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The Apocalypse Explained

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#46    Bluefinger

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:15 PM

View PostCrikey, on 15 January 2013 - 07:00 PM, said:

What is Revelation FOR anyway?
If God revealed things to John in it, what was his purpose for doing so?
And why is it in a kind of code, why isn't it in plain simple language?

At that time, the disciples of Jesus were being persecuted by both Jews and Gentiles.

Half the book details the judgment on Jerusalem and the destruction of the Jewish nation (seven seals, including trumpets 1-6) and the disciples' deliverance from that destruction (144,000 sealed) while the other half details the persecution of the saints (Rev. 12:17, 13) during the Times of the Gentiles (Rev 10:11, 11:1-13) as well as the judgment on the Western Roman Empire (Rev 16) and the punishment of Rome for persecuting the saints (Rev 17-18).

The information was coded with symbols and Scriptural references from the OT so that the Jews and Romans would dismiss the Christians as loonies without giving a second thought about what was given in the letters.  Just like parables.

It was for Christ's disciples to know the truth of his parables, not for those who refused the Gospel.

"Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"  And he answered them,  "To you it has been given to know  the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.    For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not,  even what he has will be taken away.    This is why I speak to them in parables, because  seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear,  nor do they understand."  Matthew 13:10-13 ESV)

The message that the kingdom of God was going to be taken away from the Jews and given to the Gentiles was hidden from the eyes of the Jews.  As the war neared, many went out proclaiming to be Israel's deliverer, only to lead the Jews to destruction.  Had that not happened, Jesus' disciples would never have been chased out of Judea and God's acceptance would have never reached the other nations.  (Matthew 21:42-45, 22:1-14.)

Edited by Bluefinger, 15 January 2013 - 07:21 PM.

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#47    Jor-el

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

Hi Bluefinger,

I've been reading your posts and I find it very difficult to get an idea of what is behind them. I have a really different outlook in regards to all the questions you planned on talking about, but I won't get into that here because that will foul up the thread badly. What I would appreciate is to give your specific stance in regards to the interpretation you are putting forward.

For example are you a Preterist, a Historicist, a Futurist or a Dispensionalist?

Are you a  Premillennialist, Postmillennialist or Amillennialist?

Posted Image




Posted Image




There are many nuances and positions within Christian Eschatology. Each one influences the way verses are read and how they are interpreted in light of what other verses say.

Since I classify myself as a Pre-Tribulational Dispensationalist, I'm wondering how you would classify your particular view?

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#48    sslama

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

Interesting topic for sure.

How about this scenerio...
The angels gave John a DVD to read from.    I think because we are the ones with DVD players in the present we are seeing what might have been. The ‘Seven Seals’ is a phrase in the Book of Revelation (Christian Bible) that refers to seven seals that secure the book or scroll, that John on Patmos Island (in 95 CE) saw as part of his Revelation of Jesus Christ.

This ‘book’ seen by John was held in the hand of a visiting Angel and contained ‘visions’ of the future.  Those ‘visions’ are specifically documented by John, as he was told by the Angel to write down what he saw and what he was told...but he is not the only biblical writer to tell a story about a personal encounter with an Angel showing or explaining the contents from a ‘book of the future’.  Ezekiel and Daniel both told similar stories where they had visions explaining the contents from a book of the future.
When biblical descriptions are compared to modern history there is a 90% match of details.   I believe in the near future our civilization will understand the other 10% and the truth will be known.  I think it's highly possible that the mystical angels and gods that are mentioned in our ancient scriptures were from another world or could they even be from our future?  They understood that everything went in cycles ... what happened before will happen again and tried to tell us or maybe warn us to make changes.

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

#49    Hasina

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

View PostJor-el, on 15 January 2013 - 08:49 PM, said:

Since I classify myself as a Pre-Tribulational Dispensationalist, I'm wondering how you would classify your particular view?
Beat me to it Jor-El! I was gonna ask a similar question from my agnostic view point. How are y'all certain the way you're interpreting a verse is the correct way?


#50    Bluefinger

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:19 PM

View PostJor-el, on 15 January 2013 - 08:49 PM, said:

Hi Bluefinger,

I've been reading your posts and I find it very difficult to get an idea of what is behind them. I have a really different outlook in regards to all the questions you planned on talking about, but I won't get into that here because that will foul up the thread badly. What I would appreciate is to give your specific stance in regards to the interpretation you are putting forward.

For example are you a Preterist, a Historicist, a Futurist or a Dispensionalist?

Are you a  Premillennialist, Postmillennialist or Amillennialist?

Posted Image




Posted Image




There are many nuances and positions within Christian Eschatology. Each one influences the way verses are read and how they are interpreted in light of what other verses say.

Since I classify myself as a Pre-Tribulational Dispensationalist, I'm wondering how you would classify your particular view?

Hi Jor-el, thanks for responding.  I don't hold any eschatological format because I disagree with them all.  

If anything, I'm closest to a historicist dispensationalist, meaning I believe that eschatology first came to the Jews when John the Baptist announced that the kingdom of God had come.  That eschatology lasted until Jerusalem was destroyed and the kingdom of God was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles (Matt. 21:42-45, Matt. 22:1-14.)  

That sparked the Times of the Gentiles.  Our eschatology comes when the Fullness of the Gentiles has been reached (Romans 11:25), by which the return of Jesus will be centered on Jerusalem.  

So half of the Apocalypse of St. John recognizes the end of the Times of the Jews (Rev. 1:3, Rev. 5-9) and the other half recognizes the Times of the Gentiles (Rev. 10-18.)

Chapter 19 shows the eschaton in which Jesus literally comes from heaven and establishes His rule over all governments, as hinted at in Rev. 11:15-19 and 14:14-20.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#51    Bluefinger

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

View PostHasina, on 15 January 2013 - 09:17 PM, said:


Beat me to it Jor-El! I was gonna ask a similar question from my agnostic view point. How are y'all certain the way you're interpreting a verse is the correct way?

All eschatologists use Scripture.  Most take the references out of context though, which is why I left preterism, futurism, and historicism (along with their subcategories.)

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#52    Hasina

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:30 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 15 January 2013 - 09:28 PM, said:



All eschatologists use Scripture.  Most take the references out of context though, which is why I left preterism, futurism, and historicism (along with their subcategories.)
But then couldn't you yourself be taking references out of context and not know it?

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#53    Bluefinger

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:31 PM

View Postsslama, on 15 January 2013 - 09:13 PM, said:

Interesting topic for sure.

How about this scenerio...
The angels gave John a DVD to read from.    I think because we are the ones with DVD players in the present we are seeing what might have been. The ‘Seven Seals’ is a phrase in the Book of Revelation (Christian Bible) that refers to seven seals that secure the book or scroll, that John on Patmos Island (in 95 CE) saw as part of his Revelation of Jesus Christ.

This ‘book’ seen by John was held in the hand of a visiting Angel and contained ‘visions’ of the future.  Those ‘visions’ are specifically documented by John, as he was told by the Angel to write down what he saw and what he was told...but he is not the only biblical writer to tell a story about a personal encounter with an Angel showing or explaining the contents from a ‘book of the future’.  Ezekiel and Daniel both told similar stories where they had visions explaining the contents from a book of the future.
When biblical descriptions are compared to modern history there is a 90% match of details.   I believe in the near future our civilization will understand the other 10% and the truth will be known.  I think it's highly possible that the mystical angels and gods that are mentioned in our ancient scriptures were from another world or could they even be from our future?  They understood that everything went in cycles ... what happened before will happen again and tried to tell us or maybe warn us to make changes.

The problem with futurism is that it ignores the last 2,000 years of Christian suffering to introduce an eschatology by which the whole suffers.

And all of this is told to an audience that it was never directed to?

Too many holes that the rest of Scripture does not explain.

Edited by Bluefinger, 15 January 2013 - 10:02 PM.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#54    Jor-el

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:33 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 15 January 2013 - 09:19 PM, said:

Hi Jor-el, thanks for responding.  I don't hold any eschatological format because I disagree with them all.  

If anything, I'm closest to a historicist dispensationalist, meaning I believe that eschatology first came to the Jews when John the Baptist announced that the kingdom of God had come.  That eschatology lasted until Jerusalem was destroyed and the kingdom of God was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles (Matt. 21:42-45, Matt. 22:1-14.)  

That sparked the Times of the Gentiles.  Our eschatology comes when the Fullness of the Gentiles has been reached (Romans 11:25), by which the return of Jesus will be centered on Jerusalem.  

So half of the Apocalypse of St. John recognizes the end of the Times of the Jews (Rev. 1:3, Rev. 5-9) and the other half recognizes the Times of the Gentiles (Rev. 10-18.)

Chapter 19 shows the eschaton in which Jesus literally comes from heaven and establishes His rule over all governments, as hinted at in Rev. 11:15-19 and 14:14-20.

Hi Bluefinger,

Thanks for the response. When you say "kingdom of God was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles", what exactly do you mean by that?

As far as I know, the kingdom was never taken from the Jews, just as the promises were never taken from them. Rather it is the gentiles who are adopted into the family, grafted into the vine, nothing was taken from the Jews.

Those verses reference specifically, the Clerics, the Teachers of the Law, the Pharisees, not the Jews collectively. If it did it would not make any sense, the church was Jewish before it ever became gentile.

As a matter of fact when we consider The Book of Revelation, the book is not concerned with the Church, it stops referencing the church after chapter 7, it is uniquely concerned with Isreal.

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#55    Bluefinger

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:02 PM

View PostJor-el, on 15 January 2013 - 09:33 PM, said:



Hi Bluefinger,

Thanks for the response. When you say "kingdom of God was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles", what exactly do you mean by that?

As far as I know, the kingdom was never taken from the Jews, just as the promises were never taken from them. Rather it is the gentiles who are adopted into the family, grafted into the vine, nothing was taken from the Jews.

For your first question, consider this parable:

""Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted  a vineyard  and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and  leased it to tenants, and  went into another country.    When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants  to the tenants  to get his fruit.    And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and  stoned another.    Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them.    Finally he sent his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son."    But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves,  "This is the heir. Come,  let us kill him and have his inheritance."    And they took him and  threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.    When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?"    They said to him,  "He will put those wretches to a miserable death and  let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons."  Jesus said to them,  "Have you never read in the Scriptures:    "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes"? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God  will be taken away from you and given to a people  producing its fruits.    And  the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and  when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." (Matthew 21:33-44 ESV)

The kingdom of God, as the Pharisees anticipated was the promised land and specifically Jerusalem.  With the land that God gave Israel, the Jews were supposed to produce fruits of righteousness, good deeds of mercy, justice, and compassion.  

But instead, they took the land for themselves and killed anyone that God sent to require righteousness from them.  These were the prophets.  Then, God sent His own Son to deliver righteousness to God, but they threw Him out of the city and killed Him.  So the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2) came upon the Jews and Jerusalem, even all of Judea.  The Jewish Nation was destroyed by the Romans and God gave Jerusalem and all of Judea to the Gentiles, where fruits of righteousness were produces.  The kingdom of God, the manifestation of all His promises for righteousness, was given to the Gentiles while the Jewish Nation faced the curses of the Law (Deut. 28:15-68.)

The kingdom of God is here and has been since Jesus came.  The Gentiles have been includes in the Abrahamic promises because the kingdom of God was given to them.  

One more thing:  The elect (144,000 sealed) were chosen by God to follow Jesus, even to the death.  By them, God preserves the promises to Jacob, but not the entire Jewish population.  

Quote

Those verses reference specifically, the Clerics, the Teachers of the Law, the Pharisees, not the Jews collectively. If it did it would not make any sense, the church was Jewish before it ever became gentile.

The Jews followed the Pharisees, clerics, and teachers of the Law.  Those that didn't were chosen by God to always follow Jesus, never to turn bak to Judaism.

Quote

As a matter of fact when we consider The Book of Revelation, the book is not concerned with the Church, it stops referencing the church after chapter 7, it is uniquely concerned with Isreal.

Because the Church only consisted of those that first heard Jesus and the following disciples.  It had not become a broad term because the kingdom had not yet passed to the Gentiles (Jerusalem wasn't destroyed yet.)

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#56    Crikey

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:08 AM

If Revelation was written in a code to mystify the Jews and Romans, why didn't it mystify the early Christians too?

Edited by Crikey, 16 January 2013 - 03:08 AM.


#57    Bluefinger

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:37 AM

View PostCrikey, on 16 January 2013 - 03:08 AM, said:

If Revelation was written in a code to mystify the Jews and Romans, why didn't it mystify the early Christians too?

It wasn't meant to mystify them.  It was intended for them, for encouragement and correction.

It is not enough to have a good mind.  The main thing is to use it well.     - Descartes

#58    Amalthe

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

View PostBluefinger, on 15 January 2013 - 12:45 PM, said:

I disagree.  When Martin Luther stood up against Rome, it wasn't because he wanted a different church.  Its because Rome's doctrines were ruining the grace of God.  These people were also those that killed other Christians in crusades and yielded during the inquisition.  The Roman Church told people that their number was up if they sinned again after Baptism and that the only way to buy time out of purgatory was to purchase indulgences.  Yet the very socio-economic status they bore that promoted so much sin was supported by the Roman Church, whom was made wealthy by French, German, English, and Spanish kings.

That's not an issue, Roman Church did behave like a ruthless system who's main goal was to pervert the truth about God. But it is wrong to conclude that, therefore, EVERY member of Roman Church (who obeyed Canon law and therefore bore the Mark) is to drink the wrath of God. And selling indulgences is not something you can generalize to be same as Rev 13:17.

View PostBluefinger, on 15 January 2013 - 12:45 PM, said:

One problem:  The first beast is evidently the fourth beast of Daniel 7.  Rev. 13:1 shows that.  That beast was the Roman Empire.  Thus, the first beast of Rev. 13 is the Roman Empire.  And the second beast works in the presence of the first.

Therefore it cannot be Islamic nations.

I never said anything about islamic nations being Beast. I'm just reffering to the Islamic prophecies that state:
A being who will pretend to be Jesus Christ will descend from heaven, and will unite whole world under one religion. And that being will, in accordance with Kur'an, state that he is not Son of God, but still he will demand humans to worship. And he will make obedient humans persecute those who don't accept that "truth".That is true Antichrist, and not Nero. Remeber that Scriptures state that Antichrist will have power to deceive whole mankind, a feat that was not available to Nero, and which is actually possible only in todays modern world. Nero never united whole world under his power, but that will be allowed to Antichrist.  So the time of Great Tribulation is still ahead of us.


#59    Paranoid Android

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:38 AM

View PostOgbin, on 15 January 2013 - 05:09 PM, said:

You are spreading confusion. Nothing you say to people who have studied the bible makes any sense. It is my hope that you will re-read the bible slowly and think about what you are saying.
While I don't agree with everything presented, I find hid views interesting and (for the most part) sound. What you have to realise is that there are many ways of looking at the End Times, not just your view. Things such as your next statement:


Quote

The triblulation hasn't even started yet like you have stated.
Are speculative. Some interpretations suggest that it has started. Some say that it started near 2000 years ago.

Quote

The two wittnesses are just that    TWO WITTNESSES. (people)
Perhaps. I'm inclined to agree but I don't begrudge blue's interpretation. It has merit.

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The 144,000 ARE Jews as stated in Rev. 7.
Through Jesus, Gentiles may be considered to be a "Spiritual Israel", therefore making this passage related to them. Perhaps the passage refers to a more general view of God's people.

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The mark of the Beast is most likely a micro chip considering you can't buy or sell without it. (youtube "IBM RFID COMMERCIAL")
Ah, a nice modern interpolation. I can't agree

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  You have stated so much that is wrong I don't want to stay here all day and correct you on everything but i think you get my point. Please study more and ask GOD for understanding. After all you don't want to be judged for incorrect teaching.



  If anyone is interested they can Youtube Perry stone, or go to hallindsey.com, or jvim.com.  These people are very informative! they cross todays world events with Bible prophecy
1- correct Bible teaching is important. But be careful of being too dogmatic on passages that aren't crystal clear (as is the case with Revelation).

2- You know that every generation since Christ has had people claiming that  this is it - the end is NOW! They've also fitted current events of the day into Bible prophecy.

My thoughts on the issue :tu:

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Edited by Paranoid Android, 16 January 2013 - 09:44 AM.

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#60    Jor-el

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

View PostBluefinger, on 15 January 2013 - 10:02 PM, said:

For your first question, consider this parable:

""Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted  a vineyard  and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and  leased it to tenants, and  went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants  to the tenants  to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and  stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, "They will respect my son." But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves,  "This is the heir. Come,  let us kill him and have his inheritance." And they took him and  threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" They said to him,  "He will put those wretches to a miserable death and  let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons."  Jesus said to them,  "Have you never read in the Scriptures: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes"? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God  will be taken away from you and given to a people  producing its fruits. And  the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and  when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." (Matthew 21:33-44 ESV)

The kingdom of God, as the Pharisees anticipated was the promised land and specifically Jerusalem.  With the land that God gave Israel, the Jews were supposed to produce fruits of righteousness, good deeds of mercy, justice, and compassion.  

But instead, they took the land for themselves and killed anyone that God sent to require righteousness from them.  These were the prophets.  Then, God sent His own Son to deliver righteousness to God, but they threw Him out of the city and killed Him.  So the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2) came upon the Jews and Jerusalem, even all of Judea.  The Jewish Nation was destroyed by the Romans and God gave Jerusalem and all of Judea to the Gentiles, where fruits of righteousness were produces.  The kingdom of God, the manifestation of all His promises for righteousness, was given to the Gentiles while the Jewish Nation faced the curses of the Law (Deut. 28:15-68.)

Hi Bluefinger,

I would like to add something to the verses you quoted above which I think is very important to understand exactly what Jesus was saying.

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

The last verses of the text I think are quite clear in meaning. The parable is not about the Jewish people, it is specifically about the priests and the Pharisees. It says so right there.

So if the Kingdom of God is to be taken, it is not from the people of Israel, the Jews, it a reference that specifically targets a select group, the spiritual leaders of the nation of Israel. If this is true, and it is because the texts states it, then the Kingdom of God cannot be the nation under any circumstances.

Therefore what is the kingdom of God being referenced, if isn't the actual physical nation?

20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within (Or among) you.”

This verse clearly reflects the idea that the Kingdom of God was not considered to be the Nation of Israel. Neither the Pharisees or even Jesus accepted that view or the verse above would not exist.

Clearly the Pharisees believed that they were not under the Kingdom or in the Kingdom of God. Israel had lost its status as a Kingdom centuries before Jesus and lost the power of life and death when Rome decreed an end to its independent status as an ally, and it became a part of the Roman Empire in 5 C.E.

So much so that when this happened the Jews of the time were seen to be crying in the street and screaming to heaven "Woe unto us for the sceptre has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come"

Rabbi Rachmon in the Jerusalem Talmud wrote that:


When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them: they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: 'Woe unto us for the sceptre has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come'. (Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin, 24)


Jesus himself was quite clear by what he meant by "Kingdom of God".

John 18:36

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."

So the Kingdom of God is not a literal Kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven though, that will be a literal kingdom. Let me put this way, we preach the Kingdom of God, and we will live in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God is actually another term for the "Gospel", the "Good News". Something that the Priests and Pharisees twisted and perverted, hence the parable.

Quote

The kingdom of God is here and has been since Jesus came.  The Gentiles have been includes in the Abrahamic promises because the kingdom of God was given to them.  

I cannot accept that obviously, because the Kingdom of God is the Gospel and that implies that it is available to all people, Jews and Gentiles and has always been so.

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One more thing:  The elect (144,000 sealed) were chosen by God to follow Jesus, even to the death.  By them, God preserves the promises to Jacob, but not the entire Jewish population.

Agreed, but then again, where exactly is the Church when this happens? The text does not mention the church and if we are the ones who inherited the Abrahamic promises as implied earlier, then we should be the ones being sealed. Why are the promises being given back to a select group of Jews?

The only possible reason for this is that there is no more church, the church is gone.

It is by the preaching of the gospel by the 144000 that the multitudes turn to Jesus (Rev 7:9), when exactly did this ever happen? (Rev. 7 the whole chapter) If it hasn't happened yet then it is a future event yet to come.

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The Jews followed the Pharisees, clerics, and teachers of the Law.  Those that didn't were chosen by God to always follow Jesus, never to turn bak to Judaism.

I don't accept that, those Jews never called themselves anything but Jews. Even Paul says that of himself. As a faithful Jew, he was called to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Because people have not understood the context of what Paul was saying and doing among the Gentiles, they have confused or distorted his identity.

Acts 13:46-47

It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first. Since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we are turning to the Gentiles, because this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have placed you as a light for the Gentiles that you should bring salvation to the end of the earth.’

Paul NEVER called himself anything but a Jew.

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Because the Church only consisted of those that first heard Jesus and the following disciples.  It had not become a broad term because the kingdom had not yet passed to the Gentiles (Jerusalem wasn't destroyed yet.)

Well I would disagree for the obvious reasons explained above. I would say there are a number of assumptions you are making that do not fit the biblical data we have available.

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"Man is not the centre. God does not exist for the sake of man. Man does not exist for his own sake."

-C. S. Lewis






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