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"Shreds of Preterism" Among First-Century Writers

By Gary DeMar
President - American Vision
http://www.americanvision.org/

Gary DeMar Study Archive | Norman Geisler and "This Generation" | Norman Geisler, "You," & "Zechariah the Son of Berechiah" | Biblical Minimalism and the "History of Preterism" | Thomas Ice and the Time Texts | Will the Real Anti-Prophets Please Stand Up? | Time's Puff Piece: The Devil is in the Details | Dispensationalism : Being Left Behind | Zechariah 14 and the Coming of Christ | Defending the Indefensible | No Fear of the Text | The Passing Away of Heaven and Earth | Who or what is the Antichrist | Rapture Fever: Why Dispensationalism is Paralyzed | Identifying Antichrist | On Thin Ice | Using the Bible to Interpret the Bible | DeMar Articles

Biblical Minimalism and "The History of Preterism"
Parts One and Two

The Early History of Preterism: Part Three

My preterist friends have not been able to find any early preterists in the early church. I would never say that there is no one in the early church who taught preterism. . . . Don't be foolish enough to say that nothing is out there in church history, because you never know. . . .[1]

Since (Tommy) Ice does not quote from any first-century documents to make his case that none of them offer a "shred of evidence that anyone in the first century understood these prophecies to have been fulfilled when preterists say they were,"[2] I am left to speculate how Ice might argue his case if he had placed first-century documents into evidence. It’s hard to interact with phantoms, but I am left with no choice.

In reality, there are only four first-century Christian writings available for study today: The Didache, 1 Clement, the Epistle of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas. Of the four, only 1 Clement and the Didache allude to Matthew 24. Ice demands that a "preterist has to prove that the early church writings interpreted passages such as Matthew 24:27, 30, 25:31, Acts 1:9–11, Revelation 1:7,[3] and 19:11–21 as fulfilled in A.D. 70."[4]  They may not, as he suggests, prove preterism, but they certainly do not prove dispensationalism. In fact, a study of the documents of the period will show that only selected prophetic texts are quoted, not enough to offer dogmatic support any prophetic position. Even so, Ice assumes that these documents (which he never cites) cannot be used to support preterism because they do not quote certain passages. Are we to assume, following Ice’s logic, that if a writer during this period did not comment on Matthew 1:23, a passage dealing with the virgin birth, that he did not believe in the virgin birth? In the end, Ice’s argument from history is an argument from silence.

Much of the debate over preterism comes down to when a document was written. This is especially true for the book of Revelation.[5] If a document was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in A.D. 70, then any statement about future prophetic events could be a reference to that event. The burden of proof is on the futurist to prove otherwise.

A "Shred of Evidence" from the Didache

The Didache, also known as "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," is probably the oldest surviving extant piece of non-canonical, extra-biblical literature that the church has to study. It claims to have been written by the twelve apostles, but this cannot be proved.[6] While a copy of the full text of the Didache was not discovered until 1873, there are references to it in Clement of Alexandria’s Miscellanies,[7] Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History,[8] and Athanasius’s Festal Letter.[9]

In Didache 16, there are 12 references to Matthew 24–25 (24:4, 10–13, 21, 24, 30, 31, 42, 44, and 25:31). The crucial time text of Matthew 24:34 ("this generation will not pass away") is not quoted, but a form of Matthew 24:30 is: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him. Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven" (16.7–8). John F. MacArthur, whose chapter in The End Times Controversy uses the Didache as a defense for futurism, claims that the "document proves that those who actually lived through the events of A.D. 70 regarded Matthew 24:29–31—and the entire Olivet Discourse—as yet-unfulfilled prophecy."[10] Nothing in the Didache says anything about "living through the events of A.D. 70." Nothing in the Didache indicates that the destruction of the temple has taken place.

The verses quoted from Matthew 24–25 in Didache 16 obviously refer to future events from the perspective of the author(s). Of course, if the Didache was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, then preterists have their "shred of evidence" that Ice says does not exist. MacArthur maintains that "most scholars believe it was written near the close of the first century, most likely after A.D. 80."[11] He does not offer a source for his assertion. The dating of the Didache, like many of these very early documents, is debatable. But there is good reason to place its composition early, prior to the destruction of the temple.

Didache authority Kurt Niederwimmer, after a thorough study of the document, concludes that "the date of the Didache is a matter of judgment."[12] In addition to MacArthur’s "most scholars," none of whom he cites, other scholars believe that the Didache was composed before A.D. 70. In the authoritative work The Apostolic Fathers, we read the following:

A remarkably wide range of dates, extending from before A.D. 50 to the third century or later, has been proposed for this document. . . . The Didache may have been put into its present form as late as 150, though a date considerably closer to the end of the first century seems more plausible. The materials from which it was composed, however, reflect the state of the church at an even earlier time. The relative simplicity of the prayers, the continuing concern to differentiate Christian practice from Jewish rituals (8.1), and in particular the form of church structure—note the twofold structure of bishops and deacons (cf. Phil. 1:1) and the continued existence of traveling apostles and prophets alongside a resident ministry—reflect a time closer to that of Paul and James (who died in the 60s) than Ignatius (who died sometime after 110).[13]

The definitive work on the Didache was written by the French Canadian Jean-Paul Audet who concluded "that it was composed, almost certainly in Antioch , between 50 and 70,"[14] "contemporary with the first gospel writings."[15] In an earlier edition of The Apostolic Fathers we read a similar conclusion: "In his very thorough commentary J.-P. Audet suggests about A.D. 70, and he is not likely to be off by more than a decade in either direction."[16] Even liberal scholars, who tend to date all New Testament documents late, acknowledge the evidence for an early date for the Didache. For example, Stephen J. Patterson comments that the trend is to date the document early, "at least by the end of the first century or the beginning of the second, and in the case of Jean-P. Audet, as early as 50–70 C.E."[17] Andrew Louth writes that many scholars would date the Didache "earlier than the New Testament itself."[18] Aaron Milavec’s 1000-page study of the Didache also places its composition sometime between A.D. 50 and 70.[19]

So then, if the Didache was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, as many scholars suggest, then its use of Matthew 24–25 to describe events that were yet to take place, including "the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven" (Matt. 24:30), makes perfect sense given a preterist interpretation of the Olivet Discourse. Ice has his "shred of evidence."

But let’s follow MacArthur’s assumption of a post-A.D. 80 date. All that could be said is that the unknown author(s) of the Didache believed that the events of Matthew 24:29–31 refer to as yet-unfulfilled prophecy. When we don’t know who wrote the Didache, when it was written, or where it was written,[20] it is flimsy evidence indeed to claim so much authority for the document. To call these early writers "some of the most astute students of Scripture," as MacArthur does, shows little familiarity with the entire corpus of their anonymous works. For example, MacArthur quotes Justin Martyr as someone "who was probably born in the first century and certainly knew many believers who had lived through the events of A.D. 70."[21] Justin was obviously a futurist, but to say that he knew many who lived through the events of the destruction of Jerusalem is highly speculative seeing that he wasn’t born until around A.D. 100 and didn’t become a Christian until around A.D. 130, sixty years after the Roman siege of Jerusalem. This is another argument from silence. We only know what Justin wrote, and even that’s a matter of interpretation.

But is MacArthur willing to accept Justin’s views on the church as the true Israel , a devastatingly anti-dispensational position? In his Dialogue with Trypho (c. 160), Justin argued:

For the true spiritual Israel, and descendants of Judah, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham (who in uncircumcision was approved of and blessed by God on account of his faith, and called the father of many nations), are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ, as shall be demonstrated while we proceed.[22]

Justin argued later in the same work that the prophets foretold the removal of Israel and the blessing of another Israel .[23] Again, "As . . . Christ is the Israel and the Jacob, even so we, who have been quarried out from the bowels of Christ, are the true Israelitic race."[24] Justin explicitly said that the promise of land made to Abraham is fulfilled in the Church’s inheritance of heaven: "along with Abraham we shall inherit the holy land, when we shall receive the inheritance for an endless eternity, being children of Abraham through like faith."[25] These early writers and their documents are a mixed bag doctrinally.

A "Shred of Evidence" from 1 Clement

Clement (A.D. 30–100), also known as Clemens Romanus to distinguish him from Clement of Alexandria who died in the third century, is noted for his letter to the Corinthians (1 Clement). The letter is commonly dated around A.D. 96, but there is good reason to date it earlier. George Edmundson, in his Bampton Lectures for 1913, writes "that the probable date of the epistle is the early months of 70 A.D." [26] The strongest argument for an early A.D. 70 date is that Clement states that temple sacrifices were still being offered in Jerusalem. This means the temple, which was destroyed in late A.D. 70, was still standing when Clement wrote his letter:

Not in every place, brethren, are the continual daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill offerings, or the sin offerings or the trespass offerings, but in Jerusalem alone . And even there the offering is not made in every place, but before the sanctuary in the court of the altar; and this too through the high-priest and the aforesaid ministers (41.2).

T. J. Herron, at the Tenth International Conference on Patristic Studies in Oxford , "challenged the traditional date of 95–96, which has been based almost entirely on the testimony of Eusebius. . . . Clement’s use of the present tenses in chapters 40–41 is taken by Herron to signify that the temple in Jerusalem was still standing when Clement wrote." [27]

To give further support for an early A.D. 70 date is Clement’s comments about what was taking place in "our generation," specifically the martyrdom of Peter and Paul. Keep in mind that Clement was born around A.D. 30 and would have been forty years old in A.D. 70, making him a part of the "this generation" of Matthew 24:34:

But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience. [28]

Remember Ice’s criterion for establishing preterism in the first century: All we need is "a shred of evidence." There are a couple of items in this section of Clement’s letter that point to a pre-A.D. 70 fulfillment. As opposed to "ancient examples" to make his case, Clement instead dwells on "the most recent spiritual heroes," in this case, Peter and Paul who "suffered martyrdom" during the Neronic persecutions of the mid-60s. These are "noble examples furnished in our own generation," Clement writes.

Jesus predicted in the presence of Peter: "They will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you. . ." (Matt. 24:9; cf. John 21:18–19). Edmundson summarizes the argument by asking why Peter and Paul are cited as examples of martyrdom "if Clement had just passed through the persecution of Domitian" in the mid 90s? Why didn’t Clement mention well-known Christian martyrs from his own era who suffered? "Is it conceivable that none of their examples should have been brought forward, but only those of an already distant persecution, whose memory more recent events must have tended to throw into the background?" [29]

Of Paul, Clement writes, "After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west." It was Paul’s plan to go to Spain (Rom. 14:24 , 28). Compare this statement to what Jesus says in Matthew 24:14, a verse that LaHaye and Ice maintain has not been fulfilled.

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come."

Clement, following the language of Jesus and Paul, states that the "whole world" (kosmos) had been "taught righteousness." Paul writes to the Romans that their "faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world [kosmos]" (Rom. 1:8). At the end of Romans we read that the gospel "has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith" ( 16:26 ). To the Colossians we learn that, according to Paul, the gospel "was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister" (Col. 1:23; cf. 1:6 [kosmos]).

A "Shred of Evidence" from James the Brother of Jesus

In Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, written in the fourth century, we learn of an incident that led to the martyrdom of James the brother of Jesus. The original story comes from the second-century historian Hegesippus who wrote his notes on the history of the church between A.D. 165 and 175. As the story is told, when James was called on by a group of Scribes and Pharisees to establish what they believed was the truth of the claimed Messiahship of Jesus, Hegesippus reports James as stating that Jesus "is about to come on the clouds of heaven." [30] James continued: "Why do you ask me respecting Jesus the Son of Man? He is now sitting in the heavens, on the right hand of great Power, and is about to come on the clouds of heaven." [31]

The Greek word mellow, "about to," "communicates a sense of immediacy." [32] "If the author had not wished to stress the immediate aspect of Christ’s coming, he could still have stressed the certainty of Christ’s coming with erketai, thereby omitting the immediate factor." [33] After hearing James’ obvious allusion to Matthew 26:64, the officials of the temple cast him down from the "wing of the temple" and later stoned him and beat out his brains with a club. "Immediately after this," Hegesippus writes, "Vespasian invaded and took Judea ." [34] James the brother of Jesus believed that Jesus’ coming was "about to take place." Hegessipus identifies the coming of Jesus "on the clouds of heaven" with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Conclusion

Ice and LaHaye get off on the wrong foot in their analysis of preterism. The historical argument is a death blow, or to use Mark Hitchcock’s metaphor from his chapter on the dating of Revelation, "A Stake in the Heart" to their brand of futurism. The earliest historical sources, the Didache, 1 Clement, and the testimony of James, the brother of Jesus, demonstrate that preterism’s history is a first-century history.


Endnotes:

    [1] Thomas Ice, "Update on Pre-Darby Rapture Statements and Other Issues": audio tape (December 1995).
  [2] Thomas Ice, "The History of Preterism," The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming Under Attack, eds. Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice ( Eugene , OR : Harvest House, 2003), 39.
  [3] Ice, "The History of Preterism," 39. Revelation 1:7 is only quoted three times in the entire ante-Nicene corpus, none from first-century writings.
  [4] Ice, "The History of Preterism," 39.
  [5] Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation , 2nd ed. (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 1998).
  [6] "It purports to be the Lord’s teaching through the Twelve to the Gentiles." ( Sherman E. Johnson, "A Subsidiary Motive for the Writing of the Didache," in Massey H. Shepherd and Sherman E. Johnson, eds., Munera Studiosa: Studies Presented to W. H. P. Hatch on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday [ Cambridge , MA : Episcopal Theological School, 1946], 122. Quoted in Kurt Niederwimmer, The Didache: A Commentary, trans. Linda M. Maloney [ Minneapolis : Fortress Press, 1988], 3, note 14).
  [7] (Miscellanies, 1, 20, 100).
  [8] (Ecclesiastical History, 3.25).
  [9] (Festal Letter, 39).
  [10] John F. MacArthur, Jr., "Signs in the Sky," The End Times Controversy, 112. "Signs in the Sky" originally appeared in John MacArthur, Jr., The Second Coming: Signs of Christ’s Return and the End of the Age (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1999), chap. 6.
  [11] MacArthur, "Signs in the Sky," 112.
  [12] Niederwimmer, The Didache, 53.
  [13] Michael W. Holmes, ed., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, [1992] 1999), 247–248. Emphasis added.
  [14] John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976), 323.
  [15] Jean-Paul Audet, La Didachè: Instructions des Apôtres (Paris: Gabalda, 1958), 187–210.
  [16] Michael W. Holmes, ed., The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations of Their Writings, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992), 247. Holmes references Audet, La Didachè, 187–206.
  [17] Stephen J. Patterson, The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus: Thomas Christianity, Social Radicalism, and the Quest of the Historical Jesus (Santa Rosa, CA: Polebridge Press, 1993), 173.
  [18] Andrew Louth, Early Christian Writers (London: Penguin Books, 1968), 189.
  [19] Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Faith, Hope, and Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50–70 CE ( Mahwah , NJ : Paulist Press, 2003). Milavec contends that the Didache is not dependent on Matthew’s gospel: "Even in those instances where there is close verbal agreement [with Matthew], the logic and order of the Didache is openly in conflict with what one finds in Matt 24." (Aaron Milavec, "Synoptic Tradition in the Didache Revisited," Center for the Study of Religion and Society, University of Victoria [no date], 19. www.didache.info).
  [20] Introductory comments to the Didache in Henry Bettenson’s Documents of the Christian Church: "Discovered at Constantinople , 1875. Date uncertain; authorship unknown; provenance and importance disputed." (2nd ed. [ New York : Oxford University Press, 1967], 64).
  [21] MacArthur, "Signs in the Sky," 113.
  [22] Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, XI. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:200.
  [23] Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, CXXIII. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:261.
  [24] Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, CXXXV. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:267.
  [25] Justin, Dialogue with Trypho, CXIX. In Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:259.
  [26] George Edmundson, The Church in Rome in the First Century: An Examination of Various Controverted Questions Relating to Its History, Chronology, Literature and Traditions (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1913), 189.
  [27] Charles E. Hill in Regnum Caelorum: Patterns of Millennial Thought in Early Christianity ( Grand Rapids , MI : Eerdmans, 2001), 78, note 5. Hill writes that he is "not persuaded by Herron," but he does not give his reasons.
  [28] 1 Clement 5.1–17. Emphasis added.
  [29] Edmundson, The Church in Rome in the First Century , 191.
  [30] William Cave, Antiquitates Apostolicae: Or, the History of the Lives, Acts and Martyrdoms of the Holy Apostles or Our Saviour, and the Two Evangelists, SS. Mark and Luke, 2 vols. in 1 (London: R. Norton for R. Royston, Bookseller to His most Sacred Majesty, 1677), 1:193
  [31] Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History , "The martyrdom of James, who was called the brother of the Lord," 2.23 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1958), 77–78. The same account can be found in volume 8 of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, 763.
  [32] Alan Patrick Boyd, "A Dispensational Premillennial Analysis of the Eschatology of the Post-Apostolic Fathers (Until the Death of Justin Martyr)," submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Theology (May 1977), 28.
  [33] Boyd, 28. See A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, trans. William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, 4th rev. ed., s.v. mellow, I.c.a., 502. This understanding of mellow refutes Ice’s claim time words are used "as qualitative indicators (not chronological indicators) describing how Christ will return." (End Times Controversy, 35).
  [34] Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History , "The martyrdom of James, who was called the brother of the Lord," 2.23 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1958), 77–78. The same account can be found in volume 8 of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, 763.

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Date:
29 May 2003
Time:
12:30:53

Comments

Well said. But be careful, Gary, or the "Lice House" may fall down, and great will be the fall of it. Arthur Melanson


Date:
29 May 2003
Time:
14:40:19

Comments

We have a discussion forum just for this book at planetpreterist.com. Please come by, read, and post. http://planetpreterist.com/modules.php?name=XForum&file=forumdisplay&fid=14 Scott


Date:
29 May 2003
Time:
19:04:35

Comments

Nice assessment Gary. I think John P. Meier provides the best analysis of Matt. 10:23 "Matt:10:23 is part of the large and multifaceted "missionary discourse" that makes up chap. 10 of the Gospel . . . . the sermon--like all the large sermons in Mattew--is actually a composite of various sources and sayings (Mark, Q, M), some wandering far from the supposed setting and purpose of the missionary discourse . . . . The disciples will be delivered over to local Jewish sanhedrins and scouraged in the synagogues (v 17); they will be brought before governors and kings for the sake of Jesus (v 18). Indeed, families will be rent asunder by betrayal as brother hands over brother to death (21) . . . . Needless to say, such a detailed scenario about the disciples' being involved in legal procedures before Jewish courts and before the tribunals of pagan governors and kings, to say nothing of suffering the death penalty for acknowledging one's allegiance to Jesus, reflects the time of the early church, not the time of the historical Jesus . . . . Hence the original and originating setting [sitz im leben] of the prophetic logion in Matt 10:23 was most likely the first Christian generation in Palestine. The logion does set a time limit for the final coming of the kingdom . . . . it is a time limit set by Christian prophets as consolation and instruction for weary, persecuted Christian missionaries longing for the coming of the kingdom that would signal their deliverance. It has nothing to do with the historical Jesus (A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus v 2, pp. 337-338). Ice recognizes the discontinuity of the details in Matt 10:16-23 with the events in the life of the historical Jesus "there is no indication in Scripture that the disciples experienced the kind of persecution mentioned in this passage before the crucifixion of Christ" (ETC, p. 84,)and interprets it as a future prophecy made by Jesus, but this is improbable given the second person plural, "you," which addresses the disciples.


Date:
01 Sep 2003
Time:
19:34:15

Comments

How Old Is The Church? Answer: The Church is NOT yet 2,000 years old! Let me explain. When was the Church born? Pentecost, A.D. 30. What was the expected length of the Church Age (Messianic Age to the Jews)? According to many of the Church fathers and Jewish scholars, 2,000 years. When might it be expected to end, if these things be true? A.D. 2030. This means we are not in the 3rd millennium of the Church Age. >From Adam to Abraham was 2,000 years. >From Isaac to Jesus was 2,000 years. >From the Apostles to now is 1,973 years. Will 2030 be the beginning of the 7th millennium? Where do I learn more about this? Click this: webspawner.com/users/7Kweek/ To contact me: SevenKweek@cs.com Yours for the Kingdom, Alan Lunn


Date:
18 Oct 2003
Time:
20:51:32

Comments

This is without a doubt the most obsurde presentation of Daniel's writings and the Great Mt. Olivette Discourse I have ever seen. Even those who are not sure of the exact events of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel can see there is no explanation here that is proven by scripture. Why would our Lord have given us exact dateing in the scripture if not for a purpose? Why is there perfect Bible chronology from the begining of the creation of man until the asension of Jesus Christ and then cease with no more chronology? Therefore if there were to be seventy weeks determined upon thy people(Daniel's people) until the full trangression.......sixty nine weeks until the Messiah and the Messiah would be cut off in the midst of the week......when was He cut off.....in the midst of the seventieth week......God did not break His Chronology and cast the seventieth week 2000 years into the future waiting on it to happen. I ask you a simple question...The first Nation was form from the Exodus, a combination of Jew and Egytian....50 days after the birthing....they were given the law written on tablets of stone.....The first Pentecost....Second birthing of a Nation in Acts.....50 days the law given written on their hearts......this time it was Jewish only.....then the Lord had to shoe them by the introdcution of Cornelius in Acts 10 that the same was for all. There are so many scriptures that totally refute what you are trying to state. The very thread of the Gospel of Life given by the Power of the Holy Spirit and revelation Of Yeshua proves that he came to fulfill not replace, and the that He did fulfill the covenant and did make the covenant with many with His blood and sacrifice. I am not a person who has been to the great schools of learning but I have search this out and went far beond the average seeker, and I beleive that the heart of God is that all mankind should be saved and He is not a respector of persons. I am of the chosen people and regret that my brethern have not accepted Yeshua as their Messiah, but He is solvern and there will be an oportunity for them somehow. I would like to ask you, is Israel becoming a nation in 1948 of God? Did Sarah help God by giving Abram Haggar? Is this new Nation the same sydrome of Israel tryng to solve its own problems and help God out....just like Sarah and Abram helping God provide them with a seed? I saw you reference Phillip Mauro or at least you have him as link on your web, if you read and study his material it is hard to believe that you would present the material y have presented.


Date:
21 Oct 2003
Time:
10:28:06

Comments

My name is Eric Fugett and I am an electrical engineer. I have written a book entitled, A Personal Revelation. Gary has read the book and said that it offered some interesting insights. In my book, I show that the date for Jesus' appearing to give John the Revelation was September 11, 63 CE. This is based on the discovery that the trumpets were in reference to the Jewish Feast of Trumpets. With that knowledge, I date the resurrection as well. I also show how all of the prophecies of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 were fulfilled between that date and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. If you would like to know more about my book visit my website at www.todaystheophilus.com.


Date:
16 Dec 2003
Time:
06:39:30

Comments

Well said Gary!


Date:
17 May 2004
Time:
14:23:14

Comments

Why do you resort to personal attacks ("LaHaye/Ice [Lice])" on those with whom you disagree? Surely this is not a Christian way of behaving. LaHaye and Ice are Christian brothers yet you treat them as unbelievers. Perhaps you resort to name calling in order to hide the inadequate nature of your own theological system. Attack the system if you must but leave out your nasty comments.


Date: 01 Jan 2006
Time: 17:29:46

Comments0:

MY HUSBAND IS TRYING TO TELL ME THAT CHRIST ASENDED UP INTO HEAVEN MORE THAN ONE TIME AFTER HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. HE STATES THAT IS THE ONLY WAY HE WAS ABLE TO GO IN AND OUT OF THE DISCIPLES LIVES WITHOUT OPENING DOORS.

I TOLD HIM THAT CHRIST ONLY ASENDED ONCE. THAT WAS ON THE 40TH DAY AFTER HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. HE WAS ABLE TO GO THROUGH WALL BECAUSE HE WAS IN THE SPIRIT BODY. THAT IS WHY HE DID NOT WANT MARY TO TOUCH HIM WHEN HE APPEARED TO HER.

HE CHALLENGED THOMAS TO TOUCH HIM BECAUSE OF HIS UNBELIEF BUT WITH CHRIST KNOWING ALL THINGS HE KNEW THAT ONCE HE SAW THE HOLES IN HIS HANDS AND FEET HE WOULD NOT TOUCH HIM. BUT THERE HAD TO BE A CHALLENGE. BECAUSE IF THOMAS HAD TOUCHED HIM, HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN ON A SINFUL BODY AGAIN.

PLEASE HELP ME WITH THIS. HE STATED THIS IN BIBLE STUDY ON LIST WEDNESDAY. MTHS.


Date: 14 Jun 2006
Time: 18:59:19

Comments0:

Well said, Gary. When I read James Stuart Russell's book "Parousia", I begin to see the Bible in a new and wonderful way. When I realized how the people to whom the books were written would understand them, many of the sticky questions got answered, like "will take place soon" in Rev and "this generation" in the Gospels.
Bob Kukla, Frisco Texass

 


Date: 19 Dec 2009
Time: 17:01:35

Your Comments:

I believe that salvation and ressurection is the same and that John the Apostale liv ed long enough to see the return of Christ (New Jerrsalem)

 

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