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As in the Days of Noah…

09 Jan
Day and hour

from Google Images

In Luke 17:20 Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would appear, but Jesus told them they had the wrong idea about God’s Kingdom. When it comes, no one could see it physically. In other words, one couldn’t point to it and say: ‘there it is!’ (Luke 17:21). On the contrary, God’s Kingdom is within man. Man’s kingdom is to rule over all that God created (Genesis 1:26-27), but God’s Kingdom is to rule man from within. The Pharisees had the wrong idea about the Kingdom of God, because they accepted the premise as valid that David’s dynasty was God’s dynasty, when, in point of fact, to ask for a king was to rebel against God (cf. 1Samuel 8:4-7).

It is this idea of a physical king, reigning on a physical throne in a physical land that lies behind the idea of a division of Matthew’s Olivet Discourse at Matthew 24:36 and following. In a previous study[1] I made the claim that there isn’t a division in Matthew 24 that separates Jesus’ judgment of the Jews in 70 AD from his Second Coming, which many assume would be ‘at the end of time’ – something to which the Bible never refers.

In chapter 17 Luke records Jesus’ mention of the days of Noah, saying that they were similar to the days of Jesus’ coming (cf. Luke 17:24, 26). Matthew’s mention of the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39) places them after the alleged division marker of Matthew 24:36. So, according to futurists the Second Coming of Jesus at the alleged ‘end of time’ must be yet future, because Noah’s days before the Flood contain no apparent signs or even an apparent time frame into which that universal judgment occurred. Nevertheless, such an interpretation is untenable.

The judgment upon Noah’s generation was, in fact, very similar to Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the so called first half of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:4-34). Notice that God tells Noah that he is righteous in his generation, but he would bring a flood and destroy all life from the earth (Genesis 6:12-14, 17-18). Nevertheless, the days of men would be 120 years (Genesis 6:3). What we are told here is that God would bring judgment upon Noah’s generation within a period of 120 years. We also know God intended to destroy all human life, except for Noah and his family. Therefore, Noah went to work, building an ark, which for him was the work of God in his generation.

Just as in the Olivet Discourse, Noah didn’t know the day or the hour, but he did know God’s judgment would occur within his generation. In other words he expected that he and his family would not only live to see the judgment, but would survive that judgment. Next, the text says God told Noah to go into the ark and to take with him the animals that God said should be saved alive (Genesis 7:1-3), because God intended to bring the judgment he had predicted in just seven days (Genesis 7:4)! So, at this point, not only did Noah understand God’s judgment would occur within a timeframe of 120 years, but God specifically revealed both the day and the hour.

Therefore, just as in the Olivet Discourse, the days of Noah had their signs. Noah built the ark in the presence of his generation, amid mockers and unbelievers. Moreover, they witnessed the sign of the animals and Noah going into the ark, showing the judgment was eminent, just as one might conclude the eminent takeoff of an airplane once the passengers began to board. The people may not have known the day and the hour, but Noah did. Nevertheless, the signs of eminency were there for the people, as a witness to their unrepentance.

We are told in Mark 13:32 than not even Jesus knew the time of his coming, but did this mean that he never did come to know the day and the hour even after he ascended to heaven, until the very day he was sent by the Father? I submit that he did know, and very early after his ascension. Most folks put the writing of the book of Revelation near the end of the first century, but I don’t. I believe there are reasons to believe it was written very early, between the reigns of Tiberius and Nero. Notice that the Father, who knew the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming (Mark 13:32), gave this information to Jesus who then revealed it to his servants (Revelation 1:1). In other words, his coming was at hand (Revelation 1:3), not 2000 years (or more) hence. If the Apocalypse wasn’t written before 70 AD, how could it be God’s word? At hand (Revelation 1:3; 22:6, 10, 12, 20) or eminency cannot be 2000 years or more, especially if the angel couldn’t tell Daniel that Jesus’ first coming was eminent only 483 years prior to Luke 4:16 (Daniel 12:9, 13).

Paul said he knew the time (Romans 13:11), and not only so but the hour[2] (G5610), translated high time (KJV). If this is accurate, then the book of Revelation had to have been written by John prior to Paul’s writing his epistle to the Romans. Thus, God was letting his people know the time and the hour, just as he had always done in the past (Amos 3:7).

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[1] See Did Jesus Come to Destroy the World

[2] Translated so in the NASB, NET and Youngs Literal translations.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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