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Jesus Should Have Returned By Now


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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.” Matthew 24:14

 

As a christian this scripture seems fair enough. Once the whole world has heard the gospel, the end will come and Christ will return. That’s why one of the most important tasks for the church is sending missionaries out to unreached people groups.

 

The great unfulfilled prophecy that’s on the verge of being a reality .

 

I’ve heard pastors getting all excited saying how the gospel is being preached all over the world and there are very few unreached people groups left. The end is near. Hell remember before the year 2000, prophesies were sprouting up all over the place how the end was near. People were convinced that the end was upon us and came up with all these fantastic reasons and scriptures why it was going to be the case. But I don’t want to even get into all that eschatology mumbo jumbo end times stuff. Forget the tribulation, the rapture and “Left Behind”. Forget Hal Lindsay and all those other false prophets. The above scripture says it all really. It’s pretty hard to argue against right?

 

But a lot of you here will be aware of these scriptures:

 

Romans 1:8 (NKJV) First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

 

Romans 16:25-26 (NKJV) Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith;

 

So the gospel has been preached to all the world, so Jesus should have returned in the first century. Whether he has or not, it makes no difference to us now. So why do Christians still think he is yet to come back? Was Paul a liar? Or was he mistaken?

 

Many will say, oh those scriptures in Romans were talking about the Known world at the time. Paul was talking about the known world. Possibly. But Paul obviously believed it was the fulfillment of the scriptures in Matthew. So whether he believed it was the known world or the entire world, he still believed the great prophecy had been fulfilled. So if Paul was mistaken about that, then how can we take his teachings seriously?

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So the gospel has been preached to all the world, so Jesus should have returned in the first century. Whether he has or not, it makes no difference to us now. So why do Christians still think he is yet to come back? Was Paul a liar? Or was he mistaken?

 

Many will say, oh those scriptures in Romans were talking about the Known world at the time. Paul was talking about the known world. Possibly. But Paul obviously believed it was the fulfillment of the scriptures in Matthew. So whether he believed it was the known world or the entire world, he still believed the great prophecy had been fulfilled. So if Paul was mistaken about that, then how can we take his teachings seriously?

Paul actually wasn't aware of Matthew's Gospel, or even of that particular "prophecy", or a lot of other things that were later written in the gospels. The truth is Christ did come back in 100 A.D. No one noticed, so he left. He decided we weren't worth it after all and we're all on our own again. Damn fools still think the promises are valid, like a dog waiting at the window for his owner to return who has no intention of coming back.

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Well he obviously believed that the gospel had to be preached to the world otherwise he probably wouldn't have bothered going on his missionary journeys. He surely must have had some idea of what Jesus taught and what he commanded. What makes you so sure he didn't?

 

If Christ did come back and it was in the first century, then it was a fulfillment of the prophesy he made to those at his crucifixion, that none of them would see death before his return.

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Paul was speaking of his own gospel and not the gospels. Two different things. Paul would have been quite dead by the time the four gospels would have actually been written down (unless we give an early date to Mark then maybe he would have seen it but not likely).

 

Now, if Paul was actually derived from Apollonius of Tyana as a lot of my recent reading shows he may have been then that's another story altogether (and I've a lot more reading to do before I make up my mind). ;)

 

But, yeah, you didn't know jesus returned in 100AD?

 

mwc

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I can see a possible weaseling-out through an ever-expanding definition of "whole world." Paul's writing does imply that he thought that all the nations that counted had been properly informed.

 

If one expands the prophesy beyond the Mediterranean region to each new area as it is discovered, where does one stop? The limits of Eurasia and Africa? All continents on this planet? Alpha Centauri?

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Paul was speaking of his own gospel and not the gospels. Two different things. Paul would have been quite dead by the time the four gospels would have actually been written down (unless we give an early date to Mark then maybe he would have seen it but not likely).

 

Now, if Paul was actually derived from Apollonius of Tyana as a lot of my recent reading shows he may have been then that's another story altogether (and I've a lot more reading to do before I make up my mind). ;)

 

But, yeah, you didn't know jesus returned in 100AD?

 

mwc

 

according to JW's he returned in 1914 or somewhere around there. but he is invisible. so you don't know he really returned.

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also, there is no time constriants give. even if all had heard the gospel, it doesn't say how long it will be till the end. obviously he didn't think the end was soon, there are several other prophesies he doesn't mention, indicating he thought the end of the world was coming.

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Paul was speaking of his own gospel and not the gospels. Two different things. Paul would have been quite dead by the time the four gospels would have actually been written down (unless we give an early date to Mark then maybe he would have seen it but not likely).

 

 

Are they really two different things though? Paul believed what he was preaching was in line with what Christ was preaching. He thought he was teaching Christ's teachings, whether he had the gospels or not. Why would he have needed them when it was recent history. He must surely have known a lot of what had happened and was said, simply by word of mouth or what he had witnessed himself. He must have heard Christ's teaching somehow himself to consider missions important. He must have surely believed he was fulfulling prophesies?

 

If however you are claiming Paul was a heretic whose beliefs had nothing to do with Christianity then your argument would be valid.

 

 

also, there is no time constriants give. even if all had heard the gospel, it doesn't say how long it will be till the end. obviously he didn't think the end was soon, there are several other prophesies he doesn't mention, indicating he thought the end of the world was coming.

 

This to me is just a very weak excuse to try to explain why prophecies haven't been fulfilled. Christ said he was returning soon and even went as far as saying he was returning in the life time of those he was speaking to at the time. Soon is not over 2000 years later no matter what way you look at it. Even the jews predicted a messiah was coming in a long time and between that and Jesus turning up it was only a few thousand years. So how can we say 2000 or more years is soon? When you say you are going to do something and THEN you are going to do something else after that it's expected you will do it within a reasonable time frame, otherwise it becomes a lie.

 

Another problem with that theory is once you go through a few generations, then you conceivably have a lot more people who haven't heard the gospel, so there for that prophesy can never be fulfilled and Paul's efforts were in vain and he was fooling himself.

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Paul was speaking of his own gospel and not the gospels. Two different things. Paul would have been quite dead by the time the four gospels would have actually been written down (unless we give an early date to Mark then maybe he would have seen it but not likely).

 

 

Are they really two different things though? Paul believed what he was preaching was in line with what Christ was preaching. He thought he was teaching Christ's teachings, whether he had the gospels or not. Why would he have needed them when it was recent history. He must surely have known a lot of what had happened and was said, simply by word of mouth or what he had witnessed himself. He must have heard Christ's teaching somehow himself to consider missions important. He must have surely believed he was fulfulling prophesies?

 

If however you are claiming Paul was a heretic whose beliefs had nothing to do with Christianity then your argument would be valid.

Not so much a heritic as someone with his own agenda who had his own version of things. It's a long read if you follow all the links, but it's worth the read: http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/paulorigin.html

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Not so much a heritic as someone with his own agenda who had his own version of things.

 

According to that article the Jerusalem church may have thought he was a heretic. ;)

 

Interesting reading. I'll admit, I have always wondered why Paul's teachings are such a big deal in the bible. But after reading that article, some of the claims made by the author there are quite absurd assumptions. Reading some of the book of Acts, I can't see the same things that guy claims. And some of it is laughable. Like when he tries to claim that the gospel being preached (that Paul was claiming was fraudulant), was actually the real gospel! :lmao:

 

All the same, I'd think most Christians would believe Paul's teachings were in line with Christ and whatever he says, Christ would have agreed with. So I'd still like to see how they can reject those passages (and others), which suggest Christ should have come in the first century AD.

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According to that article the Jerusalem church may have thought he was a heretic. ;)

Competition is more how I'd see it (and just a nuisance in general).

 

Interesting reading. I'll admit, I have always wondered why Paul's teachings are such a big deal in the bible. But after reading that article, some of the claims made by the author there are quite absurd assumptions. Reading some of the book of Acts, I can't see the same things that guy claims. And some of it is laughable. Like when he tries to claim that the gospel being preached (that Paul was claiming was fraudulant), was actually the real gospel! :) )

Paul's teachings are important, far more important than the gospels in many ways because they allow the teaching beyond the Jews. Jesus does not. Jesus does not allow the breaking of the OT laws either and a great many other things that Paul does. The biggest thing Paul introduces though is the "salvation through faith alone" theology. No works at all. Even though this flies in the face of what the OT teaches, what jesus teaches, what other epistles teach and what the Book of Revelation says will be used as a judgement xians cling to this dogma with both hands as their get into heaven free card. Sure, other parts of the NT agree with them, so it's not just Paul, but he's the biggest proponent of this doctrine and the gentiles lap it up. :) So that's what I think is the main appeal to Paul. He loosens all the Jewish rules. Applies a new set. Sets up this "feel good" love bombing campaign for jesus and all you have to do is "believe." What a deal!

 

All the same, I'd think most Christians would believe Paul's teachings were in line with Christ and whatever he says, Christ would have agreed with. So I'd still like to see how they can reject those passages (and others), which suggest Christ should have come in the first century AD.

Too bad the reality is most xians are really Paulians if they were to really examine their beliefs. They believe Paul over jesus but assume "god" told Paul to say it so really it's jesus anyhow so it's all the same. Too bad they don't agree on key issues (like keeping/removing the Jewish laws for example). Also, jesus makes references to coming withing that generation. The life of the chief priest during his "trial." Paul tells the Corinthians and quite a few others to stay ready and prepare for what was happening "soon" (even though he didn't know the exact date/time). All signs pointed to "any time now." To say even 100 years in the future would have been something that would have been way beyond what these people were thinking. Fifty years would have been an outside number based on the writing. It's only when it didn't happen that their attitudes changed and the specific churches that were being addressed in the letters turned into "all xians past, present and future" so anyone could be the group that is visited by jesus when he returns. Yeah, right.

 

mwc

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I'm a bit rusty so bare with me.

 

QUOTE(mwc @ Jul 25 2006, 07:01 PM)

 

Paul was speaking of his own gospel and not the gospels. Two different things. Paul would have been quite dead by the time the four gospels would have actually been written down (unless we give an early date to Mark then maybe he would have seen it but not likely).

 

Are they really two different things though? Paul believed what he was preaching was in line with what Christ was preaching. He thought he was teaching Christ's teachings, whether he had the gospels or not. Why would he have needed them when it was recent history. He must surely have known a lot of what had happened and was said, simply by word of mouth or what he had witnessed himself. He must have heard Christ's teaching somehow himself to consider missions important. He must have surely believed he was fulfulling prophesies?

 

 

mwc is quite correct, but has it the wrong way round, Paul's treaching came first, then the teachings of "jesus" which where composed in the second century. OnceConvinced assumes there was a historical jesus, who’s teaching are those found in the 4 Gospels, and that Paul knew of them. This is based on the traditional order of events, but not the evidence, which say otherwise. It was not recent history, but future pseudo-history, there was no word of mouth, no one equates Christ with any egalitarian teachings until much later, Paul’s writing display an image of Jesus as a higher being from beginning to end, a Lord, a King, an authoritarian figure. His sacrifce was a heavenly one, and became known to Paul via his esoteric reading into the OT. Your first quote reveals part of this theology.

 

according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations,

 

Jesus’ ”preaching” was those things he said to Paul directly from heaven, reported in his epistles, he makes this clear in other writings. The "mystery" was Jesus’ sacrifice, either planned or executed at the beginning of the world, and the “prophetic Scriptures” are the source of this revelation, not teachings from a historical jesus, or mythical deciples, (derived from other apostles Paul mentions, in a way which shows he did not see them as knowing jesus better than he did). The OT was “bible code” style re-interpreted, similer to Philo’s Logos being inserted into Genesis. Later the Gospel of Matthew did the same trick to validate his Messiah’s claims and deeds, but it's just taking of context, and fashioning from thin air. Paul did this to fashion a theology, Matthew for extra narrative Mark lacked.

 

Paul was referring to a First coming, not second, it had to become a second after the gospel writers wrote their bogus history, making Jesus an earthly teacher, as well as a heavenly Lord, in order to make him appeal more to the poor and desperate they were trying to recruit. (As the Jews weren’t falling for it). Hence the healings, and pro-poor rhetoric, other reasons being the need to compete with Philosophy schools, who could boast an earthy recent teacher/founder rather than a clearly mystical sky deity which is what all the other mystery cults had. And also having a “founder” with which you could put words into his mouth let them legitimise their early communist practices, later abandoned when the church took over the upper layers of society, and the poor become show-off charity cases.

 

Anyway, Paul was indeed convinced the end would come in his lifetime, leading to every generation of Jesus-freaks believing it would come in theirs. (And later xtian writings backing away from the concept). Paul did not “corrupt” anything, he adapted pagan salvation doctrines, mixed in Jewish sin guilt, and hijacked the OT for his source of this “gospel”. Xtianity started as a series of esoteric cults, some of which worshiped a Logos as a wisdom force, others a (necessarily) heavenly Messiah, others used the word “Christ” to describe their own anointing unto god, rather than a founder, while others simply borrowed middle-Platonic metaphysics, and some cynic teachings. Idealistic philosophy, not Judaism is the central backdrop of xtianity, there may not have even been a Jerusalem church, but Greco-Roman churches, romanticising a place that had recently ceased to be. When “Christ” became the name of a savour, who was slowly made more human, these ideas where combined into the theological mess that is orthodox xtianity, leaving us to unravel it, with various degrees of success.

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mwc is quite correct, but has it the wrong way round, Paul's treaching came first, then the teachings of "jesus" which where composed in the second century.

Did I screw this up? I thought I had put Paul first, if not, my bad. Paul first. Then the gospels follow (how soon is questionable...Mark gets early dates around 60AD but can go into the 2nd century as you mention).

 

mwc

 

 

Thanks guys. I never realised that the gospels were written after Paul

You should really look at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ for an idea of the chronology and bulk of the writings. http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/ is good for OT (pre-xian) materials too.

 

mwc

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Did I screw this up? I thought I had put Paul first, if not, my bad. Paul first.

 

No, the assumption was that the teachings of "Jesus" found in the gospels came first, and were known to Paul, which cannot be the case. There is no hint of any oral tradition, witnesses or evidence from the gospel's story that appears in either "Paul’s" writings or the other xtian material until the middle of the second century. I put Mark at 135-40 with the rest following after within 30 years. Early dates are just wishful thinking, not empirical. Its gunna take some time to get freethinkers to think beyond the usual xtian order of events.

 

The Jews thought there where 55 nations, the Greeks a few more, their world was small, flat and geo-centric. Xtianity was a doomsday cult, that is a fact, ignore any attempts to cover up the fact that Paul and the rest thought theirs was the last generation, they are being dishonest. Like all religions they where simply wrong. OnceConvinced and most others see the order of books in the NT as the order in which they where written. That’s deliberate, since 300ce the church wanted Mat first as it most closely represents their theology and belief in the historical Jesus, and wanted readers to see the other gospels and epistles as reflecting Mats message.

 

Put them in the right order and a very different image appears. If you read Paul's material first with no knowledge of the gospels you would not assume this Christ was a recent historical figure but a mythic sky-saviour, same as all other mystery cults. But we've been so influenced for so long its hard to read the early epistles without a gospel bias. Some churches may admit the gospel where written after Paul’s rants, but they still claim they where based on accounts that pre-date Paul, and that he was referring to the gospel Jesus, not a heavenly one. But the evolution of xtian theology is being uncovered at last. The first NT book written was the one put last, Revelations, an anti-roman Jewish Zealot document the xtians "borrowed", written with astro-theology symbolism, and who’s Jesus was a later insert. The rest are greco-roman or gentile, starting with the early Pauline epistles, middle-platonic and esoteric, the only true reflection fo xtianity’s begginings, then comes Mark, who’s Jesus is shy and hidden, so as to make him easier to smuggle into history, Mats is just a blown up version, while Luke is writing fake history to appeal to gentile intellectuals, John was just odd. Then comes the other epistles, supposedly written by Paul as well, but are fakes, made to give Paul a gospel in line with the new earthly Jesus. The remaining epistles are similar fakes, attributed to other apostles, and are usually ignored as they are just the same old stuff, but clearly show a desire to forget the doomsday emphasis of early years, giving excuses for the lack of endtimes, “one day is like [or as] a thousand years to god” etc.

That such a radically changing theology was all put into one book, and still managed to fool so many into thinking it was consistent is a testament to the early church spin doctors and mankind’s lack of critical thinking skills.

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Not only Jesus should have returned by now, but he should have returned within the lifetime of his followers

 

Matthew 16:28

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of

death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

 

Just in case, some Christians says that "oh well he did not mean in their lifetime", I like to point out to this article by a christian regarding a book of Mormon

 

http://www.bibletruths.org/cults/MormonismProphecy.html

 

God provided Israel with a means to identify a true or a false prophet. It is found in Deuteronomy 18:20-22. In paraphrase, the test was whether his prophesies came to pass. The false prophet was to die if he failed the test and because he presumed to speak a word in the name of the Lord or he spoke in the name of other gods (we will consider this last phrase later). Let us apply this test to Joseph Smith by considering some of his prophecies.

 

In the Doctrine and Covenants 57:1-5 (July 1831) is purported to be God speaking to the elders of His church by the Prophet Joseph Smith. They are told the land of Missouri is the "land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion." They were instructed to purchase as much of the land as they could, near the place called Independence, because it was going to be an "everlasting inheritance" for them.

 

Doctrine and Covenants 84:1-5 (Sept. 1832) tells us that this was a revelation of Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith. In brief it states that the city of the "New Jerusalem" would be built in the state of Missouri ('verily, this is the word of the Lord'), beginning at the temple, "which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily, this generation shall not pass away until an house be built unto the Lord, etc."

 

In October of 1838, an extermination order was issued by the governor of Missouri that compelled the Mormons to leave that state. This is clearly stated in the heading of D&C 124. The temple was not built in "that generation" and the Mormons were expelled from their "everlasting inheritance." Joseph Smith obviously failed the test of God Almighty for a true prophet!

 

If those Christians agree with the above conclusion of your fellow christians with regards to Joseph Smith, you can start telling us as to why that does that test in Deut 18:20-22 does not apply to Jesus?

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Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of

death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom

 

Later gospels writers tried to spin this away by having him refer to the transfiguration which they just happened to be the first to mention.

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No, the assumption was that the teachings of "Jesus" found in the gospels came first, and were known to Paul, which cannot be the case. There is no hint of any oral tradition, witnesses or evidence from the gospel's story that appears in either "Paul’s" writings or the other xtian material until the middle of the second century. I put Mark at 135-40 with the rest following after within 30 years. Early dates are just wishful thinking, not empirical. Its gunna take some time to get freethinkers to think beyond the usual xtian order of events.

Ahhh...okay. Other than the timeline differences we are essentially on the same page. I tend to date earlier than you do but not as early as I cited (not around the 60AD I mentioned for Mark...I give Mark an early date of 70-80 and a late date of around 100-110).

 

Also, the more I read about Apollonius of Tyana the more I think he influenced this whole movement. He might even be "Paul" and proto-jesus (with the proper later edits to "fix" this of course). The fact that the church later removed he from history and their reasons for doing so are suspect. But we have to work with the information we have so...

 

Anyhow, Paul "invented" his very own gospel. That's what I meant when I said his gospel and the gospels were two very different things. Paul had his gospel. Mark had his gospel. Mathew and Luke copied Mark. John smoked something and wrote his gospel. Others wrote their gospels but they didn't make the cut and on it went until the various councils merged them into the super god-man we have today.

 

mwc

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I give Mark a late date due to a reference to the second rebellion in 132, and because neither Mark nor its elements are mentioned my any church fathers till 150s.

 

Apollonius I see as a separate case, but one that shows how common such figures where, and the derivative nature of xtianity. It's easy to see direct connections but often they are simply building from the same basic blueprints.

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Anyway, Paul was indeed convinced the end would come in his lifetime, leading to every generation of Jesus-freaks believing it would come in theirs. (And later xtian writings backing away from the concept). Paul did not “corrupt” anything, he adapted pagan salvation doctrines, mixed in Jewish sin guilt, and hijacked the OT for his source of this “gospel”. Xtianity started as a series of esoteric cults, some of which worshiped a Logos as a wisdom force, others a (necessarily) heavenly Messiah, others used the word “Christ” to describe their own anointing unto god, rather than a founder, while others simply borrowed middle-Platonic metaphysics, and some cynic teachings. Idealistic philosophy, not Judaism is the central backdrop of xtianity, there may not have even been a Jerusalem church, but Greco-Roman churches, romanticising a place that had recently ceased to be. When “Christ” became the name of a savour, who was slowly made more human, these ideas where combined into the theological mess that is orthodox xtianity, leaving us to unravel it, with various degrees of success.

AUB!!! It's wonderful to read your posts again.

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Thanks, i missed this place, I've been researching american politics, and kept finding the religious right everywhere, so i felt the need to rant a bit. I also finally figured out why Mark wrote his gospel, its been bugging me for years, as i couldn't get into his head as easily as the others. I may write up some thoughts here, as i havn't quite enough to do a full essay yet.

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