You are hereThe Eschatology of Jesus Christ

The Eschatology of Jesus Christ

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By Roderick - Posted on 29 April 2005

by Roderick Edwards
Have you ever been asked what you believe in regards to something about the Bible? I hope you answered “Who knows and who cares”.

Have you ever been asked what you believe in regards to something about the Bible? I hope you answered “Who knows and who cares”.

I mean to say, that it doesn’t matter what you and I “believe” about what Bible is saying, but rather it matters what the Bible IS ACTUALLY saying.


Perhaps someone would object by stating: “Well everyone has a different interpretation.”



What then are we saying? That the Bible isn’t clear enough for the Christian to understand? And I hope you will not say the “Holy Spirit” guides us to understand – as it may be true but then a new problem arises. If two Christians are coming to differing interpretations then, which is being guided and which is not? (or perhaps neither)


I’ve said all of that by way of introduction to the title of this work.


When it comes to eschatology – “end times”, there seems to be a plethora of differing “beliefs”, but what we want to know is what is the eschatology of the Bible, but more importantly, what is the eschatology of Jesus Christ?


I make the distinction between the eschatology of Jesus Christ and the Bible not to say they are opposing or different but only that Jesus Christ’s eschatology is the revelation & fulfillment of things in the Bible that had for a long time been merely shadows, types, and copies of the actuality. And thus, when many people study eschatology they constantly refer to the shadow and type over Christ’s own clear teaching.


Allow me to elaborate a bit more before we begin in earnest.


When Christ came to earth, He often corrected the suppositions of those who were the very keepers of “biblical principles”. For instance, Jesus corrected the Pharisees on the nature of divorce (Mt 19:3-9), even acknowledging that they had understood Moses correctly when Moses told them they could divorce their wives (Deu 24:1-4). But Jesus came to clarify.


It should make you think of all the times that Jesus said: “You have heard it said… but I say…”


So, we begin our examination of Jesus Christ’s eschatology with the understanding that Jesus Christ may clarify and complete “biblical principles” (including prophecy), especially knowing that Christ said:


“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me.” – (Lk 24:44)



The eschatology of Jesus Christ is mainly to be found in what is called “The Olivet Discourse”, so called because He gave this discussion while seated on the Mount of Olives, which overlooked Jerusalem. (Mt 24:3, Mk 13:3, Lk 21:7)


The scene starts with Jesus seated on the mountain with at least a few disciples. He had just pronounced so the so-called “Eight Woes” against the Jewish leaders. (Mt 23:13-39) At the end of the woes, Jesus tells the leaders, “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate” (vs 38)


It is important to have that context because it frames what was discussed during The Olivet Discourse.


The disciples had just heard Jesus declare that the Temple (house) was going to be left desolate (not typologically inhabited by God), thus they were concerned. Now, keep in mind that to a first-century Jew, the Temple was everything. It was their center of existence. It was the typological “presence” of God among them. It would have shocked even Jesus’ disciples to hear Him proclaim its destruction.


So, His disciples wanted to make certain He meant what they thought He was saying, thus we see their inquiries:


"Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!" -- (Mk 13:1 see also Mt 24:1 & Lk 21:5)


Jesus’ response didn’t comfort them, but only made clear that He had meant what they thought. Jesus said:


"Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down." (Mt 24:2, Mk 13:2, Lk 21:6)


Now, we take our minds back to the scene of The Olivet Discourse. Jesus just gave His most profound denouncement of the Jewish leaders. He had announced the destruction of the Temple and indeed the entire city of Jerusalem and now He and some of His disciples are sitting on the Mount of Olives. I can imagine there were quiet whispers among the disciples. “No, you ask Him…” But finally the awkward moment had to be confronted and we are told Peter, James, John and Andrew began to question Him privately saying:


"Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?" (Mt 24:3, Mk 13:3-4, Lk 21:7)


Have you noticed that when I’m speaking about The Olivet Discourse, I keep quoting from 3 different books in the New Testament? Obviously it is because all of these books give an account of the discourse. We should not think this an inconsequential thing that we have these triplicate accounts. They are not merely repeating the same thing but offering the reader a clearer picture into what is being said. The Bible is a remarkable book in that regard.


The account that is most associated with the so-called “end times” teachings is Matthew 24:3.


"Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Mt 24:3)


Many so-called prophecy teachers will say the disciples were asking 3 distinctive questions, not really related. But you can look at Mark 13:3-4 & Luke 21:7 and you can clearly see that the disciples understood all of these questions to pertain to one event – THE ESCHATON, or rather what some refer to as the “end times”.


These events weren’t understood as being some in the past and some in the future, but rather all were interrelated and connected.


Some prophecy teachers will even admit this but then they will say the disciples were simply mistaken to connect the events together. (i.e. Thomas Ice, The End Times Controversy pg 155)


The problem with this supposition is that during the rest of the discourse, Jesus never corrects them – thus they were not mistaken to connect the events.


Now, if the context for the beginning of the “end times” is the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, how then does it follow that we think the “end times” is a future earth-ending cataclysmic event? Let us continue to examine Jesus’ eschatology.


Jesus’ first response to their questions was:


See to it that no one misleads you. (Mt 24:4, Mk 13:5, Lk 21:8)


Notice the personal pronoun – YOU.


Jesus wasn’t glossing over the disciples, but was warning them. They were to experience the events about which they were asking. But as we have stated, there is a reason the Bible gives more than one account. Let us look at Luke 21:8


And He said, "See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time is near' Do not go after them. (Lk 21:8)


Someone may try to object about the contemporaneousness of Christ’s eschatology being set only in the first-century, by saying: “See, Jesus told them the time wasn’t near”.


Perhaps the very next verse in Luke will help shed light on what Jesus meant by His warning.


When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately. (Lk 21:9, note also Mt 24:6 & Mk 13:7)


Ahhh, so He was telling them there were more signs they must watch for BEFORE He would return. And notice the pronoun YOU, again. The disciples were to experience these “signs”.


Let us continue in the examination of Christ’s eschatology.


Next, we begin to see the details of what many prophecy teachers say are the “signs of the end times” – You know; “nation again nation”, earthquakes, increased persecution, a falling away, tribulation, false prophets, lawlessness, and betrayal. (Mt 24:7-12, Mk 13:8-12, Lk 21:10-17)


I ask, which of these things DIDN’T happen to the disciples not too long after Jesus had warned them of these very things? So, we see that the disciples and first-century Christians were living in the “end times”.


Wait, before you protest – “BUT, BUT, BUT, the end times couldn’t have happened yet because X Y & Z hasn’t happened yet”. Did we not agree that Jesus often corrected the suppositions of people? Could it be possible you are supposing something about the “end times” that Christ never taught?


Let us continue in the examination of Christ’s eschatology.


We go now to Matthew 24:14 wherein we see this statement by Jesus:


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. (Mt 21:14)


AH-HA!!! Proclaims the would-be detractors, thinking they have rebuffed the whole concept of the first-century “end times”. They will continue by saying the gospel was never preached to the whole world in the first-century, thus Jesus couldn’t have been speaking about the first-century end times.


Really? If I were a non-believer, I might instead say Jesus was wrong altogether then. Certainly, up to this point it was obvious that the so-called “signs” were to be experienced by the disciples. So, if suddenly here we say this is all future, because we suppose that the gospel wasn’t preached to the entire world, then we make Jesus’ words out to be muddled.


How so you might ask? Well, let us look closer at the concept of THE END. Is Jesus here talking about an earth-ending end? As a matter of fact, during the entire discourse what does He mean by THE END? The end of what? Our context is in the very question of the disciples.


As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Mt 24:3)


What age was Jesus talking about? What age was about to come? If the reader of this work is a Christian, then you must know that Jesus came to institute the New Covenant and the AGE of the New Covenant. Thus, Jesus was talking about THE END of the Old Covenant AGE. The most profound representation of the Old Covenant age, was the Temple and the entire Jewish system, which Jesus spoke about at the beginning of His discourse, and was the very subject that prompted the disciples to ask their questions.


Perhaps, some will attempt to insert another age, like a “Church Age” between the Old Covenant age and the New Covenant age. First off, the Bible only speaks covenantally about two ages; the one about to END & the one about to BEGIN. The question then to the reader is, which AGE are we in now? And if THE END referred to in The Olivet Discourse is the END OF THE OLD COVENANT AGE, then either Jesus was incorrect in Matthew 24:14 when He said the gospel had to be preached to the entire world OR we misunderstand what He meant by “all the world”.


For those objecting to “all the world” merely being all the known world or the main sphere of influence, let us look at some other texts in the New Testament that uses this phraseology.


And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (Lk 2:1 KJV)


Since no one doubts the timing of this event as occurring in the past, there is no dispute over the fact that Caesar Augustus DID NOT tax all the world, but merely those areas under Roman domination. Thus, when we see phraseology like this we need to be careful not to make it more than it is.


For example, would it even be possible to preach the gospel to every single person while people are still having babies daily?


But in case there is someone out there still clinging to this one verse as their hold out against Christ’s own eschatology, let us give some more verses to help.


because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; (Col 1:5-6)



if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. (Col 1:23)



Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; (Rom 16:25-26)



How much clearer can a case be made for the gospel being preached in “all the world”, even so much that Paul states in Colossians 1:23 that it was proclaimed to all creation under heaven or as the KJV translation of the Bible says, “to every creature under heaven”.



Let us continue in the examination of Christ’s eschatology.



We now go to Matthew 24:15



Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), (Mt 24:15)



Here again, the detractor of Christ’s eschatology will complain that the abomination of desolation did not happen in the first-century, thus they will say, Jesus wasn’t talking about the first-century.



There is a problem with understanding this verse as future and it is found right in the very verse, with this phrase:



“…standing in the holy place”




When Jesus was speaking this verse, WHERE WAS THE HOLY PLACE????



Was it not in the very Temple that was about to be destroyed by the Romans? So, whatever the abomination of desolation WAS, it happened while the HOLY PLACE still existed – in the first-century.



Many prophecy teachers will try to get around this by saying there will be a new temple (thus “holy place”) built in the future and it will be there that the abomination of desolation will stand.



As intriguing as a rebuilt temple might sound, even if such a temple was rebuilt in Jerusalem, it would never be considered the “holy place”, because once that former temple was destroyed God was never again to dwell in a house made with hands as we see from these verses.



an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
(John 4:21-24)



The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
(Acts 17:24)



Do we really think God will go from the shadow and type of typologically dwelling in earthly-temples to dwelling among us and then back to the former and crude manner of dwelling in temples made with hands? No, the concept of a future rebuilt temple so that a prophecy teacher can make the abomination of desolation a yet future event is both an unwarranted and reckless way to understand the Bible.



Let us continue in the examination of Christ’s eschatology.



We go back to our exposition of Christ’s eschatology by looking at Matthew 24:16-24 In these verses we see warnings to the local residences and those in the environs around Jerusalem, the city which Jesus declared would be soon destroyed in the first-century.



Jesus tells them to flee to the mountains and hope that their journey was not in the winter, on the Sabbath, or while the women are pregnant or nursing.



How would such a warning relate to some future-to-us event? But it makes perfect sense in the first-century context and with the context of the whole of The Olivet Discourse. For Jews and Christians alike were still at that time observing the Sabbath and to flee on that day would not get them far enough away from the ensuing destruction because the observance of the Sabbath required that a person not travel great distances, which would later be defined as no more than approximately 1 kilometer (source).



We should take a moment to hone in on Matthew 24:21 because it is here where people whom have not been able to stand their ground on some of the other objections, decide to camp.



For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
(Mt 24:21)



The would-be protester will decry, “See!!! That didn’t happen in the first-century destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple because there have been far greater wars like WW1 & WW2”.



But when people so object they are thinking merely of quantities of destruction rather than qualities. I mean to say, what WAS EVER, or COULD EVER be worse than the complete casting off of the typological people, the typological city, and the typological house of God? You can combine all the wars of history past, present and future and nothing will compare to the utter effect of the destruction that occurred in the first-century to that entire typological system. It is a matter of WHAT happened, not how much happened.



So, when you hear prophecy teachers speaking about THE GREAT TRIBULATION in the future and how some people think Christians will be removed from the earth before (pre-tribulation) or during (mid-tribulation), or after (post-tribulation) the great tribulation, you can be assured that this tribulation happened in the first-century and there was NO REMOVAL OF CHRISTIANS, as we see from Jesus’ warning, they fled to the mountains and surrounding areas.



The destruction that came upon the city of Jerusalem and the environs of Judea was of such a magnitude that had it been any more thorough it would have been possible that the very existence of both Jew and Christian (since Christians in the first-century were considered merely a Jewish sect) would have ceased. Thus it is fitting what we see Jesus saying in Matthew 24:22.



Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
(Mt 24:22)



But what is more interesting is that verse 22 of the Luke’s account of The Olivet Discourse reads thus:



because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled. (Lk 21:22)



What was this ALL THINGS WRITTEN?



If we consider that the entire Bible is pointing towards the consummation we might say that “all things written” denotes the plan of the Bible was completed in those days of vengeance upon those ultimately rebellious people, people that typified general human rebellion again God. But if the reader rejects that conclusion they must at least accept that the “all things written” were at least the things written concerning the “end times” which was upon that generation of people.



While we are still in Luke’s account, let us back up for a moment to verse 20.



But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.
(Lk 21:20)



It is more than noteworthy to bring this verse to the reader’s attention. Remember, that Jesus is speaking with His disciples. He is giving them “signs” to know as they asked, “when all these things are going to be fulfilled”, and “what will be the sign when these things are about to take place” (Mt 24:3, Mk 13:4, Lk 21:7)



It is then significant that we see this mention of the impending destruction of Jerusalem in the middle of all the other so-called “signs of the end times”. To try as some prophecy teachers do and segment some things as having happened in the first-century and others to happen in the yet future is a very dishonest approach to the plain reading of the text.



Let us continue in the examination of Christ’s eschatology.



We shall resume at verse 25 of Matthew 24.



Behold, I have told you in advance.
(Mt 24:25)



Notice again the personal pronoun – YOU. Jesus was warning His audience, the disciples in advance, of the things many of them would experience. If they would not experience it, then why warn them at all?



I have seen some detractors reply to this question by saying Jesus was warning the first-century generation and all ensuing generations just to “keep them on their toes”.



So, the detractor would have us believe Jesus purposely was misleading people with false illusions? I’m sorry but that kind of reasoning not only does grave injustice to the entire text of The Olivet Discourse, but it undermines the credibility of Christ Himself.



Before we continue in Matthew’s account, let us look over on Luke’s account at verse 24.



and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
(Lk 21:24)



We ask again, did the people living in Jerusalem in the first-century “fall by the edge of the sword”? Were they led captive into all the nations? Was Jerusalem trampled underfoot by the Gentiles? – Indeed! Then why do so-called prophecy teachers keep telling people that these events are yet future?



We now resume our exposition of Matthew’s account, starting at verse 26 through 27.



So if they say to you, 'Behold, He is in the wilderness,' do not go out, or, 'Behold, He is in the inner rooms,' do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
(Mt 24:26-27)



Jesus here continues to warn His disciples not to be fooled by “false christs”, for all during the first-century there were people claiming to be the Messiah. But Jesus goes on to tell His disciples that His coming would be as obvious as “lightning flashes”. How so? Well, did He not just give them very specific signs to mark His return?
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What is very striking is the very next verse.



Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
(Mt 24:28)



Where have we seen this verse before and why is it plopped down in the middle of these signs? Let us look for a moment at Luke 17:22-37



Here is the account of Jesus telling His disciples about the coming Day of the Son of Man. In this account, Jesus compares Noah’s days and Lot’s days to the coming Day of the Son of Man. In the days of Noah & the days of Lot people went about their business and then destruction came upon them suddenly. The only ones “left behind” were Noah & his family in his days, and Lot & his daughters in his days (from Sodom & Gomorrah).



Thus, we see Jesus telling how two people are in bed and one will be taken and the other left. Two women grinding grain and one will be taken and the other left. Two men in a field and one will be taken and the other left.



These verses are often used by prophecy teachers to espouse an erroneous teaching called the “rapture”, wherein they say at the “end times” Christians will be whisked off the planet and non-believers will be left behind.



But now we get to our verse in question. Verse 37.



And answering they said to Him, "Where, Lord?" And He said to them, "Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered."
(Lk 17:37)



Compare this with Matthew 24:28 and it begins to come together. In neither instance was Jesus talking about a rapture or whisking of people off the planet, but as is clear from Luke 17:37, Jesus was talking about how some people would be taken in destruction. Just in case some detractor is still objecting, let us look more closely at the question the disciples were asking Jesus in Luke 17:37.



Jesus had just finished talking about people being taken. The disciples were perplexed as to where these people were being taken. Now, if as the prophecy teachers want us to believe, these people were to be raptured to be with the Lord, you would think Jesus’ response would be something like: “They will be taken to be with Me & the Father in Heaven”. But instead Jesus clarifies the case when He says where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered. Or as we see in Mt 24:28, it says corpse. This is a picture of destruction. Those taken were taken in destruction and left to be picked over by vultures. Such was the case in Noah’s days, Lot’s days and in the Day of the Son of Man.



But just in case there is yet one last person that refuses to let the plain text speak, we shall also look at Matthew 24:37-41 which is a parallel account of that in Luke 17.



For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
(Mt 24:37-41)



Notice how it says “until the flood came and TOOK THEM ALL AWAY”. The reference of the taking away is to the people taken in destruction, and NOT to taking Noah & his family away, for Noah & his family never left the earth. The entire “rapture” concept is thus destroyed.



Let us continue in the examination of Christ’s eschatology.



We resume at Mt 24:29, Mk 13:24-25, & Lk 21:25-26



But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
(Mt 24:29)



Now, here again the detractor may grumble saying this certainly did not happen in the first-century. But before we get caught up in their trap, let us remember we have already established that the “tribulation of those days” was the very tribulation that occurred to the first-century generation. Thus, if as the text says here, that IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION comes these events, we are constrained by logic and reason to place the events immediately within the first-century.



What then do we say? Our response will not be lengthy, otherwise this could become a completely other subject. But merely we invite the reader to consider that prophetic language is commonly used by prophets and thus by Jesus. Some people have concluded that what Jesus meant to this cosmic reference was to say Jerusalem and the Temple, the “sun and moon” and light of the Old Covenant world was vanishing away to be replaced by the eternal light of the New Covenant – Christ Jesus.



Next we see the glorious CLOUD COMING of Jesus Christ. It is here that most people object. For that say that people must literally and visibly see Jesus surfing on a cloud.



Let us look closer at Mt 24:30, Mk 13:26, & Lk 21:27 wherein we are given this account.



And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.
(Mt 24:30)



Here is the problem the detractor has to keep grappling with, that everything Jesus is addressing speaks directly to the disciples and expects them to be witnesses of these events. If the detractor keeps going “AH-HA! – That didn’t happen!” then the only thing the detractor is doing is undermining the credibility of Christ. So, when we come to a verse like Mt 24:30 we can either undermine like the detractor does or we can try to understand what is meant in the context of Jesus’ discourse with His disciples.



We can do this by looking at other references to this same event (as mentioned by Christ Himself).



We see such a mention during the High Priest’s interrogation of Jesus when Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin.



The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" But Jesus kept silent And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."
(Mt 26:62-64)



As you can see, Jesus is here addressing the same cloud coming and He says pointedly that the High Priest would see Him coming on the clouds. How is it the High Priest would see such an event if it was not to happen until way in the future after the High Priest was dead & gone?



We must keep in mind that in the Bible, “Cloud Comings” were denotations of comings in judgment. Is not that what all of The Olivet Discourse is about?



Let us continue in the examination of Christ’s eschatology.



Next we see Jesus talking about the gathering of the elect from the farthest end of the earth. (Mt 24:31 & Mk 13:27)



Again, some prophecy teachers try to explain this as some sort of rapture, but rather we see that instead Jesus is simply saying that Christians will come from farthest end of the earth – Christianity will spread to many areas soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, and indeed that is exactly what happened.



Now we look at the so-called parable of the Fig Tree. It is the faulty interpretation of these few verses that have dictated over a half-century of middle-east concept and policy.



Let us quote the verse and then we’ll discuss it more.



Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near;
(Mt 24:32)



What the prophecy teachers do is take this verse and say it speaks of the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948, saying the fig tree signifies Israel. Thus, they claim (even in light of everything else that speaks of a first-century context for the Olivet Discourse), that the bulk if not all of The Olivet Discourse is speaking of times starting at 1948.



How foolish an interpretation, especially in light of the parallel account in Lk 21:29-30.



Then He told them a parable: "Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near.
(Lk 21:29-30)



You notice this account says, “and all the trees”. Jesus was not trying to signify anything more than that He was utilizing a common event such as the approach of a season being known by the budding of trees to show His disciples that they could know His coming was near by the “signs” He had given them.



It is rather hypocritical for our detractors to lambaste us as overly spiritualizing the text, when they take such a simple verse as this and make it out to be referring to the re-establishment of Israel.



We will conclude our exposition of Jesus Christ’s eschatology at His own conclusion of His eschatology.



so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
(Mt 24:33-34, Mk 13:29-30, & Lk 21:31-32)



Notice again, the use of the personal pronoun – YOU. Were the disciples supposed to disregard this direct statement to them? Further, Jesus says THIS GENERATION, the very generation that He was addressing; the first-century generation would not pass away until all these things (everything in The Olivet Discourse) took place.



Now, as I am concluding, you may be wondering why I have not quoted from Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Jeremiah, or even the book of Revelation. Well, as the title of this work states, I wanted to address the eschatology of Jesus Christ and it is here in The Olivet Discourse where Jesus lays out His eschatology from His own mouth. There is no shadow and type of all those Old Testament books to wrangle with. If the Old Testament interpretations don’t correlate with Jesus’ own clear words here in The Olivet Discourse, I will assume I’m only looking at a veiled image in the Old Testament texts. I would rather stick with Jesus Christ’s clear account than speculate about shadows and types.



As for the book of Revelation, that book does indeed give details about the end of the age events BUT… if in an attempt to interpret the events spoken of in the book of Revelation, a prophecy teacher contradicts the plain eschatology of Jesus Christ in The Olivet Discourse, then that prophecy teacher ought to be rejected. Indeed, many prophecy teachers speculate so much that they turn mention of chariots and scorpions into tanks and helicopters. The wild speculations of prophecy teachers and “end times” series authors are of such affront to the plain eschatology of Jesus Christ that it is sad how easily any Christian can consume their nonsense.



I urge the reader of this work to consider more closely and intently the eschatology of Jesus Christ over and above anything they or anyone else might “believe”.



If Christ’s own words in The Olivet Discourse are made out by the prophecy teachers to be so unclear, then there is not hope or reason to wade and speculate on the shadows and types of the Old Testament or the highly figurative language of the book of Revelation.



Who cares what you and I “believe” about the “end times”, what did Jesus actually teach?



In Christ risen & returned,

Roderick

judge's picture

Excellent stuff Rod!
I even notice someone has now quoted this very article in the forum over at CARM.
Good to see Rods great ideas being disseminated!

Virgil's picture

Yeah, absolutely, good job Roderick! Good to see your old stuff being just as effective today!

judge's picture

Roderick has now accused a member of that forum of being, you, Virgil, in disguise.

Apparently, according to Roderick, you are a communist too.

Virgil's picture

LOL - Yes, I have red, hammer and sickle pajamas, but how does he know that? It's suppose to be a secret!

That guy has problems. He sees me behind every conspiracy out there, so it doesn't surprise me. btw, aliens are real, and Elvis found them when he left earth to live on the Moon.

leslie's picture

Virgil, why is not the year posted on the articles (any of them). The month and day are... why not the year to get a better 'timeline'.

Many know 'Rodericks' 'saga'... but many do not and the newer 'pistes' seem to conflict with the older ones. I am glad that you bring back 'his' articles from time to time as they (most) are very good.

Blessings
Brother Les

Brother Les

Virgil's picture

Les, that's just the way the website has been designed from the beginning. I will look into it and see if there is a way to display the year of each article posting. Good idea!

davecollins's picture

Roderick, This is a very clear presentation of our beliefs, and the eschatology of our Lord.
Jeremiah preached to the rebellious Israelites for forty years before the Babylonian judgement.
Clouds and apocalyptic language for utilized there, also.

The 1st century Jew understood very well what Jesus was alluding to.
Great article my friend! Dave

Roderick's picture

Thanks Alberto & Chris! -- All glory to God!

I have also formatted the article into booklet form of a mere 20 pages. You can download it in MSWord or PDF -- for FREE obviously, and use it with other Christians (it doesn't contain the word "preterism", so people won't get hungup on labels). Plus I corrected the few typos. ;-)

Go HERE to download

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

It makes for a nice booklet or tract.

One small thing I would add is an actual historical reference to "70 AD" as the well-known time of Jerusalem's utter destruction.

A lot of people, even some Bible readers, are not aware of "70 AD" as a date of any significance.

Peace,
Christian

chrisliv's picture

Yeah,

Very nice, Roderick.

It's articles like these that frame The Olivet Discourse in such a clear and simple way as to make the Preterist position nearly irresitible for any sincere Bible student.

Peace to you,
C. Livingstone

alberto's picture

Mr. Edwards, This piece is done with excellence, and I find it very helpful indeed. Thanks.

albert burke

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