The Olivet Discourse was NOT fulfilled in 70 A.D.

Three events that could NOT have been fulfilled in 70 A.D. are The Abomination of Desolation, The Great Tribulation, and The Gathering of the Saints.  I came across this objective view of the Olivet Discourse today.  Read about it here.  For those of you who have been following my posts on Preterism, it was quite timely.  The poster makes some great points about how the events of 70 A.D. could not have fulfilled the Olivet Discourse.  Those who try to hold that all the events of the Olivet Discourse are in the past and await no future fulfillment have some serious explaining to do.  I was just about to write a post on these very things, so much of what I write below had already been formulated in my head, but there are a couple of ideas which were confirmed by the very well written post.  Hopefully you realize I’m not plagiarizing.
 
The Abomination of Desolation ~ If we follow what Christ says and believe it is the abomination of desolation as spoken of by Daniel the prophet, and that it is to stand in the holy place where it does not belong, we know that it will be to replace the sacrifices to God with something abominable.  Titus destroyed the temple.  No false worship was set up at that time.  You can look up the verses in Daniel 8:11-14, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11.  To believe that the abomination of desolation occurred in 70 A.D. is to not understand what Daniel prophesied about.  The Abomination of Desolation is accompanied by the cessation of sacrifices in order to replace it with something to be worshipped in place of the one true God.  That never happened in 70 A.D.
 
The Great Tribulation ~ This is one of the few instances where the phrase "The Great Tribulation" actually occurs.  The problem for Preterists is that it follows the abomination of desolation.  Those who followed Christ’s words had left Judea some time before when Jerusalem was surrounded by armies, Luke 21:20.  Following the destruction of the temple, there was no significant persecution of the saints which was unequaled even to this day.  The persecution of the saints had been occurring since Jesus ascended into heaven and continued through this time period, but the persecution against Christians did not increase at that time.  The element which resulted in much death was against apostate Israel and it actually preceded the destruction of the temple.  Preterists have this backwards and inside out.  The future Great Tribulation will be so intense that God will have to cut the days short otherwise no believers would be left alive.  Again, no 70 A.D. fulfillment.
 
The Gathering of the Saints ~ Here is the part where Preterists have no leg to stand on.  Jesus predicted He would come in power and glory with the holy angels.  Some try to spiritualize this as Christ’s invisible reign over the church.  But there can be no mistake about the error concerning the gathering of the saints.  There was no gathering of the saints in 70 A.D.  The context of what Jesus was saying would be that the exile of Israel would be over at that time.  The prophecies concerning the gathering of Israel into the promised land would be fulfilled.  Surely the disciples remembered Luke 13:24-29.  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and everyone else from the east, west, north, and south would be gathered together into the Kingdom of God.  Instead, we have the inception of the longest exile ever beginning in 70 A.D. 
 
As in my previous posts, I admit that 70 A.D. fulfillment is important.  It completely validated Jesus’ ministry as a prophet to His generation.  But there can be no mistake that the events of the Olivet Discourse were not completely fulfilled.  Futurists have it right when we say we are looking forward to a future Abomination of Desolation, a future Great Tribulation, and a future Gathering of the Saints.
 
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
 
-The Orange Mailman
This entry was posted in Eschatology. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Olivet Discourse was NOT fulfilled in 70 A.D.

  1. Chris W says:

    Hi,

    I have read most of your criticisms of preterism and have found that many of them don’t apply to all preterists (for example, I believe Matthew was written before Mark, Jesus knew what he was talking about etc.). Let me give you a better Preteristic interpretation:

    1) The Abomination of Desolation – “on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate”. Every israelite was commanded to wear a tassel (a ‘wing’) on their garment to remind them of their promise to devote themselves to the LORD (numbers 15:37-41). A wing of abominations is a way of referring to an israelite who has broken their vow to God. Given the temple/sacrificial context of Daniel and the fact that Jesus puts this Abomination (or abominable person) in the holy place, I think it is the wickedness of the high priest that he has in mind. This works under a preteristic or a futuristic interpretation.

    2) The great tribulation – The most difficult one for any preterist. Similar hyperbolic language is found in the description of the destruction of Israel by Babylon in Joel 2:2. I imagine you would refer this scripture to the yet-to-come future judgement, but that does not fit the context of Joel, which is clearly that of an imminent desolation of Israel for her sins at that specific time. Peter is using typology when he cites Joel 2 in reference to Pentecost.

    3) Here is where I differ from most preterists. I take this to be a literal rapture of the apostles, prophets and the dead in Christ (including the patriarchs etc), which I believe happened in 70AD, shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem. You can call me wacky if you like.

    Have you read David Chilton’s preterist commentary on Revelation “Days of Vengeance” (available for free online, just google it)? I don’t agree with everything he writes (I think Revelation is much more chronological than he does), but it is a must-read if you want to properly understand the preterist position. I’ve read the prewrath “Revelation commentary” – challenged my position in a number of ways.

    • Hi Chris-

      #1- You should read my post on the book of Daniel. It points to Antiochus Epiphanes as committing the first abomination of desolation which set the type for the future. Daniel 11 is a clear roadmap to this individual. https://theorangemailmanmyblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/a-comprehensive-view-of-daniels-prophecies/

      #2- I would concede that Joel has an imminent facet to it. But there is language that simply cannot have been fulfilled in Joel’s day, such as the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and Jerusalem becoming completely holy (yet future even now). The prophets saw things out in front of them, but their primary concern was the repentance of the very people they were preaching to. So let’s not dismiss the immediate context, as it is usually of key importance. But let’s not stretch the passage and try to say everything happened in that generation when it clearly did not. Instead, leave it unfulfilled for the regeneration (Matthew 19:28) and the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21) both yet future.

      #3- No documenation of that every occurring. I’ll save the wacky comment for after I read your response.

      I’m not interested in reading Preterists. I did the series because I didn’t feel that most Futurists gave an adequate response. Most Futurists are dispensationalists and rely heavily on dispensational extrapolation (i.e. “this doesn’t apply because it’s from another dispensation”). That need not be the case. Concede where it’s past, and point to the future. Anyway…

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  2. Chris W says:

    Hi Orange,

    On 1, I don’t think it’s possible that he could have commited such an act. The term “Abomination” in scripture has a very specific meaning. It refers to a sin committed by an Israelite in breach of God’s covenant. Gentiles can sin all they like but it doesn’t count. Only a covenant member can commit an ‘abomination’. Hence I think that the “forces” which commit the abomination in Daniel 11 must be the priests who conspired with Antiochus to wreck the temple and set up idols. Check the background in Leviticus for the meaning of ‘abomination’.

    On 2, I see no reason why God couldn’t have sovereignly declared Jerusalem to be holy after the restoration from Babylonian captivity. To me, Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s “new covenant” texts clearly teach that Israel had the Spirit poured out on her at that time. Why can’t this scripture have been fulfilled at that time?

    On 3, it explains where the early Church went wrong. I mean, you have Irenaeus saying that Jesus lived into his 40s – that’s just ridiculous! The early Church fathers got the basics right, and we have those basics in the creeds – they also got that the bible is all about Jesus, which is great. But their knowledge of scripture was pretty bad for the most part. But then, that’s what happens when the big guns in the Church leadership disappear – it results in a lot of confusion. Just because Josephus didn’t mention it that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    Well, I think you should engage more seriously with preterism. Some of the things you have claimed here suggest that you don’t understand orthodox (partial) preterism all that well. I think one of the major problems in eschatology is that every single school of thought (including the book I referred to by Chilton actually) seems to only interact with dispensationalism. It may be the biggest in sensationalistic popular culture, but historicism is probably the most popular approach worldwide and throughout Church history.

    You seem to only interact with other futurist views generally. I’m yet to be convinced that Christ will return prior to the conversion of the nations. I certainly don’t believe that he will return soon. It’s good that you’ve interacted a bit with amillennialism, but I think you need to engage with preterism, historicism and idealism a lot more if you want to convince people. I’m from the UK, and conservative evangelicals here mostly tend to be amils and believe that Jesus could return at ‘any moment’.

    • Hi Chris-

      On #1- I think you are dismissing the entire sequence of Daniel 11 without interacting with it. It clearly lays out the arrangement between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms showing the wars between the king of the north and the king of the south. My post documents the progression through the passage until we get to Antiochus IV. He committed an abomination in the temple. The mention of the wicked priests is there in Daniel 11:32 being corrupted by his flatteries, but Antiochus is the one that commits the abomination of desolation. Daniel 8 is quite clear as well that this king comes out from one of the four Greek divisions after the death of Alexander the Great. He commits the transgression of desolation and tries to destroy the holy people. So you would have to interact with Daniel 8 as well.

      On #2- How could new covenant blessings be poured out before the shedding of Christ’s blood? “This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for many.” On the contrary, Ezra and Nehemiah portray an Israel still in need of God’s future restoration. Ezra 9-10 shows that while the physical city was still in need of rebuilding, there was much spiritual corruption as well. Nehemiah came and brought leadership, but this highlighted the fact that much leadership in Jerusalem was quite corrupt, see Nehemiah 6:17-19, 13:4-9.

      #3- I’m not sure I follow you. Just because a couple of church fathers who lived a couple hundred years after the apostles believed something not on par with scripture, how does that equate to your assertion that the apostles were already resurrected by that time? Remember that the resurrection will occur in conjunction with the coming of Christ to earth, I Corinthians 15:23, and the end of the age which leads into the age of the resurrection, Luke 20:34-36.

      Your thoughts on hermeneutic need to be demonstrated in specific instances. Micah prophesied that Jerusalem would be plowed like a field, see Micah 3:12. Because of the repentance of Israel (actually Judah) during that time, only Samaria was judged. The kingdom of Judah and the city of Jerusalem were spared. Yet Micah was seeing into the future beyond his lifetime. Later, when Jeremiah prophesied, he was accused of treason for prophesying against Jerusalem and the temple, Jeremiah 9:11, 26:1-11. In response to this, some of the elders pointed out that Micah had prophesied a very similar message which never came to pass, Jeremiah 26:17-19. They pointed out that the recipients of Jeremiah’s message should be repenting just as Hezekiah’s generation repented at the preaching of Micah. Micah’s prophecy eventually came to pass because Jerusalem was plowed like a field by Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuzar-adan. Yet the restoration recorded in Micah 4 never came to pass. Never has there been a time after the 70 year exile when the Gentile nations make pilgrimage to Mount Zion to hear the ways of the God of Israel. Never has their been a time when the nations put away their weapons of war and turn toward agriculture from that point on.

      So, why didn’t Micah get put to death when his prophecy did not come to pass in his lifetime? Why was he hailed as a prophet of God as they repented and averted God’s judgment upon Jerusalem? And what about Jonah and Nineveh?

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  3. Chris W says:

    Anyway, all of that is a distraction from the real issue: the issue of hermeneutic. Specifically of hermeneutic with regard to prophecy. So let’s read the key text in this regard, Deut 18:20-22;

    “But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

    If the thing spoken about by the prophet does not come true, he is to be put to death. Put yourself in the shoes of a Jew who is in exile in Babylon and read Ezekiel 36. That Jew is expecting not only a return from exile but the Spirit poured out on the nation of Israel. When he returns to the land, he interprets the prophecy very literally and decides that part of the prophecy has been fulfilled and part of it hasn’t. So what does he do? He gets a band of friends together and stones Ezekiel to death. For if the thing spoken of does not come true, that prophet has not spoken in the LORD’s name and anyone who does not speak in the LORD’s name shall be put to death.

    Ezekiel may protest: “But the exile happened and the return happened! Sure, there are some parts which are yet to be fulfilled, but they will happen eventually.” But any Jew who had read Deut 13 would know that just because a prophet says some things which does come to pass, that doesn’t always mean that he is from the LORD. Everything he says must come to pass exactly as spoken. Otherwise he can always protest that “those parts will be fulfilled eventually, just not yet!”

    There is another alternative. Perhaps, prophets usually spoke of events that were to be fulfilled near the time of their writing. Perhaps the Israelites understood that darkening of the heavenly lights represented the fall of rulers (Isaiah 13:10). Perhaps they knew that the cedars of Lebanon represented people (Isa 2:13). I think that such a hermeneutic makes by far the best sense of the OT view of prophecy and I am yet to hear a decent rebuttal of it.

  4. Chris W says:

    Hi,

    On 1, I don’t think it’s possible based on the scriptural meaning of the word “abomination”. You have to interact with the semantics here. I think Daniel 8 refers to the line of Herods, a line of Jewish kings.

    On 2, Jesus brought a “new” new covenant, a greater restoration. The New Testament is loaded with typology and this is one example of it. The restoration (new) covenant foreshadowed an even greater restoration. Remember, I don’t have a problem with multiple fulfilments, I think they’re very important. I do have a problem with not giving the first fulfilment its proper place. Those Nehemiah passages demonstrate that Nehemiah was the one commisioned to cleanse the city of evil – they actually support my contention that God was at work giving people new hearts and binding them to himself in fulfilment of Ezekiel 36 et al.

    On 3, 1 Cor 15:23 does not talk about a coming to earth, rather a coming to rescue/rapture his saints. In Luke 20:34-36, “those considered worthy” are not all Christians in general, but a specially chosen few (the apostles and prophets). Revelation 20 shows thrones in heaven, not on earth (the word “thrones” takes us back to chapters 4-5, a scene in heaven).

    Regarding Micah’s prophecy, God simply averted judgement because the people repented. All prophecies of judgement are contingent in this sense, namely, that if we repent, God is gracious and will forgive. There was a later fulfilment of the prophecy, a ‘greater fulfilment’ of sorts (despite the lack of a first one), but most prophecies will have multiple fulfilments. There was another fulfilment in 70AD when Jerusalem was ‘plowed like a field’ by Titus Vespian. All the fulfilments of a prophecy matter, but it is the first one which vindicates the prophet.

    • Hi Chris-

      #1- You would have to prove a scriptural definition of abomination which disincludes the application I am setting forth. But, I have to interact with semantics? Why not interact with the interpretation of the prophecy that Gabriel gave to us in Daniel 8:15-26? It specifically states that the goat is Greece which is divided into four. The little horn comes out of one of those four. Rather than a line of Herods or Popes (that’s SDA on this passage), Gabriel tells us this refers to A KING which arises out of one of the four division of the Greek Empire. So why not interact with Daniel 8:21-23?

      #2- So there was a new covenant before Christ shed His blood on the cross? God was not at work giving them new hearts since so many were still corrupt even after Nehemiah’s ongoing leadership in Jerusalem. There was no repentance on the part of these people. Nehemiah had to physically remove them from their positions. A few generations later, these Israelites will turn their back on the covenant fulfilling Daniel 11:32 as you pointed out in an earlier comment. Not much of a new heart for the nation of Israel if you ask me. The new heart only came with the baptism of the Holy Spirit which was administered by Christ from heaven after the new covenant was cut in His blood.

      #3- The word parousia which refers to Christ’s coming in so many of the eschatological passages is a noun which means presence. It’s not a coming like he moves from one place to another. He establishes His presence here on earth by coming. So when I Corinthians 15:23 uses the word parousia, it does not refer to Christ coming and going back to heaven, but rather coming here to begin His reign as the next verses demonstrate, see I Corinthians 15:25. Revelation 20 does not state that these thrones are in heaven. Since Christ was seen sitting on a horse here on earth with the armies of earth gathering together against Him, it only stands to reason that He has returned to earth and the saints are here with Him. Reveation 4-5, to which you refer, states clearly that the reign of Christ with the redeemed will be here on the earth, see Revelation 5:10.

      #4- You just stated that if a prophecy of a prophet did not come to pass in their lifetime, that prophet should be put to death. Now you are stating that this isn’t the case. You are agreeing with me that there is a prophecy which did not come to pass in the prophet’s lifetime, yet this is the way prophecy works. Sometimes they don’t come to pass. And you haven’t cited any prophecies which reflect your previous point of view.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  5. Chris W says:

    Hi Orange,

    On 1, you could be right, and having checked the usage in the Law, it’s more varied than I had previously thought. You could be right about it being Antiochus. I’ll keep pondering this one. Although a king can sometimes mean a royal title (like ‘Herod’), as you yourself believe about Gog in Ezekiel 38-39, perhaps coming out of the fourth horn better fits AE.

    On 2, expelling evildoers is purification. The renewal of Israel was of course a continual process which climaxed at the resurrection and at pentecost. But Ezekiel 36 is very clear about when the beginning of fulfilment would happen and it is hard to believe that any Israelite living in exile would have thought of it as some future restoration and not that one. That would be an extremely non-literal interpretation!

    On 3, I think that the reign of Christ in 1 Cor 15 is a heavenly reign and is present. It will culminate in the destruction of death at the end of this age. Though I would agree that the parousia is a ‘presence’ which includes several events (rapture and judgement). My interpretations of Psalm 2 (which may have an initial fulfilment in Solomon) and Rev 19 are figurative of course.

    Rev 19 is about the beast (Imperial/demonic Rome) and the false prophet (Jewish little Horn), which are corporate entities taken from Daniel, so I’m not sure that this could be a battle in the literal sense. It represents the kingdom system of ‘cherubim-guardian-beasts and Israel’ set up in Daniel 7 (whilst Israel was in exile) coming to an end. Remember that this battle is also described as a wedding feast earlier in the chapter. Unless you have a literal sword flying out of Christ’s mouth and destroying people, I’m not sure a strictly literal interpretation really works here. Rev 5:10 could mean that the saints reign over the land (of Israel) in their judgement over her. Or it could mean that in the future, after the second resurrection, the saints will reign from Israel. Not sure.

    Okay, this is number 4 now then! Regarding the fulfilment of prophecy, all I mean is that if a prophet clearly implies that something has a near fulfilment, then it must have a near fulfilment. All that stuff in the Law about a prophet being put to death if something they say doesn’t come to pass would be redundant in 99% of cases according to your futurist interpretations as the prophet is usually long gone by the time fulfilment occurs! If prophets are allowed to then delay fulfilments past their lifetimes, how do you know whetheror not they are lying? And as I said before, judgement prophecies are always contingient upon whether the people repent. God was never bound to ‘plough the city like a field’ in the end because the people repented so he forgave them. And of course, we know that Jesus eventually bore that penalty.

    • Hi Chris-

      Ponder away. Hopefully there is cause for you to consider some other views of the scriptures.

      I don’t take everything literally. Of course there is symbolism in the scriptures. But those symbols are usually interpreted quite easily. The Sword out of Christ’s mouth is His Word. He speaks and renders judgment, they die. It’s not really much of a battle, more of a slaughter. But it does specifically state that the reason for the beast, false prophet, and armies gathering together against Christ is to make war against Him. So there is no need here to find what this is symbolic of. Birds come down to eat flesh. I don’t see how this can be anything but literal dead bodies lying there being eaten by birds of prey. The text doesn’t suggest anything else.

      Regarding the fulfillment of prophecy, I’d like to address this again. You have conceded in part that some scriptures need not be fulfilled in the lifetime of that prophet. Now you should be citing some specific examples in scripture to support your view. I have additional examples which support my view. Take the man of God in I Kings 13. Here there was a supernatural sign that proved he was a prophet of God. Yet the birth of the child would not happen for hundreds of years. No one thought he was a false prophet because Josiah wasn’t born in his lifetime. Since he died immediately after this, there was no chance for it to be fulfilled. The natural reading of this passage is that one day in the line of David, not necessarily in this generation, a child will be born by the name of Josiah.

      When Moses knew that he was giving his last words before Israel entered the promised land, he gave prophecies that would be fulfilled. Deuteronomy 31:29 shows that Moses knew what would occur after his death. So there was no need to base this turning from the LORD as something that would happen in the relatively few days before Moses died. The natural reading is that these prophecies would be fulfilled after the death of Moses. Yet no one would question whether or not Moses was a prophet. Many signs had been done by his hand proving that his prophecies were from the LORD. Many of his prophecies were specifically designed to come to pass after his death. Yet there were plenty of things that happened within his lifetime that showed that every single word he spoke would one day come to pass.

      That really is the basic pattern that we see in scripture. Signs were performed by that prophet within their lifetime proving that they were a prophet from God. Yet not everything that they foretold was mandated to occur in their lifetime. Jeremiah is another example (since we have been speaking of the new covenant). Jeremiah foretold things that occurred within his lifetime. He prophesied the death of the false prophet Hananiah, see Jeremiah 28:15-17. He also predicted the seventy years of exile in Babylon. That began in his lifetime, but the conclusion did not occur until after his death. These signs proved that he was a genuine prophet of God. There was no need for the new covenant to be made in his lifetime to validate his role as a prophet. That role had already been amply established. The new covenant could not have been fulfilled before Christ died on the cross. The law and the prophets were until John, who introduced the Messiah who in turn died for the sins of mankind introducing the new covenant into history.

      So, I think you should reconsider your viewpoint concerning fulfilled prophecy. Or perhaps you have some examples that support your way of thinking.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  6. Hi Orange,

    Well, it’s a matter of context. The prophecy in 1 Kings 13 is not contextually limited to a particular timeframe. What I have an issue with is where the context clearly limits when something happens and yet you seem to ignore it. All I am saying is that near fulfilment is a norm, not that it is universal. This must be the case because the prophecy must be relevant in some way to the hearers of the prophecy.

    The restoration prophecies are key in this respect. How you interpret them affects how you will interpret the prophecies in the rest of the scriptures (with which I am sure that you are in agreement). To insist that they must be fulfilled after the death of Christ on the cross is to read the New Testament into the Old without first engaging the Old Testament passages in their own context. Take Isaiah 43:14-21 as an example. A straightforward, in-context reading of the passage demands that the “thus says the LORD” of verse 14 is answered by the “thus says the LORD” of verse 16. And yet you would split them apart by thousands of years! Of course there is a greater restoration following the death of Christ, but that is the nature of typology.

    Regarding Rev 19, since the beast and false prophet are clearly governmental rather than individual, they cannot literally be “thrown into hell” and so a figurative interpretation must be sought. This is depicting the end of a geo-political entity, not a literal war. The beast and false prophet are sacrificed as an offering to God in the lake of fire and the rest of the people in the kingdom of Rome/Israel are transformed by the word of God. They are now no longer viewed primarily through a Jew/Gentile divide, but through a Christian/non-Christian divide, since they are viewed from the vantage point of the sword-word of the spirit (the gospel) – which winnows and divides.

    Well, my responses seem to be all out of order now. Feel free to come back to me on all of this of course.

    • But Chris, the context doesn’t always limit the prophecy. In fact, the context very seldom limits the prophecy. Prophecy is much greater than “everything must come to pass in the lifetime of the prophet or he gets stoned.” This is what you were suggesting for Ezekiel since the pouring out of the Holy Spirit did not occur in the fashion of 11:19, 36:26-27, 37:13-14, 39:29. But Ezekiel did not even live to the end of the exile. So either way it’s not occurring in his lifetime. Ezekiel saw an end. The end of the exile was in view, but the ultimate end was in view as well. Ezekiel’s vision need not be limited to the immediate context of the return from exile. Prophecy is capable of so much more.

      So you would have to prove that the context limits the prophecy which I don’t believe you can do. One of the main stipulations which you started with (that the prophecy must be fulfilled within the prophet’s lifetime) you have already conceded that this is not always the case. So now you would have to cite an example where the prophecy is limited by context and not capable of any future fulfillment beyond that, but you already state that there is a greater restoration beyond the prophecy. So we are really not separated by all that much.

      As far as Isaiah 43:14-21, I’m not sure what you think my view is. There should be no doubt that Babylon’s fall is foretold in the immediate context. But there is an end times Babylon as well, see Revelation 17-18. There are also parallel passages throughout Isaiah which build off each other. The paradise passage of Isaiah 35 can be overlayed here to show that there is a restoration at some future point in time here on the earth. And I doubt there is any documentation that rivers flowed in the desert thereby fulfilling some portion of Isaiah 43:19-20.

      So… where does that leave us?

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  7. Chris W says:

    Hi Orange,

    The context frequently limits how the prophecy is to be fulfilled. The context of a prophecy is almost as crucial in obtaining the meaning of the prophecy as what the prophet actually says. In the case of the restoration temple, it clearly limits its building to within the lifetime of Ezekiel. The bible never tells us that Ezekiel died before the end of the exile, in fact, the temple restoration passage in Ezek 40-48 clearly implies that he would still be alive! I am in no way trying to limit the timescale of every later fulfilment of course, just the first one.

    Revelation’s Babylon is a figurative name for Jerusalem, the city where Jesus was crucified (Rev 11:8). A straightforward reading of the text of Isaiah 43:14-21 demands a fulfilment in the original restoration from Babylon. Do you honestly think that the people living in exile would have ever considered the possibility that it was referring to a future restoration? I would suggest though, that the Church’s restoration from the judaising doctrines stemming from Jerusalem was another fulfilment. I am just insisting that you must have a sufficient first fulfilment in the literal restoration from Belshazzar’s Babylon.

    Also, nowhere in the bible is there any documented lack of waters flowing in the desert. If God gave the people signs after exile in Egypt, why not even greater signs after exile in Babylon?

    • The issue should really come back to Christ. Were his prophecies meant to be fulfilled within His lifetime? What about the lifetime of those that heard the prophecy? Now that would be a different issue, but would certainly point to a nearer fulfillment. So I would take it that the destruction of Galilean cities, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the destruction of the temple all occurred in 70AD. However, any attempt to say that the resurrection, the coming of Christ with His holy angels, the rewards, the setting up of the kingdom here on earth, that would all be forcing the issue. Some things were fulfilled, other weren’t. The end of the age has not yet come because the church is still preaching the gospel in spite of tribulation, Matthew 24:18-20. There is only one end of the age. So the end of the age in Matthew 24:3, 13-14 should be the same end of the age in Matthew 28:18-20. It seems like people want to try to make it look like those things happened when they never did. And they don’t think about the consequences of passages like the great commission if we have reached the end of the age.

      I would apply the same principle to Ezekiel’s temple. The prince would be the Davidic Messiah. There has been no king-priest who fulfilled that prophecy in any temple. That will be reserved for Jesus Christ, the priest after the order of Melchizedek. The waters have not flowed forth to provide healing for the Dead Sea which remains under the curse poured out upon Sodom and Gomorrah. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit has not occurred for the entire nation of Israel (yet). So, yes, much of what Ezekiel prophesied came to pass to prove his role as a prophet. But let’s not force what didn’t occur coming up with speculatory scenarios. Leave them unfulfilled. There is no shame in admitting that it’s a mystery that we don’t quite understand as of yet. I believe these things are future and I trust that an ultimate conclusion concerning the nation of Israel has yet to be reached.

      I’ll probably let this conversation go since I need to get back to some of my studies. But I have enjoyed dialoguing with you, Chris. And I hope you have as well.

      Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

      -The Orange Mailman

  8. Chris W says:

    Hi Orange,

    It’s been great. Good to roll the ball around the court. Obviously I do believe that we are living in the ‘age to come’ and that Christ reigns on earth through his Church and what not. So we are at a bit of a standstill.

    The great commission cannot yet be fulfilled, since it reads literally “Go and disciple all nations”. Well, the nations don’t look very discipled to me! Having said that, I do interpret “end of the age” as AD 70. That isn’t a problem though, Christ simply gave his disciples a mission which he intended they would not have completed within a generation and would need to pass onto the Church. Hence “I am with YOU (the disciples) always”. The end of the age was the end of their tribulations on earth. It’s a big mission and it will take a long time.

    I hope that gives you a vague idea of where I am coming from. I will keep reading your insights now and again, but I got engaged recently so I am a very busy man now 🙂

  9. Pingback: Mountains not found? | The Orange Mailman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s