In this series of studies I am looking at Matthew 16:27 and 28 and discovering their first century AD implications. Jesus claimed that, in the lifetimes of some of his listeners, he would return in the glory of his Father with the angels of heaven and reward every man according to his works. In other words Jesus predicted his return in that generation of people living in the first century AD. Moreover, when he did come, he would judge each man according to his works, i.e. the judgment would immediately take place at the time of Christ’s coming. Previously, I showed how Jesus was basing his predictions upon Isaiah 40, especially verses 1-10, which also identify the ministry of John the Baptist, who was prophesied to prepare the way for the Lord (Isaiah 40:1-5; Matthew 3:1-3). Read the rest of this entry »
Author Archives: Eddie
In the context of eminent judgment (Luke 17:24-37), Jesus offers us the Parable of the Unjust Judge in chapter eighteen of Luke’s Gospel. After telling the parable (Luke 18:1-7), Luke records Jesus saying: “When the Son of Man comes will he find **the** faith on the earth” (Luke 18:8). The text has **faith** (G4102) with the article (G3588). The article is in the Greek but not in the translation. Therefore, Jesus is recorded as wondering if, by the time of his coming and due to the great persecution going on, he would find the faith on the earth. That is, the faith that would expect him to return to vindicate those suffering under persecution. Would he find anyone crying out to him at his coming? Would, whatever is there, be recognizable as **the** faith Jesus had begun? Read the rest of this entry »
Jesus made a claim in Matthew 16:27-28 that he would come in the glory of the Father with the angels of heaven and sit in judgment over mankind. However, he didn’t stop with that statement. He went on to say that he would come in the Father’s glory and some of the folks, listening to him on that day, would live to see that event. Wow! What a statement! Many Christians scholars are embarrassed by Jesus’ words in this scripture and attempt to modify the power of his statement by redefining the words to mean what **they** presume Jesus said. It is amazing to see how some folks will stretch sola scriptura so out of whack, that clear speech becomes unintelligible without informed explanations. Read the rest of this entry »
In Luke 18:1-7 we have recorded the Parable of the Unjust Judge. There, we are offered several motifs that pertain to the coming of Jesus (cf. Luke 18:8). The parable was delivered to Jesus’ disciples in the context of eminent suffering and judgment that was about to befall the Jews of that generation (Luke 17:24:37). The Pharisees had been aggressively interrogating Jesus concerning the coming of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, Jesus told them that they had the wrong idea about the Kingdom. It doesn’t come in a manner that can be observed (Luke 17:20). Rather, it would be found within man. God rules from the throne of a man’s heart, not from an observable throne in a palace (Luke 17:21). Read the rest of this entry »
Lots of folks today want to preach fantasy eschatology, saying the sky is falling, namely, the universe is falling apart, or soon will in the not too distant future. Some try to support their worldview by pointing to 2Peter 3:7-12, saying that the heavens and the earth are destined to be destroyed by fire, wherein the elements will melt with fervent heat. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but they seem to be trying to get me to believe that Peter was a scientist who knew of and used a scientific table of elements of sorts way back in the first century AD. I’m not certain how much science was understood back then, but I do know that Peter was a fisherman, and something seems fishy with the fantasy modern teachers want to pass off as the Biblical truth. Read the rest of this entry »
It is one thing to claim Jesus as one’s Savior and to say he is a child of God. It is quite another to act like this is true in one’s life. Often, believers think that publicly embracing Christ is the faith that is needed. While this is true, and very important in the life of the believer, there is another kind of faith the Lord looks for in his elect. It is the kind of trust that waits for God to act on the believer’s behalf. In our own modern day believers often take up their own defense in the courts of the land. Standing on our human rights, we have discovered we are often able to defeat our foes by taking our struggle to this world’s justice system. In doing so, we demonstrate publicly that we embrace Christ as our Savior, and our efforts often help our brethren in their walk with Christ. However, I don’t believe that this is the faith our Lord looks to find in us?
In Luke 18:1 Jesus begins to offer a parable to his disciples, because he wanted them to understand they needed to be consistent in prayer and never give up. The main characters of the parable are a widow and a judge (Luke 18:2-3). He is powerful, but the widow is weak. The judge has authority over the widow’s adversary, but she does not. Jesus claimed the judge neither believed in God nor had compassion toward men (Luke 18:2). In contrast, however, the widow has no power over her circumstances. Nevertheless, the fact that she never gives up and continues to bring her case to the judge serves to change her condition (Luke 18:3, 5). She doesn’t seem to be put off by his lack of interest in her plight.
Although the judge is an unconscionable man, he decides to get rid of the widow by doing as she requests (Luke 18:4-5).The problem, as he sees it, is not that an injustice is done, but rather, if he doesn’t respond favorably to the widow, she will weary him (Luke 18:5). The Greek word for weary (G5299) is defined by Thayer as: “to beat black and blue, to smite so as to cause bruises… (then Thayer points to) that part of the face that is under the eyes” (parenthesis mine). In more modern speech, one might say the widow was beginning to give the judge a “black eye”. He was concerned over his reputation, so he felt it necessary to do exactly as she asked.
In Luke 18:6-7 Jesus draws a contrast between the unjust judge, who listens without any compassion to the request of the powerless widow, and God, who loves his elect and intends to respond favorably to requests they make to him.
In the parable Jesus intends for the widow to point to God’s elect, or those in the Kingdom of God (Luke 18:7). I don’t believe that Jesus intends to say God is willing to respond favorably to all the believers’ requests. In the parable the widow has an adversary and an injustice is being done to her. In the context of prayer to God, it would mean the elect are in trouble, probably persecuted by someone or several people, but the elect have no power to set things right (Luke 18:6-7). They need God to act, if such things would ever become safe.
The parable shows the unjust judge will eventually rule against the widow’s adversary, making him powerless to hurt her (cf. Luke 18:5). The context in which Jesus offers the parable to his disciples seems to cause the widow’s adversary (Luke 18:3) to point to the Pharisees (Luke 17:1, 20; cf. 15:1-2) or the religious people of the time. Jesus said that God would avenge his elect even though he may show patience toward their persecutors (the them in Luke 18:7). However, the time would come that God would act suddenly. Once God acts, it would take only a short time for the adversaries of his elect to retreat (Luke 18:7-8).
It seems that Jesus doubted the believer’s trust that God would respond on their behalf against their adversaries would be found, or that it would be a rarity, when he comes. It is simply too easy to try to defend ourselves when offenses come (cf. Luke 17:1). Yet, Jesus tells us that we shouldn’t resist evil (Matthew 5:39). Rather, by allowing evil to take its course, God would be given opportunity in our lives to give us such a wise testimony that our enemies would be unable to respond to save face (Luke 21:15). Nevertheless, Jesus wondered, if the faith could be found once he returned (Luke 18:8). 2Peter 3:3 claims that in the last days scoffers would arise doubting that Jesus would return and vindicate those suffering under persecution. False doctrine is a powerful influence. Once it is given credence, it is very difficult to put away, so Jesus wondered, if men would continue to cry out for vindication. Would there even be the faith on earth expecting his return (Luke 18:8).
Perhaps, more misunderstanding about the end times has come about over modern students proclivity to interpret 2Peter 3:10-12 scientifically than for any other reason. Error is strong delusion that clouds our minds and prevents our understanding of the truth. If truth is important to us, we need to realize the terrible influence false doctrine (error) has upon the minds of the believer. Strong delusion (false doctrine or error) is meant for those who have rejected Christ (2Thessalonians 2:11-12), not for those who have accepted him. Nevertheless, if we aren’t watchful, the believer can become subject to the strong delusion of false doctrine (Revelation 3:3; 1Thessalonians 4:13). Read the rest of this entry »