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Matt 24:36
Question:
"Does Jesus now know when he is coming back? Or is this still only God's knowledge as stated in Matt. 24:36 and Mark 13:32?"

Mike, I think this is more readable for most people:
http://www.bible.org/qa.asp?topic_id=57&qa_id=435

Personally, I think the interpretation of this verse is simpler than it seems.

Just like a lot of Jesus' ministry revolves around the feast days (time and location), The source for this quote can be found in the Jewish wedding. There are 18 steps to a Jewish wedding. #11 deals with the issue of "only the father knowing". Maybe Jesus didn't know about the time of the second coming, when he was here as a man (emptying himself of his power and depending on the Father - "kenosis"). Or maybe since the "church" will be the bride of Christ, Jesus was observing the customs of the Jewish weddings in explaining his return.

FIRST PARAGRAPH OF STEP 11
"The time of the bridegroom's return is related to the bridal chamber's construction. When the preparations on the bridal chamber were completed then it would be the proper time. But the groom's father would be the one to give permission. It was a common expression or saying, a Jewish idiom, that a man would say when his friends asked him when his marriage would be. He would reply, "of that day or hour no man knows, but my father only."

Abstract (Summary)
http://www.linkjesus.com/introwedding.htm
Full paper
http://www.linkjesus.com/weddingstudy.htm

WARNING: Full paper is 45 pages long. Easy enough read, but it is replete with Old and New Testament references. I find step #18 "iffy", but I think the others fit and make sense. If anybody differs in that opinion post or email me.

End times

It was a question about "end times" that started the dialogue that led to my salvation. So, yes - I have an interest, but not an obsession with the topic.

However a good deal of the Old Testament prophets deal with the "second coming". In fact, I think there are more prophecies on Second coming than the First. (Not sure about that stat though)

A lot of Revealtion is rooted in Old Testament prophecy.

I am a pre-trib pre-mill believer so the best (to me) I have run across in prophecy is:
I have listened to most of David Jerimiah's series on Revalation. A good deal of Chuck Missler on Old Testament prophets.

I have half a dozen commentaries that I will look up opinions, but mainly if I have a tough nut to crack on a prophecy idea - I just google a bunch of key words or a chapter and verse and see what kind of articles come up.

I keep it in balance with my study of the Bible.


End times:I was about 13 when some well meaning kids at school told me about how terrible it will be after the rapture takes place and you are left behind.They also had a movie,raptured(if I remember correctly)which helped make their point.I received Christ out of fear.Soon enough many of the christians who talked to me about rapture soon lost their fear and having no other teaching except the end times didn't remain christians for very long.I didn't either.
Right now I must say I believe if you are a good servant then you'll have no worries about when your master will come cos you will have other things to worry about eg.the things you have been told to do.Being a doer of the word(especially to give thanks in all things,not to murmur and to love those that hate you)keeps me on my toes.
I however also believe that God gave us the whole bible..and "study to show your self approved" doesn't limit us to a few parts of the bible...right now...I'm still in the getting to know my father bit:)
God bless you all

Exodus 23:14-15..God seems to be teaching his people how to show appreciation for what he did.I would have imagined that the people out of respect wouldn't have gone to the feast without an offering but God knew his people,saw into their heart and deals with every detail in their lives.
It was also interesting to read the part that forbids cooking a young goat in it's mother's milk..made me wonder if God considered it a act of cruelty to do that or if there was some other reason.
Then in exodus 24 when the elders ate and drank in the Lord's presence..it even mentions that the Lord didn't raise his hand to strike them...the elders must have been really gutsy to eat and drink in God's presence...from all the description of God's glory and holiness,I'm sure if I did see God like that...I'd be too stunned to move let alone eat!

I already know that we are in the last days and so I don’t spend energy trying to figure out if I’m post, pre or whatever “rapture.” I have heard too many unproductive arguments and verbal fighting over which is which and who is right. It doesn’t matter to me because my salvation is not based on which one I believe in and I avoid like the plague conversations that focus on this subject. We are saved by faith, not by fear. So frightening people into the kingdom ain’t going to work. Maybe what will work are those who do hear folks talking about this topic and then they go on a search for the Truth. Of course along the way while looking for Truth, they will find Jesus who is Truth.

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Exodus 23:14-25:40

So often, when I read God’s Word I have to be reminded that the Bible confirms itself, each book explains and confirms all other books. As I read verses twenty through twenty-three, of the twenty-third chapter, the words of David’s Twenty-third Psalm flooded my thoughts,

Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep and guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared…. When My Angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and I reject them and blot them out, (Exodus 23:20-23 AMP)

God promised back then and still promises to day to set a table in the wilderness, in the presence of our enemies. Wow! To be a people in the world but not of the world (John 15;17) means that we live in the midst of those who don’t like us, our enemies (Matthew 12:30). God deals with His enemies, which are our enemies, by placing us in the midst of the enemies. So I put forth some rhetorical questions, who battles God’s enemies, God or us? Does our presence in the midst cause God to send “Hornets” before us to drive out His enemies, or do we wrest power and control away by political force, whichever way we believe that may manifests itself? In other words, can we legislate righteous behavior?

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Re:who battles God's enemies,God or us.
I thought about it today as I read exod.23:20-31.God tells them he will drive out Israel's enemies,wipe them out...in fact he says their enemies will turn their backs and run.But the Amalekites didn't run,they attacked.Ok maybe this is before the covenant was made...but along their way to canaan...their enemies didn't always run away and Israel had to fight.God had given then a condition..IF they obey him and they didn't.
Israel was chosen to represent God but they disobeyed him and failed.
Do we always obey God in our thoughts,hearts and actions...always?When worry cos I know what God said to think on but I'm dwelling on something else,when I lose a friend and I ask God why,I sure am not giving thanks so I am being disobedient..Do I expect God to fight my battles...well not if I didn't keep my side of the deal.

I'm still getting to know God and his word so I may be wrong about my assumptions but since Mike allows even people who are still on milk/cereal..maybe a little minced meat post comments :))I just say my stuff and don't mind if anyone says i'm wrong.
God bless you all

Re: end times--I agree with Ramona. We are in the end times, but the arguments about when & how it's going to happen are circular. In fact we have been in the end times since Jesus ascended into Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit. We also never know when our individual time on earth is over, so we should spend it wisely and for larger goals than materialism, selfishness, and things that don't last. My 2 cents.

What really hit me today was the detail about the ark of the covenant. I am always surprised that God is willing to have his presence in a box, but today was thinking that it's not unlike being willing to send his presence into a virgin's womb, as a newborn baby, who then grew up to lead a a human life. And now he's willing to live inside believers--how powerful it is to have the spirit of God within us!

About Jesus knowing the "time" of His coming . The correct rendering of the "Greek" text is "maketh known", not that Jesus "doesn't know" or "didn't know in His humanity", but the announcement will be made by God The Father. Jesus certainly knew, He was human and Divine, He never gave up His Divinity, but He never used it for His own advantage. He had to gain the victory for us by only using the same
"gifts" of God that are available to every soul !

Re: the end times & do we think or dwell on such - this is why I always enjoy & purpose in my heart to know Revelations:

Revelation 1:1-3

1 This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him concerning the events that will happen soon. An angel was sent to God's servant John so that John could share the revelation with God's other servants.

2 John faithfully reported the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ--everything he saw.

3 God blesses the one who reads this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says. For the time is near when these things will happen.

We will be blessed if we know the scriptures regarding the end times.

jan

God made israelite enemies run but not until they had obeyed instructions and stood up to their enemies. "resist the devil and he will flee from u"
Sometimes we allow the enemy to stay because its seems like fun or seems useful to us in our worldly wisdom.
As for the end times, the Lord is coming back for the bride so lets look after the bride.
beryl

Ramona,

I agree with Jan. to me the "word" is to be studied: to learn, but more importantly "to know" God. End times is a significant part of the Bible. I think you need to have a framework in your mind how it all fits in to the "total" Word. You don't have to argue it ( I agree that some of the most obnoxious and hurtful arguments are over "end times").

However, like Jan I think the study of end times is a blessing - because you come to realize:

God is a Soverign and Just God.

New Testament "end times" talk is rooted in Old Testament - thus you learn to study Old Testament.

An apprecuiation for the total, intricate plan of God as events unfold.

Eaghle 77:

the "correct rendering"?? Maybe another rendering, but there is no way to know the "correct" translation of this word without interrogating Matthew.

I say this as your translation (backed by a small but acknowledged group of commentators) helps my position of it being a response based on Step 11 of the Wedding Study.

I am glad you brought it up - because I had not seen that translation used until I did some "googling". :)

Can anyone tell me if there is any relation between the 7 lampstands in todays readings of Exodus and the 7 lampstands we read about in Revalation 1:20?

John and Jan,
I have been reading and studying the entire Bible since, 1987 (Meaning: I have read through using more than one plan, the entire Bible and doing an in-depth study of a book or books as the Spirit leads). Nowhere in my response to Mike's question do I blow off the reading or studying of Revelations. I just don't give it any more weight than the other books. Balance is one of the keys to life and we are to take up the whole counsel of God.

I love Richard's story of Martin Luther's response when asked about the end of time, which I've never heard before. Therefore, I am adopting Luther’s response.

Remember the question that was asked was, “How often do you think about the end times?” and I answered it honestly. I could have given a scholarly answer and blew right past how I really felt but I wanted to be transparent and deal in truth.

Ramona, since you addressed me in your last post with John; I wanted to make sure you understand that I didn't or was not disputing your comment before mine. I had not even read it, I just made the comment that I did on how I feel about being knowledgable regarding the end times because of what Scripture says in Revelation as I quoted. My comment had nothing to do with what you posted; again I have not read all of your comment before I posted mine; although I did read the whole post that was addressed to John & I since it had my name on it.

No qualms with any of your posts...some of them I read & some of them I skim. But I will read anything that is addressed to me for sure.

Jan,

My apologies for “jumping the gun” and including you in my response. I must remember to not wear my feelings on my finger tips as well as understanding mentioning a name does not make them part of the group. She says with a red face.

Richard,

I struggled with your question on a link between the lampstands in Exodus and Revelation. Mainly because I am not sure if lampstand(s) in Revelation are individual lapstands or one unit with 7 bowls like in Exodus.

Regardless, I believe the symbolism is the "Light of the World". When Jesus was on earth - He was the Light of the World. In Old Testament the tabernacle lampstand represented the "Light of the World". That could be Jesus as the main part of lampstand, but more likely representing the Holy Spirit who hovered over the earth doing the Fathers work. The number seven would tend to support the idea of it representing the Holy Spirit.

When Jesus ascended to heaven - we (the church) became the "Light of the World". If individual lampstands, the church (or as some think: the church ages) gave varying degrees of Light. Jesus, in Revelation, gave evaluations of the churchs (or church ages).

Revelation can be tough to interpret, but I think the "Light of the World" concept holds water.

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