except that the serpent( symbol of Satan) is still abased.

      25Then wolves and lambs shall feed together, and the lion shall eat chaff like the ox, and the serpent earth as bread. They shall not injure (nor do evil NASB) OR destroy in my holy mountain, saith the Lord.

      No more sin or destruction!

      https://biblehub.com/sep/isaiah/65.htm

      St.Peter tells us what to expect in the future in 2 Peter 3 and what he does not mention speaks much too.

      ◄ 2 Peter 3 ►
      American King James Version
      Christ’s Coming Judgment

      (Genesis 3:1-7; Genesis 7:1-5; Romans 5:12-21)

      1This second letter, beloved, I now write to you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2That you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior:

      3Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved to fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

      8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

      The Day of the Lord

      (Zephaniah 1:7-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

      10But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

      11Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

      Final Exhortations

      14Why, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him has written to you; 16As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. 17You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. 18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

  25. Response to DN John:

    There is no law that says Peter can’t talk about the Eternal state and the events leading up to it. Because he expounds on it, it does not follow that there is no Millennium. Both Catholic and Reformed theology state we are in the Millennium now, but Peter. who you just relied on also informs us that Satan is roaming around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: This contradicts John who says that Satan is locked up in a pit during the 1000 years…. Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 
    Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: The only way this can be resolved is not to spiritualize the Millennium to fit Reformed/Catholic theology, but to submit to God’s word as the arbiter of truth….Acts 17:11…they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Isa 8:20  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. You can’t have it both ways.

    1. Because there was no concept of a literal earthly millennium after the second coming is why a chapter on the second coming does not mention it but goes right into the end of the world and the new creation….and says that this is what we look for.

      I agree that Satan is roaming about to devour the vulnerable persons but he can’t deceive whole nations to serve the antichrist agenda unless his restraints are loosed.
      Thus we can teach all nations and baptize them and teach them to observe the law of ChrIst.

      Demons are cast down into hell and bound in chains of darkness, reserved unto the judgement of the great day. You don’t say they are inactive? You should if you were consistent with your literal interpretation.

      2 Peter 2

      4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

      The Godly will Be Delivered

      7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) 9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

      Saint Peter also said that Christ stands ready now to judge the wicked and the end of all things is at hand.

      1Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

      7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

      The apostles simply did not believe in this Jewish millenialism that stands between the end of all things. They saw the fulfillment of all things in the New heavens and new Earth.

      DN John.

      1. DNJohn wrote:
        “You should if you were consistent with your literal interpretation.”

        My Response:
        If one is to be consistent with his literal interpretations, then the angel coming down from heaven in Rev. 20, has a literal key and a literal chain in his hand to literally bind Satan, who perhaps is also a literal dragon. Then he is cast into a literal bottomless pit in verse 3, and set with a literal seal. Then in vs 4, John would have had to see them sitting on literal thrones. And only those who were literally beheaded will reign with Christ for a thousand years. And they must only be those who refused to have a literal mark on their foreheads or on their hands. Only these ones can literally reign with Him ON THE EARTH (which is literally not mentioned in the text). And then you must have a literal prison in verse 7, and a literal beast that was already cast into the lake of fire and brimstone in verse 10.

      2. Richard, spirits cannot be bound with literal physical chains and material keys and pits cannot literally be bottomless as a pit has a bottom by definition.. Figurative apocalyptic language. Thus should be interpreted figuratively.

      3. Excellent! And don’t forget, only those who have been beheaded can reign with Him on earth in the millennium.👍

      4. The 24 elders cast their “crowns” because they are reigning with Christ as kings and priests.

      5. Hi Richard,

        Continuation of my reply. The” already ” in Rev 20:10 is added by the translators and is not in the Greek. The beast, false prophet and Satan were all cast into the lake of fire but there is no reason to insist that the visions are chronological story lines with no overlap and have 1000 years between them…(since the millenial reign of Christ is his reign before the eternal state with the “Souls” of those who died in him.. the first coming to life is when the person experiences bodily death and their souls lives and reigns with Christ, the second is the bodily resurrection on the Last Day which includes the wicked too)

        The vision in 19 and the vision in 20 are different vantage points of the same last day battle , 2nd coming, judgment etc. Chapter 16,19,and 20 all show Armageddon. They are not successive happenings but images with different focus. It is a mistake to assume that all the visions are chronologically organized. Another vision covering the same timeframe adds more insight or an insight not covered in the previous vision but has striking parallelism.

        DN John

      6. DN John said:
        I agree that Satan is roaming about to devour the vulnerable persons but he can’t deceive whole nations to serve the antichrist agenda unless his restraints are loosed.

        My response:
        This is a textbook example of the perils of eisegesis. In order to support Reformed/Catholic theology you read into the text what you want it to say. This in turn causes you to contradict God’s word. You’re trying to have it both ways. The Scriptures clearly state that Satan is imprisoned during the Millennium. In fact, there’s a seal on the prison door put there by an angel of God. Rev 20:1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 
        Rev 20:2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 
        Rev 20:3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:
        No, it does not say he gets a day pass to be free and go out to deceive vulnerable persons. You’re adding to God’s word, Pro 30:6, Rev 22:18.
        Of course this is all easily resolved, if we just believe God’s word. Satan is roaming around deceiving the nations,…1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 
        This is proof prima facie that we are not in the Millennium yet. Nations are deceived, as WWI, WWII, the Holocaust, the Soviet Gulags, etc, etc, up to the present day, bear witness. Defend God’s word, not man made doctrines.

      7. Perhaps Satan has already been loosed and is causing the final revolt. Who knows? We see the widespread apostasy and religious syncretism accelerate in the last few decades very very quickly. Perhaps those are birth pangs for the greater afflictions coming to the world. May we be watchful over our hearts and stay ready.

        Jesus says all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. THEREFORE go and teach all nations,, baptizing them….The restraint on the deceiving of the nations was about the gospel going to the Nations/Gentiles and about not being about to bring about the final worldwide revolt against God. It is Christ’s authority that binds Satan. He triumped over them at the cross! SEE Colossians 2:15. The Gospel had already reached these countries you refer to. (About 10 million of my fellow orthodox Christians (and others too ) in Russia were martyred and are now living and reigning with Christ! The fact that they were able to be faithful unto death is testament that Satan was bound from deceiving that nation.. ) But has he been loosed? Maybe…

        Therefore we might be seeing the world getting ready for what will lead to Armageddon/ Gog and magog. The worldwide persecution of the Faith. Things seems to be degenerating very quickly…maybe Satan ” knows he has but a short time”.

        We need to be vigilant and faithful as the Lord tells us. Come, Lord Jesus.

      8. That is what he saw in the symbolic apocalyptic vision. What it signifies is what we disagree on.

  26. Richard wrote:
    “So John is inspired to write that there will be a thousand year Millennium 6 times in 6 verses, Rev 20:2-7, and it is a perversion of the text to believe it literally?”

    My Response:
    v. 4 says,..”they lived and REIGNED WITH CHRIST for a thousand years.” Then v.6…”shall REIGN WITH HIM a thousand years.” There’s no question that they reign with Christ for a thousand years, but what needs to be asked is, ‘WHERE is Christ reigning from? Yes, they reign with Christ, but does the text specify WHERE He is reigning from? No! This text simply doesn’t get into that question! That’s not the focus or purpose of the passage. You need to go to other passages of scripture to answer the question of ‘where Christ would reign from’! Both the Old and New Testaments do answer that question.

    According to Psalms, the Messiah would RULE in the midst of His enemies, BUT, from the right hand side of God in heaven.
    Psalms 110:1-2
    A Psalm of David.

    The LORD said to my Lord,
    “Sit at My right hand,
    Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
    The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
    Rule in the midst of Your enemies!

    In Acts 2, Peter quotes Psalms 110 and says that Christ fulfilled this when He was raised up and ascended into heaven – to sit down on the throne of David – at the right hand side of the Father.
    Acts 2:30-35 NKJV– “Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:

    ‘The LORD said to my Lord,
    “Sit at My right hand,

    Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’

    It is worth noting that these two passages alone, Psalms 110, and Acts 2:30-35, tell us three important things:
    1). WHERE Jesus is reigning from, i.e. heaven!
    2). The duration of this reign, i.e. “Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
    3). And that He is now seated on the throne of David.

    Paul tells us, “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:25-26). Remember that Peter told us when His reign began; when He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Therefore Christ must REIGN at the right hand side of the Father until death is destroyed, i.e. in the general resurrection at the end of time! And so, we must infer that the doctrine which says, ‘Christ will return to earth to REIGN in Jerusalem – is blatantly false’ because it contradicts what the scriptures reveal about the DURATION of His reign in heaven, at the right hand side of God.

    1. Aidan, yes. Ephesians 1 spells it out:

      15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in

      1. Yes, DNJohn, that passage ties in with all these other ones in terms of the fact that Christ is now ruling at God’s right hand, where He will remain ruling until the end of time. Maybe that’s not exciting enough for these millennialists?

  27. Aidan wrote:
    Hey Richard, how do you explain the fact that the rebuilding of the Tabernacle of David has already occurred, but not literally (Acts 15:13-19)?

    Richard wrote:
    Answer: That’s your interpretation, but it does not follow it must be correct. I don’t even know what your point is.

    My Response:
    My point is, you’ve already stated that these verses in Amos 9 are future and only to be fulfilled LITERALLY! But this contradicts James’s interpretation of it, who clearly says that it has already been fulfilled in Christ by the conversion of the Gentiles. James is the one who spiritualizes Amos 9, not me. Listen to what he says:

    Acts 15:14-19 NASB:
    “Simeon has described how God first concerned Himself about taking a people for His name from among the Gentiles. The words of the Prophets agree with this, just as it is written:

    ‘After these things I will return,
    And I will rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David,
    And I will rebuild its ruins,
    And I will restore it,
    So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
    And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’
    Says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago.

    Therefore, it is my judgment that we do not cause trouble for those from the Gentiles who are turning to God”

    It is worth reiterating that it is James who declares that this passage has been fulfilled because of the Gentiles who are turning to God. Anyone who reads these verses can see that the tabernacle of David FIRST had to be rebuilt and restored BEFORE the Gentiles could seek the Lord. Again, James is the one who said this passage has been fulfilled, and it is always worth repeating the interpretation of an inspired man! There’s no two ways about it: Those who refuse to believe the interpretations of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament are teaching false doctrine.

  28. DN John said:
    The apostles simply did not believe in this Jewish millenialism that stands between the end of all things.

    Response:
    You do realize that John is an Apostle, don’t you? And yes, he’s Jew that wrote specifically about the Millennium,
    Rev 2:2-7

    1. Hi Richard, Please confirm the reference you listed. I am not sure its the one you intended? Thank you.

      1. Hi Richard,

        I thought you might have meant this passage because of the phrase at the end of ” they shall reign on earth”

        Revelation 5

        And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth; 7 and he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; 9 and they sang a new song, saying,

        “Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals,
        for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God
        from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
        10 and hast made them a kingdom and priests[ a title given to Israel Ex19:6, IS 61:6] to our God,
        and they shall reign on earth.”

        We don’t deny the Reign over the Nations now of the saints in heaven during the intermediate state which is the biblical meaning of the millenial reign. So Johm spoke of the millenium and he describes it in this sense.
        One way the saints currently reign over the earth is that these holy ones intercede with God and preside according to his will ( Rev 2: 26,27, 5:7-9) and exercise authority. We also do not deny the reign on the earth forever of the eternal state by God’s saints Rev 22:5. We just don’t believe Rev 20:2-7 is referring to physical resurrection as the “first ressurection” as it describes “souls”, like in Revelation 6:9…It seems that Rev 20:2-7 is a wrapping up of 6:9 as the souls pray for avengement in 6:9 and the victorious souls get their prayer granted in chapter 20 when God destroys the persecuting world. It both passages it is “souls” that John sees.. They were told the rest a little while longer until….

        Dn. John

  29. DN John said:
    Richard, spirits cannot be bound with literal physical chains and material keys and pits cannot literally be bottomless as a pit has a bottom by definition.
    Response:
    You have no conception of what God and his angels can do in the spiritual realm. God said it, that settles it.

  30. To Aidan:
    Just to make it clear, the tabernacle of David is not the throne of David.
    That being said:
    The “tabernacle” referred to in Acts 15:16, then, is the house of God open to all, both Jew and Gentile, who seek Him in order to worship in truth.
    Amos 9:11 says, “In that day will I raise up again the tabernacle of David, that is fallen.” There seems to be reference here to a restoration of the Jewish nation to spiritual life in the end time. There might also exist, during that end time, or into the 1,000-year reign of Christ, a tabernacle like the one during David’s day. During David’s time the tabernacle (or tent) housed the Ark of the Covenant and was a precursor to the temple that Solomon would build. The temple was a rectangular house of worship made with elaborate design. Its presence and functionality, with priests, was a sign of God’s favor and presence. When Israel fell away from following the commandments of the Old Covenant, the temple was desecrated and needed to eventually be rebuilt, as described in the book of Ezra. (taken from gotquestions web site)

  31. Richard, you originally used Amos 9 as definitive proof of a future earthly kingdom in the millennium. James proves that it exists here and now as a spiritual kingdom. It is best just to leave it where the Holy Spirit has left it.

    1. Aidan said: James proves that it exists here and now as a spiritual kingdom. It is best just to leave it where the Holy Spirit has left it.

      Response:
      The problem with your reasoning is that the Holy Spirit tells us in Scripture that the Kingdom also will be an earthly Kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem Israel, a physical place on the earth….Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
      Isa 2:1  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 
      Isa 2:2  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 
      Isa 2:3  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 
      Zec 14:3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 
      Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,
      Eze 40:2  In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the south.
      Eze 43:7  And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. 

      1. Richard wrote:
        “The problem with your reasoning is that the Holy Spirit tells us in Scripture that the Kingdom also will be an earthly Kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem Israel, a physical place on the earth….Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

        My response:
        Christians are already a kingdom of priests on earth (Ex. 19:5,6; 1 Pet. 2:9). The church is the kingdom of Christ on earth – composed of fellow citizens (Eph. 2:19).
        Prior to the coming of Christ the Gentiles were excluded from the commonwealth of Israel (Eph 2:12). The term “commonwealth” implies a government or kingdom. But now IN CHRIST the Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens, but are fellow-citizens with the saints (vs.19). This means that the church is a kingdom. Other scriptures show that the church is the kingdom of Christ. This is a governmental figure. Christ is king of kings (Rev. 17:14; 19:16). The church and kingdom are used interchangeably (Mt. 16:18,19). The kingdom was established on Pentecost (Acts 2; cf. Mk. 9:1; Lk. 24:48-49; Acts 1:8). And first century Christians were in the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13; Heb. 12:28; Rev. 1:9).

        Acts 17:11,12 NKJV – “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed,..”

        I will explain Isaiah 2:1-4 in my next post!

  32. So Richard, if you do believe that it is a literal physical chain and key in the angel’s hand, do you also believe that literally only the beheaded reign with Christ in Rev. 20:2-7?

    1. Aidan,
      I never said it’s physical, I said it’s literal. The sprritual realm is much more vibrant and real than the muffled physical world.
      Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

      1. Richard wrote:
        “I never said it’s physical, I said it’s literal.”

        My Response:
        What exactly do you mean by “literal” but not physical? Would you say the same regarding the thousand years, or the beheading of the martyrs, or the earthly kingdom? I doubt it! To say that they are literal is to say that they are both physical and material. And if you take them literally, you have to say only those who were literally beheaded for Christ reign with Him for a literal 1000 years. Isn’t that right?

      2. Aidan, Richard, As a former premillenialist, I would appeal to other scriptures in Revelation that describe the reign with Christ ( Rev 5:9,10) and include all the redeemed. The mistake I made back then was to assume this referred to the old earth instead of to the renewed earth and heaven of the eternal state. This is what we are told to expect as the last things by the apostles. I believe we have solid biblical warrant to see the first resurrection as present and spiritual per the words of our Lord in John 5. …in fairness to Richard there are passages e.g Rev 5: 9,10 that expand the reigning with Chriat beyond what is stated in Revelation 20:2-7 to include all of the redeemed. Interestingly ithe Revelation 5 passage calls the redeemed of all nations a kingdom and priests, designations for Israel in Ex 19:5,6.

  33. Richard, those verses in Isaiah 2 refer to the present era or dispensation, the Messianic period.

    Isaiah 2:2-4 NKJV–
    Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
    That the mountain of the LORD’s house
    Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
    And shall be exalted above the hills;
    And all nations shall flow to it.

    Many people shall come and say,
    “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
    To the house of the God of Jacob;
    He will teach us His ways,
    And we shall walk in His paths.”
    For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
    And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

    He shall judge between the nations,
    And rebuke many people;
    They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    And their spears into pruning hooks;
    Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    Neither shall they learn war anymore.

    “In the latter days” (sometimes translated “the last days”), when used by the prophets, always refers to the time of the Messiah. It points to the end of the Jewish age and the introduction of the new era (ours) under the spiritual ruler. In the NT there is corroboration of this understanding of the phrase “the latter days.” Peter interpreted the word “afterward” in Joel 2:28 as referring to “the last days” (Acts 2:17). He then continued, “And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days [the last days]; And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). This is precisely what was beginning to happen on the day of Pentecost! In his next sermon Peter said, “Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days” (Acts 3:24). Peter obviously regarded his own time as being “the latter days” that the prophets spoke. Therefore – the latter days – spoken of by the prophet Isaiah (the “these days” of Peter) are in fact the present dispensation.
    Furthermore, we read in the NT that Christ was manifested “in these last times” (1 Pet. 1:20), and that through Him God has “in these last days” spoken to us by His Son (Heb. 1:2). Therefore, the latter days spoken of by Isaiah are to be understood as that period in which God would make known His law through His Son, Jesus Christ, and send it forth from Jerusalem and from Zion. And so, the events described by Isaiah in (Isaiah 2:2-4), most certainly began on Pentecost and continues now. We are living in the last times; these are the “latter days.”
    To expand further on these verses will probably require another post.

  34. Response to Aidan:

    I agree, it’s been the last days for 2000 years….Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 
    Heb 1:2  Hath in these LAST DAYS spoken unto us by his Son,
    The last days are not over YET, there is a process and an order of operations going on.
    Mat_24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN shall the end come.
    That hasn’t been completed yet. The Jews are mostly still blinded and the fullness of the Gentiles has not been reached…Rom 11:25….that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
    Certainly Isaiah 2:2-4 hasn’t occurred yet, Jesus is still in heaven,…Act 3:20  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 
    Act 3:21  Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution of all things,….no one is going to Jerusalem to be taught by Jesus yet. Nations are NOT turning their implements of war into peaceful uses…quite the opposite. The Jews continue to flow back to Israel as predicted…Eze 36:24  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land; they still have to accept Jesus so they can say….blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord….Mat_23:39  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. The growing Messianic movement among the Jews around the world and in Israel is fulfilling the requirements of that prophecy. Jesus has not yet touched down on the Mount of Olives yet, causing great geologic disturbances….Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west,
    You also said: “It points to the end of the Jewish age”…you must have missed Paul, Rom 11:1  I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 
    Rom 11:2  God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Just remember, Jesus is a Jew, Rev 5:5. And as Jeremiah reminds us: as long as you see the heavenly luminaries, the Jews will be here….Jer 31:35  Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: 
    Jer 31:36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. So we’re in the last days, but it ain’t over yet.

  35. Richard, consider this:

    Isaiah 2:2-3 NKJV
    Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
    That the mountain of the LORD’s house
    Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
    And shall be exalted above the hills;
    And all nations shall flow to it.

    Many people shall come and say,
    “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
    To the house of the God of Jacob;
    He will teach us His ways,
    And we shall walk in His paths.”
    For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
    And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

    That which would come to pass in the latter days was the establishment of the LORD’S house “on the top of the mountains”; it would be “exalted above the hills” and universal in scope – all nations shall flow to it. The Holy Spirit has not left us to wonder or guess at the meaning of the expression “the mountain of the LORD’s house,” for we read in Zechariah:

    Zechariah 8:3 NKJV
    “Thus says the LORD:

    ‘I will return to Zion,
    And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
    Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,
    The Mountain of the LORD of hosts,
    The Holy Mountain.’

    The glory of this mountain would surpass and exceed all others. The word Zion came to be used in prophecy to refer to the spiritual Zion to come, that is, the dwelling place of God among His redeemed people where they find security and peace. Zion was the place form which the law would go forth and from which the people would be ruled by His word. From God’s cry against Babylon in Jeremiah 51:25 it is clear that the term “mountain” signifies a government or a seat of government: “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys all the earth, says the LORD. And I will stretch out My hand against you, Roll you down from the rocks, And make you a burnt mountain.” Babylon was a mountain (nation) of destruction which would become a burnt mountain. God’s mountain, by contrast, would be a government or nation of refuge, peace, and salvation–a holy mountain exalted above all others.
    It is unto this mountain that the Christians addressed in the book of Hebrews had come: “For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched [Sinai]… But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…[the] church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven” (Heb. 12:18-23), which is “the house of God” (1 Tim. 3:15). It was this mountain that God said would be established in the “latter days,” and it was unto this heavenly mount and city that the Hebrew Christians had come. Hence, the mountain of Isaiah is the kingdom, the church of God of the new covenant, for the writer of Hebrews concludes his argument, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace” (12:28).
    This mountain would be established and exalted above all other mountains; it would transcend all the kingdoms of the world in greatness and grandeur. The stone that was cut without hands and struck the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, became a great mountain filling the whole earth (Dan. 2:35). All these passages are speaking of the same mountain–the kingdom, the church of God of the new covenant. And all nations shall flow unto it. In this ideal city of God, not just one nation of the Jews, but all nations (plural), all races from among the Gentiles would be included. The picture is that of a large stream of peoples flowing into the city.

  36. Aidan said:
    Hence, the mountain of Isaiah is the kingdom, the church of God of the new covenant,

    Response:
    The church is PART of the Kingdom, and remember, the New Covenant was first revealed to the Jews….
    Jer 31:31  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.
    Paul warns Gentile believers not to be arrogant toward the Jews,
    Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
    Rom 11:18  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 

    1. Richard, this brings to mind something very important that we need to remember. Israel is the Church and the Church is Isreal.

      “First, the Greek word translated “church” (ekklesia) in the NT is used in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT) 69 times to translate the Hebrew for “congregation” or “assembly” (qahal). This use of ekklesia for the OT people of Israel is continued in the NT (Acts 7:38; Heb 2:12).

      Second, this continuity of God’s people is seen in Romans 11:17-24, where Paul tells us that the Gentiles have been grafted into God’s olive tree.

      Third, Gentiles and Jews have been made “one” (Ephesians 2:14), are “one new man in place of two” (Ephesians 2:15), and are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).

      Fourth, the church is made up of those who have faith in Christ, and “it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). Those who are in Christ are “Abraham’s offspring” (Galatians 3:29), the true Israel (Romans 9:6-8).

      Fifth, God says He will make a new covenant with the “house of Israel and the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 31:31). Hebrews 8 then applies this prophecy to the church.” ( knowingscripture.com)

      Sixth, I would add to this that the OT people of God were the sheep given to Jesus in the New…the ones who recognized his Voice as the very voice of the LORD their shepherd. Jesus speaks much of those whom the FaTher gave him…and how they were of God and knew his voice. These are the ones that Luke wrote in Acts who were destined to eternal life and then believed.( Acts 13:48) Their hearts were prepared. They were not of hard hearts, unlike the religious leaders of that day.Jesus said that he had “other sheep not of this Fold that he must bring into the one fold and that there would be one fold and one shepherd”.

      The Lord also in John 10, mentions the Jews who were not of God and not of his sheep and that is why they did not believe. This is all in John 10 and supports the truth that the Church is the one people of God from the beginning till now. Israel in the Old Testament is the Church and the Gentiles are brought into the one fold under the one shepherd with them. The rejectors of Christ are cut off.. but God’s people were not cast away! God forbid!

      Peter Speaks in Solomon’s Colonnade
      (Deuteronomy 18:15–22)

      ACTS 3

      17And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18But in this way God has fulfilled what He foretold through all the prophets, saying that His Christ would suffer. 19Repent, then, and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped away, 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus, the Christ, who has been appointed for you.

      21Heaven must take Him in until the time comes for the restoration of all things, which God announced long ago through His holy prophets. 22For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers. You must listen to Him in everything He tells you.f 23Everyone who does not listen to Him will be completely cut off from among his people.

      24Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have proclaimed these days. 25And you are sons of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers when He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all the families of the earth will be blessed.’h 26When God raised up His Servant, He sent Him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.” Acts 3 ( Berean Study Bible)

      The first ones brought were the gentile God fearers and proselytes and later this was extended to all of those of any nation who would repent. This graciousness enraged many of the hardened Jews who were not of God as we see in many scenes from the NT narratives.

      So this is why the new covenant was made with the house of Israel and Judah…that was the Church…and the Church continued when the gentile sheep were gathered into the fold.e.g grafted onto the olive tree. There has only been one people of God and that is not different now.

      Seventh, the Church is the House of the Lord…the Temple of God….the Living Temple build with lively stones. This is what is meant by Jesus saying that he will build his church…He is adding new stones and adornments to the Living Temple as new persons are added. He is building his church on the Rock of true Christological confession i.e on himself and on the apostles and prophets. He himself is the cornerstone! So Isaiah 2 is about the Church. See 1 Tim 3:15,16

      Eigth, The church on earth is united with the Church in heaven…one kingdom of God. The Church on earth partakes of that and awaits its ultimate fulfillment….we are still militant…still in the fight…the heavenly church is the victors who are crowned in the heavenly kingdom as royal priests and intercessors See Rev 1 and 5. May they pray for us. This is part of the ” communion of saints” mentioned in the ancient Apostles Creed. Hebrews 12 below shows this connection.

      Hebrews 12

      18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “IF EVEN A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT WILL BE STONED.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I AM FULL OF FEAR and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
      The Unshaken Kingdom
      25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

      So the Scriptures present strong continuity between the Israel of God and the Church of God. The church is no replacement of Israel because Israel has always been the Church…rather it is its RENEWAL under the new covenant with new administration. This is because of the fulfillment accomplished by Christ and the salvation given. See Collosians 3:17.ff

      God gave the World, all of it , to Abraham..and the Land of Israel was just the earnest of that…the promise is fulfilled in the New heavens and new earth….that is the restoration of all things spoken of in the prophets. Jesus will be in heaven until that appointed time comes.

      Therefore the fulfillment of ISAIAH 2 is the One, Holy ,catholic( universal) ,and Apostolic church of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that he says it is a mountain on top of the chiefest mountain shows that it is visible and can be found. May all disciples of Christ study to find this original church which began at Jerusalem, so that they can truly be home. May many Jews be born again of water and the Holy Spirit so that they can enter the Kingdom of God. This message went to them first and still is for them. They have not been cast off by God…God wants to make them heirs of all things with his Divine Son!

  37. A response to Richard:… The context in which Mth 24:14 is written is the destruction of Jerusalem. The fullness of the Gentiles Rom. 11:25 is referring to the last day, the end of time as does Acts 3:21. And Isaiah 2:2-4 has and is still occurring. Also, I never said that God had cast away the Jews. God has not cast away any nation, for He is calling all men everywhere to repent Acts 17:30-31. Remember, not all Israel are Israel. It the spiritual remnant, the true Israel that will be saved.

  38. You are right, Richard, the church IS part of the kingdom because the church is the kingdom on earth 🙃: The kingdom of which the Hebrew Christians were also a part of (Heb. 12:18-28). But a kingdom that consists of both Jew and Gentile.

    1. You are right, Richard, the church IS part of the kingdom because the church is the kingdom on earth.

      Response:
      There is another part of the Kingdom, the earthly reign of Jesus from Jerusalem, Israel. We pray for it to come every time we say the Lord’s prayer…..Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on EARTH, as it is in heaven.

      Act 3:20  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 
      Act 3:21  Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. 

      1Th 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

       He is returning to the Mount of Olives, to establish his one thousand year earthly Kingdom, that hasn’t happened yet.

      Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

      The Great Tribulation has to occur also….so there is still much to happen.

  39. DN John said:
    Richard, this brings to mind something very important that we need to remember. Israel is the Church and the Church is Isreal.

    Response:
    The church is never called Israel, nor is Israel called the church.
    Both share in the blessings of the Messiah, Rom 15:27  It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. But there are different roles for the church and Israel. When Augustine’s City of God spiritualized everything is when the church started thinking it had replaced Israel. Chrysostom was an even earlier antisemite when he penned his Homilies against the Jews. And so for 1500 years the churches got away with persecuting the Jews. If you’ve ever read Luther’s On The Jews and Their Lies, it is hard to distinguish his tirade from Hitler’s invectives against the Jews in Mein Kampf. But as the Russian pogroms and Nazis ramped up the persecution in the last hundred years, the Jews realized they needed a place of their own. The churches thought the Jews had been written off by God, but what Hitler meant for evil, God used for good (Gen 50:20), to fulfill His prophecy of bringing the Jews back to the land of their forefathers. Eze 36:24-28 The Hebrew language was revived and Jesus could read the Jerusalem Post which uses the square script Hebrew used in his day. In addition God made a promise to the Jews that they would observe the Sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant. Exo 31:16  Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 
    Exo 31:17  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. If you go to Israel today, the whole country shuts down for the Sabbath. I’ve been there. I experienced it.
    Most of the prophecies yet to be fulfilled are centered in the Middle East and especially Israel. In fact, the Jews have to be back in the land for them to occur. The churches aren’t migrating back to Israel, but the Jews are….different roles.

    1. Israel is called the ecclesia 69 times in the OT. The NT continued with that designation and applied it to the Church…not as a replacement but a continuation and renewal.. The Book of Hebrews reveals what the true sabbath is and it is not of the old law. The eternal sabbath rest. If a person takes up any portion of the old law, they are a debtor to the whole. Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses , it is set aside and gave us the new Law, the Law of Christ in which we now live. Please read the New Testament. All the nations come into Israel, the church, and are united in the one body of Christ. The mountain of God’s conquering Kingdom fills the whole earth and stands forever…it is the universal Church! Here the words of the prophet Daniel to Nebucanezzer

      Daniel 2 ( DRB)

      27And Daniel made answer before the king, and said: The secret that the king desireth to know, none of the wise men, or the philosophers, or the diviners, or the soothsayers can declare to the king. 28But there is a God in heaven that revealeth mysteries, who hath shewn to thee, O king Nabuchodonosor, what is to come to pass in the latter times . Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these: 29Thou, O king, didst begin to think in thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth mysteries shewed thee what shall come to pass. 30To me also this secret is revealed, not by any wisdom that I have more than all men alive: but that the interpretation might be made manifest to the king, and thou mightest know the thoughts of thy mind.

      31Thou, O king, sawest, and behold there was as it were a great statue: this statue, which was great and high, tall of stature, stood before thee, and the look thereof was terrible. 32The head of this statue was of fine gold, but the breast and the arms of silver, and the belly and the thighs of brass: 33And the legs of iron, the feet part of iron and part of clay. 34Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces. 35Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer’s thrashingfloor, and they were carried away by the wind: and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue, BECAME A GREAT MOUNTAIN,, AND FILLED THE WHOLE EARTH.

      36This is the dream: we will also tell the interpretation thereof before thee, O king. 37Thou art a king of kings: and the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, and strength, and power, and glory: 38And all places wherein the children of men, and the beasts of the field do dwell: he hath also given the birds of the air into thy hand, and hath put all things under thy power: thou therefore art the head of gold.

      39And after thee shall rise up another kingdom, inferior to thee, of silver: and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule over all the world.

      40And the fourth kingdom shall be as iron. As iron breaketh into pieces, and subdueth all things, so shall that break and destroy all these. 41Arid whereas thou sawest the feet, and the toes, part of potter’s clay, and part of iron: the kingdom shall be divided, but yet it shall take its origin from the iron, according as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay. 42And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43And whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall be mingled indeed together with the seed of man, but they shall not stick fast one to another, as iron cannot be mixed with clay.

      44But in the days of those kingdoms the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, and his kingdom shall not be delivered up to another people, and it shall break in pieces, and shall consume all these kingdoms, and itself shall stand for ever. 45According as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and broke in pieces, the clay, and the iron, and the brass, and the silver, and the gold, the great God hath shewn the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is true, and the interpretation thereof is faithful.

      JESUS fulfilled this at his incarnation and ministry during the Roman kingdom and brought his eternal kingdom that shall stand for ever. V.44 His coming was the stone cut without hands. that became a great mountain and filled the whole earth and gained dominion over all powers in this world and that which is to come. ( Ephesians 1 ) So this mountain of the house of the Lord, of his kingdom , is universal…not limited to the land of Israel, began 2000 years ago at the appointed prophesied time, is now, and stands forever…

      1. DNJohn wrote:
        “So this mountain of the house of the Lord, of his kingdom , is universal…not limited to the land of Israel, began 2000 years ago at the appointed prophesied time, is now, and stands forever…”

        My response:
        Amen! In Daniel 2 God was revealing to the king that which would be “in the latter days.” The events of the chapter looked to the future, into the Messianic period. The chapter clearly teaches that man can only know of the divine will and purpose by that which God reveals. Man cannot discover these things of himself; God must make them known.
        The four kingdoms of the image were the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Macedonian(Greeks), and Roman. These pagan empires were human in their origin, temporary in their nature, and were overcome in their weakness. Over against these God would set up a kingdom which would be divine in its origin, eternal in its nature, and unconquerable in its strength. This kingdom is the kingdom of Christ and God today, established on Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus to the right hand side of the Father (Ps. 110:1; Acts 2:20-35). It has endured the attacks of Satan, and the vicissitudes of time, and is destined to be presented unto God the Father at the end of time (1 Cor. 15:24-28).
        The judgment against these four pagan empires was divine in its origin; it was the stone cut out without hands that STRUCK the image and brought it to nought, “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings” (Dan 2:21). It is He who rules in the kingdom of men, determining their appointed seasons and the bounds of their habitation. Dan 2 is rich in assurance of hope, in support of the fact that God has spoken, and in inspiring confidence that in the midst of crumbling empires, judged by God, the kingdom of God is permanent. It will stand forever!

      2. Richard, this is the proper understanding of Isaiah 2:3-4

        Many people shall come and say,
        “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
        To the house of the God of Jacob;
        He will teach us His ways,
        And we shall walk in His paths.”
        For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
        And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

        He shall judge between the nations,
        And rebuke many people;
        They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
        And their spears into pruning hooks;
        Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
        Neither shall they learn war anymore.

        This new spiritual mountain would become the center of worship and learning for all the nations. It would be the resting place of the “house of the God of Jacob”; that is, the new spiritual center. And it would be from this spiritual center that the word of the Lord would go forth, and be the center of all learning unto salvation. No word of instruction would proceed from any other source. Jesus was referring to this fact when He declared that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). In this new society of many peoples and nations who respected the word and law of the Lord, God would be the arbiter and judge in all matters. Those who came would devote their instruments and energies of war to peace and useful pursuits; they would learn war no more. The prophet is clearly describing the nature and character of the kingdom ruled from this spiritual Zion.
        The kingdom of “the latter days” would not be established , defended, or extended by carnal weapons and means. Force can have no place in a spiritual kingdom. Jesus made this clear when He said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). In Micah’s parallel passage, he goes on to say, “But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree” (Micah 4:4). Sitting under one’s vine and fig tree was a symbol of peace, security, and safety (cf. 1 Kings 4:24b-25). In other words, there would be none to make them afraid; for this spiritual Zion, would be their permanent stronghold. This promise has certainly been fulfilled in Christ!

        Daniel 7:13-14 NKJV
        “I was watching in the night visions,
        And behold, One like the Son of Man,
        Coming with the clouds of heaven!
        He came to the Ancient of Days,
        And they brought Him near before Him.

        Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
        That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
        His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
        Which shall not pass away,
        And His kingdom the one
        Which shall not be destroyed.”

      3. In the New heavens and new earth , all people from what ever nation they were from will be in absolute peace and security. We get a foretaste of this now but the full realization will be in the renewed creation. There is the “now/not yet” dimension of the kingdom. We get to taste it here…”the kingdom of heaven is within you”….”the kingdom is not eating and drinking but righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”…the reigning saints in heaven are in peace… but it will have its full realization after the coming of our Lord and the end of the Last enemy–death. When death is destroyed at the Resurrection…that is the Last enemy…and God will be all in all….but we can foretaste this peace now.

        If we persevere we will receive the full realization of it. “We have the first fruits of the Spirit now” but the full harvest comes in the everlasting kingdom. “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23)

        What is the application to our Life? Our outer situation will reflect what was within us, at the judgement. If the kingdom was within us here, then we will experience it there…if inner darkness was our state here….then outer darkness is where we will be at that Day.

        Many want to go to the heavenly home but they refuse to be purified inwardly and cease from practicing defining sins.. the Book of revelation is clear: Nothing unclean will enter..nothing that defiles…or makes a lie….Jesus knows our works…. all things are open and naked before his eyes ( Hebrew 4) …the doctrine that God don’t see my unrighteousness is a lie, a twisting of what justification is. David wrote…create an me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. That is what it is. And John writes: he who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure. David wrote: Heal my soul for I have sinned against you. It must be both internal and external. This is how we experience the inner kingdom now and the fullness that will come in our resurrection.

        Many Baptized faithful Christians pray much throughout the day what is known as “the Jesus prayer”. “LORD Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me, the sinner “. May I pray this more and have mindfulness of Christ. This ancient practice has been a help in the sanctification of many, along with the other things we do to draw close to the Lord . May we not just offer lip service but may we bear fruit for the Lord. Such is necessary. John 15. God bless.

      4. Yes indeed, DNJohn; for Peter calls on the saints to be diligent to make their calling and election sure in reference to their entrance into the future eternal kingdom (2 Pet. 2:10,11).

        And the “first heaven and earth,” with all of the conditions of this earthly life–including the material things, will pass away. Then comes the promise of a new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells — everything will be new.
        2 Pet. 3:7,10,13 NKJV “But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
        “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up….Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

        To the faithful saints Jesus will say: — “ ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34 NKJV).

        He who sits on the throne will make all things new: Revelation 21:1-5 NKJV–“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

        5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

      5. Our weapons of warfare are not carnal, and it’s not against flesh and blood.

      6. There will be dead wicked when he comes back but that is the Lord’s judgement. His retribution. He will destroy the wicked, not with earthly weaponry but with the Breath/spirit of his mouth. But they will be raised to face their eternal judgement.

      7. I suppose the main issue is that His Parousia, His Second Coming, is not to establish the kingdom, but rather, to hand it over to the Father. This is the complete opposite to the false assumptions of millennialism.

      8. He hands creation over to his Father as the mission of conquering all his enemies is complete but it is still the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It does not mean Jesus ceases to be king. But it does mean he was king before that point…and I thing that is the point you are making right? That he has his kingdom now.

        St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes: Some say that when [ Christ’s] enemies have been put under his feet ,he will no longer be king, a bad and stupid thing to say.For if he is king before he has finally defeated his enemies, must he not be all the more king when he has completely mastered them?

        In my Orthodox Study Bible, the footnote for 1 Cor 15 v.24-28. The ” End” is the consummation of the Kingdom, when Christ’s Lordship over all will be fulfilled and He will offer creation up to God the Father( see Rm 8:19-23, 32-39) Although ” the Son” ( v.28) shares the same Divine nature and dignity of the Father, He is ” subject to” the Father because only the Father is the source of divinity. God being ” all in all” refers to the COMMON LORDSHIP of the Trinity over all things….not to pantheism.

      9. I’m wondering what you mean by “creation” because this present heavens and earth will be burned up, and will pass away?

      10. I have reviewed the context of 1 Cor. 15, and if you tie that in with Dan. 7:13-14; it would seem to be the church that is the primary focus, even though I’m not trying to necessarily limit things (cf. Heb. 12: 18-28).

      11. Hi Aidan, the new creation includes the church but is more than that.. The 2nd epistle of Peter tells of the destruction of the old creation in intense heat and fire and the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwells. The new heavens and new earth are not new in substance but rather in form and quality. Jesus makes all things new…he does not make all new things, in other words.

        Certainly, we are part of that new creation…because at the second coming we ourselves will be changed and put on incorruptibility and imperishability, immortality etc and even “the creation itself will be delivered from it bondage to corruption….as St.. Paul says in Romans 8.

        How is creation itself delivered Jesus? Jesus in taking matter into himself and uniting it to his Divinity in the incarnation, redeemed matter itself so that the cursed ground and all of creation could be renewed. A cosmic fall needed a cosmic redemption. He will recapitulate all things. The Gospels call this “the regeneration” and the book of Acts calls it the “restoration of all things”. So it is making all things new, including us. We have a foretaste of that now as our ” outward man is perishing but our inward man is renewed day by day”.

        On the Last day even our outward man will be saved…clothed in immortality…”the body of our lowliness made to conform to the body of his glory according to the working whereby he is able to conform all things unto himself.” ( Phillipians 3:21) So it is the making of all things new and the offering of that to the Father. He said: ” if I be lifted up from the world will draw all things unto myself.” ( John 12;32 DRB)Ephesians
        1:7-10 RSV ” In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will,according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things in earth”. God bless.

      12. Hi DNJohn, I agree that the new creation includes the saints, and on a broader scale you have certainly given me plenty to consider; and I thank you for that. But I would simply say that in 1 Cor. 15 Paul is dealing with “they that are Christ’s at His coming” v.23; those who belong to Christ, His people, His saints. This passage doesn’t even take into account when the wicked will be raised because Paul is not concerned about discussing the resurrection of the wicked here. The parousia of Christ is a time when both the righteous and wicked will be raised to receive their eternal rewards. Rest will be given to the righteous and tribulation to the wicked at that one event, when Jesus shall be revealed from heaven (2 Thess. 1:7-10). Hence, there is no room for a first and second resurrection which are separated by a thousand years. The parousia of Christ marks the end of all things. But as I said, the idea of presenting the kingdom of God, in this chapter, seems to be that of presenting the resurrected saints to God.
        It is interesting that Paul says in the next verse, v.24; “THEN comes the end.” This marks the next event immediately after the second coming. The end occurs whenever Jesus delivers the kingdom to the Father – which is directly after His second coming! The order is not: (1) Second Coming, (2) Resurrection of the righteous, (3) Establishment of the kingdom, (4) A thousand year reign, (5) Resurrection of the wicked, (6) The End. But rather, the parousia is immediately followed by the end. The complete absence of any reference to the many different events which form the essential parts of dispensationalist doctrine is important; they are not mentioned because they are not a part of the events to transpire at the end of this age. When Jesus comes again, all things will come to an end. The word for “end” is telos, and it means “last part, close, conclusion.” In other words, the entire sequence of events planned by God will come to a conclusion at the second coming.
        At the parousia (His coming) which is immediately followed by the telos (the end) – there is no room for a thousand year reign BETWEEN those two events – instead, Jesus will give dominion of His kingdom back to God v.24. He will not “set up” the kingdom; He will “deliver up” the kingdom! Therefore, as you have also said many times, there is no place for a thousand year reign of an earthly kingdom in the scheme of God.

  40. Aidan quotes Joh 18:36

    “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36).

    Response”
    Jesus would not do certain things, not because he wouldn’t or couldn’t, but, as he stated….His time had not yet come….Joh 7:6,8.
    If you carefully read the text, this same principle applies….the reason he wouldn’t fight for the Kingdom AT THAT TIME is because…..”BUT NOW my Kingdom is not of this world. The Greek text backs this up.

    3568 [e]
    nyn
    νῦν
    Now
    Adv
    1161 [e]
    de
    δὲ
    however
    conj.

    When Jesus brings his kingdom to the earth, it will be of this world, and he will fight….Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. This dovetails with the Hebrew Scriptures…..
    Zec 14:3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 
    Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, So you need to consider the whole text.

    1. World and earth are not synonymous. Yes his kingdom will come to this earth after its re -creation.But it is from heaven…the new Jerusalem descends to a renewed earth. But not to “this world”, as it now is,with the curse still in force before the end of history. He says those former things will not come to mind or be remembered.
      When he comes to earth and we reign on earth, It will be rather the “world/age to come”, not ” this world” i.e it will be the eternal state.. Millenialism teaches falsely that his kingdom will be of ” this” world, before the new creation. But make no mistake…it will come here…but that will be the end of ” this” world and the commencement of the world to come.

      1. Response to DN John:
        The Amillennial position is growing long in the tooth, as the Jews continue to return to Israel from around the world in addition to a growing Messianic movement in and outside Israel. If these prophecies play out in your lifetime, you will be caught off guard and will have no excuse for being in denial. God’s word is clear, there is a Millennium coming…Rev 20:2-7, mentioned it SIX times.

      2. Thank God…many are believing in Jesus as Lord and Messiah….God is providentially bring that about… if it is in his providence that it occurs in the Holy Land…thanks be to God. Many Amillenialists believe that there will be large number of Jewish people being converted before the second coming. I can only rejoice in the conversion of Jewish people.. I hope they also learn about the Law of Christ in which we live…

        I counted at least 6 times in the Book of Daniel in which it says his kingdom will be forever and ever. You can count them too. The 6 times argument is therefore weak since it also occurs in a symbolic pericope and no where else.

        Here are some samples from the Book of Revelation:

        Rev 1: 6 Dominion forever and ever
        Rev 11: 15. He shall reign forever and ever
        Rev 22:5 They shall reign forever and ever

        He told us in Daniel 2 when his kingdom would be set up and that it would stand forever. During the days of the kingdoms of the Nebucanezzar statue vision.. He came during the kingdom of Rome…during the time of Caesar Augustus and in those days he set up his kingdom, as scripture teaches.. His first words of proclamation were: Repent the kingdom of God is at hand!

  41. DN John said:
    “This use of ekklesia for the OT people of Israel is continued in the NT (Acts 7:38; Heb 2:12).
    The problem with this notion is that Jesus put the church in the future….I WILL build my church…Mat 16:18
    The church in the Old Testament is created by Amillennialists to support their SPIRITUAL interpretation of prophecy
    which allows them to mold it any way they wish. The days of them getting away with this are fading as LITERAL Biblical prophecy is fulfilled and being fulfilled.

    1. Many of the prophesies dispensationalist say are future were already fulfilled in the past. ” I will Build” yes the church was not the temple of God yet/ the Body of Christ until he accomplished the redemption…but it existed in its prior form as he already had sheep to hear his voice in John 10 and already had the olive tree ete…I could go on… The apostles could have chosen not to call the NT people of God, the “ecclesia” like they were called in the OT but chose otherwise by the leading of God. The ” church” ecclesia is in the Greek OT text 69 times and has nothing to do with something added by Amillenialists…Rather dispensationalists are denying it because it does not fit their newly created Israel /church dichotomy. Even the church Fathers who were post trib premillenial ( historic premillenial) did not teach this dichotomy at all. And they say that many others of their time disagreed about their millenialism. There held it as a speculative opinion only. The position was rejected by the whole universal church in 381 AD at the council of Constantinople before St. Augustine even completed his book City of God.

      1. DN John said:
        “Rather dispensationalists are denying it because it does not fit their newly created Israel /church dichotomy,”
        Just because I believe the church and Israel are one in Christ, but have different roles, it does not follow that I’m a “dispensationalist.” There are many flavors of that word. Paul had no qualms about distinguishing them….1Co_10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

      2. I have no problem saying that there are Judeans, Greeks , and the Church of God either.

  42. To DN John:
    I don’t get your argument about forever and ever. I never said the Kingdom wasn’t forever, nor do the Scriptures. So what are you talking about? Jesus’ Kingdom doesn’t end when it transitions into the Eternal state..who said that?…not me.

    1. You have Jesus establishing two kingdoms for himself the temporal this- worldly one for 1000 years kicked off by Armageddon and then the eternal Kingdom kicked off by the Gog and Magog Battle. The scriptures present only one kingdom to enter….the eternal kingdom. The two battles are actually the same battle that culminate in the one second coming. (Revelation uses progressive parallelism). Hebrews 12 confirms that the preliminary visitation of the Lord before the realization of the Kingdom will happen only once. Notice particularly verse 26,27 in the passage below.

      Hebrews 12

      But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

      23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

      24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

      25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

      26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, YET ONCE MORE I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

      27 And this word, Yet ONCE MORE, signifieth the REMOVING of those things that are shaken, as of THINGS THAT ARE MADE, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

      28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

      29 For our God is a consuming fire.

  43. Richard wrote: “When Jesus brings his kingdom to the earth, it will be of this world, and he will fight”

    My Response: When Jesus comes again the time for fighting will be over, for His coming will be to bring an end to everything and hand over the kingdom to the Father.😉 “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign [at the right hand of God] till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death (1 Cor. 15:24-26).

    His kingdom is not of this world for it was “cut out without hands”: Daniel 2:34,35– “You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces…And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

    It’s not a political kingdom, it’s a spiritual kingdom!

  44. Aidan said :It’s not a political kingdom, it’s a spiritual kingdom!

    Response:
    I never said that, please don’t put words in my mouth.
    God is involved in every government…..Dan 2:20  Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 
    Dan 2:21  And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:
    Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
    That doesn’t mean God approves of every action of governments…. Heb 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account,
    1Sa 8:6  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 
    1Sa 8:7  And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me,
    1Sa 10:19  And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us.

  45. DN John said:

    “Many of the prophesies dispensationalist say are future were already fulfilled in the past.”

    Armageddon Rev 16:6, has not occurred yet, the antichrist in the Temple has not occurred yet,2 Thes 2:3,4, Jesus returning on the clouds Rev 1:7, when EVERY EYE will see it has not occurred yet. Jesus hasn’t split the Mount of Olives by his return yet Zec 14:4…etc etc I could list dozens.

  46. DN John said:
    “I have no problem saying that there are Judeans, Greeks , and the Church of God either.”

    Response:
    Paul didn’t use the word “Judeans”; he used the word Jews. I checked over 30 major English translations and not one used your novel translation “Judeans.” Why are you avoiding the word Jews?

    2453 [e]
    Ioudaiois
    Ἰουδαίοις
    to Jews
    Adj-DMP

    1. I have read some articles that discuss the scholarly debate as to whether to translate the word as Jew or Judean in the New Testament. Also, I saw the definition in Strongs and thought maybe Judean was more literal.

      I think Paul was covering the three main socio groups of his day : Jews, pagans, and Christians as far S try not to be a stumbling block to them.

      Your case would be stronger if he had said: Israel of God, Greeks, and Church of God. Interestingly the only group with the add on of ” of God” is the Church in this passage because the other two groups are not the Elect until they are in the Church.

      I don’t think this proves a dichotomy between the Church of God and the Israel of God because the Latter was called the Church/Ecclesia of God in the Greek OT Septuagint and the other designations given to the church that were given Israel in the Old Testament.

      Paul would not normally call members of the Christian Church, “Jews” unless he needed to for pedagogical purposes like in Romans 2:25-29…that would be too confusing for others…

      Paul did not the word “Ethne” for Gentiles. Instead he said Greeks. (He seems to use that terminology a lot).

      to Jews
      Ἰουδαίοις (Ioudaiois)
      Adjective – Dative Masculine Plural
      Strong’s Greek 2453: Jewish. From Iouda; Judaean, i.e. Belonging to Jehudah.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioudaios

  47. God made his New Covenant with Israel, Jeremiah 31, not the church. The church benefits from it, but was never there. It was between God and the nation Israel. The church is a third party beneficiary. Boast not against the branches…Rom 11:18

    1. Israel was always the church, the Ecclesia of God. It did not come to be from non existence at Pentecost, although it was renewed then by the gift of the Holy Spirit for all and it being built as a temple began.That idea of the church coming to be is not the testimony of scripture. I am not boasting against the branches…I an a wild olive branch grafted into the cultivated olive tree with the original branches that were the remnant chosen by grace that did not get broken off for unbelief. If I fall into unbelief, I could be cut off too.

  48. DN John said:
    “Israel was always the church, the Ecclesia of God.”

    Response:
    Israel is mentioned 73 times in the New Testament and 100% of the time it means…..Israel…never the church, and 10 times as many places in the Old Testament, and 100% of the time it means…Israel, never the church. The Greek eklessia means called out, God called out two peoples, Abraham, the father of the Jews, and the Gentiles which didn’t exist as the church until Acts 2.

    Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being ALIENS from the commonwealth of Israel, and STRANGERS from the covenants of promise, having NO HOPE, and without God in the world: 
    Eph 2:13  But NOW, in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    Remember eklessia…context, context!

    1. Yes, the mystery is not the creation of a new people of God but that the Gentiles were were excluded are now incorporated in the one people of God and this people have been renewed by the New Covenant, which has everything better than the old, which has passed away. Read Hebrews for a treatise on that point.

      Previously, only the physically circumcised were in the covenant community now there is a circumcision done without hands- Holy Baptism. Saint Paul explains:

      Colossians 2 NASB

      For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. 16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day- 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ..

      Philippians 3

      NAS
      / / / /
      The Goal of Life
      1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. 17 Brethren, join * in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. 18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

  49. Richard wrote: “God made his New Covenant with Israel, Jeremiah 31, not the church.”

    My response: The new covenant is not just for Jews, but is meant for ALL men. Men enter into the benefits of this new covenant on an individual basis rather than on a national basis. Christ inaugurated the new covenant by His death on the cross. BUT CHRIST DIED FOR ALL MEN — Consider Paul’s statement to the Gentile saints in 1 Cor. 11:

    1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NKJV
    “For I received from the Lord that which I also DELIVERED TO YOU: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is MY BODY WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU; do this in remembrance of Me.”

    In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD. This do as often as YOU DRINK IT, IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME.”

    “For as often as YOU eat this bread and drink this cup, YOU PROCLAIM THE LORD’S DEATH till He comes.”

    God has fulfilled His word to Israel—But, “they are not all Israel who are of Israel.” God has fulfilled His word to that Israel which is worthy of the name—the real Israel; the believing Israel (Rom. 9:6). Paul did not expect a turning to God on the part of ALL (physical) Israel, only some. (Rom. 9:6-13; 27-29; 11:5-8, 14( “some” ), v.23 ( “if” –conditional).

    1. Aiden said:
      God has fulfilled His word to Israel—But, “they are not all Israel who are of Israel.”

      Response

      Paul was addressing the Jews….it’s no different than Jesus saying…..Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

      My point is you will fail to understand prophecy if you hijack Israel’s heritage. The church is not Israel. Jesus was birthed through the Jews, Joh 4:22, not the church….. Joh 4:22 … for salvation is of the Jews.  The physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob are Israel. Us Gentile believers do not qualify.
      Observe: Rom 9:4  Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 
      Rom 9:5  Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
      We are one IN CHRIST but we are not Jews, there is no church in the Old Testament. Jesus said I WILL (Future) build my church, Mat 16:18, which began in Acts 2.
      The Jews, not the church were entrusted with the Scriptures,…the Bible is a 100% Jewish book.
      Rom 3:1  What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? 
      Rom 3:2  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

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