Did Jesus Receive the Kingdom in 33 C.E.? (part 2 of 2)

Continuation . . .

Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:09 pm

Hello Rotherham,

Part 2 (of my response to your post from Tues April 6)

What about the claim that “Synteleia” (simultanous ending of things together) and “Parousia” (the royal visitation) must be VERY LONG EVENTS?

Rotherham wrote:$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
There really is no way to make sense of the parable of the wheat and the weeds unless one allows for a second sunteleia fulfillment. The weeds clearly grow together UNTIL the harvest, which is clearly not the same sunteleia that ended with the destruction of Jerusalem. Therefore, it is no surprise to find dual fulfillments between the early suntelaie and the late sunteleia. And since the disciples referred to the sunteleia and the parousia as virtually the same thing, that tells us that the sunteleia and the parousia are very long events.
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I see no problem with a complete and proper (first) fulfillment of the wheat and weeds parable in the context of the synteleia and parousia of the first century at 70 CE. I also believe that the great final Synteleia and great final Parousia will also find a world-wide fulfillment of the wheat and weeds parable. The synteleia and parousia of the Jewish age prefigure the Synteleia and Parousia of the World. I also see the judgment on Jerusalem as the “harvest,” because it truly was the “end of the age” (synteleias tou aionos) and therefore a harvest of the fruits of the disciple’s ministry on that world. (Jesus had been warning the Jewish world and gave a parable about needing more workers in the field. The idea appears to be that they would not finish making their rounds through the “cities of Israel” before the Son of Man arrived. Matt 10:23. Many from the Jewish Age, perhaps a million persons, died in 70 CE. And although we can’t directly know God’s future judgments, this gives us reason to expect that the judgment on the Jewish world might yet be small in comparison to the final worldwide Synteleia/Parousia.

You argue that this synteleia and parousia were virtually the same thing in the first fulfillment. I agree. And that therefore they must be long events in the second. I disagree. What if they were relatively short events in the first fulfillment? The actual event was something that was so sudden and surprising that when they got the actual “tangible” sign, they wouldn’t really know if they even had time to grab their coat. For safety’s sake, “when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies” it was now time to flee without hesitation.

The “synteleia” was almost upon them from the moment they had a tangible reason to flee. But an exception was made that delayed the synteleia on account of the chosen ones in Jerusalem. History tells us that this might have happened as early as 66 after Cestius Gallus left, or just as likely, sometime just before late 68 and 69 CE, when the Romans first began to entrap people inside Jerusalem. What would have been a quick “synteleia” was postponed to to allow the chosen ones to flee. The apostles had been commanded by Jesus to stay at Jerusalem 33 years earlier (Acts 1). So it’s possible that the exception that “cut short the days” of the initial danger, was an exception that effectively postponed the synteleia to a later date.

I don’t see the synteleia as the BEGINNING of the distress, but the actual END, the actual conclusion of the age. The “last days” of that age was NOT the same as the “synteleia” of that age. It’s what actually concluded that age that counts. The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was the “synteleia” of that age.

The word “harvest” has a range of meaning. Yet, the only way to make good sense of the parable of the wheat and weeds is to allow for a second synteleia, allowing weeds to grow together UNTIL the harvest, exactly as you said. Therefore if weeds are still growing we haven’t reached the harvest yet. If heavenly angels haven’t started the reaping, and haven’t begun burning the weeds then we haven’t reached the harvest yet.

Why Did Jesus Denigrate Some of the Signs in Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 17/21?

You added:

Rotherham wrote:The entire thrust of the Olivet Sermon is about what to watch for to know that he is near at the doors. That the revelation of the Son of Man is about to happen. How any one can see phrases like
1.”when you see these things start to occur, lift your heads up for your deliverance is getting near”
2. “Likewise also YOU, when YOU see all these things, know that he is near at the doors”
3. “this generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur”
4 “these are a beginning of the pangs of distress”
and then say the point of the sermon was to tell them there was no sign but one, is truly beyond me. The entire point was that the sign was a composite one, not a singular event. The reference to lightning is not the suddenness of it, but the visibility of it, which he stresses by saying that it can be seen everywhere from the observer’s viewpoint, not just in a particular location.

It shouldn’t be that difficult for you to see. Did they ask for signs? No. They asked for a sign (singular). Is there a difference? Maybe not much, and maybe the disciples originally intended the question to mean either sign or signs. But Jesus pointed out that there COULD be a big difference if they focused incorrectly to the FALSE signs instead of the TRUE signs.

If Jesus had given equal weight to a lot of different “signs” in his response then you might be justified to think that Jesus responded to a question about a sign as if it meant signs. Instead, Jesus denigrates the common signs (plural) and focuses on a single, unique “sign” to answer their question.

So let’s look at the passage in its true context.

Jesus said that the time would come someday when the Temple would be destroyed completely. Jesus’ disciples responded: “Teacher,” they asked, “WHEN will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” They did exactly what any of us would have done. When someone tells us that something serious is going to happen in the future, it’s the most natural thing in the world to ask: “When?” “How can we know in time to know what to do?”

They knew that Jesus could predict this, because he was “in the know” about how and when it would happen. He had just predicted what they thought to be the “end of the world” and they knew it was related to the Messiah’s Kingdom that they were promised to have a part in. He should be able to give them a warning sign, so they could have advanced notice, or understand how to protect themselves. Isn’t this what anyone would do? They had NO reason to ask for any kind of “composite” set of signs they might have to interpret. That would be unnecessarily complex. They just wanted to know how to tell that this event was really about to happen, how would they know when it was close. Should they warn people to get out of there right this minute? Should they warn their families and friends that it might happen at any moment. Is there any way to know whether this is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next year? Are they going to see it or will it happen so that their children might see it? Will it happen in 100 years? 1000 years?

Now because these were Jesus own disciples they also knew that this had something to do with what Jesus had been saying all along about a time coming for the Kingdom. Their idea was that the coming of this kingdom was the end of the age, the end of “history”. Ironically, Jesus took the opportunity to distinguish between FALSE signs of his presence, signs that could DECEIVE them, and the TRUE sign of his presence. They are all, in effect, signs of the “season” but it is only when they’ve seen ALL of it, including the TRUE sign.

So if you look again at the passage, it’s easy to see which so-called signs were really false signs. It didn’t mean these other things wouldn’t also happen in that generation, or that wouldn’t be a part of the full set of things that would be seen. It’s just that they weren’t the focus. The focus is only on the TRUE sign. And logically Jesus even gives the reason for it. Jesus says that if you started getting too concerned about the false signs, then you would think you knew when the parousia had begun and it wouldn’t be true. The true parousia comes as a surprise, similar to how the flood came and swept a lot of people away who were still in the middle of their lives going along as usual, people eating and drinking as usual, even getting married and preparing for the next generation as if nothing were going to happen to their own generation. The true Christian lives a life of preparedness every day, so it is actually an unchristian activity to try to divine signs of the end. It produces Christians who are more focused on “keeping their eyes on the prize” rather than on daily Christian living and daily acts of Christian charity.

Luke is the Gospel that seems least interested in differentiating between false signs and true signs. At first glance it sounds like all the things mentioned could be legitimate signs to watch out for. That is why I am using Luke below to see if the idea still comes through. If it does, even in Luke, then it must be a purposeful part of the Gospel record.

The Evidence from the Gospel of Luke

5Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6“As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” 7“Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”

As an important aside, notice that, in Luke, the idea of “Parousia” is NOT integral to the sense of the passage. The word is never even used. And yet, this Gospel writer must be making the same point that the parallel accounts are making. This shows that there was no interest in anything remotely like an “invisible presence”, but just some kind of advance warning for when the destruction was about to happen. Conversely it also shows that the “parousia” in Matthew must also be the destruction itself, and not related to the generation in advance of that destruction. It’s a good indicator that Matthew focused on the word because it applied to an event, not a generation.

8He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”

So in direct response to a question about a sign, Jesus’ first words are “watch out that you are not deceived”. In other words, if you are looking for a sign, you might be deceived.

What are the kinds of things that are going to happen before this destruction that might deceive them? People might come in Christ’s name, even people who admit that Jesus is “he” (Jesus is the Christ). They will say, “the time is near” or “the time is at hand”. But these are FALSE signs. They are things that will happen, but not the true things to be concerned about. Just because people will be going around saying “The Time is at Hand” does not mean these events are related to the sign of the end that the disciples asked about.

Other FALSE signs include wars and revolutions. Will there be wars and revolutions in the generation before 70 CE? Of course, but the disciples shouldn’t focus on them — they shouldn’t think of them as part of any true sign — and they shouldn’t think means the END. Remember that these disciples interpret the end of the Jewish system to be the END (telos) ENDING OF THE AGE/WORLD/SYSTEM (syn-telos, synteleia), the PAROUSIA, the COMING EVENT OF JUDGMENT. Jesus said these things will happen, “but the END will not come right away.” In other words, these events are NOT the sign that answers their question.

10Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

So these types of things WILL happen. The disciples might even surmise that the predicted destruction could be related to great wars, problems with the Romans, great earthquakes, and famines, even great signs from heaven. But those WARS were already identified as FALSE signs. So trying to look at these types of events, including meteors, comets, eclipses, wars, earthquakes, etc, are FALSE. Note how the parallel in Mark emphasizes the FALSE signs:

(NWT) 7 Moreover, when YOU hear of wars and reports of wars, do not be terrified; [these things] must take place, but the end is not yet.8 “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, there will be earthquakes in one place after another, there will be food shortages. These are a beginning of pangs of distress.

These things will happen. These are the kinds of things that are NOT the Parousia, these are not the end, they are just “A BEGINNING”, not the END, that they asked about. So even earthquakes, and famines, and pestilence are FALSE signs.

12“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17All men will hate you because of me. 18But not a hair of your head will perish. 19By standing firm you will gain life.

So their focus has to be on their own faith, trust in the Messiah. Faithfully getting through a generation of troubles, betrayals and persecutions BEFORE that END. They have to remember that they may not even live see this END. So, obviously it can’t be their focus. They have to be willing to die to really gain life in the END.

There would be only one TRUE advance warning sign to act upon, that the destruction was truly near. That what they asked about was about to occur. The advance warning sign they asked about was seeing Jerusalem surrounded by armies. I can’t tell if that’s in 66 or 68 or even as late as 69 CE. But it had to be in this period just in advance of the final destruction in 70. Maybe a few months or a couple of years at most. It obviously wasn’t related to all the things that would happen in the generation before then. It isn’t clear that Jesus is using this yet as the SIGN of his COMING (Luke never speaks of a “presence” or “parousia” — just the “Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” The NWT agrees by also translating this as “COMING” in Luke.).

20“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Only after that event, in the time of punishment on Jerusalem, can they now truly say the end is near, “the time is at hand”. If the synteleia could be anything different from the parousia here (and I don’t think it is) then it COULD possibly start as early as this point. It was now the imminent ending (together) of all things, their entire system/age/world. The text of Matthew still points to the sign coming WITH the actual destruction. It’s probably significant that the real “END” is tied in ALL the Gospel accounts to the actual destruction of the Temple itself. That’s where I would put the true “END OF THE AGE” or synteleia, and therefore also the parousia. The parousia is too often tied to the APPEARANCE of the Son of Man.

Apparently Luke agrees. He never calls the surrounding of Jerusalem by armies the “sign” they are looking for. But it is the first of any kind of TRUE sign or signal that they can act upon. Just like Matthew and Mark, Luke points to a time “after that tribulation of those days” of traveling out of Judea in the mountains and out of Jerusalem to any possible place.

25“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

So the THESE THINGS beginning to take place, include the tribulation of those days (the dangerous travel in wartime) and the actual physical destruction of Jerusalem. Luke does this very much like Matthew, not exactly alike, but the point comes out the same. The point is that this destruction on Jerusalem, since it was predicted and the generation was known and predicted in advance, must now transition immediately into a concern, an apprehension of what is coming on the entire earth. Once this judgment on Jerusalem is out of the way “in fulfillment of ALL that has been written”, we are now in the time of redemption for the entire world. Now is the day of salvation for the entire world. That “day” might last a moment, it might last 100 generations. But it started with an act of judgment “owned” by the heavenly kingdom of Christ. Christians would see this great event on Jerusalem as a coming of the Son of Man with power and great glory. It itself was a great sign from heaven. And NOW, it’s now time for the judgment of the world. And now, therefore, the world has been judged, according to 1 John, written after 70, I assume.

Notice how that same wording here in Luke 21 fits Revelation 12, including the roaring of disgorged waters upon Israel. (Luke: “nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” Revelation:”And the serpent disgorged water like a river from its mouth after the woman, to cause her to be drowned by the river.”)

Luke also said “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars.” Revelation 12 also speaks of the “sun moon and stars” as representing the woman, Israel. (“a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon was beneath her feet, and on her head was a crown of twelve stars”). This is the same as in Genesis 37: “And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I [Israel a.k.a. Jacob] have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.” There should be no problem tying this to Israel (in a fleshly sense) and the immediate transference of Israel (in a spiritual sense) to the remaining true “sons of Israel” who must all look only to the Jerusalem above.

29He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

So the expression “these things happening” that let you know the kingdom of God is near, included the TRUE sign – it might include the signal to get out of Jerusalem because of the armies. But it definitely included the actual destruction, the actual judgment, which was an indicator of Jesus’ judgment from the heavenly kingdom. It definitely did NOT include the wars and false prophets and earthquakes that they were supposed to ignore in favor of a focus on their own faithfulness.

This was not about a generation, but instead, about the answer to their question about the END. And Jesus had already made clear that the other signs were not things to focus on. So this was not a parable about a long generation of time. It was a parable about seeing only the TRUE sign. The only true sign of Summer being near is the proof that Spring is here. The only TRUE sign related to the Kingdom of God’s judgment on Jerusalem is the ACTUAL judgment. Not even the one true early warning signal (surrounding armies) was really the full true sign of the Kingdom. The real SIGN(S) from the heavens was the actual shaking down of the Jewish system of things, the Jewish Temple age.

This was the most important point, because there was going to be an entire generation of FALSE signs for the next 33 years. That was a chance for many Christians to become complacent and forget that what Jesus promised will really happen.

32“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 34“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
All of this was an obvious lesson that would apply on a larger scale also to the FINAL earth-wide Synteleia/Parousia/Telos/Revelation/Judgment/Manifestation/Appearance. Jesus obviously worded it in a way that fit the national, self-centered world view of Israel, but the words are even more appropriate for the final Parousia/Judgment.

What about the argument that Revelation 12 must be about the final parousia because chapter 11 mentioned the 24 elders

Rotherham wrote:It is incorrect to say that the vision of chapter twelve has no parousiac indicator. The opposite is true as we can see at the very end of chapter eleven that the twenty four elders are there and active. That places the vision in the parousia. So your arguments concerning that fail.

This is a true shame to try an argument as twisted and unscriptural as that. Revelation 14:3 says: “And they [the 144,000] are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the [24] elders;” Just because the JWs have “decisively” told you something about the Bible, doesn’t make it true. JWs teach that the 144,000 are represented by the 24 elders and vice versa, in spite of no evidence of that and “decisive” evidence in the Bible to the contrary. Funny how you don’t argue that the 4 living creatures are also the 144,000 — or maybe you do?

Rotherham wrote:You go to great lengths with a lot of complaining inbetween to try and prove that the male child is only Jesus, but frankly after reading through all that I saw no decisive point against at all. The book of Revelation itself makes the connection because the holy ones are said to rule with an iron rod just like Jesus. It represents the entire messianic kingdom, that is why the context can so readily switch between a single male child and the remaining ones of her seed. There is no contextual raeson or otherwise to think that the male chuild has to be only Jesus. I searched for something you were using as decisive in the issue but could not find it. many commentators agree that the ‘male child” includes the holy ones for the same reason that we do. Maybe you should take it up with them as to how flawed their logic is.

You can’t even distinguish “decisive” evidence from Revelation that separates the 24 elders from the 144,000. So your supposed search for some “decisive” point distinguishing 1 male child taken away from the remainder of the woman’s children shouldn’t surprise me. I don’t expect you to use clear logic here, where clear logic would clearly interfere with the Watchtower tradition as doctrine. You use obfuscating language like “Revelation itself makes the connection” (it doesn’t) and “that is why the context can so readily switch between a single male child and the remaining ones”. (It also switches readily between the woman, the child, Satan, the remainder, etc. By your logic, the woman could be Satan, or Satan could be the woman’s own children. The great red dragon here also has “crowns on his head”, those who conquer from the earth are also given, not only an iron rod, but crowns, too, you might remember.).

The very reason these other separate children of the woman are called the “remainder” is because they are “remaining” after one male child was taken away. It’s simple math. I’ll use the number “144,000” to represent these “remaining ones of her seed”. That would mean that we could number all the sons of this mother as 144,001. One of them is taken away. How many remain? 144,001 – 1 = 144,000. What’s the remainder? Does it include the one that was taken away?

I can almost positively state that you have never, ever admitted to seeing anything “decisive” that contradicted a Watchtower doctrine — even when the Watchtower itself found something that contradicted a Watchtower doctrine so that the doctrine was subsequently changed. You once went to great lengths in a discussion with me about what the “wicked” generation meant (that started in 1914) and it was in full support of a Watchtower doctrine at that time. That Watchtower doctrine has subsequently changed to mean the generation of the righteous anointed (instead of the wicked). I’m sure that if that change had already been made when we first discussed it, you would have gone to the same great lengths to support the “anointed” generation. So, please don’t talk to me about what evidence is “decisive”. For you, as far as I have ever seen, “decisive” can only be in reference to what the Watchtower is teaching at any current moment.

Is Revelation 12 really about the Final Parousia because some commentaries include the remnant “church” with the man-child?

I won’t worry too much about your “cherry-picked” commentaries that support the mixed-up theory that mixes up the male child with the remainder and/or the remainder with the male child. People’s New Testament supports the mixed up view, but without any attempt to make it a logical necessity or even offering any supporting reasoning. Matthew Henry at least provides the idea of both the male child and the remainder will rule/shepherd with an iron rod. But that’s the only connection and we already knew that Jesus and the other sons of the kingdom would rule together for the same purposes. Their common purpose does not make them equal to each other. Naturally, a commentary is more popular if it’s historical-exegetical approach makes special the very generation of the people reading it. And it’s a common goal of many commentaries about Revelation to find fulfillments that touch the readers directly. Thinking of so many parts of Revelation 11 and Revelation 12 as having a primary fulfillment in the first century and then mostly a didactic or allegorical lesson for the future generations is not nearly as entertaining or engaging. But it’s a perfectly acceptable understanding of scripure for those who are able to draw on lessons and symbols from the past to strengthen faith necessary for the present and future. I am not surprised that several commentaries have preferred to see Revelation 11 and 12 as purely future or present and future. I see them as past present and future (See Revelation 1:19).

Also, even though you found commentaries that mix up the male child with the remainder of the children, many of these same commentaries are still quite in line with the overall picture of Revelation 12 being a sweep of Christian history, starting with the birth of Jesus, and even with a proper focus on the year AD 70.

What does the Geneva Study Bible REALLY say?

Note, for example, some of the rest of the Geneva Study Bible’s comments on Revelation 12, which I perfectly agree with:

Geneva Study Bible wrote:Chapter 12
12:1 And (1) there appeared a great wonder in heaven; (2) a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:(1) …the beginning of the Church is described in this chapter, and the progress of it in the chapter following. The beginning of the Christian Church we define as the first moment of the conception of Christ, until the time in which this church was weaned and taken away from the breast or milk of her mother: which is the time when the Church of the Jews with their city and temple was overthrown by the judgment of God. So we have in this chapter the story of 69 years and upwards. …(2) A type of the true holy Church which was at that time in the Jewish nation. This Church (as is the state of the Catholic church) did in itself shine with glory given by God, immutable and unchangeable, and possessed the kingdom of heaven as the heir of it.12:4 (7) And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon (8) stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for (9) to devour her child as soon as it was born.

(7) After the description of Satan follows this action, that is, his battle with the Church partly to that which is visible, in which the wheat is mingled with the chaff, and the good fish with that which is evil: its good part, though in appearance it shined as the stars shine in heaven, he is said to thrust down out of heaven, and to pervert: for if it were possible he would pervert even the elect ( Matthew 24:24 ) and partly to the elect members of the holy catholic church in the second part of this verse. Many therefore of the members of this visible Church (says John) he overthrew and triumphed on them. (8) He withstood that elect Church of the Jews which was now ready to bring forth the Christian Church and watched for her to give birth….

12:6 (12) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that (13) they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

(12) The Church of Christ which was of the Jews, after his ascension into heaven, hid itself in the world as in a wilderness, trusting only in the defence of God, as Luke witnesses in Acts.
(13) Namely the apostles and servants of God ordained to feed with the word of life, the Church collected both of the Jews and Gentiles … For he has respect to those two prophets, of whom Revelation 11:3 speaks….

12:7 And there was war in heaven: (14) Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

(14) Christ is the Prince of angels and head of the Church, who bears that iron rod ( Revelation 12:5 ). Also See . In this verse a description of the battle and of the victory in the two verses following ( Revelation 12:8 Revelation 12:9 ). The psalmist noted this battle as did Paul; ( Psalms 68:9 ; Ephesians 4:8 ; 2:15 ).
[Bill adds: note that Ephesians considers this to start in their own first-century CE]

12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, (16) Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

(16) The song of victory or triumph containing first, a proposition of the glory of God and of Christ shown in that victory: secondly, it contains a reason for the same proposition, taken from the effects, as the enemy is overcome in battle, in this verse, and the godly are made conquerors (and more than conquerors) ( Romans 8:37 ). … [Bill adds: note that Romans considers this to start in their own first-century CE]

12:13 And when (17) the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child].

(17) The third part: a history of the woman delivered, consisting of two parts, the present battle of Satan against the Christian Church of the Jewish nation, in ( Revelation 12:13-16 ): and the battle intended against the Church of the Gentiles, which is called holy by reason of the gospel of Christ in ( Revelation 12:17 ).

12:14 (18) And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a (19) time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

(18) That is, being strengthened with divine power: and taught by oracle, she fled swiftly from the assault of the devil, and from the common destruction of Jerusalem and went into a solitary city beyond Jordan called Pella as Eusebius tells in the first chapter of the third book of his ecclesiastical history: where God had commanded her by revelation.
(c) Into the place God had prepared for her.
(19) That is, for three and a half years: so the same speech
is taken in See . This space of time is reckoned in manner from that last and most grievous rebellion of the Jews, to the destruction of the city and temple,for their defection or falling away, began in the twelfth year of Nero, before the beginning of which many signs and predictions were shown from heaven, as Josephus wrote, lib.7, chap.12, and Hegesippus lib.5, chap.44, among which this is very memorable. In the feast of Pentecost not only a great sound and noise was heard in the Temple, but also a voice was heard by many out of the Sanctuary which cried out to all, Let us depart from here. Now three and a half years after this defection by the Jews began, and those wonders happened, the city was taken by force, the temple overthrown, and the place forsaken by God: and the length of time John noted in this place.

12:15 (20) And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

(20) That is, he inflamed the Romans and the nations that in persecuting the Jewish people with cruel arms, they might at the same time invade the Church of Christ, now departed from Jerusalem and out of Judea. For it is a normal thing in scripture, that the raging tumults of the nations should be compared to waters.

12:16 (21) And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

(21) That is, there was offered in their place other Jews, to the Romans and nations raging against that people: and it came to pass by this that the Church of God was saved entirely from that violence, that most raging flood of persecution which the dragon vomited out being completely exhausted in the destroying of those other Jews.

12:17 (22) And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

(22) Being set on fire by this means, he began to be more mad, and because he perceived that his purpose against the Christian Church of the Jewish remnant was come to nothing, he resolved to fall on her seed, that is, the Church of the Gentiles, gathered by God and the holy members of the church. This is that other part, as is said in ( Revelation 12:13 ) in which the purpose of Satan is shown in ( Revelation 12:17 ) and his attempt, in ( Revelation 13:1 ).

What does the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary REALLY say?

The following is your own quote from JFB:

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary wrote:5. man-child-Greek, “a son, a male.” On the deep significance of this term, see on [2714]Re 12:1, 2.

rule-Greek, “poimainein,” “tend as a shepherd”; (see on [2715]Re 2:27).

rod of iron-A rod is for long-continued obstinacy until they submit themselves to obedience [Bengel]: Re 2:27; Ps 2:9, which passages prove the Lord Jesus to be meant. Any interpretation which ignores this must be wrong. The male son’s birth cannot be the origin of the Christian state (Christianity triumphing over heathenism under Constantine), which was not a divine child of the woman, but had many impure worldly elements. In a secondary sense, the ascending of the witnesses up to heaven answers to Christ’s own ascension, “caught up unto God, and unto His throne”: as also His ruling the nations with a rod of iron is to be shared in by believers (Re 2:27). What took place primarily in the case of the divine Son of the woman, shall take place also in the case of those who are one with Him, the sealed of Israel (Re 7:1-8), and the elect of all nations, about to be translated and to reign with Him over the earth at His appearing.

As in some previous discussions, you have mistaken the meaning here to agree with your own, when in reality it’s exactly what I believe about the “male son, man-child”. As it says, “the passages prove Jesus Christ to be meant and interpretations that make it the origin of the Christian state must be wrong…” I also believe, just as stated here, that this is an ideal lesson which “answers” in a secondary sense to the remaining Christians who know that they will ALSO be caught away to rule with Jesus for a common purpose. What takes place for Jesus himself will ALSO take place for who are one with him at his appearing.

I could do the same thing with the rest of JFB that we can do with GSB above. I also agree with most of lessons derived here, too, about the sweeping history of the church from the first century right up to the appearance/parousia.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary wrote:
Revelation 12:1-17 . VISION OF THE WOMAN, HER CHILD, AND THE PERSECUTING DRAGON.1. This episode (Revelation 12:1-15:8′) describes in detail the persecution of Israel and the elect Church by the beast, which had been summarily noticed, Revelation 11:7-10 , …Israel first, and then the Gentile Church; …The twelve stars, the crown around her head, are the twelve tribes of Israel [AUBERLEN]. The allusions to Israel before accord with this: compare Revelation 11:19 . “the temple of God”; “the ark of His testament.” The ark lost at the Babylonian captivity, and never since found, is seen in the “temple of God opened in heaven,” signifying that God now enters again into covenant with His ancient people. ..The sun, moon, and twelve stars, are emblematical of Jacob, Leah, or else Rachel, and the twelve patriarchs, that is, the Jewish Church: secondarily, the Church universal, having under her feet, …and having on her head the crown of twelve stars, the twelve apostles, who, however, are related closely to Israel’s twelve tribes. The Church, in passing over into the Gentile world, is (1) persecuted; (2) then seduced, as heathenism begins to react on her. … Christ, the Son of the woman, is in Revelation 12:5 emphatically called “the MAN-child” (Greek, “huios arrheen,” “male-child”). Though born of a woman, and under the law for man’s sake, He is also the Son of God, and so the HUSBAND of the Church. As Son of the woman, He is “‘Son of man”; as male-child, He is Son of God, and Husband of the Church….The woman of whom Jesus was born represents the Old Testament congregation of God. …Compare the joy at His birth ( Isaiah 9:6 ). As new Jerusalem (called also “the woman,” or “wife,” Revelation 21:2 Revelation 21:9-12 ), with its twelve gates, is the exalted and transfigured Church, so the woman with the twelve stars is the Church militant.2. pained–Greek, “tormented” (basanizomene). DE BURGH explains this of the bringing in of the first-begotten into the world AGAIN, when Israel shall at last welcome Him, and when “the man-child shall rule all nations with the rod of iron.” But there is a plain contrast between the painful travailing of the woman here, and Christ’s second coming to the Jewish Church, the believing remnant of Israel, “Before she travailed she brought forth . . . a MAN-CHILD,” that is, almost without travail-pangs, she receives (at His second advent), as if born to her, Messiah and a numerous seed.

for to devour, &c.–“that when she brought forth, he might devour her child.” So the dragon, represented by his agent Pharaoh (a name common to all the Egyptian kings, and meaning, according to some, crocodile, a reptile like the dragon, and made an Egyptian idol), was ready to devour Israel’s males at the birth of the nation. Antitypically the true Israel, Jesus, when born, was sought for destruction by Herod, who slew all the males in and around Bethlehem.

5. man-child–Greek, “a son, a male.” On the deep significance of this term,
rule–Greek, “poimainein,” “tend as a shepherd”;
rod of iron–A rod is for long-continued obstinacy until they submit themselves to obedience [BENGEL]: Revelation 2:27 , Psalms 2:9 , which passages prove the Lord Jesus to be meant. Any interpretation which ignores this must be wrong. The male son’s birth cannot be the origin of the Christian state (Christianity triumphing over heathenism under Constantine), which was not a divine child of the woman, but had many impure worldly elements. In a secondary sense, the ascending of the witnesses up to heaven answers to Christ’s own ascension, “caught up unto God, and unto His throne”: as also His ruling the nations with a rod of iron is to be shared in by believers ( Revelation 2:27 ). What took place primarily in the case of the divine Son of the woman, shall take place also in the case of those who are one with Him, the sealed of Israel ( Revelation 7:1-8 ), and the elect of all nations, about to be translated and to reign with Him over the earth at His appearing.

6. woman fled–Mary’s flight with Jesus into Egypt is a type of this.

…Thus, the woman is “the one inseparable Church of the Old and New Testament” [HENGSTENBERG], the stock of the Christian Church being Israel (Christ and His apostles being Jews), on which the Gentile believers have been grafted, and into which Israel, on her conversion, shall be grafted, as into her own olive tree. During the whole Church-historic period, or “times of the Gentiles,” wherein “Jerusalem is trodden down of the Gentiles,” there is no believing Jewish Church, and therefore, only the Christian Church can be “the woman.” …

thousand two hundred and threescore days–anticipatory of Revelation 12:14 , where the persecution which caused her to flee is mentioned in its place: Revelation 13:11-18 gives the details of the persecution. It is most unlikely that the transition should be made from the birth of Christ to the last Antichrist, without notice of the long intervening Church-historical period. Probably the 1260 days, or periods, representing this long interval, are RECAPITULATED on a shorter scale analogically during the last Antichrist’s short reign. They are equivalent to three and a half years, which, as half of the divine number seven, symbolize the seeming victory of the world over the Church. As they include the whole Gentile times of Jerusalem’s being trodden of the Gentiles, they must be much longer than 1260 years; for, above several centuries more than 1260 years have elapsed since Jerusalem fell.

7. In Job 1:6-11 , 2:1-6 , Satan appears among the sons of God, presenting himself before God in heaven, as the accuser of the saints: again in Zechariah 3:1 Zechariah 3:2 . But at Christ’s coming as our Redeemer, he fell from heaven, especially when Christ suffered, rose again, and ascended to heaven. When Christ appeared before God as our Advocate, Satan, the accusing adversary, could no longer appear before God against us, but was cast out judicially ( Romans 8:33 Romans 8:34 ). He and his angels henceforth range through the air and the earth, after a time (namely, the interval between the ascension and the second advent) about to be cast hence also, and bound in hell. …

war in heaven–What a seeming contradiction in terms, yet true! Contrast the blessed result of Christ’s triumph, Luke 19:38 , “peace in heaven.” Colossians 1:20 , “made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; whether . . . things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Michael and his angels . . . the dragon . . . and his angels–It was fittingly ordered that, as the rebellion arose from unfaithful angels and their leader, so they should be encountered and overcome by faithful angels and their archangel, in heaven. On earth they are fittingly encountered, and shall be overcome, as represented by the beast and false prophet, by the Son of man and His armies of human saints ( Revelation 19:14-21 ). The conflict on earth, as in Daniel 10:13 , has its correspondent conflict of angels in heaven. Michael is peculiarly the prince, or presiding angel, of the Jewish nation. The conflict in heaven, though judicially decided already against Satan from the time of Christ’s resurrection and ascension, receives its actual completion in the execution of judgment by the angels who cast out Satan from heaven. From Christ’s ascension he has no standing-ground judicially against the believing elect. Luke 10:18 , “I beheld (in the earnest of the future full fulfilment given in the subjection of the demons to the disciples) Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” As Michael fought before with Satan about the body of the mediator of the old covenant ( Jude 1:9 ), so now the mediator of the new covenant, by offering His sinless body in sacrifice, arms Michael with power to renew and finish the conflict by a complete victory. That Satan is not yet actually and finally cast out of heaven, though the judicial sentence to that effect received its ratification at Christ’s ascension, appears from Ephesians 6:12 , “spiritual wickedness in high (Greek, ‘heavenly’) places.” This is the primary Church-historical sense here. But, through Israel’s unbelief, Satan has had ground against that, the elect nation, appearing before God as its accuser. At the eve of its restoration, in the ulterior sense, his standing-ground in heaven against Israel, too, shall be taken from him, “the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem” rebuking him, and casting him out from heaven actually and for ever by Michael, the prince, or presiding angel of the Jews. …

10. Now–Now that Satan has been cast out of heaven. Primarily fulfilled in part at Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, when He said ( Matthew 28:18 ), “All power [Greek, ‘exousia,’ ‘authority,’ as here; see below] is given unto Me in heaven and in earth”; connected with Revelation 12:5 , “Her child was caught up unto God and to His throne.” In the ulterior sense, it refers to the eve of Christ’s second coming, when Israel is about to be restored as mother-church of Christendom, Satan, who had resisted her restoration on the ground of her unworthiness, having been cast out by the instrumentality of Michael, Israel’s angelic prince Thus this is parallel, and the necessary preliminary to the glorious event similarly expressed, Revelation 11:15 , “The kingdom of this world is become (the very word here, Greek, ‘egeneto,’ ‘is come,’ ‘hath come to pass’) our Lord’s and His Christ’s,” the result of Israel’s resuming her place.
salvation, &c.–Greek, “the salvation (namely, fully, finally, and victoriously accomplished, Hebrews 9:28 ; compare Luke 3:6 , yet future; hence, not till now do the blessed raise the fullest hallelujah for salvation to the Lamb, Revelation 7:10 , 19:1 ) the power (Greek, ‘dunamis’), and the authority (Greek, ‘exousia’; ‘legitimate power’; see above) of His Christ.”
accused them before our God day and night–Hence the need that the oppressed Church, God’s own elect (like the widow, continually coming, so as even to weary the unjust judge), should cry day and night unto Him.

11. they–emphatic in the Greek. “They” in particular. They and they alone. They were the persons who overcame.
overcame–( Romans 8:33 Romans 8:34 Romans 8:37 , 16:20 ).
him–( 1 John 2:14 1 John 2:15 ). It is the same victory (a peculiarly Johannean phrase) over Satan and the world which the Gospel of John describes in the life of Jesus, his Epistle in the life of each believer, and his Apocalypse in the life of the Church.

the remnant of her seed–distinct in some sense from the woman herself. Satan’s first effort was to root out the Christian Church, so that there should be no visible profession of Christianity. Foiled in this, he wars ( Revelation 11:7 , 13:7 ) against the invisible Church, namely, “those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus” (A, B, and C omit “Christ”). These are “the remnant,” or rest of her seed, as distinguished from her seed, “the man-child” ( Revelation 12:5 ), on one hand, and from mere professors on the other. The Church, in her beauty and unity (Israel at the head of Christendom, the whole forming one perfect Church), is now not manifested, but awaiting the manifestations of the sons of God at Christ’s coming. Unable to destroy Christianity and the Church as a whole, Satan directs his enmity against true Christians, the elect remnant: the others he leaves unmolested.

All in all this is a very good commentary. I don’t feel so bad that you are often confused by my own writing. This commentary is 1,000 times better than my own comments, and you were evidently confused by it, too.

I’ve quoted a lot of source material here, so I think I need to break up this Part Two from the remainder of my response, which will be in Part 3.

Regards,
Bill

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:15 pm

OK Bill,

I’ve prepared my response to part two, so ready when you are for part three.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:23 pm

Hello Rotherham,

Here is the final part “Part Three” to your rebuttal posting of April 6, 2010.
I responded with Part 1 on April 8, and Part 2 on April 21, 2010.

Rotherham wrote:The rest of your points in this second entry have already been addressed since they simply repeat your prior arguments. However, if any of these treatments that I have given your words, if you see something that I have clearly missed and you would like a comment on it before you respond, please let me know and I will offer a response. After looking through it though, I really didn’t see much that wouldn’t at least have been covered by other points. So much is based on a premise or two, if one removes or negates the premise, the rest is really irrelevant, and the premise that Revelation visions were not necessarily placed in a parousiac backdrop has been dealt with and removed.

Hardly. You were not able to remove or negate any of the premises about the time periods covered by the visions in question. And I think the attempt was shameful. You used ideas related to equating the 24 elders with your idea of who the 144,000 is, when that premise is clearly negated by Scripture. You chose some commentaries and asked me to take up my differences with the writers of those commentaries, yet, in spite of minor differences, they often have summed up my overall, general position about references to 1st century events. In at least one case the commentary directly favored my position and disagreed explicitly with yours.

You quote and respond to one of my comments in the following manner:

Rotherham wrote:As far as the Daniel 7, you had the following things that I felt needed a response:
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Bill wrote:But perhaps there is an obvious reason why there are so many interpretations. To avoid this problem, God could have predicted the very names, dates and meanings of all the symbols. Such details and explanations were provided in other prophetic passages. So, why even use symbols if we could have been told directly? In Daniel, some symbols are identified and some aren’t. In Daniel 7, NONE of the symbolic beasts are identified, except to say that some represent kingdoms and some represent kings. It seems likely to me that the reason for this is as follows: The primary value of prophecy is to provide just enough information to comfort God’s people about His future promises, without giving us so much information that we are tempted to center our lives around specific knowledge of the future. It’s enough to know that God has set limits to the power of the earth’s great empires so that His people don’t have to become “faint out of fear, not knowing the way out”.

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You clearly miss the intent of prophecy from God and the you miss the value of Biblical rpecedent and pattern when it comes to Biblical interpretation. Both are extremely important so as not to leave prophecy open to private interpretation, something that God is explicitly against.

You ask why not just spell it out? Funny, this is the same thing that Jesus’ disciples asked him and he answered well:

Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

That’s why.

I think you missed my point completely. It was a partly rhetorical question, because it is already answered in part by what we both know about the various uses of prophecy even by subsequent Bible writers who comment on it. (Daniel commented on Jeremiah, Jesus commented on Daniel, etc. Paul commented on Jesus. Peter commented on Paul, etc.) The case of Daniel is not like a specific parable where Jesus spelled out the explanation to the disciples. In fact, you have just provided another case of what I claimed when I said that the explanation could have been identified, exactly as Jesus did for his disciples. Yet this wasn’t done for Daniel. As I said, in some cases the answers are spelled out, and in some cases they aren’t. This particular portion of Daniel was not spelled out, and the Bible doesn’t record anyone coming up to Jesus and asking about the specific meanings of the particular beasts of Daniel 7 or others. So naturally I claim that I use Biblical precedent and pattern, and you claim that you use Biblical precedent and pattern, and Joseph Rutherford claimed that he used Biblical precedent and pattern. And yet you disagree with Joseph Rutherford, I disagree with you, etc, etc. All 3 of us came up with something different for this chapter of Daniel.

For your reference I will include J F Rutherford’s explanation, which also explains why Jehovah’s Witnesses taught that the “Last Days” began in 1799:

Rutherford wrote:“The Prophet Daniel (7:7, 8) describes “a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible”. This terrible beast was a form of government composed of three elements or component parts, namely, professional politicians, great financiers, and ecclesiastical leaders. This Satanic organization became dreadful and terrible from the time that these three forces were united. Of this unholy trinity, we see the Papacy, the ecclesiastical element, in the saddle, riding and directing everything. The beginning of this beast dates from the overthrow of the Ostrogothic monarchy, which occurred in 539 A. D.”

Back to you.

Rotherham wrote:Also God specifically assures us that prophecy is never borne from private interpretation. That tells us that it is important for God for us to know that we can trust prophecy because it is not the result of someone’s private idea. Now just how assuring would that be if on the other hand God specifically made prophecies so that they could be interpreted by anyone who wants to as long as they follow the basic skeleton of the components? That results in the same thing, can’t you see that?

Of course we can see that! (Or was your question also rhetorical?) What I think you have missed is that your methods of interpretation are not likely based on Biblical precedent as much as they are previous Watchtower precedent. This is a real problem, and I don’t bring it up lightly. J F Rutherford and company left a legacy of ideas based on their private interpretations that still provide the skeleton of the components. When Rutherford published any book about prophecy, there were a lot of Watchtower advertisements in his speeches and other Watchtower books and magazines that claimed that none of these interpretations were “private”. The idea became clear from the context, although they usually spelled it out only in a separate context. The idea was that you could trust J F Rutherford’s interpretations because they didn’t come from HIM. They came, it turns out, from the help and work of angels, he claimed. (For some reason he claimed it could not have come to him with the help of the Holy Spirit.) These interpretations were just too wonderful, it was claimed, to have been merely the result of Rutherford’s private interpretations. So in fact, this whole idea of “not coming from private interpretations” was turned on its head. This is especially easy to see now, because of the fact that JWs unanimously reject so many of these “Rutherford” interpretations that JWs were once assured could NEVER have been from any private interpretations.

One other problem here is that you continue, as JWs in the past have also done, to muddy up the very interpretion of this very scripture about interpretation. It really has nothing to do with whether or not anyone who wants to can try to figure out an interpretation. It was a statement about how prophecy itself was initiated. It was the inspired prophet himself who didn’t interpret, he just spoke what he saw or heard. All of us are free to attempt to test any inspiration. (1 John 4:1) And we do this, where we can, by humility, prayer, Biblical precedent and Biblical pattern. But my point was that you can still end up disagreeing with people who claimed, even if sincerely, to do just that. Just as you disagree with J F Rutherford.

Rotherham wrote: It results in prophecy being created for the purpose of private interpretation, for if it can be privately interpreted that’s the same result as if it were privately created. The very fact that God does not prefer a private interpretation of a prophecy tells us that we should primarily rely on Biblical precedent and pattern for interpretation and not some individual’s favorite idea. If we rely on Biblical pattern and precedent, as I have shown before the many parallels and patterns between the different visions in both Daniel and Revelation, one arrives primarily at the interpretation that we have arrived at, at least in regard to the four beasts of Daniel 7 being who we say they are. Numerous commentators are in agreement. That’s where Biblical precedent and pattern leads you. If you don’t think so, prove otherwise, using Biblical precedent and pattern and you might have an argument. I do not think though, that you will attempt such a thing as I think you know that isn’t available for your hodgepodge collection of possible interpretations. It’s like you’re presenting “mud” where we strive for clarity, as we should.

It’s hardly necessary for us to discuss the various ways of interpreting the beasts of Daniel and/or Revelation. You tend to interpret along the lines of other Jehovah’s Witnesses, an end-times religion with one of the worst — quite possibly THE worst — track records ever documented with respect to interpretation of prophecy.

I will still consider other possibilities, but you always tend to consider your answer as decisive – even if later proved to be decisively wrong. So don’t expect me to get into a lot of detail on this subject with you. I consider your interpretation to be private interpretation just as you consider mine to be. And, based on the style of Daniel, I think that’s just as we might expect, as long as you and I have both humbly prayed for Holy Spirit and made every attempt we can to see how the possible solutions might fit Biblical pattern and precedents. I have seen problems with your interpretation and I myself have also seen problems with my own.

I can also see that you’ve created some straw men out of some preterist ideas. You are bear-baiting and I’m not not taking the bait. (Even if I’d like a side of ribs. — Daniel 7:5) I might take you up on this at another time. For now, it’s only important to notice that your view can only make sense up to Rome, skipping any Antiochus interpretations if you wish. This choice has always had something going for it, and I’ve accepted it in the past, and can still see its possibilities. But because your explanation also breaks down in its ability to get past the Roman times, I have reverted to seeing it as I would have expected that the first audience saw it. (Giving true hope, not false hope to God’s people who had, in good conscience, decided not to compromise their worship of Jehovah in Judaism with Hellenizing influences and then direct pressure from Antiochus to force it upon them.) As I’ve also said, however, even as Greece, I see it represent a perfect allegory for Rome and for all other “emperor” style rule, which includes the political perspective of many nations on earth, even today.

Don’t get me wrong, for as long as I can remember, I have wanted to see it as Rome directly, but haven’t been able to see a greater number of details fit Rome than I can see fitting Greece. So I accept a dual fulfillment here. But I’ve also been reading an excellent book: “The book of Revelation: a commentary on the Greek text” by Gregory Beale. I’m reading it in the hopes that it can change my mind — as long as the new idea provides some additional clarity. The idea is that if there are really so many indications that Revelation is presented as the re-opening of the book of Daniel then this could have a strong bearing on the continuation of the beasts. Although he doesn’t make a direct thesis out of the connection to Daniel, it comes up so often in the Greek (LXX and Theod) comparisons with Revelation — that the theory is implicit. I hope to find some additional meaning here, because the author appears less interested in explaining his own specific views as much as giving a fuller foundation based on more Biblical pattern and precedent than I previously was aware of.

I have skipped requoting your specific criticisms of Antiochus. I knew them well already. But I don’t want you to feel you wasted any effort on your own interpretation, so I will offer to discuss it in another place and time, if you wish. I am aware of your own explanation, and know that your own explanation breaks down along many of the same lines. Yet, if you apply some of the same compromises that you have used to keep your explanation intact, my explanation is also just as viable.

As far as this particular subject of discussion goes, it still makes no difference to Jesus receiving the kingdom in 33 CE whether I accept any of the possibilities I’ve mentioned about Daniel 7, or even I were to accept some of the possibilities in your own interpretation.

Rotherham wrote:There are many more arguments to present that let us know that Jesus did not receive the kingdom in 33 CE or sometime before that. It clearly had to be after that via many other prophetic statements that are made.

Luke’s account of the man of noble birth traveling to a far away land, in chapter 19, clearly shows that this man of noble birth did not receive his kingly power until he travelled away to the far away land, which is clearly heaven. Therefore, receiving kingly power before his ascension to heaven simply does not fit, so this tells us that ALL of those reference to him being “king” before that time were clearly in a “king-designate” terminology.

It doesn’t say that at all. You are pitting a parable which may explain some aspect of the kingdom against ALL the references to him being king, even Jesus’ own claims. You surely don’t take every detail of every parable literally. Luke also speaks of Abraham alive in heaven and another rich man asking for a drop of water because of the fiery tortures of hell.

You should also note that Mark and Matthew, probably because they are early Gospels, easily spell out the kingship of Jesus over Israel and introduce Jesus’ role in an existing and/or imminent kingdom, but Luke and John, help make a clearer transition to the understanding of Jesus Kingdom over the entire world, the Gentiles, not just Israel alone. There are dozens of examples, especially in Luke where the parallel accounts evidently take on a world-wide meaning, yet Matthew and Mark had chosen versions that focused on the Kingdom of God in Israel. In this sense, Luke’s parable is quite in line with Jesus receiving the Kingdom of the World in 33, even if it was proper for those “in the know” to have already recognized his position as King of Israel, prior to this time.

The man of noble birth receives his kingly “power” only when he travels to a far-away land, which is clearly heaven. That was in 33 CE. So yes, he became King in a special sense in 33, because that coincides with the time when he said he had now received all “power” and all authority. But those of true faith could already see him as king. They didn’t say, “we don’t want you to be king over us” they said, “we already understand that you are king over us”. The eyes of faith were being opened only for a select few. Recall your quotes about the parable explanations in Matthew 13:11: “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”

John 1 has the same idea:
47 Jesus saw Na·than´a·el coming toward him and said about him: “See, an Israelite for a certainty, in whom there is no deceit.” 48 … 49 Na·than´a·el answered him: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are King of Israel.” 50 Jesus in answer said to him: “Because I told you I saw you underneath the fig tree do you believe? You will see things greater than these.” 51 He further said to him: “Most truly I say to YOU men, YOU will see heaven opened up and the angels of God ascending and descending to the Son of man.”

So it’s true that while he was already the Messiah-King of Israel, he had not received the full “kingly power” until he went to heaven – the far away land. This is known from several other passages, some already quoted, which show that he received full kingly power in 33 CE. So this aspect of his kingship over those who couldn’t recognize him yet as King is appropriate in the parable, especially a parable that Luke would choose.

Rotherham wrote:Also, if, as you say, ALL (without exception) authority had been given to him at this time, then there would simply be no “AWAITING’ in regard to his enemies being supplied as footstool for him.

This is not logical at all. Do you think that whenever God Jehovah waits to execute justice on his enemies that he is somehow NOT king while he is awaiting the time? Did God really not have ALL the authority to execute judgment, just because he waited. 2 Peter says: “Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.” This is the Lord God, not just Jesus alone meant here. Is Jehovah somehow still a King while waiting patiently, and Jesus NOT a King while waiting patiently?

And what is this attempt to get rid of the word ALL and make it mean “SOME” (“all” but with exceptions)? This is no idle phrase. Back in Luke 4 Jesus had just begun his ministry after baptism and the first thing noted was his power and authority: 32 and they were astounded at his way of teaching, because his speech was with authority.” …36 At this, astonishment fell upon all, and they began to converse with one another, saying: “What sort of speech is this, because with authority and power he orders the unclean spirits, and out they come?” So it’s not that he didn’t have power and authority before his resurrection, but at his resurrection was the first time he claimed to have been given ALL authority and power. You can’t just dismiss this by acting as if I am the one saying it (e.g., “if, as you say, ALL…”). It’s the Bible you are attacking here, not my argument. Perhaps you’d like to take it up with the author of Matthew 28:19.

It’s the Bible that is therefore claiming that Jesus, CAN absolutely have been given ALL authority and yet still be “awaiting in regard to his enemies being supplied as footstool for him.” It’s a meaningless argument when you have to attack the Bible to make the argument.

Rotherham wrote:The expression of something being one’s footstool did not signify destruction, but domain or authority over that which was the footstool. The Bible clearly shows that there were enemies that were not yet positioned as his footstool, otherwise, there would be no waiting.

You are simply fighting against the logic of the Bible. Even if the Bible “clearly” showed that there were enemies not yet positioned as his footstool, the Bible shows that this cannot mean that he had no domain or authority over them. The Bible does NOT show Satan as yet positioned under Jehovah’s “footstool” in Job 1 does it? Yet, Jehovah is somehow not King over him? You seem to have the idea that waiting patiently is a sign of weakness, or displays a lack of “authority”.

There was a portion of that passage of Luke 4:32-36 above that I left out: 34 “Ah! What have we to do with you, Jesus you Naz·a·rene´? Did you come to destroy us? I know exactly who you are, the Holy One of God. (NWT)” Just because these demons were not yet positioned under his footstool obviously does not mean Jesus had no authority over them. The very passage describes his “authority and power” over them! Yet, it wasn’t time for full authority and power to be moved against them. (Matthew 8:29 says: “And, look! they screamed, saying: “What have we to do with you, Son of God? Did you come here to torment us before the appointed time? (NWT)”. So even when Jesus would receive ALL authority, it still doesn’t necessarily indicate that the time had arrived to show it.

But you also make a false definition (false dichotomy) by saying that “under your feet” means ONLY “domain” and not “destruction”. In reality it can mean some range of things referring especially to the subjugation of enemies in the context of a ruler. The very expression, per Thayer’s and other lexicon’s, is a metaphor taken from the practice of conquerors who placed their feet on the necks of their conquered enemies. Therefore it is defined as “subjecting those enemies” “reducing them under one’s power”. It does not need to refer to their final destruction, but any act of a king or subjugator to put them under his control. The authority to completely destroy them does not mean that the the king would destroy them immediately. That’s a matter of the very authority and prerogative of a king to decide just how and when he should show his power. Recall that there were MANY instances of this in the OT with Jehovah saying that he has held off the complete judgment against someone specifically for the SAKE of showing his power in a particular manner at a later time. (Witness Pharaoh at the Red Sea.)

Rotherham wrote: Once they were all under his domain, he would go forth to “complete his conquest as he is shown doing in Rev. 6 via the white horse and the receiving of his crown, whihc is naturally a reference to him being made king. He went forth at that point to COMPLETE his conquest, but up until that time, he was AWAITING the time when these enemies would be put under his domain, which had not happened clear up until the writing of the book of Hebrews, once again disqualifying any notion that he was the king of the wolrd at this time. If he were king of the world, then all of his enemies would then be in his domain and under his kingly authority, they would be his footstool, which they clearly weren’t yet in the first century. Before he could go forth to complete his conquest those enemies would first have to be serving as his footstool.

But wait. The horseman on the white horse in Revelation 6 is “The Bishop of Rome, the embryo Pope, the personal representative of Satan.” Oh wait, that’s page 105 of the Watchtower’s book: “The Finished Mystery,” a book from 1917 that was timed perfectly to impress Jesus into choosing the International Bible Students as his faithful and discreet slave in 1918/1919.

Actually, I agree that the rider of the white horse is Jesus, and it shows exactly what has been happening since the 1st century. We have seen Jesus kingdom increasing as he promised, as he continues conquering. After all Jesus began to RULE in the midst of his enemies. He began to RULE AS KING even though he had not yet subjected all things under his feet. This doesn’t mean he didn’t have the authority and power to do it, only that it wasn’t time to act on all things at once. Only at the time of the end is when he shall “put down all other rule and power” except for that of the Father himself. That’s exactly what it meant to RULE AS KING in the midst of his enemies.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26 wrote: Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign (NWT: “rule as king”), till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.

Notice also the timing problem you have here. Jesus is crowned King before he has completed conquering even if you start this horse running 1,900 years after the first century. Revelation 6 says: “And I saw, and, look! a white horse; and the one seated upon it had a bow; and a crown was given him, and he went forth conquering and to complete his conquest.” So here he is again depicted as ruling in the midst of his unconquered enemies.

So although I’m sure you would love to use this verse to show that Jesus began ruling as king in 1914, this contradicts your own line of “logic” above that shows that he is waiting to become king UNTIL his enemies have been made his footstool. Yet in Revelation 6, he is already wearing the crown but hasn’t yet conquered these enemies. Unless of course, you are merely arguing that the “domain” is given him in 1914 and that this is when he received ALL power and authority, even though he hadn’t yet conquered them. If this is your argument then you have made a claim for 1914 that would work just as well for 33 CE.

Rotherham wrote:We also have Daniel the 12th chapter where Michael, who can really answer to no one other than Christ, is seen to “stand up”, which means to start exercising kingly power, according to Danielic patterns of the same words. When exactly is Michael shown to stand up? It is not until the “time of the end” during the time when we see the king of the south and the king of the north engage in their final pushings and the king of the north comes all the way to his end, which would have surely been far after 33 CE.

Where did you get the idea that “standing up” means starting to exercise kingly power? That’s a bit rhetorical, of course. We both already know that the answer is: “The Watchtower”.

Yet, if a king is sitting on his throne, you are here claiming that he wasn’t really king until he “stands up” from that throne? That would certainly sound pretty silly in any context. So if you mean that he was king all along and then stands up to exercise some particular aspect of his kingly power — then you might have a point. In other parts of Daniel it merely means what it says, to stand, or to take some kind of action. A king can surely take a stand against someone, and that surely doesn’t have to mean the time of the inauguration as king. A general of an army takes a stand, but that doesn’t mean it was his first day as general. (Michael is taking a part more like a general, or arch-angel, ruler of angelic armies.) Kings and Kingdoms are often taking their “stand” or “standing up” in Daniel. But it’s just adding to the words of the scroll to make it forced to mean anything more than it says. A good example is Daniel 8 where 4 kingdoms “stand” up out of, we think, at the “breaking up” of Alexander the Great’s kingdom. Verse 23 says that at the final part of their kingdom (the 4 Grecian kingdoms) another king stands up. Yet evidently after ruling for some time, and after having times of great conquests as king, he then “stands up” again, but this time, the pattern of the words is closest to that of Daniel 12:1. Note:

Daniel 8:24,25 (NWT) wrote: And his power must become mighty, but not by his own power. And in a wonderful way he will cause ruin, and he will certainly prove successful and do effectively. And he will actually bring mighty ones to ruin, also the people made up of [the] holy ones. 25 And according to his insight he will also certainly cause deception to succeed in his hand. And in his heart he will put on great airs, and during a freedom from care he will bring many to ruin. And against the Prince of princes he will stand up, but it will be without hand that he will be broken.

He evidently stands up againt the “Prince”, possibly Michael, AFTER his reign as King. This is apparently one of the last acts of this king, NOT the inauguration of his kingdom and kingship. Note too that there is NOTHING in the context of Daniel 12:1 that says anything about Michael becoming something else when he stands up. He merely stands up for his people, Israel, because he is the Prince or arch-angel of that nation. The Prince of Persia could stand up for Persia, but it wouldn’t mean that this Prince suddenly became a king either. This Michael was a prince before he stood up and is still a prince after standing. Note the NWT again: ” “And during that time Mi´cha·el will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.”

Of course, you haven’t even shown that Michael is Jesus. Don’t worry about the specifics of my view on this, I don’t have any problem with your acceptance of this. But it changes nothing in the scheme of things.

And the king of the north and south initially engaged long before 33 CE. But I think it has a wider, secondary meaning that even fits the Judean conflict of 70 CE, too. And, as an extended allegory or lesson for all generations, I believe it also has meaning for Christians throughout the ages, including today. I doubt that the Watchtower has maintained a consistent view of who or what this “king of the north” and “king of the south” are, so how can you even claim to know anything “surely” about WHEN?

Rotherham wrote:Prophetically, nothing fits with such an early date for the enthronement of Christ as the king of the world until far after 33 CE. All you have are statements that can easily be seen as references to his king-designate position, including Acts 2 which doesn’t actually mention anything about Jesus explicitly sitting on the throne at that time anyway. Understood as expressions of king-designate, everything fits with the rest of the prophecies in the Bible. Taken as actually being king sometime before 33 CE or even 33 CE, the prophecies lose their coherence in every way.

This is just a weak claim of yours with no basis in Scripture as we have seen over and over again. You assume a meaning of “king-designate” because you can’t make the word the Bible uses, “King”, fit your hypothesis of 1914. Even when the Bible calls Jesus “King of Kings” in the first century you say it has to mean future. Why? Obviously because calling Jesus a King of Kings in the first century doesn’t fit the Watchtower’s 1914 theory. But then you have given no reasoning behind making him a king in 1914 that wouldn’t just as well ALSO fit this meaning of king-designate in 1914. You even used arguments above that claimed he couldn’t have really been king in 33 because all enemies had not yet been made a footstool for his feet. Then you’ll turn right around and contradict yourself saying that it’s OK to call him king in 1914 even though, here again, all enemies have not yet been made a footstool for his feet.

And then you will say that he only “sat down” on a throne in 1914 because Michael “stood up” in 1914. (Which, of course, he did NOT do even according to all the failed attempts at evidence the Watchtower has tried to provide so far.) Yet so many of the same Scriptures about his waiting for the time when all enemies have been made subject to him also say that he ALREADY has sat down at the right hand of the throne of majesty. You say this is not a throne? And just because you want “standing” to effectively mean “sitting,” (on the throne) you also therefore have trouble with Stephen’s vision when the heavens were opened up and he saw:

Acts 7:56 wrote:“Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.”

Here again, you fight the holy spirit and say this didn’t really happen yet. Stephen must have been seeing the future, you are forced to claim. Yet there is nothing in the Bible claiming this. You keep kicking against the goads.

Your claim about Acts 2 not actually mentioning anything about Jesus explicitly sitting on the throne at that time anyway is a curious form of special pleading. (Wikipedia: “form of spurious argumentation where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations themselves.”) You have done nothing to defeat Acts 2’s logic in associating God’s promise to David that he would SEAT someone on David’s throne with the resurrection of Christ to a SEAT at God’s right hand.

You have supplied no possible replacement logic for Peter’s use of the expression to show why Jesus resurrection was the fulfillment of the promise to SEAT someone on David’s throne. Without any replacement explanation, you are effectively telling me that Peter’s own logic is deceptive. Peter’s own conclusion to the logic was “Therefore…[Jesus] was exalted to the right hand of God”. And Peter’s own conclusion of the matter, was: “David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, 35 until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.”’ 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for a certainty that God made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom YOU impaled.”

And you are seriously trying to tell me that Peter didn’t mean it? Does Peter really have to use the explicit word “King” before you understand that our Lord and Christ just fulfilled the promise to SEAT someone on David’s throne by being himself “SEATED at God’s right hand.”? Peter says our Lord and Christ was just seated at God’s right hand in fulfillment of the promise to David to always have someone from his loins seated on David’s “throne”. (Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one from the fruitage of his loins upon his throne…)

What are the logical words “therefore” and “because” doing in this passage if they are just a bunch of disconnected nonsense. I’m not sure what you are really missing here. But I think I can see why you are so hesitant to comment directly on Peter’s logic in this passage.

Rotherham wrote:Your last entry was about Ephesians 1:19,20 and its explicit elemants in relation to Jesus kingship.
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Bill wrote:Again of course we need the context to see its relationship to Jesus’ Kingship. And, of course, just as in Acts, all references to Christ and Lord are also references to Jesus’ Kingship. In the NT context, Christ means Messiah which means Anointed One, which means King.

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Bill, this is simply not correct and frankly would destroy your own position.

First, if “Christ” is synonymous with “king” then he was king long before his baptism.

Synonymous is a strong word. I am referring to the fact that in the Jewish mind, the word Messiah meant Anointed one, which in it’s most important sense, meant the Messiah-King. Others were also anointed to special appointments, who were not kings, but these were messiahs, not THE Messiah (THE Christ). In many contexts, the IDEA of “The Messiah” means THE “King,” THE “Savior”. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to find scriptures that show that Jesus was already “appointed” Christ, from even BEFORE his birth. For this reason he came into the world. He was referred to as Messiah (Christ) and Savior already in prophecy long before his birth. David himself spoke of Jesus resurrection when he prophesied about Jesus as the Lord who would be seated from his own loins on David’s throne. Angels would have this knowledge the same as a prophet. So I am well aware of the verses you quote next”

Rotherham wrote:Notice:

(Luke 2:8-11) . . .. 9 And suddenly Jehovah’s angel stood by them, and Jehovah’s glory gleamed around them, and they became very fearful. 10 But the angel said to them: “Have no fear, for, look! I am declaring to YOU good news of a great joy that all the people will have, 11 because there was born to YOU today a Savior, who is Christ [the] Lord, in David’s city.

(Luke 2:25-26) 25 And, look! there was a man in Jerusalem named Sim´e·on, and this man was righteous and reverent, waiting for Israel’s consolation, and holy spirit was upon him. 26 Furthermore, it had been divinely revealed to him by the holy spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ of Jehovah.

As you note, Aaron, his sons and the high priests and porphets were all anointed and were not kings so the terms are not synonymous in any way. Even articles devoted to God and his temple were often anointed. Those itmes were surely not kings nor held any kind of office. They were simply solely devoted to the work of the Lord. That’s all an anointing really has to mean.

To try and say that in relation to Jesus it also had to mean he was the king is simply not true. Jesus was far more than just a king, but was also the Prophet and the High Priest. His anointing was in regard to all three but nothing demands he had to become immediately upon his anointing. We know that the abnointing of David did not result in his immediate kingship but was in regard to his king-designate position. The reference in Daniel is easily rendered “leader” rather than specifically “ruler or king” so there is nothing for your position there either.

You might still be missing the point that it doesn’t matter what the words Lord and Christ specifically CAN mean. I was explaining how appropriate it was that Peter used an expression like “Lord and Christ”. Lord in this context wasn’t just any Lord, but a King’s Lord. David’s Lord who fell in position somewhere between the King Almighty God and the highest King of the land (David). I don’t think JWs quite understand the importance of this expression “Lord” when used of Christ here, just because JWs seem so quick to point out the “low” end of the range of meaning that words like “Lord” can refer to. As appropriate and full of meaning to his audience as those words were, Peter could just as well have focused on Jesus mostly as “The Prophet” – or even just “this man from Nazareth”. The unavoidable definition in position happens when the LORD God said to David’s Lord, SIT at my right hand…” I was merely pointing out that THIS Lord of the King was THE Lord, and therefore in this context we are talking about THE Christ, THE Messiah who was in that context known to be a reference to the King of Israel.

I’d like to elicit from you a real discussion of Peter’s logic from Acts 2. I’d like for you to read this logic-oriented paraphrase and see where you think I went wrong:

David foretold that one of his descendants would always SIT on his throne. In fact, he knew it was an oath from God. So when David spoke of not seeing corruption in the grave, he was really speaking of the resurrection of “this man from Nazareth” {because that man from Nazareth would be the one to SIT on his throne.} THEREFORE, the man from Nazareth was exalted to the right hand of God. {It wasn’t David himself who was exalted because} David wrote: “The LORD said to my Lord, SIT at my right hand…” THEREFORE know for a certainty that God made the man from Nazareth both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you impaled.

Now, to me, I think it would be very difficult to avoid the idea that Jesus is NOW sitting at God’s right hand on the throne of David. Yet what did I say here that was different from Peter’s logic? If Peter didn’t mean this it appears to me that he was either being deceptive or creating unnecessary confusion. I can imagine a JW attorney arguing with Peter over this saying: “But you didn’t use the word King, you only mentioned that he was resurrected to fulfill the person who would, by his resurrection, be on “the throne of David” and that this would come true by his resurrection, when he was “sitting at God’s right hand”. And another thing, Peter, you forgot to close up a loophole here by not exactly saying whether or not he might just “sit” at God’s right hand for a long time before that seat at God’s right hand actually became the throne of David. We admit that you implied it, but Jesus could have been resurrected to fulfill the person holding the office of “throne of David” but still have to wait 1,900 years or more, right? Anyway, we really needed to believe this thing about the 1,900 years and after all you did leave open the loophole, even if it was a very small one. And it’s true that most of our original 15 reasons for wanting the 1,900 year delay doctrine were mostly dismissed as illogical, but we still had one of them remaining, it was this “7 times” thing in Daniel 4. Surely, you can see how that appeared more important than what you said in Acts 2, right?

Rotherham wrote:So onward to your exegesis of Ephesians 1 :19,20.
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Bill wrote:Ephesians 1:1-23

1 Paul, an apostle of King Jesus through God’s will, to the holy ones who are [in Eph´e·sus] and faithful ones in union with
King Jesus:

I won’t do that all the way through, of course, because it would affect almost every verse. But you should get the point.

9 …he purposed in himself 10 for an administration {government} at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth. [Yes,] in him, 11 in union with whom we were also assigned as heirs, …18 …, what the glorious riches are which he holds as an inheritance for the holy ones, 19 and what the surpassing greatness of his power is toward us believers. It is according to the operation of the mightiness of his strength, 20 with which he has operated in the case of the Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. 22 He also subjected all things under his feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.

Explicitly, we see that (the King) Jesus, when he was raised up from the dead, was seated at God’s right hand, and was ALREADY AT THAT TIME:
* FAR ABOVE every government
* FAR ABOVE every authority
* FAR ABOVE every power
* FAR ABOVE every lordship
* FAR ABOVE every title given in this age
* FAR ABOVE every title given in the age to come.

With this kind of authority over every current King, every Governor, every magistrate, every Caesar, every Emperor – and every future King, Emperor, etc, this means that the congregation, Christs’ own “body” has nothing to worry about in terms of the great treasure awaiting them as they are also heirs to this same kingdom.

We also see explicitly that “He also [already had] subjected all things under his feet.” So we know that Jesus does not need to sit around waiting for all things to be made subject to him. What Jesus is waiting for (and the entire body of Christ, too) is the time when he will take final action according to God’s purpose/plan. But the Congregation can already see that this is working out because they are the current beneficiaries of the power and spirit that has already been poured out on their behalf. Other actions by this existing kingdom, even toward the congregation will continue to unfold. Even though MOST of what will happen with the Congregation/Body is still future, the Kingship is currently in full power, and a token has already been given in advance of that future inheritance that Christians will share in that kingdom as it unfolds its purpose more fully over heaven and earth.

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This has really been covered before but I will mention it again. First, we know that God has all authority from the beginning of time yet there are times when his authority takes on a new aspect and it is spoken of as God becoming king. If that terminilogy can happen in regards ultimate authority and he can still be viewed as becoming king then it can surely happen in regard to the authority given Christ. Even if he has all authority he may not yet be king in the fullest sense of the word. And the phrase you said was explicit actually harms you more than helps you because hebrew tells us specifically that it is NOT explicit in the way you think it is.

Well, I’m certainly glad you admitted that “God has all authority from the beginning of time yet there are times when his authority takes on a new aspect and it is spoken of as God becoming king.” This shows that even if there were a certain action like “standing up” at some point in history, that Christ’s kingship need not begin at that point. After all, Jesus was granted all authority at the time of his resurrection, so we know that even if Revelation had used a phrase about kingship that seems more appropriate in your schema to a far future time, or perhaps a world-wide parousia/appearance/revelation, that there is therefore NO reason to claim that this was in fact a late inauguration of his kingship. If Jehovah has all authority from the beginning, then just because someone says you have taken your great power and begun ruling as king it doesn’t mean he wasn’t already king during some previous time, as he obviously was.

So you shouldn’t be inconsistent with Jesus. If the Bible says Jesus was granted all authority, and Ephesians specifies that this is authority even over EVERY kind of kingship you can name, then we don’t have to try to claim that it didn’t really happen until some later time which you “interpret” to be a later time when a phrase is to be used like “now have come to pass the kingdom…”. As you say, “then it can surely happen in regard to the authority given Christ.” I say that’s absolutely true!

Of course, your defy your own logic with: “Even if he has all authority he may not yet be king in the fullest sense of the word.” The case you just used was quite different. Jehovah was already King in the fullest sense of the word, and he still had all authority. It’s only that some new aspect of the Kingdom or his Kingship was manifested and the phrase would be used to magnify the importance of the new aspect. You already proved that it had nothing to do with whether he was already King. So you have actually harmed your position greatly with this admission.

Rotherham wrote:You say he has explicitly had all things subjected under his feet so there is no wating for anything.

I most certainly did not say that there is no waiting for anything. I said: “We also see explicitly that “He also [already had] subjected all things under his feet.” So we know that Jesus does not need to sit around waiting for all things to be made subject to him. What Jesus is waiting for (and the entire body of Christ, too) is the time when he will take final action according to God’s purpose/plan.”

It’s obvious that in some sense of the word all things were already made subject, probably in terms of his authority and power as King of Kings, but in another sense the full subjugation hadn’t been made manifest yet, therefore Hebrews will say that we do not yet SEE all things in subjection under his feet. Hebrews, you will notice, never denies the fact that all things are already subject to him. It’s just clear from our perspective that we cannot see it. Faith is through evident demonstration of realities, though not yet beheld.

Rotherham wrote:Hebrews helps us to see how that phrase is also what you might call as future designated capacity that has not yet been achieved EVEN THOUGH it was spoken of as already achieved. This hAd to be in a POTENTIAL sense rather than a realized sense according to Hebrews which sheds light on how those “authority” statements should be understood.

Hebrews tells us:

(Hebrews 2:8) 8 All things you subjected under his feet.” For in that he subjected all things to him [God] left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him;

I believe this does you more harm than good because it clearly shows how everything could be stated as UNDER HIS FEET when that was clearly a POTENTIALITY rather than a realization.

All things considered there is nothing that explicitly states Jesus became king at 33 CE yet there is much prophetically, taken collectively, to explicitly establish that it was sometime far after that.

It doesn’t need any such philosophizing. God can be taken at his word. There is no problem here that requires an argument of potentiality versus realization.

In fact, if you think about it, you can see that Hebrews 2:8 and all the rest of Hebrews is exactly in line with what I’ve been saying consistently about the scriptural view of Jesus’ kingship. Jesus is already sitting on the right hand of the throne of majesty. This was all in relation to a promised kingdom, of which Jesus is both King and Priest after the order of Melchizedek which means King of Righteousness, who was also King of Salem – King of Peace. It’s obvious that if Psalm 110:1 has been fulfilled that he is reigning as king. There was no question that Jesus was King. But the question for Christians will be, “If he’s already reigning as king” why don’t we see everything yet fulfilled. The answer is in the idea of of the phrase “he will rule” in the midst of his enemies. If he rules in the midst of his enemies then he is “ruling” while he is also “waiting” for the time to manifest the fact that he is king over these enemies. Why is he waiting? Peter merely says that the patience means salvation for more people even if this day lasts 1,000 years. But in Hebrews, it adds the idea that we not only have someone sitting at the right hand of the throne of majesty (obviously a king) but he is ALSO already a priest, who is now providing this salvation for all men, according to the OT shadows of these priestly depictions. It’s not that we WILL have a future king-priest, we already have one. Note:

Hebrews 6:20 where a forerunner has entered in our behalf, Jesus, who has become a high priest according to the manner of Mel·chiz´e·dek forever. 7:1 For this Mel·chiz´e·dek, king of Sa´lem, priest of the Most High God, … is first of all, by translation, “King of Righteousness,” and is then also king of Sa´lem, that is, “King of Peace.”
…what further need would there be for another priest to arise according to the manner of Mel·chiz´e·dek and not said to be according to the manner of Aaron? 12 For since the priesthood is being changed, there comes to be of necessity a change also of the law. 13 For the man respecting whom these things are said has been a member of another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is quite plain that our Lord has sprung up out of Judah, a tribe about which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests..[notice there is no question about what would come from the tribe of Judah]..8:1 Now as to the things being discussed this is the main point: We have such a high priest as this, and he has sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.

What makes you think you can separate the office of King from a King-Priest after the manner of Melchizedek. Do you also claim he was not yet Priest in 33 CE?

Also, remember that if you really wished to hold to this argument that you are destroying the 1914 hypothesis. Your argument is that there was only potentiality of having all things under his feet rather than realization, which somehow makes him “not yet king.” If that’s true, then he only had the “potentiality” of being king in 1914, since there was still only potentiality of having all things under his feet rather than realization.

Regards,
Bill

BillW
 
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:16 pm

Hello Bill,

In your first posted response I did not see anything that you offered to prove your position except Rev. 1:5 . It appears you are simply trying to neutralize the evidence I have presented rather than try and prove your view to be accurate, other than the Rev. 1:5 and a couple of other things which I will specifically address again below.

What I will focus upon then is evidence which I believe proves my points, at least beyond a reasonable doubt, at least in harmony with Biblical precedent and pattern, evidence that I think you are missing. I believe, as I have shared before, that we should always and primarily rely upon Biblical precedent and pattern as a guide in our interpretations. Otherwise, we are simply prone to follow our own subjective views and preferences. The best way to allow God’s spirit to guide us is by allowing God’s spirit to guide us, and we both agree that the Bible is like congealed holy spirit in written form. What better guide for interpretation can there be? True, Biblical context or Biblical explicit statements elsewhere to the contrary, can alter the meaning of a word or phrase that might every where else be used differently, but the context or statement would have to be explicit and unmistakable in doing so. Without that, Biblical precedent and pattern should rule the day. I am not sure you agree with that, but frankly, you should, as should anyone who desires to get God’s thoughts when it comes to anything that is written in scripture, in prophecy.

As far as the “Lord’s day” referring to the first day of the week, to Sunday, there is no Biblical precedent or pattern to establish that and the context is far from explicit otherwise, in fact, the surrounding context surely lends itself to the application of it being the Lord’s Day in connection with the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven. For this reason, I reject your explanation as having any precedent or pattern for acceptance. Scripture should rule here, not extra-biblical references.

As far as there being no reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, it is far more natural for there to be no mention of the destroyed Jerusalem if it was already past than if it was imminent and looming immediately in the future. The very fact that your view does not seem to include any reference to this imminent destruction, even when the prophecy is willing to talk about the supposed current courtyard, is highly inordinate and unnatural. There would be every reason to include the mention of this coming destruction.

In fact, it is the description of and the final outcome of Babylon the Great that stands against your own timing of the book and squarely against the preterist timing of the book. There is no way, except in the most strained manner, and even then it fails, to apply the description and the final outcome of Babylon to pre 70CE Jerusalem. The preterist explanation can not stand the test of logic or history when compared to the words used to describe Babylon.

You try to take the position that Babylon doesn’t apply to Jerusalem. That’s smart, but then you close the door on your own interpretation because if it was really written pre 70 CE, it would be highly inordinate for that prophecy not to mention the imminent destruction of Jerusalem. In fact, if your explanation of who the seven headed wild beast is, is to be taken seriously, it makes no sense at all that the imminent destruction of Jerusalem is not mentioned, yet the destruction of Babylon, who RIDES the seven headed wild beast, IS explained.

Think about this as well, you claim that many things of Revelation is directly at Jews and directed at many things in direct connection with Jerusalem, yet there is no message to the church at Jerusalem? How odd is that?

Both positions do not line up with logic. The most logical view is it wasn’t mentioned because it already happened and nothing in the prophetic signs that were presented had anything to do with the past. And the very fact that the Jerusalem that is mentioned is called NEW Jerusalem, bespeaks the fact that something had happened to the OLD Jerusalem.

Therefore, the most logical view is that Revelation was written POST 70 CE and that the signs mentioned in verse 1, were to take place in the future, just as it says in that verse and reiterated in 4:1. Therefore, based upon the above, I reject your interpretation that Revelation was written before the destruction of Jerusalem. It just doesn’t add up with the nature of the prophecies.

You seem to think that John could not have been time shifted in the opening verses of Revelation because he doesn’t mention being in the Lord’s Day until verse 9. Surely you must know that just because he doesn’t mention this time transfer until verse 9, in no way means that he could not have already experienced it in the preceding verses, especially when there is nothing in the preceding verse to nullify the idea but rather actually supports the idea beginning with verse 7. Verse 7 is an explicit parallel to the revelation of Jesus Christ and the subsequent result, mentioned in the Olivet Sermon, which is clearly referencing things far into the future, far past 70CE. It is an explicit reference to the parousia of Christ which you do not believe has happened yet. So it is clearly a futuristic reference. So even though this time transfer is not mentioned until verse 9, it in no way removes him from being there, even in verse 1. Regardless, verse 7 puts us in the time of the parousia, which is the Lord’s Day. Every contextual indicator in this introduction establishes the Lord’s Day as in connection with the parousia of Christ.

I believe your treatment of the 24 elders and who they are is a glaringly wrong. You should know that according to every ancient manuscript, except ONE, verse 9 of chapter five, which is quoting the 24 elders, says “with your blood you redeemed US”. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to not view the 24 elders as those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, which explicitly establishes them as “former humans” who are now in heaven, and since there are NO humans in heaven prior to the parousia, the point I am making in regard to these 24 elders is irrevocably established. If they are being shown in the vision, then the vision is clearly after the commencement of the parousia, no matter how long you think it lasts.

Plus, angels are NEVER referred to as ELDERS, anywhere in the Bible. Therefore your view is unprecedented and unparalleled according to scripture and that is ample reason alone to reject it. That, along with the fact that your view is out of harmony with every ancient manuscript but one is also enough to reject it. To discredit the reading of “US” simply and only because it does not appear in the one single Codex of Alexandria, is most unreasonable and unjust to the weight of authority that it exhibits everywhere else.

As far as the meaning of parousia, there is no Biblical precedent or pattern except the one that establishes it as meaning “presence”. And it is not a word that just appears a couple of times. There are a number of occurrences that are not in connection to the coming of Christ and they all mean presence. And advent is entirely in harmony with the idea of presence because you can’t have an advent unless you’re present. Advent does not refer to PRE-advent, but refers to the event. The disciples asked for signs of his ADVENT, not his PRE-advent, so the signs were signs not of the PRE-advent stage, but of the advent itself.

Nor do I think your handling of the word “sunteleia” is accurate. You claim that it is used interchangeably with telos, but I fail to see any evidence of that whatsoever.

There is a reference that is of particular value here and it is Hebrews 9:26 which says:
26 Otherwise, he would have to suffer often from the founding of the world. But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion of the systems of things to put sin away through the sacrifice of himself.

Hebrews here tells us that Jesus manifested himself at the conclusion of the system of things, which means it could have been as early as his birth but certainly no later than his baptism, and we know that the conclusion of the systems of things was STILL continuing and would continue to finalize until the destruction of Jerusalem. This tells us that the sunteleia is a time period LEADING to an end, just as Thayer’s describe it as.

You claim you don’t believe that the Granville Sharp rule has any bearing at Matthew 24:3, so show me a Biblical example otherwise and I will drop it. If not, then Biblical pattern and precedent stands explicitly against your non-acceptance.

When it comes to the sign that was asked for, Jesus clearly corrected the idea that it would not be a single thing that would be the sign, but it would be numerous things. He did not try and demonstrate that it was just one thing for the language throughout the Olivet Sermon denies such and idea. The very words of Jesus that says “When you see ALL these things occur” then you should know that his revelation from heaven is near which was described as the sign of the Son of Man that all nations would beat themselves in lamentations over. When Jesus said that when you see ALL these things, what were the ALL things he was talking about?

You can’t take one account over the other and discard what is said in one account and treat it as inconsequential. You must take all the accounts of the same thing and include everything that was said to have the complete picture, not one or the other. Matthew clearly uses the preaching of the good news to all the nations as a sign for the end because he states THEN the end will come. Therefore, that was clearly one of the things included in ALL the things that would tell them the revelation of Jesus from heaven was about to happen. Luke mentions that Jesus said, after mentioned the great tribulation that when you see these THINGS, not this ONE THING, but THESE THING occur, lift your heads up because your deliverance is getting near. Since Matthew makes it clear that the composite included things BEFORE the mentioning of the great tribulation, there is no reason to discard the other things he spoke of in the very same breath.

The very fact that those signs were called the “beginning of pangs of distress” makes no sense in the overall historic view because they wouldn’t be the beginning of anything unless they were somehow different in nature then the all the other historic earthquakes, famines, pestilences and wars. The fact that they are referred to as a BEGINNING of something shows they had to be different in nature or they would not be the beginning of anything, just more of the same. Frankly, there would have been no need to even mention those things if they were not significant to the sign, if they were not part of ALL those things which would tell them the revelation was near.

Jesus’ warning was against the ones who would personally claim to be Christ and say the due time is near in the sense that they would know the day and the hour. The reason we know that to be true is because later Bible writers specifically said that the “due time has approached” or the “end of all things is near”. Should we not listen to them because they said this? There is clearly a difference then between what his inspired writers were doing and what he said would be going on in that verse.

He surely couldn’t mean that it would be wrong for all time for his followers to ever say, “the end is near” or the “time has approached” or both John and Peter should no longer be listened to.

(Revelation 22:10) He also tells me: “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the appointed time is near.

(1 Peter 4:7) 7 But the end of all things has drawn close. . . .

33 Likewise also YOU, when YOU see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.

Wouldn’t it be pretty stupid for Christians to know he was NEAR at the doors and not say anything? Of course it would and would be remiss if we didn’t. That is obviously not what Jesus was talking about in that verse in Luke.

There is no indication whatsoever that the signs he gave them, once he assured that them that it would not be singular event, like a war, were FALSE signs. there is absolutely nothing in the context that indicates that in the least. In fact, in Revelation, when Jesus takes his crown, it is immediately followed by global war and famine, in direct harmony with his words at the Olivet Sermon.

You continue to rant on about the wrongness of the identification of the 24 elders but the scriptures are as clear on that as they are anything else. They are REDEEMED by the BLOOD of CHRIST, so there is NO QUESTION as to who they are and there is NO QUESTION as to when they end up in heaven, AT his PAROUSIA. Therefore the visions of Revelation, which ALL take place passing in front of the backdrop of what was introduced in the 4th chapter, are ALL in the time of the PAROUSIA, no other time fits historically with the REDEEMED in heaven.

I am sure you know that just because some of the commentators I gave you agree with us about the identity of the man child, that in no way means I have to endorse everything else they believe. The point was singular. It was certainly not some far-fetched, JW spawned invention to fit their agenda. Far from it.

There is no reason to belabor the point about why God just doesn’t come out and specifically spell things out in prophecy. As I said, just like parables, prophecy is generally full of symbolic language, and God uses symbolic language for a reason and the reason is consistent with the same reason why he used it in parables. I don’t think you should have an issue with that.

I also think it quite obvious that God does not create prophecy for the purpose of private interpretation as I think we agree, but yes, there have been different interpretations of the same prophecy. That really isn’t the point that there should have never been but one prophetic interpretation. The point is that the individual members of God’s “ecclesia” should not be promoting private and numerous interpretations at the same time but should obviously agree upon a view until such time as they see the need to change it. What else could it mean except that God’s ecclesia should present harmonious views of prophecy? But the whole point is, prophecy and parable are most often NOT explained and is therefore up to the ecclesia to interpret. That does not mean that the ecclesia would never adjust the interpretation as they come to understand things in a better light.

You claim that it could have been explained just like it was to his disciples but you will note that this was only for his disciples and they are rarely spelled out in detail in the scriptures. The ecclesia is left to the determination of those which are not spelled out. Otherwise, it would produce private interpretations from one person to the next, which is not what God wants. Actually, the way prophecy should be handled bespeaks the unity of God’s ecclesia, not the disunity.

Prophetic interpretation and parabolic understanding then does become somewhat a matter of trust. It becomes a matter of trust in those you regard to be the ecclesia of God. As long as the constituents of a prophecy or parable do not contradict known logic, history or other scriptures, then the ecclesia should promote a singular view to the best of their ability and the individuals members should concur to that view rather than go around preaching and teaching different private views of prophecy. Otherwise there would be no reason why God would even care to assure us that prophecy was not born from private interpretation.

True, you and I would be considered as having different private interpretations compared to just ourselves, as could many others who take different views, but that again is not the point. Who do you think I trust as the ecclesia of God? Is it you or someone else? No, it isn’t. In fact, do you even claim to be representing the ecclesia of God in some fashion? I can certainly see far more consistency with logic, history and Biblical pattern and precedent in their interpretations then the ones you and others have presented.

I believe I have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the prophecies of Revelation are all parousiac prophecies because they are all back dropped by the presence of the 24 elders. I also believe I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that the Olivet sermon was not a singular sign but was clearly composite with many aspects. I also believe that I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that the little horn in question could not be Antiochus Epiphanes and could not have manifested itself until far after 33 CE. I do not believe that your explanations and interpretations fit with Biblical precedent, nor do they fit logically with the actual words of the prophecy when compared to history.

I also believe that I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that a person, such as king David, could be called king by God himself long before he actually became king, because he was anointed to BECOME the king, he was the king-designate. There is absolutely no reason that the same could not happen to Jesus. In fact, as is often the case, David’s journey to the throne in Jerusalem parallels Jesus journey to the same. David was called king by God when Samuel anointed him to be king in front of his father and brothers, but he was not the true king yet. Later, he became king JUST over the tribe of Judah and for the first seven years of being king he did not reign in Jerusalem. It wasn’t until after the death of Mephibosheth that David actually became king over all Israel. Just like Jesus, who was anointed early on to be the king of God’s kingdom, and could be called king because of that anointing, became the king first over just the Christian congregation, then later, he became king of the world.

You claim that our Danielic interpretation breaks down once we get to Rome, but frankly, I have not seen that demonstrated at all. The ten horns as ten kings from the Roman Empire and the fact that the little horn uproots three of them while they are still kings is a perfect fit with history. Even our view of the dream image in the second chapter of Daniel is a perfect fit with history and it parallels the prophecy in Daniel 7 without a flaw. Frankly, after that, it makes no difference when one would claim that the kingdom by Christ was established in those following verses of Daniel 7 because what it clearly establishes, from THAT context, is it could not happen in 33 CE, and that is the current main purpose of our discussion.

I was just wondering, is there any one who sees Jesus as King before his ascension to heaven? Or is that your idea alone? I think the most natural reading of Luke’s parable is that he was not the king until he went to heaven. If he was already king at the time of the parable it would be odd to simply refer to him as a man of noble birth.

However, in other places, could he be referred to as a king in the same sense that David was, as king-designate? Yes, he could. That way, all the prophecies and parables make historic, logical and scriptural sense.

I can see from your responses that you miss the point of the difference between something being spoken of as under the feet of a king and something being presented as a footstool for the feet.

Even you have to admit that even though Jesus had all power and authority, his enemies had not yet been set under his feet as a stool for his feet. You also have to admit that not everything was UNDER his feet because he rules UNTIL all enemies are UNDER his feet, and that STILL hasn’t happened. These are not synonymous references and not recognizing that is part of the problem.

The EARTH is spoken of as God’s footstool because it is part of his domain, but that has no comparison to the things which are said to be UNDER his feet or to be put under his feet. Being brought under the feet of a king is a description of their destruction, not a description of mere domain over them. Something being placed as a stool for the king could sometimes even be a place of honor, but it clearly was different than destruction, it was an indication of domain as a king.

When it says that God invited Jesus to sit at his RIGHT HAND UNTIL he placed his enemies as a stool for his feet was not a reference to their destruction but was reference to his domain over them. Only later is their destruction referred to as being put UNDER his feet. They are placed under the kings domain and he can begin to subdue in the midst of those enemies, bringing them one by one UNDER his feet, to their destruction.

Look at the references and the manner in which they refer to the expressions “UNDER his feet” as opposed to something presented as a footstool.

First of all we can see that the phrase which speaks of enemies being UNDER someone’s feet is a phrase denoting their destruction:

(Psalm 18:38) . . .I shall break them in pieces so that they will not be able to rise up; They will fall under my feet.
(2 Samuel 22:39) . . .And they will fall under my feet.

(1 Kings 5:3) 3 “You yourself well know that David my father was not able to build a house to the name of Jehovah his God because of the warfare with which they surrounded him, until Jehovah put them under the soles of his feet.

(Psalm 47:3) 3 He will subdue peoples under us And national groups under our feet.

(Malachi 4:3) 3 “And YOU people will certainly tread down [the] wicked ones, for they will become as powder under the soles of YOUR feet in the day on which I am acting,” Jehovah of armies has said.

(Matthew 7:6) 6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw YOUR pearls before swine, that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip YOU open.

(Romans 16:20) 20 For his part, the God who gives peace will crush Satan under YOUR feet shortly. . . .

(1 Corinthians 15:24-28) 24 Next, the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has brought to nothing all government and all authority and power. 25 For he must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under his feet.

Whenever we see “enemies” under the feet, it is a clear indication of their defeat, or defeet if you prefer. :-)
That clearly reminds us of the first prophecy in the Bible where Satan is crushed in the head, likely under the foot of Jesus.

However, such is not the case when something is referred to as being one’s footstool.

(1 Chronicles 28:2) . . .“Hear me, my brothers and my people. As for me, it was close to my heart to build a resting house for the ark of the covenant of Jehovah and as the footstool of our God, and I had made preparation to build.

Psalm 99:5) 5 Exalt Jehovah our God and bow down yourselves at his footstool; He is holy.

(Acts 7:49) 49 ‘The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. . . .

(Matthew 5:34-35) 34 However, I say to YOU: Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, because it is God’s throne; 35 nor by earth, because it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King.

(Psalm 132:7) 7 Let us come into his grand tabernacle; Let us bow down at his footstool.

(Isaiah 66:1) 66 This is what Jehovah has said: “The heavens are my throne, and the earth is my footstool. . . .

Being one’s footstool did not signify destruction, but signified domain.

So what about the different references to Christ then and what exactly he was awaiting? When he went to heaven he was told to sit at God’s right hand UNTIL his enemies were placed as a STOOL for his feet, not being an indication of their destruction but being part of his domain as KING. He was not told to sit at his right hand until they were put UNDER his feet as enemies. There is a difference. In fact, when Jesus is shown to be ruling as king in heaven in the book of Revelation, he is NO LONGER at God’s RIGHT HAND but is sitting on the throne WITH his Father, or is spoken of as being in the “midst” of the throne, not at the right hand.

So while he is awaiting the enemies to be placed as a footstool, not destroyed, he is sitting at God’s right hand. Never is the waiting said to be in reference to his enemies being brought UNDER his feet, but always in reference to them being placed as a footstool. This tells us that if he has to WAIT to have those enemies as a footstool, they are NOT YET under his domain to where he can start to go subduing in the midst of them. It is only after they become part of his domain does he go subduing and placing them UNDER his feet as destroyed.

This is clearly reflected in Revelation 6 when Jesus takes his throne and starts riding in conquest of his enemies, and I have already demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt, that these visions are parousiac as to their timing.

Something had to happen to where Jesus was no longer at God’s right hand but would be upon his throne with him, in the midst of his throne or God would BE his throne. Since there is a clear difference between something being one’s footstool and someone being brought under foot as an enemy, there is a difference between the time referred to as when he would put all enemies under his feet and the time when he would be awaiting to have those enemies placed as his footstool. Yes, his authority over everything was established at his resurrection from heaven, but this is not the same thing as being king over the world. This is clearly pointed out from the scripture in Hebrews where it says all things have been subjected under his feet yet we do NOT YET SEE all things subjected to him. This subjection, including that of his enemies was PROGRESSIVE and not until all his enemies were under his feet as a footstool could he go conquering them. He may have had authority over the demons but he certainly was not destroying them under his feet. Until the point that all of his enemies were placed as a footstool, being under his domain, he was to sit at God’s right hand. Once he would become king, he clearly sits upon God’s throne WITH him to do so, but that would take time, it was not immediate for all the above reasons.

Satan was clearly under God’s domain but he was not UNDER his FEET, not according to the way that phrase is used in reference to enemies. Jesus enemies would be placed as a footstool for his feet, they were being gathered as his DOMAIN, but this was not the same as being UNDER his feet as enemies, again, not according to the way the phrase is used.

When Jesus was shown to become king in Revelation six, immediately following that enthronement, the war horse was said to take peace away from the earth with a GREAT sword. World War I fits that description to a T. There was no significant war or wars after 33 CE that took place to the extent that it could be called a GREAT sword and that peace was taken away from the EARTH, which is a clear reference to GLOBAL warfare, not just a localized war between countries. World War I dwarfed any war before it in history in intensity and the deaths that it caused. That war horse was clearly not just a reference to “more of the same kind of wars that had always happened”. A great sword that took away peace from the earth began riding when Jesus did. Death from democide through the last nearly 100 years looks like an aneurysm in time.

In the book of Daniel, not EVERYWHERE in scripture, but Daniel, when in reference to rulers, when they are said to “stand up” it most often means they begin to exercise kingly authority, generally in the sense of against something else. That’s not Watchtower my friend, that’s just scripture. The Watchtower merely repeated the truth. You’ll note that I rarely quote Watchtower. My presentations are primarily about Biblical precedent and patterns. The Watchtower comes after the Bible. So you would be better off to remain dealing with the scriptures instead of cheap shots at the Watchtower.

For instance:

(Daniel 7:17) 17 “‘As for these huge beasts, because they are four, there are four kings that will stand up from the earth.

(Daniel 8:21-22) . . .. 22 And that one having been broken, so that there were four that finally stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from [his] nation that will stand up, but not with his power.

(Daniel 8:23-24) 23 “And in the final part of their kingdom, as the transgressors act to a completion, there will stand up a king fierce in countenance and understanding ambiguous sayings. 24 And his power must become mighty, but not by his own power. . . .

(Daniel 11:3) 3 “And a mighty king will certainly stand up and rule with extensive dominion and do according to his will.

So in Daniel 12, during the time of the end, Jesus stands up against something as king. That would be his enemies that have been made a footstool for his feet. When he begins his rule he is no pictured at God’s right hand, but on his throne with him. If he was ruling fully as king when he was at his right hand, then what does it mean when he ends up on the throne with his Father? What’s the difference?

And how you say that the closing verses of chapter 11 of Daniel could apply before 33 CE is truly beyond me. Would love to see an attempt at that, that doesn’t deny history or logic. Right after this action as king, which is the first time in Daniel that Jesus is spoken as taking action as king in the closing prophecies about the king of the north and the south, the great tribulation follows and the resurrection of the dead commences. These are all events associated with the parousia.

Once again, Acts 2 or Peter says nothing about actually being placed on the throne, the “therefore” and the “because” merely identified the one who David referred to as the one who would. In fact, Gods’ kings are NEVER spoken of as sitting on the right hand of someone else’s throne. Even Solomon was said to sit ON Jehovah’s throne, not at it’s right hand. The right hand is a position of favor, not an indication of rulership. Rulership in relation to thrones is either spoken of as being ON the throne WITH God or Jesus, or actually sitting ON God’s throne as was Solomon, not at the right hand. Peter knew what he was saying and what he was not saying, I am sure, and the exaltation was explicitly in reference to Lord and Savior and Christ. In fact, one could argue that it could be just as significant that KING was NOT mentioned at that time because Peter knew that Jesus was not sitting on God’s throne, as was king Solomon at one time. The Davidic throne was “God’s throne” according to scripture, not at the right hand of God’s throne.

I didn’t see anything else in your last response that I felt needed a specific comment that wasn’t touched on in the above coverage. If you see something glaringly ignored, please mention it and I will address it immediately.

But as a recap I would like to list the following.

1. Daniel 7 most naturally reads that the Son of Man received his kingship of the world sometime after the little horn which naturally falls in line with sometime after the Roman empire fell apart into ten sub kingdoms. Applications to Antiochus Epiphanus are most unnatural and destroy the natural sequence of events as they appear in the prophecy and history.

2. David was referred to as God’s king long before he ever was on the throne at Jerusalem, Jehovah’s throne. He first became king over one tribe and then later the entire nation. This parallels the kingship progression of Jesus Christ, whom David is a strong antitype. Jesus first became king over the ecclesia and then the world at a late time.

3. Revelation, where Christ is often spoken as receiving his kingship, is most naturally understood as a collection of prophecies which transpire during the parousia of Christ because the 24 elders are shown to be in heaven and they are those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ. We are also explicitly told that none of the holy ones are in heaven until the parousia.

4. God’s kings are never spoken of as sitting at his right hand, but are shown to be ON God’s throne.

5. There is a marked difference between something serving as a footstool and something being put under the feet as an enemy. One is domain, the other is destruction.

6. Revelation 6 where Jesus is said to begin his rule (receive his crown) is said to be followed by great warfare which takes away peace from the EARTH. That fits extremely well with the events of warfare starting circa the year 1914 and onward. No other century comes close to the amount of democide which has occured in this last 100 years, or nearly so. It far exceeds the ratio of populace as well when compared to the war/population ratios of the past. It is an aneurysm in history.

I believe the arguments presented are the strongest arguments available when logic, history and scriptural precedent and pattern serve as our guide.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Wed May 26, 2010 9:28 pm

Well, it’s been a month Bill, without a peep. So what’s happening?

Rotherham

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Mon May 31, 2010 4:11 pm

Hello Rotherham,

Please excuse the long delay. Family emergency.

In your latest response to my previous “3-part posting” you make some good points on some peripheral issues, but have still made no progress against the clear Bible teaching about the status of Jesus kingship and kingdom in 33 CE.

My position is still as follows: 1 Peter 3:22 “He is at God’s right hand, for he went his way to heaven; and angels and authorities and powers were made subject to him.” If kings were made subject to him, then Jesus must now be a ruler over the kings of the earth. This is only one of several passages supporting the point. Your characterization that I am relying so heavily on just one of these passages in Revelation 1:5 is wrong.

With all your talk about the value of Biblical precedence and consistent meanings, you seem to have forgotten that the very basis of this entire discussion is that you want “King” and “Kingdom” to mean something different whenever the Bible passage gets in the way of your preferred doctrine. You want “King” to mean “King-Designate” when it doesn’t suit you. You want “Kingdom” to mean “Kingdom ONLY over the congregation” at one point, and you want it to mean “Governmental Rulership over the Nations” at another time. You ignore Biblical precedent and pattern. Your explanations often fly in the face of a natural understanding of scripture.

Biblical precedent for the expression: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day”

With respect to whether “on the Lord’s Day” refers to “on the first day of the week”, it is not necessary to discuss it in further detail. I never claimed it had to mean the first day of the week. But I think there is a very good chance that it does, especially when we KNOW that this is exactly what that specific phrase meant to Christians of that same time period when Revelation was written. And we also know that some of the most important Christian meetings and activities were held on “Sunday”. For example:

Acts 20:7: On the first day of the week [Sunday], when we were gathered together to break bread.
1 Cor 16:2: …just as I gave orders to the congregations of Ga·la´ti·a, do that way also yourselves. 2 Every first day of the week [Sunday] let each of YOU at his own house set something aside…
John 20:19 Therefore, when it was late on that day, the first of the week, [Sunday] and, although the doors were locked where the disciples were…Jesus came and stood in their midst….”
John 20:26 26 Well, eight days later [Sunday] his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: “May YOU have peace.”
Acts 2:1: Now while the day of the [festival of] Pentecost [Sunday] was in progress they were all together at the same place,

Although “being in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” can have other meanings besides receiving the vision on the first day of the week, it still does not in any way require or even imply that John was ever transferred INTO the future. This doesn’t mean your hypothesis here is impossible, but even if it means he was transported in time, it doesn’t mean that the expression gives us his point of reference for each and every vision. (In such a situation John may have understood himself to be only a few days or weeks into the future, not years.)

More importantly, since “Day” has various Biblical precedents and meanings, even when referring to “Judgment Day”, you can still make no assumptions about whether he meant a “1000-year day” or something like a more literal day, or something else. You evidently want “Lord’s Day” to be something like a 100-year long Parousia. But even if you were right about a 100-year Parousia — with or without Biblical precedent — there is no way to know that this type of “100-year Parousia” won’t go on for another 100 or even 2,000 more years. And more, importantly, John wouldn’t necessarily his change his time references even if he was transferred into the future. He could be looking at scenes from the future and still write them down using his first century time frame as the reference. After all, even the “Judgment Day” meaning of “the Lord’s Day” was already “close” and “near at hand” in 99 CE.

You ignore the Biblical precedent that shows that the “end of the system” was already close at hand, in all the rest of the NT. And these passages are NOT in reference only to the end of the Jewish system.

But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not: and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)
Romans 13:11-13 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand:let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Before you start trying to tie all these other verses to 70 CE, note also that 1 John 2:

“8 Again, I am writing YOU a new commandment, a fact that is true in his case and in YOURS, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”…
17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever. 18 even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. …
28 So now, little children, remain in union with him, that when he is made manifest we may have freeness of speech and not be shamed away from him at his presence.”

And it wouldn’t hurt to also notice in verse 28 above that the Bible is still clear even after the initial parousia and manifestation of 70 CE that First John, written after that event, still points out that Jesus coming manifestation is at the time of the coming parousia. They refer to the same event according to John.

It also wouldn’t hurt to notice that another meaning of “day” is implied in two of those passages. I’m sure you have your own work-arounds, but it’s likely similar to the idea of Peter’s that there is a “daystar” rising in our hearts. There is a final darkness coming over the world. But Christians are already conquering the world, and are therefore already glimpsing the Lord’s “day”, the “light of the world”. (See 1 John Chapters 1 through 5)

Regarding Revelation being written pre or post 70 CE

As far as the time of writing being before or after 70 CE, again there is no explicit evidence either way. I have always believed that the external extra-Biblical evidence pointed more towards a later date, such as 96 – 99 CE. I still believe that much of the internal textual evidence points to an early date, but I am coming to believe the external circumstantial evidence outweighs the internal evidence anyway. Neither date changes what I believe about Jerusalem’s destruction. I had believed that Revelation was like the Olivet Sermon, which would drive a new understanding of the end of the entire inhabited earth after the passing of Jerusalem’s “world”. But this could just as easily work if destruction of Jerusalem was fresh in mind.

Again, neither date has anything to do with the question at hand. Revelation 11 is easily explained in Romans as a first century reference – with lessons for future generations. And Revelation 12 is easily explained as a sweeping reference to the history of Christianity with references to Jesus birth, resurrection, the destruction of Jerusalem, and far into the future.

You said that “As far as there being no reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, it is far more natural for there to be no mention of the destroyed Jerusalem if it was already past than if it was imminent and looming immediately in the future.” This can go both ways. All references to future destruction could have been understood to include the destruction of Jerusalem just as Jesus had tied up both the initial and final Parousia/Manifestation event to the destruction of Jerusalem. So there is no such understanding that it wasn’t mentioned as imminent. In Revelation, Judgment is imminent. But I’m no longer concerned with this. I’ll just as gladly accept it as a recent event, as you do.

You added some comments about preterist understandings that equate Babylon with Jerusalem. I have never equated them. We have discussed this in past years. Preterists find it interesting that there is almost NOTHING about Babylon the Great in Revelation that can’t be matched to an OT reference to Jerusalem, but equating them was never the point. The point was to take all the traumatic memory of the destruction of Jerusalem and be able to use it as an image of destruction on not just the Jewish world, but the entire “world” – “system of things”. That entire world system was represented or symbolized more easily by the Roman world, but I think Christians were supposed to see the curious parallels to Jerusalem.

Christians, after 70 especially, needed to see the entire world systems from the perspective of being “as good as conquered”. (See 1 John 1-5.) Jesus did the same thing when he spoke of Jerusalem being destroyed and then spoke of the final Parousia as “immediate” in Matthew 24.

You said: “In fact, if your explanation of who the seven headed wild beast is, is to be taken seriously, it makes no sense at all that the imminent destruction of Jerusalem is not mentioned, yet the destruction of Babylon, who RIDES the seven headed wild beast, IS explained.”

Again, nothing changes for either date. If the beast references are so easily attached to Roman history, then the destruction of Jerusalem IS being mentioned as imminent, because the Roman world represented the entire inhabited world and the destruction of Jerusalem was tied to the destruction of the entire world (by Jesus). But the symbol of Rome in Revelation goes on to speak of a world destruction beyond just that of Jerusalem, and even beyond just that of Rome.

You added: “Think about this as well, you claim that many things of Revelation is directly at Jews and directed at many things in direct connection with Jerusalem, yet there is no message to the church at Jerusalem? How odd is that?”

It’s not odd at all if they followed Jesus command in the months before the destruction in 70. There would simply have not been a church at Jerusalem. Some would flee in 66, more in 68 and 69. If Revelation had been written in 69, there would simply be no church there.

You also added: “And the very fact that the Jerusalem that is mentioned is called NEW Jerusalem, bespeaks the fact that something had happened to the OLD Jerusalem.” This sounds like a good point, but every Christian had already known that the Old Jerusalem was going to pass away. Jesus had prophesied it, and of course it implied that something was going to happen to the old. But conjecture isn’t necessary. Revelation 21, as we would expect, already ties the New Jerusalem to a time when the old “world” would have passed away. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem.”

Again, however, pre- or post- 70 writing has no effect whatsoever on the question at hand about Jesus status over all authorities in 33. Revelation is not even required to show this. 1 Peter 3:22 quoted at the opening is only one of many places.

Time-shifting trick doesn’t stop Jesus from being Ruler of the Kings of the Earth in First Century

The time-shifting you require in Revelation 1:9, and which you yourself need to time-shift back to verse 7, and then to verse 5, in no way nullifies Jesus’ titles. Your doubly-strained hypothesis doesn’t prove anything about the inadequacy of the title in the year 99 CE. You still have a problem with Jesus being given the title of King in 99 CE. I notice that this is the only one of the these titles that you need to denigrate. He is called “the Faithful Witness.” You have no problem with that title in 99 CE. He is called “The firstborn from the dead,” and this one is OK with you too. But then he is called “The Ruler of the kings of the earth” and now you need to time shift the literary perspective of the whole book because suddenly you met a title you didn’t like.

Then you go so far as to say: “Every contextual indicator in this introduction establishes the Lord’s Day as in connection with the parousia of Christ.” This is simply false. You strain at gnats to get at the slim possibility that “Lord’s Day” might mean the literary perspective of the visions reflect a time shifting to one of the possible meanings of parousia — then you gulp down this camel. Now, you claim that EVERY contextual indicator in the introduction is suddenly lined up around your hypothesis. Almost NONE of these contextual references help you. We already discussed many of the problems of the context of Revelation 1. In some ways not even the one verse you point to will help you (even those who pierced him). What’s worse, it’s even more embarrassing if you were to be specific about your actual belief system and how it relates to this verse. The time you allow for Jesus time of becoming “King of Kings” is actually 1914. Yet this time, you admit, is not the same as when “every eye will see him” “even those who pierced him”. That is still future in your belief. Yet you allowed that title “King of Kings” to be effective for Jesus beginning nearly 100 years ago.

Of course, the verse in 1 Peter 3:22 isn’t even in the book of Revelation and it also indicates that Jesus was already King of Kings — “over every authority and power” – and Peter said this was true in 33 CE. Time-shifting Revelation 1:5 doesn’t suddenly make Jesus title as “firstborn from the dead” happen in 1914, does it? A time-shifting theory would have just about as much effect on the “King of Kings” title. It’s a title that gets in your way so that that you need to remove it from the time of Revelation’s writing so that it’s not true in John’s day, but also need to put in the past from our day.

I’ve already written most of the response to the rest of your claims, but I’ll have to look them over in the next few days to make sure I’ve responded to all your points. Expect it in the next couple of days.

Regards,
Bill

Last edited by BillW on Mon May 31, 2010 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BillW
 
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:46 pm

Hello Rotherham,

So it looks like I’m all the way up to the subject:

Who are the 24 elders?

Rotherham wrote:I believe your treatment of the 24 elders and who they are is a glaringly wrong. You should know that according to every ancient manuscript, except ONE, verse 9 of chapter five, which is quoting the 24 elders, says “with your blood you redeemed US”. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to not view the 24 elders as those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, which explicitly establishes them as “former humans” who are now in heaven, and since there are NO humans in heaven prior to the parousia, the point I am making in regard to these 24 elders is irrevocably established. If they are being shown in the vision, then the vision is clearly after the commencement of the parousia, no matter how long you think it lasts.

So, you disagree with my treatment of the 24 elders and who they are. Fine. But then you claim it is “glaringly” wrong. Your own position was shown to have truly glaring issues from a Scriptural standpoint. Mine is just a position that some people accept and some disagree with. So what makes my position “Glaringly wrong”?

I believe that you used the word “glaringly” to deflect the fact that there are NO glaring problems with my view. I also believe you used the word “glaringly” because you know very well that there is something “glaringly” wrong with your own (Watchtower) view. (The Watchtower teaching is that the 24 is a symbolic number referring to the 144,000 and the 144,000 is the literal number referring to the same group as seen from “two different perspectives.”)

When I say I believe your position is “glaringly” unsupported, I don’t just use the word “glaringly” for propaganda effect as some might do when they realize their own argument sounds weak. I use it because, in this case, specific Biblical support is glaringly against your position.

Here’s some of what’s “glaringly” wrong with your view.

    * The 24 elders are depicted as separate from the 144,000. In Revelation 14 especially: “1 And I saw, and, look! the Lamb standing upon the Mount Zion, and with him a 144,000…3 And they are singing as if a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one was able to master that song but the 144,000, who have been bought from the earth.”
      * In the Bible’s context, the 24 elders are first depicted in heaven at a time well before the 144,000 are seen in heaven (Chapter 7:1 “AFTER this I saw four angels…and…144,000”).
      * The 24 elders are identified in their relation to God’s throne as if they belonged to an “inner circle” of God near His throne. Rev 5:6: “And I saw standing in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders.”
      * The 24 elders are most closely associated with the throne and the 4 living creatures. Rev 5:11: “And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,” …14 And the four living creatures went saying: “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
      * The 24 elders are identified at God’s throne BEFORE the “Lamb” is ever seen in heaven.
    * The 24 elders are identified as bringing the prayers of the “holy ones” directly to God’s throne (as if) they were bowls of incense. This is more in line with services elsewhere associated with angelic creatures, not “former humans.”

Logically, when Revelation 4 opens up, there is first and foremost mentioned a THRONE and the ONE seated upon it, obviously God Almighty (v2). Then the perspective changes to what is around the throne, evidently from the outside “circle” and moving again towards the center throne.

The first “circle” mentioned “AROUND” the throne are the 24 THRONES with 24 ELDERS seated on them.(v4) Then we move closer to the central throne where lightnings, voices and thunders are proceeding OUT of the throne and SEVEN Spirits of God (as if lamps) are BEFORE the throne.(v5)

Then we move even closer to “in the MIDST AND AROUND the throne” where there are “FOUR Living Creatures”(v6)

Whenever the “4 Living Creatures” offer praise to God the “24 Elders” follow. (v9)

Remember that all of this is mentioned at a time when the LAMB is still nowhere to be seen. The passage explicitly goes on to say “Neither in heaven nor upon earth nor underneath the earth was there a single one able to open the scroll” (5:3). There was therefore a time when Jesus was NOT yet the Lamb UNTIL explains: “One of the [24] ELDERS says to me: ‘Stop weeping. Look! The LION has conquered…And I saw standing in the MIDST of the throne and of the FOUR Living Creatures and in the MIDST of the ELDERS, a LAMB as though…slaughtered (Rev 5:5). The Lamb is also now identified with the SEVEN Spirits of God we had just seen in 4:5.

So there was a time when no one was worthy but NOW there is a NEW song about the LAMB being worthy because he was slaughtered and conquered. Note, too, the order of the praise. The 4 Living Creatures and the 24 Elders worship (mentioned again in that order) and then the Angels follow suit and worship. So there is always a sense of the throne and it’s “inner circles” of creatures, and the 24 Elders belong to one of these inner circles – even before the Lamb is seen and long before the 144,000 are ever seen.

Your reason for identifying the 24 elders as former humans

Before we look specifically at what are supposed to be “glaring” problems with my view on these 24 Elders, we need to take note your own primary reason for claiming that the 24 Elders are redeemed “former humans”. Your reason, as you’ve already admitted, is that you believe we should move the “writing perspective” of Revelation from around 99 CE to sometime between late 1914 and Armageddon. If you can do that, then you think you have gotten rid of your problem with John’s reference to Jesus as the “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth.” You can’t have John calling Jesus him that in Revelation 1:5 –back in 99 CE– because it interferes with your doctrine about such a kingship being inaugurated only around 1914.

What about the manuscripts that indicate the 24 elders were redeemed by Christ’s blood?

As you pointed out, in every ancient manuscript except ONE, Rev 5:9 says: “with your blood you redeemed US”, rather than “with your blood you redeemed THEM.”

To you, this means the 24 elders were redeemed humans and therefore not in heaven until the Parousia. (Which I say is future and you say is on-going for about 100 years, so far.)

Your are claiming that the reading of the King James Bible is accurate and the reading found in the main text of the New World Translation is incorrect. Of course, you have to admit that this “ONE manuscript” you are rejecting here is the Alexandrian manuscript (Codex Alexandrinus), from arguably the most important complete NT mss available – and considered to be very likely the best text for Revelation. (See the book, Scribal habits and theological influences in the Apocalypse, pages 97-103, especially regarding the 80+ singular readings of this codex in Revelation.) And one that the Watchtower and Jehovah’s Witnesses have many times taken as the only “correct” choice ever where it differs from other families of manuscripts.

The meaning of the 24 Elders seems very clear to me and would allow either reading to work. Here’s why:

First of all the Ellen G White and other Bible Students/Adventists/JWs have already summarized the universal importance of “sovereignty question.” This is a pretty good way of conceptualizing the issue. In other words the entire universe of God’s creatures was “bought back” with Christ’s blood. Issues of ransom and sin atonement apply to humans, of course, but all God’s heavenly creatures are praising Jesus in this context as the “Lamb,” an obvious reference to the importance of his death to put ALL THINGS aright again.

After all, Ephesians 1:9-23 says (NWT):

It is according to his good pleasure which he purposed in himself 10 for an administration at the full limit of the appointed times, namely, to gather all things together again in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth[b]…. By means of him [b]also, after YOU believed, YOU were sealed with the promised holy spirit, 14 which is a token in advance of our inheritance, for the purpose of releasing by a ransom [God’s] own possession, to his glorious praise….20 with which he has operated in the case of the Christ when he raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. 22 He also subjected all things under his feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.

You could also note that the song is not necessarily about words originating with the 24 Elders themselves, but a representation of the “prayers of the holy ones”. The song relays the praises from humans to God’s throne.The 24 Elders are responsible to deliver those prayers of praise here represented as if they are ultimate sources of pleasure to God, epitomized sense of hearing and sense of smell. (song and bowls of incense). Note that this parallels the work of angelic creatures in Revelation 8:3. Compare:

Revelation 5:8 wrote:the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp and golden bowls that were full of incense, and the [incense] means the prayers of the holy ones.
Revelation 8:3 wrote:And another angel arrived and stood at the altar, having a golden incense vessel; and a large quantity of incense was given him to offer it with the prayers of all the holy ones upon the golden altar that was before the throne.”

An even BIGGER hole in your theory

You summarized:

Rotherham wrote:“Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to not view the 24 elders as those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, which explicitly establishes them as “former humans” who are now in heaven, and since there are NO humans in heaven prior to the parousia, the point I am making in regard to these 24 elders is irrevocably established.”

I’m not impressed by your overstated claims that they are “explicitly established” as former humans now in heaven. Your point is not “irrevocably established.” When propaganda-like words need to be invoked, it shouldn’t surprise me that there is, of course, a big hole in your theory. It’s not just the 24 Elders who speak as if they are themselves redeemed by Christ’s blood, it’s also the 4 living creatures singing this same song and stating these same words. How do you understand that the 4 Living Creatures were bought with Christ’s blood? Are you consistent in arguing that they, too, must be former humans?

So your hypothesis is glaringly unlikely, unless you have also now identified your 144,000 with the 4 Living Creatures.

But whether you agree with the NWT or not, the real sense is clear when you read it all in context. The context is about a newly positioned or identified entity in heaven who is worthy of worship. If there were Jewish concepts of heaven that included inner circles and outer circles of creatures, close to the throne or on and even underneath the earth, then it would be appropriate to show that all these entities serving God are in agreement about this, whether all these symbols are literal or not. There is a repeated sense that it is about all of God’s creatures and the appropriateness of offering worship to Jesus the Lamb:

8 And when he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp and golden bowls that were full of incense, and the [incense] means the prayers of the holy ones. 9 And they sing a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered and with your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”
11 And I saw, and I heard a voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders, and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “The Lamb that was slaughtered is worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and underneath the earth and on the sea, and all the things in them, I heard saying: “To the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing and the honor and the glory and the might forever and ever.” 14 And the four living creatures went saying: “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

So the whole idea is that Jesus, the slaughtered Lamb, is worthy of his position. It is acknowledged by ALL the persons around God’s throne that the Lamb is also worthy of worship. Look in verse 11 where thousands of angels around God’s throne – along with the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders praise the Lamb as now worthy of worship – meaning the worthiness to receive honor glory and blessing. In verse 13, ALL creatures in the entire universe worship both the One on the throne and the Lamb. ALL creatures produce this prayer of praise. And in verse 14 – even the 4 living creatures and the 24 elders say “Amen” to this prayer to God and Jesus and also fall down and worship.

So it’s really about the extent of worship and how EVEN the 24 elders agree that Jesus is not only worthy of worship (by others) but that they themselves also fall down in worship.

How the Bible context and precedent help to give a more likely identification to the 24 elders

The idea that EVEN the 4 creatures and the 24 elders worship the Lamb makes much more sense if these 24 were of very HIGH station with respect to God’s throne.

If the Jewish “shadows” in the OT were reflective of greater realities in heaven, then we might look to both the shadows and other hints of Biblical precedent to identify the 24 elders.

First of all, we need to discuss the word ELDERS. Each city had a Court of elders who were leaders, counselors and judges. The word elder can therefore refer to a position of judicial authority. Even God is identified with the concept of an “Elder” in Daniel, especially when the context is a about a Court (or Council of Judgment).

Note Daniel 7:10 and its similarities to Revelation 4 and 5:

“There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. The Court took its seat, and there were books that were opened…. someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. 14 And to him there were given rulership and dignity and kingdom,… it was prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment itself was given in favor of the holy ones of the Supreme One, and the definite time arrived that the holy ones took possession of the kingdom itself…. 26 And the Court itself proceeded to sit, and his own rulership they finally took away, in order to annihilate [him] and to destroy [him] totally.

So the Biblical precedent from Daniel and from the Courts of Israel in general, is that seated elders refers to the sitting of a Heavenly Court. There are many other possible references to a “Court” or “Council of God” in heaven. There are several references to the “Sons of God” who might appear in this court. All the angels may be included in some of these references to the “Sons of God”, or perhaps a more elite group of them represented as a Court of Elders.

Note a few possible references:

“Gen 1:26 And God went on to say: “Let us make man in our image.”
Gen 3:22 And Jehovah God went on to say: “Here the man has become like one of us…”
Gen 11:7 “Come now! Let us go down and there confuse their language that they may not listen to one another’s language.” 8 Accordingly Jehovah scattered them”
Job 1: 6 Now it came to be the day when the sons of the [true] God entered to take their station before Jehovah, and even Satan proceeded to enter right among them.
Psalm 82:1 “God is stationing himself in the assembly of the Divine One;
In the middle of the gods he judges:”
Deut 32:8 When the Most High gave the nations an inheritance,
When he parted the sons of Adam from one another,
He proceeded to fix the boundary of the peoples
With regard for the number of the sons of God**. (LXX, DSS)

I do not use this line of argumentation as evidence, but it is of interest historically, to provide a possible understanding of why the plural pronoun can be used with reference to something that only “Jehovah” is named as doing (in Genesis 11, for example).

**I have marked the “sons of God” portion from Deut 32:8 in bold (above) because all my Bible quotes in this post come from the New World Translation except that for this portion of the verse. Here I have used the NWT plus the LXX and Hebrew Dead Sea Scrolls copy of Deuteronomy. It appears to follow the more ancient authority. The textual adjustment evidently was not generally made until about 1,000 years later where “sons of God” was changed to “sons of Israel.” This later adjustment what informs our current translations. But many Christians would no doubt have understood it originally as many Jews evidently did: that God had divided up the world into 70 nations (count the nations in Genesis 10) because there was a council of 70 gods (Elohim) who sat as a council to “El, The Most High”. When God did something with his Council, God was known as Elohim (plural). Historically the word for God became plural, probably because a parallel understanding of “God” affected the Semitic vocabulary used for “God” among neighboring nations of Israel.

The Canaanites also wrote about the “Most High” as “El” who also had a Council of 70 called “Elohim”. Among the Elohim were, of course, Baal, the one in charge of Canaan, and another one of them was, Jehovah, one of the Elohim in charge of Israel. Of course, the Bible identifies Jehovah as both “El” and the “Most High” (Psalm 83). This is similar to the idea that each nation had a Prince or Archangel. (see Daniel’s reference to the “Prince of Persia” and Michael, the Prince of Israel).

The SANHEDRIN, Council of the Ancients, Jewish Supreme Court

A little more appropriate to the discussion might be the Sanhedrin, called the Council of Ancients, or sometimes just “the elders”. The choice of 70 elders was supposedly as a “shadow” of the heavenly realities of God’s council of 70. There was also a sub-council of 23 elders. Odd numbers worked better for voting, so the 70 later became 71.

I know there are also claims in some Revelation commentaries that the 24 elders refer to humans taken from earth over the years. But these arguments are not necessary, and don’t fit the Biblical precedent about a “Court” or Council of God.

You also made a couple other points:

Rotherham wrote:Plus, angels are NEVER referred to as ELDERS, anywhere in the Bible. Therefore your view is unprecedented and unparalleled according to scripture and that is ample reason alone to reject it. That, along with the fact that your view is out of harmony with every ancient manuscript but one is also enough to reject it. To discredit the reading of “US” simply and only because it does not appear in the one single Codex of Alexandria, is most unreasonable and unjust to the weight of authority that it exhibits everywhere else.

We wouldn’t expect angels in general to be spoken of as elders. It’s the reference to the type ofrole being referred to here. When the “bishop” (episcopos) or primary elder of a congregation is the guiding, gaurdian “watcher” of a congregation, then that elder is referred to as an “angel” in Revelation chapters 2:1 for example:

“To the angel of the congregation in Eph´e·sus…”

If the role of the heavenly person is represented as that of a judge, council, elder then as we saw before, even God himself can be spoken of as an Elder. (“The Ancient of Days”).

To say that the view is unprecedented and unparalleled in Scripture is not correct. When you go back to Daniel 7 you see the following elements and a counterpart in Revelation 4 & 5. I mentioned these parallels before, but it might be worthwhile to present them with each other.

Daniel 7: “I kept on beholding until there were thrones placed and the Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing was white just like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire.
Revelation 4:2 After these things I immediately came to be in [the power of the] spirit: and, look! a throne was in its position in heaven, and there is one seated upon the throne. 3 And the one seated is, in appearance, like a jasper stone and a precious red-colored stone, and round about the throne [there is] a rainbow like an emerald in appearance.
4 And round about the throne [there are] twenty-four thrones, and upon these thrones [I saw] seated twenty-four elders dressed in white outer garments, and upon their heads golden crowns. 5 And out of the throne there are proceeding lightnings and voices and thunders; and [there are] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, and these mean the seven spirits of God. 6 And before the throne there is, as it were, a glassy sea like crystal.
Daniel 7:10: There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. The Court took its seat, and there were books that were opened.
Daniel 7:13 “I kept on beholding in the visions of the night, and, see there! with the clouds of the heavens someone like a son of man happened to be coming; and to the Ancient of Days he gained access, and they brought him up close even before that One. 14 And to him there were given rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him. His rulership is an indefinitely lasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom one that will not be brought to ruin.
18 But the holy ones of the Supreme One will receive the kingdom, and they will take possession of the kingdom for time indefinite, even for time indefinite upon times indefinite.’

I don’t have to remind you that we could go much further and show that Revelation presents the elements in the same order: God, the thrones for the Court, the seated Court, the angels, the son of man (who is the Lamb) being finally seen brought up into the midst of the primary throne of God, the kingdom being given to the son of man, then the holy ones rescued from the beast and the kingdom also given to them.

But your explanation of Revelation leaves out this very Court element found in the parallel precedent in Daniel. It leaves out the fact that that Daniel has multiple Thrones of a Court surrounding God’s throne (in Daniel) and that this heavenly Court concern itself with the condition of the holy ones on earth — before they inherit the Kingdom in heaven.

Rotherham wrote:That, along with the fact that your view is out of harmony with every ancient manuscript but one is also enough to reject it. To discredit the reading of “US” simply and only because it does not appear in the one single Codex of Alexandria, is most unreasonable and unjust to the weight of authority that it exhibits everywhere else.

Your wording appears to have been plagiarized from “A Testimony of Jesus Christ – Volume 1
By Anthony Charles Garland” where it says on page 313:

To discredit it simply and only because it does not appear in that one single Codex of Alexandria, is most unreasonable and unjust to the weight of authority for its retention.

The words and phrases I made bold are exactly what you stated above, although you added just a slight twist of phrase at the end to make it a bit more confusing – making “it” sound like it could be either the “reading of ‘US'” or the “Codex of Alexandria.” I’m sure you meant the “reading of ‘US'”.

Although I don’t discredit the reading of “US”, as discussed above, it’s not necessary to worry about the difference in wording. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the Codex Alexandrinus might win on this one. One of the reasons is that the majority of manuscripts say “made THEM kings” and “THEY shall reign” which is a logical match for “you bought THEM” (persons). This means that in two out of the three places for the change of pronoun, the Alexandrian reading held a majority in all the known manuscripts. There may be support from the even older Ethiopic mss here, too.

Redeemable Humans in Heaven before Christ

I do NOT accept this idea as part of the solution, but still, the idea that redeemable humans could already be in a heavenly state (prior to 99 CE) did not prove to be a problem for many early Christians. This may be why there is so little concern about the potential difference in meaning from a textual discrepancy in early Church sources. There is evidence that many early Christians, just like many Jews in late Second-Temple Judaism, took it for granted that God had already translated several humans to angelic or reserved positions of authority. Moses and Elijah were still supposed to be alive. So was Enoch. Perhaps even Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Perhaps even the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel. (Although, Jesus seems to have promised those 12 throne positions to his apostles.) Some could have naturally assumed that “former humans” made up this “Court” and some would have assumed that highly positioned angelic creatures made up this Court.

For possible reasons why early Christians believed such things about “former humans”, see books and sources like the “Assumption of Moses” (as referenced by Church Fathers). Also, the Bible book of Jude regarding the body of Moses [and commentary by early church fathers]. Jude, again, regarding his direct quotation from the book “First Enoch” (a very popular book reflecting Jewish beliefs about hierarchies of angelic “inner circles”. Various excerpts from Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the “Melchizedek Document” and other DSS sectarian works. Also from the Gospels we have Elijah’s and Moses’ appearance at Jesus’ Transfiguration (NT Gospels) which would not have surprised many Jews of that time, just as many Jews believed that John the Baptist was Elijah. Common late-Jewish beliefs about the after-life, and Abraham’s living condition, were also reflected in Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Man/Lazarus/Abraham. Then there was also Jesus’ argument about the parallel meaning of “God of the Living” and “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. Jesus was also said to have gone to Hades and carried away captives (those captive to death). A resurrection of many holy ones at the time of Jesus death is also mentioned at Matthew 27:53.

Luke 13:28 There is where [YOUR] weeping and the gnashing of [YOUR] teeth will be, when YOU see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
Matthew 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is the God, not of the dead, but of the living.”

I would claim, as I think you would too, that there are other explanations available regarding several of these verses.

How related to further discussion of Parousia / Sunteleia / Telos / etc.

Even if these 24 Elders were really from redeemed humans who are raised to be with Christ at the Parousia, the argument still doesn’t really help you. You use it to support the idea that Jesus gained the title “King of Kings” in 1914. But, Biblically, the Parousia really only happens at the time of the manifestation against the wicked. Therefore, since that manifestation against the wicked hasn’t happened yet, your version of the 24 elders wouldn’t be there in heaven yet, even if John “wrote” after 1914 instead of 99 CE.

There is much evidence in the Bible that these two events refer to about the same thing, at about the same time, so this evidence is more closely related to your question to me about why I believe the SYNTELEIA and TELOS refer to the same thing. It’s really about why the SYNTELEIA and REVELATION and PRESENCE and TELOS are often used pretty much as a reference to the same simultaneous events. So I’ll provide more of this evidence when responding to your additional questions on that subject in a later post.

Regards,
Bill

BillW
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:15 pm

Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:09 am

Hello Rotherham,

Obviously, “parousia” is the key to a lot of your arguments, so I hope you don’t mind if I spend a little more time on this word.

Your worst argument –so far– is about the word “parousia”

Your comments on the “Parousia” strike me as perfectly ridiculous. By that I mean “completely worthy of ridicule.” This subject is one area where I have seen you and other JWs and the Watchtower publishers use the most specious and disingenuous arguments — arguments that are often devoid of logic and reason. What’s worse, is that — for “parousia” — you make arguments that you must not really believe in. If you do believe in them, then you betray a truly outstanding level of logical distortion and dissonance. Here’s why. You said:

Rotherham wrote:As far as the meaning of parousia, there is no Biblical precedent or pattern except the one that establishes it as meaning “presence”. And it is not a word that just appears a couple of times. There are a number of occurrences that are not in connection to the coming of Christ and they all mean presence. And advent is entirely in harmony with the idea of presence because you can’t have an advent unless you’re present.

First of all you speak out of both sides of your mouth when we you say it is established as meaning only “presence” when you also argue at other times that a “presence” always involves an “advent/arrival” and vice versa.

If this were a discussion of almost any other word with theological-doctrinal implications, you would be quick to disagree with this type of premise. In fact, you often have disagreed with this type of premise. I’ve seen you do it. If the subject were one of the Hebrew or Greek Biblical words for “god” “spirit” “worship” “lord” “angel” “soul” “temple” and many other words, you’d be arguing for a full understanding of dual meanings, multiple meanings or a range of meanings.

Yet, evidently with a perfectly straight face, you can write: “As far as the meaning of parousia, there is no Biblical precedent or pattern except the one that establishes it as meaning ‘presence’.”

Really?

‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings

Let’s see what you really think of the Biblical precedent when it comes to words that can have multiple meanings. Let’s take one of the most widely-known examples of a Biblical word that can have multiple meanings. This example is so widely known that it often gets juxtaposed with its own cliche. I’m referring to the word “KNOW” — in the Biblical sense of the word, as the cliche goes.

Now you will likely still claim that Matthew is probably the first written book of the Greek New Testament. The very first time that Matthew uses this Greek word “ginosko” (“know”) he says: “He [Joseph] KNEW her not until she gave birth to a son…” The NWT translates: “But he had no intercourse with her until she gave birth to a son.”

So Matthew’s “Biblical precedent” here says that “ginosko” (“know”) means sexual intercourse. Yet, I don’t see you arguing that this word must only have only the one meaning due to Biblical precedent! What would that do to Matthew’s next uses of the word?

Matthew, using ginosko wrote:Matthew 6:3 Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing…
Matthew 7:23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU!
Matthew 13:11 …know the mysteries of the kingdom.
16:3 …know the face of the sky.
Or later…
Matthew 24:39 and they knew not until the flood came.
Matthew 25:2 Master, I knew you…an exacting man, …gathering where you did not winnow.

This is so obviously a ridiculous notion!

You can go an online Bible Dictionary using Google Books, such as “Expository dictionary of Bible words: word studies for key English Bible” by Stephen D. Renn. Many of its 800-some pages are available to search. Just do a search inside this book for the word “meanings” (in the plural) and you’ll see that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of examples. A words can mean something in one context and another thing in a different context: Oracle/burden. Shout/sing. Know/intercourse. Delight/paste-over. Raised/fed. Confess/praise. Create/cut down. Person/soul/life/mind. Oath/curse. Eat/choose. Tribes/darts.

You don’t translate Isaiah 6:10. Let their eyes be “delighted” so they can’t see. Instead, you translate “pasted over” “shut out” or “blinded” And the word in Psalm 119:70 means taking “delight” in God’s law — not being blinded or pasted over by God’s law.

Or how about various uses of the word for “to raise/to feed” in the NT?
Luke 4:16 And he came to Naz´a·reth, where he had been reared; and, according to his custom on the sabbath day, he entered into the synagogue, and he stood up to read.(NWT)
Rev 12:14 there is where she is fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent. (NWT)
James 5:5 YOU have fattened YOUR hearts on the day of slaughter.(NWT)

Or what about a word that can be translated variously as heaven/skies/clouds/dust:
Isaiah 40:15 He lifts the islands themselves as mere fine [dust]. (NWT)
Deuteronomy 33:26 Who rides upon heaven in help of you And upon cloudy skies in his eminence.(NWT)

Or look at how the NWT handles the same word for tribes/shafts/darts:
2 Samuel 18:14 With that he took three shafts in his palm and proceeded to drive them through the heart of Ab´sa·lom (NWT)
2 Samuel 19:9 9 And all the people came to be involved in dispute in all the tribes of Israel(NWT)

It’s the same word for the 3 “darts” (“shafts”) that killed Absalom and every reference to the 12 “tribes” of Israel. But you can’t argue for 12 “darts” of Israel, nor did Joab stab Absalom with 3 “tribes”.

This exercise could obviously go on and on and on. You’ll notice that in many cases the multiple definitions have very similar meanings and sometimes the meanings seem nearly opposite. Yet, even in the “near opposite” cases, there is still usually a common root that links them.

Looking at these and many other examples from the NWT and other Bibles, you should be able to see the danger in trying to derive a SINGLE definition of a word from its basic root meaning. Yet, this is exactly what you do with “parousia”.

Do meanings of words really come from Bible precedent and pattern?

This is actually another fallacy, yet it seems to be critical to your argument. Where do you think meanings of words come from in the first place? Very few Bible words and their definitions really come from Bible precedent and pattern. Almost every word used in the Bible would have to come first from OUTSIDE the Bible. Otherwise the Bible would make no sense to its audiences. It would be akin to Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky”.

There are many words used only once in the Bible. So we cannot get the full sense or meanings from other places in the Bible. Do we use the first thing that makes sense to us in the context of the verse? No, we get the definition choices from scholars and studies that cover a lot of different perspectives. This is not a definitive list below, but off the top of my head, I’d say that the word definition could come from information gleaned from any of the following overlapping perspectives. would include the following (major overlapping elements of comparative philology):

      * Accounting for how the word has historically been translated into other languages.
      * Clues from immediate literary context, especially when paralleled in poetically or synoptically, or apparently defined or explained in synonym-like words or phrases.
      * The literary context of the word – subject matter, the surrounding arguments, modifying adjectives, adverbs, etc.
      * The known structure and grammar of the entire language, including its changes over time.
      * All related written source material, in any language, from both inside and outside the Bible.
      * The roots that make up a word in question (or similar words) and the meanings and usage of all words derived from the root.
      * Potentially related words from related languages.
      * Clues (both written and archaeological) from historical, geographical and sociological contexts, including knowledge of tools, foods, customs, habits, activities, culture.

But what if a word is used 100 times in the Bible, and for some arbitrary reason, we think it should have only ONE specific meaning in all 100 cases? Where do we get that ONE meaning from? It’s still the same answer as a word used only once. Even if we have the advantage of double-checking our “one-meaning” theory against each Bible example, we still do NOT derive that meaning from the Bible. We learn more about the word from the Bible, but we derive its meaning, again, from ALL the sources of information available — knowing that, in most cases, it had to be a word used outside the Bible BEFORE it was ever used inside the Bible.

So, when you wish to translate “parousia” in only one way, you still need to find your authority in a valid NT Greek Bible Dictionary. In this case, you will always have to choose from among several possible meanings, because no modern and thorough Bible dictionary will offer only the single, simple meaning you are looking for. Of course, if it’s a definition that you prefer –or require– from a doctrinal perspective, then you have to admit that there is a danger that your prejudice and bias may cloud your judgment so that you end up forcing that single definition even if various other meanings might have been intended in some, several, or even most of the instances where the word is used. As we’ve seen, not just two different Bible writers, but even the same Bible writer, can use the same word with a different meanings in two different places from one chapter to the next.

What was wrong with the Watchtower’s choice for defining Parousia?

It wasn’t completely the fault of those early Watchtower writers. They didn’t have all the information in the 1870’s when they chose the “final,” “single” definition of the word. But even then they should have known better. When you look closely at the history of the religion, however, it becomes very easy to understand why they would choose to close their minds to the new evidence that came out just a few years later.

The Watchtower publishers — more than 130 years ago, back in the 1870’s — settled upon their preferred definition of this word based on the simplest meaning of the the root word it comes from.

But the Watchtower publishers did this in spite of the fact that they could see that the first translators of this word into other languages (from Greek to Syriac/Aramaic, Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopian) all believed it had a meaning that went well beyond the simplest meaning of the root. Somehow, all the first translators of NT Greek — many of whom likely SPOKE it — could be dismissed by publishers of Watchtower who did not know Greek very well. (Russell showed, in court, that he hardly even knew the Greek alphabet, while many other “Pastors” of his day had typically taken several courses in Greek language study.)

A bigger problem was that Bible dictionaries were now quickly gaining from great new sources of material. Greek papyri and manuscripts and inscriptions of many kinds were being discovered all over the Middle East and Roman world, especially in the 1870’s, 80’s and 90’s. For “parousia” specifically, Nelson Barbour, probably by 1875 and Charles Russell in 1876, had already settled on the definition, but the greatest published discoveries about the entire NT Greek language, including the word Parousia came out in between 1895 and 1908 by Adolph Diessmann. His most definitive work wasn’t translated into English until 1910. That work was called “Light from the ancient East; the New Testament illustrated by recently discovered texts of the Graeco-Roman world”. For additional context about Diessmann, here is what “The International standard Bible encyclopaedia, Volume 3” edited by James Orr, said in the 1915 edition:

It was Adolph Deissmann, then of Heidelberg, now of Berlin, who opened the new era in the knowledge of the language of the NT. His Bibelstudien (zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Geschichte der Sprache, des Schrifttums und der Religion des hellenistischen Judentums und des Urchristentums) appeared in 1895. In this epoch-making volume he proved conclusively from the papyri and the inscriptions that many of the seeming Hebraisms in the LXX and the NT were common idioms in the vernacular koine. …. In 1897 he produced Neue Bibelstudien, sprachgeschichtliche Beiträge zumeist aus den Papyri und Inschriften zur Erklärung des Neuen Testaments.
In 1901 (2d ed in 1903) these two volumes were tr[eate]d as one by A. Grieve under the title Bible Studies. Deissmann’s other volumes have confirmed his thesis. The most important are New Light on the NT (1907), The Philology of the Gr Bible (1908), Licht vom Osten (1908), Light from the Ancient East (tr by Strachan, 1910), St. Paul in the Light of Social and Religious History (1912). In Light from the Ancient East, Deissmann illustrates the NT language with much detail from the papyri, ostraka and inscriptions. He is now at work on a new lexicon of the NT which will make use of the fresh knowledge from these sources.

The NT Greek “authorities” had actually misunderstood the very nature of the NT Greek language, not realizing that NT Greek was not a special Biblical language, but the verylingua franca of the Roman Empire. This misunderstanding had limited the resources used to help define NT Greek words. This limitation applied toall the standard works before 1900, which would include the works of Thayer, Young, etc., — the very authorities that the Watchtower had relied upon. The quote above was preceded by saying:

This was only twenty years ago and fairly represented the opinion of that day..1889…A turn toward the truth comes with H. A. A. Kennedy’s Sources of the NT Gr (1895)….The able article in vol III of HDB on the “Language of the NT” by Dr. J. H. Thayer appeared in 1900, and illustrates how quickly an encyclopaedia article may become out of date. There is a wealth of knowledge here displayed, as one would expect, but Thayer still speaks of “this species of Greek, “this peculiar idiom,” “Jewish Greek,” though he sees that its basis is “the common or spoken Greek.” The last topic discussed by him is “Problems.” He little thought that the biggest “problem” so near solution was the character of the language itself. It was Adolph Deissmann, then of Heidelberg, now of Berlin, who opened the new era in the knowledge of the language of the NT.

So the Watchtower just barely missed the real “revolution” as this dictionary calls it, in the better understanding of NT Greek that “exploded” between 1895 and 1910.

Of course, The Watchtower publishers still had absolutely no basis for saying that there should be only ONE single, consistent meaning for parousia, in the first place. No more basis for this idea than there is to trying to promote a single consistent meaning for the Bible words translated: “know” or “tribe”. All the Watchtower was looking for was a way to dismiss the idea that “Parousia” more likely referred to the great single “Event” of Christ’s Judgment Visitation. This idea did not fit the Watchtower understanding of an “invisible parousia”. A simple meaning of “presence” could support their doctrinal needs.

What was the evidence about the word Parousia that the Watchtower publishers missed?

Diessmann had said: “From the Ptolemaic period down into the 2nd cent. A.D. we are able to trace the word in the East as a technical expression for the arrival or the visit of the king or the emperor.” Diessmann provided additional evidence that it referred to a special occasion, often with trumpets, music, fanfare, showy display, crowds, special dress, special cleanliness, and might even include a time of judgments and rewards. It meant a “red-carpet” welcoming parade for a high-level king, emperor or dignitary.

There was plenty of evidence, and it helps explain why the word was overwhelmingly used in association with Jesus’ arrival for judgment. It explained why people who understood NT Greek — while it was a living language — had translated this word in a different manner than one might expect, if they only knew of its basic root meaning of “presence”. They had translated it with the idea of a great single event – an “advent”, a “coming”. That is much stronger than “presence” but the new evidence showed that the implications of this particular TYPE of advent were even greater than the word “advent” would normally convey.

Someone quotes from a good source that summarizes the idea at http://www.crossmarks.com/brian/matt24x36.htm

Carter (Matthew and the Margins) writes more about Matthew’s use of this word “parousia” (Latin adventus):

The term denotes presence (Jdt 10:18; Josephus JW 4.345), but more importantly it has military (2 Macc 8:12; 15:21), political, and religious significance. It denotes the arrival of a king (Polybius, His 18.48.4), or emperor, governor, military commander (Josephus, Vita, 90-91), or other important official in a city or town (3 Macc 3:17; the adventus coins of Nero and Hadrian; see 21:1-11). The arrival was often preceded by a special payment in tax or goods to cover expenses. The welcoming ceremony indicated submission to the official’s power. In religious traditions, it refers to the appearing of a god or of God (to Elisha, Josephus, Ant 9.55), including God’s “coming” to establish God’s reign at the end of the age (Dan 7:13). With this term, the gospel establishes Jesus’ future coming as an event that asserts God’s supreme authority (cf. 28:18), an event of life and blessing for those who welcome him but of condemnation and death for those who do not. Again the gospel employs imperial images to present the final establishment of God’s empire. [pp. 469-470, emphasis in original]

Another fair summary of the current evidence for the definition is found at http://www.preciousseed.org/view.php?id … 6dab114032

(parousia, as, e .), presence, coming, advent

It is the use of the word in the Ptolemaic[1] period that shaped its meaning and made it a synonym for the arrival or the visit of a king, or an emperor, or some other person in authority. For example, in 2 Maccabees chapter 8 verse 12, the word implies the advent or arrival of an army rather than simply it’s coming.[2] DEISSMANN shows how thoroughly established the word was by the fact that it is used, for shortness, to denote the expenses usual in connection with the parousia of high officials.[3] It was customary on these occasions to mark the coming of the official by minting coins to celebrate the beginning of a new era, and erecting monuments to commemorate the event. JOSEPHUS records the parousia of Vespasian to Rome, and how its citizens came out to meet him.[4] CHRYSOSTOM also had this idea in mind when he states that when a king drives into a city, those who are honourable go out to meet him.[5] Thus parousia signifies far more than the English word ‘coming’. Generally it meant that the person had literally arrived and was present, not that he was still coming. But it was also an established technical term for the arrival or advent of a very important person. Consequently, when the New Testament writers used parousia technically, they in effect challenged the cult of emperor worship, and as DONFRIED suggests ‘could easily be understood as violating the decrees of Caesar in the most blatant manner’.[6]

We turn then to the New Testament, and find that the word parousia is used twenty-four times, principally, but not exclusively, by the apostle Paul. He uses it both generally and technically as illustrated by the following groupings (displayed on picture).

Barclay, William, New Testament Words.

Deissmann, Adolf, Light from the Ancient East.
Kubo, Sakae, A Reader’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.
Reference
1 Ptolemy controlled Egypt and Judea circa 305-198 BC.
2 This book is part of the literature of the Inter-Testament period.
3 Light From the Ancient East, N4 p.368.
4 War 7.4.1 (68-74).
5 Hom. 1 Thess. 8.
6 The Imperial Cults of Thessalonica and Political Conflict in 1 Thessalonians, p. 217.

Why the Watchtower publishers needed to hang on to the simpler definition

The meaning of Parousia in koine Greek when referring to royalty gives the impression of a great special event that could be seen for miles around and heard for miles around. Every eye would want to see it – unless of course you were out of favor with the arriving king or dignitary, in which case you would be “shamed away” from the Parousia. But, in any case, in koine Greek, it referred not just to a simple “presence” or a simple “coming/arrival” but to a royal parade with fanfare. Therefore, if the word was ever associated with a royal personage or authoritative dignitary, this would be the natural implication of the word. There would be a huge difference in the implication of an expression “the parousia of a man named Titus” and “the parousia of Emperor Titus”. So anyone reading the NT in Greek would naturally think of a royal parousia if the term was used of Jesus. If a royal parousia was not the meaning intended, then the NT wording could be misleading. If the intention were to speak of Jesus on-going presence in any other sense, one might expect it more likely that the Bible writer would use terms that did NOT include “parousia”. This is in fact exactly what we find in the case where Jesus spoke of his invisible presence: “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst”.

Why exactly does the Watchtower shy away from even speaking about this possible meaning of “Parousia”?

Obviously, because they teach that there has been an invisible Parousia for about the last 100 years. “Invisible” doesn’t quite fit the idea of a loud and highly visible parade.

How is Watchtower history the key to dismissing a second possible meaning of Parousia

The key to the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses, doctrinally, must start with the one that the Watchtower originally considered to be the “Father” of their religion. This man that the Watchtower calls “Father Miller” refers to William Miller, the man behind what U.S. history calls, the “Great Disappointment” in 1843 and 1844.

Watch Tower, May 1883 wrote: Father Miller, upon whom so much reproach has fallen (but who was a devoted Christian man of irreproachable Christian character), saw that there was an important, prophetic point in about 1843, and supposed that Christ was to personally and visibly appear to the world at that time, and that it would be the closing up of earthly affairs; but, when disappointment came, unlike many of his followers, he was not despondent, but believed that the Lord would lead his people to a further understanding of his word and designs, and that in the fullness of time he would come….and it is now convincingly known that the first step toward the second advent did take place at or about that time, but not in the manner that Father Miller had expected.

Originally, “Father Miller” had predicted Jesus’ return in 1843. A great and vibrant religious movement in this country had led to well over 100,000 from many religious backgrounds to openly admit their faith in Jesus’ return in 1843, then in 1844 when the first date failed. When Jesus didn’t arrive, they either had to humbly admit they were wrong or try to find some loop-hole to show that they were at least partially right. Some Second Adventists, including those founders of Seventh Day Adventists who had been directly associated with Miller, had quickly begun promoting the idea that Miller’s time calculations were right, but that Jesus arrived in 1844 to a heavenly sanctuary, still invisible to earth, but coming in due time. Later, Nelson H Barbour would teach that 1844 was correct, but Jesus visible return would be 1873, then 1874. After Barbour’s expectations were proven false, between 1874 and 1875, Barbour would become convinced that 1874 was still the actual time of Jesus’ “Parousia” but that it was still invisible to men because he had returned as a spirit being. After a brief period combining resources with Russell, Barbour and Russell split. Russell continued teaching that Jesus began a “Presence” (parousia) that would NOT include highly visible effects on the world until just a few years before the visible culmination of the destruction of the nations in 1914.

The way Pastor Charles Russell explained it, he came to understand “the object and manner of the Lord’s return” between 1870 and 1875. By 1876 he had printed a short work by that same title. But he had not yet mixed much with the Millerite and Second Adventists to understand their methods and reasoning regarding the chronology that led to Jesus’ arrival in 1844.

Russell says that in January 1876 he chanced upon the preaching of Nelson Barbour who had already worked out his support and corroboration of Miller’s 1844 date and who also had believed that Jesus’ physical return would be in 1873, then 1874. Russell says he had previously scorned the chronology and was not happy about how those additional disappointments of the Second Adventists had further embarrassed Christians like himself. But Russell says he was now (in 1876) ready to look into the chronological aspects of the matter. He says that back in 1873/4 Barbour had been dumbfounded by the disappointment, but that someone had already found the clue and sent it to Barbour (publisher of “Herald of the Morning”). This happened well before Russell and Barbour combined resources in the summer 1876 to help Barbour publish “The Three Worlds”.

The clue, was from B W Keith. From Keith’s own contributions to various magazines, including some of the very first issues of The Watch Tower, we know that he had noticed that Benjamin Wilson had consistently used the word “presence” in the interlinear Greek-to-literal-English portion of his recent “Emphatic Diaglott”. From other sources we know that B W Keith had met Benjamin Wilson at the famous Seventh-Day-Adventist “Water Cure” in his town of Dansville, NY. (Benjamin Wilson became Christadelphian and was influenced by Adventism, Campbellism, and “prophet” John Thomas.) B W Keith began to work more with Russell after Russell’s breakup with Barbour, but then, evidently, with Paton after Paton broke up with Russell. (“Prophet” Ellen G White made the “Water Cure” at Dansville one of the most famous places for health and healing — as promoted in her writings.)

B W Keith, from Dansville, had contributed articles that went back to the very first few issues of the Watch Tower in 1879 and he consistently translated parousia as presence. He explained this in the May 1881 Watchtower.

Parousia, signifies presence, invariably. Liddell and Scott, standard authority, give it that signification; and Young’s Analytical Concordance renders it the same. Whedon’s Commentary, page 277 says: “The word Parousia, never in the whole New Testament, signifies anything else.” It never means the act of coming, but presence. It is twenty times improperly translated coming, in the common version; in fourteen cases, at least, when referring to the presence of Christ at the end of the age. We give the passages in which it occurs. Matt. 24:3,27,37,39; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1,8,9; James 5:7,8; 2 Pet. 1:16; 3:4; 1 John 1:28. The question, Matt. 24:3, is: What will be the sign of thy Parousia (presence) and the Suntelia (end) of the aion (age)? ….

Notice that Keith may not have been totally honest when he said “invariably” and offers Liddell and Scott for support. The work mentions “presence” as only ONE of the definitions, but the version of Liddell and Scott I am using also includes:[/quote]

* arrival, ἡμῶν κοινόπουν π. S.El.1104, cf. E.Alc.209, Th.1.128 ; “εἰς Ἰταλίαν” D.H.1.45 ; esp. visit of a royal or official personage, βασιλέως, etc., PTeb.48.14 (ii B. C.), IPE12.32A85 (Olbia, iii B.C.), etc.; of a god, IG42(1).122.34(Epid.).
* occasion, v.l. in S. El.1251.
* π. τισὶ ποιεῖσθαι entertain them on their official visits, OGI139.9 (Philae, ii B.C.).
* in NT, the Advent, Ev.Matt.24.27, al.
* Astrol., situation of a planet at a point on the zodiac, “ἤτοι κατὰ παρουσίαν ἢ κατὰ συμμαρτυρίαν” Vett.Val.49.26.
[/quote]

He is correct about Young’s Concordance, I think, but there’s something about the Whedon reference that I can’t figure out. I don’t have time to look it up in a library any time soon, but I see that this quote appears to be the same from an online source — which may be a “Russellite”-Bible Student source. (I don’t know your policy on direct quotes from such a source; feel free to remove.):

Daniel D. Whedon, Whedon’s Commentary, 14 Vols. (New York: Carlton & Porter, Hunt & Eaton, 1866) p. 277.
The word parousia, never in the whole New Testament, signifies anything else than presence.

This quote is just like the one from B W Keith’s article in a May 1881 Watch Tower. But by 1880, Daniel D Whedon had produced updates to his commentaries. I can no longer find the 1866 commentary that was evidently the source of the quote. But his 1880 commentary, (“A popular commentary on the New Testament,” Daniel Denison Whedon) says this about 2 Peter 3:4 (Where is this promised coming?) on page 240:

His coming—The word here is parousia, and when predicated of Christ, always denotes his literal bodily presence. The verb come, and noun coming, are often used of spiritual interpositions, but this parousia never. Note on 1 Cor. xv, 23. The word parousia occurs in the following passages: Matt, xxiv, 3, 37, 39; 1 Cor. xv, 23: 1 Thess. ii, 19; iii, 13; iv, 15; 2 Thess. ii, 1, 8, 9; James v, 7, 8; 2 Pet. i, 16; iii, 4, 12; 1 John ii, 28.

This quote apparently conveys the same idea as Keith’s source for Whedon, but when I look up the other “parousia” references in the same 1880 commentary I find the following:

page 183 wrote:See supplementary note to Matt, xxv, and note on 2 Pet. iii, 8. Coming—The Parousia; the second advent, the day when the human race, in resurrection state, stands in the presence of its final Judge. Observe, again, that, unlike last days, in verse 3, and day of slaughter, in verse 5, this Parousia has the Greek article. This indicates that the two former were indefinite events, and the last a definite. That is, the latter indicates the one well known and universally expected event, while the former are a special era for these rich men and their contemporaries.

This one page 354 says, almost the opposite of Keith’s quote:

We have elsewhere remarked, (1 Cor. xv, 23,) that while the Greek word parousia always designated, unequivocally and solely, Christ’s second advent, yet the words come and coming often refer to other interpositions and spiritual presences. The hour of death is never spoken of as such a coming. (See our note, John xiv, 3.) Yet perseverance to the end of our probation is perseverance even to the judgment day.

Page 275:

Day of judgment. His parousia, or coming. See notes on ii, 28; 2 Thess. ii, 2, 8.

Page 342:

I will come—Greek present tense, I come, or, am coming; but remove is in the future, showing that the present of come implies vividness of conception. The come does not designate the second advent, for which parousia is the unequivocal word, as noted in 2 Pet. iii, 4.

I see no indication that Keith’s point is ever found in Whedon. Whedon may have just been saying that there will be a BODILY presence of Jesus even where “parousia” refers to the event of Jesus “COMING” for the “Day of Judgment”. Yet the quote by Keith in 1881 is used to give the impression that Whedon had said that “presence” was the only correct translation as opposed to “arrival, advent, coming.” Based on the other quotes from Whedon, I suspect Whedon hadn’t really made that point in 1866, and he definitely was not saying it in 1880.

Will the Watchtower update their arguments to account for the new evidence?

At any rate, it’s pretty clear that the Watch Tower has never updated their arguments after Diessmann or any commentaries after 1910 to account for the new evidence about the word parousia. I have seen one article where the Watchtower opens up the possibility of seriously considering the differences between “coming” and “presence”, but it is written with an obvious bias. The bias shows up in the form of scholastic dishonesty when making a claim about the use of the word “parousia” in Josephus but then they only cherry-pick the cases they decide to quote from him.

Here is the Watchtower quote from August 15, 1996, page 11 (“Jesus’ Coming or Jesus’ Presence–Which?):

Examples from Josephus: At Mount Sinai lightning and thunder “declared God to be there present [pa·rou·si´a].” The miraculous manifestation in the tabernacle “showed the presence [pa·rou·si´a] of God.” By showing Elisha’s servant the encircling chariots, God made “manifest to his servant his power and presence [pa·rou·si´a].” When Roman official Petronius tried to appease the Jews, Josephus claimed that ‘God did show his presence [pa·rou·si´a] to Petronius’ by sending rain. Josephus did not apply pa·rou·si´a to a mere approach or momentary arrival. It meant an ongoing, even invisible, presence. (Exodus 20:18-21; 25:22; Leviticus 16:2; 2 Kings 6:15-17)—Compare Antiquities of the Jews, Book 3, chapter 5, paragraph 2 [80]; chapter 8, paragraph 5 [203]; Book 9, chapter 4, paragraph 3 [55]; Book 18, chapter 8, paragraph 6 [284].

The dishonest scholarship is clearly obvious when you note that the real issue is that “parousia” can often mean a simple presence, and we would expect that to also be reflected in Josephus’ writing. But it was also a word that could be translated “coming” just as appropriately as “presence.” And in many cases, the translation of “coming” is obviously better than “presence.” Those quotations could not be allowed to show up in the Watchtower, just as the evidence from Diessmann could never show up.

For the word “parousia” to have gained a specialized meaning for a “royal visitation” one might naturally assume that the word had already come to be used as a term for coming/arrival/advent/visitation. This would then put the word usage on the natural path to become a candidate for the special sense when associated with a dignitary.

I found the following unquoted examples from Josephus on a “JW site”, which really appears to be primarily an “ex-JW site”, so I won’t quote the exact source, but anyone should be able to find it, or request it from me privately, if necessary. Certain words are highlighted and the koine Greek is included when it is clear that the focus is on the condition which would be true at the time of arrival, and therefore the time of subsequent presence after that arrival is NOT the focus of the word in most of these cases:

“Then Jacob gave him [Laban] an account of the whole reason for his flight (pasan … aitian diégeito) [to Haran], and told him that … Esau sought to kill him, as deprived of the kingdom which was to be given to him by God, and of the blessings for which their father prayed, and that this was the reason (aitian) for his coming there (enthade parousias) as his mother had commanded him to do” (Josephus, Antiquities 1.19.6).

“So the Hebrews were full of courage, as supposing that, by the arrival of the ark (tén aphixin tés kibótou), they should be too hard for their enemies; their enemies also were greatly concerned, and were afraid of the coming of the ark (tén parousian tés kibótou) to the Israelites” (Josephus, Antiquities 5.11.2)

“When he roused from his sleep he greatly rejoiced and declared to all the warning he received from God according to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited (exedekheto) for the coming of the king (tén tou basileós parousian)” (Josephus, Antiquities 11.8.4).

“He promised however that he would make this day on which they came to him (élthon pros auton) remarkable and eminent every year through the whole course of his life, for their coming to him (parousias autoi) and the victory which he gained over Antigonus by sea proved to be on the very same day” (Josephus, Antiquities 12.2.11).

“There was now one Joseph, young in age, but of great reputation among the people of Jerusalem… His mother was the sister of Onias the high priest, who informed him of the coming (parousian) of the ambassador; for he was then sojourning at a village named Phicol, where he was born. Not long after that, he came (elthón) to the city [Jerusalem] and reproved Onias for not taking care of the preservation of his countrymen” (Josephus, Antiquities 12.4.2).

“And this misfortune befell them by their disobedience to what injunctions Judas had given them, not to fight with anyone before (pro) his return (parousias)” (Josephus, Antiquities 12.8.6).

“They exhorted her at least to keep them in bonds until (mekhri) he should come (tés ekeinou parousias), and that for their own security” (Josephus, Antiquities 20.2.2).

“He exhorted him to administer the affairs of the kingdom until (mekhri) his brother should come (tés tou adelphou parousias), who came suddenly (héke … takheós) upon hearing that his father was dead, and succeeded his brother Monobazus who resigned up the government to him” (Josephus, Antiquities 20.2.2).

“Upon the receipt of this letter of Silas, I took two hundred men along with me, and traveled (poreian epoioumén) all night, having sent before a messenger to let the people of Tiberias know that I was coming (parousian)” (Josephus, Vita 90).

Some other examples of how the word was used in Greek include the following:

“When news reached Judas concerning Nicanor’s invasion, he warned his men of the enemy’s approach (parousian), whereupon the fainthearted and those who lacked confidence in the justice of God took to their heels and ran away” (2 Maccabees 8:12-13).
“My rule shall be terminated (suntelesthésetai) by men of alien race, until (heós) the salvation of Israel comes (elthein), until the coming (heós parousias) of the God of righteousness” (Testament of Judah 22:2)

I’ve taken up enough space on these sources, but there are more. The most important sources, I’m sure you’ll agree, are in the Bible itself. There is where you will find very similar parallels, some also associating the word “parousia” as a near parallel to “erchomai”, on occasion. Russell himself evidently may not have realized that “elthon” was a past tense of “erchomai” when he apparently (mistakenly) tried to distinguish “elthon” from the idea of “to come” in a passage where Russell is promoting the difference between the two words “parousia” and “erchomai”. I’ll get to that later.

But whether that’s true or not, the most damaging evidence against your “parousia” theory is still the passages as they are used in the Bible itself.

Regards,
Bill

Last edited by BillW on Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:36 am

Hello Bill,

Are you done, or is there more?

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:51 am

Hello Bill,

If you’re done, I’m ready to submit my response.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:18 pm

Hello Rotherham,

You had a few other points I hadn’t responded to. I’ll try to keep it short. I think I should make one more post.

Regards,
Bill

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:47 am

Hello Rotherham,

You said:

Rotherham wrote:Advent does not refer to PRE-advent, but refers to the event. The disciples asked for signs of his ADVENT, not his PRE-advent, so the signs were signs not of the PRE-advent stage, but of the advent itself.

I also believe that Advent does not refer to the PRE-Advent, but refers to the event. In this case the “event” is explicitly identified as the complete destruction of the temple. Matthew makes this event synonymous with the “parousia” in the question that is in the mind of the disciples. Jesus answers the question as if answering both questions in the same breath, as if the parousia is the destruction of Jerusalem. If the destruction of the Jewish Age (system of things) is a “type” of the TELOS-PAROUSIA-SYNTELEIA-JUDGMENT-MANIFESTATION-REVELATION, then the destruction of the World’s Age (system of things) is the final TELOS-PAROUSIA-SYNTELEIA-JUDGMENT-MANIFESTATION-REVELATION.

Rotherham wrote:Nor do I think your handling of the word “sunteleia” is accurate. You claim that it is used interchangeably with telos, but I fail to see any evidence of that whatsoever.

The words are different, and they are not always interchangeable. The usual meaning of “telos” is interchangeable with one common meaning of “synteleia” — although both words are sometimes used with different meanings. Still, the most common use of “synteleia” refers to the final part — the final eschatological expections — of the “last days” — not the entire era, or entire generation that will include the “synteleia”. There can be other times when “synteleia” appears to refer to the final part of the Jewish era, or the entire World era since the time the Christian era overtook the Jewish era, nearly 2000 years long, from Jesus’ time through the still-future Judgment Day.

The SYN (together) portion of SYN-TELeia and the verb SYN-TELeo, is probably more similar to our idea of something being “altogether” ended — meaning “completely” ended – destroyed. In a more literal sense it could be the VERY END when all the things that were concluding are finally now at the same time “altogether” concluded. This happens near the very end when everything is now truly at its end, not just some of the things. This may be one of the reasons that it became the key word to describe the “end of all things” — “the end of time” — “the end of the world”.

Here are some examples from the New World Translation:

Matthew 28:20 And, look! I am with YOU all the days until the conclusion (SYNTELEIA) of the system of things.”

If the Synteleia is only from 1914 through Judgment Day, in your Watchtower version, then Jesus is only promising to be present here UNTIL 1914. He is no longer with us, unless, of course, the words are being used interchangeably. Therefore, Jesus is really saying, “I am with you until the END.”

Also note again that Jesus was referring in Matthew 28 to “preaching and making disciples” which you say goes from the SYNTELEIA on down to the TELOS (per Mt 24:14). So why is Jesus emphasizing the idea that he is going to be with us during this era of preaching activity untilthe SYNTELEIA? According to your definitions, it should have been through the SYNTELEIA and until the TELOS!

Matthew 10:22 and 24:13 he that has endured to the end (TELOS) is the one that will be saved.
1 Thes 3:13 to the end that he may make YOUR hearts firm, unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the presence (PAROUSIA) of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones.
1Cor 1:8 He will also make YOU firm to the end (TELOS), that YOU may be open to no accusation in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Note that this judgment day (blamable/unblamable) is at the “Day of the Lord Jesus Christ” and is also called the “Parousia”. Linguistically, the Christian’s condition at the TELOS is a pre-requisite or co-requisite to being found unblamable/unaccusable at the “Day of our Lord” or “Parousia”. In other words the TELOS comes either BEFORE or at the same time as the PAROUSIA/”Day of the Lord”/JUDGMENT. Obviously “at the same time” makes more sense than BEFORE, making TELOS the same as PAROUSIA. (Note that we need to be unblamable at the PAROUSIA. This parallels 1 Cor 1:8 that we need to be unblamable to the TELOS.)

Matthew 13:39-40 The harvest is a conclusion (SYNTELEIA) of a system of things, and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion (SYNTELEIA) of the system of things.
Matt 12:43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

Note that “at that time” when the righteous shine in the kingdom is the SYNTELEIA and that this is a parallel to Revelation 2:26 where this time is called the TELOS when the righteous shine in the kingdom.

Rev 2:26 And to him that conquers and observes my deeds down to the end (TELOS) I will give authority over the nations,

Note also that the weeds are burned at the SYNTELEIA and they are burned at the same time as when the righteous shine in the kingdom. You teach that the weeds are burned at the TELOS, which must therefore be the SYNTELEIA here.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end (TELOS) of all things has drawn close. Be sound in mind, therefore, and be vigilant with a view to prayers.
1 Thes 5:23 be preserved in a blameless manner at (to) the presence (PAROUSIA) of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Again, the TELOS of ALL things has drawn close. This refers to an ending together of multiple things. Literally SYNTELEIA means an “ending together”. So again the TELOS and SYNTELEIA are interchangeable in this sense. 1 Thess has again used the expression about being unblamable right up to the PAROUSIA. You know very well that Christians need to be unblamable right up to the TELOS. Otherwise the idea in your version of PAROUSIA, could mean that we only need to be unblamable up until 1914.

1 Cor 8:11 Now these things went on befalling them as examples, and they were written for a warning to us upon whom the ends (TELOS) of the systems of things have arrived.
Hebrews 9:26 – But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion (SYNTELEIA) of the systems of things

These are cases where the perspective of the writer treats the current age as the END which have already arrived because of being so close to the end/conclusion. In both of these cases, EVEN if you understand this to be the JEWISH AGE referred to – we still have TELOS and SYNTELEIA used interchangeably.

Rotherham wrote:There is a reference that is of particular value here and it is Hebrews 9:26 which says:
26 Otherwise, he would have to suffer often from the founding of the world. But now he has manifested himself once for all time at the conclusion of the systems of things to put sin away through the sacrifice of himself.

This is one of the cases where SYNTELEIA refers to a final age, but where the length of that final age, as you say, can last for years. This usage is also used interchangeably with TELOS, as we just saw in 1 Cor 8:11. The theme of Hebrews leads us to believe that this is very likely the Jewish age — the “Temple” (Old Covenant) age, although the idea might still be valid for the entire “END TIMES” period that we have been living in since Jesus’ time. (In this case, I think it’s NOT the entire END TIMES of the world, nor the “New Covenant” age coinciding with the “WORLD” system of things, for lack of a better name, in which Jesus has promised that he may appear at any moment – because that age would begin especially “immediately after the tribulation of those days” upon Jerusalem.) But this is always an implied secondary meaning due to the fact that the “sunteleia” of the Jewish age is also a type of “the end of the WORLD (systems).” Even in 1 John we see that “it is the final hour”, the “world is passing away”. You would agree that this was written AFTER the Jewish Temple age. 2 Peter 3 implies that Jesus prophesied the ridiculers will be here in the last days making fun of the idea of the “parousia” ever arriving, but 2 Peter now treats it as if this period of last days is now upon them in the present tense — yet still offers the possibility that God’s patience could allow things could also go on another 1,000 years.

If you believe Hebrews 9:26 means a “conclusion” of a period that could go from 4 BC to 70 CE, then Hebrews must refer to his sacrifice in 33 CE which happened during that period. If you believe that his sacrifice itself was effectively, the “end of the Jewish system,” then Jesus’ manifestation of the sacrifice at that point was both the SYNTELEIA and the TELOS of that Jewish system. I prefer the idea that it refers to a period of time here, and the age had begun its final events. I say it was also the “TELOS of that system of things”, because 1 Cor 8:11 also uses that phrase prior to the full end of the Jewish Age in 70 CE. Yet the TELOS has already “arrived” prior to 70 CE. Obviously it’s another sense in which SYNTELEIA and TELOS are interchangeable.

Rotherham wrote:Hebrews here tells us that Jesus manifested himself at the conclusion of the system of things, which means it could have been as early as his birth but certainly no later than his baptism, and we know that the conclusion of the systems of things was STILL continuing and would continue to finalize until the destruction of Jerusalem. This tells us that the sunteleia is a time period LEADING to an end, just as Thayer’s describe it as.

True. But the ranges of meanings still stands, and this is only one of them. “Theological dictionary of the New Testament, Volume 1” by Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, Geoffrey William Bromiley, page 1163, gives the following about the word synteleia, which also pretty much matches the meanings of the verb form “synteleo”:

* Outside the Bible this word means “common accomplishment” (also “taxes”), “cooperation,” “execution,” “completion,” “conclusion”.
* In the LXX it has such varied senses as “execution,” “totality,” “satiety,” “fulfillment,” “conclusion,” “cessation” and “destruction.”
* In Daniel LXX it is a technical term for the eschatological “end” (cf. 11:35, 12:4), though it may also mean “end” in a more general sense (9:26).
* It is a technical apocalyptic term in the Testaments of the Twelve, sometimes with the thought of “completion”.
Qumram has a reference to the “end” of time.
* The NT uses the term only in eschatological sayings….In Matthew the phrase “end of the age” refers to events that have yet to take place, including the judgment.
* Of the apostolic fathers, only Hermas uses synteleia (the “end”). … The apologist Tatian uses it in the context of resurrection and judgment. …
Rotherham wrote:You claim you don’t believe that the Granville Sharp rule has any bearing at Matthew 24:3, so show me a Biblical example otherwise and I will drop it. If not, then Biblical pattern and precedent stands explicitly against your non-acceptance.

I don’t believe it has a bearing on it because, technically, Granville Sharp rule states (per Wikipedia): “When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case, if the article ho, or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle …”. Daniel Wallace summarizes: “when the construction article-noun-και-noun involved personal nouns which were singular and not proper names, they always referred to the same person.”

There are a few points here. The rule was specifically about personal references, personal entities, pronouns, titles. You are referring to non-personal entities here. Even with personal entities, the idea that there is a rule with no exception could bias us to believe we are looking at the rule when we actually ARE looking at an exception. Also the same article points out that the Church Fathers didn’t follow the rule, nor did they make use of the rule when arguing Christ’s divinity as either doctrine or heresy.

Also, there are texts of Matthew including the Textus Receptus which use the text: τῆς σῆς παρουσίας καὶ τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος. Blueletterbible shows that GNT Morph uses the text: τῆς σῆς παρουσίας καὶ συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος. So some texts evidently don’t even give us the Granville Sharp pattern to begin with in Matthew 24:3. (the latter is article-noun-kai-article-noun). It’s hard for me to believe that it could have been such a “key” rule if it were lost sight of so soon after the original text was transmitted.

Rotherham wrote:When it comes to the sign that was asked for, Jesus clearly corrected the idea that it would not be a single thing that would be the sign, but it would be numerous things. He did not try and demonstrate that it was just one thing for the language throughout the Olivet Sermon denies such and idea. The very words of Jesus that says “When you see ALL these things occur” then you should know that his revelation from heaven is near which was described as the sign of the Son of Man that all nations would beat themselves in lamentations over. When Jesus said that when you see ALL these things, what were the ALL things he was talking about?

The clearest correction that Jesus provided had little to do with a “sign” versus “signs.” The disciples asked for a sign to know when the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple was about to take place. You can’t take one account over the others and discard how this same question is worded in the other gospel accounts. It all must basically mean the same thing:

Matthew wrote:“Tell us, When will these things be, and what will be the sign of your PAROUSIA and of the SYNTELEIA of the system of things?”4 And in answer Jesus said to them: “Look out that nobody misleads YOU.
Mark wrote:“Tell us, When will THESE THINGS be, and what will be the sign when all THESE THINGS are destined (JUST ABOUT) to come to a conclusion? (SYNTELEO/TO BE FINISHED/TO BE DESTROYED)” 5 So Jesus started to say to them: “Look out that nobody misleads YOU.
Luke wrote:“Teacher, when will THESE THINGS actually be, and what will be the sign when THESE THINGS are destined (JUST ABOUT) to occur?” 8 He said: “Look out that YOU are not misled.”

If the verses are not contradictory, then the PAROUSIA refers to the DESTRUCTION. The same verb used in Mark 13 is SYNTELEO. When they say in Luke, “When will this happen?”, it must mean the same thing: “When will this destruction happen?”

Where I’ve added “(JUST ABOUT) [to]” I’m using the sense from the Bible dictionaries and the NWT in places like Acts 16:27 where the jailer is “just about to” do away with himself and Peter calls out in the “nick” of time.

I’m sure you can see the parallels of Matthew 24 to Ezekiel 7:15:

14 “They have blown the trumpet and there has been a preparing of everybody, but there is no one going to the battle, because my hot feeling is against all its crowd. 15 The sword is outside, and the pestilence and the famine are inside. Whoever is in the field, by the sword he will die, and whoever are in the city, famine and pestilence themselves will devour them. (LXX and Codex Sinaiticus, etc, SYNTELEO – ) 16 And their escapees will certainly make their escape and become on the mountains.”

So, a word for a final destruction is translated into “koine” Greek as SYNTELEO. Jesus told them about a final destruction and the disciples asked for a sign of when THESE THINGS are ABOUT to BE DESTROYED (SYNTELEO). (Mark 13).

The same thing happens in Jeremiah 14:12.

NWT wrote:When they fast, I am not listening to their entreating cry; and when they offer up the whole burnt offering and the grain offering, I am taking no pleasure in them; for by the sword and by famine and by pestilence I am bringing them to their end (LXX, SYNTELEO).”

Note how the NWT uses the idea of being brought to their END. They are being devoured/destroyed. And the NT Greek word chosen for the Hebrew word here is the same word that Mark uses: SYNTELEO. So SYNTELEO doesn’t just mean END, it can refer directly to “DESTRUCTION” and this is therefore a valid translation according to Thayer and other Bible dictionaries.

It’s obvious from Bible usage in Luke 4:13 that it is the “end of all things together” that SYNTELEO refers to. Note the NWT here: ”

13 So the Devil, having concluded (SYNTELEO) all the temptation, retired from him until another convenient time.”

It’s obvious that the Devil wasn’t in the midst of a concluding period of time of temptation. He wasn’t still concluding the temptation and then left in the middle of this conclusion. No, obviously he concluded — MADE A FINAL END — to ALL the temptation, then he left him. This idea fits EVERY use of SYNTELEO in the NT. It doesn’t mean “drawing to a conclusion”; it means “finalized, fulfilled, finished, completed, concluded, devoured”.

So, regarding the “sign” versus “signs”, I don’t believe that Jesus “clearly corrected” the idea that there would not be a SINGLE sign, but that there would be MANY signs. He was really correcting the idea that they should be LOOKING for a sign at all. The major sign of the parousia comes immediately AFTER the destruction. So it could be very misleading to look for signs prior to the parousia. This doesn’t mean that there would NOT be plenty of warning signs, but none of them, no pattern, no combination, would help them pinpoint the PAROUSIA. No one knew the day or the hour of the PAROUSIA because it would come upon them by surprise. Like a thief in the night. People would be doing things they do in their natural life and suddenly be taken away. It would be like it was for most of the world in Noah’s day when people were living life as if nothing was going to change: eating, drinking, getting married, but the parousia would SWEEP THEM AWAY — take them by surprise.

So you are right that there will be plenty of warning signs, but these aren’t the kind that could help them. They might be misled by wars, and reports of wars, and earthquakes, but these were not signs of the end they were asking about — these were things that could also come as a beginning of many more things they would experience. There were already plenty of the same signs happening in 33 CE that would continue to happen up through 70 CE. But not one of these signs was going to help anyone predict the “sudden destruction” the “surprise” the “being swept away”. Every possible “sign”, every one of these supposed “advanced warnings of the destruction” could potentially mislead them. Not only that, there were going to be lots of possible ways they could be misled or lose their focus. Instead they could focus on their responsibilities as Christians, and then, even if the day would come as a thief — it would not overtake them in a way that would produce lasting damage.

There is also a way of looking at the passage that indicates that he is clearly warning them not to look all these potential signs as THE sign. His first words in response to the request for a sign were “do not be misled”. His presence would still come as a surprise. Jesus, the man, may not have known the time for the final parousia. The Father knew, but the Son of Man didn’t know and the angels didn’t know anything more than that it COULD come at any moment starting from the point immediately after the “sign” of Jerusalem’s destruction.

There are many additional clues about why the disciples would have asked the question the way they did, and why Jesus answered the way he did. These clues are in the OT prophecies and in other Jewish beliefs of the time found outside the Bible. Some of the ones outside the Bible use very similar wording about Jewish expectations of the time. It seems to me that Jesus may have been correcting some of the ideas they might have learned to expect from extrabiblical sources. I see a summary of some of these ideas here: http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg2366.htm but I haven’t completed my own study of this literature yet, so I can’t say much more about it yet.

At any rate, as I’ve said before, the expression “until ALL these things occur” is not stated until after the mention of Jerusalem being surrounded and therefore the final throes of tribulation on the city and its people. This is after things have gotten unimaginably bad in the city: famine, pestilence, starvation — when it would look like there could not be any survivors. But the length of time the Romans would use for destruction was cut short so that some flesh could be saved. And the idea makes even more sense for the the final Parousia. Since there are no specific signs of his final Parousia, it can’t come until ALL these things have occurred: the predictable Jerusalem signs and then the immediate transition afterwards to a time where nothing further is predictable by signs. (If it were predictable, then the final parousia could no longer come as a surprise like the flood that swept so many people away. In this sense, the fulfillment of the prophecy, the destruction of Jerusalem’s Temple, becomes “THE SIGN,” the very last possible sign that the parousia can now start at any time. From this point onwards, it could come as a surprise at any moment, immediately — or 1,000 years from now, perhaps when it’s least expected.

I agree that the “ALL these things” is a key to understanding, but we disagree on what is refers to exactly. I think it refers to the fact that you can’t draw any conclusions from all the many things that will always continue to occur and which other people would naturally think of as an eschatological sign – like a great earthquake, for example. The expression “ALL these things” never occurs until AFTER “THESE THINGS” include the very destruction of Jerusalem that the disciples asked about — and which they also referred to as “THESE THINGS”.

Rotherham wrote:You can’t take one account over the other and discard what is said in one account and treat it as inconsequential. You must take all the accounts of the same thing and include everything that was said to have the complete picture, not one or the other. Matthew clearly uses the preaching of the good news to all the nations as a sign for the end because he states THEN the end will come. Therefore, that was clearly one of the things included in ALL the things that would tell them the revelation of Jesus from heaven was about to happen.

I believe completely that you must take all the accounts and include everything as important to the whole picture. You can’t pick and choose what you believe is important and dismiss parts as unimportant. (Which is exactly what I think you are doing by ignoring the sense of all the phrases about beginnings vs endings — and things that will happen, but which could mislead you if you feel they are answers to a question about a “sign”.)

But was the preaching really a “sign” of the end? Remember that this end must refer to the end of the Temple system they had asked about. Jesus is still focused on things that will happen in the next generation until that end (TELOS). He wants the disciples to focus on their responsibility as appointed evangelists.

And, indeed, this preaching work was indeed preached to the “entire inhabited earth” in the first century. At least, that’s how the Bible presents it:

Col 1:23 — the hope of that good news which YOU heard, and which was preached in all creation that is under heaven. Of this [good news] I Paul became a minister.

Rom 1:8 — YOUR faith is talked about throughout the whole world.

Romans 10:17,18 — In turn the thing heard is through the word about Christ. 18 Nevertheless I ask, They did not fail to hear, did they? Why, in fact, “into all the earth their sound went out, and to the extremities of the inhabited earth their utterances.”

Rom 16:25 — Now to him who can make YOU firm in accord with the good news I declare and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the sacred secret which has been kept in silence for long-lasting times 26 but has now been made manifest and has been made known through the prophetic scriptures among all the nations in accord with the command of the everlasting God

But everything you read here must be taken in context with the rest. Jesus first portion of the answer is about not being misled, seeing things happen but realizing that the END is not yet. (Things like War, or seeing false representers of Christ). Before the final end they may see many things that make them think the final end is upon them, such as even greater wars, earthquakes, food shortages, but even these are things to expect, that are just beginnings of the distressful things that might effect them, not part of the sign of the end. In fact, lots of things will happen before the end of the Jewish system. Some of those things will unavoidably be a part of the disciples’ personal experiences. They have a responsibility commanded upon them to preach before the end comes and this will be related to tribulations and persecutions, death, betrayal, false preaching. All these things will happen before the end comes, even closer to the time of the telos, and things will continue getting worse right up until the telos. So bad that unless provisions were made in advance (such as this prophetic warning) most of Jesus’ disciples would die in the TELOS of the Temple. In this context, no matter how bad things get, they still would NOT be able to use these things as a definite proof that the very end -the final end- the PAROUSIA — was upon them.

Rotherham wrote:Luke mentions that Jesus said, after mentioned the great tribulation that when you see these THINGS, not this ONE THING, but THESE THING occur, lift your heads up because your deliverance is getting near. Since Matthew makes it clear that the composite included things BEFORE the mentioning of the great tribulation, there is no reason to discard the other things he spoke of in the very same breath.

Answered above. All things must include the FINAL destruction of the Temple. So Jesus is saying that looking for signs is meaningless. It won’t happen until ALL these things are finished. No combination or composite set of these signs is valid; no claim that these are “greater” than ever before is valid. That’s because things will go from bad to worse. The tribulations of the final destruction can be worse than anything ever seen before. Therefore nothing seen before the end can be used to determine if it is truly a sign of the very end.

Rotherham wrote:The very fact that those signs were called the “beginning of pangs of distress” makes no sense in the overall historic view because they wouldn’t be the beginning of anything unless they were somehow different in nature then the all the other historic earthquakes, famines, pestilences and wars. The fact that they are referred to as a BEGINNING of something shows they had to be different in nature or they would not be the beginning of anything, just more of the same. Frankly, there would have been no need to even mention those things if they were not significant to the sign, if they were not part of ALL those things which would tell them the revelation was near.

In the overall historic view, all the earthquakes, even great earthquakes, are ALWAYS just “beginnings” of the tribulations for Christians between 33 and 70. They would be beginnings only because things could potentially get so much worse for them. They might be persecuted to the death, hailed before the authorities, turned against by their own families, subjected to lawlessness. And surely you know that you don’t want to take this argument too far because there is nothing different about earthquakes, famines, and pestilence around 1914, historically speaking. Earthquakes apparently continue to average fewer and less powerful every year. The population of the earth continues to explode, in great part, because of soap and water and the fact that so few major pestilences and famines have wiped out peoples in the last century as compared with say the 14th century. Wars, on the other hand, have followed technology. So while there has probably never been a day without war on earth somewhere since 33 CE, the wars are greater and greater in terms of the numbers of people that can be transported to battlefields, and the destruction of the weaponry. However, this too, is not something you can use as any kind of predictable sign that the Parousia is upon us. It’s ALWAYS upon us, and no war of any size can be proven to be THE ADVANCE WARNING sign. That’s what the disciples wanted and that’s why they could be so easily misled. If you WANT a sign, you will see it in whatever you want to see it in. Human nature. There will be wars, but don’t be misled by them. Don’t think you’ve just seen one of the signs that can help you predict the parousia/end/telos/synteleia.

Rotherham wrote:Jesus’ warning was against the ones who would personally claim to be Christ and say the due time is near in the sense that they would know the day and the hour. The reason we know that to be true is because later Bible writers specifically said that the “due time has approached” or the “end of all things is near”. Should we not listen to them because they said this? There is clearly a difference then between what his inspired writers were doing and what he said would be going on in that verse.

Some could personally claim to be the Christ. This would no doubt happen. We know it did happen several times before 70 CE. But these disciples in 33 CE were not about to be fooled by that kind of impostor, they were more likely to be fooled by those who agreed that Jesus is the Christ but would still mislead many. In more modern times, there were also those who did both. Charles Taze Russell taught that he and all faithful believers in his day WERE “THE CHRIST.” He also taught that Jesus was THE CHRIST. He taught that many others who would go to heaven were NOT THE CHRIST. He also taught that many who would remain on earth were NOT THE CHRIST. He taught that he and others were the mediator, a teaching that infected Jehovah’s Witnesses for over 100 years. But he also deceived many into thinking that the last days had started in 1799 and that Jesus PAROUSIA had started in 1874, that the resurrection had already occurred, and a multitude of other false teachings. There is nothing wrong with stating and believing that the due time has approached and that the “end of all things is near”. What’s wrong is seen in the context of Jesus’ words that these people would think they might be able to predict the timing of the parousia. Do not be misled, there will be false prophets who think they are seeing signs that can help them predict the time of the synteleia/parousia. It’s not the fact that ALL Christians already know we are in the last days from the time of the end of the Jewish era until now. It’s the intention to use signs to tell people that they have more truth about the time of the end, that to them the timing is not going to be a surprise, or they already know the time of Jesus arrival. We all know from all the things happening that we are in the SEASON where we have to watch out at all times and be prepared at all times. We all know that “summer is near” that “harvest is near”, but we don’t use any of these specific combinations of events and occurrences as signs that specifically give us knowledge of the times and seasons. We know that’s what Jesus was warning against, because he used parables and allegories and illustrattions of how the parousia would come as a surprise in a very large portion of the Olivet Sermon.

Rotherham wrote:He surely couldn’t mean that it would be wrong for all time for his followers to ever say, “the end is near” or the “time has approached” or both John and Peter should no longer be listened to.

(Revelation 22:10) He also tells me: “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, for the appointed time is near.

(1 Peter 4:7) 7 But the end of all things has drawn close. . . .

33 Likewise also YOU, when YOU see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.

Wouldn’t it be pretty stupid for Christians to know he was NEAR at the doors and not say anything? Of course it would and would be remiss if we didn’t. That is obviously not what Jesus was talking about in that verse in Luke.

We have always had every reason to believe it’s just as close as Peter had reason to believe in his day, and as John had reason to believe in his day, and as Luther had reason to believe in his day and as Charles Russell had reason to believe in his day. The difference was that Charles Russell, for example, tried to promote specific signs about Jesus from the hidden “inner chambers” of the Great Pyramid, measuring the Pyramid’s “entrails” from lengths of various criss-crossing airshafts and drainage shafts, or from astrological signs in the heavens like the direction of the Pleiades and the direction of the star Draconis, or from numerology by counting the probable ages of the animals brought to a sacrifice. He turned the OT genealogies (chronologies) into arguments of doctrine about when Christ returns. In other words he dabbled in false prophecy. He claimed “special knowledge” about 1799, 1844, 1874, 1877, 1881, 1910, 1914, 1915. This is what Jesus warned against, because it’s not the Christian way of looking at the end times. The Christian way is NOT to be concerned with the times and seasons, but to be concerned with what sort of people we ought to be at all times. With respect to the PAROUSIA, Paul said, “Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, YOU need nothing to be written to YOU. For YOU yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night.” The best thing then for a Christian to do is to be prepared at all times so that we are not overtaken as if by thieves. Unfortunately, there are still so-called Christian groups who are promoting this kind of false Christianity that promotes specific signs, which tends to promote “works” based on how close we are to the “end”. This use of fear and pretension of special knowledge (not even known by the Son or by angels) is what Jesus infers is “unfaithful and indiscreet”. It is the opposite of the faithful and discreet servant who is the Christian serving others humbly without a concern for the “timing” of the end.

Rotherham wrote:There is no indication whatsoever that the signs he gave them, once he assured that them that it would not be singular event, like a war, were FALSE signs. there is absolutely nothing in the context that indicates that in the least. In fact, in Revelation, when Jesus takes his crown, it is immediately followed by global war and famine, in direct harmony with his words at the Olivet Sermon.

When Jesus took his crown in 33 CE, there were definitely wars and famines and pestilence that have continually followed throughout history. This was just as Jesus predicted in the Olivet Sermon. Revelation is showing us that Jesus began torule in the midst of his enemies. One of those enemies (horses) is Death, which is the last enemy. This was a comfort to those Christians who suffered greatly through the ages, even to the point of martyrdom (Rev 6). Jesus was already ruling as King of Kings, but that there was much to be done throughout the Gospel Age. It’s exactly as Apostle Paul puts it in 1 Cor 15:25,26:

25 For he must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under his feet. 26 As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. 27 For [God] “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him.

Note, again, that all kings are already subject to Christ in this passage, and that Jesus is already “ruling as king” in the midst of his enemies — not just sitting there waiting as the Watchtower has attempted to convinced so many people. We do not yet SEE all these things under his feet, but they are already being made subject to him according to Paul. Jesus conquered Death himself and it is already subject to him. He will go on conquering to complete his conquest when the first and second resurrection is complete and that which is mortal puts on immortality. Similarly he already conquered sickness and hunger through miracles, he was already given the keys to Death and Hades. He will complete his conquest in the new heavens and new earth.

Rotherham wrote:You continue to rant on about the wrongness of the identification of the 24 elders but the scriptures are as clear on that as they are anything else. They are REDEEMED by the BLOOD of CHRIST, so there is NO QUESTION as to who they are and there is NO QUESTION as to when they end up in heaven, AT his PAROUSIA. Therefore the visions of Revelation, which ALL take place passing in front of the backdrop of what was introduced in the 4th chapter, are ALL in the time of the PAROUSIA, no other time fits historically with the REDEEMED in heaven.

Already answered. No need for further ranting. Same with your further points about agreement with commentaries. Same with your points about symbolic language versus spelled-out explanations in prophecy.

I think the point about the “ecclesia” and the promoting of private and numerous interpretations is important, and I think a truthful discussion could be very damaging to your own perception of the ecclesia, harmoniousness, interpretations and necessary adjustments. For example, I think it is very relevant that your “ecclesia” (actually your ecclesiastical leaders) taught for many years that the man on the white horse in Revelation 6:2, who takes his crown, was none other than the BISHOP OF ROME! I think that your attempts to view of the beasts of Daniel and Revelation are much more reasonable, but they still have problems that you will not be able to see. When the ecclesiastical leaders changed their view of the man on the white horse, the ecclesia followed. There is an unhealthy and very disturbing culture in your ecclesia to merely follow the leaders. Of course, there have always been just enough hints in the Watchtower that following the human leaders is tantamount to following the leading of God’s spirit, therefore it is tantamount to following God himself. Working from the other side, there have always been just enough hints that openly expressing disagreement with the private interpretations of your leaders is a form of expressing doubt, lack of faith, lack of waiting on Jehovah, disunity, lack of respect for Jehovah’s organizational arrangements.

You could no more go against the current view, or tell me if you disagreed, as a Watchtower follower in Rutherford’s day could express disagreement with the “fact” that the Pope was the man on the white horse. This is why I don’t think you would even notice that the weaknesses of your own view about the beasts of Revelation and Daniel. Yet these weaknesses are of the same type as the weaknesses of the views you reject.

I believe that the ecclesia is built up primarily through working together to do charitable works. The discussion of the academic side of Christianity — theology, etc — can also encourage and build up when we take into account how the spirit has been poured out from God throughout the past ages. But the primary goal of this is not to produce further complications and technicalities of doctrine, but to encourage us to get through our lives with encouragement from past examples so that we too can continue to serve our fellow man with good works. Our spiritual life motivates us to express it in good conduct, love for fellowman expressed by charitable works, material support for one another, and reminders to one another that we are motivated by God’s love already expressed towards us. This is the prime reason for associations of ecclesia:

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as YOU behold the day drawing near.
Rotherham wrote:You claim that it could have been explained just like it was to his disciples but you will note that this was only for his disciples and they are rarely spelled out in detail in the scriptures. The ecclesia is left to the determination of those which are not spelled out. Otherwise, it would produce private interpretations from one person to the next, which is not what God wants. Actually, the way prophecy should be handled bespeaks the unity of God’s ecclesia, not the disunity.

You say that “private interpretations” is NOT what God wants, but I think it is EXACTLY what God wants — as long as ideas about the theological and academic side of Christianity are discussed openly and in the proper spirit. When one person in the congregation wished to speak up with “knowledge” or “prophecy”, this was a way for the ecclesia to respect their view and perhaps pray that they could also respond with a view. ALL in the ecclesia were expected to be concerned over the meaning and acceptance of spiritual understanding of difficult matters. Each person, “great and small” had to take care not to give too much weight to those claiming to be apostles or prophets. God no doubt wanted each person to concern themselves and come to their own private conclusions on matters of meaning of various “inspired utterances”. They would need to decide, for example, whether Enoch or Assumption of Moses or Revelation or Philemon or Jude was inspired, or which portions of the documents in question were to be considered “scripture”. The ability of the “body” to decide on such matters was based NOT just on the decisions of a few who took the lead, but the participation of ALL who could participate in a mature way.

1 John 4:1 (NWT) wrote:1 Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.”

Mature Christians shouldn’t still need someone to teach them.

Hebrews 5:12 wrote: For, indeed, although YOU ought to be teachers in view of the time, YOU again need someone to teach YOU from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God; and YOU have become such as need milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone that partakes of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to mature people, to those who through use have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong.
John 16:3 wrote: “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

None of these differences in doctrine (i.e., what one beast MUST mean to you at the present moment) will make much difference in the overall schema, when you remember that the true ecclesia’s purpose for each gathering is to exhort each other to good works, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, cure the sick, shelter the homeless, care for the widows and orphans. It’s not powerful works of prophecy that make any real differences in the TRUE ecclesia. Those differences are minor and superficial. The REAL teaching is about doing good because we are responding to God’s love in imitation of Christ. Nothing else should get in the way.

Remember that “religious” leaders will tend to want to concern themselves with doctrinal matters as opposed to the true spiritual matters. There is a place for some of this. Buttrue spiritual matters means responding in our “spirit” with “fruits of the spirit” — from the heart we bring forth true spiritual treasure. And that treasure is not “preaching” doctrine, but “preaching and teaching” how all of us can respond to God’s love by, in turn, helping our fellow man. True religion is unselfishly looking after orphans and widows in their tribulation and conduct that is different from the selfish goals of the world — the fruits of the flesh.

James 1:27 wrote: 27 The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world.

Religious leaders, as is very common among Jehovah’s Witnesses, will tend to want to point to their own great works, their spiritual blessed organizational paradise and their wonderful prophecies that were fulfilled in them. Rather than focusing primarily on giving water to someone thirsty, or clothing, food or shelter to someone in need. That’s why Jesus warned:

Matthew 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.
Matt 23:4 They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men 5 All the works they do they do to be viewed by men; 8 But YOU, do not YOU be called Rabbi, for one is YOUR teacher, whereas all YOU are brothers. 9 Moreover, do not call anyone YOUR father on earth, for one is YOUR Father, the heavenly One. 10 Neither be called ‘leaders,’ for YOUR Leader is one, the Christ. 11 But the greatest one among YOU must be YOUR minister. but YOU have disregarded the weightier matters of the Law, namely, justice and mercy and faithfulness.
Matt 22:37: He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”Matt 25:35 For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; 36 naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40 And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.’
Rotherham wrote:Prophetic interpretation and parabolic understanding then does become somewhat a matter of trust. It becomes a matter of trust in those you regard to be the ecclesia of God. As long as the constituents of a prophecy or parable do not contradict known logic, history or other scriptures, then the ecclesia should promote a singular view to the best of their ability and the individuals members should concur to that view rather than go around preaching and teaching different private views of prophecy. Otherwise there would be no reason why God would even care to assure us that prophecy was not born from private interpretation.

There is nothing wrong with teachers promoting a singular view they believe to be correct. But it is the responsibility of the rest of the ecclesia to continue to speak up for a continual building up, even if it means disagreeing with that singular view. The primary, important things — love justice mercy and faithfulness — are not put in any danger by such discussions of “knowledge” or “doctrine”.

Apostle Paul doesn’t speak to the Ephesians as if all good sense and wisdom have to continually come from a central source. He asks for respect of his own views but prays that the congregation will also be able to continually build up in more knowledge and good sense WITHOUT continued reference to Paul’s views. Note:

Ephesians 1 wrote:8 This he caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and good sense, 9 …that we should serve for the praise of his glory, we who have been first to hope in the Christ…13 But YOU also hoped in him after YOU heard the word of truth, …YOU were sealed with the promised holy spirit,…15 That is why I also, since I have heard of the faith YOU have in the Lord Jesus and toward all the holy ones, 16 do not cease giving thanks for YOU. I continue mentioning YOU in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give YOU a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the accurate knowledge of him; 18 the eyes of YOUR heart having been enlightened…

Everyone is responsible to do their part as their study, prayer and contemplation of spiritual utterances moves them to respond and build up and grow harmoniously. Everyone is responsible to contribute as the spirit moves them, and the more acceptance of that spirit to each individual member, the more they gain in terms of knowledge. Leaving it up to those who SAY they are “the teachers” and “the leaders” and “the governing body” of the body is the OPPOSITE of what Jesus said he had in mind. It’s not a political thing where leaders who agree with other leaders get voted into the positions of authority. It’s based on gifts that the members of the ecclesia can recognize. It’s the loving interaction with other members of the congregation that can make gifts stand out. Note, later in Ephesians:

Ephesians 4 wrote:11 And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, 12 with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ, 13 until we all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ; 14 in order that we should no longer be babes, tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching by means of the trickery of men, by means of cunning in contriving error. 15 But speaking the truth, let us by love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ. 16 From him all the body, by being harmoniously joined together and being made to cooperate through every joint that gives what is needed, according to the functioning of each respective member in due measure, makes for the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

You will claim of course that your method is adequate and makes perfect sense to you and is in line with these passages. That’s fine for you, then. You may have found an ecclesia with a suitable mix of teachers and evangelizers for your own comfort level. I don’t claim that you are not a Christian. I only claim that there are other ecclesia which would appear better for another Christian’s desire to respond in a different way to the spirit motivations God has put in their heart.

In any case, I’m sure some collections of brotherhoods making up the entire ecclesia of Christ’s body will favor certain gifts over others. As long as our PRIMARY goal is to support our fellow brothers, neighbors, and fellow man in their time of need, then we have at least understood the most important thing about religion and spirituality. If the private interpretation you accept from someone else on a prophetic passage makes sense to you, this is also fine, but it’s not nearly as important. Nothing about prophecy, especially if it’s intended to provide evidence of where we are in the stream of time relative to God’s coming judgment, is important to Christian conduct. It may easily become counter-productive to the motivation of Christian conduct because it infects the reasons for the hope within us. We might do more because we know the end is close (Heb 10:25) — but this can’t be our primary motivation. We shouldn’t make a doctrine about how we have special knowledge that the end is near. Jesus condemned that type of thinking.

Rotherham wrote:True, you and I would be considered as having different private interpretations compared to just ourselves, as could many others who take different views, but that again is not the point. Who do you think I trust as the ecclesia of God? Is it you or someone else? No, it isn’t. In fact, do you even claim to be representing the ecclesia of God in some fashion? I can certainly see far more consistency with logic, history and Biblical pattern and precedent in their interpretations then the ones you and others have presented.

There is NOTHING scripturally wrong with having private interpretations. We SHOULD have them. And we should be also be willing to have these readjusted by those who have good reasons for their private interpretations. We should NEVER accept an interpretation just because we trust and respect the person who taught it to us. We should TEST the inspirations/spirits. We should QUESTION like the Bereoans.

Of course I claim to be representing the ecclesia of God in some fashion. Just as you should. I do not believe I have any gift that makes me a teacher of doctrine. But we should all teach by example. My relatives and friends all know that my reason for activities in charities and hospitals is due to my hope in Christ. Others may get involved in the same activities for different reasons and that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t think we need to make a big deal about our Christian works, but if anyone asks they will know it is due to my desire to imitate Christ’s example and that my motivation for helping others is because God helps all of us without regard to our status or our religion.

I also know who you trust as the “ecclesia” of God, and I know that you have no choice but to see more consistency with logic, history and Biblical pattern and precedent in their interpretations than those who present differing views. This doesn’t mean much to me, because I can look at their track record. I can also know that the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses saw the very same consistency and Biblical patterns in their prior “true” views which they now consider to be false. So it is clear that your interpretation has continually meant that it is important to accept false views without question. This can be dangerous, but fortunately it’s mostly about the academic side of Christianity — not “looking after orphans and widows”. In my opinion, there is too much emphasis on literature distribution in lieu of looking after orphans and widow, but I can see that active members are treated pretty well by each other.

I also believe that most of motivations of Christian-oriented works by Jehovah’s Witnesses is not primarily a motivation by fear, or just by the idea that the end is near. (If that were the case, I’d think I’d see all JW’s selling all their belongings, giving it to the poor, and preaching their unique doctrines.) I see a lot of dangers among JWs, but I also see a lot of good, a lot of keeping without spot from the world, very little that warrants harsh judgment. I happily accept you as part of the ecclesia of God — a God who doesn’t judge us on the distinctions of doctrine, religion, borders, titles or status, etc.

Rotherham wrote:I believe I have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that the prophecies of Revelation are all parousiac prophecies because they are all back dropped by the presence of the 24 elders. I also believe I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that the Olivet sermon was not a singular sign but was clearly composite with many aspects. I also believe that I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that the little horn in question could not be Antiochus Epiphanes and could not have manifested itself until far after 33 CE. I do not believe that your explanations and interpretations fit with Biblical precedent, nor do they fit logically with the actual words of the prophecy when compared to history.

I believe you have not demonstrated what you claim. I believe I have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that what you claim about the 24 elders is worthy of ridicule. Many of your beliefs about the Olivet Sermon are not impossible within the context of portions of the passages, but are highly inconsistent with the entire sermon, several specific passages within the sermon and many other related scriptural passages. I see that you have a tendency to create patterns of evidence which only work by completely ignoring contradictory evidence.

What you have presented in defense of your position on the beasts of Daniel contains many problems very similar to those in support of Antiochus Epiphanes. I see problems with the Antiochus hypothesis, too, but I don’t expect you to understand why your interpretation has several of the same problems. If you’d like to take a shot at presenting your precise view, I can show you why, but your real difficulty will be in understanding how I can read the passage as related to both Antiochus and then again as Rome from another perspective and then again as our current Empire-driven world from another perspective. Obviously, I don’t think we were meant to focus JUST on Antiochus Epiphanes here.

Rotherham wrote:I also believe that I have presented beyond any reasonable doubt that a person, such as king David, could be called king by God himself long before he actually became king, because he was anointed to BECOME the king, he was the king-designate. There is absolutely no reason that the same could not happen to Jesus. In fact, as is often the case, David’s journey to the throne in Jerusalem parallels Jesus journey to the same. David was called king by God when Samuel anointed him to be king in front of his father and brothers, but he was not the true king yet. Later, he became king JUST over the tribe of Judah and for the first seven years of being king he did not reign in Jerusalem. It wasn’t until after the death of Mephibosheth that David actually became king over all Israel. Just like Jesus, who was anointed early on to be the king of God’s kingdom, and could be called king because of that anointing, became the king first over just the Christian congregation, then later, he became king of the world.

Here we are at the original problem again. King-Designate may be a valid view of recognizing a kingship. In God’s eyes, he can call someone for a station in life long before that person is even born. That “appointment” makes God’s will a “fait accompli” from His perspective. But we humans are also capable, through faith, in acknowledging someone’s future station and seeing them as if in that station. Faith is assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld. It let Abraham await a “city having real foundations” from God. It’s as if we can see what is currently invisible. So, while “King-Designate” might be a valid reason that some called Jesus a “king” when he was born, or even while he was recognized as a “king” between his baptism before 33 CE, it seems that you have really gone too far when you have to start dismissing the words of the apostles — looking for all kinds of loopholes — no matter how many times the apostles mention that Jesus has begun ruling as king since his death in 33 CE.

Or perhaps because Messiah was a name for the Messiah/King and Messiah means “anointed” you could also say that, from the human perspective, David was actually King from the moment people understood the reason for his “anointing”. The same would work for Jesus. Some understood his “Anointing” as his “Messiahship” and therefore he was “King/Messiah” at his anointing (baptism).

But I’m also willing to agree that Jesus was a King-Designate between baptism and death — but so close to his throne for those few months or years that he was to be regarded as King by all who had true faith. His Kingship would take on a more important, higher ranking, heavenly role in 33, which makes him in a sense, a King-Designate from his anointing through his death. But for many of those of true faith at that time, he was seen as no less than the King of Israel.

But your non-Biblical reason for dismissing his true Kingship immediately upon his resurrection is too transparent for me to give it any credence. You are looking for a technical reasons to call Jesus a King on David’s throne ONLY in some future time long after 33 CE, but also long before Judgment Day (around 100 years before, or more.) You have some “technical” reason for this because it supports an idea that would partly exonerate some religious leaders from a long series of false prophecy. It’s merely a kind of “nationalism” for you, then.You want your particular “party” to be right about something that appears to have failed on all other fronts. The Watchtower books once published “88 proofs” that 1874 was the date for Christ’s Parousia”. You’re now down to only one or two lines of evidence that keeps the 1914 theory hanging by a thread. It fails on historical, chronological, and Biblical grounds, but your ecclesiastical leaders have asked you, so far, to keep promoting it and supporting it. I can’t respect such anti-Biblical beliefs — especially when I see what they are based on. If they were based on other difficult scriptural interpretations, you’d give people more reason to consider it. I went ahead and considered it anyway and found that even on ALL your grounds, it’s not even based in the slightest on scriptural issues.

I’ll look again at all your comments and see if you have made any arguments that I should respond to any further.

Regards,
Bill

Last edited by BillW on Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:17 am, edited 4 times in total.
BillW
 
Posts: 36
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:20 pm

Hello Rotherham,

Rotherham wrote:You claim that our Danielic interpretation breaks down once we get to Rome, but frankly, I have not seen that demonstrated at all. The ten horns as ten kings from the Roman Empire and the fact that the little horn uproots three of them while they are still kings is a perfect fit with history. Even our view of the dream image in the second chapter of Daniel is a perfect fit with history and it parallels the prophecy in Daniel 7 without a flaw. Frankly, after that, it makes no difference when one would claim that the kingdom by Christ was established in those following verses of Daniel 7 because what it clearly establishes, from THAT context, is it could not happen in 33 CE, and that is the current main purpose of our discussion.

If one were to make a connection to Antiochus Epiphanes, for example, you would claim that there were not exactly 10 horns as 10 kings, that a little horn didn’t literally uproot 3 of them while they are still kings, and claim then that it isn’t a perfect fit with history. But then you decide to make the 10 kings — in your own view — something different from exactly 10 literal kings. And while you pick one who uproots 3 others while they are still kings, you really have the same problems. For one thing you use the word “king” to mean “kingdom” even if not the most likely meaning. You choose 3 arbitrary naval powers as the 3 kings uprooted, yet they are not truly uprooted, only temporarily weakened. You make a decision that only European powers are the outgrowths of Rome. You add the USA as soon as it becomes convenient. If the Watchtower had been promoting a different view while I proposed this same view you currently believe in, it would be ridiculed by you for some of the same reasons you currently dismiss other views.

Rotherham wrote:I was just wondering, is there any one who sees Jesus as King before his ascension to heaven? Or is that your idea alone? I think the most natural reading of Luke’s parable is that he was not the king until he went to heaven. If he was already king at the time of the parable it would be odd to simply refer to him as a man of noble birth.

I think I made a mistake on the specifics here.

We have to balance 3 things:

1. The idea of King Designate which might be obvious when Jesus is a human baby. The one “born” King of the Jews. This is a rare exception to the usual use of the title.

2. Then we have the many times when Jesus is called “King” between baptism and death, but especially in the months just before his death and at his trial in front of Pilate, Herod, etc. You pointed out that there were quite a few of these. In all of these cases, apparently, Jesus is already the current Messiah-King — and not just a king-designate.

3. Then we have the direct mention of him being appointed king at God’s right hand to rule as king in the midst of his enemies at his resurrection. This is a perfect tie-in to the fact that Jesus himself claims ALL authority in heaven and on earth — and is given a titles above all other titles and all other rulerships.

And, as you will be quick to point out there could be additional major actions in the future that his kingship could take, at which point, one might say something like “Now he has taken his power and become king”. I saw something very recently in looking over chapters of the Gospels about the “Kingdom” that makes me think that all my attempts to explain why Jesus was called “King” at his anointing were unnecessary. I was trying to defend the reason that the Gospels so often called Jesus, King, BEFORE his death. I assumed that there would be some specific type of Kingship that was appropriate and some new type of Kingship after his death. I unnecessarily tried to split the Kingdom of Israel from the Kingdom of the World.

But now I see that this is not only unnecessary, it is most likely wrong. His entire kingship, and the understanding of it was a gradual process. Some understood it from the time of his birth, and some would definitely then understand why he was Anointed (Messiah-ed) at his baptism. Some understood him to be the King of Israel at this time and they were correct. But with additional insight some might also have understood that the King of Israel would really be the same as the King of Kings of the whole earth. What Jesus was didn’t change; it was just a gradually expanding understanding that his disciples came to have in due time after his resurrection. There was obviously nothing wrong with believing Jesus to be the Messiah/King, the Anointed One of Israel during his lifetime. But very few of his contemporaries accepted him to be this.

Jesus himself claims to be King in 33 before his death, but in a rather subdued way, which implies that there is much more to come. (Jesus also answered questions about whether he was the Christ in the same “subdued” way.) But there is more to this than we ever got to discuss. We focused mostly on words like “king” and “reign”. There seems to be a discussion around the word Kingdom we could have benefited from to resolve this issue. Here is another related point I just realized very recently:

Luke 22, speaking of Jesus very last Passover meal on earth, Passover of 33 CE:

“14 At length when the hour came, he reclined at the table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them: ‘I have greatly desired to eat this passover with YOU before I suffer; 16 for I tell YOU, I will not eat it again until it becomes fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’…From now on I will not drink again from the product of the vine until the kingdom of God arrives…69 However, from now on the Son of man will be sitting at the powerful right hand of God.”

There is a parallel to the idea that the “kingdom of God” arrives (from now on) when the Son of man sits at God’s right hand. When I saw this, I realized that the King-Designate term is one way of dealing with the time before his resurrection. Since “The Kingdom of God” refers to “The Kingdom of Israel” and therefore also “The Kingdom of David” in the parallel uses in the Gospels, I realized that it wasn’t important to make any distinction between Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of the World.

The “King-Designate” terminology is only one way to work out the issue. Another way is to realize that when God purposes something it is as good as accomplished, and the symbolisms that accompany the working out of God’s plan and purpose are often just for the benefit of we humans who tie our vocabularies to human experience. From God’s perspective, Jesus being king was a “fait accompli” from long before Jesus was born. Yet humans can also have a similar perspective through faith, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.

I don’t know if anyone else has looked at the same possible ways of explaining how often Jesus is referred to as King before his death, but I would be surprised if it hadn’t come up somewhere. It’s not terribly important in the long run, however, because the Bible clearly says he is not only “a king” but King over all powers – with ALL authority — above every other name named — ruler of the kings of the earth, at least shortly after he was resurrected and within that first century of Christianity.

Rotherham wrote:However, in other places, could he be referred to as a king in the same sense that David was, as king-designate? Yes, he could. That way, all the prophecies and parables make historic, logical and scriptural sense.

For that matter, then, he could still be king-designate in 1914, 1934, 1974, etc. We see nothing that he did in 1914 that fits prophecy, parable, history, logic or scripture any better than 33 CE. What we DO have is many, many verses that point specifically and directly to his death and resurrection in 33 as the turning point. We also have, from a negative perspective, many, many, passages that punch holes in your 1914 theory on every single side. Even the very prophecy you use to reach it, says that it was fulfilled in a different way. The very possibility of attaching 2,520 “days” to the Gentile Times is in direct conflict with the Bible’s attachment of a period of 1,260 days to that same referenced period. Historically, you already know most of the problems. And the JWs who have looked to astronomy and tablets to try to punch holes in the currently known astronomical tablets have made themselves look silly to those who have followed their “reasoning”.

Don’t forget however, that David was technically Messiah/King from his first Anointing, even if another king was on the throne at the time. Jesus could have been Messiah/King in the same technical sense from the time of his Anointing (Messiah-ship) at his baptism.

Rotherham wrote:I can see from your responses that you miss the point of the difference between something being spoken of as under the feet of a king and something being presented as a footstool for the feet.

This is simply wrong. It was a simple matter long before this subject came up with you, to look up every instance of the expressions related to “on one’s right hand,” “the right hand” (in general), “a footstool for one’s feet”, “footstool” (in general), “under one’s foot.” I thought you understood this in a natural, common-sense fashion and that you realized that setting AN ENEMY as one’s footstool was a natural part of the progression of going about to conquer and subjugate those same enemies that would soon be crushed and conquered completely. As king, he had power and authority and domain over those enemies — even the authority to let them continue to go one for a time and a season.

Even in those references where God’s positive domains are called his footstool, what is under his footstool is under his control, his domain, it is set as he sees fit. When this is a positive thing, like the earth or Jerusalem or his Temple, it is something to be seen in a positive light, because we delight in any aspect of God’s domain, even if, compared to God himself, it is as lowly as a footstool. We are happy to merely be at his feet. It’s appropriate as an illustration of worship for the same reason. A subject of a king who is happy with the king, worships at the King’s foot, a simple sign of unworthiness to stand up to a king face-to-face.

But the idea is still God’s rule and subjection to it. In the case of enemies it is about subjugation. In the ancient sculptures a king could be shown with his loyal subjects kissing his feet. He could also be shown with his enemy subjects, his subjugated captives, or his domain over them, illustrated as a footstool. The footstool could be shown as either round or a cube. But it would be clear that his captive enemies were looking out of the footstool object as if it were a prison of some kind. These captives were part of his domain.

Here’s an Egyptian example. I’ve seen better ones in a book, but can’t find it online. http://www.bible-history.com/imagepopup.php?Id=6002. Also page 254 of the book:
The symbolism of the biblical world: ancient Near Eastern iconography and …
By Othmar Keel available in Google books.
http://books.google.com/books?id=Fy4B1i … &q&f=false

So the big difference isn’t in the idea of “footstool” versus “underfoot.” The big difference is whether you were a “loyal subject” versus an “enemy subject” of the one in power. If you were an enemy subject, in ancient times, you could still be depicted as under one’s foot, because you, as an enemy, had been defeated. Ultimately, if it was the kings ultimate goal, it’s true that you might be destroyed completely, not just made captive, for example.

In this case, we had the enemies remain under the domain and power of the king for a long time before they were completely destroyed. These enemies were still kept in check. They knew they were under the kings authority and that they were subject to the “whims” of the king with respect to how long they were allowed to live or if they were scheduled for execution.

I have explained in a previous post the differences in seeing something “under Jesus feet” from the perpective of authority to conquer, and whether we “see” it fully subjected and conquered as expected in the future. Even you have to admit that even though Jesus had all power and authority, his enemies might be allowed to continue on for a time. He rules in the midst of his enemies.

Rotherham wrote:Even you have to admit that even though Jesus had all power and authority, his enemies had not yet been set under his feet as a stool for his feet. You also have to admit that not everything was UNDER his feet because he rules UNTIL all enemies are UNDER his feet, and that STILL hasn’t happened. These are not synonymous references and not recognizing that is part of the problem.

Not necessarily would I say that his enemies hadn’t already been made a footstool. They weren’t destroyed yet. But enemies were immediately put under his feet, as a footstool. There is a point about ongoing subjugation that sometimes creates a tension with respect to the verb tense being used. In the sense of domain and authority, everything is under his feet in 33 CE, in the sense of destruction and totalal subjugation, enemies are continually being put under his feet throughout history.

Of course, all this is academic. He could be made king even before he had been given this particular footstool. Although he had to wait until ALL enemies were put under his footstool and under his foot, there is no indication that the process didn’t start immediately. In fact, Jesus gave several indications that his ministry on earth was to prove that even demons (enemies) were already made subject to him.

So quite obviously, he could RULE beginning in 33, just like the Bible says. And he could rule UNTIL his enemies were destroyed, right up to the very last enemy.

Rotherham wrote:The EARTH is spoken of as God’s footstool because it is part of his domain, but that has no comparison to the things which are said to be UNDER his feet or to be put under his feet. Being brought under the feet of a king is a description of their destruction, not a description of mere domain over them. Something being placed as a stool for the king could sometimes even be a place of honor, but it clearly was different than destruction, it was an indication of domain as a king.

I understand that you want to set up a situation where Jesus goes to God’s right hand and waits until he gets a domain – a footstool. Then he gets the domain to begin subduing, as if he is not already subduing in the midst of his enemies. It’s clever, but it isn’t scriptural. He obviously gets a domain in 33 CE and your clever methods of creating word/phrase definitions doesn’t overcome the force of Scripture. Of course, your attempt at literalness also gets messed up with these symbols. You have him stand up in 1914 at which time putting his enemies under foot is even more appropriate than the footstool image, which is more often depicted for a king on a throne. In any case, the ongoing spectrum of footstool/domain and underfoot/total subjugation is a distinction without a basis because the idea is really that Jesus continues ruling in the midst of enemies while they are being defeated over time. Some enemies will be in various states of partial and total subjugation and total destruction.

Rotherham wrote:When it says that God invited Jesus to sit at his RIGHT HAND UNTIL he placed his enemies as a stool for his feet was not a reference to their destruction but was reference to his domain over them. Only later is their destruction referred to as being put UNDER his feet. They are placed under the kings domain and he can begin to subdue in the midst of those enemies, bringing them one by one UNDER his feet, to their destruction.

To your supposed point, you think that Jesus sat at God’s right hand UNTIL a future time when God would place these enemies in his domain — as if he was not already given a domain over those enemies when he first sat at God’s right hand. The only problem with your theory is that it flies in the face of the Bible. The Bible says he was given a domain far above every other domain at his resurrection. Even if NOT all domains were immediately made a “stool for his feet,” in some unspecified sense of the phrase, the Bible still says that all domains and principalities were placed under him at his resurrection.

Rotherham wrote:Look at the references and the manner in which they refer to the expressions “UNDER his feet” as opposed to something presented as a footstool.

Rotherham wrote:However, such is not the case when something is referred to as being one’s footstool….Being one’s footstool did not signify destruction, but signified domain. So what about the different references to Christ then and what exactly he was awaiting?

He was gathering subjects for his kingdom in the midst of his enemies. And of course he is still in the midst of his enemies, still gathering subjects for his kingdom, and still hasn’t destroyed these enemies yet. Therefore, NOTHING NEW and different happened in 1914 or any other year between his resurrection and jugdment day.

Rotherham wrote:When he went to heaven he was told to sit at God’s right hand UNTIL his enemies were placed as a STOOL for his feet, not being an indication of their destruction but being part of his domain as KING. He was not told to sit at his right hand until they were put UNDER his feet as enemies. There is a difference. In fact, when Jesus is shown to be ruling as king in heaven in the book of Revelation, he is NO LONGER at God’s RIGHT HAND but is sitting on the throne WITH his Father, or is spoken of as being in the “midst” of the throne, not at the right hand.

Since these were “enemies” and the expression was therefore not being used in a positive favorable sense, you can make no distinction about whether footstool meant partial subjugation, domain only, or at what point it would also mean total destruction. In Psalm 110 in it’s initial sense, it would refer to the idea that a king had multiple enemies who might come to him at multiple times. But they wouldn’t all be destroyed immediately. The king would continue to rule in the midst of these enemies (110:2), subjugating one, then another, then another. In these cases the footstool of an enemy could just as easily refer to total destruction — but not for all the enemies at once. The king would continue to have willing subjects fight for him, enemy after enemy. (110:3) The enemies would continue, over time, to be destroyed. 110:5-6:

5 Jehovah himself at your right hand
Will certainly break kings to pieces on the day of his anger.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations;
He will cause a fullness of dead bodies.
He will certainly break to pieces the head one over a populous land.

This was all part of the sure subjugation referred to by the expression that his enemies would be a stool for his feet.

1 Cor 15:25 said he was ruling as King all this time while God was putting enemies under his feet, and would continue to rule as King until God had put ALL enemies under his feet. Are you now saying that Jesus never rules as King until the last enemy “death” has been brought to nothing. In your books, this is most literally understood at the END of the thousand years.

Rotherham wrote:So while he is awaiting the enemies to be placed as a footstool, not destroyed, he is sitting at God’s right hand. Never is the waiting said to be in reference to his enemies being brought UNDER his feet, but always in reference to them being placed as a footstool. This tells us that if he has to WAIT to have those enemies as a footstool, they are NOT YET under his domain to where he can start to go subduing in the midst of them. It is only after they become part of his domain does he go subduing and placing them UNDER his feet as destroyed.

Sitting at God’s right hand is clearly a reference to RULING. Acts 2, again, shows that Jesus went to SIT at God’s right in fulfillment of God’s oath to David that God would “SIT one from the fruitage of his loins upon his throne” (Acts 2:30) Whatever the state of ALL his enemies at that time, he was already ruling in their midst. He only had to wait until ALL enemies were subjugated. You actually have it a bit backwards that these enemies are part of his domain BEFORE he goes subduing them. A king subdues enemies to make them part of his domain. You can only subjugate after you subdue.

This is clearly reflected in Revelation 6 when Jesus takes his throne and starts riding in conquest of his enemies, and I have already demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt, that these visions are parousiac as to their timing.

And I have already demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that these visions produce excellent symbols of the entire sweep of Christian history to strengthen our faith in God’s full control of history and thus will encourage and strengthen us to remain ready for the coming parousia. Curious how that happens, right?

Jesus began his rule in 33 in the midst of his enemies, so it is very appropriate to show that he takes his crown and begins his ride in their midst.

Rotherham wrote:Something had to happen to where Jesus was no longer at God’s right hand but would be upon his throne with him, in the midst of his throne or God would BE his throne. Since there is a clear difference between something being one’s footstool and someone being brought under foot as an enemy, there is a difference between the time referred to as when he would put all enemies under his feet and the time when he would be awaiting to have those enemies placed as his footstool. Yes, his authority over everything was established at his resurrection from heaven, but this is not the same thing as being king over the world. This is clearly pointed out from the scripture in Hebrews where it says all things have been subjected under his feet yet we do NOT YET SEE all things subjected to him. This subjection, including that of his enemies was PROGRESSIVE and not until all his enemies were under his feet as a footstool could he go conquering them. He may have had authority over the demons but he certainly was not destroying them under his feet. Until the point that all of his enemies were placed as a footstool, being under his domain, he was to sit at God’s right hand. Once he would become king, he clearly sits upon God’s throne WITH him to do so, but that would take time, it was not immediate for all the above reasons.

The difference in sitting at God’s right hand and being in the midst of his throne is again an unscriptural distinction, if you are using it to indicate that Jesus was not a king while sitting at God’s right hand. Refer again to Acts 2. Being brought into the midst of God’s throne was the same as sitting at God’s right hand, the position of highest favor. The position of a co-ruler.

Also, your position is tied to literal distinctions between being “underfoot” or “under a footstool.” That being the case, you can’t really use Hebrews 2, or even 1 Cor 15:27 to support you’re distinction. 1 Cor 15 says: “For [God] ‘subjected all things under his feet.'” God has not just made a footstool but already speaks as if everything is subjected “under his feet”. Now there are obvious reasons to believe as you stated above that this is about a process and therefore the tension with the verb tenses. But this same passage obviously goes against your supposed distinctions about the difference in a footstool and “under his feet”. Also, let’s go ahead and say that Jesus really was the reference in Hebrews 2 when it says “‘All things you subjected under his feet.’ For in that he subjected all things to him [God] left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him; 9 but we behold Jesus, …, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death…” This would mean that the distinction about footstools was forgotten again. Under his feet would refer to domain it seems, dominion. Not a problem in my view, but a direct conflict with yours, which requires “under his foot” to refer to destruction (for some reason). The idea that we don’t SEE it all yet, is not that it hasn’t been accomplished, just that, as you say, it’s an ongoing process of subjugation of enemies. Hebrews in fact goes on to show precisely this in the next few verses: “14: through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil; 15 and [that] he might emancipate all those who for fear of death were subject to slavery all through their lives.”

Also take a note that Hebrews makes a special reference to the fact that we behold Jesus CROWNED in the first century.

Rotherham wrote:Satan was clearly under God’s domain but he was not UNDER his FEET, not according to the way that phrase is used in reference to enemies. Jesus enemies would be placed as a footstool for his feet, they were being gathered as his DOMAIN, but this was not the same as being UNDER his feet as enemies, again, not according to the way the phrase is used.

Satan was already in the process of being brought to nothing, and his “hold” over humans was disintegrating, already destroyed in fact for many Christians.

Rotherham wrote:When Jesus was shown to become king in Revelation six, immediately following that enthronement, the war horse was said to take peace away from the earth with a GREAT sword. World War I fits that description to a T. There was no significant war or wars after 33 CE that took place to the extent that it could be called a GREAT sword and that peace was taken away from the EARTH, which is a clear reference to GLOBAL warfare, not just a localized war between countries. World War I dwarfed any war before it in history in intensity and the deaths that it caused. That war horse was clearly not just a reference to “more of the same kind of wars that had always happened”. A great sword that took away peace from the earth began riding when Jesus did. Death from democide through the last nearly 100 years looks like an aneurysm in time.

You are wrong about Rev 6 and 33. Jesus predicted “For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another…16 then let those in Ju·de´a begin fleeing to the mountains. 20 Keep praying that YOUR flight may not occur in wintertime, nor on the sabbath day; 21 for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. 22 In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.

There was something about the significance of what happened in the generation of 33 CE (66 – 73 especially) that dwarfed what happened in WWI. It effected God’s chosen saints, and this was “touching the apple of his eye”. WW I was terrible, but there was a reason that the hyperbole of Matthew 24 dwarfs it with what happened around 70 CE.

Rotherham wrote:In the book of Daniel, not EVERYWHERE in scripture, but Daniel, when in reference to rulers, when they are said to “stand up” it most often means they begin to exercise kingly authority, generally in the sense of against something else. That’s not Watchtower my friend, that’s just scripture. The Watchtower merely repeated the truth. You’ll note that I rarely quote Watchtower. My presentations are primarily about Biblical precedent and patterns. The Watchtower comes after the Bible. So you would be better off to remain dealing with the scriptures instead of cheap shots at the Watchtower.

A king sits on his throne, or takes his seat, or rides into battle, or stands in judgment, or sits in judgment. There is nothing unusual about kings taking their stand, or some other metaphor about a change in position, to mean they are taking action of some kind. It doesn’t necessarily mean in any of the cases that they begin to exercise kingship for the first time, just some important action.

Note also, that when we discuss this subject, the subtext is always about the defense of one of the most unique and suspicious chronologies being taught today in the name of religion. It was put forth by the Watchtower and therefore the Watchtower’s credibility on all things chronological and prophetic is very much an appropriate subject for this discussion.

For instance:

(Daniel 7:17) 17 “‘As for these huge beasts, because they are four, there are four kings that will stand up from the earth.

Note that there is nothing that states they had to stand up at the beginning of their kingship. Or that their title somehow changes at this point of standing. Many of these actual human rulers who stood up as representatives of their respective kingdoms had been kings for a long time prior to the actions that made them stand up as beastly world powers. In other cases the kingdoms had come to power rather gradually over a course of centuries, and there was often no specific time one could point to when one happened to stand up in full power.

(Daniel 8:21-22) . . .. 22 And that one having been broken, so that there were four that finally stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from [his] nation that will stand up, but not with his power.

Note that the four “finally” stood up, as if whatever specific actions taken might not even be clear, or clearly distinguished from each other. A kingdom standing up is likely a time when it finally is recognized as a world power in this context. Sometimes history makes it clear over time, but without a specific action that “put them on the map”.

(Daniel 8:23-24) 23 “And in the final part of their kingdom, as the transgressors act to a completion, there will stand up a king fierce in countenance and understanding ambiguous sayings. 24 And his power must become mighty, but not by his own power. . . .

Again, this is not necessarily a situation where the king himself “stood up” at some specific point with some specific action. The “standing up” is not necessarily the central action of this king or kingdom. What made this king “stand out” may even be from a lack of specific actions, so that others around him create the “standing up”. Note how it is “not by his own power” that he becomes mighty, and that his major action is “in his heart” and it’s a “lack of care” that produces the most damage. A passive, self-assured attitude may have made this particular king “stand up” because he was doing to much “sitting down”. (NWT: And in his heart he will put on great airs, and during a freedom from care he will bring many to ruin.)

(Daniel 11:3) 3 “And a mighty king will certainly stand up and rule with extensive dominion and do according to his will.

This one is in line with your idea — which I still agree with — that standing up refers to some definitive action. But it still has nothing to do with whether the power or king existed previously, or had the title of “king” previously. He could be ruling “fully” as king and then stand up to rule an extended dominion.

So in Daniel 12, during the time of the end, Jesus stands up against something as king. That would be his enemies that have been made a footstool for his feet. When he begins his rule he is not pictured at God’s right hand, but on his throne with him. If he was ruling fully as king when he was at his right hand, then what does it mean when he ends up on the throne with his Father? What’s the difference?

In Daniel 12, an archangel stands up for Israel. If this is a type or even the person of Jesus Christ, that’s fine. But nothing changed in terms of Christ’s kingship at this point. As you show, it probably means a specific action was taken. This particular angel already had the position of authority to take this action when commanded or when appropriate. He didn’t suddenly become a king. If that were the case he would have been appointed/promoted on the spot. Also, I think, this is the point when your metaphors also require him to get a footstool of enemies, and also a time when he rides off on a white horse. And then you also have the problem of what Stephen saw: “Look! I behold the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.” Too bad he didn’t say that he was in the “Lord’s Day” just before the vision.

Rotherham wrote:And how you say that the closing verses of chapter 11 of Daniel could apply before 33 CE is truly beyond me. Would love to see an attempt at that, that doesn’t deny history or logic. Right after this action as king, which is the first time in Daniel that Jesus is spoken as taking action as king in the closing prophecies about the king of the north and the south, the great tribulation follows and the resurrection of the dead commences. These are all events associated with the parousia.

I never said it applied ONLY to before 33 CE. Also, this is not a king in Daniel 12, so the action of a commanding general can be similar, but no kingship is mentioned. The fact that all these prophecies point to the parousia is not surprising. I also believe that all prophecy points us to Christ, whether it be to his first parousia or final Parousia. Lessons from earlier events often inform the later events, anyway.

Rotherham wrote:Once again, Acts 2 or Peter says nothing about actually being placed on the throne, the “therefore” and the “because” merely identified the one who David referred to as the one who would.

It actually does. “30 Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one from the fruitage of his loins upon his throne, 31 he saw beforehand and spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ…Actually David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand.” Sorry you keep missing that by trying to construe the logic away from the obvious.

Rotherham wrote:In fact, Gods’ kings are NEVER spoken of as sitting on the right hand of someone else’s throne. Even Solomon was said to sit ON Jehovah’s throne, not at it’s right hand. The right hand is a position of favor, not an indication of rulership. Rulership in relation to thrones is either spoken of as being ON the throne WITH God or Jesus, or actually sitting ON God’s throne as was Solomon, not at the right hand. Peter knew what he was saying and what he was not saying, I am sure, and the exaltation was explicitly in reference to Lord and Savior and Christ. In fact, one could argue that it could be just as significant that KING was NOT mentioned at that time because Peter knew that Jesus was not sitting on God’s throne, as was king Solomon at one time. The Davidic throne was “God’s throne” according to scripture, not at the right hand of God’s throne.

When Jesus told fellow Jews that he was going to sit at God’s right hand, they asked if he was, therefore, the Son of God. They took that claim to be a step far above the Messiah question they had just asked him in Luke 22:67. So, it was appropriate to say that the Messiah/Kings of Israel were on God’s throne. But that was a throne down here at God’s footstool. These Messiahs were not also Sons of God as Jesus was. Jesus sits as Son of God at the right hand of the throne of Majesty. The expression itself doesn’t make him King. As you say it’s about a position of favor, but in this case, the highest possible position of favor. The fact that he is ALSO a king is determined elsewhere in the scriptures.

Your statement about no human King being at God’s right hand can be misleading. Because you could just as easily say that the ONLY person to whom it was ever said to sit at God’s right hand, “the right hand of the throne of Majesty” was ONLY for someone who had just been exalted to God’s right hand above every other dominion, and who was the only case known was of someone who was referred to as Ruler of the Kings of the Earth. Not even to any of the angels had this position been granted, except to one who was both King and Priest according to the manner of Melchizedek. (Book of Hebrews) The only one ever to sit in this place was called the “the head of all government and authority” in Colossians, where it also happens to say: 13 He delivered us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love (Kingdom of his beloved Son), 14 by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him.

All that could be stated after his resurrection in 33 CE, and you would still deny him the title of reigning King until 1914.

Regards,
Bill

Last edited by BillW on Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:51 am

Hello Bill,

So are you now done with your responses?

Regards,
Rotherham

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:30 pm

Yes.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:32 am

Thankyou,

Give me a while on your latest two submissions and I will respond. Should be soon.

Regards,
Rotherham

BillW wrote:Yes.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:15 pm

I feel a summary to this discussion ensuing rapidly. Your arguments, for the most part, have diminished to preference, conjecture and a few gymnastics along the way, so there is no reason to continue the back and forth if there is nothing new to offer. We’ll see where we are after this exchange and decide if we can submit our summaries and be done. Frankly, I am not under obligation to show you anything except that the “kingdom of the world” was not established for Christ in the year 33 CE. The rest is all basically peripheral to that and as long as I can show that our interpretations of those peripheral issues are valid in reference to history, prophecy and logic, beyond reasonable doubt, then that is all that needs be done. So I think we are near to the end of this because I feel confident in what I have presented is the stronger and most precedented understanding overall.

Regarding 1 Peter 3:22 and Rev. 1:5

Having all authority does not mean that you have become king of the world. The designation of king refers to a special capacity of authority and a special capacity of rulership, that of the Davidic throne, where kings were said to sit ON Jehovah’s throne, not at his right hand. Princes often sit at the right hand of the king, awaiting to be king, awaiting to sit on the king’s throne, and whereas they might be higher than any other authority other than the king, they are still not the king. Evidence of this in the fact that Satan has never been referred to as the king of this world, yet he is called the PRINCE (archon) and “the god of this system”, he is pictured as giving life to and in control of the governments of this world. He told Jesus he could give him all the kingdoms of the world. The whole world is said to lie in his power. If this wouldn’t make him “KING” of the world based on your criteria, what would?

In fact, if you say Jesus became king of the world in 33 CE, what was Satan still doing as the GOD of this system, and what was the whole world still doing lying in his power? What this shows, Bill, is that one can possess all authority and still not be regarded as the KING of the world. As 1 Peter 3:22 says, he isn’t on Jehovah’s throne yet, he is still at his right hand, awaiting the time when he will take the throne. So he’s not there yet, not if one wants to pay attention to Biblical precedent and pattern.

You claim that I ignore Biblical precedent but have never demonstrated such. It is the Bible itself, God himself, that called David king before he was king. And you yourself have admitted that Jesus was called king before the year 33 CE, even near to his birth. That’s a precedent Bill, from the Bible itself, so please show me where I have violated Biblical precedent? It seems you might be confused over “precedent”, “the lack thereof” and “frequency of use”. If a word or phrase is used many times and in only a few or a couple of cases it is clearly and explicitly used in a different way, then a precedent for that use is still established. It may not be the most common meaning, but it still has some precedent to use it that way. Really, what presents a more powerful argument against something is not the fact that a word or phrase is outside its “common” usage, or limited precedent, but that fact that it would exist as an isolated case, with NO precedent. THEN you have trouble if you are vying for a meaning that has NO precedent. That is why you’ll see me concentrate on the LACK of any precedent, not just a less common meaning or limited precedent. So please, tell me where I am ignoring Biblical precedent. That has never been demonstrated by you that I have done so, but see it happening more than once in the interpretation you are appealing to.

Of course, Rev. 1:5 fares no better than 1 Peter 3:22 for your purposes as there are, as mentioned, different ways to look at the title “Ruler of the kings of the earth”. Another point I might mention is that “ruler”, which is “archon”, which means not only “ruler” but “authority” could stand in the same category of 1 Pet. 3:22, for as mentioned, “authority” even over all the world such as that possessed by Satan, does not mean that one is ruling as KING. As I mentioned earlier, a prince has more authority than anyone except the king, but he is still not the king. He has not yet received that official capacity until he takes the king’s throne. It might not even change the amount of authority that he has, or maybe only slightly, but it changes his official position in the kingdom. Interestingly, the word “archon” is often rendered as “prince”, but never as “king” that I could find. Was there a purposeful distinction being made? One could argue that there was.

Examples of archon on the LXX and the GNT. You’ll see that archon never really seems to mean king anywhere, but rather “prince” or some authority less than the king.

Gen. 12:15, 14:7, 24:2; 25:16, etc. I found 598 occurrences of the word “archon” in the LXX and never once could I see (admittedly, I may have missed it) where it actually talked about one who was the king, but was in reference to someone of lesser capacity than the king. The same holds true in the NT Greek as well. If this is accurate, which I think it is, one could easily state another Biblical precedent here that “archon” is never used of one who is the “king”. This makes perfect sense then with the fact that Jesus is sitting at the RIGHT HAND of the throne, not ON it. Kings don’t sit at the RIGHT HAND of the throne, PRINCES do THAT. KINGS sit ON the throne. He wasn’t the KING yet. Even if he had been given all authority BY the king, it did not make him the KING. So, in converse, we could say, if this is accurate, that there is no Biblical precedent for regarding the “archon” as the “king”, but someone of lesser capacity. So statistically, Rev. 1:5 is no good for you and may even speak against him being the king at that time, which appears to me to be the case, which erases the need for any time shift application that bothered you so much anyway. And even if one can not claim an absolute precedent here, (providing I missed the reference) the statistical evidence does not favor the term being applied to the king, but what I found anyway, is an absolute precedent unless someone can show otherwise.

Regarding the Lord’s Day and what it means.

As far as you Lord’s Day arguments, I do not see them as overturning anything, in fact, some of them don’t help you at all. You use the following verses as support for your argument, and they are clearly not:

Acts 20:7: On the first day of the week [Sunday], when we were gathered together to break bread.—-

Nothing in this text nor in other Bible verses indicates that this account was meant to be an example that was being followed by all Christians, there is nothing there that tells us that it was even a tradition or pattern and certainly not obligation.

1 Cor 16:2: …just as I gave orders to the congregations of Ga•la´ti•a, do that way also yourselves. 2 Every first day of the week [Sunday] let each of YOU at his own house set something aside…—-

This doesn’t even mention the congregation meeting on this day, it says to set aside some money for each HOUSEHOLD on this day.

John 20:19 Therefore, when it was late on that day, the first of the week, [Sunday] and, although the doors were locked where the disciples were…Jesus came and stood in their midst….”—

How does one see this as some sort of standard for the Christian congregation, which had not even been formed yet?

John 20:26 26 Well, eight days later [Sunday] his disciples were again indoors, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and he stood in their midst and said: “May YOU have peace.”—-

How does the fact that they were indoors on a Sunday, which was not the usual day for gathering for Jews anyway, surely not the Sabbath, which could truly be referred to as the Lord’s day, have anything to do with THIS being the Lord’s day?

Acts 2:1: Now while the day of the [festival of] Pentecost [Sunday] was in progress they were all together at the same place,—

What does this have to do with Christian meetings and events? This was under the Law Covenant anyway, which makes it entirley to be expected and irrelevant to your point. Plus, Penetcost did not fall on a Sunday that week. Jesus died on Nisan 14, resurrected Nisan 16,which was a Sunday, and 50 days later was to be the Pentecost observance. Fifty days from any Sunday does not end up on a Sunday, and this gathering had nothing to do with some “Lord’s Day but had to do entirely with the day that Pentecost would fall on, which differed from year to year.

Bill:
Although “being in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” can have other meanings besides receiving the vision on the first day of the week, it still does not in any way require or even imply that John was ever transferred INTO the future. This doesn’t mean your hypothesis here is impossible, but even if it means he was transported in time, it doesn’t mean that the expression gives us his point of reference for each and every vision. (In such a situation John may have understood himself to be only a few days or weeks into the future, not years.)

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Put in the context of “every eye will see him” and “coming with the clouds” and “all the earth beating themselves with grief” which were clearly parallel parousiac themes, gives us every reasons to believe this was the Lord’s Day that he was transferred to.
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You ignore the Biblical precedent that shows that the “end of the system” was already close at hand, in all the rest of the NT. And these passages are NOT in reference only to the end of the Jewish system.

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Something you need to prove because what you have below doesn’t even come close. The phrase “end of the system” as included in the parable of the wheat and the weeds clearly does NOT refer to the end of the Jewish system, but to an “end” that comes AFTER an apostasy and corruption of the church. So there IS precedent otherwise.
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But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not: and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31)—-

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That had no reference to a “sunteleia”.
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Romans 13:11-13 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand:let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.—-

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Nor does this. How are you deriving references to a “sunteleia” from these verses?
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Before you start trying to tie all these other verses to 70 CE, note also that 1 John 2:
“8 Again, I am writing YOU a new commandment, a fact that is true in his case and in YOURS, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”…—

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Same as above. No reference to a sunteleia here.
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17 Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever. 18 even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. …—-

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This was likely written after 70 CE anyway, same as Revelation. This isn’t talking about a “sunteleia”.
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28 So now, little children, remain in union with him, that when he is made manifest we may have freeness of speech and not be shamed away from him at his presence.”—-

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Point?
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And it wouldn’t hurt to also notice in verse 28 above that the Bible is still clear even after the initial parousia and manifestation of 70 CE that First John, written after that event, still points out that Jesus coming manifestation is at the time of the coming parousia. They refer to the same event according to John.—-

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Not at all, Bill, not if the manifestation is PART of the overall presence, an event WITHIN.

Bill, none of these examples even use the phrase “end of the system” or “conclusion of the age” and apply to various things other than the context we are dealing with. I am not even sure what you think you are trying to prove here, if anything.

I think some of your problem lies in the area of where you seem to think that the parousia, manifestation and revelation are all synonmous events. I can’t figure why you insist on such a thing. The revelation or manifestation of Christ takes place DURING the parousia, and is in fact the highlight, so where is the problem in any of this? It’s not the same event but PART of it. There is no problem. Those “themes” in the opening of Rev 1 of “coming with the clouds”, “every eye seeing him” and all the earth beating themselves in grief”, clearly establish the time period to be focused on the “parousia” because that is when those THEMES are said to unfold according to jesus when he said these words. Even Paul highlights that Jehovah’s Day, or the Lord’s Day has direct connection to the “parousia” of Christ by his juxtaposition of them in his letter to the Thessalonians. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2) 2 However, brothers, respecting the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression or through a verbal message or through a letter as though from us, to the effect that the day of Jehovah is here. There is ample evidence for us to see the Lord’s Day here as exactly what it is consistently referred to elsewhere, and again, never once do we see any indication of any weight whatsoever that it was the first day of the week.
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You added some comments about preterist understandings that equate Babylon with Jerusalem. I have never equated them. We have discussed this in past years. Preterists find it interesting that there is almost NOTHING about Babylon the Great in Revelation that can’t be matched to an OT reference to Jerusalem, but equating them was never the point. The point was to take all the traumatic memory of the destruction of Jerusalem and be able to use it as an image of destruction on not just the Jewish world, but the entire “world” – “system of things”. That entire world system was represented or symbolized more easily by the Roman world, but I think Christians were supposed to see the curious parallels to Jerusalem.—-

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The real fact is there are things said about Babylon the Great which simply can’t match the Jerusalem of history. History destroys a preterist application of Babylon to Jerusalem.
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Again, nothing changes for either date. If the beast references are so easily attached to Roman history, then the destruction of Jerusalem IS being mentioned as imminent, because the Roman world represented the entire inhabited world and the destruction of Jerusalem was tied to the destruction of the entire world (by Jesus). But the symbol of Rome in Revelation goes on to speak of a world destruction beyond just that of Jerusalem, and even beyond just that of Rome.—

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Biblical precedent nearly demands that we see the 7 headed wild beast of Revelation as a conglomorate of the Danielic beasts. To ignore those parallels is to ignore too much. Whether you want to believe it or not because of your anti_JW agenda is hardly the point. Careful Bill, you might just throw out something that you should pay attention to. There is AMPLE Biblical and historical precedent to see it as such. You seem to think that I have to PROVE this to you beyond any doubt whatsoever. That has ever been the case. Plain and simply, the evidence presented demonstrates that we have every good reason to see these things as we do as they are historically, prophetically, and logically consistent. Applying the little horn of Daniel seven to Antiochus is none of those.
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It’s not odd at all if they followed Jesus command in the months before the destruction in 70. There would simply have not been a church at Jerusalem. Some would flee in 66, more in 68 and 69. If Revelation had been written in 69, there would simply be no church there.—-

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So “Get out of Babylon” can’t possibly apply to Jerusalem then. Something definitely future from 70 CE.
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You also added: “And the very fact that the Jerusalem that is mentioned is called NEW Jerusalem, bespeaks the fact that something had happened to the OLD Jerusalem.” This sounds like a good point, but every Christian had already known that the Old Jerusalem was going to pass away. Jesus had prophesied it, and of course it implied that something was going to happen to the old. But conjecture isn’t necessary. Revelation 21, as we would expect, already ties the New Jerusalem to a time when the old “world” would have passed away. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I saw also the holy city, New Jerusalem.”—

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Yes, New Jerusalem is the CHURCH in heaven, the Lamb’s Bride, once again pulling this application to the parousia, just like it does elsewhere.

Regarding the 24 elders.

Understanding how the visions of Revelation unfold erases this problem as to how the 24 elders and the 144,000 can be the same group depicted differently and even in front of each other or present in the same vision. The initial vision explained by John with the throne, the four living creatures, the seven spirits/lamps that are intrinsically connected to the one who becomes the Lamb and the glassy sea are the constant backdrop as other visions unfold for John between this backdrop and him. It would not then be out of the ordinary if those who are in the backdrop, depending upon their role in the other visions, would be depicted as something else besides their initial description and in front of their counterpart for the sake of describing a specific aspect of their role in the outworking of these prophecies.

For instance, you claim that the Lamb is not even there at the same time as the 24 elders but such is not the case if one pays close attention. You will note that it is Jesus who HAS the seven spirits, which are later described as his eyes, who are there from the beginning, so he IS there from the beginning but veiled no doubt for purpose of dramatizing and emphasizing his introduction.. This is shown even further when in front of the Lamb, who then remains in the backdrop vision, we have Jesus riding on the white horse, and the angel in the opening of chapter 8 is seen by many to be Jesus himself as the high priest since this angel performs duties only allowed to the high priest, and the same is true of the angel depicted in chapter 10, and YOU yourself think the male child is a depiction of the Lamb who is already in heaven as part of the constant backdrop vision. So frankly, these kind of things are not a problem.
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The 24 elders are identified as bringing the prayers of the “holy ones” directly to God’s throne (as if) they were bowls of incense. This is more in line with services elsewhere associated with angelic creatures, not “former humans.”—-

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They are simply shown as HAVING bowls of incense which are the prayers of the holy ones, which could merely be their own prayers before God
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Remember that all of this is mentioned at a time when the LAMB is still nowhere to be seen. The passage explicitly goes on to say “Neither in heaven nor upon earth nor underneath the earth was there a single one able to open the scroll” (5:3). There was therefore a time when Jesus was NOT yet the Lamb UNTIL explains: “One of the [24] ELDERS says to me: ‘Stop weeping. Look! The LION has conquered…And I saw standing in the MIDST of the throne and of the FOUR Living Creatures and in the MIDST of the ELDERS, a LAMB as though…slaughtered (Rev 5:5). The Lamb is also now identified with the SEVEN Spirits of God we had just seen in 4:5.—-

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Surely you don’t think that Jesus did not exist anywhere at the timing of this vision. First off, he was there but unseen via the seven spirits, which are his eyes. This is clearly hyperbole for the purpose of a theatrical introduction of the Lamb who conquered.

Your manuscript argument doesn’t do a thing to overturn the fact that the weight of the manuscript evidence is clearly supporting US. To claim the NWT always defaults to the Alexandrinus Codex is simply a falsehood. Mark 9:44,46 and the long conclusion of Mark and the beginning of John 8 are just a few prime examples. Their rendering of “persons” at this verse I think is rather unfortunate but so be it. (no lightining struck when I typed this) In reality, nothing can deny that the weight of the manuscript evidence that supports US, which leaves the 24 elders to be human.

There are of course other clues to this group and who they are. They are depicted as wearing white robes and golden crowns, which means they are kings LIKE Jesus who is also shown to be wearing a golden crown. Never are angels depicted with such adornment or office, only humans, and as I mentioned before, angels are never referred to as “elders”. As well, the number 24 finds precedent in the fact that there were 24 divisions within the priesthood of Israel. There is absolutely every good reason for us to see these 24 elders as redeemed humans and as a symbol of those ones who are the kings and priests of Christ’s kingdom.

Also the verse in questions says it was by means of his blood that they were redeemed. That only applies to humans, regardless of how you may want to stretch the concept of redemption elsewhere. I’ve read through your very strained attempt to make angels “elders” and frankly, besides conjecture and gymnastics, there is nothing here at all to overturn the fact that the SCRIPTURES never speak of angels as ELDERS. It doesn’t matter how many strained parallels you draw to show that they might be considered elders, the fact is, the scriptures never call them that.

Keep in mind that “angel” simply means messenger so it is easily attributed to men as it is many times, but never is the converse true where a heavenly angel is referred to as a “presbyteros”. Jehovah being called the Ancient One is totally irrelevant. The word there is “palaios” anyway, not presbyteros. There is no Biblical reason at all to go with these elders as heavenly angels. They parallel the bride of Christ perfectly in their descriptions. Golden crowns, 24 in number (to represent the priestly divisions), redeemed by the blood of Christ (manuscript evidence) all fit with the bride of Christ. On the other hand, angels are never depicted with crowns, never referred to as presbyteros and not redeemed by the blood of Christ. Beleive what you wish but the preponderance of the evidence is with our understanding of who these ones are.

Any application to humans before Christ is also preposterous. The Apostle John told us at the writing of his book that no man had ascended to heaven except Jesus and Peter on Pentecost told us that David did not go to heaven. So this wont work either. The Biblical precedent and description and manuscript evidence is clearly in favor of the 24 elder being former humans that don’t get to heaven until the parousia.

As far as me now having to accept the four living creatures are now also former humans, there a three possible ways to accept the grammar there. The plural US can refer to the four living creatures alone, since they posses plurality. It could refer to both the four living creatures and the 24 elders since they all posses plurality, or it could refer to just the 24 elders since they also possess plurality. Grammar would allow for either of those so no one is under compulsion grammatically to accept any particular view. Context and Biblical parallel would rule out the four living from being in included in the US that was redeemed by Christ’s blood, but at least ONE of those two groups had to be the US grammatically. If it wasn’t the four living creatures, it had to be the 24 elders.
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If one were to make a connection to Antiochus Epiphanes, for example, you would claim that there were not exactly 10 horns as 10 kings, that a little horn didn’t literally uproot 3 of them while they are still kings, and claim then that it isn’t a perfect fit with history. But then you decide to make the 10 kings — in your own view — something different from exactly 10 literal kings. And while you pick one who uproots 3 others while they are still kings, you really have the same problems. For one thing you use the word “king” to mean “kingdom” even if not the most likely meaning. You choose 3 arbitrary naval powers as the 3 kings uprooted, yet they are not truly uprooted, only temporarily weakened. You make a decision that only European powers are the outgrowths of Rome. You add the USA as soon as it becomes convenient. If the Watchtower had been promoting a different view while I proposed this same view you currently believe in, it would be ridiculed by you for some of the same reasons you currently dismiss other views.—

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The fact is despite your objections, our interpretation fits with history and keeps the chronological order that is maintained from the beginning of the prophecy and parallels the other march of kingdom powers represented elsewhere in the book without a flaw. That’s what you call Biblical precedent and pattern. Applying it to Antiochus is not only an anachronistic stretch of the imagination, it also doesn’t find an adequate fit in history in regards the actions taken by Antiochus and disrupts the natural parallels to the other world power prophecies in the same book.

There is Biblical precedent for those horns to be taken as both kings and/or kingdoms. The fact that the English navy defeated those three mentioned navies is surely fitting enough to be called uprooted. Their dominance of the seas were truly uprooted. Nothing in those words demands their annihilation.

Our interpretation fits with history, with chronology and with the prophetic patterns of Daniel. I have seen no reason whatsoever to think that such an interpretation is not superior to what you and others have offered and stands squarely against the idea that Jesus received the kingdom of the world in 33 CE. It takes a good deal of conjecture and gymnastics to arrive at where you and others want it to arrive at. No one can deny that it has the best statistical data to support it

Luke 22 does not present anything new to your argument that you have not offered before. I have already covered in detail why sitting at the right hand of God’s throne, does not make you the King, it makes you at best the Prince and even though the Prince is second in power to the king, he has not yet become king until such time as the king bestows him with that position. Even though he would have authority over everything that the King has, he is still not the King and that is the way that Jesus is portrayed consistently until the parousia unfolds. Proof of this is the fact that Satan, often referred to as a Prince and even “god” of this world, was said to have the whole world lying in his power and this in no way ever earned him the title of KING.

I am not interested in extra biblical representations and or meanings given to the idea of what it means to be one’s footstool. I am interested in how the scriptures themselves present this and there is plenty of data to make a determination as to how one should view it in relation to Biblical precedent. You have not demonstrated in any fashion how having enemies as a footstool meant destroying those enemies. We only see that kind of destruction in regard to being put under one’s feet as an enemy. One indicates a crushing of the enemy by the feet which surely does not take place with your feet on a footstool. Your enemies as your footstool not only indicates the ability to destroy them but also your tolerance of them for a purpose, that purpose being their own chance for salvation. Once they are put under his domain, then he can go subduing them, putting them UNDER his feet and not in the sense of resting one’s feet upon them but in the sense of destroying them, starting with Satan and his demons being ousted from heaven and then turning his attention to the earth after Satan is given a short time before his abyssal and after all of his earthly enemies have been given ample opportunity to repent. This sequence of events is easily seen in the Psalms that speaks of this kingship.

(Psalm 2:1-12) 2 Why have the nations been in tumult And the national groups themselves kept muttering an empty thing? 2 The kings of earth take their stand And high officials themselves have massed together as one Against Jehovah and against his anointed one, 3 [Saying:] “Let us tear their bands apart And cast their cords away from us!” 4 The very One sitting in the heavens will laugh; Jehovah himself will hold them in derision. 5 At that time he will speak to them in his anger And in his hot displeasure he will disturb them, 6 [Saying:] “I, even I, have installed my king Upon Zion, my holy mountain.” 7 Let me refer to the decree of Jehovah; He has said to me: “You are my son; I, today, I have become your father. 8 Ask of me, that I may give nations as your inheritance And the ends of the earth as your own possession. 9 You will break them with an iron scepter, As though a potter’s vessel you will dash them to pieces.” 10 And now, O kings, exercise insight; Let yourselves be corrected, O judges of the earth. 11 Serve Jehovah with fear And be joyful with trembling. 12 Kiss the son, that He may not become incensed And YOU may not perish [from] the way, For his anger flares up easily. Happy are all those taking refuge in him.

In other words Jehovah says to his Prince, the king-designate who sits at his right hand UNTIL his enemies are placed under his domain. Then, once all of his enemies are placed under that domain he sits upon the throne of Jehovah himself and goes about destroying those enemies, all along holding out salvation to them and the opportunity to “kiss” the Son.

This all a very natural process and fits with the language used throughout the Bible in regard to Christ. A prince naturally has “authority” over everything that the KING has authority over, but the PRINCE is not the King, not yet. A Prince sits at the right hand of the King. The domain of the kingdom is under the feet as a footstool for the KING, not the Prince. That footstool represents absolute rulership and control over that domain, not destruction It is only when the Prince actually takes the throne and BECOMES KING that the King’s domain becomes the Prince’s domain as KING. And the Prince, until such time as he becomes King, as indicated elsewhere in the Bible in regard to David, one of the primary antitypes of Jesus, can still be called King as King-designate because they have already been anointed and marked and destined to become such. It is once he receives the domain of the King that he then goes forth to put them UNDER his foot.
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1 Cor 15:25 said he was ruling as King all this time while God was putting enemies under his feet, and would continue to rule as King until God had put ALL enemies under his feet. Are you now saying that Jesus never rules as King until the last enemy “death” has been brought to nothing. In your books, this is most literally understood at the END of the thousand years.

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You need to look again at this. It matches perfectly with what I have been saying. You also claim something that it doesn’t say.

(1 Corinthians 15:25-28) 25 For he must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under his feet. 26 As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing.

Verse 25 and 26 matches exactly what I have been saying. This uses the expression UNDER HIS FEET as enemies, which means their destruction, not mere domain over them. Jesus DOES rule as king until he destroys all enemies. This in no way contradicts what I have said but rather confirms it.
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Sitting at God’s right hand is clearly a reference to RULING. Acts 2, again, shows that Jesus went to SIT at God’s right in fulfillment of God’s oath to David that God would “SIT one from the fruitage of his loins upon his throne” (Acts 2:30) Whatever the state of ALL his enemies at that time, he was already ruling in their midst. He only had to wait until ALL enemies were subjugated. You actually have it a bit backwards that these enemies are part of his domain BEFORE he goes subduing them. A king subdues enemies to make them part of his domain. You can only subjugate after you subdue.

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You seem to forget something here. Those enemies are PLACED BY GOD as stool for his feet. The earth is already God’s footstool of domain. He simply turns it over to Christ for him to go and subjugate his enemies. Nothing about conquering is indicated by something serving as a foot stool.
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The difference in sitting at God’s right hand and being in the midst of his throne is again an unscriptural distinction, if you are using it to indicate that Jesus was not a king while sitting at God’s right hand. Refer again to Acts 2. Being brought into the midst of God’s throne was the same as sitting at God’s right hand, the position of highest favor. The position of a co-ruler.

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You have no evidence to call it an unscriptural distinction at all. What would serve as evidence is to demonstrate where a king upon David’s throne was referred to as sitting at the right hand of the Majesty. They weren’t, Solomon was said to sit upon Jehovah’s throne. Jesus is said to sit on the throne WITH his Father. The right hand is the natural position of the PRINCE, not the KING. Its not a matter of authority as much it is a matter of position in relation to that authority. Even as Prince, one is NOT the King. Biblical precedent and example stands in favor of that understanding, not against it. You are the one without precedent.
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Also, your position is tied to literal distinctions between being “underfoot” or “under a footstool.” That being the case, you can’t really use Hebrews 2, or even 1 Cor 15:27 to support you’re distinction. 1 Cor 15 says: “For [God] ‘subjected all things under his feet.'” God has not just made a footstool but already speaks as if everything is subjected “under his feet”. Now there are obvious reasons to believe as you stated above that this is about a process and therefore the tension with the verb tenses. But this same passage obviously goes against your supposed distinctions about the difference in a footstool and “under his feet”. Also, let’s go ahead and say that Jesus really was the reference in Hebrews 2 when it says “‘All things you subjected under his feet.’ For in that he subjected all things to him [God] left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him; 9 but we behold Jesus, …, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death…” This would mean that the distinction about footstools was forgotten again. Under his feet would refer to domain it seems, dominion. Not a problem in my view, but a direct conflict with yours, which requires “under his foot” to refer to destruction (for some reason). The idea that we don’t SEE it all yet, is not that it hasn’t been accomplished, just that, as you say, it’s an ongoing process of subjugation of enemies. Hebrews in fact goes on to show precisely this in the next few verses: “14: through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil; 15 and [that] he might emancipate all those who for fear of death were subject to slavery all through their lives.”

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Bill, what you are forgetting is that that there has to be a difference here between the “all things” which are subjected under the feet to Christ and the putting of his enemies under his feet. Verse 26 proves that the expression UNDER HIS FEET in relation to his enemies refers to their destruction. However, beginning with verse 27, the expression can’t possibly refer to destruction. All things SUBJECTED UNDER THE FEET to Christ is not just about ENEMIES, its about EVERYTHING, otherwise, Paul would not have to make special note to exclude God the Father. Yes, the VERY REASON that Christ can eventually destroy his enemies UNDER HIS FEET, the last one being death, is because ALL THINGS, good and bad have been subjected to him EVENTUALLY, as the verb tense proves, as the Prince sitting at God’s right hand. But the “UNDER THE FEET” in relation to his enemies is NOT synonymous here with “subjected under his feet”. Remember from the start of this point I said that this has to do with the expression used in relation to ENEMIES, not just the expression under the feet in relation to everything. Keeping this in mind is important and erases any supposed contradiction that you think you saw.
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Also take a note that Hebrews makes a special reference to the fact that we behold Jesus CROWNED in the first century.

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The crowning is qualified by the words glory and honor. Not quite the same thing as being crowned as King. Remember, in the Psalms, those words, including being subjected underfoot, were applied to earthling man too. This clearly has nothing to do then with what you are thinking.

(Psalm 8:4-6) 4 What is mortal man that you keep him in mind, And the son of earthling man that you take care of him? 5 You also proceeded to make him a little less than godlike ones, And with glory and splendor you then crowned him. 6 You make him dominate over the works of your hands; Everything you have put under his feet:
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Satan was already in the process of being brought to nothing, and his “hold” over humans was disintegrating, already destroyed in fact for many Christians.

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No, it simply was not destroyed in any way, in no more way than what it was before Christ. He was still the ruler and the god of this system and he could still persecute, tempt, kill and cause trouble for Christians just like he did for Job. God always had some restraint on the actions of the Devil, even before Christ. In fact there are more references to the meddling of Satan after Christ than before.
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There was something about the significance of what happened in the generation of 33 CE (66 – 73 especially) that dwarfed what happened in WWI. It effected God’s chosen saints, and this was “touching the apple of his eye”. WW I was terrible, but there was a reason that the hyperbole of Matthew 24 dwarfs it with what happened around 70 CE.

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The great tribulation upon Jerusalem doesn’t even come close to matching the description of the great sword in Revelation 6. This was a GREAT sword which took away peace from the earth, not just the city of Jerusalem. Apples and oranges.
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Note also, that when we discuss this subject, the subtext is always about the defense of one of the most unique and suspicious chronologies being taught today in the name of religion. It was put forth by the Watchtower and therefore the Watchtower’s credibility on all things chronological and prophetic is very much an appropriate subject for this discussion.

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No, that’s what you want to turn it into but the article doesn’t even address the topic as to WHEN the Bible would indicate the kingdom would begin. It simply demonstrates that it had to be AFTER 33CE. That’s what we need to primarily stick to. Otherwise this will never end. We can always discuss the WT and its interpretation of things later here or elsewhere.
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This one is in line with your idea — which I still agree with — that standing up refers to some definitive action. But it still has nothing to do with whether the power or king existed previously, or had the title of “king” previously. He could be ruling “fully” as king and then stand up to rule an extended dominion.

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The point is that this standing up, which means to take an action against his enemies, SUBDUING, which you say was 33 CE doesn’t fit with that. This standing up, this taking action, is placed at the very end of a very long prophecy that takes us clear down to the parousia AND THE RESURRECTION. For your idea to be correct, this standing up of Michael should have taken place at the spot where he was resurrected in that prophecy or in the first century, not at the spot indicated here in Daniel. Once again, your interpretation becomes anachronistic gymnastics
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It actually does. “30 Therefore, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath that he would seat one from the fruitage of his loins upon his throne, 31 he saw beforehand and spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ…Actually David did not ascend to the heavens, but he himself says, ‘Jehovah said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand.” Sorry you keep missing that by trying to construe the logic away from the obvious.

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Bill, there’s simply nothing to miss here. The very sitting at the right hand was enough to show that the one who sat at that right hand would be the one to fulfill the promise. It in no way shows that the promise had to have reached complete fulfillment by what is said there. You’re constantly trying to read more into it than what it actually says.
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Your statement about no human King being at God’s right hand can be misleading. Because you could just as easily say that the ONLY person to whom it was ever said to sit at God’s right hand, “the right hand of the throne of Majesty” was ONLY for someone who had just been exalted to God’s right hand above every other dominion, and who was the only case known was of someone who was referred to as Ruler of the Kings of the Earth. Not even to any of the angels had this position been granted, except to one who was both King and Priest according to the manner of Melchizedek. (Book of Hebrews) The only one ever to sit in this place was called the “the head of all government and authority” in Colossians, where it also happens to say: 13 He delivered us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love (Kingdom of his beloved Son), 14 by means of whom we have our release by ransom, the forgiveness of our sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him.

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But this changes nothing. Simply because Jesus is the only one to have been stated as sitting at God’s right hand AWAITING something, does not change in any way the fact that the king on David’s throne was NOT spoken of as at the right hand, but ON the throne. Jesus reference to himself in Revelation as sitting on God’s throne with him shows that this is not just in reference to any earthly rulership but when he was in heaven as well. And remember, I could find no place in the Bible at all where “Ruler” (archon) was used in reference to the King, but rather in reference to one with authority, but below the king, such as the prince.

There were some things that didn’t need addressed because I think everything you mentioned was covered by what I have included here, either directly or indirectly. If not repeat it

Biblical precedent is clearly in our corner for this one Bill, at least in regard to not having happened in 33CE.

The natural and paralleled reading of Daniel 7 denies 33 CE historically and chronologically. Antiochus doesn’t fit at all with Daniel 7. The identity of the 24 elders is nearly absolute when one stays with manuscript evidence and the parallel imagery and terminology found elsewhere. That places the visions to be centered around a parousiac scenario in heaven. The kings of David’s throne were said to sit ON Jehovah’s throne, not at a right hand position to God. Jesus said he would sit ON God’s throne in heaven, not at his right side. In fact, no king is spoken of as sitting at the right side of a greater throne. The right hand seat was normally the position of a Prince, not a King. The Greek word of “archon” did not exhibit any incidences where it actually referred to the King of a land, but referred to Princes, who naturally sat at the right hand of the king. Satan himself is referred to as the Prince and the god of this world, yet never is he called king. It’s not a matter of authority, but of a particular position in relation to that authority.

Anytime you’re ready for a summary, I am.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:10 pm

Hello Rotherham,

Yes, I agree. I believe we should be ready for summaries by now.

If you don’t mind, please go first. I won’t have time to summarize for a few days.

Regards,
Bill

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:30 pm

Hello Bill,

Summaries are to be posted simultaneously. When you are ready let me know and we will time our postings. Or vice versa, I will let you know when I am ready. Once posted the discussion is closed. Remember, no new points. Simply a review of the discussion and the conclusions you have reached via that discussion.

If new points are introduced, they will be stricken or the opponent will be allowed to respond to that point and that point alone. The moderators (not me) will decide what should happen in that case.

Regards,
Rotherham

BillW wrote:Hello Rotherham,

Yes, I agree. I believe we should be ready for summaries by now.

If you don’t mind, please go first. I won’t have time to summarize for a few days.

Regards,
Bill

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:05 am

Hello Rotherham,

Sounds like the right way to do it. This has been a hectic 6 months with a lot of business travel, personal travel and two family funerals. I looked over the previous postings and I realize that these many issues took a toll on the flow of the discussion. I learned a lot while presenting my arguments, and realize that there is much more to learn. I haven’t even touched the real differences between my beliefs on Daniel’s beasts and how these tie in to Revelation’s beasts. I found two excellent books on the subject, both of which I need to read fully to be able to respond even to my own questions more competently.

I also never took the time to truly understand your own (Watchtower) view of the Daniel beasts. I dismissed it when I noticed it had problems so similar to all the other interpretations. Therefore I never really did a full study of its comparative merits. Even if this becomes an exercise in which of these two weak interpretations has a little more merit than the other one, I need to see why you pinned so much of your argument on the supposed “perfect fit” between your interpretation of Daniel and Revelation. I never saw it. My own interpretation is merely the best I can do at removing the problems I see in all the major interpretations I’m aware of.

I also realized that I had never followed through on a track that must be very important to this discussion. A discussion of the entire subject of kingdom, reign, rulership, regal authority, worshipful authority — and the entire reason for using the regal imagery of power — kings, princes — rather than just the authority of judgment, justice, righteousness. This requires some study of the kingdom parables, kingdom sayings, etc.

You have highlighted a potential problem with the difference in a Prince and a King, for example. This is a new subject of inquiry for me.

Before any summaries, could you do me a favor? I’d like to know that I’m working with the latest versions of your Daniel interpretations. Is it possible to provide text here that explains the entire chapter of Daniel 7 in your view? I’m referring to the meanings of the symbols and the times or periods in history that you believe are being referenced. I was working primarily from my memory of information you provided nearly two years ago on another forum, but I don’t even know if that discussion was complete — or if my memory of it is correct. I don’t need to know WHY you choose the particular meanings, just the actual meanings you choose to believe — and when in history those symbols/meanings are referring to.

If you think that a summary of your views of Daniel 2 image, and Daniel 8 is important to this, then you can include that, too, if you would.

Regards,
Bill

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:10 am

Hello Bill,

Sorry for the dealy, I was gone over the last five days without any computer access.

What might serve you best in regard to your question about a detailed presentation of Daniel and even the connection it has with Revelation and why we see it the way we do, I would recommend getting your hands on the JW publications that deal with those two books. You have mentioned often that your wife is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses so I’m sure she likely has a copy of both that she would be willing to share with you or you could pick up a copy of those book at the local Kingdom Hall or have her get them for you. That way you would have all the information instead of just pieces here and there. If there are things in there you would like to discuss, since we are wrapping this particular discussion up, you might present it at theologues dialogue for discussion there, or until such time there is another related article to where it could be discussed here.

Regards,
Rotherham

BillW wrote:Hello Rotherham,

Sounds like the right way to do it. This has been a hectic 6 months with a lot of business travel, personal travel and two family funerals. I looked over the previous postings and I realize that these many issues took a toll on the flow of the discussion. I learned a lot while presenting my arguments, and realize that there is much more to learn. I haven’t even touched the real differences between my beliefs on Daniel’s beasts and how these tie in to Revelation’s beasts. I found two excellent books on the subject, both of which I need to read fully to be able to respond even to my own questions more competently.

I also never took the time to truly understand your own (Watchtower) view of the Daniel beasts. I dismissed it when I noticed it had problems so similar to all the other interpretations. Therefore I never really did a full study of its comparative merits. Even if this becomes an exercise in which of these two weak interpretations has a little more merit than the other one, I need to see why you pinned so much of your argument on the supposed “perfect fit” between your interpretation of Daniel and Revelation. I never saw it. My own interpretation is merely the best I can do at removing the problems I see in all the major interpretations I’m aware of.

I also realized that I had never followed through on a track that must be very important to this discussion. A discussion of the entire subject of kingdom, reign, rulership, regal authority, worshipful authority — and the entire reason for using the regal imagery of power — kings, princes — rather than just the authority of judgment, justice, righteousness. This requires some study of the kingdom parables, kingdom sayings, etc.

You have highlighted a potential problem with the difference in a Prince and a King, for example. This is a new subject of inquiry for me.

Before any summaries, could you do me a favor? I’d like to know that I’m working with the latest versions of your Daniel interpretations. Is it possible to provide text here that explains the entire chapter of Daniel 7 in your view? I’m referring to the meanings of the symbols and the times or periods in history that you believe are being referenced. I was working primarily from my memory of information you provided nearly two years ago on another forum, but I don’t even know if that discussion was complete — or if my memory of it is correct. I don’t need to know WHY you choose the particular meanings, just the actual meanings you choose to believe — and when in history those symbols/meanings are referring to.

If you think that a summary of your views of Daniel 2 image, and Daniel 8 is important to this, then you can include that, too, if you would.

Regards,
Bill

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:15 pm

Hello Rotherham,

I have no problem presenting the interpretation found in Watchtower publications. I wanted you to have the opportunity to present your own Watchtower-based beliefs as a courtesy to you.

I believe I have access to all the relevant books and magazines, but I would present these views interspersed with my criticism, and I would likely make a few mistakes in my presentation, which you would probably wish to correct.

I can easily look up an interpretation, but I am not so conversant with any updates that might have shown up in magazines since I don’t try to keep up on a regular basis. I won’t know if your summer conventions or more recent magazines would have added anything to this discussion. And I might mix beliefs that JWs held in the 30’s and 40’s with beliefs you hold today. (Historically, I find the beliefs held in the 30’s and 40’s to be the most interesting from the political perspective of the times and these are the easiest to recall after reading.)

As far as your reasons for accepting various interpretations I am sometimes at a loss. You would know these very well since you have accepted them as YOUR reasons, but in this area I would probably tend to mix up those reasons with the general Euro-centric views held at the time when Adventists and various end-time prophetic commentators since the 1800’s first presented some of these same explanations you accept today.

I will present what I believe is your view on Daniel 7 next. (Not just the interpretations, which are simple, but the reasoning behind them.) I will try NOT to complicate it with reasoning from Daniel 8, but I do believe Daniel 2 provides a relevant foundation.

Regards,
Bill

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:11 pm

Hello Bill,

So is this a continuation of the discussion or part of your summary? Once again, if it is part of your summary, and you are going to present new objections, then that’s not going to work for a summary. A summary is a summary of the already presented evidence and our individual conclusions based on the already presented evidence. If you are not done debating the points, then we are not ready for a summary.

Regards,
Rotherham

BillW wrote:Hello Rotherham,

I have no problem presenting the interpretation found in Watchtower publications. I wanted you to have the opportunity to present your own Watchtower-based beliefs as a courtesy to you.

I believe I have access to all the relevant books and magazines, but I would present these views interspersed with my criticism, and I would likely make a few mistakes in my presentation, which you would probably wish to correct.

I can easily look up an interpretation, but I am not so conversant with any updates that might have shown up in magazines since I don’t try to keep up on a regular basis. I won’t know if your summer conventions or more recent magazines would have added anything to this discussion. And I might mix beliefs that JWs held in the 30’s and 40’s with beliefs you hold today. (Historically, I find the beliefs held in the 30’s and 40’s to be the most interesting from the political perspective of the times and these are the easiest to recall after reading.)

As far as your reasons for accepting various interpretations I am sometimes at a loss. You would know these very well since you have accepted them as YOUR reasons, but in this area I would probably tend to mix up those reasons with the general Euro-centric views held at the time when Adventists and various end-time prophetic commentators since the 1800’s first presented some of these same explanations you accept today.

I will present what I believe is your view on Daniel 7 next. (Not just the interpretations, which are simple, but the reasoning behind them.) I will try NOT to complicate it with reasoning from Daniel 8, but I do believe Daniel 2 provides a relevant foundation.

Regards,
Bill

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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Rotherham
 
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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:48 am

Hello Rotherham,

Yes, this would have to be a continuation of the discussion, before we can be ready for the overall argument summaries.

Regards,
Bill

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby BillW » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:44 am

Hello Rotherham,

My apologies for the delay. Manager in Hong Kong for a month. I should be available to post again on Sept 7.

Regards,
Bill

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Re: ‘YES HE DID’ is the answer supported by Revelation

Postby Rotherham » Thu May 08, 2014 10:22 am

Due to inactivity, this discussion has concluded, until such time as BillW reappears.

Regards,
Rotherham

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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End of discussion as it currently appears on TrueTheology.net

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