If you’re looking for the Rapture, considering a new candidate for anti-Christ every few years, and believe that the Jews of today are God’s chosen people and that the founding of modern “Israel” is a fulfillment of prophecy, you are my target audience. Anyone can listen, but I’m talking to you.
I could list dozens of prophecies that have been fulfilled, while you believe they await fulfillment. Or maybe you believe in the “double fulfillment” theory of prophetic interpretation. If so, I don’t have to explain it. If not, forget it.
Rather than go through umpteen arguments about umpteen interpretations of various Scriptures we disagree on, I would like to propose that you interpret a few passages for me that you believe don’t mean what they clearly say. Before we start that though, I want to discuss why any of this matters.
You know who C.I. Scofield is. Did you know that he had a room at Lotus House in NYC, as did Zionist pillar Samuel Untermeyer, for many years? (Untermeyer passes my spellchecker, Scofield doesn’t, which gives you an idea of their relative importance to some people.) He was president of Kerem Hayesod, the main Zionist organization in America. He’s the man who declared war on Germany in 1933 in the name of world Jewry. He was very wealthy too.
The marginal notes in the “Scofield Bible” contain commentary on only about 13% of the Bible. The main theme of these selected Scriptures is the “end times.” Scofield’s marginal notes assert that the Jews would return to Zion and rebuild Jerusalem in the biblical land of Israel before Jesus returns. It was Untermeyer’s strong conviction that this should happen as well, without the Jesus part. Scofield and Untermeyer had rooms in the Lotus House contemporaneously for years. Would you allow that maybe they discussed this stuff occasionally?
God utterly destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, to the point that Josephus states in his Wars of the Jews that there was nothing left to suggest that there had ever been a city there. All that remains above ground today that existed in AD 70 is the western wall of the Roman Fort Antonia, the edifice which today is called the Wailing Wall.
You must allow that the facts above should be considered if one is looking for influences that informed Scofield’s understanding of how Scripture should be interpreted, aka the science of hermeneutics, because Scofield’s ideas were practically novel in the Christian Church until his association with Untermeyer. I say “practically novel” because these same ideas show up in John N. Darby’s commentary on the whole Bible, which predated Scofield by about a century and comprise the sole representation of these views in Christian eschatological writings to that point, at least so far as I have determined in thirty-five years of looking.
Darby’s views were predated by a book called The Hope of Israel, by Portuguese rabbi Menasseh Ben-Israel (d. 1657). It goes without saying, but what the hell, this nugget should figure in your understanding of Scofield’s views as well.
When I hear people say that their support of “Israel” is biblical, it sets my teeth on edge; not just because I disagree, but because it is Rabbi Menasseh Ben-Israel’s non-Christian’s view, who promulgated it before any Christian theologian that I’m aware of, that not only informs their hermeneutics and worldview but also, of course, their voting habits.
With all that under our belts, here are the few Scriptures I want your opinion on, which really means, here are the Scriptures I want to see you explain away. This will be brief.
Rev. 1:1-3, “The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place… blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
What time frame does this passage clearly indicate regarding the fulfillment of the many prophecies that follow? There’s more of the same in Rev. 22. So are the end times in our future, or did that term have to do solely with the closing of the Age of Israel in redemptive history?
Now see these two passages, Mt. 23:36 & 24:34. “Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation… Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” What therefore is the time frame of the end times prophecies bracketed by these two verses? You can explain it away all you want, but it’s really pretty obvious. I would like to see what you have to say though, and please, if anyone responds, just deal with the passages I’ve quoted. Maybe toss in comments on Acts 2:16-21 if you wish. Thanks!