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Author Topic:   Christianity and the End Times
PaulK
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Message 1 of 516 (835562)
06-24-2018 4:46 PM


“The End is Coming Soon” is quite a cliche. There have been numerous occasions in the past where Christians have believed that the end times are almost upon us. And - certainly today - there is no shortage of people prepared to profit from it. We even see daft ideas like bar-codes being the Mark of the Beast (they aren’t).

But what does the Bible really say. You won’t find out from those selling an imminent apocalypse.

I intend to survey the major end-time predictions and see if they really do match the present situation.

Bible Study please.


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Message 2 of 516 (835564)
06-25-2018 7:00 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Christianity and the End Times thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
PaulK
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Posts: 14196
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Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 3 of 516 (835566)
06-25-2018 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by PaulK
06-24-2018 4:46 PM


Daniel
Daniel is the most important source from the Old Testament.

Daniel 2 presents a sequence of four empires, the last of which will be defeated and destroyed by an eternal kingdom set up by God, which will fill the entire Earth. The fourth is commonly interpreted as the Roman Empire (despite the other chapters of Daniel pointing elsewhere).

However, the Roman Empire is no more, it’s end usually identified as the fall of Constantinople in the mid-15th Century. The eternal kingdom is nowhere in sight. Arguably the Turks came closest, but I hardly think that Christians would accept that identification.

Some prophecy buffs argue for a “New Roman Empire” but it is somewhat of a stretch to count it as the same Empire when there is no real continuity - and what of the other empires of history ? Why are none of those counted ?

But if we generously accept that highly strained reading we still need a “New Roman Empire” and there is no sign of that since Mussolini.


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PaulK
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Posts: 14196
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 4 of 516 (835585)
06-25-2018 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by PaulK
06-25-2018 8:00 AM


Re: Daniel
But the book of Daniel has more.

Daniel 7 has another prediction of four empires, ending again in an eternal Kingdom. This time the final Empire has eleven Kings, three of whom fall to the eleventh, symbolised as a “little horn”. The little horn is a blasphemer who seeks to persecute the “saints” (presumably intended to be faithful Jews) and “change times and laws”

It’s pretty vague - at least to us. However, it seems reasonable to think that these are the same four empires as before - or close enough.

Daniel 8 sheds some more light on the matter.

Billed as dealing with the end times it tells us that the Greeks will conquer the Persians. The Greek Empire will then be divided into four. This is scene-setting and the end times will come during the latter days of those successor states. The little horn appears again, the king of one of these states. We’re even told that this ruler will end the Jews’ daily sacrifices.

Again this points to the past, and it challenges the idea that the Roman Empire is the last of the four. Obviously Alexander the Great and the Diadochi states fit this prophecy very well. The last of those states, Egypt, fell shortly before Rome formally became an Empire - and more importantly Rome plays no part in this prophecy.

Those who know the history - even from reading 1 and 2 Maccabees will have a good idea of just who the “little horn” is meant to be.

Of course there is always the dodge of saying that these are future events, but then we would need a new Persian Empire, a new Greek Empire, the Greek Empire to be divided and even then the end is not likely to be that near.


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Phat
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Posts: 10887
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 5 of 516 (835592)
06-25-2018 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by PaulK
06-24-2018 4:46 PM


Examining What Is Written By Outside Authors
PaulK writes:

There have been numerous occasions in the past where Christians have believed that the end times are almost upon us. And - certainly today - there is no shortage of people prepared to profit from it.(...)But what does the Bible really say. You won’t find out from those selling an imminent apocalypse.
I intend to survey the major end-time predictions and see if they really do match the present situation.


Although written by a man who is obviously selling the idea, this free e-book is written using the scriptures to lead the way.
It is at least worth a lookthrough. The author uses scripture to make his case, though one may argue that he is biased, having graduated from Bob Jones University.

The Coming Epiphany

He states:

quote:
Scripture and scripture alone is the standard by which everything
must be judged. Unfortunately, many approach end-times scriptures with a
predetermined theological mindset and then try to make scripture fit into
their theology. What sets this book apart from all the rest is that it attempts
to approach the topic with all of scripture, and scripture alone, as its basis.
A theological belief is then formed on the basis of what all of the
scriptures dictate.

In this book, scripture will be interpreted according to the following
principle: “When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek
no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual,
literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context studied in the
light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths indicate
clearly otherwise.”1 In other words, scripture will be interpreted literally
unless it is evident that a symbolic interpretation is warranted by the text.



Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

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jar
Member
Posts: 30519
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 6 of 516 (835593)
06-25-2018 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
06-25-2018 4:07 PM


Re: Examining What Is Written By Outside Authors
Reality trumps dogma every time. Not worth even thinking about reading.

My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

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ringo
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Posts: 14786
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 7 of 516 (835594)
06-25-2018 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
06-25-2018 4:07 PM


Re: Examining What Is Written By Outside Authors
When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek
no other sense;

I'm betting he doesn't really do that.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

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PaulK
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Posts: 14196
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 8 of 516 (835595)
06-25-2018 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
06-25-2018 4:07 PM


Re: Examining What Is Written By Outside Authors
I guess it has some entertainment value but...

quote:

To perform sacrifice rituals there must also be certain items such as the table of shew bread, the golden lamp stand, and the Ark of the Covenant. The late archeologist Ron Wyatt has claimed to have found and seen all of these items and has told leading Jews where they are.

Calling Ron Wyatt an archaeologist is a joke in itself.

And from his website the book explains things including:


Why I expect to see the rapture 2014-2016.

Nope!

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


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jar
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Posts: 30519
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 9 of 516 (835596)
06-25-2018 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
06-25-2018 4:07 PM


Re: Examining What Is Written By Outside Authors
When someone says something like"Scripture and scripture alone is the standard by which everything
must be judged." they should be immediately dismissed as a willfully ignorant and dishonest source and simply assigned to the ranks of Carny Pitchman and Hustlers.

My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

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GDR
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Posts: 4474
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 10 of 516 (835602)
06-25-2018 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by PaulK
06-24-2018 4:46 PM


Firstly on this whole thing the Christian church has always said that Jesus was wholly man and wholly God, and then very often ignored the wholly man part. I understand how people come to the conclusion that Jesus had supernatural knowledge of the future and remembers times before His birth where He was with the Father. But I just don’t get that from the scriptures.
Yes I’m Trinitarian in my beliefs but I don’t see the divinity of Jesus in His life but through the what God has done with the resurrection. I largely understand His divinity metaphorically through the accounts of the Son of Man in Daniel 7 and through John 1 where John writes that the “Word” becme flesh.
On that basis I Jesus’ understand eschatological message to be about the renewal of all things at the end of time. At that point it would be clear to all creation that Jesus has been established by God as Lord of all creation.
Here is a chapter from the book of Mark that is often used to portray eschatological or end times theology.
Mark 13
quote:
1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,
4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
5 Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
6 Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.
10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.
13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’standing where itoes not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
15Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out.
16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.
17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
18 Pray that this will not take place in winter,
19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.
20 “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.
21 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.
22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
24 “But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.
27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.
29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.
30Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.
34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.
36If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.
37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”

This is not an eschatological message. This is a political message. Jesus was very much opposed to the Jewish revolutionaries who were ascending in strength in those days. It was clear to at least Jesus that if they didn't stop going down the revolutionary route that there would be tremendous suffering and great political upheaval. All this did happen in 70AD as the result of a Jewish revolution, within the life time of some of the folks Jesus would have been talking to. I don’t see that this is the result of Jesus having supernatural knowledge of the future. I simply see it as Jesus be aware of and understanding the situation at the time. He warns against messianic leaders who would lead them down this path of destruction.

When Jesus says, “But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” He is talking about great political upheaval. It is a bit like saying that somebody celebrated a landslide victory. We would know that there was no actual land slide involved.

Certainly Jesus had an eschatological message but it is something of an open question as to whether the end of time refers to something happening to all of creation, (boy I’m going to be in trouble with Faith here  ), or to us individually when we die. Personally, in opposition to most Christian scholars that I have read I’m inclined more towards the latter position.

I agree that the first disciples including Paul probably expected Christ’s return in their lifetimes, but it was no different then than it is now, with Faith expecting it to happen in the near future. People have always looked on the dark sides of things and figure that it’s about time to shut the project down.

Edited by GDR, : typo


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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frako
Member
Posts: 2773
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 11 of 516 (835620)
06-26-2018 4:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by PaulK
06-24-2018 4:46 PM


Try the mad trumpet prophecies from Nostradamus i think they fit perfectly with Trump.

40
The false trumpet concealing madness
will cause Byzantium to change its laws.
From Egypt there will go forth a man who wants
the edict withdrawn, changing money and standards.

57
The trumpet shakes with great discord.
An agreement broken: lifting the face to heaven:
the bloody mouth will swim with blood;
the face anointed with milk and honey lies on the ground.

The republic of the great city

Will not want to consent to the great severity:

King summoned by trumpet to go out,

The ladder at the wall, the city will repent.

Edited by frako, : No reason given.


Christianity, One woman's lie about an affair that got seriously out of hand

What are the Christians gonna do to me ..... Forgive me, good luck with that.


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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14196
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 12 of 516 (835642)
06-26-2018 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by PaulK
06-25-2018 1:35 PM


Re: Daniel
Daniel 9 has the famous “seventy weeks” almost universally accepted as a period of 490 years. The start date is unclear, but it certainly puts a limit on things.

The time is divided into 49 years, 434 years and 7 years.

Christians usually choose the start date so that the end of the 434 year period corresponds - roughly - to the crucifixion because they take the messiah who “will be cut off” to be Jesus. The rest of the events don’t really fit, so they are ignored. It should come as no surprise to informed readers that they better fit events described in Maccabees.

Given the other prophecies of Daniel I think we can safely say that the end of the 490 years was meant to be The End. Of course, even in Christian reckoning, it wasn’t


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Phat
Member
Posts: 10887
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 13 of 516 (835643)
06-26-2018 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by PaulK
06-26-2018 1:56 PM


Re: Daniel
So are you saying that all of the prophecy folks simply make up a starting date and ignore the other dates? Or is this your own observation?

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

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PaulK
Member
Posts: 14196
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 14 of 516 (835644)
06-26-2018 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Phat
06-26-2018 3:53 PM


Re: Daniel
quote:

So are you saying that all of the prophecy folks simply make up a starting date and ignore the other dates?

I didn’t say that the date was made up, just that it was chosen (out of all the possible dates) because it works out “right” for their preferred interpretation. Which is very likely wrong for other reasons.

Of course some do start making things up. Some insist that there is a gap between the last seven years and the rest - a gap of nearly 2000 years now. That doesn’t have any textual support at all.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 28930
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 15 of 516 (835648)
06-26-2018 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by PaulK
06-26-2018 3:58 PM


Re: Daniel
Some insist that there is a gap between the last seven years and the rest - a gap of nearly 2000 years now. That doesn’t have any textual support at all.

Here's Daniel 9:24-27, the passage you are discussing:

Daniel 9:24 writes:

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

("Weeks" means sevens of years, so a week is seven years.)

General interpretation of this is that the seventy weeks are the time allotted to the coming of the Messiah who will
"finish the transgression" and
"make an end of sins" and
"make reconciliation for iniquity" and
"bring in everlasting righteousness" and
"seal up the vision and prophecy"
and "to anoint the most holy."

The entire seventy weeks is allotted to the fulfillment of all these things, all of them related to the coming of the Messiah and His work.

9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Here the seventy weeks span is broken up into seven and sixty two weeks or sixty-nine weeks total, leaving out one week, the famous "seventieth week of Daniel." Some have speculated about the meaning of the splitting off of the seven weeks in historical terms, I think having to do with the timing from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to the end of the Old Testament accounts, or the prophet Malachi, but I'm not sure I'm remembering rightly, but whatever it refers to, the following sixty-two weeks then goes on from there to Messiah the Prince. Clearly the sixty-nine weeks is meant to span the "commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince," who is of course Jesus. There are a number of decrees concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem that could be meant, but as I understand it there was one in particular that fits the prophecy best and not just because it gives the best timing to events in Jesus' life.; But I haven't studied all this carefully enough and it's been many years wince I heard preaching on it.

In any case there is no doubt that this verse is a prophecy of the appearance of the Messiah after sixty nine weeks (or 69x7 years) from a particular command to rebuild Jerusalem. Not the crucifixion but the announcement of His Messiahship when He rode the donkey into Jerusalem on what we remember as "Palm Sunday" is one favored interpretation, but it could be the crucifixion.

Dan 9:26
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:

Extremely clear here that this has to be referring to the crucifixion after the sixty-two weeks (which may have started at the ending of the Old Testament writings, the end of Malachi). This would mean the overall timing is to the crucifixion rather than the Palm Sunday announcement but I'm not sure how to sort it all out. In any case it is certainly a prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ after a certain number of years from a particular commandment to rebuild Jerusalem after the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, and not about the events in Maccabees as you suggest.

And the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The prince that shall come cannot be Jesus because His people did not destroy the city and the sanctuary. so the best reading seems to be that it refers to the destruction by the armies under Titus in 70AD, forty years after the crucifixion. The people of that prince may be the army or may refer to the Romans as a people, and I don't know what the flood means.

The ambiguity of this verse suggests that the prophecy now extends beyond the time of Jesus to some future time as a double prophecy covering two historically separated events that share some features in common. So the "prince" in Jesus' time could have been Titus, but a prince at the time of the seventieth week the final Antichrist, who will be a Roman.

9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

And this is where that separated seventieth week comes in. There is certainly plenty of textual support for isolating it as a separate period of time beyond the time of Jesus' coming, and putting it off until the distant future makes sense because it doesn't refer to anything that has already happened.

"The covenant with many" could refer to Jesus of course, but confirming it "for one week" is not what Jesus did; He confirmed it for eternity. So the "he" here has to be the other "prince" who is usually interpreted to be The Antichrist. And the rest about the ceasing of the sacrifice and what sounds like the Great Tribulation are clearly yet future. The Seventieth Week is considered to lead up to the Second Coming of Jesus after a (probably three-year) period of horrific tribulation that affects the whole planet.

The Seventieth Week is often understood to refer to a time after the "Church Period" or the "times of the Gentiles" ends with the Rapture, after which God resumes His dealings with the nation of Israel -- during the last week, or some part of it, which is not clear. This role of Israel is taken partly from Daniel but mostly from Revelation, which makes sense considering that Revelation sounds more like the Old Testament than the new.

So the entire seventy weeks referred to in Daniel prophesies the coming of the Messiah who died to put an end to sins after the sixty nine weeks of years, but also prophesies His Second Coming at the very end of time. Leading up to that will be the time of the Antichrist which will mercifully be only a few years.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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