Revelation - Is It Primarily About Natural Israel?
Posted 26 December 2005 - 01:40 PM
[R23] I was astonished to see your claim that the word 'synagogue' is never used in the New Testament of an ecclesia:
2 For if someone comes into your assembly [synagogue] wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes,
[R68] I’m sorry, but this won’t do. He wrote to ‘the 12 tribes scattered abroad’ (ch 1.1). The ecclesias, as you ought to know, were initially in the synagogues, and only left when the Jews became obnoxious. James is writing to the very earliest believers, who were therefore in the Jewish synagogues. You have to do better than that.
[R24] I am glad that we agree the dragon is Rome. Rome most certainly had headquarters. I have not argued that Rome dwelt in a synagogue.
Please deal with my actual arguments.
[R69] It’s about time you dealt with mine. The word ‘synagogue’ in the NT means, in the Lord’s vocabulary, as I have shown, Jewish ones. HE is the author of the Revelation, not James. We ought to read James with Jesus’ word use in mind. Not Jesus with James’ word use in mind.
If as you are saying synagogue = ecclesia, then which ecclesia was the ecclesia of satan? Equally, which Romans claimed to be Jews, and were not?
Posted 26 December 2005 - 01:44 PM
[R25] Incredibly, you deny that a lampstand gives light. I ask you what you think the function of a lampstand is, if it is not to give light, and direct you to the following passages of Scripture:
14 the lampstand for the light and its accessories, its lamps, and oil for the light;
15 People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
[R70] You must really be joking. Mt 5 says you put A LAMP on a lampstand to give light. I sincerely hope you don’t think that the lampstand itself was giving light? Didn’t you notice Ex 35 saying ITS LAMPS?
A LAMPSTAND is the STAND that the lighted lamps STAND ON. You know, LAMP – STAND.
But to remind you: why are there only 2 in ch 11? Which two are represented there? Where have the other 5 gone? And where in the Letters do we find ‘the two olive trees’ if they are the same symbols being used?
[R26] You claim that I say the saints 'are not natural Israel, but those faithful in covenant relationship with Him', and ask me to explain a list of passages you present. The answer to your question is found in my point , especially [4.3] and [4.4]. The fact that two of the passages you quote are passages which I specifically expounded in my point  demonstrates that you have not actually read what I wrote. Please read what I wrote, especially points [4.4.1] to [4.4.4].
[R71] I would like you to SPECIFICALLY EXPOUND the passages I quoted, which you’re avoiding like the plague... Try and tell me what you think they DO mean instead of what they DON’T mean when you reply to [R71].
It is untrue to say that the saints are simply 'natural Israel', because only those natural Israelites in covenant relationship with God are referred to as saints. Those who are cut off from the covenant because of sin are not described as saints, but apostates.
[R72] This is wrong. This alone shows that:
De 33:2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.
De 33:3 Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
This is Israel coming forth from Egypt. There were a fair number of wicked therein.
In addition, many in the ecclesias (as in Corinth) are amazingly wicked: but Paul has no hesitation in calling them ‘saints’:
1.1.. 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
[R73] You have attempted to say that because the Lord does not actually say ‘Isa 6, Ezk 14.21 or Ps 79’ or whatever, He is somehow, in contradiction to His whole previous practice, applying the same prophecy, in some peculiar way and for some peculiar reason, to the church, the Roman Empire, or the pope. I would like some specific illustrations of what you mean because I think that is quite wrong:
1. Show, with example(s) where He provably uses a contra-Israel prophecy against a Gentile nation
2. Show with examples(s) where He provably uses a contra-Gentile prophecy against Israel
3. Explain, with reasons, why Ezk14.21 is NOT to be interpreted as a contra-Jerusalem prophecy when quoted in the Fourth Seal.
If you cannot do so, please say so, so we can all be enlightened.
[R74] I would like you to produce something specific, instead of arguing these generalities. If the Revelation is NOT about Natural Israel, it must be about something else. To date you have not even VENTURED some identification of anything in the prophetic parts of the Book.
Re-reading your first post, I note that you said: “I deny the proposition that the Revelation is primarily about natural Israel.” You did not say what you DID affirm that it was about. I’m sure we would all like to know.
I imagine the readers have little or no idea of what you are REALLY talking about. I certainly don’t. I am surmising that it is the RE (now out of court), the Catholic church (is it?) or something else. Asking you to produce something specific is a perfectly reasonable request.
To date, you have not addressed any of my arguments in point . Please do so.
4. The scope of the prophetic events: Many passages and phrases indicate to us that the scope of the events is restricted neither to the group of people who constitute natural Israel, nor to the geographical area of the land of Israel and its immediate inhabitants.
In much the same way as the Old Testament is primarily about natural Israel, so too is the Revelation.
In much the same way as other nations impinge upon natural Israel in the Old Testament, so too do they do so in the Revelation.
Anyone who argues that the Old Testament is entirely about those nations who affected Israel is sadly mistaken. Therefore, anyone who argues that the Revelation is entirely about those nations who impinge upon Israel is equally sadly mistaken.
That they don’t exist, and that they are not mentioned in the Revelation is not my position at all. They occur, and are mentioned. That does not, however, affect my main argument, that the Book is about Natural Israel, just as the Old Testament is about Natural Israel.
[R75] There is my answer, and it is now up to you to answer the two big unanswered points I spoke of above.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 01:47 PM
You reply by declaring that the letters to the seven ecclesias all terminate with a phrase which indicates that Christ is no longer addressing the seven ecclesias. This is irrelevant
[R76] Hardly irrelevant. When you sign a letter to someone, that indicates that the discussion is closed: only a PS comes after that, not a whole book! Those 7 statements represent seven very large full stops. The discussions are closed.
…since although he is not addressing the seven ecclesias specifically, he is still addressing his servants, as he declared he would in Revelation 1:1, and his servants are not 'natural Israel', they are those in Christ. There is no indication that he has ceased addressing his servants
See above. SEVEN FULL STOPS SAY SO!
and is now addressing natural Israel,
[R77] He is not addressing natural Israel. Please stop misrepresenting me. He is speaking TO His servants (have we got that clear?) ABOUT Natural Israel (is THAT clear, or do you need further clarification?) on whom the fate of the world depends.
and there is no indication that having been speaking of the events which would come to pass on his servants, he is now changing the subject entirely and dismissing them.
[R78] Dismissing? Misrepresentation, or misunderstanding. See above. SEVEN FULL STOPS SAY SO!
In [R29] you repeat the argument regarding Revelation 4 and Isaiah 6 which I have already addressed in my [R16-18].
[R79] You may have addressed it, but you have not ANSWERED it. Please do so as required above.
Edited by Asyncritus, 26 December 2005 - 01:49 PM.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 01:51 PM
[R30-31] …You assume that 'unless there is pressing reason to the contrary, they do so require' and 'so does Jesus', but this is real assumption. Your claim that Christ uses a completely different prophetic methodology to the rest of Scripture has yet to be demonstrated.
[R80] How remarkable! Assumption? I have shown that IN EVERY CASE, Christ uses contra-Israel prophecies AGAINST ISRAEL. You are the one saying that He has changed his ways. I declare that He hasn’t.
My second argument has been that where Christ does apply a previous prophecy to a new prophetic event, he always cites the original prophecy specifically. I have proved this using a number of examples from Christ's own words. You contest this by arguing that 'there are several cases where quotation, but not citation, occur'.
[R81] I have rebutted this above. See [R61ff]. I have demanded proof above, and wait to see it. To remind you:
a. Where does Jesus cite but not apply the prophecy to Israel? And
b. Where does Jesus quote, not cite, and not apply the prophecy to Israel?
You offer three possibilities. Two (Matthew 21:16 ??? and Mark 2:25), are not examples of the application of a previous prophecy to a new prophetic event. These are not prophecies. How could the account of David and his men eating the shewbread possibly be regarded as a prophecy? He uses it as a precedent, and there’s a difference between the two things.
These are the only three examples (there are more than these: see my [1.22]) you have been able to produce in order to argue against my position that where Christ does apply a previous prophecy to a new prophetic event, he always cites the original prophecy specifically. All of them fail.
Not so. See [R61ff].
[R82] When Christ cites a prophecy about Israel, He invariably uses it about Israel. When He quotes a prophecy about Israel, He invariably uses it about Israel. The New Events you are talking about, are ALWAYS events in and on ISRAEL. He DOES NOT VARY.
As I said, your point is MOST peculiar. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that unless he says ‘Ezk 14.21,’ He is taking Ezk’s prophecy about Jerusalem and applying it to something other than Israel! However, I repeat, you have not been able to show a single instance where a contra-Israel prophecy is not being used against Israel.
Edited by Asyncritus, 26 December 2005 - 02:01 PM.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:06 PM
Your response to this has been to refer to Isaiah 5:5-6, in which the vineyard is used as a metaphor for Israel (I agree), and to compare this with two of Christ's parables:
• The parable of the master with the vineyard and the wicked husbandmen
• The parable of the man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard
You argue that in both of these parables, the vineyard is being used in a manner identical to that of Isaiah 5 - that the vineyard is being used to represent Israel. This fails completely, because although we can interpret the vineyard in the parable of the wicked husbandmen as Israel, in the parable of the man who had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, it is the fig tree which represents Israel, not the vineyard.
The vineyard is Israel: the Land of Israel. The fig tree is the nation. Jesus could hardly expect fruit of righteousness from the soil! So as you have at long last agreed, though somewhat involuntarily, “it is the fig tree which represents Israel”. So figs falling from the fig tree represent what then? The downward velocity of figs under the acceleration due to gravity minus wind resistance? No. It is the fact that the fruit of Israel is withered and useless that is being described here.
[R85] You beg the question. Here, you have finally admitted, He uses the fig tree to represent Israel. Give me a good reason why he should change the habit of a lifetime and say the fig tree is merely a figure of speech, representing nothing in the OP, and nothing in Rev 6.
This demonstrates exactly what I have said previously - that a symbol in Scripture does not always represent the same subject wherever it is used, and that Christ does not always use the same symbols to represent the same subject.
[R31] You refer to the fourth beast of Daniel 7, make the claim that it trampled only on Israel (an astonishing claim to make, given the extent of the Roman empire's trampling), and then argue that the dragon in Revelation must therefore trample only on Israel.
This not only ignores the fact that the beast in Daniel 7 tramples on the whole earth (not simply Israel, but many nations, hyperbolically described),
[R86] We have discussed this at length. The only reason why the 4th beast exists at all in Daniel, is because it would trample Israel. Where are the Germans? Where are the British? Where are the Americans? And the Russians? The Turks? The Chinese? They are not mentioned in Daniel, yet they trampled many nations too. So it isn’t the trampling of many nations that qualifies them for inclusion, it is the trampling of Israel. What other reason do you propose for including them?
Now since in Daniel, that is the reason for the Romans’ inclusion, then what is the reason for their inclusion in Revelation? Only one answer. They were to trample Israel.
Just incidentally, we also note that the Roman dragon’s tail drags one third of all the stars to the earth! How similar is that to the OP? Markedly so, I suggest.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:08 PM
You are invited to explain how the dragon can deceive only natural Israel, when it is said to deceive the entire OIKOUMENH (Revelation 12:9), and how it can be 'the accuser of our brothers', 'to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep God's commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus' (Revelation 12:10, 17), if it is supposed to be restricting its activity to natural Israel.
[R87] Very simple. The RE did just that. It wiped out Israel, and persecuted the saints. But we are getting into that dreaded thing, specifics. Let’s have some from you about the points (fourth Seal, and the 2 candlesticks) previously raised.
You are also invited to explain how the beast of the sea which receives the same 'power, throne, and authority' as the dragon of Revelation 12 (Revelation 13:2), is supposed to be restricted to natural Israel when it is described as making war against the saints, and ruling over 'every tribe, people, language, and nation' (Revelation 13:7).
[R88] See above. You are asking for specific interpretations, which you yourself refuse to give.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:11 PM
[R32] You quote the 'abomination of desolation' prophecy of Daniel 12:11, and note that the abomination of desolation is referred to in the Olivet prophecy as recorded in both Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. You also admit that 'Daniel is named'. This is a good example of Christ interpreting a specific prophecy as having a specific fulfilment.
[R89] Let’s fill that out a little. This is an example of Christ using a contra-Israel prophecy in a contra-Israel manner. Agreed? Agreed. Therefore, this is merely further confirmation of the truth of my statement that He always uses contra-Israel prophecies in a contra-Israel manner. The general principle stands. You cannot demonstrate any variation from this theme.
It is not an example of Christ taking part of a previous prophecy from one context, applying it to a new context, without referring to the source prophecy.
[R90] Applying it to a new context? Not at all. He uses it because THE SUBJECT IS THE SAME. The subject being the destruction of Israel.
Therefore, in the 4th Seal, we have Him doing exactly the same as with Daniel. He quotes a prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem from Ezekiel, and uses it about the destruction of Israel. You may have noticed that Luke does not view the non-citation of Daniel’s name as a reason for rejecting the AD70 application.
Unlike you, he does not apply Daniel in any way to the church, simply because Daniel’s name does not appear:
Lk 21 20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. NO CITATION IS MADE.
Mk13. 14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,)then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
Therefore, non-citation is no reason to reject the original context and the subsequent application of the prophetic quasar. The same thing (as the original context intended) is happening at a later time. The new application is therefore entirely correct and reasonable.
Edited by Asyncritus, 26 December 2005 - 06:16 PM.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:13 PM
…I was not arguing that the mere use of the symbols was enough to show that the prophecies did not apply to Israel, but to the 'church'. I argued that the fact that the meaning of the symbols was specifically identified in Revelation 1 to 3 as referring specifically to the 'church' proved that they did not apply to Israel.
Those symbols which Jesus refers specifically to the churches, clearly refer to the churches. That is a truism.
To then say that EVERY SYMBOL thenceforth refers to the churches, is as gigantic an illustration of the undistributed middle as you are ever likely to meet.
If your statement is correct: “the meaning of the symbols was specifically identified in Revelation 1 to 3” then you can certainly show us where and how the 4 horsemen appear in the Letters. Ditto with the figs from the fig tree, and the sun moon and stars falling etc. And the dragon, and the burning mountain. And the two olive trees. And the sea. Just as a few examples.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:14 PM
The point is worth underlining that you are making a gigantic leap of faulty logic.
a handful of symbols from the OT is used about the churches in the Letters,
EVERY OT symbol in the Book refers to the church!!!!!
I’m sure even now the worthy Kabowdanan is having a fit in his undistributed middle!
If an evolutionist made such a breathtaking extrapolation, we would all be up in arms about it, wouldn’t we? And quite rightly. But you are doing no less. It’s that THEREFORE that is so much at fault.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:16 PM
Thankfully, you now agree with me that 'you are perfectly correct to say that they are insufficient to make the identification BY THEMSELVES'. You then ask 'What then do we have to rely on?', and in answer to that I direct you, once more, to my point , which you have yet to address.
[R34-36] You fail to acknowledge that it was your own method of interpretation which caused you to be confused over the interpretation of the 'sun, moon and stars' symbology of the Olivet prophecy (attempting to shift the blame onto Flappie and myself simply will not work).
[R91] If you re-read the correspondence, you will see that this is true. It WAS a mistake to listen to the 2 of you, and I accept full responsibility for my unwisdom in so doing.
My point about the stars being absent from Joel 2 is not a quibble, it is an important fact. You wish to make the case that this prophecy is being quoted by Christ, when very obviously it is not. Some of the same symbols are in Revelation 6, that is all.
[R92] Whatever your views about the ‘conflation’ of prophecies may be, the fact remains that the true CONTEXT of the Olivet Prophecy, the MAIN subject of the same, is the destruction of Jerusalem, in AD70 and in our time.
Do we agree on that point?
Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the sun moon and stars references are to do with Gentile nations. WHEN will that happen to the Gentile nations? Context, context, context: at the fall of Jerusalem in AD70 and in our time. So what does Rev 6 refer to, using as it does, the selfsame figures, sun moon and stars? Answer: the Fall of Jerusalem then, and in our time. Simple isn’t it?
How can you conceivably find an application to the church in AD70 and in our time? Which church? What nations? And most important of all, WHY make such a far fetched application?
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:19 PM
You ask when (if it is true that 'the sun moon and stars references are to do with Gentile nations'), this will take place. I answer, at the return of Christ, as the context clearly states. It does not say 'at the fall of Jerusalem, in AD70', and cannot since the 'sun, moon and stars' references have to do with events which take place subsequent to the fall of Jerusalem
[R93] This is completely mistaken:
14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,)then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:
16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.
19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
20 And except that the Lord had shortened THOSE DAYS, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
24 BUT IN THOSE DAYS after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
Mr 13:17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
Mr 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
Mr 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
Mr 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
THIS IS AT THE FALL OF JERUSALEM: in THOSE DAYS. You cannot shift the time of the action to some time AFTER those days. He is far too explicit on the point. ‘IN those days’ is what he says, and ‘IN those days’ is what He means. There is no huge 2000 year gap in there, which is exactly why the whole lot must be fulfilled again. It is stretching credulity and gullibility to breaking point to even suggest the ‘after’ IN THIS CONTEXT could possibly mean ‘a 2000 year gap’. No, there has to be a full walk-through again in our time.
Luke is equally clear:
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Notice the ‘AND THEY’s’. The signs in the sun moon and stars have nothing to do with Gentile nations. At least you cannot positively identify them as such. The context, context, context rules always. And what is the context all about? The falls of Jerusalem in 70 and in our time. When the Gentiles are invoked, they are NAMED as such: TRODDEN DOWN OF THE GENTILES, you notice. Distress of nations (ethne).
Joel 2 is about the same time in the 1stC. Peter says so, in confirmation of what Jesus said. The great and terrible day of the Lord was coming: when Jerusalem and its people would be savagely overthrown. They will be invaded again and destroyed. There is no possibility of dragging in the Gentiles under the guise of ‘sun moon and stars’ in Joel, so how can there be in Mt 24?
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:21 PM
I didn’t say anything abut Gentile nations falling.
[R94] I’m afraid you did. Here, in [R95] below: “…the fact that Christ uses the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery in the Olivet prophecy to speak of Gentile nations” If these things fall, then that must surely mean that these said nations are falling!
You claim that since the Olivet prophecy uses the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery to speak of an event which takes place 'at the fall of Jerusalem', then the use of the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery in Revelation 6 must also refer to the fall of Jerusalem. This is pure assumption.
[R95] Hardly that, Fort, hardly that. Have I not shown you again and again that WHENEVER JESUS USES a contra-Israel prophecy, He does so in a contra-Israel manner? That is no longer debatable. It is His inflexible RULE governing His use of OT prophecies. IT IS AXIOMATIC. (Dare I call this Asyncritus’ Third Axiom?). Not assumption.
Firstly, the fact that Christ uses the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery in the Olivet prophecy to speak of Gentile nations means that you cannot assume that he is repeating the Olivet prophecy in Revelation 6 but now telling the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery refers to the fall of Jerusalem (not Gentile nations).
[R96] You cannot demonstrate this, and this is pure assumption on your part. I have looked at the passage (Lk 21) closely on several occasions, and there is no way you can insist on that.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:24 PM
Secondly, you ask how I can 'find an application to the church in AD70 and in our time'. I am not claiming that the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery refers to the church, either in AD 70 or in our time.
[R97] Well, I know that, since you aren’t saying it means anything at all. You have yet to attach any specific meaning to any prophetic part of Revelation.
Thirdly, you ask 'What nations?' This is meaningless, since we are not told which nations.
[R98] So if I understand you correctly, you don’t know which church(es) this chapter (Rev 6) might apply to (though I do recall your mentioning Constantine some time ago: but he really wasn’t a church, was he?), you don’t know which nations this applies to - so just what DO you know?
[R99] Peter says that this is going to happen BEFORE THE GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD COME. (2.20) That is the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 and in our time. On whom is the dreadful destruction spoken of here going to come? On the Christians? Most unlikely. It is the Jews. The Day of Atonement was known as ‘The Great Day’. Whose great day? Israel’s.
Peter quotes from Joel 2:30-31, and applies it not to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, not to natural Israel, but to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the earliest Christians.
He then invites the listening Jews to share in this promise of God. You are invited to show how this blesssing constitutes a 'contra-Israel prophecy'.
First, He addresses ‘Ye men of Israel’.
Second, he states that ‘the great and notable Day of the Lord’ was going to come. On whom? Israel.
His command ‘Repent’ carries with it the connotation of the Lord’s words to Israel: Lu 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Nationally they didn’t repent, so they perished.
The very word ‘repent’ denotes a threat to Israel. Hence, this prophecy on at least those counts, is a contra-Israel prophecy, contingent upon their repentance or non-repentance. As it turned out, the hammer fell on them.
[R38] …Unfortunately you have not in fact addressed the issue here, which is that 'signs in the sun, moon and stars' is being applied to 'distress upon nations', and not to Israel.
[R101] This has been dealt with in detail above in [R93].
[R39] I'm afraid the fact remains that when Christ is re-applying a previous prophecy to a new prophetic event, he cites the original source specifically (see all the examples I gave). This is the case whether the prophecy is quoted or cited. You have been unable to challenge this.
[R102] See [R63ff] above which comprehensively refutes this claim.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:28 PM
To answer your other question (yet again), no Christ is not quoting Ezekiel ' in a contra-Israel manner'.
Let’s examine this statement:
1 Is Christ quoting Ezk 14.21? Yes, He is, and it is the LXX that is being quoted. Even in the English the connections are obvious:
Ezk 14: 21 For thus saith the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the noisome beast, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast?
7 to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
2 Is this a ‘contra-Israel’ prophecy being quoted here? Yes, it is. The ‘upon Jerusalem’ puts this beyond cavil.
3 Therefore, since Jesus invariably uses contra-Israel prophecies, quoted, cited or alluded to, against Israel, then we have no reason to suppose that He has changed His normal practice and is now talking about the Roman Empire or the church.
He is using a phrase which occurs in both prophecies against Israel and Gentile nations.
This is not the case. Perhaps you can indicate where it is used against Gentile nations. The following are the only places you listed in your Armoury article, so perhaps you have found a few others since then.
Jer 14. 11 Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.
12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.
21. 8 And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.
9 He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.
24.8 ff : And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.
10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.
As you can see, your own quoted passages ARE ALL contra-Israel prophecies.
He is not quoting any particular prophecy (though the order of the words agrees with the previous prophecy against Gentile nations, not Israel).
[R103] I beg to differ. The Ezekiel echo is an outstandingly obvious and unmistakable one and you cannot dilute its force. In addition to that, your own 3 quoted passages are ALL very much contra-Israel prophecies. So I ask you again, why would He use such markedly contra-Israel prophecies against the church or the Roman Empire? And where do you have any precedent for making such a claim?
[R104] “No, I never said that Luke 21:24 has nothing to do with AD 70.”
I’m afraid you did [R40]: 25 “And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth nations will be in distress, anxious over the roaring of the sea and the surging waves.
There is nothing here which indicates that this is AD 70. These signs appear after AD 70.” Unquote.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:30 PM
[R43, 46] I have already told you that I understand the judgments here in the fourth seal to refer to the judgments on the Gentile enemies of God and His people. The specific interpretation of the fourth seal is outside the scope of this discussion, and I will not be led in that direction. I want you to address the actual issue which is the topic of this debate, rather than attempting to introduce distractions whilst avoiding answering my arguments. It has been characteristic of our discussions that you have preferred to pose distracting questions rather than address the key issues.
[R105] I find this paragraph quite insulting, really, but I will not pursue the matter, and leave it to the moderators.
Prophetic interpretation must produce specific results, else it is useless. I submit that your ‘interpretation’ is completely useless, and of no value to anybody. Consider what you have just said, if that is indeed your ‘interpretation’:
“I understand the judgments here in the fourth seal to refer to the judgments on the Gentile enemies of God and His people”
First, you show no justification for rejecting Ezekiel’s own identification of the subject as Jerusalem, despite the fact that you recognized the quotation in your Armoury article.
Second, what judgments of God?
Which Gentile enemies of God?
Which ‘people of God’ (bearing in mind the indisputable fact that Israel is ALWAYS God’s people in the OT AND in the New)?
When did this take place?
Deuteronomy demands specificity, and so does common sense: When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
So specifics, please. I could wax lyrical about the general unspecificity of your interpretation, but I will not do so, contenting myself with pointing out that you have said absolutely nothing that could be of any help to any saint in the 1st Century, never mind the 20th. I’m sure the readers will recognize the validity of that statement. Dr Thomas was at least specific about the Seals, if wrong. I trust that your supporters are observing the same unspecificity and wondering why it exists.
[R45] No, I am not saying ' because He does not say 'Ezk 14.21', He isn't quoting Ezk 14.21, and He isn't talking about the same subject as Ezk 14.21'. I am saying that when Christ (and the apostles), wishes us to understand that he is applying a previous prophecy to a new prophetic event, he invariably refers explicitly to the source of that previous prophecy.
You say 'He does use prophecies without attributing them', but I have answered this in [R30-31].
[R106] I have refuted this in [R63ff] above.
[R47] Your claim here is insupportable given that what we have in the Olivet prophecy (according to your definition of what constitutes an 'application of a prophecy'), is both Gentile prophecies and an 'Israel based prophecy' being applied to Gentile nations.
It is indisputable that the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery is used in the Olivet prophecy of 'nations'. This is the very imagery you have insisted on the basis of Joseph's dream is unique to Israel (despite its use in prophecies against Edom, Egypt, and Babylon), and is also used in 'contra-Israel' prophecy in the Old Testament. This imagery, you claim, is it only unique to Israel but unique to prophecies against Israel. Christ's application of this imagery to the nations in the Olivet prophecy belies your theory.
[R107] This is answered fully above in [R63] and [R64].
Edited by Asyncritus, 26 December 2005 - 06:21 PM.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:33 PM
[R48] What is so confusing about that statement? I have made it more than once, in a couple of different ways, and I have given you a number of examples. I refer you to my [R45].
[R49] Firstly, I have already given you an example in the Olivet prophecy of what you call 'A contra-Israel prophecy about Gentiles' (the 'sun, moon and stars' imagery which is used of the nations).
[R108] You recognize, correctly, that ‘sun moon and stars’ is ‘imagery’ not prophecy. But it is imagery embedded in a prophecy whose identifiable context is the destruction of Israel.
When we find it in a Babylonian context:
1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
we assume it is Babylon being described.
When we find it in an Israelite context:
Joel 2. 10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:
2. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come
we assume that it is talking about Israel.
So what context do we find in the OP? Israel. Therefore, in accordance with common sense, what do we think it’s all about? Israel. What else?
So when we find it in the Revelation, in the CONTEXT of 10 Olivet Prophecy echoes/quasars/whatevers, what do we think it means? Israel.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:34 PM
Secondly, even if your argument that Christ never did this in the gospels is true, it does not mean he would never do it elsewhere (this is simply an assumption you make).
[R109] This is a truly astounding statement. I suppose that water flows uphill somewhere in the universe. But even you will concede that that must be a very rare phenomenon, whose existence is highly improbable given all our experience. Given all our experience of the Lord’s use of contra-Israel prophecy, we have no real reason (apart from wishful thinking) to even begin to think that He would do otherwise. The simple fact remains that He doesn’t, and this torpedoes the CH case completely.
Posted 26 December 2005 - 02:37 PM
Thirdly, you are committing the logical fallacy of the undistributed middle in attempting to interpret the context of Revelation according to the symbols, rather than the symbols according to the context. This has been demonstrated and explained to you many times previously, in considerable detail, by both Kabowdanan and myself.
[R110] Kabowdanan’s point is now shown to be valueless. The Lord’s practice completely destroys his argument. Let me explain.
You are now saying, if I understand you correctly, that Jesus’ use of symbols in chs 2-3 shows that those symbols refer to the same things in the rest of the book. THERE IS AN UNDISTRIBUTED MIDDLE in that argument. Thus:
Candlestick in ch 1 = ecclesia.
Candlestick in ch 11 = ecclesia.
But there is an intervening factor in there which destroys that syllogism. In fact there are several.
1 Jesus’ own use of contra-Israel prophecy indicates that this one is also against Israel, not the church
2 This is almost a quotation from Zechariah in another contra-Israel prophecy.
3 There are only 2 candlesticks in ch 11, but 7 in chs 2,3.
4 Olive trees are introduced from Zechariah.
These differences alone wreck the syllogism you seek to generate.
Here is another such mistake:
False teacherS are described in chs 2,3
THE false prophet appears in ch 16, coming out of the mouth of the dragon.
Therefore, you say, this is also a false teacher in the ecclesias. At least that is what I THINK you intend, since you have not produced any interpretation at all.
But the differences between the false teachers and THE false prophet are huge. So the undistributed middle swings in with full force, and says that your syllogism is insupportable. There ARE other factors in there.
My syllogism, which you and Kabowdanan are unable to gainsay, is a very simple one.
Jesus ALWAYS USES contra-Israel prophecies AGAINST ISRAEL in the gospels.
Jesus uses contra-Israel prophecies in the Revelation c 500x.
Therefore, and that is the force of the word ALWAYS, He is using these contra-Israel prophecies against Israel in the Revelation. Which proves, on theoretical grounds alone, that there are 500 references to Natural Israel in the Revelation. Which is therefore the subject of the Book, and this debate.
There is no middle to distribute there, because of the ALWAYS condition. Nothing can interfere, nothing can deflect, nothing can gainsay that conclusion.
It is a major exegetical error to ignore the context of these symbols (as you do), and to claim (as you do), that they appear in Revelation without any context at all. This does gross discredit to the inspired author, apart from anything else.
[R111] I don’t know what you’re talking about.
You are the one claiming that Jesus uses OT prophecies in the Revelation in some completely different way to His habitual practice in the gospels. That is ‘gross discredit’ to Him, and to common sense, in my view.
There is also the point that a symbol is NOT a prophecy. It may be a constituent PART OF a prophecy, but is not the prophecy itself. Thus: the dragon is, in Daniel, a symbol for Rome. YOU CONCEDE THAT IT IS USED IN THE SAME WAY, in ch 12.
The dragon destroys Israel in Dan 7.
Therefore, who is the dragon destroying in ch 12? Or is it a different dragon to the Dan 7 one?
[R50] Thank you for acknowledging that in Revelation 1-3, a lampstand is an ecclesia. Now on what basis can you possibly interpret it as anything other than an ecclesia, or at the very least a group of Christian witnesses to God (which is what an ecclesia is), in Revelation 11? I'm afraid that 'I think not' does not constitute either an argument or proof.
[R112] Grounds for thinking so:
1 Jesus uses contra-Israel prophecies against Israel. ALWAYS.
2 The identifying markers of the 2 witnesses = 2 candlesticks = 2 olive trees are as follows:
a. fire out of their mouths – like Elijah a prophet OF ISRAEL
b. power to shut heaven that it rain not – like Elijah, a prophet OF ISRAEL
c. power to turn waters into blood – like Moses, a prophet OF ISRAEL
d. power to smite the earth with plagues – like Moses, a prophet OF ISRAEL
Which 2 ecclesias do you suggest this refers to? And where are the other 5 from chs 2, 3? And when did ecclesias have the power to do all these things?
These are the 2 witnesses of God: “Ye are my witnesses” says God of Israel and Judah – 2 of them, mark you. Why should these be Christian ecclesias, instead of Israel?
The parent prophecy, in Zechariah is also about Israel, and the foundation of the House of God IN ISRAEL. So why should it be different here?
Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:53 AM
 Many passages and phrases indicate to us that the scope of the events is restricted neither to the group of people who constitute natural Israel, nor to the geographical area of the land of Israel and its immediate inhabitants ([3.1.1]-[3.3.6]).
These phrases are verifiably used in the Old Testament (LXX), and in the New, of Gentile nations outside Israel. Your only reply has been to claim that although nations other than Israel are referred to (which is at least a concession you did not make previously), they do not form the focus of the prophecy, but that Israel does. This claim is overturned by two facts:
- Israel is nowhere referred to as the focus of the prophecy, or the place where the events of the prophecy take place
- The prophetic events of the book take place in an area described as wider than simply the land of Israel and its immediate surroundings
- The scope of the events is restricted neither to the group of people who constitute natural Israel, nor to the geographical area of the land of Israel and its immediate inhabitants ([3.1])
- The prophetic events of the book take place in an arena greater than simply the land of Israel and its immediate surroundings ([3.3])
- The arena of the central figures in the prophetic passages is defined as greater than simply the land of Israel and its immediate surroundings ([3.4])
 The saints are the recipients of the Revelation, mentioned specifically in the seven letters (Revelation 3:12, with Revelation 7:3, 13-14), and specifically identified in Revelation as the subject of the events prophesied, both persecution and redemption (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:3, 13-14; 8:3-4; 11:18; 13:7, 10, 12; 14:1, 12; 16:6, 17:6; 18:24). It was not simply written to them, but about them.
Your only response to this has been to claim that the saints in the Old Testament are always Israel (I have proved this to be false in [4.2]-[4.3]), and to claim (without evidence), that the saints in the New Testament are not always God's people.
In the Old Testament the saints always represent those in faithful covenant relationship with God, whether natural Jews or not. We find that they can be angels (Deuteronomy 33:2, Job 5:1; 15:15, Daniel 8:13), natural Jews (Psalm 148:14; 149:1), or generally those mortals in covenant with God regardless of nationality (Psalm 50:5; 97:10; 116:15; 149:9; Proverbs 2:8). In four places it could refer either to those in Christ, to the angels, or to both, but not 'natural Israel' (Daniel 7:18, 22, 27, Zechariah 14:5).
[4.2] The NT uses the term 'saints' consistently describe those who in Christ (Acts 9:13, 32, 41; 26:10, Romans 1:7; 8:27; 12:13; 15:25-6, 31; 16:2, 15, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:1-2; 14:33; 16:1, 15, 2 Corinthians 1:1; 8:4; 9:1, 12; 13:13, Ephesians 1:1, 15, 18; 2:19; 3:8, 18; 4:12; 5:3; 6:18, Philippians 1:1; 4:22, Colossians 1:2, 4, 12, 26, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Timothy 5:10, Philemon 1:5, 7, Hebrews 6:10; 13:24, Jude 1:3, 14).
[4.3] The saints (whether termed 'saints', those sealed with the name of God, the 'servants of God', the 'seed of the woman', 'those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus', 'those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus', or the 'witnesses of Jesus'), are specifically identified in Revelation as the subject of the events prophesied, both persecution and redemption (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:3, 13-14; 8:3-4; 11:18; 13:7, 10, 12; 14:1, 12; 16:6, 17:6; 18:24).
[4.4] The key prophetic events, and the persecution conducted by the central enemies in Revelation, are said to come upon the saints (defined as the faithful in Christ):
[4.4.1] The great tribulation described in Revelation (Revelation 7:3, 13-14, 20:4)
[4.4.2] The dragon (the pagan Roman empire, as we both agree), persecutes them (Revelation 12:10, 17)
[4.4.3] The beast of the sea (which arises proximate to the dragon, the pagan Roman empire), persecutes them (Revelation 13:7,10)
[4.4.4] The harlot persecutes them (Revelation 17:6; 18:24)
In the entire series of prophetic chapters, we find this group (not natural Israel), identified as the subject of the events prophesied.
 The Revelation shares material Daniel 2, 7 and 12. In Daniel 2 and 7 we find a prophecy regarding the 'fourth kingdom on earth', described as a violent and destructive kingdom which would break all others into pieces. In chapter 7 it persecutes God's people, specifically the saints (Daniel 7:25).
[5.3] In Daniel 2 and 7 the kingdom is identifiable as the Roman empire. In both Daniel 2 and 7, its violent activities (including, in Daniel 7, its persecution of God's people), are described both up to the time of Christ, and past the date of the fall of the Roman empire in 476 AD.
[5.4] The prophecy indicates that the persecution of the people of God by this beast does not finish in the 1st century, but continues after the 5th. This empire continues to exist somehow to the return of Christ (Daniel 7:11-14), at which point the kingdom of God is given over to the saints (defined by the New Testament as those the faithful in Christ).
[5.5] The same beast is found in Revelation, with the same description of it and its activities (Revelation 11, 13, 17, and 19). God has revealed to us the full extent and scope of this beast's persecution and activities, right up to the time of Christ's return, and including its persecution of those in Christ, not merely natural Israel.
Edited by Fortigurn, 23 March 2006 - 03:54 AM.
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.
Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”
Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)
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