VOLUME 1 ISSUE 5 SEPTEMBER 1997
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:The "Friends of the Nazarene" are a research group for better Bible understanding dedicated to the preservation and publishing of Christian writings which aid the Fathers Children to "follow the Lamb no matter where the Lamb goes." We are Unitarian Apologists dedicated to the defense of the truth that "God is One." The Bible is our credo and we wish to respect the views of our multitude of Christian brethren.Inside this Newsletter:
1. Question from Reader
2. "The Manuel of Disciple" continued: An ongoing discussion of the Christian character development
3. Announcements: New study materials
4. How is 1 Th 4:17 to be understood
Question from Readers:
"What is the meaning of Daniel 8.14?"
Recently one religion related to the other took its brethren to task for its interpretation of Daniel 8.14. Both of these sects are two of the four natural religions formed in America. Both of their histories mention William Miller and the Millerites. Both have interesting interpretations of Daniel 8.14. The younger brother criticized the older for his interpretation of Daniel 8.14 which led to "The Great Disappointment" when Christ did not Return as predicted in 1844. The younger brother was to have its own "Great Disappointment" several times later, most notably in 1975. This first disappointment was to be reinterpreted by the famous author of "The Great Controversy," Ellen White.
Now the younger brother critiques this interpretation of Daniel 8.14 but without going on to give his explanation which turns out to pinpoint another year, 1938, for in that year the younger brother feels their organization was "restored to its right condition" by ceasing congregational vote in the appointment of elders. So, the older brother interprets Daniel 8.14 to apply to an "investigative judgment" of Christ beginning 1844 and continuing to the present. The younger brother insists it applies to 1938 when their organization gave up the democratic vote in the appointment of elders. What is the meaning of Daniel 8.14?
It turns out that was a question of Daniel himself. Note this in Daniel 8.13, 14: And I got to hear a certain holy one speaking, and another holy one proceeded to say to the particular one who was speaking: "How long will the vision be of the constant [feature] and of the transgression causing desolation, to make both [the] holy place and [the] army things to trample on?" So he said to me: "Until two thousand three hundred evenings [and] mornings; and [the] holy place will certainly be brought into its right condition." Now, Daniel himself was very much interested in this period of 2,300 days. Would he have been satisfied with the dates 1844 or 1938? It turns out he asks a better source. Note the answer.
Daniel 8.15-19: Then it came about that, while I myself, Daniel, was seeing the vision and seeking an understanding, why, look! there was standing in front of me someone in appearance like an able-bodied man. And I began to hear the voice of an earthling man in the midst of the U'lai, and he proceeded to call out and say: "Ga'bri·el, make that one there understand the thing seen." So he came beside where I was standing, but when he came I got terrified so that I fell upon my face. And he proceeded to say to me: "Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of [the] end." And while he was speaking with me, I had become fast asleep on my face on the earth. So he touched me and made me stand up where I had been standing. And he went on to say: "Here I am causing you to know what will occur in the final part of the denunciation, because it is for the appointed time of [the] end.
We can see that the understanding of Daniel 8.14s 2,300 days deals with three main factors: a) some military attack; b) the cessation of the Daily Sacrifice; and, c) "the time of the end." Now our younger brother takes his older brother to task over the context of Daniel 8.14. So, let us consider these above three factors and the context of the vision in Daniel chapter 8.
The context begins with Daniel 8.9-12: And out of one of them there came forth another horn, a small one, and it kept getting very much greater toward the south and toward the sunrising and toward the Decoration. And it kept getting greater all the way to the army of the heavens, so that it caused some of the army and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it went trampling them down. And all the way to the Prince of the army it put on great airs, and from him the constant [feature] was taken away, and the established place of his sanctuary was thrown down. And an army itself was gradually given over, together with the constant [feature], because of transgression; and it kept throwing truth to the earth, and it acted and had success. Is it fair to state that the "Decoration" is the land of Israel with its holy city Jerusalem? (Ez 20.6, 15; 25.9; Dn 11.16, 41, 45) The "sanctuary" is that Holy Temple of the Jews. (Dn 9.17; 11.31) The "constant feature" is that daily sacrifice offered by the Jewish priests at the Temple. (Ex 29.38) Is it fair to say we seem to be dealing with literal Jerusalem, with its literal Temple, and its literal daily offering? How can we know for sure? What if we had an inspired quote or allusion to this whole matter? By someone who we could no longer question? Say, Jesus Christ himself?
First, note that this matter in Daniel 8.14 with its context is not the only time the subject of a cessation of sacrifice is mentioned. It is mentioned again at least twice and associated with a certain Disgusting Thing. Compare: And he must keep [the] covenant in force for the many for one week; and at the half of the week he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease. (Dn 9.27) And upon the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation. ... And there will be arms that will stand up, proceeding from him; and they will actually profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant [feature].And they will certainly put in place the disgusting thing that is causing desolation. (Dn 11.30, 31 NWT)
This prophecy regarding a "sanctuary" and "the Disgusting Thing" is something Jesus Christ the Nazarene mentions himself. In doing so, within the context of the subject of Jerusalems Temple (Mt 24.1-3), the Greek translator of Matthew has Jesus using a form of the same word found at Daniel 9.27 in the Jewish Greek Septuagint (LXX), βδελυγμα των ερημωσεων. The Lord does this when he answers his disciples question about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Matthew 24.15 records this: Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing (βδελυγμα της ερημωσεως) that causes desolation, as spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place .... Is it fair to say we have Jesus himself alluding to this same context in Daniel on the very subject of the "sanctuary"? This would seem to confirm that Daniel 8.14 is talking about some outcome to the literal sanctuary or Temple of the Jews. Is there any thing else which would establish this?
The phrase used by the angelic interpreter in Daniel 8.17, "the time of the end" (NWT), occurs 6 times in Daniel (8.17, 19; 11.35, 40; 12.4, 9) and a comparison of it seems to limit it to the end of Jerusalem with its Temple, just as Jesus does in Matthew 24.15. Though some will object to this, perhaps the actual fulfillment of Daniel 8.14 will settle this. What is that fulfillment and thus the meaning of Daniel 8.14?
We need to find a moment in Jewish history when a "Disgusting Thing" is about to "desolate" Jerusalem and her "sanctuary" or Temple along with the cessation of her "Daily Sacrifice," including a trampling on certain "stars" and a "fortress." When could this be?
May we suggest beginning in the Fall of the year 66 AD with the attack of Jerusalem and the cessation of those daily sacrifices at the Temple? All of this is recorded by Josephus in his First Century Wars of the Jews. How long did this struggle or war with the Romans continue? The Romans minted coins for each year of their war with the Jews, ending with a fifth, indicating they viewed the whole matter to last part of six years or more. If we begin with the Fall of the year 66 where would the period of 2,300 days take us? To the Spring of 73! What notable thing happened then? The Romans ended their war with the Jews by driving certain rebels to suicide atop Masada. Is this coincidental?
In this context of the "time of the end" of Jerusalem and her "sanctuary" a certain "fortress" is mention at Daniel 11.31. Some have suggested this Hebrew word is related to the very word Masada which means "fortress." Thus another arrow points to the fulfillment of the 2,300 days to end with the conquest of the Jewish holdout, Masada.
There may be one objection to the above and that this the phrase in Daniel 8.14, and the holy place will certainly be brought into its right condition. (NWT) Others render this phrase "right condition" as: KJ: cleansed; AMP: cleansed and restored; NAS: properly restored; NIV: reconsecrated; NJB: rights restored; JPS: cleansed. The Aramaic word is קרצנו (tsadaq, Strongs # 6663 = "make right [in a moral or forensic sense]") is very much associated with what is right or righteous. What is the "right" condition of this Jewish Temple from Gods standpoint? The answer lies in the year 70 AD and the destruction of the Temple as foretold by Jesus. (Mt 24.3) The answer lies in that word "transgression" at Daniel 8.12.
What may we learn from this struggle between these two brothers related to William Miller, one insisting on the date 1844, the other preferring 1938? Unfortunately, many Christian teachers have failed to listen to the Nazarenes warning at Luke 21.8: (Jesus) said: "Look out that you are not misled; for many will come on the basis of my name, saying, ... "The due time has approached." Do not go after them. (NWT) Christian history, right up to modern times, is filled with sincere Christian teachers and Bible students who felt Christ must Return while they were alive, missing the point completely that the "day and hour" (thus the year) of the Parousia cannot be known. (Mt 24.36; Mk 13.32, 35) Only the "presumptuous" may act as a prophet foretelling something that does not materialize. (De 18.22) No one has anything to fear from such "prophets."
Rather than predict some obscure historical point in two American religions, Daniel 8.14 dramatically foretells the exact length of time from the first attack against the Temple in Jerusalem (66 AD) to the final conquest of Masada, that grand Jewish fortress, in 73 AD.
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Announcements:Within a couple weeks, no later than the end of September, the new edition of The Seven Principles will be available free of charge. It is 58,965 words, 185 pages with 388 footnotes on what Hebrews 6.1 calls The first principles of the Christ. (ASV) There are hundreds of Bible citations and scores of references on the subject of the seven elements to the Lords Prayer.
The work on a complete commentary of Revelation, Apocalypse 2,000, will be available free of charge by the end of September. This runs to 130,000 words, 400 pages, with over 1,000 footnotes, and many thousands of Bible citations. It includes a new rendering of Revelation along with a running commentary on the subject of the so-called "end-times" or "last days." This includes a new rendering of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 in a compound paraphrase of all three accounts into one.
The study on the Sermon on the Mount, a 19,106 word booklet entitled The Nazarenes Mountain Teachings, includes a new rendering of Matthew chapters 5 to 7 with 45 pages of commentary in 199 footnotes.
An alternate rendering and commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, entitled, Song of Perfection will be available soon.
Remember, past issues of the Nazarene Newsletter are available from June, July, and August. You are free to make copies of any work done by the Nazarene Saints as long as they are free gifts to friends and relatives.
A new Bible study program is being prepare and lesson #1 is available.
Write: THE NAZARENE SAINTS
c/o Shawn Mark Miller
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"The Manuel of Discipline," ... continued
In the August issue of the Nazarene Newsletter we began a rendering and discussion of Romans chapter 12 with Pauls list of what we call The Manuel of Discipline for the Nazarene Saints. We take up with verse 10b:
5. Tender affection. (10b) This Greek word philostorgoi is variously rendered: GDSP: be affectionate; NASB: be devoted to; BECK: love one another tenderly. This unique word occurs only here and means "loving tenderly, prone to affection." (NEGC) That phrase, "prove to affection," is such a gentle one. This characteristic ought to identify a Nazarene Saint. For not only must he be known for his agape love (that "love" which is rightly principled and well motivate, but not necessarily having any warm emotion with it), but also this tender quality. This causes men who feel appointed as elders to be characterized by such "tenderness." Paul warns that the day would come after his departure that men would arise and "not treat the flock with tenderness." (Ac 20.29 NWT)
This means there must be more to the Christians character than an unfeeling officiality, as if one were going through the motions of some kind of cold agape with mere exterior smiles and mannerisms in some false front. Religious men can walk about in dark suits and dour looks of authority, much like the Pharisees must, and occasionally give the appearance of what they would call "love."
Nazarene Saints must not only love (agape) one another, but these should be "prone to affection" manifest in warmth of smile, attitude and action.
6. Take the lead in honoring one another. (10c) This is variously rendered: KJ: in honour preferring one another; CON: set his neighbor above himself; TCNT: in showing respect, set an example of deference to one another; GDSP: eager to show one another honor; RSV: outdo one another in showing honor. We all enjoy respect from others. This is usually shown by speech in one form or another. It is also demonstrated in refraining from treating others, particularly those who might be considered "inferiors," with that humility reflected in Christ himself.
In daily life this can manifest itself with family members, work mates, school associates, including, of course, Christian brethren, and those people met throughout the day. The tenderness in the previous point ought to move us in all our contacts to be respectful in honoring others.
7. Never slothful! (11a) This is variously rendered: KJ: not slothful in business; CON: let your diligence be free from sloth; TCNT: never flagging in zeal; WMS: never slack in earnestness; KNX: unwearied in activity; NASB: not lagging behind in diligence; LB: never be lazy in your work. Christians are hardworkers, particularly as they carry Christ within into their daily lives. It was because of this complete lack of sloth that the early disciples of the Nazarene spread the Gospel over the known world. Laziness is not part of their system. (Pr 13.4)
Even the former thief was encouraged: Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work, that he may have something to distribute to someone in need. (Ep 4.28 NWT) Thus, Christians themselves were taught: But we desire each one of you to show the same industriousness so as to have the full assurance of the hope down to the end, in order that you may not become sluggish. (He 6.11, 12 NWT)
8. Aglow with the Spirit. (11b) The literal Greek (KIT) may be "to the spirit boiling." It is variously rendered: MON: be glowing in spirit; WEY: have your spirits aglow; GDSP: on fire with the Spirit. Essentially this is telling us to be enthusiastic rather than walk around with a sour or saddened demeanor. Such a person was Apollos, a man "mighty in Scripture," as the King James describes him. Ac 18.24, 25 describes him: Now a certain Jew named A·pol'los, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man, arrived in Eph'e·sus; and he was well versed in the Scriptures. This [man] had been orally instructed in the way of the Lord and, as he was aglow with the spirit, he went speaking and teaching with correctness the things about Jesus. (NWT)
Some persons have an introverted demeanor and present themselves as overly serious. Many misinterpret this as arrogance. Some will have to make a concerted effort to manifest a happy outgoing disposition which seems always "up." True, this takes more energy, but your brother is worth it.
9. Slave for the Lord. (11c) This is variously rendered: KJ: serving the Lord; CON: be true bondsmen of your Lord; MON: slave for the Master. The "Lord" here could be the Father, whose Name is Yahweh (Ac 2.18; 4.29; 16.17), but the word "slave" is more often used with regard to Christ. (Ro 1.1; 14.18; 16.18; 1 Co 7.22; 2 Co 4.5; Ga 1.10; Ep 6.7; Ph 1.1; Co 3.24) This later text holds virtually the same expression as Ro 12.11, Be slaves to the Master, Christ.
Slavery will be repulsive to many in the Western world, but it was common in the ancient Middle East, even among Israelites and Christians. Gods Law controlled the treatment of slaves. They often chose to remain in permanent servitude for the alternative was unacceptable. An attitude of slavery puts the Lord first in everything the Nazarene Saints does.
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How is 1 Th 4.17 to be understood?
This text reads literally: Thereafter, at the same time, we of the living remnant will be snatched in clouds, together with (the resurrected Saints), and then will gather in the air to a meeting with the Lord. For details on this text compare The Seven Principles, pages 84-88; and, Apocalypse 2,000 AD!
That this text proves the dead in Christ, as well as the living in Christ, upon the Lords Return, will all gather to meet at the same time, that is simultaneously, and this "in his Presence" (2 Th 2.1; 1 Co 15.23, 50-53), compare the following commentaries:
"hama is not to be taken apart from syn autois in the sense at the same time, together with them; for the combination hama syn is too common to allow the separation ..." (J B Lightfoot Commentary)
"hama syn autois . . . the future bliss is a reunion of Christians not only with Christ but with one another." (The Expositors Greek Testament)
"The moment after the dead arise, those who are alive and remain will join them to form one great body. Together we will all be caught up (snatched up in a powerful manner, carried up suddenly in great power) to meet the Lord (for a meeting with the Lord) in the air." (The Complete Biblical Library)
"Note both hama (at the same time) and syn (together with) with the associative instrumental case autois (the risen saints)." Word Pictures in the New Testament, A T Robertson)
"To meet the Lord in the air ... a statement not else where known. It seems to imply that the Lord will not actually himself reach the earth but will remain in the air and call the saints to his side. ... The word meet is found in the papyri in the sense of an official welcome." (The Interpreters Bible)
" . . . will at the same time be seized together with them . . . " (The Christian Bible)
"AMASYNAYTOIC . . . simultaneously, together to them." (Concordant Greek Text)
"hama syn autois . . . we that are alive shall simultaneously, or, one and all (compare Rm 3.12) be caught up." (Word Studies in the New Testament)
" . . . we will be brought along with them in the clouds . . .." (Christian Community Bible)
" . . . /we the living who are left/ //together with them// . . .. " (Emphasized Bible, J B Rotherham)
"Then, -- i.e., immediately after the dead in Christ have arisen . . . with them -- i.e., with the resurrected dead in Christ. ... " (The Second Coming Bible)
"Of all the details given here: that the dead will answer the summons by returning to life, that they and the living will be taken to meet the Lord, and that they will accompany him to the judgment with which the eternal kingdom begins, the essential one is the last: eternal life with Christ; see 5.10; 2 Th 2.1 . . . " (New Jerusalem Bible, ftn l)
". . . we who are still alive shall join them . . . " (Revised English Bible)
"The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout and the faithful, alive and dead, will be swept up into the clouds . . . to meet .. . . " (The Dartmouth Bible, ftn 2)
" shall be drawn together with them . . . " (The NT by J Greber)
"caught up along with them" (R F Weymouth)
"And the church, saints of the past ages, and saints of the last age, shall ascend to meet the Lord." (The Peoples N T, B W Johnson)
"Will at the same time along with them be caught up . . . " (W B Godbey)
"Then we, the living remnant, shall at the same time be carried up in clouds." (The Complete Bible in Modern English, F Fenton) &
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