For the past few studies I’ve been focused on Jesus’ Parable of the Fig Tree (Matthew 24:32-35), demonstrating that the signs Jesus offered his Apostles (viz. Matthew 24:3) were fulfilled in the first century AD. Those signs were not for a future coming of Jesus in the twenty first century or later, but for the future of the Apostles in the first century AD. Some folks try to use Matthew 24:36 to indicate Jesus couldn’t give any signs, but that is a false assumption and illogical, according to the context. After all, if Jesus told his disciples to “watch” (Matthew 24:42), he must have given them something to watch for. If he told them what to watch for, then he gave them signs. Isn’t that a logical deduction from the scripture? Read the rest of this entry »
Many Christians today believe we have been commissioned by Christ to preach the Gospel throughout the world as a witness to all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). The problem with this understanding is that Mark records the same commission with similar language but he adds: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” So, if **we** have been commissioned by Jesus to preach the Gospel throughout the world and to every creature, why don’t these signs follow us?
A few days before he was crucified Jesus predicted the complete destruction of the Temple, obviously, the city as well. Part of the city wall was composed of stones that built up part of the Temple complex. Jesus’ disciples were absolutely astonished over his prediction. It was not something they had expected would occur in their lifetimes, let alone ever. When Jesus arrived on Mount Olivet, four of his Apostles took him aside to ask him privately when these things would be, and what would be the sign of his coming and the end of the age (i.e. the Mosaic Covenant). The other Apostles probably remained with other disciples, so that Jesus could be questioned privately about his astonishing remarks. Read the rest of this entry »
The Olivet Discourse was given to the Apostles from Mount Olivet just before Jesus’ crucifixion. Just prior to that discourse, Jesus had a very unfriendly confrontation with the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, and, while he was leaving the Temple compound, he mentioned that the House or the Temple would be a desolation (Matthew 23:37-38). This, of course, astonished the Apostles, and they began to point to the great stones used to build up both the tower and the Temple buildings (Matthew 24:1), but Jesus simply told them once more that not one of those great stones would remain on top of another without having been cast down (Matthew 24:2). Read the rest of this entry »
After Jesus’ confrontation with the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, he begins to leave the Temple complex and laments over Jerusalem, saying how often he would have liked to have protected her children, but they, i.e. those who ruled Jerusalem, simply wouldn’t cooperate (Matthew 23:37). Therefore, Jesus said her House, i.e. her Temple, would be left to her desolate (Matthew 23:38)! The Apostles were absolutely astonished at Jesus’ words and began to point out how great those stone were (Matthew 24:1), but Jesus simply reiterated his statement, saying not one stone would be left upon another, without it having been thrown down (Matthew 24:2). Read the rest of this entry »
In the past few studies I have been demonstrating that The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) foretells the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the Old Covenant. I have also been showing how Jesus’ eschatology was being drawn from the Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea and Malachi. Moreover, when we compare the New Testament epistles with Jesus’ parables, we find a common eschatological theme, showing the coming of the Lord, God’s judgment upon Jerusalem and the Temple, the ending of the Old Covenant and the resurrection all occur in the first century, cir. 70 AD. In this study I hope to show, using the content of Matthew 22, that the very same themes run through the book of Revelation. Read the rest of this entry »
Once again I will be discussing The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14), wherein Jesus told of a king who made a wedding for his son. He sent out his servants to tell the guests he had invited that everything was ready, so they should come to the wedding. However, the guests wouldn’t come, and they devalued the importance of the wedding and mistreated the king’s servants and killed them. When the king heard of what they had done, he sent out his armies and killed the evildoers and burnt their city. Upon doing this, he sent out his servants to invite everyone they found on the highways in order to have guests at the wedding. Read the rest of this entry »