Is the Great Tribulation Past or Future? - Battle Royale III - Dee Dee vs. Jerry
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Not So Fast There My Slippery Futurist Friend -
August 29th, 2002, 04:36 AM
Well, well, well, it is very interesting what Jerry has implicitly conceded, and that is that IF “this generation” is taken to mean a “generation” in the normal ordinary sense of “contemporaries,” then my position is undeniably correct. This is true even if one tries to claim that “this generation” does not necessarily mean the generation living when Jesus spoke, but the generation that would see the signs He spoke of, because the ONE UNREPEATABLE event (the destruction of the Temple and city that then existed) has already happened, thus absolutely thrusting the time frame of “this generation” into the first century. Ouch.
Now before I completely dismantle (over the next few posts) Jerry’s assertion that “genea” in Matthew 24:34 should be more appropriately understood as “race,” let me once again point out the absolutely painful corner that Jerry has painted himself into. He has not and of course CANNOT deny that the Temple that was prophesied to be destroyed was the Temple THEN standing. BUT…. Jesus ties that destruction (and the destruction of the city which then existed) in with the “abomination of desolation” in Daniel 9:26 and 12:11 making it irrefutable that the there is NO future Temple prophesied to be rebuilt. Without this future Temple, the whole futurist house of cards comes tumbling down. There is then NO seven year treaty made by the antichrist who then desecrates the Temple and breaks the treaty halfway through. Jesus makes it crystal clear that Temple and the city that were to be destroyed were the ones that THEN existed. All Jerry has done with his textual gerrymandering is to attempt to extend out the timeframe for the fulfillment of the REST of those things into the indefinite future rather than limiting it to a single generation. Unfortunately for him, the text once again silences him. Let’s just look at a few shall we?
Jerry admits that Luke 21:20-24 is about AD70 and tries futilely to deny through starkly naked circular reasoning that Matthew 24:15-21 is speaking about the same event. However, capitalizing only on the part that Jerry has conceded is about AD70, Luke 21:31 makes it clear that ALL of these events (i.e. Luke 21:5-31 – which also includes the destruction of the first century Temple) are to take place within a relatively short time span because Jesus said that once “you see ALL these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is NEAR.” Now Luke 21:20-24 (and the destruction of the first century Temple) is ONE of all these things. We moderns CAN NEVER see that happening and know that anything is NEAR. That EVENT is nonrepeatable and long past. Jerry can’t even beg out for some kind of “double-fulfillment” because not only is it NONREPEATABLE, Luke describes it as the days of vengeance and wrath upon the Jewish people, NOT deliverance (which is why Jerry HAS to admit it is about AD70). So, the text makes it clear that ALL of these things will happen in such a short proximity to each other that it is possible to see ALL of them happening and know that a great eschatological triumph is NEAR. Ouch. Futurism is gored on yet another time text so I guess it ain’t quite true that
Dee Dee´s complete argument is based on the idea that the word "generation" can ONLY mean a "the whole multitude of men living at the same time".
Now beginning on Jerry’s Explaining Away Option B for “this generation.” He claims warrant for interpreting “this generation” as “this race” in Matthew 23:36. I am sorry but that is sloppy exegesis and a complete dismissal of OT background for Jesus’ words. Jerry claims that since the Pharisees and scribes did not personally murder Zechariah then the phrase “this generation” means something broader than just the first century audience. Wow, I show hope Jerry put on a ‘chute before he made that leap. How do you get from implying that “you” may be broader than just “them” to transferring that meaning to “this generation”? How indeed. A careful reading of the text with the OT firmly in mind shows just how wrongheaded Jerry’s reasoning is. Matthew 23 is the record of Jesus’ calling down seven woes upon the first century scribes and Pharisees. It is undeniably talking about them (using the personal pronoun “you” dozens of times) NOT unbelieving Jews of all time. Beginning in verse 31 it gets really personal with Jesus telling them that they are witnesses against themselves that they are sons of their murderous “fathers.” Jesus then tells them to “Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.” (verse 32) Note that phrase very carefully. Jesus declares THEM guilty of their father’s crimes which includes the murder of all the righteous blood upon the earth. Because he has declared them guilty (and there is no doubt there that He is speaking of THEM), Jesus then lays to their charge the actual murders. In saying that “you murdered Zechariah” Jesus is restating what he already said… that they have filled up the measure of their father’s guilt. Their father’s guilt is theirs. Their father’s crimes are theirs. Jerry in his obfuscation has laid the guilt of the ages upon unbelieving Jews of ALL TIME, instead of the unique generation that Jesus said would “fill up” those iniquities because the murder of Him would be the greatest of all crimes. It was THEM that filled up on the measure of their father’s guilt, not my unbelieving Jewish next door neighbor Murray Goldstein.
Jerry claims some heavy gun support for his spindoctoring of “this generation” by insinuating that the Greek scholar Thayer concurs. Jerry would have done better to check what Thayer actually said then just barfing up the Scofield Reference Bible. Thayer on page 112 of his lexicon defines “genea” as ”the whole multitude of men living at the same time” and cites Matthew 24:34 as an example of such!! Ouch. Arndt and Gingrich concur and also cite Matthew 24:34 in support and affirmatively disapprove of the notion of it meaning “race” in that verse. The lexicons are overwhelmingly on my side as evidenced by the fact that NO major Bible version translates that verse as “race” in the text, and believe me, that is not because they are eager to throw preterists a bone. The heavy hitters of futurism have abandoned this idea en masse (i.e. Ice, Lindsey, Smith) as bankrupt. And check for yourself, here are ALL the other places that “genea” is used in the Gospels, Matthew 1:17; 11:16; 12:39, 41, 42, 45; 16:4; 17:17; Mark 8:12, 38; 9:19; 13:30; Luke 1:48, 50; 7:31; 9:41; 11:29, 30, 31, 32, 50, 51; 16:8; 17:25; 21:32. In each and every time it means generation in the ordinary sense of the word. You see, the Greek language has a perfectly good word for “race,” it is “genos,” which is the word Peter used in 1 Peter 2:9, but that is NOT the word that Jesus used, though He certainly could have if “race” is what He meant.
Consider the utter inanity that Jerry’s position puts in the mouth of Christ. Jerry agrees that Jesus is prophesying concerning the Jewish people. And then in a dramatic statement opening with “Most assuredly I say to you,” what does Jesus say?? Drum roll please…….. “The Jewish race will not pass away until all these things happen to the Jewish race.” Huh?? That is nonsense and is a complete tautological truism, a reductio ad absurdum.. Remember the disciples asked Jesus when would these things be. Jerry has Jesus completely ignoring their question and giving a prediction that even Benny Hinn could get right. Wait a minute, I’m feeling prophetic….. “Most assuredly I say to TOL, TOL will remain online until it goes offline.”
Now whenever it gets too hot in the NT kitchen for Jerry he likes to trot out selected portions of the OT. We can get to that, but he needs to deal with what the NT actually says as the NT is the authorative interpreter of the Old. He is simply asserting “yeah but” statements. That don’t impress me much. It seems like Jerry doesn’t want to answer my previous question of: “When YHWH saddle up ole Gabriel and ride into Dodge on a cloud to save David (Psalm 18:9-12) and then later perform Part Two by popping a wheelie on a cumulous into Egypt and started kicking over idols (Is 19:1).” Instead he asks:
And if His words do not mean that there will be actual signs in the heavens,His words must have another meaning.Perhaps Dee Dee will tell us what His words mean.
Sure I will, when Jerry tells me when the sun and moon were darkened when ancient Babylon and Egypt were judged (Isaiah 13:9-10; Ezekiel 32:7-8)and when the host of heaven was dissolved in the judgment upon ancient Edom (Isaiah 34:4-5). And while he’s at it, he can throw in Matthew 16:27-28.
Dee Dee just cannot leave behind her mistaken notion that the Lord Jesus is saying that those men to whom He was speaking would still be alive to see all the things fulfilled.However,how could that be possible considering the fact that the Lord Himself said that He did not know WHEN these things would come to pass?And if He did not know when they would come to pass,how could He possibly say that they would still be alive when they were fulfilled?Here are His words:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man,no,not the angels in heaven,but My Father ONLY"(Mt.24:36).
The Lord Jesus did not know the "times or the seasons" because those things "the Father has put in His own power"(Acts1:7).By His own admission He did not know when these things would happen,so He surely would never speculate and tell these men that they would see these things when in fact He could not know if that was true or not.
Next,Dee Dee did not provide her references to her statement that "History records that not one Christian died in the seige of Jerusalem."Nor did she even comment on the fact that Scripture reveals that when Jerusalem is attacked the Lord Jesus says that "I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem"(Zech.12:9).
We all know that those who came against Jerusalem in AD 70 enjoyed a complete and total victory.No one who came against Jerusalem was destroyed.We also know why Dee Dee did not respond to this point.She has no answer.
Immediately before the Lord told His Apostles of the signs of His coming,he said the following words to say to Jerusalem:
"For I say unto you,Ye shall not see Me henceforth,till ye shall say,Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord"(Mt.23:39).
In other words,the Lord´s return would be marked by Israel´s repentance.But we all know that Israel did not repent in AD 70.But all this means nothing to Dee Dee.When Scriptual facts do not fit into her ideas,she just IGNORES them.
Dee Dee also failed to answer my question as to the meaning of the Lord´s words about the things which will immediately follow the great tribulation.If His words do not literally mean that there will be signs in the heavens,then His words must have another meaning.After all,all Scripture "is profitable for doctrine,for reproof,for correction,for instruction in righteousness..."
So perhaps this time Dee Dee will give us her interpretation of the meaning of the Lord´s words in regard to these things.And Dee Dee seems to think that these words of the Lord were only figurative,perhaps she will consider the fact that John actually saw visions of these so-called "figurative" words.
"There was a great earthquake,and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair;and the moon became like blood;and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth...and the kings of the earth,and the great men,and the rich men,and the chief captians,and the mighty men,and every slave,and every free man,hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains..."(Rev.6:12-15).
And finally,I will ask Dee Dee when ALL THE TRIBES OF THE EARTH saw the Lord come in His glory?:
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven;and then shall ALL THE TRIBES OF THE EARTH mourn,and THEY SHALL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN THE CLOUDS of heaven with power and great glory"(Mt.24:30).
Post really fast and maybe no one will notice that you’re not saying anything!!! -
August 30th, 2002, 04:33 PM
Perhaps Jerry needs to slow down a bit because he has utterly failed to answer the numerous proofs I have given for an irrefutably first century context. He seems to think that posting another question is an adequate answer. Not! So here again are just SOME of the fatal challenges that Jerry has either ignored or obfuscated or both:
ONE: “Genea” indisputably does mean in our text “the whole multitude of men living at the same time.”; TWO: Even “genea” did mean “race,” the specific identification of destruction of the Temple that then existed and the city that then existed unequivocally thrusts the entire prophecy into the first century because all the prophesied things MUST happen within relatively quick succession as totally necessitated by Matthew 24:33, Mark 13:29, and Luke 21:31.; THREE: Since said desctruction is a NONREPEATABLE event , there is NO prophesy of any future Temple for any future antichrist to desecrate ;FOUR: There are no years left to Daniel 9 since Jesus specifically identifies what Temple is in view in that prophecy - the first century Temple.; FIVE: Matthew 24:15-21 and Luke 21:20-24 are speaking of the same event. ; SIX: His interpretation puts the inane statement in Christ’s mouth, “Most assuredly I say to you, the Jewish race will not pass away until all these things happen to the Jewish race,”a reductio ad absurdum.
What do I hear in response do all these issues?? Nothing but crickets.
So now Jerry raises yet another of his infamous “yeah but” questions without actually addressing the fatal blows already dealt to his system. He is now claiming that since Jesus said that He did not know the day or hour (Matthew 24:36)that He certainly could not have been making a timing statement in verse 34. Poppycock. I have already proven from OTHER timing verses in this very passage that my position is cumulatively correct. Exactly what is the problem with saying that the generation can be known but not the exact day and hour? When a woman is pregnant no one knows up front the exact day or hour of the delivery, but they certainly know it will be within a certain time span. This is why Jesus exhorted His disciples to pray that their flight be not on a Sabbath (and what relevance would THAT have to modern times) nor in the winter (again much more relevant to a first century context). It would surely happen to them but there was some sway about where in that large time frame these events would fall.
Jerry also complains that I did not provide references to my statement that no Christians died in the siege of Jerusalem. Is that the best he can do?? I have numerous sources for this information but here is just one for the record… Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.5.3. He also complains that I did not comment on Zechariah 12:9, “I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” Wrong again, I was alluding to that issue when I said, “Now whenever it gets too hot in the NT kitchen for Jerry he likes to trot out selected portions of the OT…” Until Jerry deals with the numerous mortal wounds to position within the Discourse itself, I will only comment briefly on Zechariah 12 (but enough to be a tack in his seat nonetheless). Jerry said,
No one who came against Jerusalem was destroyed.
Really?? Funny, most of the world thinks that the Roman Empire has long since ceased to exist. (And take a gander at Daniel 2:44-45 which places the coming of the Messianic Kingdom squarely within the time of the ancient Roman Empire...no gap) Again, if Jerry knew his ancient history well he would be aware that the Romans never prospered as they once did after 70AD and the Empire’s decline can well be placed as beginning at that very point. What happened to Rome?? It was converted and dismantled, just as Jesus declared in Revelation 19, they fell by the sword that proceeded out of His mouth. My second comment on Zechariah 12 focuses on verse 4 in which it is stated that this battle is fought on horseback. Really now?? Does Jerry really believe that this alleged future battle will be on horseback?? Most futurist writers seem to be fond of envisioning Cobra helicopters, but then again, they must abandon literalism to do so.
Jerry also insinuates that I have not answered his question about the “coming” of Christ in the Olivet discourse and the “heavenly” disturbances. That is simply not true. I answered by challenging Jerry to explain his “literal” hermeneutic in OT passages using similar language to which he has been absolutely SILENT. The Bible must interpret the Bible otherwise we are guilty of being hopelessly anachronistic. Jerry of course is avoiding having to be consistent in his “literalism” lest it be exposed for the nonsense it is. And here has to be the most ridiculous statement made yet:
....perhaps she will consider the fact that John actually saw visions of these so-called “figurative” words.
Jerry do you really want to fall on your own sword like that?? Are you really suggesting that since John had “visions” of things, that necessitates that the things “envisioned” must be taken “literally”? Wow, look out!!! Because Jerry then MUST believe Jesus is a literal wooly baa-baa lamb with seven horns and seven eyes (5:6), that satan will be bound by a literal chain (20.1), and with a literal tail will reach up through the atmosphere and bring down one-third of the stars unto the earth (one star would absolutely destroy the earth)(12:4), and that a literal ten headed monster will literally raise up from the ocean and come a-slathering across the land 13:1.
Now back to the main issue at hand….. the other “near” temporal indicators in the Gospels support the first century referent for “this generation,” specifically Matthew 16:27-28 and Matthew 10:23. If it is possible (as Jerry alleges and I vehemently deny) that Matthew 24:34 (and its parallels in Mark and Luke) can mean something else, and even though the context is clearly first century, what other texts illuminate this? The clincher is when we compare:
Luke 21:31-32 – So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.
Matthew 16:27-28 – For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.
This combination of verses tells us exactly what time frame “this generation” is referring to. Let me explain….. Luke states that when all these things happen, the Kingdom of God would be near, AT THE DOORS… and it would happen within “this generation.” Matthew 16:28 tells us that there were some standing there that would not taste death until they saw the Son of man coming in His kingdom. The parallels are painfully inescapable. Matthew himself gives us the definition of “this generation not passing away,” it means “some of those standing there will not taste death until….”
It has been a long time since I have seen any thing so pitiful as Dee Dee´s interpretation of the following Scripture: “And it shall come to pass in that day,that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”(Zech.12:9).
I remarked that “No one who came against Jerusalem was destroyed.”In response,Dee Dee says: “Really?? Funny,most of the world thinks that the Roman Emrire has long since ceased to exist.”
But Dee Dee,can´t you read? The Lord says that He will destroy the nations IN THAT DAY!!!
She says that “the Romans never prospered as they once did after 70AD and the Empire´s decline can well be placed as beginning at that very point.”Well,the Lord doesn´t say that IN THAT DAY that the nations would begin their decline.He says that HE will defeat them in that day.
The reason that Dee Dee is so desperate that she would offer such wild exegesis is simple: If the verse is taken literally,then Dee Dee then must admit the the ideas of the Preterists are in error.But I say,why shouldn´t we take these verses literally? When the Lord ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives,those witnessing the event were told that He “shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven”(Acts1:11).And in the prophetic Scriptures we see Him standing on the Mount of Olives while He fights against the nations that come against Jerusalem:
“Then shall the Lord go forth,and fight against those nations,as when He fought in the day of battle.And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives”(Zech.14:3,4).
But since Dee Dee has no place for this in her eschatology she is forced to say that all this means is the beginning of the decline of Rome.How pitiful!
Now I will answer all six of Dee Dee´s points,and you will see that a closeexamination reveals just how bankrupt her ideas are.
Number One: “ ‘Genea’ indisputably does mean in our text ‘the whole multitude of men living at the same time.” However,she provides no evidence.More later on this.
Number Two: “Even if ‘genea’ did mean race; the specific identification of the Temple that then existed and the city that then existed unequivocally thrusts the entire prophecy into the first century because all the prophesised things MUST happen within a relatively quick succession as totally necessitated by Matt.24:33,Mark 13:29,and Luke 21:31.”
First of all,Dee Dee speaks of “the city that then existed”.But the city of Jerusalem that existed is the same city that existed after 70AD.And the same can be said for the Temple.By the words of the Prophet Haggai we can see what might be described as a principle of CONTINUITY in the history of the Temple.The Temple that stood at the time of the Lord could be leveled to the ground and then be rebuilt and still be considered the same Temple.At the time of the rebuilding of the Temple after it had been razed,Haggi says:
“Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory?”(Hag.2:3).
The Lord of hosts says,”The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former”(v.9).
So the rebuilt Temple can also be referred to as “this house” and be in the stream of the two preceding Temples according to the words of the Lord of hosts.Therefore,we see that there is only one city,Jerusalem,and there is only one Temple.
Next,Dee Dee says that “all the prophesised things must happen within relative quick succession as totally necessitated by Matt.24:33,Mark 13:28,and Luke 21:31.” But an examination of those verses indicates no such thing:
“So likewise ye,when ye shall see all these things,know that it is near,even at the doors”(Mt.24:33).
Here the Lord is addressing the “ye” to the whole race of Jews,as He did in the following verse: “For I say unto you,Ye shall not see Me henceforth,till ye shall say,Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord”(Mt.23:39). Here,the people to whom He was speaking never said, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord”.But we do know that in the future there will be people in Jerusalem that do say those
words.Therefore,it becomes obvious that when the Lord used the word “ye” He was referring to the Jewish race.
Next,these same verses state that “when ye shall see ALL THESE THINGS,know that it is near…”
One of the things that they must “see” is the signs that will appear in the heavens,such as the sun being darkened,the moon not giving its light,and the stars falling from heaven.And from the context of the Lord´s words,it is plain that these things will be SEEN—“When ye shall SEE all these things”—“Take heed,WATCH and pray”…”And I say unto you I say unto all,WATCH”…”So ye also,when ye SEE these things come to pass…WATCH ye,therefore,and pray…”
However,Dee Dee says that there is no need to WATCH for ALL THESE THINGS,but instead we should only WATCH for some of the things.In Dee Dee´s theology there is no place for any actual signs in the heavens.So she just “spiritualizes” them away.But why should we believe Dee Dee instead of the Lord,Who is warning one and all to be WATCHFUL for all these things?
Number Three: “Since said destruction is a NONREPEATABLE EVENT,there is no prophecy of any future Temple for any future anti-christ to desecrate.”
The Holy Writings contain many “types”.The destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 is a “type” of the “great tribulation” to come.Epiphanes defiled the Temple then standing,and he is a “type” of the coming anti-christ who shall also desecrate the Temple.So an understanding of the “principle of the continuity in the history of the Temple” combined with a knowledge of the “types” proves that this argument of Dee Dee´s has no merit whatsoever.
Number Four:”There are no years left to Daniel since Jesus specifically identifies what Temple is in view in that prophecy—that first century Temple.”
But again,if one understands the “principle of continuity” of the Temple there is no doubt that this argument of Dee Dee is worthless.Besides,we know that the events described as happening at the end of the 70 Weeks have not yet come to pass.Who in their right mind would believe that “everlasting righteousness”(Dan.9:24) has been brought unto Jerusalem?
Number Five: “Matt.24:15-21 and Luke 21:20-24 are speaking of the same event.” Again,Dee Dee gives no evidence to support her claim.But those of us who understand the “principle of continuity” in regard to the Temple and who understand the “types” know that the passages in Luke are a “type” of the great tribulation described in the passages of Matthew.We see that the days of tribulation will be “shortened”(Mt.24:22),and that happens,as previously mentioned,when the Lord seeks “to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”(Zech.12:9).And all Dee Dee can say is that this must represent the beginning of the decline of Rome.Again,Dee Dee has no place in her theology for this event so she must “spiritualize” this verse away.
Number Six: “His interpretation puts the innane statement in Christ´s mouth.’Most assuredly I say to you,the Jewish race will not pass away until all these things happen to the Jewish race,’ a reductio ad absurdum.”
Well,if anyone is an expert on the ABSURD,it is Dee Dee.But the Lord says that the Jewish race shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled.And considering the many horrors that the nation of Israel must suffer through,it is not surprising at all that the Lord would assure them that their beloved chosen nation of Israel would continue and would inherit all the blessings that had been promised.Why would this seem strange?Did not Paul assure them in like manner that “God hath not cast away His people whom He foreknew”?So there is nothing absurd in the idea that the Lord would assure these men that ethnic Israel would survive the many trials and tribulations that will take place.
Number Six: This is about the meaning of the word “generation” at Matthew 24:34. As I pointed out earlier,the Lord Himself says that not even He knows “the day” when that will happen (Mt.24:36).He states that the “times and seasons” has “the Father put in His own power”(Acts1:7).So are we to assume that the Lord Himself,Who doesn´t know the day or the “times and seasons”,is going to SPECULATE and say that the day will happen during the lifetimes of His Apostles?That is what Dee Dee does.She builds her doctrines on nothing but SPECULATION!She asks,”Exactly what is the problem with saying that the generation can be known but not the exact day and hour?”
Well,John was forced to correct some other speculation concering other words of the Lord Jesus at John 21:21-23.On this occasion,the Lord Jesus said to Peter concerning John,”If I will that he tarry till I come,what is that to thee?” These words started some SPECULATING that the Lord had said that John should not die.They has INFERRED that the Lord´s words must mean that.But John corrected this faulty inference.This false rumor shows the possibility of misunderstanding God´s words.Christians must seek to understand God´s Word accurately.And that is not possible if we attempt to build doctrine on wild speculation and inference.
And that is exactly what is wrong with Dee Dee´s approach to Scripture.The Lord states in no uncertain words that He does not know the day when these things will come to pass.But Dee Dee makes a wild assertion that He may not know the exact time,He surely has an idea as to the approximate time.And with that she attempts to build her doctrine.Another pitiful excuse for SOUND DOCTRINE.
Now that I have demonstrated conclusively that none of Dee Dee´s SIX points have any merit whatsoever,perhaps she will answer my previous question.When did the following take place?:
“…and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”(Mt.24:30).
And when did the following occur?:
“”When the Son of Man shall come in His glory…before Him shall be gathered all the nations;and He shall separate them one from another”(Mt.25:31,32).
Since I answered all of Dee Dee´s points,perhaps she will now return the favor.
Who are “you”? Who, who, who, who…… Won’t ya tell me who are “you”? -
September 1st, 2002, 06:38 PM
First I will comment on Jerry’s misguided reliance on Zech. 12 and the important point that I made that he conveniently left out. He gets really excited over my statement that the decline of the Roman Empire can be dated to the destruction of Jerusalem and exclaims:
But Dee Dee,can´t you read? The Lord says that He will destroy the nations IN THAT DAY!!!
But Jerry can’t you read?? The battle described is fought on horseback. What part of that phrase is confusing?? The “horse” or the “back”?? Jerry seems to be insinuating that the phrase “in that day” indicates an immediate event (even within one literal day), not an event that can be understood over a period of time. Horsefeathers. The Bible shows great fluidity with the phrase “that day”. In fact the text in question (Zech. 12:9) merely says “in that day I will seek to destroy all the nations…” Other texts within Zechariah itself prove his wooden literalism to be nonsense. Zech. 2:11; 3:10;13:3-4; 14:8-9; 14:20-21 are passages which Jerry would take to be occurring over an entire “Millennium,” and yet this “thousand years” (in Jerry’s view) is called “that day.” Here are just some other Scripture references using “that day” which refer to a period of time Ex 13:8; Jdg 18:1; 1 Sam 18:18; Is 2:11, 4:2, 11:10, 17:7; Hos 2:16. He is once again gored on his own horn. That has got to hurt. And to really gut Zech. 12-14 from being of any usefulness to Jerry, Zech. 13:7-9 places this destruction of Jerusalem squarely within the first century when the Shepherd is struck. I am sure that Jerry will just try and shoehorn in a handy-dandy gap, but if he tries that I have another weapon in my arsenal
But I say,why shouldn’t we take these verses literally?
Yes, Jerry why shouldn’t we believe that it is an ancient battle fought on horseback?? Ouch!! Oh, you’re not quite so literal as you thought? Now to Jerry’s attempts at damage control….
Number One: “ ‘Genea’ indisputably does mean in our text ‘the whole multitude of men living at the same time.”
However,she provides no evidence.
Really?? Who’s posts have you been reading?? If you mean I gave no evidence for it when just recapping the points you have dodged, you are right…. Because the evidence was already given, that is why I said you were dodging them. I defeated each and every Explaining Away option that you gave for “genea” up to that point to which you responded by just asking another question as if that made it all better. The cream of Greek scholarship (Thayer; Ardnt and Gingrich) as well as each of the major translations all agree with me. Do we believe them? Or do we believe Jerry? And all of Jerry’s gerrymandering (pun intended) absolutely depends on “genea” not meaning what these Greek scholars categorically state that it does mean in the text in question. If Jerry is wrong, and the overwhelming scholarship agrees that he is, his goose is cooked. Goose anyone? [and as a sidenote, fellow futurists also overwhelming disagree with him on this point]
Onto the Temple, Jerry is claiming, based upon some verses in Haggai, that a rebuilt Temple could be considered the same Temple as the one that preceded it (BTW using Toussaint’s material almost word for word). Well, there are some translational issues involved (the NKJV and NIV rendering of 2:9would actually defeat his attempted point), for argument’s sake, let’s just say they support Jerry’s point. Well then Jerry, is each incarnation of the Temple literally the same Temple?? No, but you are claiming that the Bible allows a nonliteral identification of them. Well aren’t you aware that the Bible also gives numerous examples of nonliteral identification of heavenly signs and phenomena such as Is. 34:4-5 speaking of a past judgment on Edom???
All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree.
Haggai is just a smokescreen. Jerry’s view requires that Christ’s ONE solemn declaration of the destruction of the Temple have two referents, one in 70AD and one yet future. The one in 70AD would unbelievablyNOT be the primary referent but just a prefiguring of the one in the future. Does the text literally say that or even hint at that? Absolutely not. Here are Christ’s words and my commentary:
Then as He went out of the temple (the Temple that existed back then), one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!” ( notice that they are asking about the actual stones and buildings that existed back then) And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (referring to the stones that made up the Temple that existed back then!)
Next…..Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, “These things which you see— (the stones and decorations that the disciples had just pointed out) the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.” (the stones which the disciples had just pointed out)
Lastly…… Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here( notice the word “here” it is referring to those actual stones, the ones that existed then) upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Now it is the height of textual torture to claim that the Temple that existed BACK THEN was not the primary focus of this prophecy and of the disciple’s questions. The text is absolutely silent about any future Temple whatsoever… it is manufactured out of whole cloth by futurist presuppositions. Jerry’s claims logically lead to the position that Jesus pretty much ignored their obvious questions or tricked them into thinking He was speaking of the Temple that existed then with a sleight of hand switch-a-roo without any hint whatsoever. (kind of like the trick the angel Gabriel pulled on Daniel, despite the fact that Daniel was supposed to “know and understand” the vision) And notice very carefully, though Jerry claims reliance on an alleged “continuity of the Temple” (which is something that Toussaint pretty much made up), does he have the temerity to claim “continuity” of the very stones and adornments of the first century Temple? Notice that a literal interpretation of Jesus’ words requires that any future Temple be built of the exact same materials. And there would be no “continuity” in the first place. God’s Temple is no longer a building made of stone… it is the Church (Ephesians 2:19-22), that is where the “continuity” lies.
In claiming to deal with my point that ALL of the events are clearly said to happen within a relatively short period of time (and definitely within the lifetimes of one generation of people) as totally necessitated by Matthew 24:33, Mark 13:29, and Luke 21:31, Jerry does the greatest act of obfuscation that he has done yet. Here is one of those verses for reference:
You also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!
Jerry goes on to argue that the “you” in this verse must refer to the Jewish race and claims that it is the same “you” in Matthew 23:39, “For I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ” In so saying Jerry has fallen off the theological cliff. The “you” in 23:39 in Jerry’s view is STILL a specific group of people living at a specific time!! It is not the whole Jewish race spanning over the millennia. Jerry is not expecting every Jew dead and alive to repent before Christ can come. So he has defeated his own argument. If the “you” in 23:39 is the same “you” in 24:33 then “all these things” are seen by that same one specific group of people living at a specific time. Thank you Jerry for proving my point. It cannot be referring to events that just “begin” in the first century with the AD70 event, and then culminate at the end of time. A future group of Jews cannot see (especially in Jerry’s wooden hermeneutic) the destruction of the Temple and city in AD70, thus, Jerry has made fulfillment impossible in the future since he admits that at least a portion of the Discourse IS primarily referring to AD70. As I said before, with that admission he has sold the farm. When the things prophesied happen, “it” is near – at the doors!. If some of “all these things” happened in the first century, then they all must have.
Taking another angle and considering that Jerry is claiming that the “you” in the Olivet Discourse is referring to Jews of all time, why does Mark say, "But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues." Why would the whole Jewish race be beaten in the synagogues?? They wouldn’t. This is clearly speaking of the first century persecution of the Christians by the Jews. First century Christians are the “you” in this passage, and would be the same “you” in Luke 21:31. Jerry is entangled in his own web of theological puzzle-piecing once again. Follow the trail of “you’s” in the passage and see what nonsense results from his assertion. Also notice that the text shifts from “you” to “they” in several places thoroughly embarrassing to Jerry’s position (Luke 21:27; Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26).
As far as presenting NO evidence that Matt.24:15-21 and Luke 21:20-24 are speaking of the same event, the text speaks for itself more eloquently than I. The Matthew passage is in red and the Luke passage is in blue:
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.
But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations.
Remember that Matthew and Luke are recounting the same Discourse… not different Discourses given at different times. In order for Jerry’s view to be correct, within this ONE Discourse, Jesus said certain exact phrases two times (i.e. he spoke two times of flights out of Judah and woes to pregnant women etc.) referring to two different events without any clue that He was doing this and no textual record that He did this. The Gospel writers do not say that He did this and an honest reading of the text shows that both Matthew and Luke are recording the same one and only reference to this event in the Discourse. This makes Jerry’s view impossible. This is all of course in addition to the first century time indicators already presented… including Matthew 16:27-28 which Jerry did not address.
You can run,but you cannot hide -
September 2nd, 2002, 10:40 AM
No one who read my last response would argue that I did not respond to all of Dee Dee´s SIX POINTS. I answered each and every point in detail.I then asked her to return the favor and answer my two questions.But she did not!She did not answer either one of them.Instead,she goes back to her same old points that I have already refuted,and all the while not adding anything new.She just rehashes the same old thing,all the while EVADING the qustions I posed.
And I can very well understand why she would EVADE the questions.First,I asked her when the following verse occurred: “…and then shall all the tribes of the earth…shall see the coming of the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”(Mt.24:30).
We all know that that never happened.But the Lord said that event would be “seen”.And my next question also concerns this very same event,when the Lord comes “in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”.When did this event happen,Dee Dee?:
“When the Son of Man shall come in His glory…before Him shall be gathered all the nations;and he shall separate them one from another…”(Mt.25:31,32).
When did that happen,Dee Dee?Can´t you read,or did you just evade these questions on purpose?This is the third post where I have asked you about when Matthew 24:30 happened,and I have yet to get an answer.
I will address a couple of her points,beginning with her words that because we see the battle being fought in Jerusalem on horseback then this could not possibly be referring to a battle that can be fought in the future.Dee Dee,are you aware that the modern army of the USA has units made up of soldiers who fight on horseback?Do you not believe that it would be possible that circumstances might bring to pass a situation where it might be an advantage to fight on horseback.So we see that since Scripture does not match her ideas as to how a battle might be fought in the future she is ready to dismiss anything that might be “literal” in these verses.
Next,she says that the passages in Zecharia must have happened in the first century “when the Shepherd is struck”.But if we continue to read from the verses that speak of the Sheperd,we read the following: “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives” while He “fights against those nations” that come against Jerusalem”(Zech.14:3,4). Perhaps Dee Dee will tell us when that occurred in the first century.She asks why we shouldn´t believe that this refers to an ancient battle?Well,Dee Dee,tell us when this happened in ancient times and then I might consider your idea that this refers to an ancient battle.
Earlier Dee Dee said that the word “generation”(genea) at Matthew 23:36 could not refer to the wicked race of Jews that the Lord Himself called “ye generation of vipers”.But the Greek expert that the Preterists themselves quote extensively agrees with me.One can go to the web site of “PreteristArchive.com” and see the many times they quote the Greek expert,Henry Alford (c.1810-1871),who was the Dean of Canterbury.Now listen to what he says concerning the use of “genea”:
“It may be well to show that ‘genea’ has in Hellenistic Greek the meaning of a race or family of people.See Jeremiah 8:3,70. Compare Matthew 23:36 with verse 35…’This generation’ did not slay Zacharias—so that the whole people are addressed.See also chapter 12:45,in which the meaning absolutely requires this sense”(Anderson,”Misunderstood Texts of the New Testament”,p.47).
So even the Greek expert that the Preterists themselves cite repeatedly agrees with me concerning the use of “generation” at Matthew 23:36.And we can see that this must also be the case later in this same discouse of the Lord: “For I say unto YOU,YE shall not see Me henceforth,till YE shall say,Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord”(Mt.23:39).
And since the people standing there that day never said those words,we must believe that the Lord´s words are addressed to “the whole people”,as Alford says.The Lord is addressing the “race of Jews”,especially those in the future who will indeed say,’Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord”.
And since even the Greek expert of the Preterists says that the word “genea” can indeed be used in the sense of a “race of men”,then we can see that it can be used in that sense at Matthew 24:34.And since it is used in that sense in that verse,the word “ye” in the previous verse can also be used as referring to the race of Jews.And with that all of Dee Dee´s arguments go up in a cloud of smoke—exposed for what they really are--nothing but hot air!
Even though Dee Dee continues to EVADE the questions I posed,I will answer another of her verses that she pulls out to attempt to prove her weird ideas.She says that the following verse applies to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70:
“There are some standing here,who shall not taste death,till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom”(Mt.16:28).
Are we suppose to believe that the coming of the Lord Jesus in His kingdom is the same thing as the “great tribulation”?The events of this tribulation are so bad that we see the words,”Blessed are the dead”(Rev.14:13).Are we suppose to believe that the Apostles were praying for this time of horror when they uttered the words,”Thy kingdom come”? How ridiculous!!! This only proves that Dee Dee will say ANYTHING in order to derfend the indefensible.
If we but examine the words of Peter,there can be no doubt that the Lord´s words at Matthew 16:28 were fulfilled at the Transfiguration (Mt.17:1-8):
“…we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,but we were witnesses of His majesty.For He received from God,the Father,honor and glory,when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory,This is My beloved Son,in Whom I am well pleased.And this voice which came from heaven we heard,when we were with Him in the holy mount”(2Pet.1:16-18).
Therefore,we can be sure that these Apostles saw the Lord in His kingdom at the Transfiguration.Anyone who believes that the “kingdom” refers to the destruction of the “great tribulation” must have a screw loose somewhere.
So,as anyone can plainly see,I have answered Dee Dee´s points in a straightfoward way.I have not been forced into having to “spiritualize” every single Scripture that seems to demonstrate that my beliefs are wrong,as Dee Dee does.I have used the Greek expert that the Preterists themselves use to make my point.I have used the words of Haggai to prove the idea of the “principle of the continuity of the Temple”.I have used the Lord´s own words where He Himself says that He does not know the “day” when all the things He described will come to pass.
And what do we hear from Dee Dee.Only her feeble attempts to throw out the Scriptures that prove that she is wrong because they do not match her ideas as to how the great battle in Jerusalem will be fought.And she cannot even make her “spiritualizing” to match with the events of history.I quoted the following verse:
“And it shall come to pass,in that day,that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”(Zech.12:9).
Dee Dee said that this refers to the fact that “the Roman Empire has long since ceased to exist.”She further states that “the Roman´s never prospered as they once did after 70AD and the Empire´s decline can well be placed as beginning at that very point.”
Well,not only does Dee Dee attempt to re-write the events in Holy Scripture,she also attempts to do the same with the history of the Roman Empire.And that is because Rome continued to prosper after AD70.We see that the ruler Nerva “enlarged the Roman Empire to its greatest extent” between the years 98 to 117 AD (“Encyclopedia Americana”).
And when Dee Dee is not attempting to change the plain meaning of Scripture or is not attempting to change the facts of history,she is EVADING the questions that I ask.These questions are very relevant to the subject of this discussion,but Dee Dee continues to EVADE them.
I will ask her one more time.Dee Dee,when did these events occur?:
“…and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”(Mt.24:30).
“When the Son of Man shall come in His glory…before Him shall be gathered all the nations;and He shall separate them one from another…”(Mt.25:31).
As that great American,Cassius Clay,said,”You can run,but you cannot hide.”
Here comes the Cavalry!!! Yikes! What DO they put in the water in Mexico?? -
September 3rd, 2002, 07:29 PM
Wow, Jerry actually believes that a future battle against Jerusalem will be fought on horseback! Why aren’t the Palestinians building up a considerable cavalry if this the optimum way to attack the Jews?? This would be hysterical if Jerry weren’t actually serious. Will Jerry be consistent and also believe, according to Ezekiel 38 and 39, that “Russia” will also fight Israel on horseback with swords and shields (38:4), bows and arrows (39:3), and wooden javelins and spears (39:10)? Notice also that Israelites will not need to go out to the forests to gather wood (39:10). Really?How many Israelites do you think are doing that today?? And notice the targets of the enemy attack: silver, gold, and cattle (39:13). Does Jerry really think that anyone is interested in Israel’s livestock?? Where are the Cobra helicopters Jerry?
Jerry again mishandles scholarly sources . Desperate to find someone that agrees with him (even most futurists don’t), he quotes Henry Alford concerning “genea” -
“It may be well to show that ‘genea’ has in Hellenistic Greek the meaning of a race or family of people.See Jeremiah 8:3,70. Compare Matthew 23:36 with verse 35…’This generation’ did not slay Zacharias—so that the whole people are addressed.See also chapter 12:45,in which the meaning absolutely requires this sense”
The errors here are numerous. Jeremiah 8:3 still means the multitude of people living at a given time, not a whole race!! See for yourself.Jeremiah 8:70 does not even exist.Matthew 23:36 does not claim that “this generation” slew Zacharias, it identifies upon whom the judgment will come. If Jerry wants to support the idea that Matthew 12:45 and Matthew 23:36 are referring to the whole Jewish race, then he has just condemned ALL Jews of ALL time as hideously wicked, demonized, and guilty of all the righteous blood shed on the earth. Jerry has also claimed that Alford is cited heavily on a particular website and that “preterists do quote him extensively as a Greek expert to support their claims.” That is simply untrue. That particular site lists excerpts from ONE of Alford’s works in its “database” section that contains excerpts from the works of DOZENS of scholars. It is mentioned nowhere else on the site, Jerry is once again not exactly truthful. Anyways, Alford is hardly an expert that Jerry will want to rely upon to support his position. Towards the end of his life, Alford waffled on his previous prophetic views and actually said this about genea:
It is matter for just surprise that such disregard should have been shown by expositors to the express limitations of time laid down by our Lord ; that forced and unnatural meanings should have given to such words as aiwn [and] genea [emphasis mine].
Ouch! Jerry is once again guilty of, at a minimum, not thoroughly researching his sources and proving my point for me. There was also an incredible earlier snafu by Jerry. When I commented that making “genea” mean “the Jewish race” in Matthew 24:34 put inanities in Christ’s mouth, Jerry said,
But the Lord says that the Jewish race shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled. And considering the many horrors that the nation of Israel must suffer through,it is not surprising at all that the Lord would assure them that their beloved chosen nation of Israel would continue and would inherit all the blessings that had been promised.Why would this seem strange?
Slowly now… Jerry is claiming that the entire Olivet Discourse is about events that will happen to the Jews. What then would be the point of Christ assuring the Jews that they will still be around as a race when these things happen to the Jews as a race?? Remember Christ opened this statement with the very solemn declaration, “Most assuredly I say to you…..” This would be equivalent to me saying, “I tell you the truth, wherever you go, there you are.” It is ridiculously stating the obvious. Also, Jerry does not believe the Jewish race will EVER pass away, making Christ’s statement even more inane. Jerry has a tremendous burden of proof here that he has not even come close to meeting. Remember that everything else he said falls to ashes if I am correct that “this generation” inMatthew 24:34 means the “whole multitude of men living at a particular time.” Here is the evidence in my favor:
The cream of Greek scholarship (Thayer; Arndt and Gingrich) all agree with me and use Matthew 24:34 as an example of the normal meaning of “generation”;
All of the major Bible translations render this verse as “generation” or an equivalent concept (thus more Greek scholarship agrees with me);
Every other place in the Gospels where the phrase “this generation” is used it unequivocally means “contemporaries”; and,
The context of Matthew is one of building and impending judgment upon the first century Jews, not Jews of all time.Jerry lays the unique guilt of the first century apostates upon Jews of all time.
In light of all of this evidence, Jerry has the temerity to say,
She builds her doctrines on nothing but SPECULATION!
And please notice the deafening silence from Jerry on my exposition on the use of the word “you” in the Discourse. Please answer Jerry, why will Jews be delivered up to synagogues and beaten?…. Why does the text switch from “you” to “they”??? And also, are you going to have the chutzpah to continue to defend the idea that there is a completely textually INVISIBLE Temple in the Discourse that is the primary referent to the prophecy and that Matthew and Luke are referring to different events?? There is not one thing in the Discourse that did not happen in the first century. Why must the whole first century world be reincarnated in your view? The prophecy was completely fulfilled right on time.I challenge you to find one thing that was not.
With regards to Matthew 16:27-28 Jerry utterly ignores the contextual case that I made with comparing those verses to Luke 21:31 and tastes his own foot once again with:
Are we suppose to believe that the coming of the Lord Jesus in His kingdom is the same thing as the “great tribulation”?
Sigh. Jerry himself believes that Luke 21:25-28 is describing the coming of Christ after the Great Tribulation and what does Luke say… this “coming” heralds the coming of the Kingdom. Jerry did not at deal with the very close connection between “this generation will not pass away” and “some of those standing here will not taste death.” He can only piecemeal these timing verses because the cumulative case would clobber him senseless. Here are the verses again because they require close attention:
Matthew 16:27-28 – For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.
Jerry once again insists on putting inanities and Jean Dixon-ish predictions in Christ’s mouth. As before, Christ introduces this statement with His very solemn intro, “Most assuredly I say to you….” The Transfiguration was only days away, anyone could predict that a group of people would still be alive in a few days. Also futurists disconnect verse 28 from 27, but that cannot be as they are very tightly connected in the passage. In verse 28, Jesus is giving a solemn declaration of the timing of the event in verse 27. It is unavoidable. If we are still waiting for “the Son of Man to come in the glory of His Father with His angels,” then some who were with Jesus must still be alive!! So then we must look for an event that was far enough in the future where most of Jesus’ hearers would be dead, but not so far in the future where they all would be dead. Is there such an event? Yes! The destruction of Jerusalem in AD70. Where were the angels and the reward in the Transfiguration Jerry? You cannot ignore those phrases (and the close similarity with Matthew 25:31).
Are we suppose to believe that the Apostles were praying for this time of horror when they uttered the words,”Thy kingdom come”? How ridiculous!!!
Jerry you need to get more Biblically literate. The martyred saints, which would include Saint Paul, were (and are even in your view) absolutely praying for this time when they would be vindicated (Revelation 6:9). You keep getting tangled in your own feet. You believe that the “Kingdom” cannot come until after some alleged future Great Tribulation, so you also are praying for that event to come. And ironically, dispies are paying to transport countless Jews to Jerusalem to be slaughtered. Why aren’t you warning them to stay away?
[sarcasm]Hmm, the Encyclopedia Americana is Jerry’s scholarly source to refute my statement on the decline of the Roman Empire? [/sarcasm] He claims that since Rome expanded in size it could not have been declining. Jerry’s simplistic rendering of complex vagaries of history would also be laughable if he were not serious. Noted historian Edward Gibbon documented that it was Rome’s expansion that was the beginning of its fall as follows, “But the decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest; and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its own weight.”
With regards to the “coming of Christ” and by implication the cosmic disturbances (Matthew 24:29-30), although I HAVE answered this question at least THREE times by asking Jerry to defend his wooden hermeneutic, he has ignored that challenge. The answer is easy as pie if you know the OT. It happened in the events of the destruction of Jerusalem and the sweeping away of the vestiges of the Old Covenant order. Jesus is making a clear allusion to Daniel 7:13-14. Please read those verses in Daniel carefully and notice the direction of the coming. It is not DOWN to Earth but UP to the Ancient of Days on a cloud to receive His Kingdom (hint – Christ rules from Heaven). If we let the Bible interpret the Bible, it is crystal clear what is going on. Jesus is speaking in the idioms and language of an OT prophet, in fact, if you look at the NASV, you will see that these Matthean verses are indicated as a direct quote of Isaiah 13:9-10 giving us the OT framework in which it must be understood. Here is the Isaiah passage:
“Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.
This passage, in its original context, is speaking of a past historical judgment upon ancient Babylon. Jesus is giving apostate Judaism a back-handed slap by comparing them to Babylon and stating that they will suffer the same fate. Throughout the whole OT (the only Scripture the disciples had with which to interpret Jesus’ words), “collapsing universe,” “decreation,” and “lights out’ imagery is used to describe God’s temporal judgments. For similar language describing past judgment events see: Isaiah 34:4-5; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Amos 8:9 for just a FEW examples. For SOME similar passages describing God “coming” in judgment or battle see: Genesis 11:5; 2 Samuel 22:8-12; Psalm 18:9; Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 31:4; Hosea 8:1; Micah 1:2-4. Notice also the repetition of “clouds” and judgment: 2 Samuel 22:12; Jeremiah 4:13; Ezekiel 30:3; Nahum 1:3; Zephaniah 1:14-15; These passages bear remarkable similarities to the Olivet Discourse. No one believes in these past historical judgments recorded by the OT that the stars of heaven and their constellations and the sun and the moon did not give their light. These heavenly bodies are often used in Scripture as symbolic of power and governments. Jerry relies upon a very thin reed in Haggai to support some alleged continuity of the Temple, why can’t he let the Bible interpret the Bible in this passage with the wealth of passages that teach this?? When our ideas conflict with the Bible actually says, it is our ideas that must get “Left Behind,” not the Bible.
"Every day they distort My words..." -
September 4th, 2002, 10:46 AM
Dee Dee states that the “cosmic disturbances” and the event when “all the tribes of the earth shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” refers to “the events of the destruction of Jerusalem and the sweeping away of the vestiges of the Old Covenant order”.
However,it is perfectly clear that her statement is utterly unjustified.Proving again her ineptitude,she overlooks the words that state that the “cosmic signs” and the coming of the Lord happen AFTER the “great tribulation—“Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened…”
So it is obvious to anyone who would use their brain that these “cosmic disturbances” could not be in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem,because according to Scripture that must take place BEFORE the “cosmic disturbances”.Dee Dee,what were you thinking?More blunders of this magnitude and the preterists themselves will disown you.
These verses are so important to the whole scheme of the Olivet Discourse,and this is the best that Dee Dee could do!How could this happen?How could she overlook the words,”Immediately after the tribulation”?
And WHEN,we might ask,did all the tribes of the earth SEE the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory?By the words of John we know that this is not just figurative language,because John states in no uncertain terms that “He cometh in the clouds,and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM…and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him”(Rev.1:7). If this stupendous event happened in 70AD,surely there would be some mention of it in the history books.But I know of no such account of this astounding event in any account of history.
And what about the event that follows His coming when every eye shall see Him?-- “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory…before shall be gathered all the nations;and He shall separate them one from another,as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats”(Mt.25:31,32).
Did this take place in heaven,or upon earth?Joel supplies the answer: “I will gather all nations,and bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat…Let the nations be weakened,and come up to the Valley of Jeshoshaphat;for there I will sit to judge all the nations round about…So shall ye know that I am the Lord,your God,dwelling in Zion,My holy mountain;then shall Jerusalem be holy,and there shall no strangers pass through her evermore"(Joel 3:2,12,17).
When did this happen,Dee Dee?When did every eye see the Lord come in His glory and judge all the nations?Frankly,I have NEVER heard anything so flagrantly baseless and false as your assertion that all these things have already come to pass.
Also,in regard to the “cosmic disturbances”,Dee Dee says that “Jesus is speaking in idioms and language of an OT prophet.”She then lists several verses,and says that they bear a remarkable similiarity to the Olivet Discouse.Yes,they are similiar,but Dee Dee failed to mention the ways that they are different.First of all,none of the verses she provided were an answer to a question concerning SIGNS that would precede the coming of the Lord.And none of the verses contained the EXPRESSED COMMAND TO LOOK FOR ANY SIGN!
The Lord says,”When ye shall SEE ALL THESE THINGS”(Mt.24:33)…”Take heed,WATCH and pray”(Mk.13:33)…”WATCH,therefore…”(Mk.13:35)…”And what I say unto you I say unto all,WATCH”(Mk.13:37)…”WATCH ye,therefore”(Lk.21:36).
None of the verses she provided have any warnings to WATCH and none of the verses state that the things will be SEEN!But in the Olivet Discourse we hear the Lord Jesus say,over and over,that they will SEE all these things come to pass and warns them to WATCH.But Dee Dee says that we should believe that there is nothing to look for in regard to the “cosmic disturbances” because the Lord´s words cannot be taken in a literal manner at all.It reminds me of the serpents method in deceiving Eve.I can hear him whispering in the ear of Dee Dee,”Surely He did not mean that you would actually SEE this,and His warning to WATCH means nothing.It is just figurative language.”And just like Eve,Dee Dee has also been deceived.
Next,in regard to Matthew 16:27-28—that some of theApostles would see the Lord coming in His kingdom--Dee Dee seems to think the event when the Lord will come in His glory and reward each according to his work has already happened.If that is true,then it would seem that the rapture has already come and gone.Paul told the believers to be looking for the appearing of the Lord because when He did appear they would receive their glorified body—“…we look for the Savior,the Lord Jesus Christ,Who shall change our lowly body,that it may be fashioned like His glorious body”(Phil.3:20,21).John also said that “when He shall appear,we shall be like Him”(1Jn.3:2).But there is no evidence from those who knew John after AD70 that there was ever a rapture.Gosh,Dee Dee,if John was walking around in a glorified body don´t you think that someone would have mentioned it?And if John and all the believers had put on their immortal bodies when the Lord did appear,why aren´t they still alive today?How can anyone dream up such farcical ideas and expect anyone to believe them?
All these statements of Dee Dee are nothing more than a sheer perversion of Scripture,unconsciously made,no doubt,to suit the exigencies of a false system of interpretation.
Also,if the Apostles lived to see the Lord come in His kingdom,how would she explain His words to His apostles that “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine,until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father´s kingdom” and that in the kingdom they would “sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel”(Lk.22:30)?Perhaps she can tell us when they drank wine with the Lord and when they judged the tribes of Israel.
Dee Dee also seems to think that the Apostles would even be praying for “the great and terrible day of the Lord” to come because they knew that the kingdom would follow.But this is what Amos says of those who might consider praying for that day: “Woe unto you who desire the day of the Lord!To what end is it for you?The day of the Lord is darkness,and not light”(Amos4:18).
Dee Dee has been deceived to such an extent that she will believe anything,no matter how ludicrous.At this point,I will make a comparasion between the way that I interpret Scripture and the way that Dee Dee does.I will compare her ideas concerning the words of Zechariah that the Lord will “destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”(Zech.12:9) with my interpreatation of the meaning of “generation” at Matthew 24:34.
First,I pointed out that there are respected Greek experts who state that “genea”,the word translated “generation”, can mean “men of the same stock,a family”(Strong´s).I have also demonstrated that that is the meaning that the Lord put on that word at Matthew 23:36—‘This generation’ did not slay Zechariah.I have also shown that the Lord Himself did not know the “day” when these events would come to pass because the Father has put “the times and the seasons” in His own power.Therefore,it is pure fiction to maintain that the Lord would tell these men that they would see all these things come to pass.Besides,the Lord said that “this generation shall not pass” until ALL THESE THINGS ARE SEEN! And we know that there was never a time when EVERY EYE saw the Lord coming in the clouds in His glory,and there was no time when anyone saw the “cosmic disturbances” that are described by both the Lord and by His beloved disciple (Jn.6:12-17).So there is nothing in my interpretation of the word “generation” and its use at Matthew 24:34 that is not supported by Scripture.
Now let us explore Dee Dee´s interpretation of the meaning of the following words: “And it shall come to pass,in that day,that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”(Zech.12:9). According to Dee Dee´s twisted interpretation,the way that the Lord destroyed Rome was by allowing the Roman army to utterly destroy Jerusalem!She said that Rome never prospered as they once did after 70AD and the Empire´s decline can be placed at the desruction of Jerusalem.She quotes Gibbon,who attributes the decline of Rome to her conquests.So Dee Dee is saying that the Lord allowed Rome to conquer Jerusalem,and this conquest led to Rome´s fall.Therefore,when we see the Lord Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives fighting against Rome(Zech.14:3,4),He is fighting a loosing battle.Can you imagine that!
If there was ever an example of nightmare exegesis,THIS IS IT! Even though Zechariah says that “in that day the Lord shall DEFEND the inhabitants of Jerusalem”(v.8),Dee Dee says that this event has already come to pass and the Lord did not defend Jerusalem.Instead,He allowed Jerusalem to be conquered and that is the way that the Lord Jesus destroyed Rome.
So we can see that my method of interpretation is based solidly on the Holy Scripture,while Dee Dee is forced to revert to FAIRY TALES of the most perverted type.This just proves that in no other area of life except that of ‘religion’ will men and women of intelligence willingly subject their minds to delusions of the worst kind.And make no mistake about it,these interpretations of Dee Dee are in fact “delusions” and bear no resemblance to the realities revealed by the Holy Spirit.
Dee Dee has been deceived to a point that she will believe ANYTHING.There seems to be no limit to her credulity.She has been induced to stultify her reason and common sense,and the result is a perversion of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ as contained in the Olivet Discourse.
“Every day they distort My words;all their thoughts are against Me for evil”(Ps.56:5).