Episode 60: Withdrawing His Sustaining Hand, with Greg Boyd

Best-selling author, pastor, theologian, and President of ReKnew.org, Greg Boyd joins Rethinking Hell contributor Joshua Anderson to discuss the evolution of his understanding of hell, based on a Christocentric hermeneutic.

Links

ReKnew.org, Greg Boyd’s ministry
http://www.reknew.org
Woodland Hills Church Sermon Podcasts
http://whchurch.org/sermons-media/sermon-podcasts
Benefit of the Doubt: Breaking the Idol of Certainty, by Greg Boyd
http://www.amazon.com/Benefit-Doubt-Breaking-Idol-Certainty/dp/0801014921/

Rethinking Hell Book and Conference Links

Rethinking Hell Book Ordering Information
http://rethinkinghell.com/2014/04/order-now-rethinking-hell-readings-in-evangelical-conditionalism/
Rethinking Hell Conference Videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/rethinkinghell
Conference Website, for Unfolding 2015 Conference(s) Details
http://www.rethinkinghellconference.com
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  • givemhell

    Chris, I’m very happy to see a new episode of rethinkinghell but I’ve been dying to ask you a question about an issue that has been bothering me. You were very helpful in leading me to this point in my understanding of partial preterism but now I have a serious question that is really bugging me and I can’t find a good answer. It seems like 1 thessalonians 4 and 5 has a bunch of parallels with matthew 24 and paul seems to think that it is going to happen very soon. I don’t buy hyperpreterism so I’m kind of left wondering at that bit of text. Any ideas about the parallels with matthew 24 and the nearness of it? I’ve looked for you or dee dee warren or gary demar addressing this issue but I can’t find anything. dee dee warren seems to have disappeared and taken most of her materials with her and I can’t find any of the partial preterists who were so helpful in encouraging me to the preterist position addressing this issue that I really think might lead some people to end up as hyperpreterists. Also, have you considered doing an episode on how a preteristic view of revelation and the gospels has a tremendous impact on the new testament view of hell? I know that you have touched on how this happens when you take a preteristic understanding of revelation but i haven’t heard you talk about how the parable of the wheat and tares in matthew 13 is paralleling what john the baptist says to the pharisees that came to be baptized in matthew 3 or any of the other related texts. If you read the gospels and revelation preteristically then Jesus’s references to Gehenna are really about the death toll created by the siege of Jerusalem and not about the eternal fate of the wicked in any direct sense. I wrote a whole bunch of stuff about this in the forums. Thanks.

  • givemhell

    So that you don’t have to search through the forum to find what I was saying about the impact of partial preterism on hell here:

    When I say that most annihilationists are wrong about hell what I mean
    is that the way in which they understand the texts where Jesus talks
    about Gehenna is wrong. Here, let me show you a few examples:

    At the beginning of Matthew Pharisees and Sadducees come to Jesus to be baptized. This is what John says to them:

    7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and
    Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood
    of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce
    fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to
    yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of
    these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already
    at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good
    fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

    11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one
    who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He
    will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork
    is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his
    wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    Two things to note about the text, John speaks with eminency. This is
    going to happen soon. “The ax is already at the root of the trees”.

    What I especially want to point out though is how he describes this
    judgement that is about to come on the Pharisees and Sadducees. He
    describes it like God separating wheat and chaff and burning up the
    chaff. This should remind you of several parallels from Matthew. The
    most prominent one should be Matthew 13.

    Now if you go to Matthew 13, it describes the same thing. God separates Wheat and Chaff and burns the chaff.

    This is how he explains the parable in Matthew 13:

    40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned
    in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will
    send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything
    that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the
    blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Ok, note the time indicator again. When is this supposed to happen.
    “at the end of the age”. What is the end of the age? He is talking
    about the transition to the messianic age. Remember, people were
    expecting the messiah to come at that time and to conquer and be seated
    on his throne ushering in an age of peace. This age of the messiah is
    called the messianic age. They were all waiting around for this to
    start which would happen when the messiah came and did His thing.

    So, here the messiah is in front of them explaining what is about to
    happen because the messianic age, where he is enthroned ruling over the
    nations is about to start. The old age is going away and the new age is
    beginning.

    So what happens to the naughty ones? They are thrown into the furnace
    of fire. How does he describe the furnace of fire? “42 They will throw
    them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing
    of teeth.”

    This should remind you of Matthew 24 because it appears again there. Here it is:

    45 “Who then is the faithful and wise
    servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his
    household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good
    for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47
    Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48
    But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is
    staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow
    servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that
    servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he
    is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place
    with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    This of course should remind you of the parable of the wicked tenants that he told a few chapters earlier in Matthew 21.

    33 “Hear another parable. There was a
    householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a
    wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and
    went into another country. 34 When the season of fruit drew near, he
    sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; 35 and the tenants
    took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36
    Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same
    to them. 37 Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will
    respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to
    themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his
    inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard,
    and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what
    will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those
    wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants
    who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”

    Get it? The wicked tenants are the leaders of Israel, the land is the
    kingdom of God, the servants are the prophets, the son is Jesus. This
    isn’t talking about a trillion years in the future. This is talking
    about the impending punishment on the leaders of Jerusalem. That is how
    the story end.

    People should understand this because the gospels have so many instances
    of the leaders of Jerusalem challenging the authority of Jesus over and
    over. This all fits together perfectly.

    So in Matthew 25, you see the same phrase again. “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

    28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten
    bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an
    abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from
    them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness,
    where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    What does that remind you of… “throw that worthless servant outside,
    into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”?
    It should remind you of the parable of the wedding banquet in Matthew
    22, the chapter after the chapter with the parable of the wicked
    tenants. Notice that I’m staying completely with in the book of
    matthew.

    “22 Jesus spoke to them again in parables,
    saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding
    banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been
    invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

    4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been
    invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have
    been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

    5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to
    his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed
    them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those
    murderers and burned their city.

    8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but
    those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners
    and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out
    into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as
    well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

    11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there
    who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in
    here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

    13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw
    him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and
    gnashing of teeth.’

    14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

    Ok, so what is that about? You probably already know this. Who are the
    original people invited to the wedding who are not wearing proper
    wedding clothes? It’s the leaders of Israel. Remember, they are
    constantly the dig. Jesus is constantly arguing against them and
    attacking them and they are constantly arguing with him and attacking
    him, vying for a position of authority as rightful teacher and ruler.
    That is why the climax of the story is Jesus in front of the Sanhedrin
    when they condemn him to die and then say that they have no lord but
    Caesar in front of pilate. Get it? They are rejecting God again.
    Then, what do they say? Again, this is matthew. They say something
    like “let his blood be on us and on our children.” Get it?

    Who were the people who suffered in the roman invasion in 70 ad? It was
    that generation and their children who saw the invasion. So, what
    happens? The kingdom is taken from them and is given to the gentiles.
    So, who is the one who is thrown outside of the wedding in the parable
    so that they are in the darkness and there is weeping and gnashing of
    teeth? It is the false religious leaders of Israel who has “killed the
    prophets” and the son.

    Of course, all of this separating of wheat and chaff should remind you
    matthew 25, where goats are separated from sheep. See, this could just
    go on and on and on because Jesus is talking about a specific thing. He
    is talking about God taking the kingdom from the false religious
    leaders and giving the kingdom to the gentiles and punishing the false
    religious leaders of Israel.

    People want to read these things and put them thousands or years into
    the future but they are completely missing the story of the gospels.
    The parable of the prodigal son, the parable of lazarus and the rich
    man, these things are about God’s relationship with the Jews and his
    relationship with the gentiles.

    I know that everyone wants to read their own personal salvation into
    these things. Maybe in some secondary sense, it is talking about that.
    It isn’t directly talking about it. It may be a type, in the way that
    Israel was a type of Jesus or the binding of Isaac was a type of the
    crucifixion, but that isn’t what Jesus is actually talking about in a
    direct sense.

    That is why I’m saying that most annihilationists are wrong about hell.
    They look at gehenna and the things that Jesus said about gehenna as
    being teachings about the end of the messianic age and the final
    judgement of all of humanity. It isn’t. It is about Jesus as messiah,
    appearing to Israel, being crucified for sins and inaugurating a new
    covenant thereby providing salvation to the entire world (both elect
    jews and elect gentiles from all nations tribes and peoples) and
    punishing Israel. See? It’s about the end of that age and the
    beginning of the messianic age, not the about the end of the messianic
    age. Not in any direct sense anyways.

    • James Gray

      Quick semi-related question – Why do you think Jesus’ statement about giving the kingdom to another people (Mt. 21:43) means that the kingdom was taken from Israel and given to the gentiles? I think all Jesus was saying (to the Jewish leaders) was that he was going to give the kingdom to a people bearing its fruit, and that by ‘people’ he means Jews and Gentiles who follow Jesus and bear fruit. I just wanted to touch on that. I wouldn’t really want to chime in on the preterism/hyperpreterism discussion because it’s very involved and I tend to hold to premillennialist view myself.

      • givemhell

        I agree with you James that the messianic kingdom is made up of jews and gentiles, however, I say gentiles as shorthand because the vast vast vast vast majority of Christians have been gentiles and not Jews and I am saying gentile in distinction to corporate israel. As a nation, the Jewish people have rejected Jesus as messiah. Although God primarily was dealing with the Jewish people in the old testament as a nation, as a tribe, as a people, in the history following the gospels God throws off the Jewish people and appeals to the gentiles sending the Jewish nation/peoples into slavery and exile leading to 2000 years of persecution by largely by gentile “Christian” nations and gentile “muslim” nations. While historically a large portion of the gentile world came to adopt Christ as messiah the Jewish people have rejected him as a people.

        As a side-note, don’t take this to mean that I believe that Israel has been replaced by the gentiles in the eyes of God. I believe that Israel continues to exist as a distinct people and that God has plans for the Jewish people as a people group and will honor His word which He made to Abraham ,which should be obvious to anyone who isn’t living under a rock.

        • James Gray

          I see – I would agree then that Jesus may be using the term ‘nation’ there to mean Gentiles, since the Church would end up largely consisting of Gentiles and it would seem to correlate with Old Testament prophecies such as Is. 65:1 and Dt. 32:21. Thanks for the response.

          • James Gray

            Or – He could be talking about a future kingdom as referred to in Acts 1:6 – i’m not sure yet.

          • givemhell

            If you are talking matthew 21:43 I was agreeing with you about the people being referred to there as being a mixed multitude of people from all tribes and nations including the Jews. I was simply noting that as a people, Israel rejects her messiah and that is what Jesus is describing in matthew 21:42, that God was taking the kingdom from the Jewish people (as a people) and giving it to a mostly gentile mixed multitude.

          • James Gray

            I guess I will try and respond to one of your main points above – i’m just trying to get clarification more or less:

            When you propose that passages like the parable of the sheep and the goats is not in any direct sense about the end of the messianic age, I wonder how you square that with the more descriptive passages like Heb. 9:27, in which the writer of Hebrews discusses a posthumous judgement. Also, it seems that Jesus’ teaching in John 5:29 indicates a similar idea as well. So why should we assume that the parable of the sheep and goats mainly portrays the idea of God’s dealing with Jews and Gentiles? Isn’t there room, in partial preterism, for the idea of multiple fulfillments and/or recapitulation?

            I see how there are things that definitely seemed to apply directly in the days of the apostles – but I don’t think that means that they carry any less of a direct application for the future. I guess I’m reminded of the ideas in the parables such as in Luke 19, in which Jesus talks about a nobleman who ‘A nobleman went into a far country’, and in Luke 12 in which a slave is depicted as saying ‘My master is delayed in coming’. These kinds of ideas, I think for me, give ample grounds for the idea that the Scriptures emphasize a long awaited return that stretches beyond the time period between Christ’s death and resurrection and the events occurring around 70 AD.

          • givemhell

            James, I am not denying a bodily resurrection of the dead. God forbid.

            I am not assuming that the parable of the sheep and the goats mainly portrays the idea of God’s dealing with Jews and Gentiles. I am concluding that this is the case based on the overall context of these passages, both the overall context and the immediate context.

            If you reread what I wrote you will see that I am not simply making assumptions but showing the unity of the text, that Christ came as a prophet like Jeremiah, warning Israel to repent because of the impending Judgement on the people.

            As far as a dual meaning, or a dual fulfillment, my study as to how the old testament uses the new leads me to believe that this is indeed the case. However, I would note that the primary and direct meaning of these texts is the impending judgement upon Israel. This is a MAJOR theme in the gospel narratives that has been minimized by egocentric people who have made themselves the center of the text, failing to realize that while Christ’s word’s may have application for us, that they were not spoken to us.

            As far as Luke 19 is concerned, while the nobleman goes into a far country, notice that it all happens within the lifetime of one generation. It makes more sense to take this as pertaining to Christ’s departure following his crucifixion and the 40 year delay before the Judgement on Israel instead of a two thousand or trillion year delay (since we don’t know when he returns it might as well be trillions of trillions of years as tomorrow).

            and any interpretation of Luke 12 that ignores it’s context is invalid.

            The text that you mentioned in Luke 12 is part of a long string of instruction that starts in this way at the beginning of the chapter:

            12 Meanwhile,
            when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were
            trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples,
            saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

            then he goes on to say:

            11 “When
            you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

            The context of these books is very much set in the first century. The constant “opponents” in the story are the first century romans and pharisees. These are the people to whom Jesus is directly responding and he is directly talking to the people who are around him during his day.

            For me, these are very poor proof texts for premillenialism and moreover seem to ignore much stronger time indicators that indicated the nearness of the end. For example, premillenialists will read the book of Revelation and ignore completely the first sentence:

            1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed
            is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are
            those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

            They also tend to reinterpret plain texts like Matthew 24:34 which really cannot be justly understood to mean anything other than what it says:

            “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

            or do weird things with texts like this one in matthew 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.

            Moreover, they ignore text after text that indicate that they were living in the last days.

            Paul: “Besides
            this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from
            sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
            The
            night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the
            works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12).
            “This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short.
            From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none…and
            those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the
            world
            as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this
            world is passing away” (I Corinthians 7:29-31). “Now these things
            happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our
            instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (I Cor. 10:11). “The
            Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).

            Hebrews (author unknown):
            “…encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing
            near” (Hebrews 10:25). “Yet a little while, and the coming One will come
            and will not delay…” (Heb. 10:37).

            James: “Come now, you rich,
            weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you… You have laid
            up treasure in the last days” (James 5:1-3). “Establish your hearts, for
            the coming of the Lord is at hand… behold, the Judge is standing at the
            door” (James 5:8-9).

            Peter: “The end of all things is at hand” (I Peter 4:7).

            John:
            “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist
            is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it
            is the last hour” (I John 2:18).

            Overall, premillenialism is a system that ends up interpreting everything as if Christ were speaking to a 21st century audience. It ignores context. It ignores the fact that Christ’s listeners were there in front of him and when He said “you” He was talking to them and not to you, James Gray. While it may have application to you or be true for you, He just wasn’t speaking to you.

            Premillenialism tends to rip all of these texts out of a first century context and ignores the major theme of the gospels, God’s relationship with the nation of Israel and minimizes Christ’s role of prophet like Jeremiah, predicting the impending destruction of Jerusalem, an event that completely changed everything for the Jews, an event that Jews today still mourn every year.

          • James Gray II

            I don’t tend to lean toward a premillennial position because I think Jesus is speaking directly to me in those passages, I guess I just think the overall tenor of Scripture on this issue seems to portray something that encompasses much more than the events of the first century. Also, the early church primarily held to a premillennial type of position post 70 AD from what I gather. Maybe i’m wrong though – I don’t want you to think that i’m claiming to be solid in my current view of eschatology.

          • givemhell

            I agree with you that it portrays something that encompasses much more than the events of the first century. That’s one of many reasons why I don’t hold to hyperpreterism. At the same time, the context is clearly first century and the text should be understood in it’s context. In other words, while there may be some secondary fullfilment and Christ teaches and believes in a bodily resurrection of the dead and a return to earth the vast majority of the text, on its face is simply not dealing with the end of the messianic reign but the beginning of the messianic reign.

            As far as the early church fathers is concerned, I think that it is plain that orthodox Christians held a variety of views on the millenium and Polycarp himself said that while he was premill “many who belong to pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.” Dialogue with Trypho

          • James Gray II

            Just a side note – I think that is Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho you’re quoting.

          • givemhell

            It is. That’s why I wrote “Dialogue with Trypho” after i quoted it. The point is that Justin Martyr acknowledged that many of the early christians who were true christians were not premil so simply saying that this i the view of the early christians is wrong. There were Christians on both sides of this issue even back then.

          • James Gray II

            Also, since we are still around and there are still wars, disasters, etc. I just think that Jesus prophetic words about the last days seem to still apply to our times.

          • givemhell

            I completely disagree on this particular point. I think that those warnings in Matthew 24 are completely useless for a modern person to gauge when Christ will return. In the first century Jerusalem was living under the Pax Romana, where they had been and peace for a long time. For there to be a war really meant something. On a global and contemporary scale it is meaningless. We have had war after war after war after war after war with 30 year wars and no end to war for 2000 years so for Jesus to tell us 2000 years later to see war as a sign that he would come is like looking at a clock and saying, when there are numbers on that clock then the world will end. It’s meaningless because there are always numbers on that clock and there have been numbers on that clock since the clock was made. T

            he same thing goes for the other warnings that Jesus gives. Moreover, if you simply read the text in it’s context it’s obviously talking about a first century event. For example, Jesus tells them “Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house,” in Matthew 24:17.

            For us today, that means nothing. Almost no one spends a lot of time on their roofs and most roofs are arched. Today in Israel the Jews build arched roofs. However, in the first century, the roofs were flat and people used to spend time on the roofs and when the romans attacked people fled the city by running from one roof to another to avoid the streets.

            This is one of several examples in matthew that make perfect sense for them and little sense for us.

          • James Gray II

            I think you missed my point about bringing up disasters and wars etc. I was not bringing that up to say that those things give an indication that the second coming is going to happen in our lifetime or something – On the contrary, I brought that up to bolster Jesus’ point that those things must take place and the end is still yet to come (Mk. 13:7-8, Mt. 24:7-8). So according to your analogy of the clock, my point is that Jesus stresses the importance of the fact that we will see numbers on the clock, and that when you start to see 1, 2 and 3 that these are just the beginning of the numbers.

            Yes, again I agree that Jesus’ words had direct application for that time. My point was that since we still see and experience these things and since we don’t have universal knowledge of God and since the promises are yet to be fulfilled in full – I think this points to the fact that we are still in the last days.

          • givemhell

            That isn’t what I was saying. I wasn’t simply saying that they have application for that time. I am saying that they had application for that time and don’t have application for us. Those signs of the time are completely useless for us because they were fulfilled 2000 years ago.

            It’s as if I were trying to give you a code indication of when I would come to bring you cookies and I wanted to tell you that I wasn’t going to bring you cookies that night but tomorrow morning I would bring you cookies. So, I tell you, when the sun rises, I will bring you cookies. So, sure enough, the next day the sun rises in the sky and you know that I’m about to bring cookies and sure enough, I bring cookies. Then you sit there every day and see sunrise after sunrise after sunrise after sunrise and as you see the sun start to come up you make false predications (there’s the sunrise, he must be on his way) all the time about me bringing cookies because the sun rises every day.

            This is what has historically happened with those time indicators. That is why we have false predictions every few years about the end of the world. They are useless time indicators for us today because from the point the Jesus said them to the point that they were fulfilled was when they were useful. After they have already come to pass they no longer work because we have already experienced them and are experiencing them constantly just like the sun rise. Tell me, when was the last time that there wasn’t a war going on somewhere in the world?

          • James Gray

            This is a main point where I disagree – I don’t think that because Jesus spoke the words that applied to the coming judgement on Jerusalem that therefore His words don’t apply beyond that time period. Just like in OT prophecies, Isa. 7:14 for example, you have an immediate application in Isaiah’s day and a future application looking forward to when Jesus would be born. Why should we limit Jesus’ prophetic statements and not allow them to have more than just an immediate fulfillment? I agree that it’s not so black and white it seems, at least at first glance. Jesus’ words sometimes seem to be definitely culturally and textually specific to the time period (‘let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…’ etc.). Though, because some of His words have an immediate application and may not have a broader fulfillment, I don’t think that means that none of His words that had an immediate fulfillment will have a broader fulfillment. I think you may be lumping me in with those who dispute that Jesus’ words about the last days included the fall of Jerusalem around 70 AD – I do think that Jesus said much about that – i’m not disputing that.

          • James Gray II

            It’s funny – I was thinking about bringing up the idea that maybe those who want to hold to some sort of preterism do so because they’re jaded about the fact the we’re still around – but you can also make that assumption about the idea that premillennialists hold their futurism because we’re still around as well. :)

            Anyway, I was reading parts of this series and found it to be helpful from a futurist/premill point of view:

            http://www.biblestudying.net/preterism1.html

          • givemhell

            Or, you are premill because you are jaded that we are still around since partial preterists have been around as long as premillenialists have been. In fact, in Judaism, many jews, even though they don’t believe that the messiah has come already believe that we are living in the messianic age now.

          • James Gray

            Also, this seems like some pretty decent material on the end times:

            http://www.letusreason.org/proph19.htm

            I would tend to align with those views.

          • givemhell

            I’m not sure how to respond to this. Obviously I don’t think much of this article, just like I don’t think much of their article on hell: http://www.letusreason.org/doct12.htm If it would help you for me to write a response to this article and if you will really read it and consider it I will write a response for you.

          • James Gray II

            No worries – I just found the article to be somewhat decent at defending a premillenialist view. I’d rather do some of my own further reading on this – thanks though.

          • givemhell

            Sure, I just hope that you are really giving both sides an equal hearing because I don’t think that premillenialism does well at all when it is put up against a system that is more grounded in the text itself. The way I do that is by listening to every debate that I can find on a subject. You might want to give http://www.thegreatestdebate.wordpress.com a try. It has debates on many different religious issues.

          • James Gray II

            I actually used to read about partial preterism and Pantelism/full preterism a bit a while back, as I was interested and as a relatively new believer, I was questioning a lot of mainstream doctrines. However, I find that believers (including myself) can often reject a position that they might associate with fundamentalism and then adopt a new view after studying it and claim that it’s more ‘textually grounded’ – when in reality maybe they just were quick to reject the position they held at first, without actually giving the first position a fair hearing, because they felt it had just been spoonfed to them.

            The same thing sort of happened to me with ‘Arminianism’, I recently kind of went full-circle and came to appreciate the ‘Arminian’ view after giving it a fair hearing after rejecting it more or less simply because I bought into the canards that it was ‘man-centered’, and that free will was just modern invention of Erasmus or something like that, etc.

            I think premillennialism fits well with the text of Scripture, I think it aligns more with the fulfillment of Old Testament promises, and I think it has large witness in the early church.

            I think Peter said it well:

            “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

          • givemhell

            1. Arminianism is man centered.

            2. I think that you are so focused on time indicators that look like they could be indicating that the time was far off that you miss the ones that say it is soon. Here, maybe this will help. Here’s a hundred of them.

            1. “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 3:2)

            2. “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?” (Matt. 3:7)

            3. “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees.” (Matt. 3:10)

            4. “His winnowing fork is in His hand.” (Matt. 3:12)

            5. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)

            6. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 10:7)

            7. “You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes.” (Matt. 10:23)

            8. “….the age about to come.” (Matt. 12:32)

            9.
            “The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His
            angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.” (Matt. 16:27)

            10. “There are some of those who are standing here who shall
            not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28; cf. Mk. 9:1; Lk. 9:27)

            11. “‘When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to
            those vine-growers?’ ‘….He will bring those wretches to a wretched
            end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay
            him the proceeds at the proper seasons.’ ‘….Therefore I say to you,
            the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation
            producing the fruit of it.’ ….When the chief priests and the
            Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about
            them.” (Matt. 21:40-41,43,45)

            12. “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Matt. 24:34)

            13. “From now on, you [Caiaphas, the chief priests, the
            scribes, the elders, the whole Sanhedrin] shall be seeing the Son of Man
            sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of
            heaven.” (Matt. 26:64; Mk. 14:62; Lk. 22:69)

            14. “The kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mk. 1:15)

            15.
            “What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the
            vine-growers, and will give the vineyard to others. ….They [the chief
            priests, scribes and elders] understood that He spoke the parable
            against them.” (Mk. 12:9,12)

            16. “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Mk. 13:30)

            17. “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?” (Lk. 3:7)

            18. “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees. ” (Lk. 3:9)

            19. “His winnowing fork is in His hand….” (Lk. 3:17)

            20. “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” (Lk. 10:9)

            21. “The kingdom of God has come near.” (Lk. 10:11)

            22. “What, therefore, will the owner of the vineyard do to
            them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the
            vineyard to others.” …The scribes and the chief priests …understood that
            He spoke this parable against them.” (Lk. 20:15-16,19)

            23. “These are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” (Lk. 21:22)

            24. “This generation will not pass away until all things take place.” (Lk. 21:32)

            25. “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for
            yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when
            they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore,
            and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the
            mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’” (Lk. 23:28-30; Compare Rev. 6:14-17)

            26. “We were hoping that He was the One who is about to redeem Israel.” (Lk. 24:21)

            27. “I will come to you. …In that Day you shall know that I am
            in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.’ …’Lord, what then has
            happened that You are about to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the
            world?’” (Jn. 14:18,20,22)

            28. “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?” (Jn. 21:22)

            29. “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days…’” (Acts 2:16-17)

            30. “He has fixed a day in which He is about to judge the world in righteousness…” (Acts 17:31)

            31. “There is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” (Acts 24:15)

            32. “As he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment about to come…” (Acts 24:25)

            33. “Not for [Abraham's] sake only was it written, that [faith]
            was reckoned to him [as righteousness], but for our sake also, to whom
            it is about to be reckoned.” (Rom. 4:23-24)

            34. “If you are living according to the flesh, you are about to die.” (Rom. 8:13)

            35. “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not
            worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to
            us.” (Rom. 8:18)

            36. “It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for
            now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost
            gone, and the day is at hand.” (Rom. 13:11-12)

            37. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” (Rom. 16:20)

            38. “The time has been shortened.” (I Cor. 7:29)

            39. “The form of this world is passing away.” (I Cor. 7:31)

            40. “Now these things …were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (I Cor. 10:11)

            41. “We shall not all fall sleep, but we shall all be changed,
            in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the
            trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we
            shall be changed.” (I Cor. 15:51-52)

            42. “Maranatha!” [The Lord comes!] (I Cor. 16:22)

            43. “…not only in this age, but also in the one about to come.” (Eph. 1:21)

            44. “The Lord is near.” (Phil. 4:5)

            45. “The gospel …was proclaimed in all creation under heaven.” (Col. 1:23; Compare Matt. 24:14; Rom. 10:18; 16:26; Col. 1:5-6; II Tim. 4:17; Rev. 14:6-7; cf. I Clement 5,7)

            46. “…things which are a shadow of what is about to come.” (Col. 2:16-17)

            47. “…we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the
            Lord… …We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them
            in the clouds… …You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the Day should
            overtake you like a thief.” (I Thess. 4:15,17; 5:4)

            48. “May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thess. 5:23)

            49. “It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who
            afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as
            well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty
            angels in flaming fire.” (II Thess. 1:6-7)
            [published by PreteristArchive.com]

            50. “Godliness …holds promise for the present life and that which is about to come.” (I Tim. 4:8)

            51. “I charge you …that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Tim. 6:14)

            52. “…storing up for themselves the treasure of a good
            foundation for that which is about to come, so that they may take hold
            of that which is life indeed.” (I Tim. 6:19)

            53. “In the last days difficult times will come. For men will
            be lovers of self… …Avoid these men. For of these are those who enter
            into households and captivate weak women… …These also oppose the truth…
            …But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be
            obvious to all…” (II Tim. 3:1-2,5-6,8-9)

            54. “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is about to judge the living and the dead…” (II Tim. 4:1)

            55. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the
            prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has
            spoken to us in His Son.” (Heb. 1:1-2)

            56. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render
            service for the sake of those who are about to inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)

            57. “He did not subject to angels the world about to come.” (Heb. 2:5)

            58. “…and have tasted …the powers of the age about to come.” (Heb. 6:5)

            59. “For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it
            and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also
            tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and
            thistles, it is worthless and near a curse, and it’s end is for
            burning.” (Heb. 6:7-8)

            60. “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first
            obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to
            disappear.” (Heb. 8:13)

            61. “The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way of the
            [heavenly] Holy Places has not yet been revealed, while the outer
            tabernacle is still standing, which is a symbol for the present time.
            Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the
            worshiper perfect in conscience, since they relate only to food and
            drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a
            time of reformation.” (Heb. 9:8-10; Compare Gal. 4:19; Eph. 2:21-22; 3:17; 4:13)

            62. “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things about to come…” (Heb. 9:11)

            63. “Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin.” (Heb. 9:26)

            64. “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things about to come…” (Heb. 10:1)

            65. “…as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:25)

            66. “…the fury of a fire which is about to consume the adversaries.” (Heb. 10:27)

            67. “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” (Heb. 10:37)

            68. “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the one that is about to come.” (Heb. 13:14)

            69. “Speak and so act, as those who are about to be judged by the law of liberty.” (Jms. 2:12)

            70. “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which
            are coming upon you. …It is in the last days that you have stored up
            your treasure!” (Jms. 5:1,3)

            71. “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” (Jms. 5:7)

            72. “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (Jms. 5:8)

            73. “…salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (I Peter 1:6)

            74. “He …has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” (I Peter 1:20)

            75. “They shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (I Peter 4:5)

            76. “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (I Peter 4:7)

            77. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God.” (I Peter 4:17)

            78. “…as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of
            Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is about to be revealed.” (I Peter 5:1)

            79. “We have the prophetic word …which you do well to pay
            attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and
            the morning star arises in your hearts.” (II Peter 1:19)

            80. “Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (II Peter 2:3)

            81. “In the last days mockers will come. …For this they willingly are ignorant of…” (I Peter 3:3,5)

            82. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which
            the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be
            destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned
            up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of
            people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and
            hastening the coming of the day of God.” (II Peter 3:10-12)

            83. “The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” (I Jn. 2:8)

            84. “The world is passing away, and its desires.” (I Jn. 2:17)

            85. “It is the last hour.” (I Jn. 2:18)

            86. “Even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (I Jn. 2:18; Compare Matt. 24:23-34)

            87. “This is that of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (I Jn. 4:3; Compare II Thess. 2:7)

            88. “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who
            were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation. …About these also

            Enoch
            …prophesied, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His
            holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the
            ungodly…’” (Jude 1:4,14-15)

            89. “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were
            spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they
            were saying to you, ‘In the last time there shall be mockers, following
            after their own ungodly lusts.’ These are the ones who cause divisions…”
            (Jude 1:17-19)

            90. “…to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place.” (Rev. 1:1)

            91. “The time is near.” (Rev. 1:3)

            92. “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.” (Rev. 2:25)

            93. “I also will keep you from the hour of testing which is about to come upon the whole world.” (Rev. 3:10)

            94. “I am coming quickly.” (Rev. 3:11)

            95. “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron.” (Rev. 12:5)

            96. “And in her [the Great City Babylon] was found the blood of
            prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.” (Rev. 18:24; Compare Matt. 23:35-36; Lk. 11:50-51)

            97. “…to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place.” (Rev. 22:6)

            98. “Behold, I am coming quickly. ” (Rev. 22:7)

            99. “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.” (Rev. 22:10; Compare Dan. 8:26)

            100. “Behold, I am coming quickly.” (Rev. 22:12)

            101. “Yes, I am coming quickly.” (Rev. 22:20)

            Maybe for God one day is like a thousand years but when God gives a time indicator in the bible he is talking to us and not to another God. Taking a day and making it into a thousand years in the bible based off of that passage is ridiculous, it’s just as silly as taking a thousand years in the bible and making it one day.

            If I am going to say those kinds of things, and I am basing it off of this verse I could very easy take the concept of the millenium, then look at this verse and say “see, God is talking in God code and a thousand years is as a day to the Lord, therefore the millenium is really just one day”. Then, I could say that the millenium was only talking about the one day in which Jerusalem was sacked, or I could a million silly things with it. That’s simply not how we are supposed to read the bible.
            I don’t have much to say on whether 2 peter 3 is referring to a final judgment or the judgement of jerusalem but let me respond in the same way that I responded previously. Using this as a time indicator is pointless. Simply because it seems like the Lord tarries does not indicate how long he will tarry. Moreover, you are not the audience of 2 peter. When it says “you” he isn’t talking to you James. He is talking to his first century audience. Again, I would point out to you that there are many many time texts that indicate that the end of the age was imminent.

          • James Gray

            https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1552-when-was-the-book-of-revelation-written

            It seems that if the conclusion of this article is true, then you may need to reconsider the way you’re interpreting and systematizing a bunch (if not all) of the verses you listed above.

            I will probably be bowing out of this conversation, at least for now.

          • givemhell

            It’s wrong. You should consider listening to some debates on the issue. Here is one with the Bible Answer Man who argues for the early date of revelation. I’m not a huge fan of his but even he is able to answer these objections.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJj8D9hnkIE

            Also, to date it at 98ad is a huge problem because when coupled with the first verse of the books and the last chapter of the book the events in the book would have had to have taken place soon after 96ad.

            Here is the first verse of Revelation which must be ignored by the premillenialist and those who want to place it in 96ad:

            1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed
            is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are
            those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

            It’s actually pretty obvious when you have a good understanding of the old testament what is going on in general in the book of revelation and it’s obviously about ancient rome and jesus and ancient jerusalem.

          • James Gray

            It’s hard for me to stay away :)

            I just wanted to say that I don’t see any veracity to the huge problem you supposed. I don’t think the ‘quickly’, ‘soon’, ‘near’ language demands that Revelation was written pre-70AD at all and I think that ignores the strong external and internal evidence that it was written post-70AD.

            Rev. 11:1 seems to resemble Ezekiel 40, in which Ezekiel (around 17 years after the destruction of the first temple) has a vision of a future temple – so I don’t think the argument that John’s measuring of the temple in Rev 11:1 necessitates that the second temple was still standing holds water. Also, the argument that Rev 11:2 correlates to Luke 21:24 seems incorrect since the whole of the temple was destroyed, not just the outer court. (a lot of helpful info on this here: http://www.pre-trib.org/data/pdf/hitchcock-dissertation.pdf) Though, I don’t hold to pretrib.

            Again, I feel like i’m repeating myself here, I don’t dispute that the things described in Revelation applied to those living at that time as well as to the future return of Jesus – it makes sense to realize that Revelation is a lot more nuanced than the polarized idea that it’s all preteristic or it’s all futuristic.

          • givemhell

            I don’t hold the view that it’s all preteristic or futuristic but for me it is obvious that the direct meaning of the text is preteristic. Now, maybe it’s a type and has several different antitypes but the primary fulfillment has to be soon after it was written. Soon, because that is what it says. That its what it says over a hundred times in a variety of ways.

            The premill view that takes Christ out of his context, away from first century israel that has the impending judgement of God hanging over it like the sword of damocles and puts jesus into the 21st century with blonde hair, blue eyes and a surfboard, crying because he knocked on the door to satans heart and satan frustrated His will makes me shudder.

            Jesus was talking to first century Jews who were about to suffer the judgement of God. Read the prophets. The prophets made a big, big, big deal about Israel’s relationship to God and the impending judgment whether it was the Assyrians or the Babylonians.

            Do you think that Jesus would barely have anything at all to say to Israel about that issue? Who do you think was there listening to Him? Was it a 21st century audience or was it a bunch of first century Jews right before their world fell apart?

            See, the bible, if it is consistent should fit into a systematic theology. I am able to systematize the gospel of matthew because all of the bits and pieces inherently fit together. I am putting myself into the shoes of a first century hearer of Jesus and trying to understand what the text would mean to them.

            The text has relevance for me and may have a secondary fulfillment but the direct and primary application of the text belongs to the primary audience of the text.

        • James Gray II

          Another thing :)

          I thought this might be of benefit to you:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1fP1xB1gsM

          • givemhell

            I’ve already seen it several times. I side with Michael Brown on this issue. I’m not a full preterist and I’m not a supercessionist. It’s a good debate and worth listening to and I appreciate that you recommended it to me.

            You might be interested in this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOLyj98fEPs It’s a panel discussion picked at random on the different views of issues pertaining to eschatology. I recommend that you watch many of these that allow you to see the partial preterist view next to the premill view which is something that I myself have spent a lot of time doing and am continuing to do, especially as this issue is still having a huge influence on our world as should be clear from the recent release of that Nicholas Cage dispensationalist movie Left Behind.

    • John Johnson

      Just a few points as I don’t have a lot of time. I don’t think Jesus’ interpretation of the parable in Mt. 13 allows for us to see this as the judgment that would soon fall upon Jerusalem. Notice he says, “the field is the world”. So I see this as related more to the Second Coming. As far as Mt. 24, I see a shift from 70 AD to a focus on the Second Coming following vss. 35 and 36. “Heaven and earth will pass away” Jesus says, “but my words will not pass away”. “But of THAT day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Now Jesus, in describing the destruction of Jerusalem in the previous part of the chapter up until vs. 34, has just told them exactly when all this would happen. “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all these things take place”, he says. We must distinguish that event from the Second Coming when the heavens and earth as we know them will pass away. Of that day and hour there are no signs given or time indicators to let us know when to expect it. So, I believe, following Mt. 24:36, on through chapter 25, we are to see his teaching as related more to the time of the end and not to 70 AD.

      Concerning your questions about 1 Thes. 4 and 5, frankly, I don’t understand what the problem is. Beginning at 4:13, Paul begins to speak about the Second coming and the resurrection. And accept for Paul seeming to include himself in the phrase, “then WE who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air “, I’m not sure where you are getting the idea of immanency in these chapters? We have to keep it in mind that ever since Jesus spoke about his return, know one has had any idea of when that might be. So even if Paul were to think it would be soon (which I believe he does indicate in other passages) this shouldn’t lead us to automatically assume he must be talking about Jesus’ coming in judgment on Jerusalem, rather than the Second Coming. In 1 Thessalonians, we have no reason to think that anything other than the Second Coming is in view.

      • givemhell

        I totally disagree. Look again at the bit of text there in matthew 13:

        37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

        40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

        See, Christ isn’t giving a detailed explanation of his parable. Even His explanation is broad. Is there actually a burning furnace? Or, is this supposed to perhaps remind you of the furnace in Daniel where one like a Son of Man (see the parallel?) appears to save Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? How will the angels through everything that causes sin into a fire? In what way will the righteous shine like the sun? Will their faces glow like the face of Moses? Or is this a metaphor to their righteousness?

        Moreover, does the son of man sew people or does He sew the message of the gospel and does Satan sew people or does he inspire evil?

        Moreover, who is the one sowing the seed? It’s the son of man. Who is the son of man? It’s Jesus himself. Where did Jesus sew the seed? He sewed seed in Israel. Where is Israel? Is it in Heaven? No, it is in the world. When he says that the field is the world, He is giving a general setting. Christ is explaining his parable in broad terms.

        This is why if you are looking for a more specific view of where this threshing will take place perhaps a parallel text like this one in Isaiah will be helpful:

        In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the LORD will
        thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of
        Israel. Isaiah 27:12

        Moreover, when it says there in the explanation of the parable that the setting is the end of the age.

        When was the end of that age?

        It’s very clear that the authors of the New Testament felt that they were living in the time of the culmination of the age:

        Paul: “Besides
        this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from
        sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
        The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:11-12). “This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short.
        From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none…and
        those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the
        world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away” (I Corinthians 7:29-31). “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (I Cor. 10:11). “The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).

        Hebrews (author unknown): “…encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). “Yet a little while, and the coming One will come and will not delay…” (Heb. 10:37).

        James: “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you… You have laid up treasure in the last days” (James 5:1-3). “Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand… behold, the Judge is standing at the door” (James 5:8-9).

        Peter: “The end of all things is at hand” (I Peter 4:7).

        John: “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour” (I John 2:18).

        Moreover, as I pointed out earlier, this parable parallels matthew 3 where the pharisees go to be baptized by John. John warns them of the impending judgement and indicates that the time of judgement was near, that the “axe is already laid at the root” and that at this soon to pass judgement that would affect the pharisees the wheat would be gathered and the tares burned.

        As far as the shift in Matthew 24, well, it simply doesn’t matter as far as the parallel with Matthew 13 and matthew 3 and the other parallels that I made is concerned.

        This is because in matthew Christ speaks about the righteous being gathered by the angels before verse 36 where you believe the topic changes to begin to speak about the second coming. Therefore whether or not the topic shifts at 36 is irrelevant.

        Still, I hold that the split there makes no sense.

        First of all, the olivet discourse in Luke 21 does not contain any statement about the day or hour but contains the same warning against “drunkenness” and call to “watchfulness” signifying that this crucial verse that signifies a change in subject is dropped by Luke.

        On top of that, I would add the fact that the coming of the son is mentioned both before and after verse 36 in matthew 24 signifying that the topic hasn’t changed but that he is simply elaboration that topic.

        36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

        See? When he talks about the day, he is talking about the coming of the son of man. This is what he was talking about in the previous sentence. It would make no sense to say that there is a split here.

        30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 “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. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[e] is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

        36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in
        heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of
        Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

        See? He hasn’t changes subject, hes talking about the coming of the son.

        Don’t take this to mean that I advocate full preterism. Full preterism is wrong for a million reasons but to split up matthew 24, especially if you are doing it just to prop up a theology even if it completely disrupts the natural flow of the text, is also wrong.

        ok, im going to continue to address your comment in a bit.

        • givemhell

          The reason that this is a problem is because there are many parallels between the two texts. It seems pretty obvious to to me that Paul is drawing from the Olivet Discourse and even prefaces his teaching in 1 thessalonians 4 by saying “According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord…” It seems most likely that he is referring to the Olivet Discourse. You are right to consider this a text of immanency. It sounds as if Paul is expecting this coming to happen soon and even sounds as though he imagined himself amongst the living when it happens. However, the texts of immanency are mostly Matthew 24 which I think is being paralleled. Here are the parallels as taken from a fullpreterism.com Again, I note that I don’t believe that fullpreterism is true and it isn’t only full preterists who see these parallels. In fact, the one being referenced in the quote is G.K. Beale.

          Reformed and Evangelical commentators such as G.K. Beale see that in 1
          Thessalonians 4–5, Paul is drawing from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24.

          “That both [1 Thessalonians] 4:15–18 and 5:1–11 explain the same
          events is discernible from observing that both passages actually form
          one continuous depiction of the same narrative in Matthew 24. . . .”[11]

          Christ returns 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:30

          From heaven 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:30

          Accompanied by angels 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:31

          With a trumpet of God 1 Thess. 4:16=Matt. 24:31

          Believers gathered to Christ 1 Thess. 4:17=2 Matt. 4:31, 40-41

          In clouds 1 Thess. 4:17=Matt. 24:30

          Time unknown 1 Thess. 5:1-2=Matt. 24:36

          Coming like a thief 1 Thess. 5:2=Matt. 24:43

          Unbelievers unaware of impending judgment 1 Thess. 5:3=Matt. 24:8

          Judgment comes as pain upon an expectant mother 1 Thess. 5:3=Matt. 24:8

          Believers not deceived 1 Thess. 5:4-5=Matt. 24:43

          Believers to be watchful 1 Thess. 5:6=Matt. 24:37-39

          Warning against drunkenness 1 Thess. 5:7=Matt. 24:49

          Beale goes on to write:

          “Other significant parallels include: the use of the word parousia
          for Christ’s coming; reference to Christ’s advent as “that day” (Mt.
          24:36) or “the day of the Lord” (1 Thess. 5:2); and a description of
          someone coming to “meet” another (eis apantesin autou, virgins coming out to “meet” the bridegroom in Mt. 25:6; eis apantesin tou kyriou, believers “meeting” the Lord in 1 Thess. 4:17; see further Waterman 1975).”[12]“

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