Updated: Dec 16, 2019
An End Times Note:
Before I move on regarding the Ekklesia and the 5-Fold's place within, we need to take a short pause about this whole idea of Praeterism. While writing the next chapter, I believe I felt a strong urging from Holy Spirit to address this with a bit more detail before the next chapter, thus the "Segue". Especially now that I am seeing the many things starting to converge in ways not seen at any point before in human history. I don't have room to discuss this here, but if you want more info just send us a note from the *Contact Us page of the site and request the Free E-Book Coexist - an End Times Research Paper.
If Isaiah was correct in Chapter 17 regarding the destruction of Damascus, and Zechariah's “flying roll” is the means by which it was to be destroyed then Praeterism (partial or otherwise) has no leg to stand on as an eschatological theology.
In this Blog, Links are underlined and marked with an *.
Reading The First 7 Parts of this is Advisable to
fully understand the context of this Chapter.
Let's break this down. Shaul (Paul) was on his way to Damascus to seek out the large community of followers of the resurrected Yeshua, and take them into custody (likely for stoning as he'd just done to Stephen perhaps for entertainment in a Roman Circus - go to *Chapter 1), when he was met by Yeshua who manifested Himself as a great light that blinded Shaul. He then accepted Yeshua after having been healed by the obedience of a believer named Ananias. This and so much more can be gleaned from Acts 9:3-18
As he was traveling, approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” “Who are You, Lord?” Saul said. “I am Yeshua—whom you are persecuting. But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men travelling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground—but opening his eyes, he could see nothing. They led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he could not see, and he did not eat or drink. Now there was a disciple named Ananias in Damascus. The Lord said to him, “Ananias.” He said, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street named Straight, and ask in the house of Judah for someone from Tarsus named Saul. For look, he is praying; and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man—how much harm he has done to your kedoshim (those made holy) in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the ruling-kohanim (original Hebrew would have been kohen gadol meaning high priest) to tie up all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a choice instrument to carry My name before nations and kings and Bnei-Yisrael (sons of Israel). For I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” So Ananias left and entered into the house. Laying hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Yeshua, the One who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming—has sent me, so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit).” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was immersed; (Tree of Life Version - TLV) (inserts mine)
In fact, Shaul is also seen to have visited Damascus often enough that the authorities wanted to take him captive.
2 Corinthians 11:32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, (TLV)
Galatians 1:17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who were emissaries before me, either. Instead I went away to Arabia and returned again to Damascus.(TLV)
You may ask, how any of this is significant to the proofs of the fallacy of the Jesuit theology of Praeterism. Well, frankly, just one point of contention with Praeterism is we know via history that most (some say all) the believers in “the Way” left Jerusalem, while it was still possible, before Rome sacked the city and completely decimated it. This being true, then those believers either had access to information, they heard a warning from from Holy Spirit, or Abba allowed the increased persecution within Jerusalem against all followers of the Way in order to push them out of the city before it's inhabitants were crushed. Any way you look at it, the hand of Providence was a work and the followers of Yeshua were spared the Praeterist keystone doctrine of the “day(s) of judgment” in 70 AD/CE. If this is true, if this period of conquering was the “day of judgment” then why would such a large contingent of believers be led to THE city (Damascus) which would be so destroyed that it would “never be inhabited again”? Those believers would have been well versed in knowing the End Times teachings of Yeshua/Jesus. They would collectively have been knowledgeable of the prophecies of Isaiah and Zechariah. So even if they left Jerusalem due to the persecution, someone among them would have sounded the alarm by warning those intent on going to Damascus to stay away because of an imminent and sudden destruction which would surely be coming to Damascus just as it was happening to Jerusalem. Obviously, if their escape was based on any kind of providential revelation, Abba YHVH or Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) would have been the “One” sounding the alarm. Therefore, the conclusion of Praeterism in the case of the 70 AD sacking of Jerusalem is predicated upon assumption in the best of concerns. In the worst, it is as I suspect, nothing more than an intellectual piecing together of historical and Biblical fact with the intent of impressing the impressionable and diluting the pure FAITH IN GOD which was indeed nearly lost during the Middle Ages and which the Reformers were used by God to return to the Body-Bride of Christ.
Abba simply would NOT have led such a large contingency of believers out of judgment and into another place where imminent impending judgment was about to be brought. Therefore, 70 AD was/is NOT “the day of judgment”. There are so many holes in Praeterism that one must perform a number of mental gymnastics to be able to wrap their minds around it and make it “truth” in any form or fashion. In fact, mental gymnastics may be too tame a phrase. It is more likely accurate to say “mental contortionism”. These would have to be connected and in close proximity in time for 70 AD to have been the day of judgment and there is no getting around that. Let's consider for just a moment, is it possible that those propagating this error have spent too much time isolating singular Scriptures which seemingly support the claims and not enough time taking the totality of Scripture into consideration as a complete text? I believe it is and the evidence is in their inability to see the broader picture at play which so clearly contradicts the overall message of this false teaching.
Praeterism was and is nothing more than the use of well orchestrated academic deception to draw Protestant converts back under the rule of the papacy, to dilute the effectiveness of the pure Gospel, and among many other things to draw those who have not been firmly planted in the truth of the totality Scripture back into the doctrine of a humanist religion. Those who are teaching it have been duped and are in sincere need of our prayers. Many of these are simply disillusioned by the date setting practices of the recent past generation of Biblical scholars whose attempts to narrow down the return of Yeshua/Jesus in what I believe was an honest desire to win the lost. The problem with this is not that they were all WRONG. The problem is they were using the wrong Scripture(s) as the basis for their eschatological belief system. Most use Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
The error in this is, once again, because it does not take the entirety of Scripture into consideration. You can read more of this in my Blog *Is Jesus Really Returning Soon?, but I do want to make just a couple of points here.
According to Colossians 1:23 this may have already occurred:
If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister... (KJV)
Shaul/Paul says that this has already occurred once
This does not make it THE fulfillment, but it does match the criteria found in Matthew 24:14 and we have no way of knowing Shaul wasn't referring to this very point. If he was, then this makes the verse moot concerning when Yeshua/Jesus will return. If he was not, then it is an odd and random reference in the context of Colossians 1. Some would prefer this to be true so they can discredit other things which Shaul/Paul wrote because much of his writings are "hard to understand" - 2 Peter 3:16
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (KJV)
Peter is referring to Gnostics who were perverting the "Gospel" because they did not understand the teachings of Yeshua/Jesus because they were not educated in Torah and had not been taught directly by Yeshua/Jesus - or chose to self-edit His teachings. So these people taught false things which would lead to their own eventual demise. I propose those perpetuating the Jesuit theology of Praeterism are doing the very same thing.
Believing Matthew 24:14 is the the cornerstone from which all eschatological teaching should be based nullifies Acts 3:19-21
repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out, so times of relief might come from the presence of Adonai and He might send Yeshua, the Messiah appointed for you. Heaven must receive Him, until the time of the restoration of all the things that God spoke about long ago through the mouth of His holy prophets. (TLV – emphasis added)
Just verse 21 from a couple of other translations:
Who is to be kept in heaven till the time when all things are put right, of which God has given word by the mouth of his holy prophets, who have been from the earliest times. (Bible in Basic English - BBE)
But Jesus must stay in heaven until God makes all things new, just as his holy prophets promised long ago. (Contemporary English Version)
Further, believing Matthew 24:14 to be the key for understanding the timing of His return also overlooks the possible and even likely prophetic message in Hebrews Chapter 6:1-3
Therefore leaving the principles (some translations say “first principles”) of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.
Let's dig into the possible prophesy in this segment of Hebrews a bit.
If you read those 3 Scriptures again, you will see the things the Reformers and subsequent moves of God (including the Great Awakenings) brought back to the Body-Bride of Yeshua/Jesus in the order in which they were restored! Is it possible the writer of Hebrews was also prophesying?
All of them were removed from “church” theology and doctrine beginning in the 3rd Century and it continued for approximately 1200 years
Martin Luther is credited with teaching the doctrine of “salvation by grace through faith in God alone”
It is in this same era that many Reformers began to preach that salvation results in good works, and the reverse produces dead works not “works which lead to salvation” as was taught by the Catholic Church
those restored the first 2 of the first principles of the Doctrine of Christ
The Anabaptists brought us the rebirth of the revelation of Baptism in water by submersion which was the practice God gave to the children of Israel in the mikvah.
The Constantinian Catholics had reduced it to sprinkling without any repentance to God or seeking relationship with Him through His Son Yeshua/Jesus, but rather through the mediation of a priest and the dead works of penance
The Pentecostals restored to us the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire when a small Bible College in Canada broke out in a frenzy of fire-like tongues during a season of prayer and fasting of the faculty and students.
The word perfection in this Scripture is sometimes translated “maturity”. So one might conclude there is a certain level a maturity which understanding the “first principles of the Doctrine of Christ” brings into one's life. Therefore, being this is written to a group and not an individual, it is reasonable to conclude that the message the writer of Hebrews is conveying to this “Body” of believers could also be applicable the entire “Body of Christ”.
So a proper grasp of the first principles is required to move on to maturity
This Pentecostal move also propelled us toward the restoration of the "laying on of hands" due to its close connection to the earlier "Latter Rain" and "Holiness" Movements, and the later "Voice of Healing" Movement.
These Moves of God eventually led to the "Charismatic Renewal" which has in recent years rebirthed an increasingly common occurrence of the dead being raised.
Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake, and others served as forerunners in this - notice the writer of Hebrews calls "resurrection of the dead" a doctrine. This means
It is based in a theology - remember the simplified definition I use for theology is "what we think about God"
Our Theology forms our Doctrine because our Doctrine is "what we do in response to what we believe about God".
So if "resurrection of the dead" is a doctrine, then the writer of Hebrews is certainly saying more to us than simply referencing the final "catching away" and "the resurrection of the dead" at the ACTUAL Day of Judgment! They are instead telling us there is something to do in regard to raising the dead and it was a "basic" teaching of Yeshua/Jesus!!
Lastly is the doctrine of judgment. I don't know for certain that what this is has been revealed yet, but if the writer of Hebrews was indeed giving us a prophetic picture as it appears they were, it may very likely relate to the Two Witnesses I discussed in *Who were/are They? or *The Power of the Ekklesia and what they/we can and will do!
After all this is once again a "Doctrine" and part of the "First Principles of Christ", so there is something to "do". It is not simply about the final judgment.
How does all this fit together?
We need to get back to the pure unadulterated "First Principles of the Doctrine of Christ" by carefully examining everything we've been taught. In fact, we have a mandate to do so if we are to be in agreement with Acts 17:30:
Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all men everywhere to repent. (Berean Study Bible - BSB).
With the ability to access (usually very quickly) information on any topic, there is no excuse for believers who choose to simply believe what they have been taught. We have a responsibility to ourselves, to those we love, to those for whom we are supposed to be light and salt, to posterity, and ultimately to God on the actual Day of Judgment, to dig out every aspect of our theology (and subsequent doctrine) so we do not continue to perpetuate the "Consensus Orthodoxy". We MUST get back to the basics and get those correct by properly placing them into Hebraic, cultural, and linguistic context as they were intended by the writers and for whom they were written. Only then will the true revelation(s) since the days of the First Century stand out from the man-made rhetoric we have accepted as Truth.
It will take courage, humility, and resolve in massive but likely equal measures to accomplish this. Among many other traits we will need to allow Holy Spirit to seed into our lives, there are likely as many we will need to allow Him to purge from us.
Are You Up to the Challenge?
Let's Continue by examining what we've
been taught about the Ephesians 4:11 "Gifts" to
the Body-Bride and how they fit into the Ekklesia...
<<<<< Part 9