Shalom Place Community
So where are we going??

This topic can be found at:

10 October 2006, 09:05 PM
So where are we going??
Hi Everybody,

So I took a course in Eschatology this year. And have therefore been thinking a lot about the flow of history and where it is all going. I had to study the different views and try to establish where I see myself on the eschatalogical spectrum of belief.

Truth is, I am still not sure. It seems your view either makes you a Pessimist, optimist or maybe a realist.

I know I used to be a pessimist who thought he was being a realist, but now I am not sure.

Conversations about Evoloution on this discussion board have led me to feel that perhaps we still have a longer time on this planet than what I thought. But then I look at the world around me and I just don't see the evolutionary process necassarily making the world a better place. Sure maybe it works well for spiritual people, but most of the world operates on a kill or be killed principle that does not include whatever spiritual evolution God had in mind for us.

So, is the world becoming a better place that will eventually usher in the Kingdom of God/1000 year reign of Christ/New Heavens and Earth (whichever fits your paradigm Smiler ).

Or is this world on a fast track to Hell which requires Christ to step in and bring about a cataclysmic apocalyptic change.

Really interested in what you think. And how you see your view fitting with the Biblical data on the subject.
11 October 2006, 03:23 PM

I have read various viewpoints on this topic of which I am very interested in, also.

I don't necessarily believe in the 1000 year reign of Christ. I used to believe in all that.. the rapture, the 7 years, etc. but now I just believe that the human race and the earth will continue to evolve. I like to use the word "heal", or the redeeming of all creation.
I think humankind will be evolving more and more until there is a new heavns and a new earth. We are all becoming "Christed". My theology may not be correct here, but these are sort of my intuitions about it all.
Like you I think we have a long way to go, though.

11 October 2006, 04:35 PM
Hey Katy,

This kind of spiritual evolution is certainly a possibility, but it doesnt seem to make adequate consideration of the relevant biblical passages. Especially what Jesus himself said about the time before his return. In otherwords the Bible seems to indicate either a mix of good and bad until the end, or else a worsening until the end. Then a change to the New Earth.
11 October 2006, 07:15 PM

I am far from being an expert on biblical prophecy, but then those who do think they are "experts" have totally opposing viewpoints. There are so many different scriptural passages to consider. I don't know if ANYONE can correctly interpret it all. It is just my own idea, from what I have learned along the way, that we are all evolving into "Christ" and that we will have heaven on earth. I think the Jehovah Witnesses believe like that too. :-)

11 October 2006, 07:34 PM

This is how I think it will be, taken from the book, "The Celestine Prophecy". I realize I have given this quote out of context, but I hope you get the idea.

""The Ninth Insight".....says that as we humans continue to increase our vibration, an amazing thing will begin to happen. Whole groups of people, once they reach a certain level, will suddenly become invisible to those who are still vibrating at a lower level. It will appear to the people on this lower level that the others just disappeard, but the group themselves will feel as though they are still right here... only they will feel lighter."

I know this is considered a "new age" book, but this part of it, to me, seems to fit in with the evangelical view of the "rapture". They think many will go "up", but I think it will happen gradually..(unlike the book) because for one thing, there is no "up". It is just a matter of one's energy level.. whether or not one has attained their "resurrection" body. There might be some of these people right here and now, but in the spiritual realm. Maybe they can appear and disappear, just as Jesus did.

Remember when, at Jesus' death, graves were opened and "dead" people came to life and were walking the streets? Was that their resurrection? Are they still with us?

11 October 2006, 09:29 PM
I think we've had this discussion several times before, but just to re-cap my understanding, which is that the life of Jesus is the paradigm. He really did die before he rose, and his resurrection isn't anything like the Celestine Prophecy ascension scenario (which was an interesting story, but also fiction).

Re. the second-coming, there are pre-millennial and post-millennial scenarios (you can search the site for these words, or google them). The Catholic Church has wisely chosen neither position, holding, with Jesus, that we know neither the day nor the hour. All that is certain is that history belongs to Christ and will be fulfilled in him.
12 October 2006, 04:56 AM
I too have read the Celestine prophecy, before I came to Christ. And I thought at the time that perhaps that the scenerio described did happen to Jesus and would happen to us. But an overall assessment as a Christian leaves me questioning a lot of the book.

Phil, My concern I think with regards to the future, isn't really about the millenium or When Christ will return. It is more towards whether things are getting better or worse. Spiritual evolution or Spiritual Death!

The opening passages of the Revelation of John certainly seem to indicate that John though it extremely valuable for Christians to reflect on and understand the book of Revelation. Unfortunately most see it as too confusing or uncertain and therefore disregard this statement from the Apostle. I myself wish to take his exhortation seriously.

Though I still admit the difficulty involved in the seeking to understand and also admit that many have created huge systems of events that often don't seem to be correct.

I don't know

But here's to seeking the truth in love and community!
18 October 2006, 03:21 AM
Gary Giardina
Jacques your poderances of Revelations are what caused me this response.Putting preposeterous pseudo authoritative expertise-ism aside revelations seems just that.Revelation!Though he offers an explanation for the famous prostitute who rides the scarlet beast with Blasphemy upon it and says she has a cryptic title on her forehad I had this potential interpretation.I thought historically what would a female 's forehead and any wording upon it have to do with anything?Yikes a potential answer surfaced.Consider the female's forehead being for John the future neighbor country India's women's Caste system.India's caste =Hollywood's casts which are full of titles and names of Sag members the classic Harlequin's beyond comedy and tragedy being simply good intent and evil.The titles are amongst us and nomenclature schemes are proliferating.Consider Hollywood's respect for the historicity of even the arc of the covenant?Draw the line and those on one side want no revelation that reveals Christ and the others are either inpsired and do or occasionally impose their beliefs with over reaching premature sloppiness.Instead of leading to Christ they wage behemoth manifestos of unessential deflection.What I'm saying is the foreheads mentioned could be the India metaphor of the caste=cast.India blessedly innocent yet the word cast crucial for the ultimite struggle of Revelations bottom line and that being Satan and God's legions.The Hollywood casts range from subtle to provocingly cautionary when any delving archeaology or revelation points to Christ.The gig seems either gotten via Beelzebub or the inspired forces.The question seems not whether Satan's battleground is print and broadcast media along with Major film- Musicand theatre yet how close are we to significant climax of this tapestrized human definition.Once the ignorant zealots of every denomination are exposed we could find that some brilliant Priests-Bishops -Cardinals -the Pope himself and yes Rabbis and Imams and even the Dalai Lama will reveal the unity required for the prophetic universality that John's revelations speak of.The way I see it you can witness the "box"and every source involved with live broadcasts either serves that Crucifix erected top to bottom or inverted.Their energy is invested either way.Those who are inspired without the egoism of opinion can majortively reveal these current forces.Simul telepathy is revealing just that.Keeping the mediae inspired and honest seems the key to success.The moral ambiguity of modern telecommunicators seems the occasionally duped and compulsed broadcast police mentality pseudo and or not whose agenda compliant with Hollywood's jungle concerns either resolves inspiringly or miserably veers falsely -irrelevantly and deflectively crucial understandings of what some call modern life.Witness the modern TV Ministry and if your professional pursuits involve the major art industries wo be their perceptual fits of egocentric meglo maniacal vaunts and haunts.This I'm certain of.During Earth's final days some TV ministers will be pre occupied with what videos Johnny Appleseed is watching and Johnny himself will know potentially more about love then the total population of Broadcast ministers who obsess over obsession.I'm a a rare divorced non chattled non pecking order Christian creedant who if not single and divorced couldn't have gotten the glimpse of what "Revelation" mentions and that is Satan's favorite obsession.Deception itself.The "shrewdness" John's book talks about seems truly identifying those whose agendas are the least bit genuine.Often what's said while you're witnessing any media occasion is ultra revelatory.The question is for those who know- what's being said while your not witnessing?Enough said my thesis being that media is and will be the Good versus Evil point counterpoint that causes the button pushing and ego zealousness of Armageddon.Didn't you think it would be televised?If it seems baffling ever or something you don't want to know or what the public's not ready for yet consider the beam of inspired rationale that suggests good amounts of perseverance and inspired witness will hurdle humanity's evil forces and that rare beyond the crowd achievement does not mean martyrdom.No more martyrs!Take care and God bless the blessed!Great success Jacques with your "Revelations".Absolutely no twisted parallels!Absolutely straight forward!Gary V. Giardina!
11 November 2006, 03:19 AM
Gary Giardina
Forum making certain no one misunderstood my recent post.I was not prognosticating near doom. Merely saying that during the eclipse of what the Bible calls the earth's final days that media sources will obssess definitively the way they have been at least since the beginning of the 21st century.That which is called the final days I have no indication whether it twenty years or thousands and or beyond.To suggest my comments are self opinionatively imminent is to presume that music and videos won't be part of the future near and or distant.The certainty I professed is that media attatched sources will obsess via the baubles of vaunted music and video glimpses as if their monuments to be gropingly climbed searching for a top of the hill vantage of euphoric gasp.That preposterous obsession will be with from now until earth's end presuming music and videos continue with it.Take care and God bless the blessed!Absolutely no twisted parallels!Absolutely straight forward!Gary V. Giardina!This sent before 1:20 A.M.November 11th.2006.
29 December 2008, 08:18 AM
Phil, you stated above that the Catholic church has taken no stance Re. the second-coming pre-millennial and post-millennial scenarios. Does it however have a distinct eschatological position regarding the future? Do all Catholics believe the same thing about the end?

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that eschatology is largely avoided on this forum. Perhaps I am a product of a largely protestant endeavour of theologizing about the future.

However, I do respect the views of everybody on this forum and it would be extremely helpful to me to get some sort of idea regarding the eschatological beliefs of the people that post here and why you hold those beliefs based on your experience of God and reading of Scripture.
29 December 2008, 11:12 AM
Jacques, see for Catholic teaching on the end times. I find these eschatalogical affirmations to be edifying. What I generally resist, however, are attempts to get specific about what's going to happen, when, to whom, etc. How many of these theories have been wrong through the years?

Here's a Catholic's reflection on teachings about the rapture. Maybe it will help to illustrate something of the approach we take.
30 December 2008, 09:02 AM
Thanks Phil, I enjoyed both links. Even from a protestant perspective the rapture just doesn't make sense to me biblically.

I also agree with just about everything stated in the Catechism.

I am wondering whether the scriptures teach us to be eschatologically minded in that we watch out for signs of the end or do we just continue as though it could happen today or 10 000 years from now.

Also, in the reflection on the rapture the author states
To this we might juxtapose another, very different, world view. The world of God�s creation is basically good (Gn 1). Though it is marred and broken by sin and death, it is still created in, through and for Jesus Christ (Col 1:15-20). The world shares in the redemption of God and even now is groaning, awaiting the fullness of redemption (Rom 8:19-23) which will be manifested as a (re)new(ed) heavens and (re)new(ed) earth (Rv 21:1-5).
Do you think (re)new(ed) heaven and earth is biblically accurate as it is not the same thing as saying a new heaven and new earth, but rather that this same earth will be "healed" and continue into eternity?
30 December 2008, 04:13 PM
Jacques, I don't know. My own leanings are toward a pre-millennial situation, where Christ will at some point intervene with a glorious second coming, ushering in a new earthly paradise. That said, the sun will one day cool and the earth as we know it will come to an end. Whether we'll have left the planet by then for another or whether that will be the time of the end . . . who knows?
30 December 2008, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by Phil:
What I generally resist, however, are attempts to get specific about what's going to happen, when, to whom, etc. How many of these theories have been wrong through the years?
That is a sober and humble approach! Smiler

Those who very publicly insist on having a correct interpretation when it comes to specifics, risk trying to elevate themselves to prophets. There are plenty of televangelists who claim to be speaking on behalf of God -- also with regard to the Rapture -- almost as though they have ambitions of doing the sorting themselves!
25 May 2012, 02:15 AM
Pop-pop and others, I've decided to move my last few posts onto this discussion instead, since it is more in keeping with the theme of the post.

Pop-pop wrote:


Indeed, it IS you again as you’ve written. (It's me again ).

I can always count on you, Jacques, (alas) to provide links to a plethora of opinions in a response post – the implied net affect of which is to insinuate that the truth cannot be known with certitude.

It seems to be based on the inferred premise that over the course of the past 2000 years and existent today as well, differences of opinion in the understanding of truth have been manifested. Differences exist. Contrary opinions exist. A plethora of Christian denominations exist (not to mention the opinions of non-Christian world religions, and secular humanists /atheists as well).

That the father of lies is ever busy has no bearing on my faith. In scripture I read that Satan is indeed just that – the father of lies. I read also that antichrists and false teachers were existent in the church (i.e. in the very midst of the people of God) of the first century; and I read admonitions to be wary of them and that they endeavor to imply that truth cannot be known. “Through them the true way will be made subject to contempt” (2 Pet 2:2). So, ‘Nothing new under the sun,’ as OT scripture states.

Christ came into the world that we would know the truth – not confusion, not different takes on what might be the truth. “But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One so that all knowledge is yours. My reason for having written you is not that you do not know the truth, but that you do.“ (1 John 2:21 & 22). “I have come to the world as its light, to keep anyone who believes in Me from remaining in the dark” (Jn 12:46). “I consecrate myself for their sakes now, that they may be consecrated in truth.” (Jn 17:19)

“Truth!” said Pilate. “What does that mean?” (Jn 18:38).

Yet skepticism, not belief, prevails. And prevailing skepticism (due to pluralism) is used as a springboard for furthering skepticism. And you continually post your skepticism and provide links supportive of your skepticism. Look, you post – here’s a whole host of different opinions: preterists, partial preterists, full preterists, futurists, historicists, dispensationalists, pantelists, Protestants, Catholics, this Jesuit, that Dutch Protestant etc. See you can’t be right Pop, nobody can. You can’t have certitude, nobody can.

I beg to differ. Scripture begs to differ. Truth can be known. Truth made Himself known and wants to be adored and loved. And has sent the Spirit of Truth to guide us to all truth.

And this statement from within your post, Jacques, is simply confounded -- with truth and error intermixed:
“Thus the end could come at any time and neither you nor I know when that will be. Since the Antichrist was neither the Pope (as Alcasar showed) nor some future political leader, but rather the emperors of Rome, we will never know the day nor the hour of Christ's coming.”

While it is certainly true that we will never know the day nor the hour of Christ’s Second Coming, it is nonetheless true that we have been informed of the stages and signs that have to occur before the Second Coming will occur. The Antichrist will indeed be a political leader still ahead in mankind’s future, since the emperors of Rome were NOT the Antichrist, just lesser archetypes of what the Antichrist will be like. They were analogous and lesser precursors of the Antichrist.

Just look at what scripture tells us in 2 Thessalonians 2. There are a number of things to be found there that indicate that the Roman emperors were not the Antichrist. First, there was no mass apostasy among the Christians in those early years that preceded the appearance of any Antichrist. Rome persecuted the early Christians precisely because of their witness to the faith and refusal to adhere to the Emperor’s law. There was no prior fulfillment of scripture that satisfied a general falling away from the faith among the early Christians due to an increase of evil. (As the persecutions began there were of course those who rather than suffer martyrdom apostasized -- but that’s a different thing, an after-the-fact thing.)

Second, there were no supernatural signs and wonders manifested by the powers of Satan. (2 Thess 2:9) [These are also mentioned in Matt 24:24] The Roman emperors did not have false prophets of their own doing supernatural tricks as did Pharaoh whose false prophets turned staffs into serpents etc. Rome had gladiators, executioners and soldiers but nothing supernatural going on wonders-wise; just the diabolical evil being perpetrated against the faithful.

Third, and most obvious: the Lord Jesus did not come again back then, destroying the emperor with the breath of His mouth and annihilating him by manifesting His own presence. The Second Coming did not already occur. Christ did not manifest his own presence (2 Thess 2:8) in the time of the Roman persecutions.

No. The Antichrist is definitely yet in mankind’s future and to be revealed. Knowing that the Antichrist has not been revealed as yet, we can say that the Second Coming will not occur this December. (Not to say some cosmic event won’t occur).

The Divine Revelation of Christ does indeed inform us in certain regards relative to the end times and the Second Coming. It doesn’t give us the exact day and hour of course. Christians should test other revelations, predictions and thought about any future events and predictions against what Divine Revelation has made known to us.

One might notice that quite a mass apostasy has taken place in Europe in the past few decades and inroads in that regard are being made in America these days. But we can save that for another day.

25 May 2012, 02:16 AM
Hey Pop,

Didn't mean to upset you. And while I certainly wish to shake up your one-sided view of truth I do not mean to offend or dismiss you.

Among the list of options you site as different opinions there are both orthodox and heretical options. I am not advocating the heretical ones. The term Hyper-preterist is sometimes used to denote those who believe that ALL new testament prophecy is complete, even Christ's final coming and the consummation of all things...this is heretical and clearly refuted within the Bible and Church teaching.

However, historical preterism is a valid and orthodox position held by many orthodox and theologically sound members of the Body of Christ.

If you would be willing to realize that your view is sometimes hindered or obscured by your own bias and belief you may actual learn something of value from those who see things differently to yourself. I would not advocate doing so if I myself were not willing to do the same...I am; thus I surround myself with people who challenge and shape me, as hopefully I do for them as well. My desire is not to deceive anyone, or to lead people astray, but rather it is to follow Jesus and Love God and to Love the human beings He has created.

Back to preterism. As stated this position was held from early on in the church. The early church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (c. AD 263 - 339) states that
All authorities concur in the declaration that “when all these things should have been done” “The End” should come : that “the mystery of God should be finished as he had declared to His servants the prophets” : it should be completed : time should now be no more : the End of all things (so foretold) should be at hand, and be fully brought to pass : in these days should be fulfilled all that had been spoken of Christ (and of His church) by the prophets : or, in other words, when the gospel should have been preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations, and the power of the Holy People be scattered (abroad), then should the End come, then should all these things be finished. I need now only say, all these things have been done : the old and elementary system passed away with a great noise; all these predicted empires have actually fallen, and the new kingdom, the new heaven and earth, the new Jerusalem–all of which were to descend from God, to be formed by His power, have been realised on earth ; all these things have been done in the sight of all the nations ; God’s holy arm has been made bare in their sight: His judgments have prevailed, and they remain for an everlasting testimony to the whole world. His kingdom has come, as it was foretold it should, and His will has, so far, been done; His purposes have been finished; and, from that day to the extreme end of time, it will be the duty, as indeed it will be the great privilege of the Church, to gather into its bosom the Jew, the Greek, the Scythian, the Barbarian, bond and free; and to do this as the Apostles did in their days–in obedience, faith and hope.’

Even Pope Benedict XVI gives support to preterism when he states that
The judgement announced by the Lord Jesus refers above all to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70


I would also like to respond to your list of things that can't possible have happened yet, as I believe there is good evidence that they have. Though I know that you may not be convinced unless they fit the exact image you have created in your head concerning what they must look like...even though you yourself have no real idea given that you believe them to be a future reality. But I'll give it a shot anyway. It will take me a little time to put it together...please forgive the delayed response.
25 May 2012, 02:20 AM
Let me begin by giving some background to the preterist position.

It is clear from scripture that Jesus prophesied certain apocalyptic realities that would soon take place, so soon that some of his original hearers would still be alive.

Matt. 10:23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Matt. 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. (Mark 9:1)

Matt. 24:34 At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

2 Peter 3:4 And 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.

That expected apocalyptic reality was the judgement of Israel culminating in the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., all of which would vindicate Jesus and his ministry since he told them that judgement was coming and that only he could provide safety from the coming destruction.

As to your first question regarding the falling away:

The Jewish persecutors, the Judaizers, and the Zealots all show that this was fulfilled in the first century. The falling away was in progress as the last few NT books were written. One only needs to read things like the books of Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter and 1-3 John to see this. The falling away coincided with the great persecution and tribulation that descended on the church just before the Jewish revolt (A.D. 63-66). During this persecution James, Peter and others (such as Paul) were killed (A.D. 63). And it was probably about this same time that John was exiled to Patmos. The NT writers during this time of persecution were bravely challenging their fellow-saints to persevere. The faithful remnant did. But many others forsook the “better things” in Christ and returned to Judaism’s things that were “fading away” and about to be destroyed. The “falling away” and “the coming of the man of sin” were first century events. They occurred in connection with the persecution of the church just before the Jewish revolt in A.D. 66. The destruction and defilement of the temple at Jerusalem is explained in great detail by Josephus. While 2 Thess. 2:1-4 is usually associated with “THE” Antichrist, we need to remember that the anti-Christian spirit was already at work in the first century:

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. (2 Thess. 2:7)

The Jewish persecution was already underway when Paul wrote these words. The Holy Spirit was restraining its effect until the church reached a mature-enough condition to persevere. There was a close connection indeed between the tribulation and the apostasy. The anti-Christian forces were persecuting the church to get them to fall away. Several other NT passages allude to this warfare that was being waged:

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (1 John 2:18)

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:3)

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist. (2 Jn. 1:7)

That the abomination of desolation happened in/to the temple is perhaps nowhere more clearly recorded than in the writings of Josephus, who was an eyewitness to the horrible tribulation (see his Jewish Wars and Antiquities of The Jews). Here are some excerpts:

In A.D. 66-67, the armies of Idumaea were called to Jerusalem by a band of murderous Zealots who had captured the Temple, fortified within it, and defiled it with all manner of abominations. But the people of the city who opposed the Zealots did not allow the Idumaeans to enter the city; and so the Idumaean army stayed outside the walls of Jerusalem that night.

And “there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continual lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and anyone would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming”. (Josephus Wars 4.4.5)

During that remarkable disruption of the order of things that night, some of the Zealots in the temple managed to go out unnoticed, and open the city gates to the Idumaeans. The zealots and the Idumaeans then joined together and during the upheaval attacked their opponents who were guarding the temple. “And now the outer temple was all of it overflowed with blood (see Rev. 11:2) and that day, as it came on, saw 8,500 dead bodies there” (Josephus Wars 4.5.1) (see Rev. 11:13).

“The death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and from [that] very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of their preservation, slain in the midst of their city. ...[Ananus and Jesus, two former High Priests, who] a little before had worn the sacred garments, and had presided over the public worship, ...were cast out naked, and seen to be the food of dogs and wild beasts.” (Josephus Wars 4.5.2)

During the civil conflicts in those final days of Old-Testament Jerusalem, “many of the priests” were killed “as they were about their sacred ministrations”. Those who came into the temple court were “often destroyed by this sedition; for those darts that were thrown by the engines (which were made from the sacred material in the temple) came with [such] force, that they ...reached as far as the altar, and the temple itself, and fell upon the priests, and those that were about the sacred offices; insomuch that if any persons came offer sacrifices, ...they fell down before their own sacrifices themselves, and sprinkled that altar, ...with their own blood; till the dead bodies of strangers were mingled together with those of their own country, and those of profane persons with those of the priests, and the blood of all sorts of dead carcasses stood in lakes in the holy courts themselves.” (Josephus Wars 5.1.3)

“...As for that House, God had for certain long ago doomed it to the fire; and now that fatal day was come, according to the revolution of ages; it was the tenth day of the month Lous [Ab], upon which it was formerly burnt by the king of Babylon.” (Wars 6.4.5)

“As the flames went upward the Jews made a clamor, such as so mighty an affliction required, and ran together to prevent it; and now they spared not their lives any longer, nor suffered anything to restrain their force, since that holy House was perishing....” (Wars 6.4.5)

“As for the seditious, they were in too great distress already to afford their assistance [towards quenching the fire]; they were everywhere slain, and everywhere beaten; and as for a great part of the people, they were weak and without arms, and had their throats cut wherever they were caught. Now, round about the altar lay dead bodies heaped one upon another; as at the steps going up to it ran a great quantity of their blood whither also the dead bodies that were slain above [on the altar] fell down.” (Wars 6.4.6)

“And now the Romans, upon the flight of the seditious into the city, and upon the burning of the holy House itself, and of all the buildings round about it, brought their ensigns to the temple, and set them over against its eastern gate; and there did they offer sacrifices to them....” (Wars 6.6.1)

“Now, as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other such work to be done), Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple [except some towers and part of the wall on the west side of the city], ...but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited.” (Wars 7.1.1) (from
25 May 2012, 10:21 AM
As to the signs and wonders taking place prior to 70 A.D.

Matthew 24:7-8: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.(Mark 13:8)

Luke 21:11: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

These are things that (except for signs) have continued to happen, but again, we can provide evidence of such between 30-70 A.D.

Acts 11:27-9 alludes to the famine in the time of Claudius. Tacitus speaks of signs in the form of "repeated earthquakes," a shortage of grain resulting in famine (at one point Rome had only 15 days' worth of food); Josephus reports of famine during the siege of Jerusalem; the earthquake in Philippi (Acts 16); Pompeii suffered quakes as a preliminary to the eruption of Vesuvius; Josephus reports a severe earthquake in Judea, and quakes were reported by secular historians as occurring throughout the Greco-Roman world.

Again, none of this is surprising; much of the Roman Empire was subject to quakes, and famine was extremely common in the ancient world.

Pestilence was also common; indeed, it was more normal to be sick than healthy! The point again, though, is that these are not signs to look for as signs of the end (as is often supposed in dispensational treatments); rather, Jesus is warning his disciples to not give them undue significance.

What about Luke's signs from heaven? Tacitus reports a comet during the reign of Nero in 60 AD, and Halley's Comet came for a visit in 66. Josephus also records a third astronomical phenomena, a "star resembling a sword" which stood over Jerusalem, and a comet that "continued a whole year."

At the same time there were also false messiahs trying to gain support from the Jewish population and false prophets claiming to represent God in plenty [Josephus War 6.5.2 refers to a "great number of false prophets" who gave false hope to the people]; these tried to initiate various signs to "activate God's eschatological salvation", and they did indeed deceive many.

One more angle at which to approach the apocalyptic imagery regarding signs:

Is. 13:10: For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Is. 34:3-5: Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.

Ezek. 32:6-8: I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee. And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.

Amos 8:9: And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

These are not descriptions of final judgment. They are oracles against Babylon (Is. 13) and against Edom (Is. 34) and Egypt (Ezek. 32) and the northern kingdom of Israel (Amos).

We are not dealing with literal events here, but apocalyptic imagery -- material like that found in Ezekiel, in which God sits on a physical throne, and angels are amalgamated zoos, and eating a scroll is not only possible but gives you heartburn. None of these things literally happened to Babylon, Edom, etc. -- and Isaiah, et al. did not think that they would. "These passages all tell a story with the same set of motifs: YHWH's victory over the great pagan city; the rescue and vindication of his true people who had been suffering under it; and YHWH's acclamation as king." [See N.T. Wright JVG. pg. 356-7]

Matthew 24:29 is symbolic for judgment, for the vindication of the new covenant over the old covenant, and their respective members, and Christ's new reign -- and thus fits within the paradigm of a 70 fulfillment.

Stellar symbols are used in the Bible to represent nations, entities, angels or people (Gen. 22;17, 26:4, 37:9; Deut. 1:10; Is. 14:4ff; Job 38:7; Neh. 9:23; Mal. 4:2; Jude 1:13; Rev. 1:20) as they are used today on many national flags, including Old Glory herself.

The sun and moon are connected intimately with governing functions in Genesis (ruling over the day and night; the same word "rule" is used in 1 Kings 9:19: "And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.")

Stellar imagery is used in "reverse" as well, not just as judgment signals, but as signs of blessing (Is. 30:26).

The combined imagery of sun, moon and stars reflects complete political entities. Jesus' prediction refers to nothing more or less than the judgment upon the nation of Israel. As Witherington writes, "That something cataclysmic is being described is sure, but bear in mind that this same sort of language is used when describing the fall of Babylon, and we may be sure that all the stars did not fall from the sky on that occasion, nor is it likely that God only acts when there are eclipses!"

Is. 7:14 predicts events both in the day of Isaiah and in the day of Jesus. Yet even under this paradigm, the problem of Jesus specifying "this generation" indicates a complete fulfillment in 70 A. D. one way or the other.

It cannot be gotten around so easily. The dispensationalists, as Wright notes, are engaged in "the folly of trying to fit the hurricane of first-century Jewish theology into the bottle of late-modern western categories..." [Wright JVG, 513] We should no more expect blood on the moon or falling stars than we should expect, from Daniel, four literal monsters literally dripping and slathering their way out of the Mediterranean like Godzilla: "We must never forget that first-century Jews, reading a passage like Daniel 7, would think of being oppressed, not by mythical monsters, but by real Romans."
25 May 2012, 08:51 PM
You're making some good points, Jacques, and I've read much the same through the years. It does seem that early Christian apocalyptic literature (e.g., Revelation) was a coded message to encourage the early Christians to remain faithful under persecution.

Still, there's no doubting the early Church's expectation of a glorious second coming of Christ, and it seems that Jesus himself promised as much. What I've read is that there was a conflation of his teaching concerning the end times and his predictions of impending doom for Jerusalem. Of course, we don't really know much about what that second coming will be like, nor when it will take place.

I see in my post of December 29, 2008 I linked to the new Catechism teaching on the End Times, but the link is no longer valid. See which does include a reference to the Antichrist and Second Coming (675-677).
25 May 2012, 11:37 PM

Greetings once again, pilgrim!

First off, let me say that that I like the fact that you’ve moved all this subject matter to this thread. It is better placed (more applicable) here than on the forum concerning kundalini-related matters. How’s that for some agreement between the two of us!
Further, I like the fact that you’d endeavored to put Samson at peace regarding his distress at what he considered condescension on my part. It WAS merely my charm and zeal that were in play in my post on the other forum and nothing for Samson to take a personal offense from. So there too, is yet another point of agreement between us! Aiyee. The Holy Spirit smiles at our advancing unity.

How much more can we agree on? Hmmmn?

Next off, let me say that I really do take no offense at what you have written (though I will tease you below), and that I realize you do not wish to ‘dismiss,’ nor ‘upset’ me. Also, I appreciate your honesty in admitting that you ‘certainly do want to shake up my one-sided view of the truth.’

I like it that you are taking a stand! We may be making some progress here. Refreshing! So much nicer (imo) than earlier posts elsewhere where you’d say something to the effect of ‘I don’t say it is and I don’t say it’s not’. [And I’d think: why not, Jacques? It can’t be both.]

Jesus wants us to decide. He brings a sword of division. He vomits out the lukewarm.

Definitely too, I see that you have certainly spent some time in ferreting out the content and all the supporting references that you included in your first two new posts above. (I have to yet read the third post on signs and wonders though). Those all show that you indeed have not dismissed me (though part of me kind of wishes you had, lol. But that’s my lazy ‘flesh’ reacting.)

Okay. So my understanding of your belief (based on your words still on the other thread as well as those above) is:

1 There will be no future political leader forthcoming who will be the Antichrist. (This implies thereby that there is no need therefore to be concerned about such an appearance and anticipating it and/or using such thinking as an indicator of events).

2. Christ can come at any time now therefore. (Though we do not know day nor
hour). As such, the Second Coming could indeed come as early as December as Samson had wondered about – or even sooner I guess.

3. Pope Benedict would agree with the above stated beliefs of yours, based upon the quote you provided as substantiating evidence, in which he stated during an opening mass of a Synod of Bishops that ‘the judgment announced by Jesus referred above all to the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D’.

4. The ‘one-sided view’ of mine that you wish to shake-up, is essentially a product of my blue-meme mind alone – [‘of what you have created in your head’ is how you put it].
(Only mine? Only blue-memes? Only some blue-memes – the one-sided ones! LOL.)

Let me know if I correctly understand your beliefs. Then perhaps we can proceed a few tads more in our discussion. I see from early posts on this thread that years back when you were fresh from your course on eschatology you didn’t know what to believe. It seems you may have settled in to a belief.

[But please do not regress and tell me what all the different types of preterists believe and why. I am solely interested in what you believe….of course you may state your belief (whatever it is that you believe) is based on some particular-type of preterist’s belief – partial, full, hyper etc].

All charm and zeal, and brotherly affection,

p.s. Well certainly not ALL charm and zeal -- as Kenosis, Tucker, Ariel, Samson and you yourself realize. I can and have drifted out of bounds on occasion and am not completely purged of my faults as yet. Still to be ‘found wanting’ you might all well agree.
I haven’t been to charm school as all U.S. Army generals must attend. Problem is, in grammar school ….. I was taught by Sister Sarcastica – a false teacher if ever there was one, and a blue-meme herself!

Is this mortal or venial matter? Is my contrition merely imperfect? Hmmn? Wait – don’t tell me ….. I don't want to tempt anyone to judge!
26 May 2012, 05:39 AM

I feel no distress. I take no offense. I merely say what I see.

You may be a great big cuddly ball of sunshine behind all this. I know I am.


26 May 2012, 05:41 AM

Negative capability! (John Keats)


26 May 2012, 05:52 AM

I ask you to consider that the second coming may not be a glorious skyly rapturisation or full blown trumpet blast over all the earth, and that such descriptions throughout the NT are images for a glorious heartly implosion of Christ consciousness in the heart of the heart of believers. I ask you to consider that kundalini activity in the head(my pineal gland is throbbing even now) is purification, preparation for this mystical, interior second coming. I ask you to consider because I am considering. I ask you because of all the pops, you are the poppiest.


26 May 2012, 06:38 PM
Mary Sue
Originally posted by Jacques:
Conversations about Evoloution on this discussion board have led me to feel that perhaps we still have a longer time on this planet than what I thought. But then I look at the world around me and I just don't see the evolutionary process necassarily making the world a better place. Sure maybe it works well for spiritual people, but most of the world operates on a kill or be killed principle that does not include whatever spiritual evolution God had in mind for us.<br /><br />So, is the world becoming a better place that will eventually usher in the Kingdom of God/1000 year reign of Christ/New Heavens and Earth (whichever fits your paradigm Smiler ).<br /><br />Or is this world on a fast track to Hell which requires Christ to step in and bring about a cataclysmic apocalyptic change.<br /><br />Really interested in what you think. And how you see your view fitting with the Biblical data on the subject.

a few comments. I would think that how one
believes God to be will color how one sees what you have written.

I sometimes struggle with my belief that God is Love. That everything of God is good. And this
is when I turn to writings of Saints, mystics, contemplatives. I love what I am reading from
Thomas Merton "New Seeds of Contemplation".

If I believe that God is Love then I
have to believe that whatever God does is based in Love & good. So would God do anything that would end any form of his created life. To me, no. This would be man's free will. God wishes
for our healing, our salvation. See this turned
out to be things that I need to look at Big Grin

Thanks for the question.
26 May 2012, 09:05 PM
Ariel X
Originally posted by samson:
I ask you because of all the pops, you are the poppiest.



That he is. Big Grin