35 Comments

The Tribulation, Matthew 24: Double Fulfillment Is Not Possible


Isn’t it both interesting and exciting when (and how) God confirms a teaching? After checking out Adam’s recent article, Matthew 24: Double Fulfillment Is Not Possible, I decided to forgo the latest news headlines and browse through Messianic Good News‘ recent website changes, and found myself reading through a bible study by Peter Cohen on The Tribulation, which confirmed many of Adam’s points within his article. More importantly, I believe they both confirm what the Word of God shows us.

In a previous post, I shared J. Stuart Russell’s argument against the idea of a dual fulfillment in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21). Russell argued (well, in my opinion) that neither in Jesus’ own words, nor in the words of any other New Testament author, does any teaching appear which supports “a twofold reference in the predictions of Jesus concerning the end.”

An article written in 2004 by Michael Fenemore goes into even more detail on why the idea of dual fulfillment does not work when it comes to Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 24:

Some prophecy teachers, while acknowledging a fulfillment of Matthew 24 in the first century, predict a future second fulfillment, but this time, with worldwide implications… We might wonder whether those who promote the double-fulfillment theory ever took the time to test it by reading over the text even once. How could this be fulfilled twice?

This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come (v. 14, NASB throughout unless otherwise noted).

Will the “great commission” be fulfilled twice? Does “the end” come twice? If it does, then, the first one wasn’t the end.

A modern second fulfillment is usually presented as a worldwide catastrophe, but notice verse 20: “…pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.” What relevance would this have today? Outside modern-day Israel, relatively few people in the world keep the Sabbath. And what if they do? In ancient times, the gates of Jerusalem were shut on the Sabbath preventing escape (Neh. 13:19, 22; Jer. 17:21, 24). However, this is not a problem for anyone today. Most Christians probably live out their entire lives without ever praying their “flight” will not take place on the Sabbath. Mark’s account adds this: “…be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues” (Mark 13:9). How could this be fulfilled worldwide in our time? Today’s Sanhedrin has no jurisdiction outside Israel. There are likely very few Christians in the world, if any, who worry about being “flogged in the synagogues.”

Will there be two “great” tribulations?“For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again” (Matt. 24:21, NLT). Since this anguish would “never be so great again,” how could it occur twice? Some might protest that such language is hyperbolic; it was not intended to be taken literally. Perhaps that is true. But then, the same people should be able to understand that the rest of Matthew 24 is replete with the same Old Testament-style hyperbole. They should not require a second fulfillment just because some events did not occur exactly as Jesus described them.

Will the “elect” be gathered twice?“He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (v. 31). This is referring to the “last trumpet” of 1 Cor. 15:51-52: the resurrection and the moment when the living Christians would be “caught up” and “changed.” If Matthew 24 was to be fulfilled twice, then, clearly, the resurrection must have occurred during the first fulfillment within the lifetimes of Christ’s listeners. But if all God’s people in Hades were resurrected in the first century, and now Christians go straight to heaven at death, how could any saints be resurrected from Hades in the future?

Jesus never said Matthew 24 would be fulfilled twice, and there’s no rule anywhere in the Bible saying prophecy should be interpreted this way. The double-fulfillment concept is simply an untenable fabrication created in desperation, probably deemed necessary because its adherents expect literal fulfillments of the highly figurative, cosmic predictions in Matthew 24 and other places, which of course, have never occurred (and never will). In some cases we find types and antitypes in scripture. For instance, Israelite worship under the Old Covenant was a type or “shadow” of things to come under the New Covenant (Col. 2:16-17). However, the New Covenant does not create more shadows for greater fulfillments later.

Please see Adam’s complete article: Matthew 24: Double Fulfillment Is Not Possible

From Peter Cohen’s teaching on the Tribulation:

“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy (one). Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One (the Messiah), the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many [in the middle of the] one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on the desolate” (Daniel 9:24-27)

In giving this prophecy concerning the specific period decreed for Israel from the time of the Babylonian captivity to the time of the coming of the Messiah, the angel Gabriel said,“Know and understand this…”.

We will also look at Matthew 24, where Jesus referred to Daniel chapter 9, but at this point it is worth noting that Jesus too stressed the importance of understanding this prophecy: “…when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand…” (Matthew 24:15).

It is through a misunderstanding of Daniel chapter 9 and Matthew 24 that so many of the erroneous views concerning Israel in the last days have come about. Space does not permit a detailed exposition of Daniel chapter 9 here and so I would refer you to our book, “Jerusalem, Peace or Desolation” which can be ordered from Messianic Good News.

The period of seventy “sevens”, i.e. 490 years, was decreed for Israel to accomplish six things – (1) to finish transgression, (2) to put an end to sin, (3) to atone for wickedness, (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, (5) to seal up vision and prophecy and (6) to anoint the most holy (one). These encompass the essence of the gospel. I cannot stress enough, that these were all accomplished by Jesus Christ through his atoning sacrifice and the making of the new covenant.

Concerning the redemption and victory accomplished by his death on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The new covenant had been made and ratified by Jesus Christ through the shedding of his own blood by which he also made the old covenant, with its priesthood and sacrifices, obsolete. And as the writer to the Hebrews confirmed, that which was obsolete was soon to disappear completely – as it indeed did with the destruction of the temple forty years later (see Hebrews 8:13). The apostle Paul taught, the times reached their fulfillment with the coming and revelation of Jesus (Ephesians 1:10).

The prophecy stated that there would be sixty-nine “weeks” from the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Anointed One (the Messiah). When Jesus was anointed at the start of his ministry the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove. At that time Jesus went into the synagogue at Nazareth and read from the book of Isaiah, where it is written, “…the Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me…” and Jesus then said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”. In other words, Jesus himself testified that he had come as the promised Messiah at the appointed time and he officially began his ministry that was to last for about three-and-a-half years until he was to be cut off – by the crucifixion.

The period of sixty-two “sevens” and seven “sevens”, a total of sixty-nine “sevens” left one remaining “seven” to be accounted for. It was in the middle of that last “seven” that Jesus Christ was cut off – and it was by his death on the cross that he accomplished the six things mentioned in Daniel’s prophecy.

However, dispensational teaching suggests that the prophetic “clock stopped ticking” for Israel and that the seventieth week of Daniel did not follow directly after the sixty-ninth week and, without any Scriptural warrant, they have inserted an indefinite gap which is already in excess of 285 “sevens”, thus making nonsense of the specific time-frame.

The prophecy of Daniel said, He will confirm a covenant with many… Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”(Matthew 26:28).

Jesus confirmed the new covenant with many within the decreed period of 490 years thus bringing an end to the animal sacrifices required by the old covenant by the atoning sacrifice of himself (see also Hebrews 10:11-13).

Forty years later, Titus led the Roman armies in the siege on Jerusalem and the prophecy which said, ”The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary” – was then also perfectly fulfilled.

As Jesus had prophesied – not one stone of the temple was left upon another. The sacrifices ended and have not been re-instated for almost two thousand years.

However, the popular teachings have seemingly overlooked these obvious facts, confidently asserting that the temple must be rebuilt and the sacrifices re-instated – just so that after more than 360 “sevens”, (which is five times longer than the period decreed), the antichrist can make a covenant with Israel, then break it so that he may put an end to sacrifices and so that the temple can be destroyed yet again. None of this is either taught in the passage, or warranted in the light of its already perfect fulfilment within the appointed time through the coming of Jesus Christ!

The popular views go on to suggest that when the antichrist breaks the covenant “all hell will break loose” and that this will herald a period of great tribulation for Israel.

This brings us to a brief look at Matthew 24, in which Jesus referred to the prophecies of Daniel.

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, ”when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?””(1)Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you…”

The disciples wanted to know when the temple would be destroyed. Jesus answered their question in verse 34: “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

Those who propagate the popular views of a future fulfilment of Matthew 24 downplay – or even overlook – a vitally important fact. They completely underestimate the magnitude of the destruction of the temple in 70 AD so that not one stone was left upon another and the utter desolation of the city of Jerusalem which was intended as a warning and testimony to all nations.

The Jews regarded the desecration of the temple as the greatest tragedy that could ever befall Israel. In Rabbinic literature its destruction is compared to the end of the world! The fact that the temple was destroyed within that very generation and has not been rebuilt to this day is a powerful testimony that Jesus spoke as a true prophet.

Jesus said: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you…” (Matthew 24:9 NKJV). And verses 15-24: “…he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel–let the reader understand– then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.”

Jesus warned his disciples to flee from Jerusalem as soon as they saw the Roman armies begin to surround the city (c.f. Luke 21:20). Those who did not flee at the start of the siege in the middle of AD 66 found themselves suddenly trapped in the city for a period of great tribulation lasting about three-and-a-half years during which time over one million Jews perished and the city was made utterly desolate. Those who tried to escape were crucified by the Roman soldiers. In the parallel account of Matthew 24, recorded in Luke chapter 21, Jesus also said: “…let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfilment of all that has been written…”.

Jerusalem fell under God’s judgment in that period of great tribulation between 66 and 70 AD for the express reason that they had failed to recognize the time of God’s coming to them in the person of Jesus Christ. They stubbornly refused to believe the truth of the gospel, despite the testimony of the empty tomb and of over five-hundred eye-witnesses to the resurrection.

Surely no one would argue that, at that time, it would have been seriously misleading for anyone to have encouraged Jews either to enter the city or to remain in the city – or to expect any kind of salvation if they had rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was, after all, the time of God’s punishment upon the city for their unbelief. Any attempt to reassure anyone that God would intervene to save the city of Jerusalem from the Roman armies at that time would have amounted to a false gospel for which, according to the apostle Paul, they would be deserving of eternal condemnation! (see Galatians 1:6-10).

The severity of God’s judgement upon Jerusalem in 70AD should serve as a warning to all people of the consequence of rejecting Jesus Christ as Saviour and King. Surely in proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, Christians should remind people of the reason for God’s severe judgment of Jerusalem in 70 AD and to warn that to return in unbelief is still – to this day – an act of defiance that disregards the consequence of rejecting him as King and Saviour. Instead, a growing number of professing Christians are unwittingly supporting the rebellion by encouraging unbelieving Jews to return and take possession of the land from which they had been exiled for nearly two-thousand years – and this largely on account of the popular views being taught concerning Israel in the last days.

Many Jewish people are frankly quite puzzled by – and somewhat uneasy with – the support of Christian Zionism for the modern State of Israel and their enthusiasm for the return of Jews to the land because they are also aware that those same Christians believe that two-thirds of them will be killed in a future holocaust.

What kind of strange and confusing good news is it to tell the scattered Jewish people that the time has come for God to fulfill his promise for them to return to the land – but that unfortunately two out of three are destined to perish in a future great tribulation?

Apparently the “good news” for Israel according to this view is that in spite of two-thirds being killed and in spite of all the Jews who have died and continue to die in unbelief – a small remnant will be saved in the end at the “second coming” of Christ. But, as I will show, even that hope is fallacious.

Well, part of the good news of Jesus Christ is that the unique period of great tribulation for Jerusalem, also often referred to as “the time of Jacob’s trouble”, is an historic event which happened during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD when the temple was destroyed.

A confusing message is being proclaimed which suggests that the Jews must return in unbelief, rebuild the temple, reinstate the priesthood and sacrifices, just so that, having failed already to recognize the time of God’s coming to them nearly two-thousand years ago, it can all be re-enacted with another abomination that will cause the desolation of the temple, the ending of the sacrifices and the destruction of the temple yet again – at which time they will again have to flee to the mountains to escape another great tribulation for Jerusalem!

But Jesus not only said that all those things would happen before that generation passed away, he also said that the Roman siege of Jerusalem would be a unique period of great tribulation – unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again – which rules out the possibility of dual or repeat fulfilment (Matthew 24:21).

See Peter Cohen’s entire teaching, The Tribulation

35 comments on “The Tribulation, Matthew 24: Double Fulfillment Is Not Possible

  1. Strangely enough , i found myself in full agreeance………….but that ended abruptly the moment my eyes rolled of the title, and to be sure, there can be no dual fulfillment of prophecy, that would be utter confusion, finding concensus on a singular fulfillment of prophecy is challenging enough. I’m aware that we are covering some familiar territory here, but those who subscribe to to this particular understanding of eschatology place a lot of emphasis on ” this generation shall not pass” , but surely , there are weightier indications of the fulfillment of Matthew 24 than this
    Looking at vs 30 from the perspective of Acts 1:11 , we know that Christ will return in the same manner that he ascended, moreover , we can be assured that when Christ returns , he gathers his elect [vs 31] from the four winds, and when will these things occur? …..after the tribulation of those days [vs 29]

    • Depends on how one reads it. The “angels,” as Gill reads them in his commentary, are the ministers of Christ, not understood as the “ministering spirits.” Gospel preachers are, literally, the messengers of God. The trumpet is the sound of the Gospel. The Elect are gathered through the “ministration of the word,” those who had been predestined by God before the world began. Thus, none of these phrases must be exclusively interpreted in the context of a rapture. In like manner all the previous verses can also be interpreted, in light of how they are used in the Old Testament and revelation, in symbolic terms of what would occur in those days.

      Let’s also take a closer look at the prophecy that Peter mentions from Joel, which he claimed was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (or began to be fulfilled).

      Act 2:17-21 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: (18) And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (19) And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: (21) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

      Notice that he doesn’t cut the quote from Joel at the “pour[ing] of the Spirit in those days, but continues it to the threat of divine judgment, the “notable day of the Lord” which must come thereafter. You will also notice that he calls it “the last days.” Not the last days of the entire world, but of the last days of the Jewish nation and the Old Testament system.

      It’s helpful to note that one should be very careful in how one interprets these passages. They must be understood in the context of the prophecies of the Old Testament and Revelation, as in using that kind of figurative language, as well as how they are commonly used and interpreted by the Jews. Even words like “the whole world” are often, by the Jews, to be understood in a strictly limited sense. As John Gill observes in another passage, on the phrase “the whole world” (from 1 John 2:2):

      “… and it is easy to observe, that when this phrase is not used of the Gentiles, it is to be understood in a limited and restrained sense; as when they say (n), “it happened to a certain high priest, that when he went out of the sanctuary, כולי עלמא, “the whole world” went after him;” which could only design the people in the temple. And elsewhere (o) it is said, “amle ylwk, “the “whole world” has left the Misna, and gone after the “Gemara”;” which at most can only intend the Jews; and indeed only a majority of their doctors, who were conversant with these writings: and in another place (p), “amle ylwk, “the whole world” fell on their faces, but Raf did not fall on his face;” where it means no more than the congregation. Once more, it is said (q), when “R. Simeon ben Gamaliel entered (the synagogue), כולי עלמא, “the whole world” stood up before him;” that is, the people in the synagogue: to which may be added (r), “when a great man makes a mourning, כולי עלמא, “the whole world” come to honour him;” i.e. a great number of persons attend the funeral pomp: and so these phrases, כולי עלמא לא פליגי, “the whole world” is not divided, or does not dissent (s); כולי עלמא סברי, “the whole world” are of opinion (t), are frequently met with in the Talmud, by which, an agreement among the Rabbins, in certain points, is designed; yea, sometimes the phrase, “all the men of the world” (u), only intend the inhabitants of a city where a synagogue was, and, at most, only the Jews.”

    • Ray, you’re right about how difficult it often is to find consensus on a singular fulfillment of prophecy, let alone a (supposed) dual fulfillment. Regarding Acts 1:11, what is your understanding of the angels’ words that Jesus would come back in the same way that He was seen going into heaven? Is it that because He was in a physical body when He ascended, that He must also return in a physical body?

      My understanding is that just as He was taken up in a cloud, He was to come on the clouds of heaven in power and great glory (Matthew 24:30, Mark 13:26, Luke 21:27). The idea of coming with clouds was typical Biblical language, even used to describe God’s past comings in judgment (e.g. Psalm 18:9-12, Isaiah 19:1, etc.). Just as importantly, prior to the Olivet Discourse, Jesus had told His disciples that He would come before they could pass through all the towns and cities of Israel (Matthew 10:23) and that He would come in His kingdom, in judgment, with His holy angels, and in the glory of His Father while some of His disciples were still alive (Matthew 16:27-28).

      I do believe that the phrase, “this generation,” is an important one. Prior to the Olivet Discourse, every other time Jesus used this phrase it was clear He was speaking of His own generation. I don’t believe there’s any reason why He would have used it differently in Matthew 24:34 (and Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:32). This is further confirmed by the fact that [1] history shows Jesus’ prophecies in the Olivet Discourse coming to pass within several decades from when He spoke them, and [2] in all three accounts (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) Jesus delivered His discourse in response to the disciples’ question of what would take place BEFORE the temple would be destroyed.

    • Thank you Ray for all your comments on this subject, and in particular, for your respect for God’s Word. I guess it all comes down to whom do we trust and sadly the Bible has become a book rather than the Living Holy Spirit of truth.
      Acts 1: 11 states that Jesus Christ will someday return and there are many other New Testament texts that support this promise for example:
      1. Luke 21:27 “And then shall they see the Son of man COMING in a cloud with power and great glory!”
      2. 1 John 2: 28 “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when he shall APPEAR, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at His COMING!”
      3. 1 Thessalonians 2: 19 “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His COMING?”
      4. 1 Thessalonians 3: 13 “To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all His saints!”
      5. 1 Thessalonians 5: 23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ!”
      6. James 5: 7-8 “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the COMING of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and have long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the COMING of the Lord draweth nigh!”
      7. 2 Peter 1:16 “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His majesty!”
      8. John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will COME AGAIN, and receive you unto myself’ that where I am, there ye may be also!”
      9. 2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at THAT day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His APPEARING!”
      10. 2 Thessalonians 2: 1 “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him!”
      There are of course many other verses that verify these promises in the Old Testament as well but to make the point of this comment I ask that we continue with what Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-4 and consider: “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor as by word, nor by letter as from us, as THAT the day of Christ is at hand. 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 be revealed, the son of perdition. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God SITTETH in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God!”
      On the basis of the above text it appears that the man of sin will at some point either be sitting in the temple of God (our hearts) or in a literal temple of God but we cannot dismiss that both conditions are possible since we believe that God can rule both in heaven and earth as well as in our hearts. As Isaiah 14 states, the devil desires to counterfeit the promises of God.
      Acts 15: 15-17 states: “And to this agree the words of the prophets; AS IT IS WRITTEN, After this I will RETURN, and will BUILD again the tabernacle of David, which IS FALLEN down; and I will build AGAIN the ruins thereof, and I will set IT up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the LORD who doeth all these things!”
      Sadly, no matter how many prophets have spoken of this day the prophecies of Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, Joel and the rest have been pushed into allegory or history even though there has never been a record of fulfillment as written.
      Which brings up the last and I think the most important point I hope to get across that deals with the Holy Spirit and His work. First of all, 1 John 5: 6-9 states: “This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. AND it is the SPIRIT that beareth witness, because the SPIRIT is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the SPIRIT, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of MEN, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of His Son!”
      2 Timothy 3: 16 states: ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and IS profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness!” Ephesians 5: 9 states: “For the fruit of the SPIRIT is in all goodness and righteousness and TRUTH. And Ephesians 6:17 states: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD!”
      While I can appreciate and do consider the teachings and thoughts of others I always try to remember what the Holy SPIRIT says in 1 John 2: 27: “But the ANOINTING which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need NOT that any MAN teach you: BUT as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is TRUTH, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him!”
      Therefore, I do pray to God that His Spirit, the Holy Ghost whom is also God does not grieve because I favor a teaching of man that may not be of Him. I do not particularly care one way or the other how the end plays out except that I know the truth, as it is written, so that I am not ashamed of any testimony at His coming.
      This is why I encourage all of His children to go back to the old paths, which means, that we put away the modern Bibles whose works are of men and humbly seek His truth as led by His Spirit and keep His thoughts above the thoughts of men. Once we trust in the anointing of man rather than His Spirit we have broken His commandment to NOT make unto thee any graven image.
      Of course I know what the Spirit meant when He inspired Paul to write in 2 Thessalonians 2: 11: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie!” The lie of course is what caused them to receive a false Savior rather than Jesus Christ. The next verse helps to explain why: “That they might all be damned who believed NOT the TRUTH, but had pleasure in unrighteousness!”
      We all have roads to take and most of them begin with a simple little step that could in the end begin to take us down the wrong path. Our love for the truth and respect of God’s Word will determine our walk.

    • Thank you Ray for all your comments on this subject, and in particular, for your respect for God’s Word. I guess it all comes down to whom do we trust and sadly the Bible has become a book rather than the Living Holy Spirit of truth.

      Dave2, let us at least agree that everyone who has and is still participating in this discussion both respects AND trusts God’s Word. To insinuate otherwise, based upon another’s different prophecy interpretations, is why many Christians, sadly, shun away from discussing bible prophecy.

  2. This is also a conclusion I came to some time ago, since I had noticed that all the older commentators had essentially this same position on Daniel 9 and Matt 24. A few of them, like John Gill, had an unexplained gap, but began the gap again at the start of the War of the Jews from 66AD, lasting 7 years (the ending time being the final resistance of the Jews being removed from that land). Thus in their view, the “prince” made a covenant with many (many other nations to come against Israel), and demolished the temple in the “midst” of the weak. Though I think Matthew Henry and others, who gave the same opinion from this article, had the stronger position, since it seems odd to extend out 40 years what should happen during 7.

    I think even Isaac Newton has a book on this very subject, which I read through a great deal (but could not find a completed version free online).

    However, most of the older commentators don’t link the anti-Christ passages with just a single anti-Christ. Rather, they saw the “man of lawlessness” as the head of a system, which they all universally concluded was of Catholicism. The Pope setting himself up, changing times and seasons, sitting in the temple of God as if he is God. Revelation was usually read as a history of the rise and fall of Roman Catholicism, the beast that is not, yet is (a revived Roman system) during the 7th or 6th centuries, and of all the other events in history. Though Revelation is quite difficult, so they always had a different view and a different argument on what symbolism applied to what historical event. I suppose we’ll have a clearer picture when it all happens, or after death, whichever comes first.

    • Ricardo it sounds like you’ve followed the same path i did a few years back. That of looking at older commentaries.

      For many years i blindly followed and accepted a form of eschatology that is commonly taught in many churches today, one which, for instance, teaches double fulfillment as an explanation for Jesus’ words in Matthew 24. But one day, after finding the explanations i was hearing left me more confused then ever, i too went back and started pouring over many of the older commentaries. Like a cartoon character, i felt as though a light-bulb had been turned on over my head, ahaha!!! For the first time ever, many of the things concerning the ‘last days’ in God’s word, began to make sense. Including Daniel 9.

      However, most of the older commentators don’t link the anti-Christ passages with just a single anti-Christ. Rather, they saw the “man of lawlessness” as the head of a system, which they all universally concluded was of Catholicism

      Yes i noticed that too. Questions concerning “an” antichrist (as in only one) was something which puzzled me. The idea that an entire doctrine had been built around the term antichrist when the word itself is only found in the bible 4 times and is not linked to an individual, caused me to take a closer look at what i’d been taught. (see: Antichrist: One or Many?)

  3. One other thing, which I should have said in the first post. This might not make the Catholics happy who might read this, and I apologize in advance (I can’t help my opinion!), but I actually regard their (the Reformists, older commentators) linking of the RCC with the “man of lawlessness” and the Beast to be quite strong, though Revelation is a difficult book to comprehend.

    I’ve noticed with the Charismatics/Pentecostals a strong trend towards the blurring of the lines in denominations. Their are Catholic Charismatics, and leaders on both sides who de-emphasize doctrine in favor of a strange ecumenicism built around the alleged spiritual gifts and manifestations they all share. I’ve seen this sentiment especially amongst my former European friends. It’s kind of an emotional brand of Christianity, promising healings and the like, which also seldom mentions the deep divides in doctrine different groups have. (This “health” Gospel is even being pushed by Andrew Strom, who was a big critic of Todd Bentley and the NAR. He is promoting some Danish fellow who preaches a “health” Gospel and a new view of “church structure,” though lacking the prosperity angels and face kickings.) I read an article awhile back about the latest Pope and his involvement with the Charismatics in his country. He had hands laid on him back when he had just been elected, and the article gave the impression that this was something pretty common for him to have done. I recall a Catholic commentator arguing that there is opportunity for ecumenical success through the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement.

    (I’m not sure about this, but wasn’t Sarah Palin originally a Pentecostal of some kind? I could be wrong. I do not know the specifics of her theology, and not every pentecostal is a “prosperity” person flopping around like a fish. Some of them are quite moderate, others more extreme.)

    All of this makes me wonder if maybe we’re looking at a joining together of all the Christian denominations under a false Gospel, being built little by little right beneath our noses.

    By the way, I was originally converted by a Pentecostal fellow (well, it is the Holy Spirit who actually converts, but God just happened to use this fellow for the job). This was how I came into contact with the “Spirit filled” folks, though I was never able to get into the mood for tongue speak or flopping around. Never had any visions, though everybody was having them (and making me feel bad for not having them). One fellow actually set about teaching me how to speak in tongues, which basically consisted of telling me to go ahead and babble after mutual prayer between the two of us. He then proceeded to “translate” my Babble. I never bought it, though I cooperated out of politeness. (Around that time I was getting that attention though, I actually had a frightening and traumatic experience with a possible Demon, or at least something I ate. I had a “haunting” for at least a month. But that’s a different story.) It was the Todd Bentley fiasco, however, and the way people reacted to me resisting his teachings, that made me come out of it in a dramatic way. I lose faith in people, so then I end up reevaluating everything. Same thing happened during the election. A political Todd Bentley (Mitt Romney) came along, something extreme enough to knock me off balance, and the dishonest and unChristian responses (they drop the mask) of people around me force me to reevaluate again.

    • All of this makes me wonder if maybe we’re looking at a joining together of all the Christian denominations under a false Gospel, being built little by little right beneath our noses.

      Amen. Many bible scholars believe we see this represented by the woman riding the beast (Mystery Babylon) in the book of Revelation, and that it’s comprised of all those within the apostate church. It would also appear this apostate church is closely connected to civil and political powers,

      One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. rev. 17

      Its my opinion that we may not necessarily see an actual (physical) “one” church arise, but that spiritually it is most certainly being built and coming together.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I’ve been rethinking many of my end times views recently and this is helpful

    • I’m glad it helped Steve.

      Your website is one i check whenever im on line, so i hope you’ll be sharing the results of some of your rethinking. Over the years you’ve helped open my eyes to many things concerning the endtimes through your articles and teachings. Looking forward to more!🙂

  5. A question for all Preterists.
    If Jesus in John 2:19 says that He will destroy the temple and in three days raise it up again[ and this we understand to be his death and resurection] would not the extrabiblical account of the destruction of the temple in AD 70 be tantamount to a dual fulfillment?

    And furthermore , were there two holy temples ?
    If Paul in 1 Cor 3:16-17 writes , and I quote ………

    Know ye not that ye are the temple of God , and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?.If any man defile the temple of God , him shall God destroy ;for the temple of God is Holy , which temple are ye.

    ………………then how the temple construct be simultaneously holy?

    If by his death Christ destroyed the temple, and the ordinances that the temple stood for [the law covenant] , and with his ressurection , ressurected us into a new covenant [grace covenant] then surely the pile of rocks that resembled the temple construct , was as good as dead.

    Similarly, if the temple construct stood as the shadow /type which was to come , and was fulfilled in Christ , then how can the type and the antitype co-exist. Is this not also tantamount to a dual fulfillment?

    Sorry guys, but preterism is full of holes, the bible speaks of two temples , two Jerusalems, two Israels and two types of Jews, and after the cross , the fulfilment of all the tangible, physical types now have a spiritual representation as antitypes.
    If Jerusalem above is the mother of us all [Gal 4;26], and a Jew is one circumcised of the heart[Romans 2:29] and not all who are Israel are of Israel[Romans 9:6], and the previously quoted verse from Corinthians as to the true Holy temple, then why would the ” types ” be the subject of the Olivet discourse if this were to have occured after the cross .?

    • Ray, i don’t consider myself a Preterist so will allow anyone who comments here who is, tackle your questions, but i did want to comment on your first point because im not quite grasping what you’re asking,

      If Jesus in John 2:19 says that He will destroy the temple and in three days raise it up again[ and this we understand to be his death and resurection] would not the extrabiblical account of the destruction of the temple in AD 70 be tantamount to a dual fulfillment?

      Guess the reason im confused is because the temple which was destroyed in 70ad was never rebuilt or “raised up”, so im not seeing how this could be seen (along with Jesus’ death and resurrection) as a duel fulfillment…perhaps you can explain it?

    • This is not “preterism,” which I think believes that all of Revelation has been fulfilled, and therefore the elect have already been resurrected, etc etc. This is the classical reformed position, and the position of many of the ancients. Don’t be confused. Though Christ’s words were fulfilled “in [that] generation,” there is still much to expect for the future. This position of ours is centered merely on disproving the idea that there is still some yet future time when Israel will be demolished again, and a third temple defiled and destroyed again, as this was already accomplished perfectly by the Romans under Titus. Or, rather, accomplished perfectly by God using the Romans under Titus.

      As for your passages, they actually support our cause in denying that a third temple will be constructed in Jerusalem.

  6. I wanted to take this opportunity to repeat something important i’ve stated in the past.

    Preterist, Futurist, Reformed, etc etc… none of these labels can be applied to my position(s) when it concerns eschatology. Being a staunch, unmovable proponent of one particular “form” of eschatology is what got me in trouble in the first place; It made me unteachable, and closed to receiving any true light on subjects concerning the last days, for over 25 years For as we all know, you can’t tell or teach a “know it all” anything, for they believe they already “own” the truth.🙂

    And in my opinion, that is the danger in wearing an eschatological label.

  7. Knew i’d read this years ago and spent some time looking for it today… Someone may find it interesting as it also pertains to Jerusalem’s destruction in 70ad and many believe, Matthew 24.

    “Besides these [signs], a few days after that feast, on the one- and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, “Let us remove hence” (Josephus (A.D. 75) – Jewish Historian: – Jewish Wars, VI-V-3).

    “To these St, Luke addeth, xxi. 11, that ‘there shall be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.’

    Josephus, in the preface to his history of the Jewish war, undertakes to relate ” the signs and prodigies, which preceded the taking of the city;” and he relates accordingly, that “a star hung over the city like a sword, and the comet continued for a whole year ;” that “the people being assembled to celebrate the feast of unleavened bread, at the ninth hour of the night there shone so great a light about the altar and the temple, that it seemed to be bright day, and this continued for half an hour;” that ” at the same feast a cow, led by the priest to sacrifice, brought forth a lamb in the middle of the temple;” that ” the eastern gate of the temple, which was of solid brass and very heavy, and was scarcely shut in an evening by twenty men, and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen, at the sixth hour of the night, opened of its own accord, and could hardly be shut again;” that “before the setting of the sun there were seen over all the country chariots and armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities ;” that ” at the feast of Pentecost, as the priests were going into the inner temple by night as usual to attend their service, they heard first a motion and noise, and then a voice as of a multitude saying, Let us depart hence;” and what be reckons as the most terrible of all, that one Jesus (*NOT Jesus Christ), an ordinary country fellow, four years before the war began, when the city was in peace and plenty, came to the feast of tabernacles, and ran crying up and down the streets day and night,

    ‘A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice against all the people.’

    The magistrates endeavoured by stripes and tortures, to restrain him; but he still cried with a mournful voice, ‘Woe, woe to Jerusalem!,’

    This he continued to do for seven years and five months together, and especially at the great festivals; and he neither grew hoarse nor was tired; but went about the walls, and cried with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe to the city, and to the people, and to the temple;’ and as he added at last, ‘ Woe, woe also to myself,’ it happened that a stone from some sling or engine immediately struck him dead.

    These were indeed fearful sights and great ‘signs from heaven:’ and there is not a more creditable historian than the author who relates them, and who appeals to the testimony of those who saw and heard them.

    But it may add some weight to his relation, that Tacitus, the Roman historian, also gives us a summary account of the same occurrences. He saith that

    “there happened several prodigies, armies were seen engaging in the heavens, arms were seen glittering, and the temple shone with the sudden fire of the clouds, the doors of the temple opened suddenly, and a voice greater than human was heard, that the gods were departing, and likewise a great motion of their departing.”

    Dr. Jortin’s remark is very pertinent. “If Christ had not expressly foretold this, many, who gave little heed to portents, and who know that historians have been too credulous in that point, would have suspected that Josephus exaggerated, and that Tacitus was misinformed ; but as the testimonies of Josephus and Tacitus confirm the predictions of Christ, so the predictions of Christ confirm the wonders recorded by these historians.”

    But even allowing all that incredulity can urge that in the great calamities of war, and famine, and pestilence, the people always grow superstitious, and are struck with religious panics;– that they see nothing then but prodigies and portents, which in happier seasons are overlooked ;– that some of these appear to be formed in imitation of the Greek and Roman historians as particularly the cow’s bringing forth a lamb ;– that armies fighting in the clouds, seen in calamitous times in all ages and countries, are nothing more than meteors, such as the aurora borealis ;– in short allowing that some of these prodigies were feigned, and others were exaggerated, yet the prediction of them is not the less divine on that account.

    Whether they were supernatural, or the fictions only of a disordered imagination, yet they were believed as realities, and had all the effects of realities, and were equally worthy to be made the objects of prophecy.

    ‘Fearful sights and great signs from heaven’ they certainly were, as much as if they had been created on purpose to astonish the earth.”

    (Thomas Newton (1754) – The Prophecy of Matthew 24, Dissertation XVIII)

    Source

  8. Quote
    Guess the reason im confused is because the temple which was destroyed in 70ad was never rebuilt or “raised up”, so im not seeing how this could be seen (along with Jesus’ death and resurrection) as a duel fulfillment…perhaps you can explain it?
    end

    PJ, no problem, the angle from which i view this is as follows, I place very little emphasis on what bible commentators have to say , and a good less on the writings of Josephus. I acknowledge that you have adopted one of the 5 Sola ‘s as your blog tittle , but there is another Sola, Sola Scripture that I hold on to dearly. And if I could be so bold as to be brutally honest here, a lot of folks may well make the claim to Sola Scripture , but the evidence speaks to the contrary, there are countless books , commentaries , articles and so on, all with an opinion on any particular biblical topic, but they all in essence deny one thing , and that is that the bible interprets itself, it does not require science, anthropology , history or linguistics to assist in its interpretation.So I would say at this juncture, with pertinence to this particular topic, why do so many folks rely on the writings of Josephus to interpret Matthew 24. It just doesn’t make sense to me , even more so when we read in John 16 :13

    When the Spirit of truth comes , he will guide you into all the truth
    , for he will not speak on his own authority , but whatever he hears
    he will speak , and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

    If we believe the bible , and declare ourselves to be believers , then whose witness do we believe , Josephus , or the Holy Spirit witnessing through the word.

    So back to your question PJ, , the bible plainly declares that Christ is the one who destroyed the temple [ not Titus and the Roman armies], and again I quote from John 2:19,

    And Jesus answered them , destroy this temple , and in three days I will raise it up.

    The question here is when did Jesus destroy the temple , and the reference to ” three days” should be the giveaway clue.

    Matthew 20:19
    And deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged
    and crucified , and he will be raised on the third day.

    I do believe that the bible is abundantly clear on this , and that is that Jesus destroyed the temple upon His death, and he raised up a new temple upon His ressurection. So if Jesus testifies unequivocally that He will [and subsequently does] destroy the temple in AD 33 , then how can anyone possibly attribute the destruction of the temple some 40 yrs later at the hands of the Romans.I dare say that many people do not comprehend the nature of the destruction that took place , but if they allow the bible to define the destruction , and not some historian , then it might become a little more obvious.
    Firstly, the temple veil was torn from top to bottom, signifying that this was God’s doing, this ended immediately the role of the High Priest and constant requirement for animal sacrifices, but more than this , Christ’s death ended what was left of God’s covenant with the nation of Israel, they were cut off , they were spiritually blinded , the natural branches were removed from the olive tree , they were the fig tree that was cursed.This was something that Jesus prophesied over Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44

    And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it saying , would that you , even you , had known on this day the things that make for peace!.But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you ,and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground , you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you , because you did not know the time of your visitation.

    Even though the Spirit of The Lord had previously departed the temple[Ezekiel 10] , the temple stood as the last vestige of Gods covenant with Israel, and with Jesus fulfilling the role as both High Priest and Holy of Holies, as well as establishing a new temple with his ressurection , the temple construct now stood for absolutely nothing, its symbolic role as God’s covenant with the Jews was now totally void.With the covenant now void , they were now enemies of God [ not the Romans], sure ,the natural enemies can kill you, but are we not to fear Him who is able to cast our soul into hell.?Read again the quoted passage from Luke , God’s judgement on the Jews was because they did not know the time of Christ’s visitation , the truth had already been hidden from them , and their judgement was the time of Christs death, and this is the interpretation of not leaving one stone upon another ” in you”
    PJ, i’m only witnessing to what the word of God says, if this does not concur with your definition of destruction , then so be it.

    • Ray, thanks for responding🙂

      I’m not sure what you’re getting at about bible commentaries so will more or less pass on that, except to say for me (and i believe with most Christians) commentaries can be a huge tool when studying for the simple fact that God, through His Spirit, has given enlightenment on certain passages to many fine reputable Godly men in the past who have shared this enlightenment within their commentaries with us today. Does that mean we automatically accept as truth/fact all that they have written? No…but the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, who is the ultimate teacher, will either confirm (or deny) (if) what we’re reading is truth..or not. It’s called discernment. We rely upon this same discernment (and Holy Spirit) when we’re listening to a sermon or sitting in a bible class. God has gifted the body of Christ with teachers, (Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching. romans 12:6-7) but we must still hold everything taught or preached up to God’s Word, and then discern and judge it.

      Now, as for your original question,

      If Jesus in John 2:19 says that He will destroy the temple and in three days raise it up again[ and this we understand to be his death and resurection] would not the extrabiblical account of the destruction of the temple in AD 70 be tantamount to a dual fulfillment?

      I just don’t see this as an instance of dual fulfillment Ray, but as you originally asked the question of a Preterist, perhaps that is why.

  9. QuoteAs for your passages, they actually support our cause in denying that a third temple will be constructed in Jerusalem.
    End quote

    Riccardo , i do not for a second believe that any such temple , built or otherwise will be of any significance , the true temple , the body of believers with Christ as the headstone , is the only temple , and it is a holy and everlasting temple.

  10. Quote
    Ray, you’re right about how difficult it often is to find consensus on a singular fulfillment of prophecy, let alone a (supposed) dual fulfillment. Regarding Acts 1:11, what is your understanding of the angels’ words that Jesus would come back in the same way that He was seen going into heaven? Is it that because He was in a physical body when He ascended, that He must also return in a physical body?
    end Quote

    Adam , i believe that the bible testifies to this .

    Matthew 24:30
    ……………and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn , and they will see
    the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven.

    The tribes of the earth will mourn because when Christ is revealed , and comes to gather his elect , the realisation will be that judgement awaits those who are not saved. I believe that this indicates that Christs return will be visible to every living soul.

    Quote
    I do believe that the phrase, “this generation,” is an important one. Prior to the Olivet Discourse, every other time Jesus used this phrase it was clear He was speaking of His own generation
    end quote

    Adam , i believe that you are interpreting “generation” in its narrowest sense.The new testament uses “generation ” in three contexts, gennema, genos, and genea, and in context , generation can be interpreted as ,

    1 . a physical family generation or bloodline

    2. the spiritual family or generation of evil

    3 the spiritual family or generation of Christ

    Look again at the context of generation in Matthew 24, if “generation” is used as in those of Christ’s earthly generation , then all these things , including Christ’s return , have occured already. Clearly, Christ has not returned , so then the context of generation must be reviewed, and obviously , the generation of those in Christ will not pass away , as they have obtained eternal life, so this leaves one option , and that is that the generation of evil , the family of Satan , will not pass away until all these things have come to pass..

    • Ray, thanks for your response. Regarding Matthew 24:30, the language that Jesus used in that verse is a clear indication (at least it is to me at this point in my journey) that He was speaking of His own people during His own time period. The tribes were the 12 tribes of Israel. The Greek word used there for “tribes” even refers to the 12 tribes of Israel when used elsewhere in Scripture.

      The tribes were of “the earth.” This phrase can be, and often enough is, translated as “land.” For example, in Luke 21:23 some translations use “land” and others use “earth,” but Jesus makes a clear reference there to the people of Jerusalem and Judea. So in Matthew 24:30, the tribes belonged to the land, i.e. the land of Israel, a.k.a. the Promised Land.

      Part of the background of Matthew 24:30 is Zechariah 12:10. According to that text, upon whom was “a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy” to be poured out? It was “the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” Even those who pierced Jesus would see Him “on the clouds of heaven.” Directly speaking, who pierced Him? Those living in the 21st century, or those living in the first century? Those living in New York City, or those living in Israel? So this was to be a local judgment, not a global one. By the way, Zechariah 12:10 is also the background behind Revelation 1:7, which is seen by many futurist and preterist scholars as the theme verse for the book of Revelation (one of many indications for whom the judgments of that book were also designed).

      Matthew 26:64 also relates to Matthew 24:30, in that Jesus told Caiaphas, the chief priests, and the rest of the Sanhedrin, “From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

      Yet another Scripture passage closely related to Matthew 24:30 is Daniel 7:13-14, where we read: ““I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.” So the vision shown to Daniel was actually of Christ ascending to the Father, not descending to the earth.

      It’s also good to remember that Matthew 24 is not written in a vacuum. Not only can we receive more clarity about this chapter by comparing it with the other parallel accounts in the gospels (Mark 13 and Luke 21), but by the time Jesus delivers this discourse to His disciples He has been on quite a roll. In Matthew 21:43-44 He told the Jewish religious leaders that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to a people that would bear its fruits. He also suggested that they would be crushed by “this stone.” In Matthew 22:1-14 He told the chief priests and Pharisees that they would reject His Father’s wedding invitation, and as a result their city would be destroyed and burned with fire by an invading army (verse 7). That happened in 70 AD at the hands of the Romans. In Matthew 23:29-38 Jesus told the Pharisees and the teachers of the law that they would be held responsible for “all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth” (or “the land”), and that judgment for those deeds would come upon their generation (“this generation”). By the way, we can take note that Revelation 16:4-6, 17:3-6, and 18:20-24 shows a spiritually adulterous city (“the great city” and “the harlot”) being held responsible for the bloodshed of the saints, prophets, and apostles.

      So all of these things are a backdrop to Matthew 24.

      Yes, if “this generation” in Matthew 24:34 means Jesus’ own generation, then it does also mean that His coming in the clouds of heaven, and in power and great glory, has already taken place. (I believe) I know where you’re coming from when you say that this clearly hasn’t happened, as I would have said the same thing five years ago. Yet, by comparing Jesus’ language about His coming with similar language already used many times in the Old Testament, and by looking closely at Jesus’ other statements about His coming (e.g. Matthew 10:23, Matthew 16:27-28, and Matthew 26:64), I believe that it’s biblically sound to see that He consistently spoke of events which were to take place within the lifetimes of the people He lived and ministered among.

    • To add on to my last response, here are some further thoughts on the phrase “this generation.” At the very beginning of the New Testament, we get a good idea of how Matthew defined the word “generation.” Consider his genealogy listing from Abraham to Jesus: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations” (Matthew 1:17).

      So we learn from Matthew that 14 generations passed from the Babylonian captivity until the time of Jesus. We also know that Babylon took Judah captive in 586 BC. Putting these two pieces together, we can calculate that each of these 14 generations was about 42 years in length (586 divided by 14).

      In Matthew 24 (as also in Mark 13 and Luke 21) Jesus began His discourse by foretelling the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Did that happen within one generation of Jesus’ prediction, i.e. within approximately 42 years? Yes, it did. Jesus was crucified in or around 30 AD, and the temple was destroyed by the Roman armies in 70 AD, about 40 years later.

      The Olivet Discourse was not the first time Jesus had used the expression, “this generation.” In all His other uses of this phrase, it’s more than evident that He meant His own generation. Consider the following examples:

      “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: ‘We played the pipe for you,and you did not dance; we sang a dirge,and you did not mourn.’” (Matthew 11:16-17)

      “The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12:41-42; see also Luke 11:29-32)

      “Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:45)

      You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” (Matthew 17:17)

      And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.” (Matthew 23:35-36)

      He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” (Mark 8:12)

      Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?” (Luke 7:31)

      “But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.” (Luke 17:25)

      Looking again at Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:34, “…this generation will not pass away until all these things take place,” the generation that would pass away had to see, not some, but all of the things take place which Jesus predicted. There’s only one generation that witnessed the fall of the temple, and that was Jesus’ own generation. This point alone indicates that “all these things” could not possibly take place in our own generation or in the future. Remember also that the earthquakes, wars, the invasion of Judea and Jerusalem, the great distress, and all the other signs were to take place, not after the temple fell, but before the temple would fall (Matthew 24:1-3, Mark 13:1-4, Luke 21:5-7).

      To the people of Jesus’ time, we who live in the 21st century would be regarded as “that generation.” To those of us living in the 21st century, the people of Jesus’ time would also be regarded as “that generation.” Jesus didn’t use that phrase, however. The people of Jesus’ time would have understood their own generation as “this generation,” just as they did when He uttered this phrase in Matthew 11:16-17; Matt. 12:41-42; Matt. 12:45; Matt. 17:17; Matt. 23:35-36; Mark 8:12; Luke 7:31; Luke 11:29-32; and Luke 17:25.

      Source: http://kloposmasm.com/2013/02/26/jesus-use-of-this-generation-in-the-olivet-discourse-is-no-different-than-anywhere-else/

  11. I find it interesting that the Orthodox church understands Matt 24 in a single fulfillment sense, but not in the same way that many “single fulfillment” people do. They see a flow in the discourse that is centered around the immediate time frame and then, very fluidly shifts to the culmination of all things with the return of the Lord. They understand the term “this generation” to mean the “chosen generation” much as Ray has suggested in his above comment.

    I really find interesting a couple of comments found in the Orthodox Study Bible related to Matt 24.

    1) “The scriptures describe the end times in a variety of ways, so that no precise chronology can be determined.
    2) “The Lord’s purpose in this discourse is not to make people experts on end time prophesy. Rather it is so they may watch and be ready …”

    For those not having a copy of the Orthodox Study Bible, I highly recommend it. It contains a huge store of wisdom from saints of the Lord past and will really challenge some of the things you have always believed and really reaffirm others.

  12. Also, when it comes to prophecy, remember, there can be multiple fulfillments of any given prophecy (along with some aspects of the same prophecy that do not have multiple fulfillments) AND there can be demonic deceptions that seem for all the world like a fulfillment of Bible prophecy and yet are instruments of Satan to lead naive people to destruction. Will there be yet another “Temple” constructed in Jerusalem? Who knows? The devil is expert at producing “fulfillments of prophecy” at his convenience. Nothing would surprise me in that regard. And that is just part of the problem with attaching supernatural meaning to the stuff we read about in the daily news, which is a practice that all too many practice. A lot of very impressive stuff is likely to happen in our lifetimes and the lifetimes of our children. All the more reason that we need to keep our eyes on Christ our Redeemer and avoid getting ourselves entangled in imagined end time scenarios.

    • Amen, i agree concerning the temple George…

      My argument has always been it is not required, based on scripture, to fulfill some yet, unfulfilled prophecy, and if it is ever rebuilt it would be nothing but a man-made structure…definitely not holy nor a structure in which God’s Spirit will dwell. Sadly many Christians AND Christian leaders believe it will be just that, even promoting it’s rebuilding by helping to finance it.

  13. PJ,
    My point was to show by scripture that interpretations are the problem with prophecy discussions. I apologize to any one who is offended by that and hope some will just simply trust the text as written.

    • Thanks for responding Dave2!

      My point was to show by scripture that interpretations are the problem with prophecy discussions.

      I tend to disagree somewhat Dave2…interpretations can be a dime a dozen, or like noses: everyone has one🙂

      But if we enter into a discussion on bible prophecy with this understanding, and still be willing to stay open enough for the Holy Spirit to continue to teach us (even if it does, at times, go against a long-held belief) discussions can be be quite beneficial to all. Iron sharpens iron.

      Of course to do this, we have to admit we “may” not hold all truth on the matter…and not being willing to do this is what i’ve seen cause prophecy discussions take sudden nose-dives and end up turning into veiled accusation matches: one participant may become frustrated and respond with an example, such as: “some here just don’t love the truth, ” etc etc etc. I call these tactics, red herrings. Ahahah…In the past i’ve worked as a moderator on three Christian prophecy discussion boards/forums, and have seen up close, just how these discussions can turn nasty on a dime. But i’ve also been blessed to see some wonderful Spirit led discussions as well! Even a few, that though i may not have even been a participant of, i’ve followed closely and learned from and had my eyes opened to truth from the Holy Spirit.

      The bottom line, i guess, is to question why we jump into a discussion on bible prophecy….is it to present their view, but at the same time stay open to more truth being revealed? Or is it to stay closed to receiving from the Holy Spirit because they believe they already have all the answers?

      We should never shy away from open discussions concerning bible prophecy. I believe it pleases our Father in Heaven to see His children excited about His Word…that includes prophecy!

      Don’t you?

  14. PJ
    Thank you for your patience and yes, I do agree with you that prophecy discussions are a blessing and necessary. And as a parent, I’m sure you understand how difficult it can be to help your children make good choices as they grow up and I’ve no doubt that you were motivated by love when you tried to correct them.
    I did not write my comment to correct any one but rather to demonstrate by scripture that it is a good practice to consider the words and thoughts of men but it can be dangerous if we accept their wisdom above God’s. Suppose your children came to you and asked you if it was okay to smoke pot. They argue that pot is not as harmful as meth or crack and that it has medicinal value as well. They may even tell you that it’s cool and that all their friends are doing it and that the government is eventually going to make it legal anyways. I know you well enough to believe that you would do all you can to nip this in the bud long before that ideal has a chance to grow beyond manageable.
    In the past fifty years we have witnessed the evolution of abortion and gay marriage and watched as the government of man has worked to make these practices legal despite what God has said. I’m not suggesting that these issues should be attacked but that many of these bad choices could have been avoided for some if we had raised our children to have respect to what God tells us in His Word long before these things became normal.
    What separates prophecy from all other forms of religious endeavor is the fact that prophecy will reveal just how much a heart may or may not respect God. And as any one whom has had a divorce can tell you, they began to lose their love for their mate when they no longer could trust or respect them. But I’m not saying that discussions and the thoughts of others are not helpful or welcome because that is not the problem. The problems begin with that very first step away from what is written, whether by interpretation or by suggestion that God did not mean what He said. And all I was trying to point out is that we be careful with this practice because like the things mentioned above, given enough time, they have the potential to take you away from the truth.
    2 Peter 1:20-21 states: “Knowing this FIRST, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost!” I did not write this text, but I believe it because God said it. Therefore I provided 10 verses from the New Testament that state Jesus Christ is coming back. I didn’t write those verses either and believe me there are many more that support this promise. Hence, I was hoping that if I misunderstand those written texts that it can be shown by scripture where I misunderstood the meaning of those verses. Scripture always validates itself and does not contradict itself. But for centuries, man has chosen to ignore many texts to keep their beliefs intact rather provide scripture that gives light. So if I choose to believe that God may have misstated those texts then I am left wondering what else God said that may be wrong, which would open a door to any and all forms of deceit.
    But I apologize if someone took this plea to be careful as a thinly-veiled personal attack because I do not walk that way. If I disagree with A-Millennial teaching I try to point out scripture as it is written that may help discern the truth as a testament of love of one towards another not as a precedent to puff myself up. This is not about me, but the Word of God. And as a result, since I did a poor job of conveying that thought I will trouble you no more with it and be satisfied to pray that we all come to understanding.
    Last, I’ve always loved and appreciated you and the people you have joining this work. I have never once thought that I knew it all, but I have hope that by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to know enough to be a better witness in the days ahead so that as many as possible receive the promise of eternal life.

    • Thank you for your patience and yes, I do agree with you that prophecy discussions are a blessing and necessary. And as a parent, I’m sure you understand how difficult it can be to help your children make good choices as they grow up and I’ve no doubt that you were motivated by love when you tried to correct them.

      Motivated by love…amen.

      What occurs occasionally in discussions concerning prophecy though Dave2, is we get this overwhelming need to do the correcting instead of allowing the Spirit of God to lead someone into the truth. Especially when we may staunchly believe our way of seeing (or interpreting) the prophecy in question is 100% correct. My old pastor use to refer to this as “playing at” being the Holy Spirit or trying to do His job. Ahaha! I’ve learned my own self, over the years, its impossible to do what only the Spirit can, as im sure you have also.

      I actually love prophecy discussions! Over the years i’ve learned much from others: sometimes even from those i strongly disagree with🙂

      One thing i do know is right and true (concerning bible prophecy) is that my or your salvation is not determined by having all our prophecy “ducks” in a row.

  15. Adam
    I would like to reply to your posts on several fronts..

    Firstly , this quote;
    quote
    . The people of Jesus’ time would have understood their own generation as “this generation,
    end quote

    Biblical evidence suggests that the people of Jesus time understood very little , primarily , the fact that the Messiah walked and talked among them , and the majority, even to this day , recognised him not.Consider these words of Christ to his disciples.
    Matt 13:10-11
    And the disciples came , and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables.He answered and said unto them , because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven , but to them it is not given.
    Mark 4:12
    That seeing they may see , and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand, lest at anytime they should be converted , and their sins should be forgiven.
    Matt 13:34
    All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and with out a parable spoke he not unto them.

    How could the masses have understood what they were told , unless it was given to them to understand, hence , that understanding comes by way of the Holy Spirit illuminating the scriptures. To assume that the Jews understood what Jesus said is a flawed argument.

    Quote
    Directly speaking, who pierced Him? Those living in the 21st century, or those living in the first century? Those living in New York City, or those living in Israel?
    end quote

    Adam , this is the gospel 101, for sure the Jews begged for Jesus ‘s death , and the Romans obliged, but the reality is that it was my sin that pierced Christ as much as the sins of the elect during the last two millenia, and even beyond that , for Christ was slain from the foundation of the world, meaning that he died for every one of Gods elect , who lived both before and after the cross. I think that the notion that only Christ’s contemporaries were guilty of piercing him is a terrible portrayal of the enduring message of the cross.If Christ was not pierced for your sins, what claim do you have for being saved?.And in likewise fashion the use of the following quote is just as flawed.
    Quote
    He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” (Mark 8:12)
    Matt 16:4
    A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign , and there shall no sign be given unto it , but the sign of the prophet Jonas.

    Are you really saying that only Jesus’s contemporaries were wicked, that there are no wicked and perverse folks still around looking for a sign. Again , this is a compromised argument , especially when we consider that Jesus calls the Pharisees the children of their father the devil[ John 8:44]. Are we to believe that Satan only fathered one 40 yr generation of reprobates , or that he is the father of all the wicked .

    Quote
    And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.” (Matthew 23:35-36)
    end quote

    Curiously , you have included this passage as evidence that Christ was only addressing his contemporaries, but read the passage carefully, Jesus tells his contemporaries that they slew Zechariah, between the temple and the altar, but , and this is a big but , this occured hundreds of years prior to the contemporaries of the day. So did they slay Zechariah, absolutely, Jesus said they did, and this can only be interpreted as the contemporaries , and all their descendants, in other words , the generation of the Jews.

    And in the same way that Satan is the father of a wicked generation , so also is Christ the head of a righteous generation , for in Matt 12:48-50 we read ;

    But he answered unto him that told him , Who is my mother , and who are my brethren? , And he streched forth his hand toward his disciples , and said , Behold , my mother and my brethren, for whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven , the same is my brother , and sister , and mother.

    Quote
    Yes, if “this generation” in Matthew 24:34 means Jesus’ own generation, then it does also mean that His coming in the clouds of heaven, and in power and great glory, has already taken place.
    end quote

    Adam , on this belief , as i have said before , you are well beyond the bounds of orthodoxy.If Christ has returned already , as you have stated , then you have to deal honestly with this verse.
    2 Thess 1:6-10
    Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you .And to you who are troubled rest with us , when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels , in flaming fire , taking vengeance on them that know not God , and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints , and to be admired in all them that believe [because our testimony among you was believed] in that day.

    And similarly in Matt 25:31-32
    When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him , then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.And before him shall be gathered all the nations , and he shall seperate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

    When Christ is revealed , it is full time , game over, call it what you like , but this age will have drawn to an end , and Christ will come not for salvation , but for judgement. If you truly believe that all these things that Jesus prophesied would be realised in his generation , then that includes his return to judge the unrighteous, with everlasting seperation from God …………….. has this occured?

    Hebrews 9:28
    So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation .

    • Hi Ray. Thanks for your response and the ongoing conversation. Going beyond what Jesus’ audience understood, I’ll say it another way then. If Jesus wanted to refer to a distant generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “that generation.” If He wanted to refer to His own generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “this generation.” And that’s what He did. He used the same expression He had already used multiple times during His 3.5 years of ministry to speak of the 1st century generation He had been sent to live among.

      There is, however, plenty of evidence that Jesus’ followers, even the apostles in particular, understood that He predicted last days events which they (at least some of them) would personally witness during their lifetimes.

      Peter showed that he understood this when he said, “The end of all things is at hand” (I Peter 4:7).

      James showed that he understood this when he said, “the coming of the Lord is at hand” and “behold, the Judge is standing at the door” (James 4:8-9); also when he told his readers that they had “laid up treasure in the last days” and that miseries were about to come upon them (James 5:1-3).

      John showed that he understood this when he said twice that “it is the last hour” (I John 2:18); not to mention the numerous time-sensitive statements in the book of Revelation.

      Paul showed that he understood this when he told the Corinthian church that “the end of the ages” had come upon them (I Corinthians 10:11), that the present form of the world was passing away, and that the appointed time had grown very short (I Corinthians 7:29-31); also when he told the Philippian church that the Lord was at hand (Philippians 4:5); and also when he wrote that the day for salvation was at hand (Romans 13:11-12).

      The author of Hebrews showed that he understood this when he told his readers that they could see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:25), and when he said that it would be just a little while before the coming One would come and that He would not delay (Hebrews 10:37).

      The Jewish believers showed that they understood this when they fled from Jerusalem and Judea in obedience to Jesus’ words in the Olivet Discourse, and were saved from tragedy and death, as recorded by Eusebius, Josephus, and others.
      ———————————————————
      Yes, Christ was pierced for my sins, for Isaiah 53:5 says that “He was pierced for our transgressions.” However, John 19:37 specifically ties the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10 to when the soldiers pierced His side (John 19:34). This was in or around 30 AD. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the futurist argument (or at least the most common form of it) say that one day in our future those who are alive at the time, wherever they live around the world, will physically see Jesus coming on the clouds and will mourn? In this understanding, then, it seems that past generations, even though they also pierced Him due to their sins, will not participate in seeing Him and mourning. In any case, again it seems to me that Zechariah’s prophecy was targeted at Israel, for he mentions “the house of David”, “the inhabitants of Jerusalem”, “the house of Levi,” etc.
      ———————————————————
      No, I wouldn’t say that there are no wicked or perverse people still around. I also don’t believe that Jesus, in Matthew 23, said to his audience that they would be the final wicked generation, and that all future generations would be righteous. He did, however, as He had done numerous times before, tell them that they were a wicked generation, that they had the blood of the righteous on their hands, and that they would “complete what [their] ancestors started” (verse 32).
      ——————————————————–
      Whether I’m inside of orthodoxy, or outside of it, I’m not sure. It appears that believers have been all over the map throughout church history when it comes to eschatology. Premillennialism was denounced as heresy by the leaders of the day in (if I’m not mistaken) the third or fourth century. Now it’s probably the majority position in the American church. Concerning the belief in the Lord’s first century coming in clouds of glory, we have these words from church leaders who, to my knowledge, remain highly regarded for their teachings and their leadership (and this is just a sample):

      [1] Clement (150-220 AD), regarding Matthew 24: “And in like manner He spoke in plain words the things that were straightway to happen, which we can now see with our eyes, in order that the accomplishment might be among those to whom the word was spoken.”

      [2] Eusebius (263-339 AD): “And when those that believed in Christ had come thither [out] from Jerusalem [in obedience to Matthew 24:15-16], then, as if the royal city of the Jews and the whole land of Judea were entirely destitute of holy men, the judgment of God at length overtook those who had committed such outrages against Christ and his apostles, and totally destroyed that generation of impious men (Proof of the Gospel, Book III, Ch. 5)… [When] the lamentation and wailing that was predicted for the Jews, and the burning of the Temple and its utter desolation, can also be seen even now to have occurred according to the prediction, surely we must also agree that the King who was prophesied, the Christ of God, has come, since the signs of His coming have been shewn in each instance I have treated to have been clearly fulfilled” (Proof of the Gospel, Book VIII).

      [3] John Calvin (1509-1564), concerning Matthew 24: “This prophecy does not relate to evils that are distant, and which posterity will see after the lapse of many centuries, but which are now hanging over you, and ready to fall in one mass, so that there is no part of it>/b> which the present generation [in Jesus’ time] will not experience.”

      [4] Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): “Tis evident that when Christ speaks of his coming; his being revealed; his coming in his Kingdom; or his Kingdom’s coming; He has respect to his appearing in those great works of his Power, Justice, and Grace, which should be in the Destruction of Jerusalem and other extraordinary Providences which should attend it” (Miscellany #1199).

      [5] John Wesley (1754): “The expression implies that great part of that generation would be passed away, but not the whole. Just so it was; for the city and temple were destroyed thirty-nine or forty years after.”

      [6] Charles Spurgeon (1868), regarding Matthew 24: “The King left his followers in no doubt as to when these things should happen: ‘Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.’ It was just about the ordinary limit of a generation when the Roman armies compassed Jerusalem, whose measure of iniquity was then full, and overflowed in misery, agony, distress, and bloodshed such as the world never saw before or since. Jesus was a true Prophet; everything that he foretold was literally fulfilled.”

      Did these men have a notion that Jesus was to come a third time (i.e. “the third coming of Christ”), though they acknowledged that He came in the clouds with great power and glory before His own generation passed away? In some cases, I’m not sure if they did. Did Jonathan Edwards believe that Jesus always spoke of His coming with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, but that Peter, Paul, James, John, etc. spoke of another (third) coming many centuries later? I’m not sure. The language used by the apostles concerning the Lord’s coming seemed to bear the same imminence as when Jesus spoke about the same event, as can be seen in the passages referenced above.

      However much, or however little, we are concerned about staying within the confines of orthodoxy, let’s continue to deal with (even wrestle with) the words that Jesus and the apostles spoke concerning these things.

    • If Jesus wanted to refer to a distant generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “that generation.” If He wanted to refer to His own generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “this generation.” And that’s what He did. He used the same expression He had already used multiple times during His 3.5 years of ministry to speak of the 1st century generation He had been sent to live among.

      Had to put my 2 cents in long enough to say that’s an excellent point Adam!!🙂

      Also, from just the simple, plain, reading of the previous verse and the one following, there is no indication that Jesus was referring to any other generation except that of the disciples, right?

      32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

      33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

      34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

    • Thanks, PJ. Yes, that’s my understanding as well – that “there is no indication that Jesus was referring to any other generation except that of the disciples.”

      I believe this also fits very well with Daniel 12. Daniel was told that his people would experience “a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then” (verse 1; compare with Matthew 24:21 and Jeremiah 30:7). At that time the saints (“everyone whose name is found written in the book“) would be delivered (verse 1; compare with Matthew 24:15-20 and historical accounts of the saints experiencing deliverance when they obeyed Jesus’ words and fled). Daniel was told that this had to do with a 3.5 year time period (“a time, times, and half a time“), and that it would all be completed when “the power of the holy people has been finally broken” (verse 7; the Romans took 3.5 years to break Israel from the time that Nero declared war on Israel in February 67 AD until the siege ended and Jerusalem was set ablaze in August 70 AD).

  16. Quote
    If Jesus wanted to refer to a distant generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “that generation.” If He wanted to refer to His own generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “this generation.”
    end quote

    Adam, personally , i think the reasoning behind the above rationale is inconsistent hermenuetics at best. With that sort of thought , one could argue that we ignore the book of Romans , it was written for another audience , the book of Galatians, or Hebrews, or even Revelation , because it was addressed to the Seven Churches.Isn’t the bible God’s inspired word for disciples throughout all ages?Does not the whole counsel of God’s word exist for our guidance?

    Quote
    There is, however, plenty of evidence that Jesus’ followers, even the apostles in particular, understood that He predicted last days events which they (at least some of them) would personally witness during their lifetimes.
    end quote

    Adam , time is of no consequence to God, except that everything occurs according to Gods timing. I agree that there are passages that indicate that time is at hand , but these are the ” last days” , and have been for 2000 yrs, and if we take Hebrews 9:26 correctly , then we can be assured that we are in the end of the world.

    Hebrews 9:26
    …………but now once in the end of the world , hath he he appeared
    to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

    The message of all these passages is that the time to Christ’s second appearing is getting shorter by the day. Today is the acceptable day for salvation , not tomorrow, or next week or next year. There is an urgency when it comes to preaching the gospel, because no one , only God knows the day when Christ returns.

    Quote
    In any case, again it seems to me that Zechariah’s prophecy was targeted at Israel, for he mentions “the house of David”, “the inhabitants of Jerusalem”, “the house of Levi,” etc.
    end quote
    Adam , if you care to read on into Zech 13, and in particular 13: 1 , where it reads;

    In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness.

    It is referring to the same ” day” as chpt 12:3 , 12:4 12:6, 12:8, 12:9, 12:11, and as can be seen in Chpt 13:1, it is speaking of the death of Christ for the sin of all the elect. The house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem are terms used to describe the Israel of God , the congregation of the saints, the Holy City, the elect , the church.There are many terms that are used , but they all describe the same entity, and they are the people of God throughout all the ages.For example ,Hebrews 12:22-23 describes the kingdom of God in different ways , but it is still the one kingdom.

    Hebrews 12:22-23
    But ye are come to mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God,the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innummerable company of angels.To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God , the judge of all , and to the spirits of just men made perfect.

    Quote
    In this understanding, then, it seems that past generations, even though they also pierced Him due to their sins, will not participate in seeing Him and mourning.
    end quote

    Adam, on the last day , at the last trump, everyone will be raised from the dead , and they will surely see Christ. This is not a futurist argument , it is biblical fact.
    Witness for example John 5:28-29

    Marvel not at this,for the hour is coming , in which all that are in the graves,shall hear his voice, and shall come forth , they that have done good unto the resurrection of life , and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.

    This concurs with Matthew 25:31-32 regarding the second coming and judgement of Christ.

    Matthew 25 31-32
    When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him , then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations , and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.

    The Preterist has to be able to explain how in their estimation , Christ has already returned to
    a. gather his elect unto eternal life
    b. judge the unsaved and punish them with everlasting punishment

    while it is evident that neither has yet taken place.

    Quote
    I believe this also fits very well with Daniel 12. Daniel was told that his people would experience “a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then”
    end quote

    Adam , you have been hoodwinked by jewish fables and a Jewish historian to the point of being blinded to the truth of scripture. Daniel 12:1 speaks of Michael , the great Prince , this is Christ!!, who came to stand for Gods people,……….. to rescue them from the Romans in AD 70??. Absolutely not, Christ came to rescue Gods people from Satan in AD 33.

    Daniel 12:1
    ………..and at that time thy people shall be delivered , every one that shall be found written in the book.

    Sadly , Preterism has taken the focus of scripture, the fulfilment of prophecy ,[ that Christ would , and did come to save his people],and switched it from a monumental event that occured in AD 33 , to some non-event that happened in AD 70.

    Quote
    Did these men have a notion that Jesus was to come a third time (i.e. “the third coming of Christ”),
    end quote

    This is plain silly, the bible does not say Christ will come a third time , it speaks unambiguously of a second and final coming .

    Hebrews 9;28
    So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many, and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

    John 14:3
    And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am , there ye may also be.

    1 Thess 4:15
    For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    1 Cor 15:23-24
    But every man in his own order; Christ , the firstfruits, afterward , they that are Christ’s at his coming, then cometh the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God…………..

    1Cor 15:52
    In a moment , in the twinkling of an eye , at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound , and the dead shall be raised in corruptible, and we shall be changed.

    Do you not see that when Christ returns , on the clouds, from heaven, with all his angels , at the last trump, and with the sound of the trumpet, as a thief in the night , that it will be for the deliverance of the saints from this world , and for the judgement of the unrighteous.

    • If Jesus wanted to refer to a distant generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “that generation.” If He wanted to refer to His own generation, the expectation is that He would have spoken of “this generation.”

      Adam, personally , i think the reasoning behind the above rationale is inconsistent hermenuetics at best. With that sort of thought , one could argue that we ignore the book of Romans , it was written for another audience , the book of Galatians, or Hebrews, or even Revelation , because it was addressed to the Seven Churches.Isn’t the bible God’s inspired word for disciples throughout all ages?Does not the whole counsel of God’s word exist for our guidance?

      Ray, not to jump into your ongoing discussion with Adam, which im enjoying very much, but your reasoning for how we are to read God’s Word (which yes, i agree is for our guidance for: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”) can lead to error. I’m sure we agree our ultimate guide is always the Spirit of truth who dwells within every believer. We are to also discern and determine what is to be interpreted literally, historically, or contextually. As an example, mark 9:1-

      And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

      I’ve always heard this connected with the immediate following verses,

      Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them…

      Should the same verse, mark 9:1, be applied to us today? Possibly, if Jesus returns in our lifetime but the historical reading we know is right for “some standing there” did see the kingdom at Jesus’ transfiguration.

      Concerning matthew 24:34, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” – i too have questions. Frankly because i believe matthew 24 (Jesus’ words) is in response to more then one question asked by the disciples,

      And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 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?

      1- Referring to Jesus’ words, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down”, the disciples first asked “Tell us, when shall these things be?”

      2- Secondly they asked “and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

      If there was more then one question asked of Jesus, which there was, wouldn’t logic tell us all of matthew 24 is actually answering first one then the other question? Why do many Christians automatically believe both answers to both questions (and i do believe Jesus answered both), must be read as occurring simultaneously in the future or in the past? Wouldn’t the real question be, at what point in matthew 24 did Jesus end his reply to question one and begin to reply to question two…

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