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Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Judgment, The End, The Wedding, And Then What?

The Judgment, The End, The Wedding, And Then What?

This was a post I made to Barry and Mark's group a while ago, but I also added some more thoughts as I contemplated the implications of FP:

Luke 21:22 states: "For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of ALL that has been written." FP assumes that this is speaking of ALL prophecy instead of all prophecy concerning this event. If this is true, then nothing can happen AFTER this event. There can be NOTHING fulfilled after the destruction of Jerusalem. There can be NOTHING fulfilled AFTER the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies. NOTHING. But was something fulfilled AFTER the destruction of Jerusalem? Yes! In the following verses Luke writes: "Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). What? You mean to say that there was more to fulfill? Yes, there was. The redemption was only near. Everything was not over yet. There was still more to come.
This is a total misreading of the text. It simply means that everything written concerning this event would be fulfilled – and it was. But NOT everything written concerning other events. AFTER the destruction of Jerusalem, there are still servants being sent into the highways and byways to invite people to the wedding banquet (Luke 14:23). This was only THE END of Jerusalem, not the end of God's work. The invitation is still OPEN to all who will come (Revelation 19:9). God is still preparing a feast of rich food for ALL peoples on His mountain (heavenly Zion). "On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 25:7-8).
If the wedding feast FOLLOWS the destruction of Jerusalem, then there is still more to be fulfilled. Until death is "swallowed up" there are more enemies to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26, 54). The wedding feast is the Parousia (Revelation 19). The Parousia is THE END (1 Corinthians 15:23-24). If the Parousia happened in AD 70, then there are no servants going into the highways and byways. There is no kingdom being given to another people to produce its fruit (Matthew 23:21). There will be no people coming "from the east and the west, and the north and the south to sit and recline at the table in the kingdom of God" (Luke 13:29). Also, Jesus is no longer reigning, because He has handed over the kingdom to God the Father (1 Corinthians 15:28). If the wedding feast has come, then the Passover is fulfilled in the kingdom of God and Jesus is reclining with us at the table and drinking his wine (Luke 22:15-16).
If the wedding has come, why do we still celebrate communion? If the wedding feast has come, then Jesus has dressed Himself to serve and has come to wait on us and to serve us (Luke 12:37), but the Master has not come yet, so keep your lamps burning. Do not fall asleep! The hour has not come, but it is near (Luke 22:36). To eat at the Lord’s table is to be in His presence (Exodus 25:30). The Lord is inviting us into His presence. He is near to all. Many are called, but few are chosen. Only the humble will be chosen to eat at the Lord’s table in the kingdom.

One more thing. If the wedding has come then the bride has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7) and those who have been invited to the wedding have come (Revelation 19:9) and entered into the wedding banquet and the door is shut (Matthew 25:10). But then why are there still people being invited? If the bride is the New Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven (Revelation 21:9-10), then why is the bride still being perfected?

In the O.T. we have the imagery of a bride that is beautifully adorned for her husband (Isaiah 62:1-5; Ezekiel 16:8-14). In Luke 12:38 the Lord says, “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.” Speaking of lamps, it was only the wise virgins, who were ready with their lampstands filled with oil, that entered into the wedding banquet before the door was shut (Matthew 25:10). If the door is shut, what does this mean for us today? Do we not have to make ourselves ready anymore?

What is it that FP adherents are really saying here? Are they saying that there are really two brides – a pre-Parousia bride and a post-Parousia bride? This is what the dispensationalists do. So how can people be saved AFTER the Parousia?

In Matthew 24, in His Olivet discourse, Jesus gives us many parables concerning His coming. At one point He says, “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42-44). Notice, here Jesus uses the familiar theme of “the thief in the night.” The N.T. connects this theme to the Parousia and the day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:15; 5:2; 2 Peter 3:4, 10-12).
In Revelation Jesus also says, “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

If Christ has come, then every admonition that we have from the Lord to “stay awake,” to “be prepared,” to “be faithful,” or to “not be idle or lazy” does not apply to the church today. Every warning “to be ready and waiting” is an empty threat. If as Paul said we should wait for – “the blessed hope – the appearing of our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13), ant that has already come, then we have NO HOPE.

But, thanks be to God, I have hope, because I am waiting for the future Parousia of our Lord. I have no problem with understanding that God has poured out his wrath on Jerusalem. I have no difficulty in seeing that the Lord has given the kingdom over to those who will bear its fruit. That is perfectly reasonable and Scriptural, but to say that this was the end of the present age is ridiculous. If “the present age” is over, and “the age to come” is now, then there would be no more need for marriage or child-bearing because believers in Christ will be like the angels (Matthew 22:30).

And what is this about people being LEFT BEHIND after the Parousia? Are we really going to go that route? Are we going to follow the error of the dispensationalists who say that some are left behind to endure the tribulation? If so, count me out.
Then again, I’m not familiar with what FP believes about the order of events - which comes first, the resurrection or the judgment? I would appreciate some answers from those in the CBV camp and the IBV camp on the order of events. I know Ed Stevens is working on a possible rapture scenario in AD 70. I don’t have a clue as to when Don Preston thinks the “corporate body” was raised. All I know is that it seems to me that FP only offers a false hope, that is no hope at all, because as Paul says, “Who hopes for what he already sees (has)” (βλέπω blepō GK G1063)?
What are we hoping for, and preparing for, and eagerly waiting for? Are we only waiting for our transition from this body to some sort of ethereal non-physical bodily existence (as IBV states) or are we waiting to be absorbed into a purely spirit “corporate body” (as CBV states)? Either way, the Scriptural concept of a body of flesh being resurrected from the dust of the ground is eliminated and “the day of the resurrection” and “the day of judgment” is no longer the event prophesied throughout Scripture. Instead, at least for IBV, it has become “an individual event” for each person (and in reality millions and millions of separate resurrection events followed by each person’s individual judgment).
As far as CBV is concerned, I don’t know if they even believe in a judgment of individuals. For instance, how do they respond to Paul’s statement to the Colossians: “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4)? How do they deal with his statement to the Corinthians or the Romans, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10).
How are each of us to give an account of himself to God if we are not in our own individual bodies?

 So, in the IBV view and the CBV view, which comes first – the resurrection or the judgment? Also, what is the nature of that resurrection (SOH) or (BOG)? What is the nature of the judgment? Please, provide scripture! I prefer a post or you can message me.
To Ed Stevens and the other IBV guys, please provide Scriptural proof of SOH and show how this has no relation to BOG. To Don Don K. Preston and CBV guys, please show how do you see the resurrection and the judgment?

Is the judgment simply the destruction of Jerusalem or is there more to it than that? Is “the corporate body” raised to stand before the Lord in judgment? If so, who is raised (O.T. saints and N.T. saints)?

If “the corporate body” was “spiritually” raised in AD 70, please explain how we could have already been spiritually raised with Christ and seated with Him in heavenly places in Paul’s day (Ephesians 2:6) before AD 70. When and how will we stand before Him at the judgment seat of God?

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