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The Eminence of the Coming of the Lord

07 Sep
Second Coming - 2

from Google Images

We often hear today about the eminence of the coming of Christ, and there are not a few people, even well known people, who seem willing to predict when that would occur, showing themselves, one and all, that they are false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:20-21). When I point this out to folks I know, most often these people seem willing to smooth over the false prophecy, by saying something to the effect that the “false prophet” wasn’t really saying that, but the fact is, he did say that, and according to the Bible that one **is** a false prophet. He or she may be famous and appear very religious, but so were Baalim and Jezebel famous and very religious. In fact, the Scriptures even tells us that God spoke to Baalim, but Baalim didn’t have a heart for the will of God.

In Luke 12:35 we have a picture of the eminence of the coming of Christ: “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning…” The mental picture given by the Lord is one of preparedness—being ready for whatever was about to occur. During the first century folks wore clothing that was very loose fitting. When one gird up his loins, he took the loose ends of his robe and brought them in front of him, tucking them under his waist band and tying them there. This freed up his legs for work and for running—even for battle. So, Jesus was telling his disciples to be prepared for what he was about to tell them.

Notice, as well, that their lamps were supposed to be burning, giving the mental picture of nighttime. Whatever Jesus wanted his disciples to be prepared for would come during the night, and they would need the light of their lamps.

The Lord then told his disciples what they needed to be prepared for. It was for his coming (Luke 12:36) or his return from the wedding. This picture is that part of the wedding ceremony that was the betrothal. The betrothal in the ancient Jewish faith was not a mere engagement. The two were considered married, although their vows had not yet been consummated. In order to break the vow of the betrothal one needed to submit a bill of divorcement. The consummation of the vows occurred after the bridegroom left the bride to prepare a place for her and then returned to take her to be with him. So the picture the Lord offers us in Luke 12:36 is the night when the bride waited for the return of her husband (cf. Matthew 25:1-13). She needed to be awake, and her lamp needed to be burning.

Notice that Jesus said: “You, yourselves…” making the command emphatic. He was telling those listening to him that **they** needed to wait for his return, and his coming would be at an hour that would be unexpected, symbolized by the second and third watches of Luke 12:38. Nonetheless, Peter asked Jesus: “Master, are you addressing this parable to us, or to all alike” (Luke 12:41)? No matter how we take Jesus’ response, we must include Peter and the rest of the Apostles of the first century in our interpretation. In other words, if Jesus wasn’t speaking to Peter and the other Apostles specifically, plus whomsoever else we wish to include in our understanding, then our understanding **must** be wrong. Jesus’ reply was for that generation in which he lived during his ministry. It had to be, if Peter was to be included in the command to watch and have his loins girded, waiting for Jesus’ return.

If it doesn’t seem correct that the Lord returned in the first century AD, perhaps we would believe what Peter understood Jesus to say, as it pertained to his return from the wedding. Notice that Peter tells us in his letter to the churches of Asia “the end of all things” was near (1Peter 4:7). That is, “the end of all things” was near in the first century AD. So, should we believe Peter or our favorite TV-evangelist (false prophet)? Notice the similar language Peter uses in 1Peter 1:13, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Peter speaks of “girding up” the loins of one’s mind, preparing for the eminent appearing or coming of Jesus—in that century, unless we wish to call Peter a false prophet in order to retain the traditions of men (Mark 7:7-13) we love to watch on our televisions.

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4 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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4 responses to “The Eminence of the Coming of the Lord

  1. Dave White

    September 10, 2017 at 08:53

    Eddie, I’m not clear on what you are stating was the return (historically). I must be missing something in my understanding.
    thanks. Also, the following blog on the second exodus; what historically occurred that is considered the second exodus?

     
    • Eddie

      September 10, 2017 at 13:00

      Hi Dave and thank you for your questions.

      The two studies you mention represent a newer understanding of my own eschatology. I have for about ten years (give or take) understood Jesus as telling the high priest in Matthew 26:64 and Mark 14: 62 as his “coming” in judgment upon Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. However, I also looked for his “coming” at the end of time or the end of the Gospel age. Yet, the Bible doesn’t speak about the “end of time” – ever. Neither does it speak of the Gospel age ever ending. Therefore, I had to reconsider of late what Jesus said concerning “all” the things he mentioned in Matthew 23 that would fall upon that generation – that is the generation in which he lived.

      Wherever I look in the epistles whether in Paul’s or Peter’s I have to seriously consider their own understanding that the “last days” were days that would come and culminate in their own expected lifetimes. They preached the end was near in the 1st century AD. They preached Jesus was about to appear in the times of those to whom they wrote. What right have I to look for a “end of time” that the Bible doesn’t mention? If the Bible says the age after the ‘coming’ of Jesus would be never ending, what right have I to believe otherwise? I must cling to the word of God as it is stated. I dare not ‘add’ to it or ‘take away’ from it. In as much as I am able to tell, the “last days” were the “last days” of the Old Covenant—which culminated in the destruction of the Jewish nation, including Jerusalem and the Temple. Of course there is much more to this study and my resulting understanding than I am writing here, but for the sake of brevity and the sake of simply answering your question, this is what I meant. I can go into the study in more detail if you wish, but that would be your call.

      Concerning the second exodus, it seems clear not only from Paul’s writings (as I mentioned it in my blog / study) that Paul pointed to an exodus going on in his generation. The exodus pertained to the believing Jews coming out of ‘spiritual Egypt’ which Jerusalem is called in Revelation 11. The corruption of the Jewish nation and their “latter end” was predicted by Moses in Deuteronomy 32. The call in Revelation 18 to “come out of her” (i.e. spiritual Babylon) was a call for the believing Jews to leave Jerusalem and Judaism. It was the second exodus out of (spiritual) Egypt in order for God’s people to enter into the promises of their Lord. That occurred in the 1st century AD. As for us, we go to be with the Lord upon our demise and the end of our ministry here. This is what I have come to believe after about a decade (maybe two) of trying to fit a third coming of the Lord at ‘the end of time’ or ‘the end of the Gospel age’ (sometimes called the age of grace) into my understanding of Jesus’ return to judge Jerusalem cir. 70 AD.

      Hope this helps to straighten out any misunderstanding, and may the Lord richly bless you in your studies of his word.

       
      • Dave White

        September 10, 2017 at 14:55

        thank you. So just like the Romans were used in the crucifixion of Jesus, they were used by God for the final destruction of the Temple. That fits with my limited understanding as well. I have to be careful in my church as I don’t desire to sew discord, but I want to shout “Stop looking at Jerusalem! God made it clear in 70A.D. that the old covenant has been permanently replaced. If the temple is to be rebuilt it will be more of a modernized version of the old covenant concept (I believe it will be rebuilt, but not in fulfillment of any prophesy). I tried to find the link that has a virtual tour, when I do I’ll forward it to you

         
        • Eddie

          September 10, 2017 at 16:29

          Yes, and I, too, must hold back in my church. I must say that, since I’ve come to this understanding, I have such freedom, knowing I don’t have to apologize for a 2000 year delay that simply cannot be found in his word.

          By the way, I was expecting disagreement from you. I am pleasantly surprised and encouraged in your response.

          Lord bless you, Dave.

           

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