The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Open Theism: is it true, possible or biblical?


#62

You are right, and I do accept this “natural flow.” For the Pharisees to whom Jesus was addressing these words DEEMED the words of Moses to the commandments of God. Also, Jesus’ point was that they did not keep the commandment to honour their parents—not the commandment to kill those who did not honour their parents.

Yes, I DO agree with the words of Paul when correctly understood, but not fully with this translation of him.
It is all about correction of those who had been troubling the Thessalonian Christians. First, it is a righteous thing with God to repay them with tribulation. This tribulation is not an avenging punishment, but a means of getting the troublers to recognize their wrongdoing. “Flaming fire!” Yes God Himself is fire, and in this case Jesus comes in flaming fire. Fire is a purifying agent. Physical fire will sterilize objects, killing any bacteria that may be on them

. “Vengeance” is an incorrect translation. The word is “justice.” Some people regard “justice” as having the same meaning. People often say “Justice has been done” when a criminal has been punished by placing him into prison. However, as George MacDonald pointed out in his chapter on “Justice,” the word actually means “fairness.” God treats EVERYBODY fairly. Those who have wrongly must be corrected. That is “justice.”

Consider 2 Corinthians 7:11. In 1 Corinthians, Paul had been rebuking them for permitting a man to copulate with his father’s wife, and advised them to shun the man, “With such a one, do not eat.” The Corinthians carried our Paul’s instructions, and this resulted in the man repenting. Then in 2 Corinthians Paul encourages them to forgive the man and restore fellowship with him. He also wrote in that letter the following words of commendation to them:

For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:11 ESV)

Notice the same word that your translation of 2 Thess rendered as “vengeance,” the ESV translates as “vindication.” The Corinthians did the right thing! There was no vengeance involved. But by doing right, they “cleared themselves” as Paul said. They vindicated themselves.

Finally the “everlasting destruction” from the presence of God. Not “away from the presence of God” as some versions have it, having added “away” in order to bring out their interpretation. Rather Paul is saying that God is the source of this “everlasting destruction.” They shall receive a just, righteous judgment (not “punishment”) for the destruction of their evil natures. What could be more just or righteous than that?


#63

As to death already being completely defeated Davo, well, I am still seeing it all around me.

So, given the finished work of Christ, the full manifestation of the following promise still appears to be yet future :

1 Corinthians 15:22-28 (ESV)

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Christ, do we?

Hebrews 2:6-9 (ESV)

6 It has been testified somewhere,
“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?

7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor,

8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

I like what this author says:

This passage is clear that all things have already been put under Jesus, but we don’t yet see them put under Jesus. The reason? Because of our individual and corporate “neglect” of “so great a salvation.” [Hebrews 2:3] Both Satan and Evil have no gasoline left in their tank because Jesus drained it all away at the Cross. They are functioning today solely off of the fumes of our neglect of Jesus’ great salvation. What makes this salvation so great is its “always already” aspect. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convince us of the accomplished benefits of this great salvation. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Cor. 2:12.
(From God vs. Evil, emphasis mine. )

Davo, I think we are all currently in a temporal classroom, and yet also seated with Christ in heavenly places outside time, in eternity. I believe humanity was crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, and is now seated with Christ; but that here within time, whether in life, or postmortem, each individual must, and will, repent and be born again:

1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam ALL die, so also in Christ SHALL ALL be made alive.


#64

But if you look at it as a black and white you are screwed.

If you look at it as an ongoing process, which God has set forth a human evolution, things start to make sense.

Yes, the death that separated humans from the Hebrew God was demolished by the Christ, and no, the full manifestation of the following promise still appears to be yet future :

It has been completed.

You can stake your claim but the futurist mindset is defiantly on shaky ground. Hermano there is no biblical branch to grasp when it comes to a future coming of Christ. It is all persuasive conjecture to coral folks into believing a position.

Your biggest arguments are that no one saw such a happening, (Christ coming in 70 AD) which there is a huge amount of contradictory evidence, that says it well did happen.

Death, needs to be considered in the biblical sense. People are perishing daily, The human body will give out at some point. The idea of death from a biblical standpoint is a separation from God.
Look forward to your view, though we will be at loggerheads.


#65

With all due respect Paidion… I can no longer just sit by and let you peddle this revisionist falsification of the biblical text and letting it go unchallenged… it is most concerning. Your constant claims of translational error and being wrong just shows poor form, e.g., your claims above that… “Vengeance" is an incorrect translation” is at best nonsense, or at worst plain bogus. Time and again to provide your revisionisms simply to prop up your various doctrinal stances. Here are the CORRECT definitions with regards to 2Thess 1:8…

Vengeance: <ἐκδίκησιν> ekdikēsin derivative of <ἐκδίκησις> ekdikēsis which means… Satisfaction; vengeance, punishment, retributive justice (Lk 21:22; Rom 12:19 et al), which is further derived from <ἔκδικος> ekdikos meaning… Maintaining right; an avenger, one who inflicts punishment (1Thess 4:6; Rom 13:4)

From world-renowned and respected Greek Scholar the Rev. Dr. Harold K. Moulton’s ‘The Analytical Greek Lexicon’ — a most trustworthy source.


#66

So Davo, what do YOU think Paul is really saying in 2 Thess 1:6-9 if my explanation is “revisionist falsification” of the text? Do you believe he is saying that God in his anger will take vengeance on unbelievers and punish them eternally in everlasting flaming fire? Or maybe everlasting annihilation? (if you are feeling a bit less vengeful).

I leave you with Richard Murray’s wisdom.

“Loving God isn’t just becoming confident with what He DOES do. It is also becoming just as confident in what He would NEVER do.”-Richard Murray


#67

There is no vindictiveness in God’s vengeance… this vengeance was the final outworking of wrath upon the old Mosaic covenant — it had done its job and was past its use-by date and thereafter redundant (Gal 5:23-25; Heb 8:13). God in his great mercy sent many messengers warning of this coming end and thereby in obedience was calling all to guard against it; even to the point of sending His own Son (Mt 21:33-45) who spoke with much clarity as to the coming cataclysm of AD70… as per the mini-apocalypse’ of the gospels.

Nothing of the old covenant régime, bar the consequences of their age-defined blasphemy (Mt 12:32; Mk 3:29) would survive into the coming new age wherein righteousness dwells — which Jesus likewise gave warning of when he predicted… “you will die in your sinsJn 8:24 — thus not knowing in this life the forgiveness that was theirs, but through stubbornness of heart would pay the price of that coming wrath (Jn 3:18, 36).

For any Hebrew in Palestine and beyond (of which the early church was initially and primarily constituted Acts 2:5; 15:21; 1Pt 1:1) Jerusalem and in particular her Temple was the absolute pinnacle and focal and focus point of their very existence, the epicentre where ‘God’s presence’ dwelt. So… to be potentially shut off or out from the presence of God as they knew it would be death — excommunication or EXILE was death.

So, to recap… “eternal destruction” speaks not to longevity but of TOTALITY — the language is predominately qualitative more than it is quantitative. History bears witness to the fact that in the aftermath of the AD70 conflagrations (the Roman-Jewish wars) a goodly portion of Jewish captives were taken back to Rome and as slaves paraded before the all-conquering and glorious Titus as part of his spoils of war. These captives were all still very much alive, although having had… “their part in the lake of fire” (Rev 21:8) but were now forever banished… permanently exiled (DEATH) away from the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem — their world had come crashing down and they were as dead-men-walking… judged and found wanting.

That in part explains the reality of…

2Thess 1:6-9 …since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,…

Also… IF you’re concerned about the Greek “away from” of the text, there are a good examples supporting that reading, without taking that further right now; but one thing, in particular, is to be noted… this reading at least mitigates against your concern that said “everlasting destruction” is FROM God, but rather, is the consequence of not heeding God.


#68

As to ‘when it suits us,’ we each divide the Scriptures differently. We futurists argue that there are many end time prophecies related to the Millennium contained in the Hebrew Scriptures.

For example, Zechariah 14:1-9 describes events that have never yet happened in any know history, stating that a day will come when Jerusalem will be surrounded by enemy forces. Half of the city will fall, and then the Lord will return to the Mount of Olives. When His feet touch the mountain, it will split in half, and the Jewish remnant will flee from the city and hide in the new mountain valley. The Lord will defeat the enemy forces, accompanied by the holy ones with him (in line with Revelation’s account of the raptured saints in heaven, coming back down to earth with Jesus on white horses after the wedding feast). And at that point, “…the Lord will be king over the whole earth,” reigning in person:

1 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.
9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
Zech. 14:1-9.

Many Church Fathers believed that Christ would return after six thousand years of human history, each of the six days of Creation corresponding to one forthcoming millennium; with the final day–the seventh day of rest–fulfilled after the yet-future Second Coming, and corresponding to The Millennial Age of rest for the Jews, with Christ reigning from Jerusalem—in harmony with Peter’s assertion that, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day,” (2 Peter 3:8), an idea also posited by Moses in Psalm 90:4.

As discussed by Professor Thomas D. Lea in his 1986 paper, “A Survey of the Doctrine of the Return of Christ in the Ante-Nicene Fathers,” in The Journal Of The Evangelical Theological Society:

…This emphasis that the return of Christ will occur after six thousand years was also given by Irenaeus, Cyprian, and Lactantius. These early writers expected Christ to appear at the beginning of the seventh millennium in order to overthrow the antichrist, judge the wicked and restore the universe. However, there was little evidence of date setting among the writers. The precise date of Christ’s return remained veiled.

Suffice it to say that the Church Fathers under review, e.g., the writer of the Didache, Hippolytus, Commodianus, Irenaeus, Cyprian, Lactantius, et al, were not preterists.


#69

Speaking for myself, I don’t think I have always completely agreed about everything with any man, including the apostle Paul. Especially not if I perceive the person to be, in any given instance, misrepresenting God as bipolar.

Let God be true but every man a liar. Romans 3:4.

The Scriptures, while divinely inspired, can only be correctly interpreted by the Spirit of Life, and not merely by the letter, which kills.

I have argued that the Scriptures show progressive revelation regarding God’s unipolar nature of love and abundant life. That, for example, while the entire world was indeed flooded in the time of Noah, it was Satan (who has the power of death, Heb. 2:14) who did the flooding and killing, but that it was misattributed by Moses to God (Gen. 6:7).

Similarly, whereas the writer of 1 Samuel indicates that God sent an evil spirit to torment the disobedient King Saul (1 Sam. 16:4), we now know that God (perfectly represented by Jesus) is only about abundant life (John 10:10), and actually wants to deliver people from evil spirits, not afflict people with them!

So, I would argue that Paul lost sight of this in 2 Thes. 2:11, when he misattributed to God the sending of a strong delusion to cause people to believe lies, instead of indicating that God was warning people about strong delusion coming–from the Father of Lies, Satan.

Elsewhere, Paul got it right; for example when he shared this warning from the Holy Spirit about the coming end times apostasy, which is fueled by demons–without any misattribution to God:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1 Tim. 4:1.


#70

Richard Murray
November 25 at 12:18 PM
I love and appreciate Moses. But Moses had serious issues. If we don’t recognize his issues, we will likely duplicate them in ourselves. And that’s the last thing God wants for us.

One issue was that Moses had an anger problem. Another issue was that Moses had a developmental limitation which hindered and, on occasion, distorted his perception of God.

Exodus 33:18-23 tells us Moses could not get a 360 degree view of God’s goodness. When Moses attempted to see the Lord’s goodness, he could only see it from behind and at an angled distance. Why? What was the issue here? If we only see someone’s character from behind and at a distance, it can be rightly questioned how well we really know that person.

Again, the problem with Moses is that he did not have a full frontal view of God’s goodness revealed only in Jesus Christ, so he could not process and manifest the true nature of God accurately and without distortion. Moses would often fill in the gaps of what he didn’t know about God’s nature with his own wrath and suppositions.

Moses lacked Christ’s indwelling righteousness and thus lacked the developmental ability to perceive God in pure form. Moses may have been the best man in the land in his own righteousness, but that was still woefully inadequate to accurately carry and convey the righteousness which is of Jesus. Here is one reason. Moses had a huge ANGER problem (Numbers 20:1-12; Exodus 2:11-14), which ultimately poisoned his ability to faithfully translate God’s character to the people.

In fact, Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of this very reason—he angrily misrepresented the nature of God. Numbers 20:1-12 tells the story. God instructed Moses to speak to a desert rock, supernaturally commanding it to gush out water for His parched people. What a miracle of love God sought to display for His people!

But Moses then wrongly mixed God’s word with his own frustration and anger at the people. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses violently struck the rock with his rod, thus giving the people the impression that God Himself was angry and disgusted with them. The water did gush, but in a spirit of terror rather than the spirit of awe and love God intended. No wonder the people feared God’s temper so.

Makes you wonder how many other times what Moses shared as the word of God was partially tinged with his own wrath. This sin can’t be overemphasized for it is what kept Moses OUT OF THE PROMISED LAND INHERITANCE. “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, BECAUSE YE BELIEVED ME NOT, TO SANCTIFY ME IN THE EYES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, therefore YE SHALL NOT BRING THIS CONGREGATION INTO THE LAND WHICH I HAVE GIVEN THEM.” Numbers 20:12.

Consider the following amazing statements about Moses’ Law: “by Jesus everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:39.

“the law is not of faith…” Galatians 3:12

“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” 1 Corinthians 15:56

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse…” Galatians 3:10

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law…” Galatians 3:13

“But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for the just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

“the law worketh wrath…” Romans 4:15

These verses show that Moses’ law had the same problem Moses did—ANGER. The law works wrath. Wrath works hatred. Hatred works cursing. Cursing brings all forms of sin and death. Had Moses properly translated the law in tone and spirit, without wrath in other words, do you know what would have been written on those tablets Moses came down the mountain holding in both arms? Two words—JESUS CHRIST! Jesus is the pitch perfect tone and spirit of the law. Jesus fulfills the law as the pure manifestation of it. Moses’ law is not the LOGOS of God. Jesus is the LOGOS. Moses’ law is a distorted translation of Jesus Christ----distorted by Moses’ unholy anger and partial belief.

Moses’ law produces Moses’ mountain described in Hebrews 13 above. It is a dark place where wrath and fear rule. God’s image is so distorted here that He seems monstrous and bipolar, saving men one moment, only to kill them the next. This so pervaded the Old Testament that they actually believed they would die if they saw God face to face. They thought they must be super-sanctified BEFORE they were even worthy to interact with God. Sounds pious until the silliness of this thought sinks in.


#71

Words escape me.

It would be interesting to hear from others on the forum as to the validity of the old testament writings. ?:flushed:


#72

https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/uploads/default/original/1X/ea6579886e9d09a9d0bf7b31fcbab4c516e32270.doc

also


#73

What an absolutely lame rationale to try and justify his position. I wonder if Murray actually realises it was God’s doing that restricted Moses’ visage of Him, not any lack or “issue” on Moses’ part? By Murray’s logic we could rightly thereby apportion Moses’ supposedissues” and deficiencies directly to God. The reality IS however… Moses heard God PERFECTLY as the two spoke as one, i.e., “face to face”…

Ex 33:11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

Num 12:8 I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the Lord.

I guess of course there is always the option of claiming… of course Moses would write such a thing about himself — or at least Ezra’s (or whoever actually wrote this) apparent frail and faulty recording of such.

Anyway, Murray’s distractions aside… Paidion, do you have a response to my answer given to the question you asked above?


#74

I thought it might be better not to respond. It just hadn’t occurred to me that the Roman invasion A.D. 70 would be your solution to everything. I should have realized it since you have repeatedly used it previously.

I just think that is such a far-out “solution,” that I haven’t taken it seriously.

Have you ever read Josephus’ works “The Wars of the Jews”? It was very simple. Rome got along fine with the Jews until the zealots began making guerilla attacks against the Romans. Then the Romans responded. In Josephus’ history of the Rome’s attack on the Jews and the destruction of their temple, he did not state that this destruction was God’s punishment of the Jews. .


#75

Have I ever read Josephus… more to the point with your comment above, have you? :thinking:

Would you even believe me if I provided you hard evidence that Josephus HAD INDEED said God was actively present in those calamitous times… OH WAIT what’s this?

Antiquities of the Jews 20:8:5
And this seems to me to have been the reason why God, out of his hatred of these men’s wickedness, rejected our city: and as for the temple, he no longer esteemed it sufficiently pure for him to inhabit therein: but brought the Romans upon us, and threw a fire upon the city to purge it; and brought upon us our wives and children slavery: as desirous to make us wiser by our calamities.

War of the Jews 5:1:3
And now, “O must wretched city, what misery so great as this didst thou suffer from the Romans, when they came to purify thee from thy intestine hatred? For thou couldest be no longer a place fit for God; nor couldest thou long continue in being, after thou hadst been a sepulchre for the bodies of thy own people; and hadst made the holy house itself a burying place in this civil war of thine. Yet mayst thou again grow better, if perchance thou wilt hereafter appease the anger of that God who is the author of thy destruction.”

There are just way too many other quotes in kind… you were saying!? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#76

Since you presume that I believe only what I want to believe in spite of evidence to the contrary, I well understand why you ask me this. If you knew me better, you would not hold the opinion that you do.

Thank you for the references. I looked them up. I hadn’t previously been aware of them.
Consider me informed.


#77

It’s my understanding that Josephus wrote history the way most folks did back then - more historiography than what we moderns mean by history. And certainly, Josephus didn’t mean that “God was present in those times” was history.


#78

@Hermano
///
For example, Zechariah 14:1-9 describes events that have never yet happened in any know history, stating that a day will come when Jerusalem will be surrounded by enemy forces. Half of the city will fall, and then the Lord will return to the Mount of Olives. When His feet touch the mountain, it will split in half, and the Jewish remnant will flee from the city and hide in the new mountain valley.
///

Never happened? Are you sure about that? To me it sounds like Zechariah is describing the Roman conquest of Jerusalem, when the Jewish remnant (Christians) fled to Pella. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_to_Pella


#79

Not to me! When the Romans came against Jerusalem in 70 A.D. there was none of the deliverance that Zechariah describes:

Then the Lord will go out and fight against those NATIONS, as he fights on a day of battle. On that day HIS FEET will stand on the Mount of Olives , east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be SPLIT IN TWO from east to west, forming a great valley… On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day —a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When EVENING comes, there will be LIGHT….On that day LIVING WATER will flow out from Jerusalem , half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the WHOLE EARTH. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15 A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps. 16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.
Zech. 14.

In addition to Revelation 20, various Old Testament passages like this one predict a coming time on this earth that is better than this current age, yet not as perfect as eternity. Futurists recognize a Millennial Age after the Second Coming of Jesus but before eternity.


#80

Hermano, there WAS deliverance. The Jewish Christians fled to Pella, escaping the Roman onslaught.

Zechariah 14 is paralleled by the Olivet Discourse. I think these are the only two places in scripture that speak of a day of the Lord that only God knows the timing of. The Olivet Discourse clearly is speaking of AD 70, and so Zech 14 must be too.


#81

Qaz, you are minimizing the literal as merely figurative hyperbole in Zechariah. For example, the Mount of Olives has not yet split under Jesus’ feet at his return! There is no living water yet flowing out of Jerusalem!

And the things that Jesus talked about in the Olivet Discourse did not take place in 70 AD, except for the destruction of Herod’s temple. For instance, in 70 AD, Matthew 24:21 was NOT fulfilled: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor EVER shall be.

The disciples whom Jesus addresses in the Olivet Discourse would have had some confusion, which would be resolved over time, even after their time.

Similarly, the Pharisees were confused about prophecy when they rejected Jesus. “Part A” messianic prophecies showed Messiah as a suffering servant. “Part B" messianic prophecies showed Messiah as a conquering king. But they chose to fixate on Part B prophecies, and could not recognize the truth that the Messiah had come to them as a lowly sacrificial lamb first, and only later would come again like a roaring lion to rescue his people.

There is a principle of interpretation which must be recognized here: many prophecies, including the Olivet Discourse, are written directly to the people who will be living when the prophecy is fulfilled.

Jeremiah said, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” Revelation later repeats it, applying it to a city that has still not yet been rebuilt.

Paul used this principle when he wrote, “Then we [meaning “those”] which are alive and remain shall be caught up [raptured].” Paul was conforming to a practice of putting the prophecy in the words of the people who will be living when the time comes.

Paul knew that, for himself, the Second Coming was not imminent, as for instance, he also says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition.”

Malachi 3 tells of the physical, undeniable, and therefore yet future, Second Coming of Christ:

1 …And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple…
2 “But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.

Not figurative. Literal.

When the temple is rebuilt, it will clear up a lot of confusion!

Consider this recent news story from Israel, “Sanhedrin Urges Candidates for Jerusalem Mayor to Prepare for Third Temple," casually discussing the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem:

Jerusalem will have a new mayor next week and more than any other election this year will decide the religious nature of Israel’s capital. The nascent Sanhedrin has addressed a letter to the two [mayoral] candidates emphasizing the role of the Third Temple in municipal current policy.

The Sanhedrin has already begun working toward this end, holding full-dress reenactments of the Temple service before the Biblical feasts. Another glorious example of this was the World Creation Concert held the week before Rosh Hashana, which several representatives from South American countries attended.

The Sanhedrin emphasized that the city will change WHEN the Temple is built, requiring massive improvements to its infrastructure.

…“With God’s merciful approval, one of you will be chosen as head of the city, may it be built and made ready for its ultimate purpose,” the Sanhedrin wrote. “We call on the candidates as well as the voters to make choices based on truth and on the main aspect of Jerusalem, which is the building of the Temple.”

The Sanhedrin wrote a similar letter to U.S. President Donald Trump after he won the election, calling on him to take a role in building the Third Temple just as Persian King Cyrus helped the Jews build the Second Temple after the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE.