New Foundation Fellowship

Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel

Ellis has made a comment on my latest post, posing three important questions. He has given me permission to include the full text of his comment here. In this post, I’ll attempt to address those questions. Hopefully this will be helpful to other readers as well.   Here is his comment:

Comment by Ellis Hein

Bill,

You stated: "Preterism gives powerful biblical support to some of Fox’s most controversial ideas." I am coming from a background where, upon reading Fox, I could exclaim, "Now this makes sense." So I am at a loss to grasp what you see as Fox's "most controversial ideas." Can you give examples?

Again you state: "In my last post I pointed out that he viewed the time of the Revelation to John as coinciding with the coming of Christ (as do preterists)." I have been looking for this in previous postings and have not been able to come up with it. I must be reading over it and missing it. Can you give examples from Fox that point to Fox viewing the timing of the Revelation to John coinciding with the coming of Christ?

And, you stated: " Fox’s theology drew heavily on John’s gospel, just as it did the book of Revelation." Here I want to point out that Fox's understanding of Scripture was based upon openings he received from Christ rather than being the result of careful study. I'll try to provide a few quotes that I hope will make the point plain.

I had great openings concerning the things written in the Revelations ; and when I spoke of them,the priests and professors would say, that was a sealed book, and would have kept me out of it. But I told them, Christ could open the seals, and that they were the nearest thing to us; for the epistles were written to the saints that lived in former ages, but the Revelations were written of things to come. (vol. 1, p. 72)

When I had openings they answered one another, and answered the scriptures; for I had great openings of the scriptures... (vol. 1, p. 73)

These things I did not see by the help of man, nor by the letter, though they are written in the letter; but I saw them in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his immediate spirit and power, as did the holy men of God by whom the holy scriptures were written. Yet I had no slight esteem of the holy scriptures, they were very precious to me ; for I was in that spirit by which they were given forth ; and what the Lord opened in me, I afterwards found was agreeable to them. (p. 89)

I'll look forward to your answers and return comments.

Ellis,

I’ll answer your questions, to the best of my ability, in reverse order:


First, I understand very well that Fox’s insights were due to his prophetic openings, and they didn’t spring from a process of Bible interpretation or exegetical analysis. Nor were they the result of consultation with biblical scholars and theologians. This is true of the biblical prophets as well… Fox’s use of the Bible was a lot like the way the Psalmists used the books of Moses, or the way Paul and Peter applied the Old Testament scriptures in their teaching. From their example we can see that true prophets build and expand on each other, but they never contradict each other when understood contextually.


Whenever I remark that Fox drew on particular biblical material I don't mean to imply that he was interpreting it in a systematic way or approaching it according to a set of hermeneutical rules. Fox was a remarkably gifted man of God. He was (in my opinion) a true prophet who drew on scripture through prophetic inspiration, not with human techniques of biblical analysis, and he did so in a very rich, creative and perceptive way.


However, the point I’m trying to make is this: just as all the biblical prophets can be understood, affirmed, and harmonized by studying and comparing their messages contextually (seeing their consistency and their common, cumulative truth) so we should be able to study Fox and find that same underlying consistency and commonality with the biblical writers. This is because the same Holy Spirit was at work in all of them; we should be able to see how all the prophets dovetail together when taken seriously within their own contexts. The fact that these prophetic openings (both those of the biblical prophets and of Fox) were given in supernatural power does not nullify the importance, or the validity, of trying to make the best sense possible of them with good scholarship and sound methods of contextual study.


It may be difficult for you to see the value in such a process, Ellis, because you’re already a convinced and deeply committed follower of George Fox. But people who are from entirely other backgrounds and contexts (like myself) cannot reasonably be expected to embrace Fox as a legitimate prophetic figure until they’ve been able to see how his teaching is consistent with a rational, systematic approach to biblical interpretation. This approach does not detract in any way from Fox’s message or from the unique value of his prophetic gift (any more than it would from that of the biblical prophets). It simply puts Fox and his message in a context that is reasonable, understandable and accessible to people in the wider world. It is a way of bringing them the message in a language that is comprehensible to them, thus making it possible for the Spirit to eventually lead them to a place of embracing it. This is my burden, and I believe it was also Lewis Benson’s burden. Benson often approvingly quoted select nuggets of truth from contemporary theologians and scholars in order to highlight the remarkable insights that Fox was given prophetically.


To answer your second question, you must read carefully what Fox is saying in the passage I quoted in my fourth post to see its significance, giving special attention to the biblical material he uses. The passage is from Fox’s Gospel Truths, Edition 1706, found here: https://books.google.com/books?id=3JoqAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA17&lpg=...


When you read this passage with great care, noting the contexts of the scriptures he refers to, it becomes clear that Fox is affirming a First Century coming of Christ that is coincident with Christ's giving of the Revelation to John. The second paragraph in my quotation in Post # 4 is especially enlightening. Note particularly how Fox goes about contrasting the last supper which John celebrated with Jesus before His crucifixion (the one with real bread and wine) with the spiritual supper that is revealed to John in his Revelation vision (Rev. 3:20).

But before doing so, please consider some very important and highly relevant biblical/historical background:
At the “last supper” Jesus told his disciples that He would not drink again of the fruit of the vine until He did so with them in His Kingdom (Matt. 26:29). In 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, Paul (writing about 25 years after the crucifixion and perhaps 10-12 years prior to the giving of the Revelation to John) picked up on that statement and re-stated it, saying that their continuing practice of eating the meal together was an ongoing opportunity for remembrance of Jesus “until He comes”. So Jesus had clearly not yet come when Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians (mid-fifties AD). Keep this in mind as you read what Fox says.


Fox clearly states that the time for that communal meal of literal bread and wine (which Christians had been practicing as a remembrance since Jesus’ resurrection) was ended when John received his Revelation of the risen and ascended Christ. Fox says: “for its (speaking of that “last supper” which John had celebrated with Jesus and the disciples) like (that is, the New Testament practice described by Paul in 1 Corinthians) they had taken the Bread and the Cup in remembrance of Christ’s death till He came, and now (that is, at the time John received the Revelation) John tells them Christ is come. Later in the same paragraph Fox doubles down on this same thought. Speaking of his contemporaries in traditional Christendom as “Reprobates”, Fox says “May not Reprobates take the elements of Bread and Wine in remembrance of Christ’s death, and say they will do it till Christ come, yet Christ sayeth Behold I stand at the door and knock (remember Christ first said this at the time of the giving of the Revelation to John) and though He is come yet they will not open the door and hear His Spiritual voice…”


You see, Fox could not be saying that the practice of the communal meal among early Christians (before the giving of Revelation to John) was invalid at that time. Jesus had instructed them (in AD 30) to remember Him in that communal practice until the full coming of His Kingdom. Paul clearly said that the practice was still valid in his day (mid-50s AD), and would continue to be valid until Christ came. What Fox must be saying then is that the purpose of the old literal practice of the communal meal had come to its end when John received his vision on Patmos of the risen and ascended Christ (this was probably no more than 2-3 years before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70). Thus Fox identifies the coming of Christ and the fulness of His Kingdom with the appearance of Christ to John in the first chapters of the book of Revelation. It’s clear that, in Fox's thought, Christ had come at that point because this is when He invited all to open the door to Him in His resurrected and ascended spiritual presence (parousia) and to join Him in the true spiritual Supper. Jesus had told His disciples that he would not sup (drink the fruit of the vine) with them until He could do so with them in the Kingdom. So this invitation extended in Revelation 3:20 signified that His Kingdom was arriving in power and fullness at that very time. As I also noted in my fourth post, Fox’s application of the biblical imagery of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is another way he ties Second Coming events to the time of Jesus’ visionary appearance to John. That is, he equates the spiritual fellowship Jesus offers us in Revelation 3:20 with the Marriage Supper (which is set squarely in the midst of the symbolic picture of the Second Coming in Revelation chapter 19).


As to your first question, Ellis, the answer is related very much to your final question (which I answered first!). What I mean is this. As you readily admit yourself, you are necessarily viewing things from the standpoint of your own Quaker background and perspective. For you, everything you read from George Fox makes perfect sense! But this is not the case for the typical Christian, and especially for those who are very Bible-oriented Christians (most of whom tend to read the Bible very “literally” as their default method). And yet, it is these very people who would be most inclined to embrace the Christ-centered message and power of the early Quakers if only they could see how biblical it really is (and if it could be made understandable to them in their “language”).


Here is a short list of a few of the "controversial" ideas found in George Fox and early Quakerism which need to be addressed biblically:


1. Most controversial of all – the Second Coming has already happened and is in ongoing fulfillment!


2. Related to Point 1 – celebration of the eucharist is no longer necessary; it was only to be practiced “until Christ comes.”


3. Related to Point 2 – the true Supper is spiritual, not literal and material; it is the real substance of Christ’s presence, not the shadow.


4. The New Heavens and Earth, and the New Jerusalem, are symbolic of the present New Covenant Age  (spiritual realities here and now), not a yet future literal change in the state of the material Universe.


5. Related to Point 4 – the New Creation in Christ is now available to transform our lives, and to give us an intimate relationship of real interaction and dialogue with the Voice of Christ (and this is what the New Covenant is really all about!).


From where you stand, Ellis, all of these ideas may make perfect sense and seem unquestionably true. But you certainly must know that for the typical, traditional Christian these ideas are unorthodox and controversial in the extreme. If you can’t make a reasonable case for them with sound biblical exegesis, and in language that is familiar and understandable, what are the odds of these folks ever giving Fox and the Quaker message a second glance, much less a fair hearing? I know for a fact that the chances are slim to none, because this is the world I’ve lived in.


As things stand now, given the chaotic, hopelessly confused and diverse state of sectarian Quakerism, what real prospect is there for the message to be heard? The world deserves to have the opportunity for an honest exposure to the Christ-centered Quaker message. But truthfully, it seems to me that in the current Quaker climate the world has no way of even knowing that such a message exists. Millions of people are out there wandering like sheep without a shepherd. I believe Jesus has compassion on them, just as He did when He was here in the flesh (Matt. 9:36). I also believe that God has a multitude of people dwelling in Babylon, who love Christ and are honestly following the best light they have. If this were not so, He would not call them “My people” in calling them out (Rev. 18:4). But they need to hear! Many are longing for the full gospel message and, like George Fox, don't even know what it is they're longing for (this was me). Lewis Benson put the situation this way:


“I believe that the most important church activity within the compass of gospel order is the work of preaching the everlasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth. The foundation of gospel order is the gospel, and this gospel foundation cannot be laid just once with the expectation that it will furnish a foundation for all future generations. If the gospel is not preached, it gradually ceases to be the rock and foundation on which the whole superstructure of the church is built. The gospel is not “the power of God” unless it is proclaimed.”  (Benson, What Did George Fox Teach About Christ? , page 32).

For centuries God’s poor lost sheep have been misled, in one way or another, by the Babylon of institutional religions (including institutional Quakerism!). There’s a gigantic communication and culture gap between Fox’s world and our world today. The question I’m asking is this: “Who’s going to stand in the gap? Who will care enough to bridge this chasm?  And who will God hold accountable if no reasonable attempt is made to do it?"

Views: 481

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 3rdMo. 23, 2015 at 18:44

It seems to me that Barclay would be suitable for presenting the people you refer to with a reasonable, scripture-related account of Quaker faith. Have you read him, Bill? Although he doesn't specifically use the term "second-coming," as far as I know, he refers to the experiential knowledge of God and Christ. Furthermore, he addresses himself to those areas where Quakers and other Christians were at odds. 

There's a problem with tying Christ's coming to the time of the writing of Revelation because it caters to and affirms the mistaken notion that signs and wonders are to be the verifying events of Christ's appearance. It simply wouldn't be the gospel that Quakers know and preach to tie Christ's appearance to some temporal event. The scriptures can't be read in that flat, worldly way. If anyone were to be convinced by the arguments you make, they would be not one whit more conversant with the gospel Quakers preached, because it is spirit and not intellectual proposition.

It is more important to preach/write the truth, even if many do not have ears to hear. The way has always been strait and the gate narrow. The voice has always cried in the wilderness. I am glad that there are others who keep the voice clear and the spirit heard. 

Comment by Allan Halton on 3rdMo. 23, 2015 at 23:23

Greetings, Bill.  I have had a lot on my plate and have not had opportunity to join this conversation, although I read your earlier posts a couple of weeks ago.  Today I caught up with the most recent posts.  Let me say first that I have learned much.  I appreciate the depth of your understanding as to George Fox and preterism. 

 

He would no doubt have asked the meaning of the word, and in fact, so did I when I first heard the word preterism a few years ago—this after having already come across the writings of George Fox as upon “great spoil a few years earlier.  Fox had precious “openings” (we would use the word “revelation”) on what many in our day term preterism—in the main, to use one of his most frequent statements, that “Christ our teacher is come.”

 

I have always wished I could ask him, if I had the opportunity, when this began to happen.  But since I cannot ask him, I will ask it here for you and others to consider.  I see you have brought up Revelation Ch. 1 in this regard.  Mention has also been made of Matthew 24 and the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

 

But let me ask this.  When Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless (orphans) I will come to you” (Jn. 14:18), when did this happen to those He was speaking to at that time?

Allan

 

Comment by Earlon William (Bill) Carsley on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 1:05

Pat,

I must respectfully disagree with you.  I have read Barclay's Apology, and it is good as far as it goes.  But a book written nearly 300 years ago can hardly be seen as the best possible apologetic for contemporary people. Barclay's arguments are incomplete at best, and I believe his work is woefully inadequate in terms of contemporary scholarship and accessibility for modern readers.

Regarding "signs", Christ Himself plainly said there would be certain signs in world events in His generation that would lead up to His "coming" (all of which were fulfilled as He predicted in the years leading up to AD 70).  Both the gospels of Matthew and Luke (please read with an open mind Matthew chapters 24-25 and Luke chapters 21-22) show that the issue of the coming destruction of the Temple (Matt. 24:1-3) and of the city of Jerusalem (Matt. 23:34-39; Luke 21:5-7, 20-24) were the main focus of Jesus' discussion of His "coming" in the synoptics.  It seems to me that if you're unwilling to entertain that fact (due to some perceived Quaker imperative), you are the one refusing to open your ears and your eyes!

I agree with you, Pat, that the important knowledge for true life and wisdom is in spirit and truth, not intellectual proposition.  But don't be so quick to assume that you and your tiny group alone have found the complete fullness of "the narrow way", while looking down on others who haven't had the same light and opportunities.  Do you realize how pharsaical your view of things sounds?  To keep the voice clear and the spirit heard, it seems you would build a wall of isolation so high that few would ever be able to see over it (or be afforded the opportunity to hear that "voice in the wilderness."  I'm sorry, but you are calling for an extreme sectarian isolation which can never lend itself to the world encompassing, universal vision of Fox and Benson.

Comment by Patricia Dallmann on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 1:43

If you wish to understand the faith of the Quakers, you will do well not to dismiss Barclay. For example, Bill, here is a passage that shows the timelessness of Christ's coming to those whose hearts are open to truth:

So then, as there was the outward visible body and temple of Jesus Christ, which took its origin from the virgin Mary, so there is also the Spiritual body of Christ, by and through which he, that was the "Word in the beginning with God," and was, and is GOD, did reveal himself to the sons of men in all ages, and were by men in all ages come to be made partakers of eternal life, and to have communion and fellowship with God and Christ. Of which body of Christ, and flesh and blood, if both Adam, and Seth, and Enoch,and Noah, and Abraham, and Moses, and David, and all the prophets and holy men of God had not eaten, they had not had life in them, nor could their inward man have been nourished. Now, as the outward body and temple was called Christ, so was also this spiritual body, no less properly, and long before that outward body was in being (13.II).

Your attempting to relegate Christ's coming to a particular time is not in accord with Quaker experience, faith, or theology. It's not a good fit with preterism, which is concerned with the timing of events and correlating these with Christ's prophetic office. You have taken the word "prophecy" that means something very different to a Quaker than it does to preterism. Only the word itself is the same: the meanings are different. For a Quaker, Christ as prophet is one who speaks from heaven to his people; it does not mean someone who foretells the future or where a lost cow is to be found! (Thanks to Benson for that moment of levity.)

You are mistaken about "our building a wall of isolation etc." Our devotion is to preaching the truth, as it has always been preached by those who have received the gospel. We will not preach another gospel so that it might be more accessible. We trust God to have made us human beings capable of knowing him and coming back into his image and likeness, able to hear his Word and to preach it. What hardness would one wrongfully assign to our Creator in claiming he'd made our regeneration too hard for us? No, we will not change what we have been given--this treasure in clay jars--to dance to the tune of some idea that has no truth. Look elsewhere if this doesn't suit you. 

Comment by Earlon William (Bill) Carsley on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 2:00

Hello Allan,

I'm so glad you finally had the opportunity to correspond.  I really did appreciate so very much your contributions to the discussion at Monday evening's telephone conference.  I'm also gratified to hear that, like me, you recognize (to some extent, at least) that George Fox's approach was at heart a preterist one. In regard to your question: the passage you quote is from John Chapter 14, admittedly one of the most complex chapters in the whole gospel.  I want to write a post on its significance at some point, but I'm not quite ready to tackle that project yet! 

I will just say for now that Jesus is identifying Himself with the Paraclete in a very mysterious way in John chapter 14.  I believe Jesus is saying that the Paraclete is another name for His own post-resurrection, post-ascension presence, and it's also  a name for the Holy Spirit.  We know the Holy Spirit came in fulness at Pentecost as a confirmation that Christ Himself had been seated in Kingdom authority at the right hand of God (Acts 2:32-36).  The gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost was, in one sense, the comforting presence Jesus had promised in John 14:18 (you might say that the Spirit at Pentecost was Jesus in proxy)

However, the appearance to John, in Revelation chapters 1-3, was Jesus actually coming Himself (in His resurrected and ascended glory). This was also a spiritual presence, but distinct from that of the Holy Spirit.   Jesus  has been available to come to all of His people who open the door to Him ever since (both by proxy, in the form of the Holy Spirit, and in His own glorious Presence).  I don't think it is always clear to us, in our own spiritual experiences, which manifestation it is we're encountering, nor do I think it really matters.  George Fox seemed to use both types of manifestation interchangeably, as did Paul in the New Testament.  Paul actually had visionary encounters with the risen Christ, on the road to Damascus and at other times during his life, but I think he was a unique case until the coming at the time of John's Revelation. 

This is the best answer I can give you, in a nutshell, Allan.  The Lord bless you, my friend...

Bill

Comment by Earlon William (Bill) Carsley on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 2:23

Pat,

If, in time, I discover that your view is shared by all those at New Foundation Fellowship, I will most certainly seek out a different forum.  I welcome the honest views of all.  Being honest and frank with one another is part of what it means to be people of truth. And I would invite everyone reading these posts to give me feedback!  Please honestly tell me, everyone who reads this, if you would like me to leave this forum.  I'm only here because I believe God has given me something worth sharing, and I had believed that Benson's spiritual heirs would be the most open to what I have to say.  If I was wrong, please don't hesitate to say so plainly.  There will be no hard feelings, and I don't want to waste my time, or yours...

Comment by Allan Halton on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 3:03

Bill, I've just now entered this discussion, but from my perspective, I don't think you should be too ready to move on.  I might say, though, that I felt your response to Patricia Dallmann came across somewhat stern, and undeservedly so.  I didn't sense anything she said called for some of the things you said (or, at least, the way you said them).  Now she, in turn, has responded, or so it seems to me, in kind (by her ending suggestion).

On a forum like this we need to be gentle with one another, and respond to one another in a way that keeps hearts open.  (2 Tim. 2:24).

I will get back to you with a response to your comment about the Paraclete as soon as I am able.

 

Comment by Earlon William (Bill) Carsley on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 10:46

Thank you for your sincere observation, Allan.  I, of all people, do not wish to be needlessly harsh with anyone.  I seek to live in the spirit of Jesus.  If you were to read through my series of posts carefully you would sense this I think.  You would also see that the perspective and approach Pat attributes to me is not at all what I am saying.  It is a straw man representation of me, easy to tear down.  But it is the attitude of easy dismissal of others, and a Quietist lack of concern that the wandering sheep should be reached, which deeply troubles me.  This is the unwillingness and failure to "stand in the gap" which I referred to in my last post.  I have no personal animosity or dislike toward Pat, but I do think that she (and others who manifest a similar spirit) should be reminded to look at themselves in the mirror now and then.  I leave it to the judgment of God, and to the discernment of the NFF community, to decide if my comments were unwarranted, or too harsh.  If they were, I apologize...

Comment by Allan Halton on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 18:40

Bill, this is further to my comment about the Paraclete. 

 

I have not been able to find in Fox’s writings any significant reference to the coming of the Paraclete as being what Jesus said it is to be—a coming of Himself to abide in His disciples.   This is the major theme of John Chapters 14-17.

 

“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you” (Jn. 14:18).

 

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you” (Jn. 14:28).

 

When did this happen?  It happened on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts Ch. 2. 

 

It is only in this sense that it can be said that “Christ our teacher is come.”  He is yet on the throne of Heaven, yet is here indwelling those who have received His Spirit, as many passages in the New Testament show:

 

“If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.  And if Christ be in you...” (Rom. 8:9,10). 

 

“...That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith...” (Eph. 3:16,17).

 

This—by the Holy Spirit—is the only way it can be said that Christ dwells in His saints.  Let me put that the other way around.  When the Holy Spirit dwells in someone, it is Christ who dwells in that one.  Scripture backs this up in many places.

 

This is a “coming” of Christ that vast swaths of Christendom have entirely overlooked, and, in my opinion, the preterists have overlooked as well.

 

But this “coming” is not referred to as the parousia by the New Covenant writers, as the following list of the 24 verses where the word is used shows.  These writers had received the Holy Spirit, yet still anticipated the parousia (Strongs G3952), which in 1 Thes. 4:15 Paul puts at the time of the resurrection of “the dead in Christ.”

 

[Note: I have put the list in a separate comment (which follows this one) since the list made this post too large to be received.]

 

As to what John saw in Revelation Ch. 1, personally I find it very difficult to see this as “distinct from the Holy Spirit,” which is the way you expressed it.  It is the very work of the Holy Spirit in the earth to reveal and glorify ascended Christ.  Jesus says (again in John14), “He shall testify of me” (Jn. 15:26).  “He shall glorify me” (Jn. 16:14).  Where does He do this?  In the church.  And this is what I see happening in Revelation Ch. One.

 

Revelation 1:12-16 is a description of the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of the seven lampstands, the seven churches, which, because of the symbolic use of the number seven (used to express fullness, completeness) can be understood as the one church universal.  Here, then, is Christ the head of the church in “the church which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22,23).  In fact His voice is “as the sound of many waters,” that is, “a multitude” (Ezek. 1:24, Dan. 10:6).  Some have also pointed out that the word for “paps” or “breasts” in verse 13 is the Greek “mastos,” which is always used in reference to a woman.  So here is a prophetic vision of Christ in union with His bride the church, for John in Rev. 1:3 calls this book “a prophecy.”  This union is effected by the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who in the members of the body of Christ is one with Christ on the throne of Heaven.  It is accomplished by each one being baptized into Christ—which is what baptism in the Holy Spirit is all about (Rom. 6:3,4).  It began at Pentecost, and must be experienced individually by every person who believes in Jesus Christ in order for them to be one with Him, according to His promise in sending the Paraclete.  “At that day [the day of the sending of the Paraclete] ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (Jn. 14:20).  It is by the Paraclete that those who believe in Jesus Christ are made as one with the Son of God as He is with the Father. 

 

As to Matthew 24, I have never felt satisfied to accept that the destruction of the temple in 70 AD fulfilled all that Jesus prophesied in this chapter, or in Mark’s and Luke’s record of the same prophecy.  Full preterists hang a lot of weight on that.  But if “the Son of man coming on the clouds of Heaven in power and great glory” was fulfilled in AD 70, it is the greatest letdown that has ever taken place in the universe.  That was the second coming?  It is astonishing that there is no historical record of it, nor any mention of it in the Scriptures.  (Are you aware that there is strong “scholarship” that puts the date of The Revelation at 97 AD or thereabouts?)

 

I certainly see that much of what Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24 was fulfilled in 70 AD.  But a careful reading of that passage shows there is yet much awaiting fulfillment.  I am inclined to view Jesus’ words as one would view the circles of a pool into which a rock has been thrown.  Yes, it caused that first circle to form.  But what’s this?  Here’s another circle being formed, an enlarging that is taking place, yet caused by that same rock. 

 

It is already in motion.  We are certainly in the New Covenant age, and the river of life is even now flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the street of the City of God to which we have already come (Heb. Ch. 12).  The kingdom of God is already in the earth and growing—first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.  These are things Fox saw, and taught.

 

But it began at Pentecost, not in 70 AD.  It was the sending of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost that enabled those disciples to experience vital and intimate communion and fellowship with the risen and ascended Christ.  Christ continues to send Him even today to those who ask for him (Lk. 11:13), and when He is come, He convicts of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment no less effectively than Jesus did when He was here in the flesh.  In Him the Son of God reveals Himself as the Apostle of our confession, the prophet that was to come, the Evangelist who proclaims the everlasting Gospel, the Shepherd who leads His lambs to everlasting springs of water, the Teacher who Himself teaches His disciples, the King who reigns in them, the High Priest who is faithful to minister to them the New Covenant...

 

...Till the New Covenant is completely fulfilled, and His work is done, and the bride is “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing,” and the church which is His body has grown to a perfect Man, “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” and the glory of the Lord is revealed as fully as in that one Man Jesus two thousand some years ago, in fact more fully, for this church, this body, this bride, this city, is the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment by Allan Halton on 3rdMo. 24, 2015 at 18:43

Here is a list of the 24 verses in the New Testament in which the word "parousia" is used.  The Strong's number is G3952.

Mat_24:3  AndG1161 as heG846 satG2521 uponG1909 theG3588 mountG3735 of Olives,G1636 theG3588 disciplesG3101 cameG4334 unto himG846 privately,G2596 G2398 saying,G3004 TellG2036 us,G2254 whenG4219 shall these thingsG5023 be?G2071 andG2532 whatG5101 shall be theG3588 signG4592 of thyG4674 coming,G3952 andG2532 of theG3588 endG4930 of theG3588 world?G165

Mat_24:27  ForG1063 asG5618 theG3588 lightningG796 comethG1831 out ofG575 the east,G395 andG2532 shinethG5316 even untoG2193 the west;G1424 soG3779 shall alsoG2532 theG3588 comingG3952 of theG3588 SonG5207 of manG444 be.G2071

Mat_24:37  ButG1161 asG5618 theG3588 daysG2250 of NoeG3575 were, soG3779 shall alsoG2532 theG3588 comingG3952 of theG3588 SonG5207 of manG444 be.G2071

Mat_24:39  AndG2532 knewG1097 notG3756 untilG2193 theG3588 floodG2627 came,G2064 andG2532 took them all away;G142 G537 soG3779 shall alsoG2532 theG3588 comingG3952 of theG3588 SonG5207 of manG444 be.G2071

1Co_15:23  ButG1161 every manG1538 inG1722 his ownG2398 order:G5001 ChristG5547 the firstfruits;G536 afterwardG1899 theyG3588 that are Christ'sG5547 atG1722 hisG848 coming.G3952

1Co_16:17  (G1161) I am gladG5463 ofG1909 theG3588 comingG3952 of StephanasG4734 andG2532 FortunatusG5415 andG2532 Achaicus:G883 forG3754 that which was lackingG5303 on your partG5216 theyG3778 have supplied.G378

2Co_7:6  NeverthelessG235 God,G2316 that comfortethG3870 those that are cast down,G5011 comfortedG3870 usG2248 byG1722 theG3588 comingG3952 of Titus;G5103

2Co_7:7  AndG1161 notG3756 byG1722 hisG846 comingG3952 only,G3440 butG235 (G2532) byG1722 theG3588 consolationG3874 wherewithG3739 he was comfortedG3870 inG1909 you,G5213 when he toldG312 usG2254 yourG5216 earnest desire,G1972 yourG5216 mourning,G3602 yourG5216 fervent mindG2205 towardG5228 me;G1700 so thatG5620 IG3165 rejoicedG5463 the more.G3123

2Co_10:10  ForG3754 his letters,G1992 (G3303) sayG5346 they, are weightyG926 andG2532 powerful;G2478 butG1161 his bodilyG4983 presenceG3952 is weak,G772 andG2532 his speechG3056 contemptible.G1848

Php_1:26  ThatG2443 yourG5216 rejoicingG2745 may be more abundantG4052 inG1722 JesusG2424 ChristG5547 forG1722 meG1698 byG1223 myG1699 comingG3952 toG4314 youG5209 again.G3825

Php_2:12  Wherefore,G5620 myG3450 beloved,G27 asG2531 ye have alwaysG3842 obeyed,G5219 notG3361 asG5613 inG1722 myG3450 presenceG3952 only,G3440 butG235 nowG3568 muchG4183 moreG3123 inG1722 myG3450 absence,G666 work outG2716 your ownG1438 salvationG4991 withG3326 fearG5401 andG2532 trembling.G5156

1Th_2:19  ForG1063 whatG5101 is ourG2257 hope,G1680 orG2228 joy,G5479 orG2228 crownG4735 of rejoicing?G2746 Are(G2228) notG3780 evenG2532 yeG5210 in the presenceG1715 of ourG2257 LordG2962 JesusG2424 ChristG5547 atG1722 hisG846 coming?G3952

1Th_3:13  To the end he may stablishG4741 yourG5216 heartsG2588 unblameableG273 inG1722 holinessG42 beforeG1715 God,G2316 evenG2532 ourG2257 Father,G3962 atG1722 theG3588 comingG3952 of ourG2257 LordG2962 JesusG2424 ChristG5547 withG3326 allG3956 hisG846 saints.G40

1Th_4:15  ForG1063 thisG5124 we sayG3004 unto youG5213 byG1722 the wordG3056 of the Lord,G2962 thatG3754 weG2249 which are aliveG2198 and remainG4035 untoG1519 theG3588 comingG3952 of theG3588 LordG2962 shall notG3364 preventG5348 them which are asleep.G2837

1Th_5:23  AndG1161 theG3588 veryG846 GodG2316 of peaceG1515 sanctifyG37 youG5209 wholly;G3651 andG2532 I pray God yourG5216 wholeG3648 spiritG4151 andG2532 soulG5590 andG2532 bodyG4983 be preservedG5083 blamelessG274 untoG1722 theG3588 comingG3952 of ourG2257 LordG2962 JesusG2424 Christ.G5547

2Th_2:1  NowG1161 we beseechG2065 you,G5209 brethren,G80 byG5228 theG3588 comingG3952 of ourG2257 LordG2962 JesusG2424 Christ,G5547 andG2532 by ourG2257 gathering togetherG1997 untoG1909 him,G846

2Th_2:8  AndG2532 thenG5119 shall that WickedG459 be revealed,G601 whomG3739 theG3588 LordG2962 shall consumeG355 with theG3588 spiritG4151 of hisG848 mouth,G4750 andG2532 shall destroyG2673 with theG3588 brightnessG2015 of hisG848 coming:G3952

2Th_2:9  Even him, whoseG3739 comingG3952 isG2076 afterG2596 the workingG1753 of SatanG4567 withG1722 allG3956 powerG1411 andG2532 signsG4592 andG2532 lyingG5579 wonders,G5059

Jas_5:7  Be patientG3114 therefore,G3767 brethren,G80 untoG2193 theG3588 comingG3952 of theG3588 Lord.G2962 Behold,G2400 theG3588 husbandmanG1092 waiteth forG1551 theG3588 preciousG5093 fruitG2590 of theG3588 earth,G1093 andG2532 hath long patienceG3114 forG1909 it,G846 untilG2193 G302 he receiveG2983 the earlyG4406 andG2532 latterG3797 rain.G5205

Jas_5:8  Be ye also patient;G3114 G5210 G2532 stablishG4741 yourG5216 hearts:G2588 forG3754 theG3588 comingG3952 of theG3588 LordG2962 draweth nigh.G1448

2Pe_1:16  ForG1063 we have notG3756 followedG1811 cunningly devisedG4679 fables,G3454 when we made knownG1107 unto youG5213 theG3588 powerG1411 andG2532 comingG3952 of ourG2257 LordG2962 JesusG2424 Christ,G5547 butG235 wereG1096 eyewitnessesG2030 of hisG1565 majesty.G3168

2Pe_3:4  AndG2532 saying,G3004 WhereG4226 isG2076 theG3588 promiseG1860 of hisG846 coming?G3952 forG1063 sinceG575 G3739 theG3588 fathersG3962 fell asleep,G2837 all thingsG3956 continueG1265 asG3779 they were fromG575 the beginningG746 of the creation.G2937

2Pe_3:12  Looking forG4328 andG2532 hastingG4692 unto theG3588 comingG3952 of theG3588 dayG2250 of God,G2316 whereinG1223 G3739 the heavensG3772 being on fireG4448 shall be dissolved,G3089 andG2532 the elementsG4747 shall meltG5080 with fervent heat?G2741

1Jn_2:28  AndG2532 now,G3568 little children,G5040 abideG3306 inG1722 him;G846 that,G2443 whenG3752 he shall appear,G5319 we may haveG2192 confidence,G3954 andG2532 notG3361 be ashamedG153 beforeG575 himG846 atG1722 hisG848 coming.G3952

 

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