The Zenith of Bible Prophecy--the A.D.70 Destruction of the Second Temple or the Downfall of Gog and Magog?

by Mark E. Mountjoy

Texts: Matthew 12:43-45; Matthew 22:1-14; Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20; Luke 21:24; John 5:43 and Revelation 1:1; 2:27 and Revelation 20:1-15.

Introduction

It is a great opportunity and privilege to be able to discuss, to debate ideas and to share concepts respectfully with other Christians. This is especially noteworthy in regard to those who share our general preterist convictions on Bible prophecy, but do not understand what the history of the Jewish State and its downfall in the second century has to do with anything. Desiring agreement and unity, these other Christians do not grant what we presuppose nor do they necessarily see eye to eye with us on issues we deem important. An intramural issue, the points discussed below would be of concern to Preterists generally: The significance of major events in Jewish history in the aftermath of the First Jewish Revolt and particularly the Judæa Capta Period and the second century Bar Kokhba cataclysm and the disappearance of the Jewish State in antiquity.

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A Critical Look at Church-World Policy Issues

 

Amillennialism as a Political Reality to Be Reckoned With

in Christian Churches

by Mark E. Mountjoy

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Introductory Remarks

Amillennialism is a political reality in the Christian world.  It influences the way Christians understand a set of subjects (the last days, the Second Coming and the end of the world) and concerns (the Law of Moses, Israel, the Gospel of Christ, the Church, orthodoxy, heresy, judgment day and the eternal state).  In relation to orthodoxy and heresy, Amillennialism also influences doctrinal policies and what is considered acceptable or taboo and since Amillennialism is the norm it is considered orthodox.  These influences and concerns are central  to Christian self-understanding and carry important weight in defining what is correct teaching within Christianity.  But, before one can accept Amillennialism as being orthodox, or before one can label Atavism as heretical, one should and must ascertain, through first-hand research, observation, comparison and analysis, what is at issue and what is at stake—in light of the Bible, in general, and the New Testament, in particular. In Amillennialism received wisdom of twenty centuries of Christianity lives, breathes and agrees with all the accepted creeds rehearsed by Christians daily and weekly.  

Now, it is easy to assume that 'received wisdom' needs no justification.  Is not the traditional view pure, hallowed and sacred by virtue of its age, esteem and ubiquity?  Surely it reiterates what the New Testament advocates and upholds!  Surely Jesus, Peter, Paul and the other holy Apostles believed and taught the same view!  However, a closer inspection of the inner logic behind Amillennialism will reveal troubling differences and serious omissions.  Rampant efforts to conflate texts, topics and themes plague the view.  On a number of levels, obfuscations—the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible—plague its claims on every hand.  These disparities and oversights, along with the fact that the majority of the world's nearly three billion Christians (knowingly or unknowingly) subscribe to Amillennialism, means that we need to think about what suppositions and concepts comprise this idea and ask ourselves, How can we best bring what the New Testament says to the contrary to the attention of these Christians?

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A Biblical Response to Alarming Preterist Claims:

  

"You Will Never Go to Heaven" 

by Mark E. Mountjoy

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable"—the Apostle Paul

Introduction

Now that the eschaton has been established in the minds of a growing number of Christians as being an event definitely fulfilled in the past, what now?  Where do we go from here?  What do we do now and what is in store for us after we die? These and other questions are swirling around in the minds of many and it is not wrong to entertain them. For far too long the Christian church (as a whole) was able to keep this subject and these questions at bay. Eschatology (in the traditional Patristic churches and their creeds) was put on the back burner. It was a peripheral issue, an ancillary subject almost, one might say, a non-essential (and in some quarters, extinct and even taboo, for all intents and purposes). But now, with the widespread interest in Bible prophecy that exploded in the 1970's and the spectacular failure of those same prophecies in the ensuing years, it has come to the direct attention of many that what was long thought to be in the future, is in reality in the past.

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Comments on Revelation Chapter 11

 Introductory Remarks

Situated dead center in the middle of the twenty-two chapter Book of Revelation, chapter 11 contains all the internal, historical and contextual evidence a Christian needs to confidently maintain that the Apocalypse was written at least four years before the outbreak of the First Jewish Rebellion against the Emperor Nero, his Judæan procurator, Gessius Florus and the entire Roman Empire.  How the chapter begins and how it ends and what comes in between combines every possible ingredient to disprove and refute the notion that the tribulation, time of the dead and judgment day (as anticipated elsewhere in the New Testament) belongs somewhere in distant futurity. 

Only by turning everything said in chapter 11 in sophisticated symbols and metaphors can someone escape the conclusion the the historic A.D.66-70 Destruction of Jerusalem was a revolutionary milestone in salvation history (not just a foreshadowing of something to happen in an unknown generation yet to come).

Note with us who, what, when, where and how this passage assumes a definitive shape that communicates a united theme of concommitant events happening at a specific place at a specific time. And observe how, in chapter 12 and 13 to follow the situation for these "Gentiles" deteriorates to the point the downfall of the great city--a foregone destiny for those who attempted to contradict Christ and defy his heavenly intervention against their messianic and nationalist ambitions.

REVELATION CHAPTER 11 is an interesting passage; it gives us all the proof we need to establish at least 7 things Futurists vehemently reject:

(1) That the Book of Revelation was penned before the outbreak of the First Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans.

(2) That the Second Temple (Herod's Temple) was still standing.

(3) That the Book of Revelation was written as early as A.D.62 (probably in conjunction with the Book of James, see James 5:1-9 and compare with Revelation 1:1, 3 and 7).

(4) That the 'nations' are gathered in Jerusalem and give gifts to one another to celebrate the deaths of God's two witnesses. This seems to indicate it was one of Jerusalem's three festivals.  Not a single Roman was in Jerusalem between November A.D.66 to April A.D.70!  This can only mean the "Gentiles" have to be Jews and proselytes.*

(5) That the two witnesses were resurrected before the eyes of their enemies and there was a great earthquake in which a tenth of the city died.

(6) That the Seventh and final trumpet was blown announcing the coming of the kingdom of God.

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Amillennialism Visualized to Understand What It Is Telling Us

Mark Mountjoy

Introductory Remarks

Of all the beliefs about Bible prophecy established as normative among Christians, Amillennialism ranks number one, thanks to the prolific writings and wide influence of the African Bishop, Aurelius Augustine of the city of Hippo Regius, in what is present day Algeria. St. Augustine was born on November 13, 354 and died on August 28, 430. Today, almost 1,583 years after his death his prophecy ideas are the most prevalent belief system on end times in the whole Christian world. However, we would be mistaken if we thought this truth meant that the majority of Christians know their eschatology by this name; such is not the case!  

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