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Peace restored;- Coming home

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posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 05:02 PM
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In the reign of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the kingdom of Judah was destroyed, and the people of Jerusalem were taken into exile.
This was the climax of a long history of being troubled by external enemies. Some of the prophets of the Old Testament promise a final battle in which the enemies of God’s people will be overcome conclusively. I looked at this theme in The Last Battle in Old Testament prophecy
In the aftermath of this final victory, the people will be able to return to the land.

The people come home; Old Testament version

“At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you together…when I restore your fortunes before your eyes ,says the Lord” (Zephaniahch3 v20).
They will come back from the many places where they are found in exile.
“I will bring them home from the land of Egypt and gather them from Assyria” (Zechariah ch10 v10)
“He will raise an ensign for the nations and will gather the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah ch11 v12).
“The house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for an heritage” (Jeremiah ch3 v18).
“For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel ch36 v24)

The re-occupation of the land will be a permanent occupation.
“But Judah will be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to all generations” (Joel ch3 v20).
“I will plant them upon the land and they will never again be plucked up out of the land which I have given them” (Amos ch9 v15)
“And they shall dwell secure” (Micah ch5 v4)
“I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid” (Jeremiah ch30 v10).
The city of Jerusalem will “not be uprooted or overthrown any more for ever” (Jeremiah ch31 v40).

In this renewed home, they will be living in the presence of God.
“They shall return and dwell beneath my shadow” Hosea ch14 v7
That is the significance of the Temple vision in Ezekiel which places the Lord in the middle of the restored land;
“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for ever” (Ezekiel ch37 v26).
This is also the message of the eschatological promise of Isaiah; “The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give light to you by night; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory” (ch60 v19).
“I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people”, and this is all part of the expectation of the “new heavens and new earth”(ch65).

Has Israel returned?

Many of these promises were made in response to the Babylonian exile, and they were fulfilled, up to a point, by the Return from Babylon.
Thus Isaiah celebrates the achievement and generosity of Cyrus, in the message;
“I will bring your offspring from the east and from the west I will gather you;
I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth” (Isaiah ch43 vv5-6).
But this Return did not give complete satisfaction. The returned people were not allowed to have kings of their own, let alone kings of the house of David. In many other respects, including accomplished holiness and complete freedom from external attack, their situation failed to match the descriptions of the eschatological Return found in the prophets. It was only a provisional Return, not the fully realised version.
No wonder Daniel went looking for other ways to interpret the “seventy years” promise of Jeremiah.

What about the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948? Does that count as the Return?
I understand that one school of thought among the Jews disapproves of the Zionist achievement, because “they did it themselves instead of waiting for God”. I don’t agree with that form of objection, since I don’t accept the dogmatic distinction between the work of God and the work of man.
Because of the way the Biblical God works, the acts of men are frequently, I might say “normally”, the means through which his ends are accomplished.
He saved his people from the Philistines through the human agency of Saul and David.
He brought his people back from Babylon through the human agency of Cyrus.
If he wanted to bring back the Jews to Palestine, there is no reason why he should not have worked in the same way; that is, through the lobbies of the United Nations and the soldiers of Ben-Gurion.

Yet we may conclude for different reasons that the modern state of Israel is not the eschatological Return promised in the prophets.
The eschatological Return occurs after the final and absolute defeat of all God’s enemies. The returned people are then living permanently in the presence of God, in a state of guaranteed holiness and blessing, reconciled with all the faithful “outsiders”.
The modern state of Israel does not match that description.
They are not living in guaranteed holiness, they are not living in absolute peace and security, and they are not living in the permanent presence of God.
Therefore it is not the eschatological Return of God’s people. It is only a provisional return, of the same nature as the return from Babylon.


edit on 30-8-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 05:05 PM
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God’s people come home; New Testament version

Before considering the New Testament interpretation of this promise, we should remind ourselves of what the New Testament has done to the other eschatological promises.
There was a promise that the Return would be accompanied by guaranteed holiness. But that promise has been fulfilled through Christ, in the gift of grace and the forgiveness of sins. Holiness
There was a promise that the Return would be accompanied by a permanent state of blessing. But that promise has been fulfilled through Christ, in the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Blessing
There was a promise that the Return would be accompanied by reconciliation with the estranged faithful. But that promise has been fulfilled by Christ, in the inclusion of the Gentiles. Reunion
There was a promise that the Return would find them under fresh leadership provided by God. But that promise has been fulfilled in the Lordship of Christ. True leadership
There was a promise that the Return would be accompanied by a renewed sense of the presence of God. But that promise has been fulfilled for those who trust in Christ. Presence of God

The implication is that the Return itself must also be understood in the light of Christ.

The full version of this promise would be that God’s people are able to come home once all their enemies have been overcome.

We must first, then, come to a new understanding of what is meant by God’s people and their enemies, leading up to a new understanding of what is meant by “coming home”.

It is clear, in the first place, that the New Testament at least expands the definition of God’s people. The way is prepared by the warning given by John the Baptist, that “God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (Matthew ch3 v9).
When Jesus discovered the faith of the centurion, he observed that ”many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew ch8 v11).

Even in the Old Testament, Israel had been founded upon Abraham’s willingness to trust in God. Their existence as a faith community was probably more important in God’s eyes than their tradition of common descent.
The New Testament is more explicit in emphasising the criterion of faith. So Paul distinguishes (Galatians ch4) between the heavenly Jerusalem as the home of those who trust in the promises of God, and the earthly Jerusalem, the home of those who trust in the Law.
At the end of the same letter, he declares that he glories only in the Cross of Christ, and the “new
creation” made possible by the Cross of Christ, and identifies those who walk by THAT rule as “the Israel of God” (Galatians ch6 vv14-16).
The same point is made symbolically in Revelation. The body of Christ on earth is “sealed” by God under the names of the twelve former tribes (ch7), and enters into the new Jerusalem through gates labelled by the same names (ch21).
Therefore “God’s people Israel” is now defined in the New Testament as those who trust in God, and especially those who trust in God through Christ.

What about their enemies?
The Israel of the Old Testament was threatened by a succession of human enemies.
It is not surprising that the Jewish Messiah was expected to deal with such enemies, or that some thought Jesus had been sent for that purpose and wanted to make him king.
But the real enemy in the New Testament is the spiritual enemy; the whole complex of sin-and-death which was introduced by the events in Eden.
That is the enemy which was overcome in Christ, through his victory on the Cross. The achievement is symbolised by the “battle in heaven” in Revelation ch12, which is a dramatized version of the doctrine of the Atonement. “They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation ch12 v11).
Human opponents of the church remain, of course, but they are dealt with in the final stages of Revelation.
And the “last enemy”, as Paul observed, is death itself, which is overcome at the Resurrection.

And what about “coming home”?
Where is the home to which God’s people can return once their greatest enemy has been defeated?
Jesus compared himself to a shepherd hunting for lost sheep, and “bringing them home”, in that metaphor, means bringing them back to God.
He said of his followers, “these little ones who believe in me”, that their “angels” (their representatives) are always beholding “the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew ch18 v10).
So that is the answer provided by the New Testament. “Coming home” means returning to God and living in his presence.

In one sense, this promise has been fulfilled already.
The overcoming of sin means the breaking down of the barrier which has kept us away from God.
So Ephesians, echoing that promise in Matthew, declares that we are already sitting with him “in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (.Ephesians ch2 v6). Even now, “your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians ch3 v3).
That is why there is no need for a temple where we can find ourselves in the presence of the living God. The Christian community in itself is the necessary Temple (1 Corinthians ch3v16).

But we are not fully conscious of living in the presence of God, We are still in “the time of your exile” (1 Peter ch1 v17)
We are waiting for a more complete fulfilment of the promise; “I go to prepare a place for you” (John ch14 v2).
The fulfilment comes in the aftermath of the general resurrection; “So we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians ch4 v17

So the “coming home” is fully consummated in the picture of the new Jerusalem, in the last two chapters of Revelation. This depicts the time after the fall of the “last enemy”, when God’s people are living permanently in the presence of God, in guaranteed holiness and security.
This is the ”new heavens and new earth” which was promised at the end of Isaiah.
The new Jerusalem is the New Testament fulfilment of all the prophecies relating to “the Return to the land”.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 05:06 PM
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.Zionism versus the New Testament

This brings us to the question of how Christians should be understanding the promises of the Old Testament.

Paul lays down the basic principle. He explains that the Israelites were unable to read the old covenant clearly, because they would not allow themselves to see the embedded warning that the covenant would be superseded.
They could only read the text “through a veil”- that is, in a strictly literal interpretation.
Christ removes that veil, so that Christian interpretation may be guided by the Spirit (2 Corinthians ch3 vv4-15).

How may we apply this to the promise of the Return?
The idea that the modern state of Israel, founded upon the events of 1948, constitutes the promised Return is based on a rigidly literal understanding of the Old Testament promise. On the principle just outlined, that rules it out as a Christian interpretation.
In fact it is massively flawed even as a literal interpretation. It looks plausible at first glance, when the “Return” promise is taken in isolation.
But this promise does not appear in isolation. As already demonstrated, it is part of a complex of promises involving guaranteed holiness and blessing while living permanently in the presence of God. This complex of prophecy has not been fulfilled in a literal sense.
On the other hand, as I’ve also shown, all the promises are being fulfilled in a spiritual sense.
Christians should only be interested in the spiritual sense. For “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”.

For the best part of two thousand years, the teaching of the church has been based upon the New Testament.
For exactly that reason, the church has not been expecting a literal return of literal descendants of Abraham to a literal land of Israel. The crusaders did not fight for that purpose, and never tried to implement it (they were fighting, in the first instance, for Christian access to places of pilgrimage).
We must choose between Zionism and the New Testament, because they are not compatible.


edit on 30-8-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 05:33 PM
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I think people are sick of religion telling them how to be human.

I hope for good things, I just don't think that will happen until we wake up from this horror story. My own opinion.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 05:35 PM
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a reply to: TGunner
Not related to the topic of the thread.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 06:01 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: TGunner
Not related to the topic of the thread.



I didn't mean to derail your thread, sorry.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: TGunner
That's OK. I get so used to people deliberately derailing that I get strict in my reactions. Only way to keep things straight.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 06:11 PM
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Star, T Gunner

I liked it

Good timing on Disraeli's part

Along the lines of Israel getting to sit with God in the Millenium.....pause.....only after

After Israel sees the true Messiah and calls out the saying......blessed is He that comes.......in the name of the Lord

The numbers of Israelis is only one third of the possible.....a reply to: TGunner


edit on 30-8-2019 by GBP/JPY because: IN THE FINE TEXAS TRADITION

edit on 30-8-2019 by GBP/JPY because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 06:33 PM
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originally posted by: TGunner
I think people are sick of religion telling them how to be human.

I hope for good things, I just don't think that will happen until we wake up from this horror story. My own opinion.


Well at the cost of derailing Star t, I agree with you, people are sick of religion, that’s what the message is, stop religion and start loving others

Even Dizz’s message is non religious, what he is saying is what Jesus taught, stop looking for esoteric nonsense and love each other, that is pursuing God and His righteousness

Unfortunately both religion and atheism don’t teach people to be human, Jesus did, love each other,



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Good thing you've got the god given gift to know the difference then isn't it.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 06:39 PM
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originally posted by: Raggedyman

originally posted by: TGunner
I think people are sick of religion telling them how to be human.

I hope for good things, I just don't think that will happen until we wake up from this horror story. My own opinion.


Well at the cost of derailing Star t, I agree with you, people are sick of religion, that’s what the message is, stop religion and start loving others

Even Dizz’s message is non religious, what he is saying is what Jesus taught, stop looking for esoteric nonsense and love each other, that is pursuing God and His righteousness

Unfortunately both religion and atheism don’t teach people to be human, Jesus did, love each other,


That's exactly what i was trying to convey, thanks man!



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 08:47 PM
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a reply to: Raggedyman

Love each other ... love each other ...

I see that all the time, but no one ever explains what that means. Do you know why? Because it can mean all kinds of things to different people. There are quite a few people these days who think it means "do whatever thou wilt an it harm no one." I'm not sure that was what Jesus was teaching since he had a quite a few directives in there about how to live properly aside from simply love.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 11:24 PM
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From someone who has studied the monothesitic religions to some extent, your endgame scenario misses out the False messiah and the return of Jesus the true messiah: the antichrist is yet to come out and when he does he will claim to be the Messiah and many will follow him. To cut a long story short he will be killed by the true messiah and peace will be restored on the earth for a time.



posted on Aug, 30 2019 @ 11:50 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: Raggedyman

Love each other ... love each other ...

I see that all the time, but no one ever explains what that means. Do you know why? Because it can mean all kinds of things to different people. There are quite a few people these days who think it means "do whatever thou wilt an it harm no one." I'm not sure that was what Jesus was teaching since he had a quite a few directives in there about how to live properly aside from simply love.


If a person can’t tell what loving other people as opposed to mistreating them is then I can’t help
As a Christian I am lead by the Spirit, my message and Dizz’s message was aimed at christians, I don’t have the same message for atheists, they decide what is right, wrong and their own morales, Jesus taught self sacrifice, Jesus taught love not religion

If you or someone else don’t have the Spirit then you can’t understand

I agree with StarvT, religion is evil and causes serious problems

Love, don’t get angry, be patient, listen, compassion, Fruit of the Spirit stuff
But you are right, exestential christianity is not taught much



posted on Aug, 31 2019 @ 12:59 AM
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a reply to: Kamza
I haven't discussed those matters because my practice is to look at one piece of the jigsaw at a time. I've done a whole series of threads on the book Revelation, which perhaps ought to be bumped.



posted on Aug, 31 2019 @ 02:27 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

What is happening right now is home.... this is the lords presence.

But the human imagines it is in time.... but all imaginings happen presently.

No one can come home because no one ever left home...... all stories are 'Once upon a time.... in a land far far away....'

This that is actually happening is ALL THERE IS...... this is God.... and no one will ever see God because there is only God.

But the CONCEPT of time makes believe that there is separation.....
Nothing is separate in what IS happening.




edit on 31-8-2019 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2019 @ 03:43 AM
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There is only home and this is peace.

But you imagine the future so you can secure yourself.... make yourself safe.

But what is there to fear right now??

Only time!!

Because in stories in time you will surely die.

Stay with what actually is..... and stop believing in stories and concepts.....this is where peace is.... where there is no thing..... just this.... the one life simply just happening.



posted on Aug, 31 2019 @ 06:06 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

So ..your proof is something you read by someone, somewhere...sounds believable we should start a religion so others can believe it too.












edit on 31-8-2019 by hopenotfeariswhatweneed because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2019 @ 06:33 AM
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a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed
Yes, this is an exercise in Biblical theology (which is why I placed it in the Theology forum), and that's how theology works. Proofs of statement are based on the relevant texts.



posted on Aug, 31 2019 @ 06:41 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed
Yes, this is an exercise in Biblical theology (which is why I placed it in the Theology forum), and that's how theology works. Proofs of statement are based on the relevant texts.





I'm sorry I thought this was a serious discussion or at least one based in some sort of reality.
edit on 31-8-2019 by hopenotfeariswhatweneed because: (no reason given)



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