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A Crack in the Theory
"The members of the Jerusalem church by means of an oracle, given by revelation to acceptable persons there, were ordered to leave the city before the war began and settle in a town in Peraea called Pella." (Eusebius: Book III, 5:4)
"Qumran was for its time fairly accessible, the archeologists argue. There were two donkey-accessible main roads, one directly to Jerusalem, and another to Jericho and on to Jerusalem."
Cave Four scrolls reflect Jamesian Christianity According to Eisenman and Wise - At least, a "holiness" splinter group following "The Teacher of Righteousness"
Eisenman/Wise - The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (1992)
The First Complete Translation And Interpretation of 50 Key Documents Withheld For Over 35 Years
"And we recognize that some of the blessings and curses have come, (24) those written in the Bo[ok of Mo]ses; therefore this is the End of Days"
(Second Letter on Works Reckoned as Righteousness; Terminology used "in Palestine from the 40s to the 60s")
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
I must here notice two or three scriptures, which are frequently urged against our view of the fall of Jerusalem.
In 1 Tim. iv. 1, we read," Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith." It is asked, What is the meaning of this, which was written so late as the year 65? Does it not refer to a period of time not then come? I answer, no, not necessarily, for Paul, in the 1st chapter, had notified that ' this departing from the faith' had already appeared, " Holding faith and a good conscience, which some having put away, have made shipwreck concerning the faith, of whom is Hymenams and Alexander." So also in 2 Tim. iii. 1, " This know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." Paul notifies that the characters he describes in the following verses were already manifest, " of this sort are they which creep into houses," &c. The same is observable in his Epistle to the Thessalonians, where, speaking of the revelation of the man of sin, prior to the day of Christ, he writes, " For the mystery of iniquity doth already work."
Now, supposing that the three scriptures, 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2 Tim. iii. 1, and 2 Thess. ii. 3, are prophetic, which is not denied; yet the context suffices to prove that the prophecy and its fulfilment were most intimately connected as regards time; the fulfilment following close upon the prophecy.
This is observable elsewhere, with other Apostles. Peter, in his Epistle, writes, " But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you." I am supposing myself to be one of those to whom Peter addressed this Epistle—one living about the year 66. Query, when Peter wrote to me, and those who had obtained like precious faith with me, and said there should be false teachers among us, should I understand him to be extending these characters over tracts of hundreds and thousands of years t He is so understood, but how absurdly!
Again, in 2 Peter iii. 1, we read, "This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance; that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken by the holy prophets, and of the commandments of the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour; knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers," &c. Mr. Wilkinson writes upon this as follows:—
"Now let us refer to the latest epistle that was written—that of Jude— and attend to his testimony, verses 17, 18, " But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that they told you there should be mockers in the Last Time, who should walk after their ungodly lusts; These Be They who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit (verse 4); for there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation," &c. These are what Peter calls scoffers, who should come in the last days. Jude declares, when he wrote his Epistle, that they were then crept in. These be they of which the Apostles had foretold them, there should be mockers or scoffers in the last days. If, then, it can be shewn, that in the year 66 these scoffers had crept in, and Peter declared that this should be in the last days, we prove that the last days of the scriptures referred wholly to the end of the Jewish nation and people, when Jude declares the words spoken by the Apostles were fulfilled." Again, Mr. W. writes, " I beg your particular attention to the term, the last time. It seems like the last time of the last times, as there must be the last day of the last days. And observe, Peter wrote his first epistle in the year 60, which is, according to the common date, six years before Jude wrote; and he refers to the last time in the spirit of prophecy, when speaking (chapter i. 5,) of those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. With the prospect of this salvation being so near, or 'ready to be revealed,' he urges believers, at verse 13, thus, 'Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.'—But I must refer to the work itself. I would only offer a remark on the term 'last days.' Professor Bush says, that Christ adapted the style of his discourse to notions then prevalent among the Jews, and which were grounded on the literal record of the Scriptures. So says Mr. B. it is in the conversation in John vi. 39,40. I do not at all like this principle: it may at times apply, but it is dangerous, and at all events will not apply to the term 'last day.' Mr. B., on John vi. 40, speaks of the number of the ransomed being one day complete, and of the divine economy, which has secured their redemption, being brought to a close: 'then shall the righteous shine forth,' &c., and that this is the day for which the whole creation is waiting," &c. This is surely contradictory to other parts of his work, where he speaks of the everlasting nature of the mediatorial kingdom; for it must be granted that the mediatorial office of Christ is a part of the divine economy. In the Revelation we read, " there shall be time no longer." Now if there shall be time no longer, it follows that there is a last day, for a day is one measure of time. But it is evident that the Revelation lands us not at the end of the globe in which we live, but in untold ages of its continuance. We ask, When is 'the last day,' for a last day there was to be? We answer the question, simply and satisfactorily, as above; all attempted answers, diverse from this, will most assuredly be decided failures.
While quoting Professor Bush, I may as well append his remarks on 2 Thess. ii. 2.
"The Apostle assures
the Thessalonians that the day of Christ was to be preceded by a
signal apostacy, and the revelation and destruction of the man of
sin. But we see nothing in his language which indicates that he
supposed this series of events to be of distant occurrence. The
announcement does not in our view stand in the way of our general
conclusion, that he and all other Christians did anticipate a speedy
coming of Christ, and a consummation embracing the resurrection of
the dead, and the rapture of living saints. All that he intended, as
we conceive, to intimate in the passage referred to was, that that
day was not so immediately instant
as they imagined."—Anastasis,
page 265, note." (The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ:
A Past Event, p. 165)
The Salemites are not Universalists, but believe that all Prophecy was fulfilled, at the coming of the Saviour, and the establishment of his Kingdom on earth, and the termination of the Jewish Economy and Apostolic Ministry." (Universalist Union, Volume 10, p. 304)
AN ENGLISH WORK.
Mr. Wilkinson, it will be remembered by our readers, i» the speaker of the Society of the Salemites, in Exeter, ol whom some notice has heretofore been given, through letten from Mr. Sugg. They are a liberal class of professors,and agree, we are told, with Universalists in many panicultii, especially in the interpretation of the Book of Revelation, so far as its application to the destruction of the Jewish arc or dispensation, and the introduction of the gospel dispensation, the general application of Matth. xxiv. aud H«, &c. &c.
American reader, that Mr. Wilkinson lives in England, where they have an established and greatly pampered Priesthood, and where all dissenters may be supposed to be keenly alive to all the favoritism on the one hand, and the proscription on the other, and would naturally express themselves accordingly."
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