Did the apostle John write Revelation?

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Paidion
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Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:05 pm

There was much dispute about the book of Revelation in the early church. It was the last book of the Bible to be accepted as part of the Christian canon of Scripture. In the Eastern branch of the Church, distrust of Revelation persisted until the 15th century.

Early church tradition puts the time that the book was written as being at the end of Domitian's reign. That would be A.D. 96. Though early church tradition also assigns the authorship to the apostle John, it is unlikely that John would have been still alive at that date.

Another factor to be noted, is that the author of Revelation states 4 times in the book that his name is “John.” Rev 1:1, 1:4, 1:9, and 22:8.

However, in the two books known to have been written by the apostle John, that is, the gospel of John and 1 John, John never mentions his name. And the author of 2 and 3 John refers to himself simply as “the elder.” The word “John” does not occur even once in 1, 2, or 3 John, and in John's gospel, the word never refers to the author.
Last edited by Paidion on Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Paidion

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Homer » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:10 am

Hi Paidion,
However, in the two books known to have been written by the apostle John, that is, the gospel of John and 1 John, John never mentions his name. And the author of 2 and 3 John refers to himself simply as “the elder.” The word “John” does not occur even once in John's gospel, or in 1, 2, or 3 John.
I have to say I haven't been much impressed by comparisons of their works in determining whether a book(s) was written by the same person. Much can change due to circumstances such as time, the occasion, use of an amanuensis, etc. This struck me years ago when I was listening to a Christmas sermon on the radio. I thought it was an excellent sermon but didn't recognize who it was speaking. Turned out it was J. Vernon McGee, who did not sound at all like the McGee I had often heard on his question and answer radio program.

Seems to me we have to give considerable weight to the early Christians in these matters rather than modern critical scholarship.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by 3Resurrections » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:44 pm

Hi Paidion,

Love this subject. I suppose in your studies you have probably read the paragraph by Papias quoted in Eusebius' work that distinguishes between the "sons of Zebedee" (James and John), and one other whom Papias called "the presbyter John", one of the disciples of the Lord. I wonder if it's possible that this "presbyter John", known personally by Papias, could have been John Mark, related to Barnabas. The timing would have been right, wouldn't it?

It's true, as you say, that John's gospel and the epistles never mention the name of John as their author, but we know that the "editor" or amanuensis who gave the closing remarks to that gospel in John 21:24-25 gave credit to "the beloved disciple" for writing the original material. This "beloved disciple", according to the record in John 21:2 compared with verse 7, could not possibly be the same as John the son of Zebedee, because that passage mentions these two men as separate from one another during that fishing expedition.

For myself, after looking into this issue, I believe that this gospel, the three epistles, and Revelation were all written by the same disciple whom Jesus loved whose full name was John Eleazar. We would know him better as the beloved Lazarus (the Greek form of the name Eleazar). This man adopted a few aliases throughout the New Testament times, to avoid drawing undue attention to himself, and thereby targeting for persecution those of the church who were connected with him. Ever since Lazarus was raised from the dead, the Pharisees plotted to kill him (John 12:10-11), since they regarded him as a traitor to the Sanhedrin, of which Lazarus was a member. (Not that killing Lazarus was even a possibility for a glorified, resurrected person.)

The beloved disciple Lazarus (John Eleazar), was the one entrusted with the care of Mary, Christ's mother. "Behold thy son", Christ told His mother as He was dying. He could not have provided better care for his mother than to put her future well-being into the hands of a man He had resurrected, who would never die, get sick, or even commit a sin ever again. Lazarus the beloved disciple was Mary's "social security" program for her senior years.

Another alias for Lazarus is the title "Son of Consolation" (i.e., the Levite Barnabas, which of itself was not his given name). This nickname I believe was given to Lazarus by the disciples because he became Mary's "Son" who consoled her after Christ's crucifixion when he took her into his own home from that day forward (in Bethany). Barnabas (aka Lazarus / John Eleazar) stayed in Jerusalem probably until Mary died around AD 40, which is about the time Barnabas left Jerusalem to visit Antioch and to meet Paul in Tarsus in Acts 11:25. He would have discharged his duty to Christ's mother by then, and would have been free to pursue evangelistic endeavors among the Gentiles, along with Paul.

Another reference to Lazarus is the nameless rich young ruler (of the Sanhedrin) who was "loved" by Christ (Mark 10:21). There are very few individuals that scripture singles out for this distinguishing honor of being loved, but the rich young ruler was one of them.

Lazarus the beloved disciple was a priest "known unto the high priest" in John 18:15, (the only reason why he and not Peter was admitted into the palace of the high priest at Jesus' trial), and his father Simon the leper was a Pharisee (Matt. 26:6). It's my guess that Lazarus may have also contracted leprosy like his father, and consequently died of it, only to be resurrected by Christ four days later. This is also why Christ's parable of the "rich man" (Caiphas) names the beggar Lazarus, who was covered with sores (leprosy), and was laid as an unclean person outside of the rich mans "gate" (of the temple). He would have liked to eat even the crumbs from the rich mans table (the shewbread that the priests shared), but in his unclean state, that was not permitted. The beggar Lazarus in that parable was raised from the dead also, a fact which had to sting the Pharisees when they thought about this parable later on after the real Lazarus was actually raised from the dead. It would have hit them at that point that Christ had given the parable with Caiphas in mind as the villain of the story, and his five "brothers", the five sons of the high priest Annas (the parable's "Father"), in danger of suffering torment in Hades with Caiphas.

Lazarus was also the beloved disciple leaning on Jesus at the Last Supper. It was Lazarus that was sitting with Jesus at the supper in Martha's house six days before the Passover (John 12:2), and we see him again in the very same posture at the Last Supper (John 13:23).

This "beloved disciple", the resurrected Lazarus, was also the only one who believed when he saw Christ's grave clothes lying in the tomb. The rest of the eleven still believed not (Mark 16:14), even when Christ bodily appeared before them after His resurrection. This contrast between the unbelieving eleven and the believing beloved disciple distinguishes him as not being one of the original 12 disciples.

This "beloved disciple" was also going to "remain" or "tarry" until Christ came back in AD 70 (John 21:22). This puts him in the category of the "alive" and "remaining" saints who were raptured with all the rest of the resurrected saints in AD 70 (I Thess. 4:15,17).

There is a curious set of matching statements made about the "beloved disciple" that could only be made about a resurrected, incorruptible saint. John 21:24 says, "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things" (the beloved disciple) "and WE KNOW THAT HIS TESTIMONY IS TRUE." Likewise, III John 22 also says in closing, "Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and YE KNOW THAT OUR RECORD IS TRUE." Why was the elder's truthfulness unquestioned in both these texts? I think it's because only a resurrected, incorruptible saint can be assumed to never, ever tell a lie. The entire first-century church was familiar with Lazarus' resurrection story, so his reputation as a glorified incorruptible saint made him widely known as an impeccable source for truth that could not be doubted.

In Revelation 22:9, the interpreting "angel" messenger claimed to be a "fellow-servant" with John - just like him - and just like his brethren the prophets and those who kept the sayings of this book. Sounds as if John (the resurrected Lazarus) was conversing with yet another resurrected individual acting as God's messenger. Possibly this was one of the Matthew 27:52-53 "Firstfruits" saints who were still on earth at that time, serving in the early church, as Paul affirmed in Rom. 8:23.

From extra-biblical sources, we have a record by Jerome and Tertullian that John the Revelator was plunged unhurt into a vat of boiling oil by Nero's orders. Foxe's Book of Martyrs' 1583 edition claimed that the Proconsul of Ephesus was the one who executed this sentence - or tried to carry it out, since John emerged unhurt by the experience. This supposed "miracle" may not have been so miraculous after all, if John really was the resurrected Lazarus. Apparently, this story would seem to provide proof that a resurrected person can't possibly die twice, just as scripture assures us that it is "appointed unto man ONCE to die..." - NOT twice.

Just a random collection of observations, Paidion, that you may not have encountered before in your research about the Johannine works.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:23 pm

Hi 3R, you wrote:This "beloved disciple" was also going to "remain" or "tarry" until Christ came back in AD 70 (John 21:22). This puts him in the category of the "alive" and "remaining" saints who were raptured with all the rest of the resurrected saints in AD 70 (I Thess. 4:15,17).
So this is your position—that Christ returned in A.D. 70 and the remaining saints were raptured then. What evidence do you have for that?

Paul's fellow worker Clement, wrote a powerful letter to the Corinthian church, which has been dated A.D.97. He referred to the return of Jesus as an event future to the time of writing this letter. He wrote in Chapter XXIII:

Far from us be that which is written, “Wretched are they who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart; who say, These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened unto us.”Ye foolish ones! compare yourselves to a tree: take [for instance] the vine. First of all, it sheds its leaves, then it buds, next it puts forth leaves, and then it flowers; after that comes the sour grape, and then follows the ripened fruit. Ye perceive how in a little time the fruit of a tree comes to maturity. Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, “Speedily will He come, and will not tarry;” and, “The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom ye look.”

Clearly the thought never entered Clement's head that Christ has returned at the time of the destruction of the Jewish temple.

Also 2nd century Christian writers viewed the coming of Christ as an event future to their time. I am not aware of a single one of them who thought He had returned prior to their time. If in fact, Christ had returned in A.D. 70 why would no one have been aware of it?

Even the author of Revelation (believed to have been written in A.D. 96) considered the coming of Christ would be future to his time:

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
Paidion

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by 3Resurrections » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Hi again Paidion,

Oh dear, hope you don't mind another tediously long answer here. You have the advantage over me, in that you have been posting here for much, much longer than I have, and people have become familiar with your viewpoint over time. People don't know where I'm coming from, so I have to multiply words just to define my position as clearly as possible. So sorry.

A bit of clarification to begin with: there is no such thing as a translation-type change for the living that was promised for the "rapture". Not in I Thess. 4, nor in I Cor. 15:51-54. Only a change for the physically DEAD was promised. The only ones "raptured" off this planet in AD 70 were RESURRECTED SAINTS. No ordinary living believers were included who hadn't died yet. The group in I Thess. 4 who were called "alive" and who had "remained" behind were composed of individuals who had been raised from the dead already and who had been MADE ALIVE by resurrection. Remember Dorcas, the seamstress, that Peter presented "ALIVE" to her friends after her resurrection? She's my heroine, because she and I are both life-long seamstresses. I even put her name on my car's license plate. If you are interested in this concept of no translation change for the living being found in I Thess. 4 and I Cor. 15, try this link where I chewed on the subject with a few others: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_ ... hall-sleep'/

These "alive" saints of I Thess. 4 would include the Matthew 27:52-53 "First-fruits" saints (all 144,000 of them), and any saints raised from the dead by Christ and His disciples during their ministries. Likewise Enoch, who was the only one ever to be translated, but who had not yet ascended as of New Testament days. (Ask me to prove this from scripture, if you want.) Likewise the few examples of those raised by the prophets in the Old Testament days. None of these ascended to heaven - not even Elijah, if you read the account carefully in the LXX. He never left the planet, but was just transported by the whirlwind to another location on earth. (Ask me to prove this from scripture, if you want.) Christ told Nicodemus that NO MAN had ascended to heaven yet, as of that time (John 3:13). I believe Christ, because He absolutely HAD to be the first one to ascend to His Father in a resurrected body form as the "First-begotten". Until Christ became the "First-born" and opened up the way for His siblings to follow later on, no one could ascend to heaven yet as a bodily resurrected saint. So, all those resurrected saints "remained" on the earth until the AD 70 resurrection, when they were all taken to heaven together.

The Greek word for "remain" in I Thess. 4:15,17 is very specific. The "perileipo" term, similar to "apoleipo", implies a type of reserved status that is set apart for a particular purpose or season of time. That's why the 144,000 "First-fruits" saints raised along with "Christ the First-fruits" had the SEAL of God put on their foreheads. They were reserved for a particular purpose, which Ephesians 4:8-14 spells out for us. That "multitude of captives" Christ led out of the grave with Him were individual saints who were either apostles (meaning "sent ones" - not the 12), or they were prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers. All these resurrected individuals "remained" on earth to edify the early church as they served in these various capacities. How else do you think the Hymenaeus and Philetus heresy arose? Those two men presumed that the Matthew 27:52-53 group of resurrected saints was the only past fulfillment of a resurrection event that the saints would ever experience. A discouraging error that Paul had to write against in I Thess. 4 as he described the second bodily resurrection that would take place at Christ's return in the near future. It was the time when the "alive" and "remaining" resurrected saints would join all the rest of the newly-resurrected saints to meet the Lord in the air together.

Paidion, you wrote that the "2nd century Christian writers viewed the coming of Christ as an event future to their time." That's TRUE. The point is that it's a THIRD coming of Christ, with a final THIRD resurrection in our future. This is according to the OT Mosaic pattern laid out in the three required harvest-feast celebrations of Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. There was to be a resurrection event with the saints' bodies coming out of the dust, timed to occur on each of these festival times of the year, in three stages over the span of fallen man's history on this planet.

The "First Resurrection" as Rev. 20:5 calls it, was Christ's with the accompanying "First-fruits" saints raised with Him during Passover week (the Matt. 27:52-53 saints).
The second resurrection took place on Pentecost day in AD 70; exactly timed to fulfill Daniel's 1,335th day (Dan. 12:11-13), matching with Josephus' records of AD 66-70 events.
The third resurrection for us will be during the time of year when the Feast of Tabernacles would ordinarily have been celebrated. This is why Zech. 14 emphasized this one feast celebration to be remembered AFTER the AD 70 siege of Jerusalem described in Zech. 12-14. The other two feasts aren't ever mentioned in Zechariah 14, because at the close of AD 70's Jerusalem siege, they would have already been fulfilled types by then.

A link where I have written more on this theme of "three harvest-feast = three resurrections is developed here: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_ ... rrections/

Paidion, if you are seeking for physical evidence of Christ's return, look at the landslide rubble fields lying on the slopes of the Mount of Olives that have "blocked up the valley as far as Azal", according to Zech. 14:4-5 in the LXX. Israel is criss-crossed with earthquake fault lines, and the Mount of Olives was literally shaken at Christ's AD 70 bodily return, causing landslide rubble to slump downhill, just as described in Zech. 14:4-5. Uzziah's earthquake rubble layers as well as the AD 70 layers are still lying there, and have undergone archaeological exploration. Did Christ not predict increasing earthquake phenomena in the years approaching His first-century return? There's ample documented proof of increased seismic activity that occurred during this first-century period. How about Abraham's discovered burial cave which is empty? Does that help?

If you are looking for scripture's evidence of an AD 70 bodily return, I can quote Christ, Paul, James, Peter, Jude, John's Revelation, and the epistles and the gospels. Virtually every book of the New Testament spoke of an imminent return of Christ and the close of the Old Covenant age. In addition, every one of the OT prophets said at least something about those "last days" of the first century (Acts 3:20-21).

But if you are looking for a parchment fragment, a scroll, an ostraca, or something similar with a written description of someone experiencing the exact day when Christ physically returned in AD 70, we have yet to unearth a copy of the "Jerusalem Daily Herald" from AD 70. Does that prove such a record doesn't exist or was never made? Hardly. How many book-burnings have there been of religious material throughout history? How about documents that may have decomposed naturally? Also, archaeology is an ongoing pursuit of historical evidence, which may yet produce what you are requesting. In the meantime, perhaps God is waiting to see if we will believe what is already written concerning the things He was about to do back then, without putting Him on the witness stand and demanding He produce hard copy evidence after the fact. "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed."

You also ask why no 2nd century believers were aware of an AD 70 return of Christ. Even after His own resurrection, Christ didn't display Himself to ALL the people - only certain witnesses chosen before by God (Acts 10:41). In the same manner, Christ also did not promise that ALL human beings on the planet would simultaneously see His return in AD 70, since He was going to descend bodily to the Mount of Olives and gather all His resurrected saints to that single location (not those who hadn't died yet), before returning to heaven with them. This had to occur while the temple and its eastern gate were still standing back then, since Ezekiel 46:1-3's prophecy dictated that the people were to worship in the sabbaths and the new moons at this eastern gate that was reserved for "the prince" to enter. A picture-type of when and where Christ's second coming would occur in AD 70.

Was that mass resurrection event supposed to be visible to the eyes of ALL first-century observers? Not necessarily, because the physical bodies of resurrected saints - just like Christ - have the alternative option of disappearing from sight (Luke 24:31). "The things that are not seen are eternal", we are told, so this has to be an option for eternal, incorruptible, resurrected bodies as well. Call it a "stealth mode" alternative, if you will. The glorified, resurrected body form has traits and abilities it did not formerly have before death, while it was called "corruptible flesh". Christ Himself left His tomb in the evening without being noticed by the Roman armed guard standing just a few feet away - totally oblivious that He had risen. After all, Jesus only promised that SOME would not have died before He returned with His angels to reward his servants. These few - not all -would be witnesses to His AD 70 physical return. The resurrection trumpet is for the DEAD to hear and arise - not necessarily for the living to hear, unless God permitted this privilege.

Spiritual manifestations in scripture were very often selectively revealed to the senses of men. I'm sure you could make your own list Paidion; of Elisha's servant's eyes being opened to see the chariots of God; Balaam's ass seeing the angel versus Balaam's inability; Saul's comrades on the Damascus road hearing a voice, but seeing no man; the people hearing either thunder or an angel's voice speaking to Christ, etc., etc.

Paidion, you made a comment along with quoting Revelation 1:7 to prove that "every eye" on the planet - without exception - is supposed to witness a returning Christ. Look at the language carefully. John said, "...and every eye will see Him, EVEN" (kai - meaning "namely", "that is", or "to be specific") "they who pierced Him. And all the TRIBES OF THE EARTH will mourn because of Him." (the 12 Jewish tribes of the land of Israel). We don't have Jewish tribes in existence anymore, and haven't since AD 70 burned up all genealogical records of them, as Mal. 4:1 predicted. The "every eye" who saw Christ return was specifically the generation who was responsible for piercing the Savior, according to Rev. 1:7. Try this link that spells out my thoughts a little better than I can do here: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_ ... 'every-eye'/

For the Clement letter you supplied, dated as AD 97, I guess I would question how that AD 97 date can be confirmed with any certainty. The very tone of Clement's words in that letter anticipate an imminent return of Christ, which doesn't match any historical events of prophetic magnitude,(such as Christ's return), soon after AD 97. Rather, I should say it was penned prior to AD 70, with the expectation of Christ's imminent return at that time. Clement's tone is the very same kind reflected in II Peter 3:3-4, written as we know just before Peter's execution around AD 67 (II Peter 1:14-15). Peter was urging faithfulness in his readers, reminding them that it was prophesied that many in those "last days" would be complaining, 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." And so it did continue, right up until the Great Tribulation era of AD 66-70. Sounds as if Clement and Peter read each other's diaries and were speaking of the same AD 70 event.

It's not likely any of this will be convincing enough for you Paidion - I'm not that presumptuous - but you may be interested in some internal evidence of scripture I submitted for an early date of late AD 59 to early AD 60 for Revelation's date. It's at this link if you have some free time to burn: http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_ ... n-written/

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:34 pm

Hi 3R, you wrote:Oh dear, hope you don't mind another tediously long answer here. You have the advantage over me, in that you have been posting here for much, much longer than I have, and people have become familiar with your viewpoint over time. People don't know where I'm coming from, so I have to multiply words just to define my position as clearly as possible. So sorry.
There's absolutely no need for you to apologize for anything. Like the rest of us, you have a way of interpreting scriptures, and you have a perfect right to share your interpretation. None of us are going to "rake you over the coals" for expressing your thoughts.
You also wrote:A bit of clarification to begin with: there is no such thing as a translation-type change for the living that was promised for the "rapture". Not in I Thess. 4, nor in I Cor. 15:51-54. Only a change for the physically DEAD was promised. The only ones "raptured" off this planet in AD 70 were RESURRECTED SAINTS. No ordinary living believers were included who hadn't died yet. The group in I Thess. 4 who were called "alive" and who had "remained" behind were composed of individuals who had been raised from the dead already and who had been MADE ALIVE by resurrection. Remember Dorcas, the seamstress, that Peter presented "ALIVE" to her friends after her resurrection? She's my heroine, because she and I are both life-long seamstresses. I even put her name on my car's license plate.
The plain reading of the text seems to affirm the contrary:

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [have died], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep [have died] in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord [will not have not yet died when He returns] will by no means precede those who are asleep [have died]. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ [those who have died before his coming] will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain [who will not have died when He comes] shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Cor 4:13-18 ESV, reddened words of explanation in brackets are mine).

However, prophesied future events (or those that you suppose occurred in A.D. 70) are not of momentous importance. Much more important are salvation issues—From what are we being saved? Is our salvation a continuing process, or an accomplished fact? Etc.
Paidion

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by 3Resurrections » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:12 pm

Hi Paidion,

I guess it's understandable that some consider these issues as less vital than "the weightier matters of the law, justice, mercy, and faith" (Matt. 23:23). The longer I study my Bible, though, the more I am convinced that there is virtually nothing in it that is not of "momentous importance" depending on how it is applied. Even the subject of this post - if the apostle John wrote Revelation - impinges on a wide range of important issues, or you would not have brought it up for discussion.

Let me tell you from my experience how I have found prophesied events in scripture - particularly fulfilled prophecies - to be vital in defending the integrity of the whole body of God's Word. There's a dearly-loved neighborhood friend of mine who is of a very liberal bent when it comes to religion. She says she loves Jesus, but she also says she loves Buddha, meditation, the idea of God being a goddess, etc. She also believes the creation account is "a myth", and has challenged me to prove that the Bible isn't just stories invented by a bunch of men who wanted to lord it over everyone else, as she thinks. Knowing what trauma she has gone through in her background, I am not shocked by her thoughts, and do not take any offense at her comments. I told her what especially proved to me the divinity of the Bible's author - God the Father - and the Bible's truth was its precise predictions and FULFILLMENTS of those dates for prophetic events throughout history. Daniel's prophecy of 70 weeks is a supreme example of God declaring the timed appearance of His Son on earth and His crucifixion - to the very year. No one but a sovereign God can declare the end from the beginning and bring events to pass exactly on schedule without a hitch.

Didn't God make this very claim about His power in Isaiah 46:9-10? "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" I have immersed myself in studying scripture's dated prophecies, and my faith in an all-knowing God with sovereign power has grown exponentially these past years from digging through the Bible and finding Preterist teaching on full display in its pages. To another person, dates and numbers might be rather dry fare to feed their faith, but to me, it's absolutely riveting to connect the dots between what God said He was going to do and when He accomplished it in history. Guess it's how my brain is wired, but I've had closer fellowship with my Lord these past few years than I ever did from my childhood salvation experience and forward. Wish I could spill this joyful confidence in an omniscient God onto my dear friend, but God's methods of touching her heart may come from a different direction instead.

So yes, Paidion, eschatology can be relevant to salvation issues in certain situations, in one sense of it.

For the I Thess. 4 "rapture" verses? I know this is totally off-topic from your original theme, so I'll try not to go to great lengths about it here. (I'm sure there are posts somewhere else on this site about it, too.) The plain sense of the word "remain" is what caused me to question what I was always told these verses meant. Why include the word "remain" at all? If the interpretation is that ordinary living saints will be translated and air-lifted to heaven at the last day's resurrection when Christ returns, wouldn't Paul have just said, "Then we which are alive...shall be caught up together in the clouds..."? To insert the word "remain" would be a wasted, unnecessary word in that case. If all are caught up TOGETHER, then these "alive" ones have only "remained" on earth for a microsecond eye-blink's worth of time before they join the saints in the air who have just been resurrected. Yet even the ordinary sense of the word "remain" implies a waiting period of some length of time, even if we don't refer to the Greek which implies a reserved status for it.

We cannot deny that this I Thess. 4 text says absolutely nothing about the "alive" saints being translated before they meet Christ in the air. It's just not in these scriptures, nor in I Cor. 15:51-54 either. Yet we know that corruptible flesh bodies cannot behold God's face and survive the experience. These bodies of ours must pass one time through the death process appointed for us in order to be raised immortal and incorruptible by the Spirit's power. Only then are we able to look at our Father's face in heaven and not be consumed by the view of His holiness. Nobody gets off this planet without dying once; God's rule from Hebrews 9:27. That rule conflicts with the whole supposed "translation-change" idea that is ordinarily taught about the rapture text.

The only way that both verses (Hebrews 9:27 and I Thess. 4:15,17) can be reconciled is if these "alive" and "remaining" individual saints of I Thess. 4 had already been resurrected to life some time before that rapture event. That being the case, they would already have received immortal, incorruptible body forms, fitted to meet the Lord in the air with the rest of the newly-resurrected saints.

Paul himself expressed his earnest desire in Phil. 3:10-11 to be martyred before AD 70, so that he could participate at that time in the second physical resurrection at Christ's return. "That by it I may know Yeshua and the power of His resurrection, and that I may share in His sufferings and be conformed to His death, That perhaps I may be able to come to the resurrection from the place of the dead." The KJV uses the word "attain unto the resurrection", but the Greek sense of this word means "to ARRIVE AT" a certain point in time. Paul wanted to be martyred just before Christ's imminent return, so that he could "arrive at" that resurrection day in time to share in the power of Christ's resurrection for himself. Paul got what he wanted, too, since he was killed by Nero around AD 67, just in time to "arrive at" an AD 70 physical resurrection. It was the same imminent resurrection of Acts 24:15 (YLT) that Paul spoke of to Felix around AD 58. "...Having hope toward God, which they themselves also wait for, that there is ABOUT TO BE a rising again of the dead, both of righteous and unrighteous;" Paul repeated this same expectation to Timothy in his last letter dated around AD 66-67, just before his execution. "I do fully testify, then, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is ABOUT TO judge living and dead at his manifestation and his reign:" (II Tim. 4:1 - YLT).
Last edited by 3Resurrections on Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:53 pm

Greetings 3R, in the name of the Altogether Lovely One! Yes, there are many different ways of interpreting the various parts of the Bible. Just one example:
You wrote:No one but a sovereign God can declare the end from the beginning and bring events to pass exactly on schedule without a hitch.

Didn't God make this very claim about His power in Isaiah 46:9-10? "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
You make this sound as if God knows all events that will occur and that therefore they must inevitably take place. If that is your position, would you say that this implies that we do not have the ability to choose—that all events occur as if you were showing a movie in which there can be no variation? However, when we read the passage in context, we find that it is saying simply that when God intends to do a thing, He will surely make it happen, and nothing can stop Him from accomplishing that which He intends to bring to pass. He declares the end from the beginning of that which He intends to cary out.

Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose," calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by 3Resurrections » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:25 pm

Hello Paidion,

The question you propose about a sovereign God's operations juxtaposed with man's freedom of choice is actually several questions in one.

#1) "Does God, the creator of all things visible and invisible, have a RIGHT to step in and predestine actions that His creation carries out?" As created beings in subjection to the Creator, we should assume a humble affirmative to this. We would then ask the following:

#2) "Does God the creator always exercise this right to masterfully predestine every single activity that takes place in His creation?" If we say "yes", this makes God the author of evil, correct? To illustrate that God incorporates human frailty (and human responsibility) in His plans to accomplish His purpose, we know for certain that Jesus deliberately became incarnate, with humanity's limitations when He "grew in wisdom and stature". This was a voluntary condition of humiliation for Him, which He adopted in obedience to the Father's will. Did the universe spin out of control while Jesus was in that humbled incarnate form on earth with those self-imposed limitations? Certainly not; God's hand never left the helm, even when His Son was being treated abominably by the very creatures He had created. Same thing with God retaining His sovereignty when mankind's evil is being exercised openly. By foreknowing these evil actions which the corrupted will of man performs, God sets the machinery in motion ahead of time to either nullify evil's effects, make it work for ultimate good, or restrain it from the maximum level it could reach otherwise.

#3) "Does foreknowledge of events that inevitably come to pass mean that God is supremely bored with a creation having predictable outcomes?" Well, if we ever read a book more than once, or see a movie multiple times, or record a sports event to watch again later, this hardly lessens our enjoyment of them, simply because we know how the story ends. Same with God knowing the end from the beginning and bringing His purposes to pass.

The text of Isaiah 46:9-10 that you are interpreting above, as you probably know, is connected to the prophecy of Cyrus, king of the Medes and Persians, being set up by God for the primary purpose of issuing a decree that released the children of Israel to return to their homeland. Cyrus was directly in the stream of prophesied events that led to the Savior being born in the proper time to an intact tribe of Judah. The nation HAD TO BE REVIVED after their Babylonian captivity so that Christ would arrive on the scene exactly when and where this was prophesied. If He had not, He would have been a false Messiah.

Cyrus was God's "anointed shepherd" who set in motion that revival of Israel at God's behest. The Isaiah 41-46 prophecies which included Cyrus by name described exactly how he was going to take down the city of Babylon and King Belshazzar. This was predicted by Isaiah some 150 years or so before the fact. God spelled out this man's actual name in advance, saying He would "direct all his ways" (Is. 45:13). As Daniel 10 and 11 shows us, God even used angelic divine council powers in place behind the scenes to "strengthen and confirm" the rulers who would carry out His plans for allowing the exiled Israelites to return.

In the Isaiah 46:9-10 context, this involves more than God acting with foreknowledge of the choices men would make; in this case, He was proactively setting the stage for the predicted outcomes that followed. As He said in Isaiah 42:9, "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and NEW THINGS do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." God can predict "from ancient times" what will be fulfilled in the distant future. Also, this is more than just God announcing what will happen from the beginning to the ending point of a certain prophetic period; it is His declaration spoken centuries and even millennia before the exact events of a prophetic period ever begin to unfold.

If God predicts and executes affairs of world-impacting magnitude such as Cyrus' prophecy shows us in Isaiah 41-46, it would be a slam-dunk if He desired to micro-manage anything on a smaller scale as well, according to His own designs; an argument from the greater to the lesser, I would think, with innumerable examples in scripture that illustrate this happening.
Last edited by 3Resurrections on Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Did the apostle John write Revelation?

Post by Paidion » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:30 pm

#1) "Does God, the creator of all things visible and invisible, have a RIGHT to step in and predestine actions that His creation carries out?" As created beings in subjection to the Creator, we should assume a humble affirmative to this. We would then ask the following:
God has a right to do anything He pleases. But it doesn't please Him to interfere with the free will with which He created man. God Himself has free will, and He created man in His own image. Since that image is not a physical image, it must be a non-material image. Wouldn't the ability to choose be a primary aspect of that image?

I see no other reason to explain why God (who has the ability) seldom prevents the millions of atrocities that take place daily throughout the earth. I think the reason He seldom intervenes, is that He patiently waits for people, through their own free will, to submit to His authority—eschewing wickedness and working righteousness—making service to others a chief goal in the practical outworking of their lives.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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