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This question does not reflect my belief at all, but I would like to know others' thoughts because it almost made me question the authority of Scripture.

Recently, the owner of a ministry called isawthelightministries admitted that his recent prophecy prediction about the great delusion happening on Purim 2022 was incorrect, but then he went on to use the Bible as justification for his error by saying that the Apostle Paul, Peter and OT prophets also incorrectly predicted the return of Christ in their lifetime. He isn’t calling himself or them false prophets directly, but he does appear to be stating that they all got it wrong nonetheless.

From his quote:

‘Paul, Peter, James & OT prophets proclaimed/predicted that the end of the world (and return of Christ) to occur in their lifetime. They weren't false prophets. The prophecies are true. They were just wrong about the timing. Not about the prophecies.

Paul, Peter, James & OT prophets proclaimed/predicted that the end of the world (and return of Christ) to occur in their lifetime. They weren't false prophets. The prophecies are true. They were just wrong about the timing. Not about the prophecies.

Even as Peter's misunderstanding in Acts 2 was not from Satan, but rather to help us in the end time to understand the 6th seal, our misunderstanding of March 17 was an excellent test for all of us

Acts 2:16-17 Peter declared that the 6th seal was opened. But it wasn't. Romans 13:11-12, Paul very clearly thought that time was so short that Jesus was about to return. 1 Cor.7:29 "time is short". Philippians 4:5 "The Lord is near." James 5:8-9 James proclaimed that Jesus would return in his lifetime. But that was not correct.

Although I was wrong about what would occur on Purim March 16-18, 2022, the fact remains that these dates were historic.’

It seems like dangerous territory to start questioning the Biblical Apostles and Prophets and although we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, we are still taking about the scriptures here.

This person calls himself an Apostle, so the stakes are high. Is it right to use the above criticism of Biblical Apostles and Prophets as justification for his own failed prophecy?

Please use Acts 2:16-17 hermeneutically to show whether or not it supports this person's claim that the Apostles and the Prophet Joel were wrong in the sense he claims.

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6 Answers 6

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First of all if people are as excessively eager and overly enthusiastic as to believe in prophethood of Mr Isawtheilghminister, they will be able to accept whatsoever justification and nobody will be able to help here, that's just a treacherous human nature that tends to think wishfully rather than correctly, moreover if a seed of a very strong temptation sowed deeply in our hearts to find Somebody, a Guru, a Teacher, an Ayatollah, a Fuhrer etc. - their names are legion - is left unchecked, then trouble comes and even if this guru empties one’s all bank accounts or commits a murder, his adept will still find a ready justification, plenty of them, as a matter of fact.

As to that Mr Isawthel Minister guy’s self-justifications, they are partially true, for the early Christians. Even the Apostles, considered the Second Coming as something imminent, even in their own life's time; but even they, the apostles evolved in this perception.

Of course already Paul does not believe that Christ will come in his lifetime.

2 Tim 4:6-8 (NASB)

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.

In the consciousness of Church this time has become gradually more apophatic, while the Church teaching about the end concentrated not on the end of history, but the end of each human life, which, as a matter of fact, is a mini-end of the world, for this person, because his historical world ends indeed with his physical death. So the logic is: do not bother yourself about the Second Coming that only God knows, "this thing is not for you to know" (Acts 1:7), but bother about what you know, i.e., your own sinfulness and your task to get liberated from it through life in Christ, in prayers and good deeds.

But when a person returns to this first-Christian sentiments, as if they were not changed and balanced by the living thousand-years’ history of Church, and alarmingly prophesizes about the end of history and imminent coming of Christ, like Jehovah Witnesses founder Russel so many times vainly prophesized about coming of Christ, one can most certainly smell a blatant charlatanism in all that.

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  • I may take action against this post. Could you please check to make sure that your answer puts text and its explanation at the forefront? That will help the Question to be worth editing so it isn't closed. The first comment on the OP explains why the question is at risk.
    – Jesse
    Mar 20, 2022 at 17:21
  • @JesseSteele I wanted simply to help the author of this OP out of his predicament with, at all evidence, a crook who features himself as a prophet. I guess my post made a pertinent point in this specific context and adduced a germane passage from the Gospel. Mar 20, 2022 at 17:38
  • Okay. Two pointers: 1. "naieve" is technically called "judging", so rephrase? 2. How about block quotes for 2 Tim. 4:6-8?
    – Jesse
    Mar 20, 2022 at 17:40
  • @JesseSteele a) all right, I will rephrase; b) “block quotes” means what? “[2 Tim. 4:6-8]” - this? Mar 20, 2022 at 18:09
  • Give that new edit a good look. See how I formatted it. One way is to use the big " button in the editor, but the markdown also works by typing > Also, note the <sup> tags to make the verse numbers superscript.
    – Jesse
    Mar 21, 2022 at 2:31
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Most relevant hermeneutical conclusion: "super apostle"

This is a question about multiple Bible passages and/or claims about the Bible from a single sermon with a single point. So, we need multiple hermeneutical studies, which could be separate Answers, but are in one Answer to address the one sermon they appeared in. Here, we are not developing theology because the verses are not synergistically combined to create an additional doctrine.

1. All through Church history, Jesus's return was immanent

This NT mindset is good to know when interpreting Bible passages.

But, neither NT apostles nor church councils ever predicted a date!

Paul thought Jesus would return in his lifetime. This is not an old teaching in the church. Many sermons and theologies use these verses to support this:

1 Thess 4:17 (NASB)

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

2 Thess 2:2 (NASB)

that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

...That is from Paul. His understanding suggests it could happen at any time.

From Jesus, this is what the NT community was expecting immanently, nothing here suggests the timing...

Mk 13:24-26 (NASB)

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

Mt 24:29 (NASB)

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Jesus taught against predicting dates, even he wouldn't do it

...The NT community wouldn't have guessed the timing because Jesus explicitly taught—and Matthew reported and believed—that timing is not even known to Jesus...

Mt 24:36 (NASB)

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

So, NT apostles belief that Jesus's return was immanent with unspecified time is not precedent for being errant about Jesus returning at a specific time. The exegetical error from this teacher is not that his predicted date was wrong, but that he predicted a date when Jesus instructed us not to. He was already wrong before the date passed and no more wrong after it did.

2. Peter didn't claim the sixth seal was open

But, there are other hermeneutical blunders in this quote. Consider this statement from the OP's quote in quesiton:

Acts 2:16-17 Peter declared that the 6th seal was opened.

No, he didn't.

Acts 2:16-17 (NASB)

16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,

‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;

And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

And your young men shall see visions,

And your old men shall dream dreams;

Peter said this to explain the question many people in the crowd had from just a few verses before...

Acts 2:5-7 (NASB)

5 Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

There is nothing there about the seals from Peter. There is no question about the end of the times, nor is anyone asking about the stars disappearing or the moon going berserk. Nor, is the sixth seal of Revelation related to anything from Acts 2:5-17 nor Joel 2:28-29 that Peter refers to.

Sorry for the copy pasta, but look and see for yourself...

Rev 6:12-17 (NASB)

12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Now, in Joel 2:30, Joel starts talking about the events of the seals, also Mark 13:24-26 and Matthew 24:29. But, that's not what Peter quotes. Peter only claims that the "spirit poured out" part happened (Joel 2:28-29). The rest is from Joel, but not a part of Peter's claim...

Joel 2:28-32 (NASB)

28 “It will come about after this

That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;

And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams,

Your young men will see visions.

29 “Even on the male and female servants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,

Blood, fire and columns of smoke.

31 “The sun will be turned into darkness

And the moon into blood

Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.

32 “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord

Will be delivered;

For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem

There will be those who escape,

As the Lord has said,

Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.

This looks more like what Jesus describe in Mark 13 & Matthew 24 (above).

3. This is really about false apostles known by their eisegesis

There are Bible passages that this exemplifies. Perhaps to ask this Question Jeopardy style, the title could be rephrased, "What is a super-apostle: two examples of eisegesis"

Related is a Question I had to close, but it could re-open. What all do we know about people by their fruit? In this situation, the fruit is inverted hermenuetics from someone claiming to be an apostle.

The problem with this Bible teaching in the OP quote is that it presents an argument demeaning the accurate beliefs of NT apostles as a means of defending the teacher's own credibility. Though nice-sounding, those conclusions don't mix.

Paul also dealt with so-called "super apostles":

2 Cor 11:5 (emphasis added)

(CEV)

I think I am as good as any of those super apostles.

(CEB)

I don’t consider myself as second-rate in any way compared to the “super-apostles.”

(ESV)

Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.

Teachings in the name of Jesus that went against the teaching of Jesus was indeed a problem in Paul's day.

Gal 1:9 (NASB)

As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

It seems that this problem hasn't gone away. And, it is arguably an indication of the end approaching. Paul thought increased false teaching would also indicate the approaching end...

2 Tim 4:3 (NASB)

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

But, Jesus said it would get far worse, even before the events of the sixth seal he describes in Mark 13 and Matthew 24.

Mt 24:5 (NASB)

For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.

We haven't quite gotten to that point, but we're getting there. This teacher indeed demonstrates that we are closer to Christ's return, but, Biblically speaking, not for the reasons presented.

2 Pt 2:1-3 (NASB)

1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

I think you were right to raise questions. This is not about the credibility of NT testament apostles, but about identifying so-called "super-apostles", both in the day of the NT apostles and predicted to be in our day also.

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    Great answer. Indeed, believing that something can happen at any moment is not knowing the precise moment it will happen. In fact, it's the opposite! If you knew the moment that something would happen, then you wouldn't believe it could happen at any moment; you would believe that it would happen at the moment you know it will happen! +1 :)
    – Rajesh
    Mar 23, 2022 at 6:14
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No, the early church did not believe that Jesus would certainly come in their lifetimes

You will notice that I said certainly, and that is important as nobody knows the day of His coming and thus for all Paul or James knew then Jesus could have returned again in their lifetimes, so that they certainly could not have advised people to be sluggish. As an Amillenial, I do think that we are in the end-times and that it is "appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" (Hebrews 9:27) and thus each of us only have a limited time to accept Christ and His gift of eternal life and avoid destruction. However, I will try to avoid pre-supposing that on the text and to twist it in that image.

However, there is one exception to this rule and as these things often work that proves the general rule. That exception is the beloved disciple (John) who did have many who thought that he would certainly see the coming of Jesus. And the gospel corrects these people (John 21:23). However, you may say "that was later, what about the verses used?" an so let us look at each.

Acts 2:16-17

16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

I said that I was not going to impose my lens on the text, however I should point out that I agree with this. If one does not think this is true, then one must surely think that there will be some sort of second Pentecost where Joel's predictions come true. That isn't taught anywhere in Scripture. I think Acts 2:16-17 is if anything a prooftext for telling us what "last days" means, since it mixes events and prophecy so clearly.

I think that comes own to what "last days" means, I don't think that anywhere in the scriptures does it mean "in my lifetime" and when one thinks about it the vanity in that sentence ought to make us jump.

Nor does Peter ever mention a sixth seal or any other seal. What we have their is your "prophet" requires Joel's prophecy to apply to the sixth seal, and the Acts passage contradicts his theory. My hermeneutic is that the Bible is facts (and the fact that such a hermeneutic works without pretzelling in such a complex, time-spanning book is proof that the book is infallibly inspired), and if the facts contradict my theory then I need to get a new theory.

Before we look at the Epistles

Stephen at this point has already been martyred. James (brother of John) an Apostle has already been martyred. Death is a very real thing to them. Paul is not writing these letters like a twenty something who thinks that, if he does not see next year it must be because the rapture has happened. In Acts 21:13, we see Paul talking about his willingness to be martyred.

Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Romans 13:11-12

11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Again, I a person who does not believe that the second coming came during Paul's lifetime finds nothing that I disagree with here. Romans 15:24 sees Paul making plans quite far in the future, so it couldn't be that soon. And indeed the plans of Spain did not come true, not because the Lord came to Paul but because Paul went to Jesus. Romans is generally understood to have been written in the mid-fifties, so a few decades after Paul's conversion (and even longer from Abraham's) with Paul as a reasonably old man living an iterant life.

This passage is right after a short paragraph of some of the commandments of the Law (13:8-10), and together those two paragraph's are sandwiched of explanations on how to love one another. This is not a discourse on the end-times, but a call for present action of acts of love "Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:10).

It is that nearness of the mentions of the law and the "we first believed" that makes it possibly, that the "we" in question are the Jews. But whether it refers to the Jews, Paul or the Roman church it is still literally true: this will not last forever, and each day it gets one day sooner, so act now in acts of love.

1 Corinthians 7

What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not;

Time is short, but how short? Long enough for a woman to have her husband die, find a new husband, marry him and live to regret it. A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthian 7:39-40). So not that short.

What we have here from Paul is a lack of the "quiversful" ideology that we see of the Jews before the cross. But there are much better possible explanations of that (e.g. we are children of promise and not blood, thus our priority should be creating children of promise rather than blood) then immediately going to: "Paul is all right with women remaining virgins. This must mean that he thinks the world will end before so there's no need for her to make kids."

There is a radical teaching, but I think it is a radical response to what Jesus did on the cross. I think it is interesting that the Romans passage comes after a paragraph about the commandments, and this passage is about marriage customs.

Again, there is nothing here that I struggle with as somebody who does not believe that the second coming did not come in Paul's lifetime.

Philippians 4:5

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Honestly, what the "Lord is near" is doing here is unobvious. And it is unobvious even if you take the apocalyptic reading. What I think is happening is best understood when we look at the next verse "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Since, God is near (metaphorically spatially) then we do not need to fear and can speak (pray) to God.

I do not think this all relevant to "end times", whether personal (death) or universal (second coming), and can't get my head to a reading where it is relevant.

James 5:8-9

8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

"James proclaimed that Jesus would return in his lifetime."

This simply isn't in the text. Again, these are not twenty year olds writing these letters thinking they were immortal. They have known death. Even under the apocalyptic reading, unless James is thinking that the Lord was going to come very soon after his letter (after having been gone already more than a decade), then he could assume that at least one of his first readers would perish before the coming. Does that person not need to be patient? No, it simply creates difficulties.

Who does James use at the example for his point? (5:11)

11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

As the first readers knew, Job did not live to see the second coming.

James is probably taking about the judgment on Jerusalem (as Jesus had prophesied) - James was based in Jerusalem - but even that did not occur in James' lifetime. But many think that it was bought down because of James' martyrdom there.

In conclusion, I do not think any of these text suggests that the writers were certain of an immanent second coming.

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  • When Peter says that "end is near" (1 Peter 4:7), had he been told that more than two thousand years would pass after those words of his and still there would not be the end, Peter would have been surprised, I believe. Yet, in a certain sense, this prophesy still stays, for "near" is not a definite time. Mar 20, 2022 at 11:32
  • 1
    I would be surprised if somebody told me that Jesus has definitely not returned by 4022. Peter, however, may have replied "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." Mar 20, 2022 at 12:55
  • Bene de me scripsisti, Kyle!” /Sanctus Petrus/ :) Mar 21, 2022 at 3:57
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One can only be called a fool who claims he is what he himself says is not to be believed. Such a fool could claim to be an apostle while saying apostles can only be so right, while needing 'fact checked' by people 2000 years after they write.

Nowhere does the New Testament promise that Christ will return in the lifetime of the Apostles, at least, not in the last coming sense (they of course saw the coming of the Lord in glory after the Resurrection, but not the end times judgement spoken of by Jesus Himself in the Gospel as a time when no one knows).

"Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:20) and other such statements can be taken to refer to private judgement, for it is always at hand for every individual.

After all, Revelation predicts an age, or, "1ooo years," (Revelation 20:6) in which Christ is to reign beyond the time of the Apostles. So early Christians knew that "behold I come quickly" referred to something other than Jesus coming in the first century to judge all mankind.

St. Paul wrote:

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him: 2 That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.

This is the opposer and challenger to Christ, the antichrist.

If the believers of Paul's day were to expect the coming of Jesus to judge all mankind ("the day of the Lord"), then he wouldn't caution them to not be afraid because it isn't coming yet.

2 Peter 3:8 But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

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Only false prophets make false prophecies. It would be very ingenious of a false prophet and charlatans to find faults in the prophets of God to hide his own lies. Jesus and his apostles were not mistaken about the end times, the day of the Lord in their teachings. They witnessed the end of the world before their eyes as it was predicted. The day of the lord means the tribulation, day of the desolation. The end of the world had already happened within a few years of writing those books (2 Pet 3). It wasn't the second coming of Christ which will be global parousia or revealing of the Lord. They were wrong in their question of restoring Israel, but he replied by saying "it is not for you to know when it will happen". He himself wants to keep in suspense so that we be on constant alert, not sleeping as though waiting for the coming of a thief. We can draw parallels between the biblical events of judgment, delusions, persecution, prophecies and apply them to our times, it wouldn't be wrong if we rightly apply them, but certainly wrong if we make false prophecies out of unhealthy craving for superstitious oracles for fleshly self obsession. See other topics about those prophecies and verses for details.

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A number of passages have already been mentioned in the question and other answers, so I will not reiterate or expand on them, such as;

Acts 2:16-17 Peter declared that the 6th seal was opened. But it wasn't. Romans 13:11-12, Paul very clearly thought that time was so short that Jesus was about to return. 1 Cor.7:29 "time is short". Philippians 4:5 "The Lord is near." James 5:8-9 James proclaimed that Jesus would return in his lifetime.

I have split this to clarify points for more simple following;

  1. What the bible says was Jesus message - very general
  2. Does the bible indicate false prophets etc….?
  3. When was Jesus to return & have apostles got it Wrong?

1 - What the bible says was Jesus message - very general

Matthew 15:24 24 Jesus answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

Matthew 24:34 "Verily I say unto you, This generation (he genea haute) shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."

Some say ‘this generation’ means final generation – however, this is incorrect - Matt: (1:17; 11:16; 12:39,41,45; 23:36; Mark 8:38; Luke 11:50f.; 17:25) All talk about this generation. Therefore, Jesus mission was only ‘this generation’

Matt 24:33 - so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

2 - Does the bible indicate false prophets etc….?

2 Corinthians 11:13 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.

1 john 4:1 1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.

See also Acts 20:29-30, 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, 2 Corinthians 2:17, Galatians 1:6, 2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1, 2 John 1:7, Jude 1:4, Titus 1:10-16.

3 - When was Jesus to return & have apostles got it Wrong?

Yes - clearly from the passages some have got it wrong in particular Paul as we see below

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, 8we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

The above implies;

Those who live until the Lord comes won't have any advantage over those who died earlier.

a. Paul emphasized the soon return of Jesus b. Paul assures them that those gone on before them won't feel cheated at not being on earth when Jesus comes back to this earth, because the dead in Christ will gain first benefit
a. Those alive and remaining until this coming of Jesus are caught up to meet Jesus in the air, together with the dead in Jesus who have already risen

The "we" means whichever of us are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord.

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