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Archive for the ‘Heavenly Jerusalem’ Category

Natural and spiritual light and time

July 6, 2012 Comments off

Scripture refers to light metaphorically, to represent spiritual knowledge and understanding. Darkness represents misinformation, superstition, delusion, or ignorance. Belief in the gospel is light, and unbelief is darkness.

John said, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” [1 John 1:5] Knowing the truth corresponds to day, and ignorance to darkness or night. Christ “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” [John 1:9] He said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16]

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Flee to which mountains?

July 3, 2012 5 comments

The antichrist spirit, and apostasy becoming dominant in the church, are described in Daniel’s prophecies. The reign of Antiochus IV, the Seleucid king of Syria in the 2nd century BC, was typical of events of a spiritual nature, not a repetition of events of the same kind. Because of his policies, the temple at Jerusalem was made desolate, and dedicated to Zeus, which was typical of the desolation of the true temple, which is the church. Daniel referred to this desolation as the abomination of desolation. In Daniel 7 it is represented by the little horn that emerged among the ten horns of the fourth beast. In chapter 8, a king of fierce countenance who “understands dark sentences” destroys many of the holy people.

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Kenneth Gentry and the seventy weeks

July 2, 2012 Comments off

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. has discussed the dispensational interpretation of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy in a series of blog posts. In Dispensationalism’s difficulty with Daniel he points out that dispensational theology is dependent upon its position on the 70 weeks, which introduces uncertainty because Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy is notoriously difficult to interpret.

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Andy Woods on the postponement theory

June 29, 2012 12 comments

In his recent article at Bible Prophecy blog, on The Coming Kingdom (Part 6), Andy Woods discussed the dispensational idea that Christ’s kingdom was offered to Jews, but the offer was postponed when they rejected Christ as their king.

Woods views the kingdom as conditional upon whether or not ethnic Jews believe the gospel, a doctrine that paints Christ as rather powerless, and as a wanna-be potential king whose hopes were disappointed like the runner-up in an American election campaign. But this is not the Jesus the apostles knew. Woods wrote: “The dispensational premillennialist understands that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. However, the kingdom is not a present reality since first-century Israel never satisfied the condition of faith in Christ.”

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Mike Vlach and the nature of the kingdom of Christ

June 26, 2012 Comments off

In the second of his three posts on Zechariah 14, titled Zechariah 14:10-21 and the Nature of the Coming Kingdom, Mike Vlach focused upon the significance of verse 9, which says the Lord will be king over all the earth. He reasoned that because the prophecy described the nations coming to Jerusalem to keep the feast of tabernacles, the period to which the prophecy applies, when the Lord is king over the earth, must be during a future millennial age. He concluded:

In sum, this section reveals that the Lord will reign from Jerusalem over the nations. The nations must show their allegiance by observing the Feast of Booths. Those nations that do not obey the Lord will experience negative consequences, including the withholding of blessings.

In verses 6-7, the light is neither clear, nor dark. Any attempt to apply the prophecy of this chapter to a future millennial age is thwarted by what is said about light.

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Promises fulfilled in Christ

June 10, 2012 Comments off

Paul explained in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that all the promises of God are made available to us through Christ; he wrote: “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” In the Old Testament, these promises were given to God’s people Israel, but the New Testament shows that those who believe in Christ share in them, as they have become part of the true Israel of God through faith. Some of these promises are listed in table below. The notes in the right hand column suggest how they are fulfilled by Christ and his church.

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The keys of the kingdom FAQ

June 7, 2012 2 comments

E. W. Hengstenberg on balanced interpretation

June 5, 2012 Comments off

The following are comments by Lutheran scholar Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg on determining the meaning of Old Testament prophecies, and pitfalls that exist in either literal or excessively figurative views. [From Christology of the Old Testament, Volume 2. T. & T. Clark, 1858. pp. 430-439.]

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Many days without a king

June 2, 2012 Comments off

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In the 9th of his 15 arguments against the idea that Christ now reigns upon the throne of David, in this article, George Zeller applies a prophecy of Hosea, that Israel would “abide many days without a king” to ethnic Jews, and so concludes that Christ can not now be reigning on the throne of David. Zeller wrote:

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The days of the Messiah’s reign, Jeremiah 23:6

June 2, 2012 Comments off

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The 4th of the 15 arguments by George Zeller against the idea that Christ now reigns upon the throne of David in this article was that Jesus will reign on earth, since the throne of David was on the earth at Jerusalem.

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Christ’s reign of peace

June 2, 2012 Comments off

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In the 2nd of 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article, George Zeller claims that the trouble and warfare in the present world means that Christ is not reigning, as his reign is to be a reign of peace. Zeller wrote:

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James and the tabernacle of David

May 31, 2012 Comments off

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The last of George Zeller’s 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article deals with the comment by James in Acts 15:16, which assumes there is continuity between Israel of Old Testament prophecy and the New Testament church, contrary to the premises of dispensationalism. Zeller wrote:

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On the throne and key of David

May 30, 2012 1 comment

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In the first of 15 items in in this article, George Zeller, assistant pastor at The Middletown Bible Church and author of most of the articles on the church’s website, claims that the throne of David cannot be in heaven.

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Which Jerusalem remains forever?

May 30, 2012 2 comments

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The third of 15 scriptures discussed in this article, apparently by George Zeller, refers to Jeremiah’s prophecy that Jerusalem would remain forever. But that was not true of the earthly city, which was destroyed completely in 70 AD.

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Is the throne of David a type?

May 29, 2012 Comments off

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An article on the website of The Middletown Bible Church, When and Where Does Christ Sit Upon the Throne of David? discusses 15 prophecies referring to the throne of David, and the author attempts to show that none of them apply to the present reign of Christ in his church. George Zeller is the assistant pastor at the church, and the author of most of the articles at the site.

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Dispensationalism and the eyes of our understanding

May 28, 2012 Comments off

Isaiah said the mountain of the Lord’s house would be raised up, and established in the tops of the mountains, above the hills. [Isaiah 2:2] This was fulfilled, when Jesus ascended to heaven, to the throne of God, where he reigns over all.

In a recent post on Throttling Dispensationalism? “mac” responds to my comment in this post, where I mentioned a quotation by James from Amos 9:11, in Acts 15:16. James applied a prophecy addressed to Israel to the New Testament church and identified the tabernacle of David with the church. I and many others view this scripture as a serious problem for dispensationalism. I stated: By quoting this prophecy in Acts 15, James identified the church with the tabernacle of David, which throttles dispensationalism!
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Spiritual warfare in Revelation 12:7

May 25, 2012 Comments off

In the prelude of the 70 weeks prophecy, Daniel tells us that he was praying for “the holy mountain of my God.” [Daniel 9:20] The 70 weeks outline the duration of the warfare and desolations of the holy mountain, which in Daniel 2:35 is the kingdom of God. The first two sections of the prophecy, 7 weeks and 62 weeks, and the first half of the final section, are times that apply to the earthly Jerusalem, and the units are earthly units such as years, and leap years, but the last half-week applies to the heavenly city. Jesus is represented by the stone cut without hands in Daniel 2:35. He was cut off, crucified, in the mist of the final week. When he was resurrected and ascended to heaven, the mountain of God’s house was also raised up, as foretold by Isaiah, who wrote, “And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” [Isaiah 2:2] The mountain of the Lord’s house, mount Zion, and Jerusalem, were at that time established in heaven, and exulted above the hills. Hebrews 12:22 says, “ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Read more…

Frederic Gardiner on Gog and Magog

May 24, 2012 Comments off

The following is Frederic Gardiner’s commentary on the prophecy about Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 & 39, together with an Excursus, where he makes observations on the character of the prophecy in these chapters, which he views as a kind of parable, depicting the struggle of the world with the kingdom of God, an interpretation in agreement with Revelation 20:7-10.

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Michael J. Vlach on Zechariah 14:1–9

May 18, 2012 Comments off

In Zechariah 14:1, Jerusalem’s spoil is divided up in her midst. The spoil is her possessions, and prophecy is one of the things given to the church, which many have treated as if it were a spoil. Dr. Michael J. Vlach discussed Zechariah 14:1-9 in his post, Zechariah 14 and the Timing of the Kingdom. In this prophecy, Zechariah described the mount of Olives being cleaved in the midst, and the two sections of the mountain moving apart, in opposite directions.

Vlach denies that the subject of the prophecy of Zechariah 14 is the church. But the name Jerusalem is applied to the church in the New Testament. Jesus said it is “the city of the great king.” [Matthew 5:35] In 1 Peter 1:1-12, the apostle Peter said the prophets ministered “not unto themselves, but unto us.” Perhaps the armies that Zechariah described, who come against the holy city, the heavenly Jerusalem, include those who misinterpret prophecy.  Read more…

The heavenly city under siege

May 16, 2012 Comments off

The land of Canaan promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is a type of something greater, the permanent inheritance of those who believe in Christ. The New Testament refers to this inheritance as a heavenly promised land, a “better country.” [Hebrews 11:16] The promised land represents the spiritual inheritance of the saints. Read more…