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Thread: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

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    Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Question: Did pretribulationalism bring about the doctrine of imminent return or did the doctrine of imminent return bring about pretribulationalism? Would like to know your thoughts.

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by swordsearcher View Post
    Question: Did pretribulationalism bring about the doctrine of imminent return or did the doctrine of imminent return bring about pretribulationalism? Would like to know your thoughts.
    Either way it all began at the Council of Trent..


    Jude
    “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

    ― Jim Elliot


  3. #3

    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by swordsearcher View Post
    Question: Did pretribulationalism bring about the doctrine of imminent return or did the doctrine of imminent return bring about pretribulationalism? Would like to know your thoughts.
    I sincerely [never] understand this question, so if I miss hitting at your aim, please forgive me.

    I believe those who believe the rapture is "imminent" are saying that ALL of "the beginning of birth PANGS" and "signs" (Jesus described in the Olivet Discourse about His Second Coming to the earth FOR their promised and prophesied earthly MK) ALL take place AFTER the rapture, and point to and lead up to His Second Coming to the earth (NOT to the RAPTURE). Thus, none of THOSE things are "required to take place" in order for the Rapture to occur, because they all FOLLOW our Rapture event [pointing to/leading up to His 2nd Coming to the earth], not PRECEDE our Rapture event.

    (I agree with this ^ . But my view is also that all of the "no man knows the day or the hour" is in the context of His Second Coming to the earth, [NOT our Rapture], and Jesus LATER gave "further information" in The Revelation, in 95ad, regarding that very subject, so that He has "known" ever since His resurrection/ascension)

    Does that help answer?



    adding this: the word "return" in Scripture refers to His Second Coming to the earth (FOR the earthly MK), and the word "imminent" is applied (used of) the "pre-trib RAPTURE" (7 yrs earlier), so "imminent" and "return" (stated together) are not actually how it [the idea] is truly stated or conveyed (unless someone just doesn't fully grasp the particular doctrine, and which scriptures are being referred to, etc)


    adding this also (in view of what Walls added, below my post ): the Olivet Discourse is about His Second Coming to the earth (not our Rapture), thus the "ye" being a consistent "ye" (in the Olivet Discourse) speaks of a "proleptic 'ye'," meaning all those [future ones] of the same category, meaning, those to whom "the promised and prophesied earthly Millennial Kingdom" was promised (see Acts 1 for their Q regarding this, there). See also Luke 22:30 [18,16] AND Matthew 19:28 [comp. Matt25:31-34 for TIMING], and see the 12 sitting on 12 thrones judgING the 12 tribes of Israel, there... among other happenings.




    [we (the Church which is His body) are "eagerly awaiting" the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ... Phil3:20-21; He is "the One delivering us out from the wrath coming" 1Th1:10 (see 1Th5:6,10 in the Greek; distinct from that which is said in the Olivet Discourse [<--re: His "return" to the earth, not about our Rapture, per context])]

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by swordsearcher View Post
    Question: Did pretribulationalism bring about the doctrine of imminent return or did the doctrine of imminent return bring about pretribulationalism? Would like to know your thoughts.
    Our Lord Jesus, addressing His disciples concerning His Coming, said in Matthew 24:42, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." By all rules of grammar, the word "ye" means the disciples He was speaking to on Mount of Olives. Our Lord Jesus told them to "watch". If THEY were told to watch, then the doctrine of an imminent return came from our Lord Jesus about 1,980 years ago, even before His death.

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Our Lord Jesus, addressing His disciples concerning His Coming, said in Matthew 24:42, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." By all rules of grammar, the word "ye" means the disciples He was speaking to on Mount of Olives. Our Lord Jesus told them to "watch". If THEY were told to watch, then the doctrine of an imminent return came from our Lord Jesus about 1,980 years ago, even before His death.
    I agree. Revelation also confirms this saying, "the time is at hand." Etc. God wants us to be vigilant about the return of Jesus.

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by swordsearcher View Post
    Question: Did pretribulationalism bring about the doctrine of imminent return or did the doctrine of imminent return bring about pretribulationalism? Would like to know your thoughts.
    I think the sense of an imminent end to the world is as old as the Garden of Eden. The moment Man fell it became clear that this world is just a temporary home until things can get fixed. We see in the Gospels a reference to the "nearness" of the Kingdom--in fact that seems to be the central gospel message.

    Matthew 4.17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

    Matthew 24.14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.


    It is Pretribulationism, or Dispensationalism, that has created a unique perspective on Imminency, in which we are to expect Christ to come "at any time," and "on any day." Nothing more needs to be fulfilled before Christ can return.

    However, this seems contradictory to Jesus' own description of Imminency above, in which he says that the Gospel message, that the Kingdom is near, must *first* be preached to all the earth, to all nations. That means that until the Gospel is preached everywhere, Christ cannot truly return.

    In fact I believe that elsewhere Christ depicts his return as necessarily happening *after* the revelation of Antichrist and *at* Antichrist's destruction. This means that true biblical Imminency means something entirely different than the "spin" Pretribulationists put upon it.

    Christ cannot come at any time, or on any day. Certain things must take place first, even if we don't know the exact day Christ will return. We just know that it will be a coming in *judgment.*

    And this brings me back full circle. The world, as we know it, is soon to come to an end not because "it can end on any day," but rather, because the world is wicked, and must ultimately be judged by God. It *must* come to an end. It cannot last for eons of time. Too many people are suffering. God Himself is suffering. The Kingdom of Christ is, therefore, near! And it has been for many centuries...

  7. #7

    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Thank you all for your responses. I've been studying these and other end time teachings recently. In my study of the Scriptures I can't line up the pretrib position with what the Scriptures say. Just trying to find out all the angles on the subject.

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by swordsearcher View Post
    Thank you all for your responses. I've been studying these and other end time teachings recently. In my study of the Scriptures I can't line up the pretrib position with what the Scriptures say. Just trying to find out all the angles on the subject.
    If I may give advice, don't set out with a school of thought and try to fit it to scripture. Go to scripture with a clean slate. I know this is difficult because we all believe something, but trying to force any school of thought into scripture will just lead to wresting it. See what it says, and then form an opinion. Then, when better information comes along, don't be afraid or proud to change your understanding.

    In regard to your question in the OP, the call to the disciples of Jesus was "watch". What we have to do is find out, from every scripture that says "watch", why we must "watch". Let's examine Matthew alone. Three scriptures address what your OP does. They are;
    1. Matthew 24:42; "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
    2. Matthew 25:13; "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
    3. Matthew 26:41; "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

    The first two are in context with the Second Coming of the Lord. The third is WHY we watch. Let us first examine the meaning of the word "WATCH". Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words tells us; "Accordingly the meaning here is that of vigilance and expectancy as contrasted with laxity and indifference." God has decided on an appointed day for our Lord to return to earth. He has withheld the date, but the fact is, whatever anybody thinks or does, this DATE IS GUARANTEED. Nobody can change it. It is guaranteed tha our Lord will come on that day! So why "watch" for the Lord if He is coming anyway? The words "vigilance and expectancy" at once sets before us the IMPLICATION that there is something to be LOST if we do not watch. If then there is something to be lost, what does the context reveal? The context of our first verse above is Matthew 24:37-44;

    37 "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
    39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."


    verses 37-38 regards the activities of all men on earth. But mentioning Noah implies IMMINENT UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT, for the flood covered all the earth
    verse 39 is very pertinent because the word "took" is "airo" in the Greek and has the sense of ripping away like Christ's death tore away our sins from us in 1st John 3:5. That is, it has the connotation of being ripped away in judgement with violence.
    verse 40. Here the word "take" is a completely different word in the Greek. It is "paralambano" which means "take along an intimate companion on a journey". Its first mention is in Matthew 1:20 where an angel sent by God says; "... Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: ... ." So the evil of the world are "AIRO" ("ripped away") in judgement in verse 39, but ONE of TWO in the field, and ONE of TWO milling, will be taken as "PARALAMBANO" (an intimate companion) IF ONE WATCHES!

    And the shocking thing is that verse 42 says who the TWO were. They are the disciples! The word "therefore" IN VERSE 42 is the conclusion of the matter to the listeners! Our Lord gives a warning that UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT is imminent, and then AMONG the disciples, the WATCHERS WILL BE TAKEN AS INTIMATE COMPANIONS and the non-Watchers will BE LEFT. Added to this, in verse 43, the "HOUSE" that is broken up, is the HOUSE of the ones being addressed - the DISCIPLES. That "House" can only be the Church. How then is the Church broken up? By SOME BEING TAKEN AND SOME BEING LEFT! And to seal it, verse 44 again points to who is being addressed. It is "watch YE" - the disciples of Jesus.

    What then shall we conclude in the matter of point #1 - Matthew 24:42? We are left with no other option than to believe that the earth and all men will be facing imminent disaster. On this earth that is about to experience horrors and tribulation such as, "... was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt.24:21), there are THREE peoples.
    1. Those that act like men at the time of Noah and are about to be torn away in judgment
    2. Those that are disciples, working in the field and the mill, but who do not "watch" AND ARE LEFT BEHIND TO FACE THE UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT
    3. Those that are disciples, working in the field and the mill and who "watched", BUT ARE TAKEN ON A JOURNEY AS INTIMATE COMPANIONS!

    And if the "taking as an intimate companion" breaks up the Church, then those taken are not on the earth anymore. If they were, the Church would not be broken up since the House was intact BEFORE the "taking".

    I will only do this one scripture to avoid a long posting. What do you think of this manner of exegesis? We have examined the context. We have been true to the language. We have fathomed who was being addressed. And we have come to a logical conclusion WITHOUT belonging any party of thought.

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    If I may give advice, don't set out with a school of thought and try to fit it to scripture. Go to scripture with a clean slate. I know this is difficult because we all believe something, but trying to force any school of thought into scripture will just lead to wresting it. See what it says, and then form an opinion. Then, when better information comes along, don't be afraid or proud to change your understanding.

    In regard to your question in the OP, the call to the disciples of Jesus was "watch". What we have to do is find out, from every scripture that says "watch", why we must "watch". Let's examine Matthew alone. Three scriptures address what your OP does. They are;
    1. Matthew 24:42; "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
    2. Matthew 25:13; "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
    3. Matthew 26:41; "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

    The first two are in context with the Second Coming of the Lord. The third is WHY we watch. Let us first examine the meaning of the word "WATCH". Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words tells us; "Accordingly the meaning here is that of vigilance and expectancy as contrasted with laxity and indifference." God has decided on an appointed day for our Lord to return to earth. He has withheld the date, but the fact is, whatever anybody thinks or does, this DATE IS GUARANTEED. Nobody can change it. It is guaranteed tha our Lord will come on that day! So why "watch" for the Lord if He is coming anyway? The words "vigilance and expectancy" at once sets before us the IMPLICATION that there is something to be LOST if we do not watch. If then there is something to be lost, what does the context reveal? The context of our first verse above is Matthew 24:37-44;

    37 "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
    39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
    42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."


    verses 37-38 regards the activities of all men on earth. But mentioning Noah implies IMMINENT UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT, for the flood covered all the earth
    verse 39 is very pertinent because the word "took" is "airo" in the Greek and has the sense of ripping away like Christ's death tore away our sins from us in 1st John 3:5. That is, it has the connotation of being ripped away in judgement with violence.
    verse 40. Here the word "take" is a completely different word in the Greek. It is "paralambano" which means "take along an intimate companion on a journey". Its first mention is in Matthew 1:20 where an angel sent by God says; "... Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: ... ." So the evil of the world are "AIRO" ("ripped away") in judgement in verse 39, but ONE of TWO in the field, and ONE of TWO milling, will be taken as "PARALAMBANO" (an intimate companion) IF ONE WATCHES!

    And the shocking thing is that verse 42 says who the TWO were. They are the disciples! The word "therefore" IN VERSE 42 is the conclusion of the matter to the listeners! Our Lord gives a warning that UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT is imminent, and then AMONG the disciples, the WATCHERS WILL BE TAKEN AS INTIMATE COMPANIONS and the non-Watchers will BE LEFT. Added to this, in verse 43, the "HOUSE" that is broken up, is the HOUSE of the ones being addressed - the DISCIPLES. That "House" can only be the Church. How then is the Church broken up? By SOME BEING TAKEN AND SOME BEING LEFT! And to seal it, verse 44 again points to who is being addressed. It is "watch YE" - the disciples of Jesus.

    What then shall we conclude in the matter of point #1 - Matthew 24:42? We are left with no other option than to believe that the earth and all men will be facing imminent disaster. On this earth that is about to experience horrors and tribulation such as, "... was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt.24:21), there are THREE peoples.
    1. Those that act like men at the time of Noah and are about to be torn away in judgment
    2. Those that are disciples, working in the field and the mill, but who do not "watch" AND ARE LEFT BEHIND TO FACE THE UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT
    3. Those that are disciples, working in the field and the mill and who "watched", BUT ARE TAKEN ON A JOURNEY AS INTIMATE COMPANIONS!

    And if the "taking as an intimate companion" breaks up the Church, then those taken are not on the earth anymore. If they were, the Church would not be broken up since the House was intact BEFORE the "taking".

    I will only do this one scripture to avoid a long posting. What do you think of this manner of exegesis? We have examined the context. We have been true to the language. We have fathomed who was being addressed. And we have come to a logical conclusion WITHOUT belonging any party of thought.
    Actually, you have unfortunately made some assumptions which are leading in one direction or another.
    Worse yet, you state one word is used, when another is actually used - according to a Greek Interlinear:
    http://biblehub.com/greek/e_ren_142.htm

    This is the link to the word used which is from this version:
    http://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/24-39.htm


    That word is found in other passages in the NT and it is NOT used in the way that you state. For example John 5:9 and John 19:38.
    So it is NOT airo and further it is not specifically connotative of punishment nor judgement.
    Perhaps you are thinking of Luke 17:27 which speaks of them being destroyed?

    Next you look at the word "paralambano" and assign it a positive meaning. The specific form of the word is only used in these two verses. However contrary to your claim that it is somehow positive, if we look at some other examples of Matthew using the same root, we read Matt 4:5 & 8 which speaks of the devil taking Jesus somewhere for temptation.
    IOW the word itself is simply meaning "someone taking another". It is neither positive nor negative itself in meaning. What determines whether it is positive or not is the context in which it is used.

    Now your assumptions about words have already led you to make certain assumptions which then lead you to add even more colour to your understanding, for you then make the claim that those who are taken are those who watched, and those remaining are those who didn't.
    You may be right, and you may be wrong, but you state it as a fact and as though you have introduced no bias to your interpretation.

    Contextually the usage of being taken seems that of being negative, and those left seems positive. This is where we then need to consider how this is expressed in similar passages, and also to reflect on what watching is meant to achieve.
    The clear answer about what watching is meant to achieve, regardless of whether to be taken or left is best, is that you can avoid a disaster.
    This of course is related to the usage of the word "awake", or staying awake. This in fact directs us to not simply being vigilant, but actually being knowledgeable.
    Jesus said IF the master of the house knew... he would stay awake. So we are exhorted to be awake. This clearly ties into the parable of the 10 virgins where ALL fell asleep, and so we are shown that even if we fail to stay awake, we can still be prepared.
    So I agree that reading words in context and considering them is the right way to approach things, however we need to be aware of how much we read into things and cross over from reading what is meant in context to delving into minutiae which may not even be correct.

  10. #10

    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    Contextually the usage of being taken seems that of being negative, and those left seems positive. This is where we then need to consider [...]
    Agreed. (Same for the word 'airo'... I mean, we should consider context and then also how it is used elsewhere, as 'airo' is not always negative either)


    [where you and I might differ is that I see this as a '[His] Second Coming to the earth' context, rather than our 'Rapture [in the air]' context; but the point you're making in the above, I agree with (same point I would make with the word 'apostasia', meaning 'departure' ['a standing away' from a previous standing; which can be used (and had been, in that time) used of a spatial or geographical departure [which fits the context of 2Th2 quite well, especially in view of verses 1, and also 13 where 'G138 heilato/haireo' is used (and keeping in mind that the 'salvation' in Thess contexts is an "eschatological salvation"--"the One delivering us out from the wrath coming" 1Th1:10, and also 1Th5:6,8-10)])]

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    If I may give advice, don't set out with a school of thought and try to fit it to scripture. Go to scripture with a clean slate. I know this is difficult because we all believe something, but trying to force any school of thought into scripture will just lead to wresting it. See what it says, and then form an opinion. Then, when better information comes along, don't be afraid or proud to change your understanding.

    In regard to your question in the OP, the call to the disciples of Jesus was "watch". What we have to do is find out, from every scripture that says "watch", why we must "watch". Let's examine Matthew alone. Three scriptures address what your OP does. They are;
    1. Matthew 24:42; "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
    2. Matthew 25:13; "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
    3. Matthew 26:41; "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
    Again, "imminent expectation" is controlled by your preconception. If you believe this Coming of Christ can happen "on any day," and "at any time," then you are watching for an event that could happen today. But if you see Christ's Coming as an unknown day, rendering it irrelevant to our service to God today, then we see the "soon coming" of Christ's Kingdom as *relatively near,* and not immediately imminent. Watchfulness for this, then, becomes a matter of not getting distracted, since the coming of the Kingdom seems distant, and we can get distracted if we don't keep on watching.

    The idea that we watch due to the lack of relevance of the timing of Christ's Kingdom is confirmed in the Olivet Discourse. There, Jesus links our need to "watch" to the need to not become indifferent over a long stretch of time--that is not "imminent" in the Pretrib sense of Imminency! And Jesus links imminent expectatioin to our need to see the world as wicked and short-lived, so that we keep our own lives clean. We watch to avoid deceptions and distractions, false prophets and false Christs. We keep our eyes on heaven, and not on the corrupt earth. This is not the kind of Imminent Expectation voiced by Pretribbers, who want us to expect Christ's return "at any minute." That does not properly prepare us to deal with imposters, deceptions, heresies, and lies--the very things our "watchfulness" is designed to do!

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    Actually, you have unfortunately made some assumptions which are leading in one direction or another.
    Worse yet, you state one word is used, when another is actually used - according to a Greek Interlinear:
    http://biblehub.com/greek/e_ren_142.htm

    This is the link to the word used which is from this version:
    http://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/24-39.htm


    That word is found in other passages in the NT and it is NOT used in the way that you state. For example John 5:9 and John 19:38.
    So it is NOT airo and further it is not specifically connotative of punishment nor judgement.
    Perhaps you are thinking of Luke 17:27 which speaks of them being destroyed?

    Next you look at the word "paralambano" and assign it a positive meaning. The specific form of the word is only used in these two verses. However contrary to your claim that it is somehow positive, if we look at some other examples of Matthew using the same root, we read Matt 4:5 & 8 which speaks of the devil taking Jesus somewhere for temptation.
    IOW the word itself is simply meaning "someone taking another". It is neither positive nor negative itself in meaning. What determines whether it is positive or not is the context in which it is used.

    Now your assumptions about words have already led you to make certain assumptions which then lead you to add even more colour to your understanding, for you then make the claim that those who are taken are those who watched, and those remaining are those who didn't.
    You may be right, and you may be wrong, but you state it as a fact and as though you have introduced no bias to your interpretation.

    Contextually the usage of being taken seems that of being negative, and those left seems positive. This is where we then need to consider how this is expressed in similar passages, and also to reflect on what watching is meant to achieve.
    The clear answer about what watching is meant to achieve, regardless of whether to be taken or left is best, is that you can avoid a disaster.
    This of course is related to the usage of the word "awake", or staying awake. This in fact directs us to not simply being vigilant, but actually being knowledgeable.
    Jesus said IF the master of the house knew... he would stay awake. So we are exhorted to be awake. This clearly ties into the parable of the 10 virgins where ALL fell asleep, and so we are shown that even if we fail to stay awake, we can still be prepared.
    So I agree that reading words in context and considering them is the right way to approach things, however we need to be aware of how much we read into things and cross over from reading what is meant in context to delving into minutiae which may not even be correct.
    Apart from what "watch" means I do believe that the difference of airo and paralambano are minimal, both words conveying slight variations on the same general idea. Those "taken" are taken away in judgment. The picture is of an invading Army coming in to take away lives, or to take away prisoners. Those who are "left" would be those who avoid the judgment that is coming.

    This seems to be comparing the flood waters of Noah's time, taking away the wicked world, with the Roman Army, who took away Jewish captives, soon after Jesus' earthly ministry. And Jesus is furthermore comparing this with his 2nd Coming, as well. Just like his 1st Coming resulted in the coming of the Roman Army to take away Jewish prisoners, so will the 2nd Coming bring judgment to the rebellious Jews.

    But here the focus is still on Israel primarily, because Jesus was here speaking while the Law was still in effect. Those "taken away" would be taken away in judgment. This is a familiar theme in the Scriptures, where the Prophets foretold approaching captivities.

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    Actually, you have unfortunately made some assumptions which are leading in one direction or another.
    Worse yet, you state one word is used, when another is actually used - according to a Greek Interlinear:
    http://biblehub.com/greek/e_ren_142.htm

    This is the link to the word used which is from this version:
    http://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/24-39.htm


    That word is found in other passages in the NT and it is NOT used in the way that you state. For example John 5:9 and John 19:38.
    So it is NOT airo and further it is not specifically connotative of punishment nor judgement.
    Perhaps you are thinking of Luke 17:27 which speaks of them being destroyed?

    Next you look at the word "paralambano" and assign it a positive meaning. The specific form of the word is only used in these two verses. However contrary to your claim that it is somehow positive, if we look at some other examples of Matthew using the same root, we read Matt 4:5 & 8 which speaks of the devil taking Jesus somewhere for temptation.
    IOW the word itself is simply meaning "someone taking another". It is neither positive nor negative itself in meaning. What determines whether it is positive or not is the context in which it is used.

    Now your assumptions about words have already led you to make certain assumptions which then lead you to add even more colour to your understanding, for you then make the claim that those who are taken are those who watched, and those remaining are those who didn't.
    You may be right, and you may be wrong, but you state it as a fact and as though you have introduced no bias to your interpretation.

    Contextually the usage of being taken seems that of being negative, and those left seems positive. This is where we then need to consider how this is expressed in similar passages, and also to reflect on what watching is meant to achieve.
    The clear answer about what watching is meant to achieve, regardless of whether to be taken or left is best, is that you can avoid a disaster.
    This of course is related to the usage of the word "awake", or staying awake. This in fact directs us to not simply being vigilant, but actually being knowledgeable.
    Jesus said IF the master of the house knew... he would stay awake. So we are exhorted to be awake. This clearly ties into the parable of the 10 virgins where ALL fell asleep, and so we are shown that even if we fail to stay awake, we can still be prepared.
    So I agree that reading words in context and considering them is the right way to approach things, however we need to be aware of how much we read into things and cross over from reading what is meant in context to delving into minutiae which may not even be correct.
    Thank you for your appraisal. I'm sure we have both given the interested reader something to research. As you did not address my specific examples, may I rest my case?

    But I will answer your scriptures.
    In John 5:9 we read; "And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath." Now, we have to ask, was the bed an "intimate companion" or a "symbol of judgement" for a broken Law? Israel was promised certain blessings for keeping the Law, and certain curses for breaking the Law (e.g. Leviticus 26 & Deuteronomy 28). Was his bed a symbol of curse or blessing? And did the man "take" it up as his "intimate companion" or as a symbol of his "judgment reversed" by the grace of Jesus? He has been in this condition for 38 years (5:5). 38 is the time of "death" in the Bible (Deut.2:14). I doubt that you have shown the symbol of his "death" and "judgement" to be "paralambano" - an intimate friend. Rather the opposite. He "scoops" up his bed as a symbol of defeat of his judgement.

    John 19:38 reads; "And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus." There can be no question of the manner of "taking" the body of Jesus in this case. Joseph of Arimathaea falls into the catagory of Pter after he denied Jesus. Our Lord Jesus promised in Matthew 10:33; "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." So when our Lord was resurrected, because Peter had denied Him before men, He says in Mark 16:7; "But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you." The word "and" is a conjunction which joins two or more DIFFERENT things. "Bread AND butter". "The engine AND the gearbox". Thus Peter is counted in this verse as NOT one of the disciples. It is; "the disciples AND Peter".

    Joseph of Arimathaea HARDLY "took" the body of Jesus as an "intimate companion" - seeing as he feared men in the matter of Jesus. "Paralambano" would be inappropriate here. And yet further, was not the Body of Jesus a symbol of judgement for our sins?

    In Matthew 4:5; "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple." Since our Lord Jesus had superior power over Satan, and was only there by dictate of the Holy Spirit, "airo" would be inappropriate. Satan did not have the power to "snatch away in judgment" Jesus, like those "taken in judgment" at Noah's time.

    I thus rest my case.

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Again, "imminent expectation" is controlled by your preconception. If you believe this Coming of Christ can happen "on any day," and "at any time," then you are watching for an event that could happen today. But if you see Christ's Coming as an unknown day, rendering it irrelevant to our service to God today, then we see the "soon coming" of Christ's Kingdom as *relatively near,* and not immediately imminent. Watchfulness for this, then, becomes a matter of not getting distracted, since the coming of the Kingdom seems distant, and we can get distracted if we don't keep on watching.

    The idea that we watch due to the lack of relevance of the timing of Christ's Kingdom is confirmed in the Olivet Discourse. There, Jesus links our need to "watch" to the need to not become indifferent over a long stretch of time--that is not "imminent" in the Pretrib sense of Imminency! And Jesus links imminent expectatioin to our need to see the world as wicked and short-lived, so that we keep our own lives clean. We watch to avoid deceptions and distractions, false prophets and false Christs. We keep our eyes on heaven, and not on the corrupt earth. This is not the kind of Imminent Expectation voiced by Pretribbers, who want us to expect Christ's return "at any minute." That does not properly prepare us to deal with imposters, deceptions, heresies, and lies--the very things our "watchfulness" is designed to do!
    I reject your "soon coming" on this basis. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36).

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    Re: Doctrine of imminent return & pre trib

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I reject your "soon coming" on this basis. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36).
    Being "alert" has to do with watching out for enemy attacks, as in a watchman maintaining an "alert" status. Jesus compared being alert for his Coming to being alert for the coming Roman invasion against Jerusalem. It was not an imminent expectation in the sense of expecting the Romans to come "on any day." They all knew an invasion would take time to develop.

    It was simply a matter of knowing that Israel had been engaged in wickedness, which was the very thing that invited Roman interference. To be "watchful," Jesus' disciples had to avoid the wickedness that their fellow Jews were engaging in, so as to remain exempt from this judgment. In the same way, Christians exempt themselves from God's wrath by separating themselves from the world, and by looking out for the deceit of sin.

    The sense of watchfulness does not, therefore, have a thing to do with imminent expectation that Christ could return at any time. Rather, we are told that the timing of Christ's Coming is irrelevant with respect to our Christian duties. It is because we are not told the precise time of Christ's Coming, and because we are not to be entagled with trying to anticipate dates, that we know our mission is to focus on our current jobs, letting God take care of the timing and sequence of things.

    We simply need to be found doing the right thing, no matter what develops. We do not, at any rate, have any control over when things happen, with the exception of making the moral choices that God sets immediately before us.

    We are *not,* therefore, watchful in the sense of trying to anticipate *when* Christ will come. Rather, knowing that the timing of this event is irrelevant, we concentrate on doing what God has set immediately before us. The timing of things will take care of themselves.

    So I would ask anyone: Does what I say here match with how the Scriptures define watchfulness or not? Do you see our watchfulness to involve trying to anticipate *when* Christ will return? Or, is our "alert" status designed to avoid distractions to our spiritual living? I think the latter.

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