Pursuit of Percipience

the blog that nobody reads which I write to silence the voices in my head

Tag: end times

The Return of the King

sunrise

In Malachi 3:1-3 we read:

“Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness.”
(NKJV)

The messenger is John the Baptist, and the “Lord, whom you seek” is Jesus. This prophetic passage was fulfilled when Jesus came to His people and visited the temple 2000 years ago.

Jesus had plenty of warnings of judgement for His people, the Jews, at that time, and He expressed them in parables — see Matthew 21, 25, and Luke 19 for example.

The return of the King isn’t really seen as a happy time, is it? The Lord would return to Zion, but not in the way His people expected, and as a result, there would be resistance (Luke 19:14).

Today, we too are waiting for Jesus to return one day, but this idea of the King being away for a time and returning in wrath and judgment does not really apply anymore does it? I’m not saying there is no more judgement, and I’m not saying there is no more wrath. But, God’s wrath was satisfied in Christ, was it not?

Unlike in the first century, we are not waiting for Jesus to come back to Zion, to establish His kingdom, to pour out wrath, to rebuild the temple — all of that’s been taken care of. And, we the Church, now have full access to God through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was not the founder of a new religion, and His gospel teachings were not primarily teachings on how to be a good Christian — look to the other authors of the New Testament for that.

Jesus’ primary audience, in the four gospels, were the Jews. He was fulfilling Malachi 3:1-3, and proclaiming and warning of the imminent coming of the kingdom and the resulting judgement that would fall on the Jewish people.

When Jesus does return again, He will not be weeping (Luke 19:41-44), rather He will be crying out with joy as He comes to join His faithful people.

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Three Viewpoints of Eschatology

For my students…

There are three points of view one can adopt when considering the return of Jesus.

The first is to believe that the world is going to get worse and worse until Jesus comes back, when, He will judge the world and pour out His wrath on sinners. Currently, many people who lean to this viewpoint believe the return of Christ is near. Mostly in the west, where Christianity is being abandoned, will you find people holding this view.

Second, you can say that God already poured out His wrath on sinners two thousand years ago, onto Jesus, and after Jesus rose from the dead we began to live in a new creation, and the world has been getting better and will continue to do so until Christ’s return. People who hold to this view tend to believe that the return of Christ is many years away, possibly thousands of years away.

And third, one can believe that, just like riding a roller coaster, sometimes the world will be good, and sometimes not. Jesus is coming back, but the roller coaster ride won’t end till He does and it won’t indicate when He will.

Technically speaking, the first is called Premillennialism, the second is Postmillennialism, and the third is Amillennialism.

Obviously these are very brief descriptions, and there are variations to each viewpoint.

The term “millennium” is found in Revelation 20, and refers to a thousand year reign of Christ. In the first viewpoint the millennium (taken to be a literal thousand years) comes after Christ’s return and takes place on the earth. With the second viewpoint, the millennium (usually not taken as a literal thousand years) will happen before Christ’s return and will take place on the earth. And in the third, the millennium (not a literal thousand years) is happening now, but in heaven.

Notes for My Students ~ Eschatology

I’m uploading some notes on the book of Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and the book of Revelation here. This is for my students to have easy access to the notes online.

If anyone else stumbles on this post, you are welcome to the notes if you are interested in the subject.

The notes on Daniel are based primarily on James B. Jordan’s commentary The Handwriting on the Wall.

The notes on Revelation are based mainly on James B. Jordan’s Revelation Lectures (which, at the time of this posting [August 22, 2016] are on sale for $40 – down from $175 – on WordMp3.com).

Click below for the notes…

Daniel, Olivet, and Revelation

**Please note: The notes have not been edited for spelling mistakes or other formatting issues.

Use a Transformer

electricity-transformer-300x235If you live in the west and travel to the east, you have to be careful with the electrical devices you bring.

In the west, the voltage at an outlet is 120 volts, whereas in the east it will be 220 volts. If you plug your western electric razor in without an adaptor, you will fry your razor.

I like to use this illustration when teaching hermeneutics. You have to be careful when taking texts written thousands of years ago and applying them to today’s world.

All the so called “end-times” texts come to mind. When someone writes “the end of all things is at hand” two thousand years ago (1 Peter 4:7*), you don’t read that in 2015 and go out into the streets shouting the end is near.

You have to figure out what the original author meant by his words. What was coming to an end for him two thousand years ago? Then, once you’ve figured out his meaning, you can then apply the principles of what he was saying to your own time.

Sometimes you can take texts and plug them right in without the transformer (like with the wisdom literature), but the bible itself will teach you when and when not to do that.

And… just plain common sense.

*Also see: 1 Corinthians 10:11; James 5:7-9; 1 John 2:18; Hebrews 10:25; Jude 17-18.

Kingdom Come (Book Review)

Kingdom ComeKingdom Come by Sam Storms
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Kingdom Come” is written by Sam Storms and is an explanation of the amillennialist position of eschatology. I would describe this book more as a critique of pre-millennialism and dispensationalism, and a good one too. In fact, it is because of this, that I would describe amillennialism as being a negative eschatology. Not negative in an emotional sense (although that could be said too), but rather negative in the sense that amillennialism appears to be that which the other positions are not. The other two main positions (pre-millennialism and post-millennialism) are positive in their assertions as to what they believe. Amillennialism seems to be more or less the vacuum which is produced when the assertions of the other two positions are rejected. It is as though the amillennialist says, “Well I don’t believe in this (pre), and I don’t believe in that (post), so what I’m left with is the other (a).

I think my favourite chapter of the book is the one on post-millennialism. I would even point to that chapter as a good defence of post-milleniallism. Reading that chapter leads me to conclude that Storms is like all amillennialists: an agnostic post-millennialist. He writes: “I want to believe that postmillennialism is true. The notion of a progressive and ultimate triumph of the gospel within history itself such that when Jesus returns he finds a truly Christianized cosmos is profoundly appealing. But as of the publication of this book, I am not yet convinced. I remain an amillennialist.” (page 384)

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