And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3)
How you interpret these questions will determine your eschatological future. The most popular view of our modern day is called dispensationalism.
Dispensationalism is a theological system that teaches biblical history is best understood in light of a number of successive administrations of God’s dealings with mankind, which it calls “dispensations.” It maintains fundamental distinctions between God’s plans for national Israel and for the New Testament Church, and emphasizes prophecy of the end-times and a pre-tribulation rapture of the church prior to Christ’s Second Coming. Its beginnings are usually associated with thePlymouth Brethren movement in the UK and the teachings of John Nelson Darby. (Theopedia)
Here is 4 pictures I took earlier today from my personal collection of commentaries written by men who hold this particular view mention from above.
1.) Warren Wiersbe “Be Series”
2.) Ryrie Study Bible
3.) Jimmy Swaggart Expositor Bible
4.) Tim Lahaye “The Beginning of the end.”
If you interpret these 3 questions based on the dispensation view, then I have 3 questions for you:
1.) Do you realize you are kicking the can down the road?
2.) Where do you see the disciples concern about the 20th and now the 21st century?
3.) Have you ever been Rickrolled?
We are going to keep this simple. Here we go!!
Question 1: Both in Matthew 24:3, Mark 13:3-4, & Luke 21:7 all ask the same question.
Question 2: Matthew has 3 but in Mark and Luke only 2. So what’s up with that?
and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (Mark 13:4)
and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? (Luke 21:7)
So based on evidence, question 2 & 3 are together. So we went from 3 to 2. But, all the questions are pointing to the same time. I want to make mention that the disciples didn’t understand 3 things we know for sure:
1.) They didn’t understand Jesus’s death. (Mt 16:21-22; Lk 18:31-34; Jn 16:16-18; 20:9)
2.) They didn’t understand Christ 2nd coming. (Jn 13:36-14:6;)
3.) They thought the kingdom was physical. (Jn 18:36 Lk 17:20-21, Lk 19:11; Acts 1:6)
With that said, how can one actually think Christ would bounce around with his answers to them? While the disciples focused on the 2nd temple, dispensationalists will have you to believe that Jesus was talking about a 3rd temple, a future great tribulation in our day, and a day of the Lord tied to his 2nd coming. I will tell you that everything was fulfilled in 70 a.d.
Lets do a test!
Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:36)
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (Matthew 24:34)
But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. (Luke 17:25)
And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? (Luke 23:27-31)
When does “this generation” start? 1948? (Birth of Israel)
Who remembers the great book that come out of the 1970’s called “The Late, Great Planet Earth?” Hal Lindsey states that one generation is 40 years after the creation of the state of Israel. Edgar Whisenaut, a NASA scientist, published a book entitled”88 Reasons why the Rapture will Occur in 1988.” Well that didn’t happen. He did sell over 4 million copies. Oh let me add that TBN aired special instructions on preparing for the Rapture as the end date approached.
How about 1967? (6 Day War)
We are still here!
1973? (Yom Kippur War)
Let’s try something historical.
30+40= 70 a.d.
Not One Stone (Matthew 24:2)
“I appeal to my own army, and the Jews that are now with me, and even to you yourselves, that I do not force you to defile this sanctuary; and if you will but change the place whereon you will fight, no Roman shall either come near your sanctuary, or offer any affront to it; nay, I will endeavor to preserve you your holy house, whether you will or not.” (The Wars Of The Jews, 6:2:4).
“gave order that they should now demolish the entire city and temple but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited.” (The Wars Of The Jews, 7:1:1).
False Christs (Matthew 24:5)
“there was an Egyptian false prophet that did the Jews more mischief than the former; for he was a cheat, and pretended to be a prophet also, and got together thirty thousand men that were deluded by him; these he led round from the wilderness to the mount which was called the Mount of Olives, and was ready to break into Jerusalem by force from that place.” (The Wars Of The Jews, 2:3:5).
Wars and Rumors of Wars (Matthew 24:6)
“The history on which I am entering is that of a period rich in disasters, terrible with battles, torn by civil struggles, horrible even in peace. Four emperors fell by the sword; there were three civil wars, more foreign wars, and often both at the same time.” (The Histories, 1:2).
“the people of Caesarea had slain the Jews that were among them on the very same day and hour [when the soldiers were slain], which one would think must have come to pass by the direction of Providence; insomuch that in one hour’s time above twenty thousand Jews were killed, and all Caesarea was emptied of its Jewish inhabitants.” (Wars, 2:18:1).
Famines & Pestilences (Matthew 24:7)
“Now her coming was of very great advantage to the people of Jerusalem; for whereas a famine did oppress them at that time, and many people died for want of what was necessary to produce food withal, queen Helena sent some of her servants to Alexandria with money to buy a great quantity of corn, and others to Cyprus, to bring a cargo of dried figs” (Antiquities, 20:2:5).
“Many prodigies occurred during the year. Ominous birds took their seat on the Capitol; houses were overturned by repeated shocks of earthquake, and, as the panic spread, the weak were trampled underfoot in the trepidation of the crowd. A shortage of corn, again, and the famine which resulted, were construed as a supernatural warning.” (The Annals of Imperial Rome, 12:43).
Earthquakes (Matthew 24:7)
“And as to earthquakes, many are mentioned by writers during a period just previous to 70 A.D. There were earthquakes in Crete, Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Colosse, Campania,Rome, and Judea. It is interesting to note that the city of Pompeii was much damaged by an earthquake occurring on February 5, 63 A.D.” (An Eschatology Of Victory, p. 93).
Fearful Sights (Luke 21:11)
“there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continual lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and anyone would guess that these wonders foreshadowed some great calamities that were coming.” (Wars, 4:4:5).
“Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and a comet that continued a whole year. Thus also, before the Jews’ rebellion so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day time; which light lasted for half an hour Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which was of brass armed with iron, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night.” (Wars, 4:4:5).
Gospel Preached (Matthew 24:14)
“Tradition assigns the following fields to the various apostles and evangelists: Andrew is said to have labored in Scythia; hence the Russians worship him as their apostle. Philip spent his last years in Hierapolis in Phyrgia. Bartholomew is said to have brought the gospel according to Matthew into India. The tradition concerning Matthew is rather confused. He is said to have preached to his own people, and afterward in foreign lands. James Alphaeus is said to have worked in Egypt. Thaddeus is said to have been the missionary to Persia. Simon Zelotes is said to have worked in Egypt and in Britain; while another report connects him with Persian and Babylonia. The evangelist John Mark is said to have founded the church in Alexandria.” (Lars P. Qualben, History Of The Christian Church).
Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15, Luke 21:20)
“And now, when the multitude were gotten together to an assembly, and every one was in indignation at these men’s seizing upon the sanctuary, at their rapine and murders but had not yet begun their attacks upon them Agnus stood in the midst of them, and casting his eyes frequently at the temple, and having a flood of tears in his eyes he said, ‘Certainly, it had been good for me to die before I had seen the house of God full of so many abominations, or these sacred places that ought not to be trodden upon at random, filled with the feet of these bloodshedding villains'” (The Wars Of The Jews, 4:3:10).
“And now Vespasian had fortified all the places round about Jerusalem, and erected citadels at Jericho and Adida, and placed garrisons in them both And now the war having gone through all the mountainous country, and all the plain country also, those that were at Jerusalem were deprived of the liberty of going out of the city; Now as Vespasian was returned to Caesarea, and was getting ready, with all his army to march directly to Jerusalem, he was informed that Nero was dead Wherefore Vespasian put off at first his expedition against Jerusalem, and stood waiting whither the empire would be transferred after the death of Nero the Roman empire being then in a fluctuating condition, and did not go on with the expedition against the Jews” (The Wars Of The Jews, 4:9:1, 2).
When the legions of Rome finally got to Jerusalem they camped at the Mount of Olives (The Wars Of The Jews, 5:2:3).
Immediately after their arrival a trench was cast about Jerusalem. A nine mile long wall was constructed in three days that totally enclosed the city (The Wars Of The Jews, 5:12:2).
Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:17-21)
“went in numbers into the lanes of the city, with their swords drawn, they slew those whom they overtook, without mercy, and set fire to the houses wither the Jews were fled, and burnt every soul in them, and laid waste a great many of the rest; and when they were come to the houses to plunder them, they found in them entire families of dead men, and the upper rooms full of dead corpses, that is of such as died by the famine; they then stood in horror at this sight, and went out without touching anything. But although they had this commiseration for such as were destroyed in that manner, yet had they not the same for those that were still alive, but they ran every one through whom they met with, and obstructed the very lanes with their dead bodies, and made the whole city run down with blood, to such a degree indeed that the fire of many houses was quenched with these men’s blood.” (The Wars Of The Jews, 6:8:5).
Stars Falling from Heaven (Matthew 24:29)
Babylon (Is 13:10-13) Edom (Is 34:4-6) Judah (Jer 4:1-6)
The Sign of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:30)
Hyperbole! He came in judgment! Examples:
God rescued David from Saul (Ps 18:9-12) 700 BC (Is 19:1) 586 BC (Micah 1:3-5)
“When Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse that He would come on the clouds of heaven, anyone in His audience who was familiar with the Old Testament knew that He was claiming to be one with His Father. Only God could ride on the clouds of heaven (e.g. Deuteronomy 33:26, Psalm 68:4, Psalm 104:3, Ezekiel 30:3, Nahum 1:3). That’s why the high priest accused Jesus of blasphemy when He made this same claim just before His crucifixion, and the crowd declared Him worthy of death (Matthew 26:63-66).” (Adam Maarschalk on Matthew 24)
What I just gave you is just enough to wet the whistle. More to come!!!!
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