When I was a premillennialist, I didn’t consider it all that important to know when Jesus would return, because, after all, no one could know the “day or the hour” (Matthew 24:36), and I was repulsed by the never-ending line of prophet wannabes in our modern era, who were so willing (for a price) to tell others when Jesus would return. Therefore, I usually stayed away from anything that dealt with eschatology. The last days can’t be known, so I busied myself doing what I could do, today, hoping that in some way what I did was pleasing to the Lord. However, all this has changed since the summer of 2017.
When I discovered that the Lord might have returned in 70 AD, at first, I didn’t think it was possible. Nevertheless, I allowed myself to consider it, and geared my studies to finding out the truth of such an idea. Well, all of a sudden, the scriptures opened up to me, like they once did years ago, when I first picked up my Bible to find out more about Jesus and his Gospel. Eschatology seems a lot clearer to me now, and I’ve discovered it is very important to know when Jesus’ coming was to occur. Not knowing this puts a dark veil over the scriptures, giving us a false hope, and such ignorance opens many up to the false teaching of modern charlatans.
With this in mind, I’m presently involved in an in-depth study of Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:27-28. Having a gap between those two verses is absolutely critical to the futurist point of view of a yet future coming of the Lord. If there is no gap between the verses, then the Lord must have come in the first century, and the only possible event that would show that would have been the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Roman armies in 70 AD.
A first century coming of Christ is supported, as I’ve shown in previous segments of this study, by the grammatical particle, gar (G1063) in Matthew 16:25, 26 and 27, translated for in all the translations I own. The point is, one simply cannot honestly separate Jesus’ coming in Matthew 16:27 from the verses immediately preceding it, and they tell of Jesus’ suffering and that of his disciples. In other words, Jesus’ coming in verse-27 would be to vindicate the blood that was shed in his name by judging his and his disciples’ persecutors. How could Jesus do that 2000 years later? Since their persecutors lived in the first century AD, Jesus would have had to have come in judgment against those persecutors during the first century AD, and, according to Matthew 16:28, that is exactly what Jesus promised to do.
Jesus’ coming in Matthew 16:27-28 to vindicate the suffering of his disciples is based upon Deuteronomy 32:43. Notice:
Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. (emphasis mine)
Remember, Jesus said that all the righteous blood that was shed from Able to Jesus’ day would be avenged upon Jerusalem, and it would be done in the expected lifetimes of those listening to him (Matthew 23:31-36). It wasn’t going to take 2000 years to do it, in the lifetimes of their future descendents. It would be done in their generation. The wrath of God would come upon them. It would be, because they continually provoked his disciples that God would hide his face from them in their latter days (Deuteronomy 32:19-20), when they would be utterly corrupt and without faith (Deuteronomy 32:29).
John speaks of them as Babylon in the Apocalypse, and he says they were responsible for shedding the blood of the prophets and the saints (Revelation 16:1, 6, 19). This cannot refer to some future judgment upon whomsoever our modern day prophet wannabes would like to have Jesus judge today, because Revelation 18:20 tells the Apostles and prophets to rejoice over her (Babylon), because God had avenged their blood by judging her. This is a citation taken directly from Deuteronomy 32:43, which concerns Israel’s latter days, which occurred in the first century, cir. 70 AD!