All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Quick Question

I know this is a bit off the wall but I've got something coming up that I'm prepping for and would be interested in hearing different POV's.

When it comes to eschatology, what are the top 3 or 4 issues that you see as most important for someone who is just starting to examine the subject?   I know that's kind of basic so if you want to opine on the top 3 or 4 issues that are important to understanding the subject on a more advanced level that's OK too.  You could list it both ways if you like too.  Please let me know if you are approaching the question from a basic or advanced POV. 



  1. Really, the only issue is; did Christ came back in 70AD, or not. Once you settle that for yourself then everything else just falls into place. I personally think he came back in 70AD, so I'm what would be called a post-millennialist, in that I think there will be a return to the Edenic state, on earth, at some point.

    1. First, I'd like to say that I'm asking this in order to learn, not argue. I have no interest in debate, just want to understand.
      Why do you believe that He returned in 70AD? Is there evidence of it?

    2. Wyowanderer,
      There is copious evidence that Jesus returned in 70AD. The conditions of the Abomination of Desolation were clearly fulfilled (see Daniel 12 (esp v 11) and compare it to Mark 13), there were first-hand reports of miraculous events in the temple at that time, and of course the sacrifices stopped and the Jewish people were dispersed. And it was about that time that the elder gods lost their power, and Christianity began really spreading. For more info, read Paradise Restored by David Chilton, but note that he only supports this view from a Biblical perspective, not a historical perspective.

    3. Bill,
      Thanks for the info/pdf. I'll get busy.

  2. patrick kelly12:11 PM

    When reading scriptures under consideration as applicable to the subject try to gain some understanding about who is writing it, who are they writing to, and how are they understood the passage and applied it to their circumstances.

    I think it an error to assume you can inject context and frame of reference many centuries later into these passages.

    I could also recommend a couple of books that I found to be very different both in approach and conclusions than most of what is out there. They are written by authors of very different traditions than I now embrace, but I found their treatment of these subjects refreshing and challenging to my understanding at the time.

    If you're married to the Hal-Lindsay/Dave-Hunt-ish teachings then just ignore me.

    I'll check to back and share them if you express interest.....

  3. If you're married to the Hal-Lindsay/Dave-Hunt-ish teachings then just ignore me.

    Far from it. I remember going to hear Stafford North (Author of Armageddon When?) do a week long seminar refuting Hal Lindsey. I also remember the world not coming to an end in 1988.

    My personal POV on End Times has changed a great deal over the years and I've learned not to be as dogmatic as I once was. I'm open to looking at what scripture says and revisiting the same passages and topics again and again. I've learned to be willing to change my mind when confronted with new information.

    For me it comes down to examining what is literal and non-literal and then drawing conclusions about how it fits together.

    1. Had a pastor say that as long as you filter information through the filter of the Bible, you should be okay. Eschatology has just way too much human interpretation of scripture for my taste.
      When Jesus says that even HE doesn't know the day or the hour of his return, I take that to the bank. Too many people are trying to delve way too deeply into their own interpretation of the Biblical strictures, instead of asking "what is God telling me"?

      Don't even get me started on some of the so-called dreams that some people think they are given. God doesn't give us a prophesy one minute and then when it doesn't happen say "Oopsie". There is so much junk out there that snags people into their snares of falsehood.

  4. I suggest starting with an in-depth study of Deuteronomy 32. Our Sages understand it as the key to all prophecy. But that's just me.

    If I may recommend a great work by Nathanial West, "The Thousand Year Reign of Christ" (I differ on his take on Daniel, but otherwise a very solid work).

    Of course, I have now shortage of material on eschatology from a Jewish perspective if you have specific questions or topics of interests.

    "For me it comes down to examining what is literal and non-literal and then drawing conclusions about how it fits together.'

    Deifinitely a vital key to understanding.

  5. "For me it comes down to examining what is literal and non-literal and then drawing conclusions about how it fits together.'

    Deifinitely a vital key to understanding.

    What they said.

    Issues to be resolved:
    1. Preterism
    2. Rapture
    3. Millenium/Messianic Kingdom
    4. Whore of Babylon
    5. Beast & Antichrist

  6. "Literal and non-literal"
    None if it is literal, and none of it is non-literal. You're approaching it as a modern Westerner if you think of it this way, and that's not the way it was written - you will never understand it if you use a literal/non-literal approach.

    A better way to think of it: It's all true, what is God trying to say?

  7. Yes and no. Of course, all prophecy is true, and the goal is to understand what God is trying to say.

    However, some prophecy might be meant to be understood in a strictly literal sense, while other is both literal and figurative. Still other prophecy is only figurative, e.g. Daniel's statue. I suspect it's usually obvious when a prophecy is purely literal or purely figurative. The real difficulty is determining when a prophecy is both and how to apply that.

    I've steered away from eschatological speculation. Too much Hal Lindsey-type, "This is the year!" crap when I was young. I figure that if I know what God wants of me today, and how He behaved in the past, I'll have a decent understanding of how He will act in the future and how He will want me to act in turn.

    Prophecy such as those embodied in the Feasts is more familiar to me. Those are of another type altogether: literal commandments containing figurative prophecies.

    This is off-the-cuff conversation. Don't hold me to any of it, please. :-D

  8. "A better way to think of it: It's all true, what is God trying to say?"

    Of course it's all true - literal or non-literal.

    "You're approaching it as a modern Westerner . . ."

    Not necessarily. The basics of Jewish Exegesis:


    P'shat = Plain Meaning/Literal Meaning

    Remez = Hints, allegorical meaning beyond the literal

    Drash = Inquire or seek, comparative meaning as given through similar occurrences.

    Sod = Secret, mysterious esoteric, mystical given through inspiration or revelation.

    The general rule is that remez, drash, and sod should never compromise the plain or literal meaning of the text. Also, the Bible is generally pretty clear when it's being allegorical or symbolic.

    It's true that if our right eye causes us to sin we should gouge it out or if our right hand offends we should cut it off. However, I don't think folks began gouging out their eyes and cutting each other's hands off as a result of this teaching, but in a middle-eastern culture where this punishment was not uncommon (even to this day), Y'shua's words probably resonated and made quite the impression.

    Paul also speaks of Abraham receiving Isaac back from the dead in Hebrews and makes it clear that he did so in a figurative sense. (There is another overt example of allegory in Galatians as well).
    However, it is interesting to note that there a number of references to the "ashes of Isaac" in the ancient rabbinic literature. The idea came from the Sages' understanding of the binding of Isaac (the Akeidah) upon the altar on Mount Moriah.

    The p'shat is of course that a ram was burned and offered up in the place of Issac, but nonetheless, the sages understood the remains of the ram to be the remains or "ashes of Isaac."

    Why? Because they understood that the transfer and the substitutionary death of the ram was so complete that the ashes of the ram could be considered the ashes of Isaac.

    Yes the ram may have indeed been offered up, but we understand that Abraham had every intention of slaying Isaac, and yet before ascending the mountain he assured the servants that both he and Isaac would return from the mountain together. Not to mention this takes place on the third day of their journey.

    The rabbis also make a big deal about the ram being caught in the thicket of thorns by its horns. Any coincidence that Y'shua's head was crowned with thorns just before he suffered and died as a substitute?

    What an awesome picture of atonement and of the Messiah's substitutionary death and complete transfer of our sin to Him and His righteousness to us. So complete, that Paul speaks of those who put their faith in the Messiah as having died, been buried, and resurrected with Him.

    Paul follows a similar line of teaching in Hebrews where he describes the meaning of the same event, a line of teaching which is figurative but does not compromise the p'shat or plain meaning of the text. There are numerous examples of this. It is just challenging for most Westerners to get their minds around it.

    Just some food for thought.

    BTW Res,

    You inquired about a Jewish perspective on the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) a while back. I stumbled across a comprehensive work, the only one of its kind as far as I can tell, if you are interested. I haven't read all of it, but it looks like a pretty solid piece of work. I can get it out to you some time in the next week or so.

    All the best to you.

  9. Oh ... it's probably also a good idea to avoid the temptation of cross-referencing everything you read in the news with Revelation. Cheers!

  10. Rabbi B, I think you're agreeing with me, I agree with your observation of how the Jews view scripture. That is; it's never "literal vs non-literal", it's always; "What are the layers of meaning". An example; the Great Flood. Was there a flood? Yes. Did people drown? Yes. Did the water kill them? Nope. Their sin killed them. Does the water represent sin? Yes (see Genesis chapter one). Should we think of this when reading the story of Jesus walking on the water during the storm? How about other stories involving the sea? How about images that the sea evokes? yes, yes, yes.

    If you stop at "literal" you miss the entire point.

  11. If you want to understand Revelation, you need to understand Genesis. But it's a difficult book to understand. Here's a good book about understanding Genesis, and Revelation, and life, the universe, and everything.

  12. Rabbi B,

    I'm still working through the implications of 32 Devarim. I started reading that in the Chumash you gave me this morning but I haven't worked all the way through it yet.

    I appreciate every ones thoughts. I know that we will never have this topic figured out in this life time. It's still interesting to take a crack at it.

  13. Athor Pel9:12 PM

    Three or four important things for someone new to prophecy...hmmm.

    The Holy Spirit wrote the prophecy, so it takes the Holy Spirit to reveal when it is fulfilled. Rarely do men understand they are seeing fulfillment as it happens.

    A prophecy can be fulfilled more than once. Meaning it can apply to more than one time period, more than one event, more than one person or people.

    On the first reading the text teaches you how to understand it if you're paying attention.

    Deeper levels of understanding come with time. You may not be ready to be shown something, yet. Remember, keep knocking, the door will open.

    Numbers have meaning beyond their use in counting.

    Colors have meaning beyond their use in decoration.

    Material objects have meaning beyond their first order use in the narrative.

    Symbols are everywhere in scripture and we are literally inundated with symbols in our daily lives. In time you will begin seeing connections previously unseen.

    All scripture is prophecy. I'm not even kidding.

    Do not look at prophecy as the Lord predicting the future. He makes the future happen. His Word is the Truth because He said it.