Friday, July 3, 2009

The Second Coming of Christ Pt. 7

Now we go to Luke. Luke split the Olivet message up when writing about it and inserted it into two different places in his writings, but the information is still there. Because we have both Matthew and Mark’s writings, we can put Luke’s in the correct order.

Luke 21: 7-36, 17:22-36

1st warning: Don’t be deceived.
False christs.
Wars and rumors of wars.
The end is not yet.
Nations rise against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms.

Fearful sights and wonders in the heavens. The others didn’t have signs in the heavens at this point, but we need to look closely at how Luke qualifies these. It is as if he jumped the gun and put them in early, as then he says “But before all these things”, in other words, “I’ve gotten a little ahead of myself”, and he goes back to the order that Matthew and Mark give.

Don’t answer when brought before judges, let the Holy Spirit speak through you.
Will be betrayed by parents, brothers, kinsmen, and friends to the death.

Have patience. Instead of saying that we should endure to the end, he simply says that we will need to have patience.

When Jerusalem is surrounded by armies, the abomination of desolation is about to occur. There is a little more information given here. Before the abomination of desolation, Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies. There will be some sort of military battle going on against Israel. For those who know to expect this, it will be the warning for them to do the next item listed - flee.

Those who are in Judea should flee to the mountains. Now they are told where to flee. There is speculation that they will flee to Petra in Jordan, or what used to be called Edom. There are some scriptural reasons for believing this, but we won’t go into them now. We’ll run into this again in Revelation, so we can deal with it more there.

Some will be killed or taken prisoner. This is what will happen in the tribulation.

Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. (This verse is completely in context of the chronology of events, so it cannot be moved in the timeline.) The time of the Gentiles has not been fulfilled yet as of this time - after the abomination of desolation and within the tribulation. Again, this is where Luke puts it. The time of the Gentiles is not fulfilled, or the fullness of the Gentiles has not yet come in. The “fullness of the Gentiles coming in” is a phrase that Paul uses in Romans 11:25. He says that Israel will be blind until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. So as of this point (the tribulation), Israel is still blind, according to Paul. Rev. 11:2 says that the court of the temple will be given to the Gentiles, as well as the holy city, to be trodden down by the Gentiles for forty-two months. The use of the same words is not coincidence in these verses by these three different authors. This is God’s inspiration for our benefit of ferreting out the truth.

By simple substitution, as you would use in a geometry theorem, we can rephrase Luke’s verse like this. The holy city, Jerusalem, will be trodden down for forty-two months (after the abomination of desolation, as that is where Luke puts it) by the Gentiles, and Israel will be blinded until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled (forty-two months later).

If you didn’t follow that, here it is again. Luke says that Jerusalem (the holy city) will be trodden down by Gentiles after the tribulation until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. Revelation says that the treading of Jerusalem by the Gentiles will last forty-two months. So Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles for forty-two months. The treading of Jerusalem continues (for forty-two months) until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. Israel is blind until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled (after the forty-two months). So the fulfillment of the Gentiles comes at the end of the forty-two months, which we will eventually see starts at the abomination of desolation. After that time, Israel’s blindness will be lifted. Some teach that one of the reasons that the rapture occurs before the 70th week is that the time of the Gentiles is over and this is the time for the Jews. This verse in Luke when in conjunction with Romans 11:25 and Revelation 11:2 says otherwise. The Jews will be blind until those forty-two months are over and they see Him whom they have pierced when He makes a visible appearance in the sky with clouds and angels to gather His elect. (when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled). We will get more into the forty-two months in Revelation.

There will be the following signs in the following heavenly bodies:
The sun.
The moon.
The stars.
Nations in upheaval.
Seas and waves roaring .
Men’s hearts failing them for fear.
Things are coming on the earth.
The powers of heaven are shaken.
This time there is more Day of the Lord signs, which only verifies that it is the Day of the Lord to which it refers.

The Son of man comes in a cloud with power and glory.
When this happens, redemption is near - for Christians.
The parable of the fig tree.
This generation will not pass away till all is done.
2nd warning: don’t let this day come on you unexpectedly.
3rd warning: watch and PRAY that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things. We are now told that we should be praying that we can escape ( by God’s miraculous protection) out of all that is going to come upon the earth, so that we may live until the Lord does return. Only those who have not been guilty of all the apostasy that has been going on in the church, who as we will see in Revelation are overcomers, will be worthy to escape. The rest will suffer greatly at the hand of antichrist and from the things that will befall the earth.

(Chapter 17)

We have seen the following signs before, and can place them in their proper place with the events listed in chapter 21.

1st warning: don’t follow false christs.
As lightning shines from one part of heaven to the other, so will be the Son of man when he comes.
As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in that day, eating, drinking marrying, etc.

As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be. The same day that Lot left Sodom, it was destroyed. So it shall be on the day the Lord returns. The problem in Lot’s day was homosexuality. Homosexuality is becoming so prevalent these days that it sometimes seems every other person is one. It is just one more sign of the times that lets us know the end is near. The day that Lot was rescued, Sodom was destroyed. The day that Noah got in the ark, judgment began. The day the Lord returns and removes us, will be the day when His judgment on the nations begins. We will see that judgment begins with the house of the Lord, then goes to the Jew, then is lastly poured out on the nations.

In that day those who seek to save their lives will lose it and those who lose their lives will preserve it. Saving your physical life will require taking the mark of the beast. To do so will mean the loss of eternal life. In losing their physical lives, and refusing the mark, they will save their souls.

People who are side by side, one will be taken, one will be left.
Where the body is there will the eagles be gathered. The placement of this verse after the one taken, one left, would seem to lean toward the interpretation that the eagles are Christians and the body is Christ to whom they are gathered.

Just as Mark gave us a little more information than Matthew, so Luke gives us a little more yet. We keep getting more information, so that we can work out the details as to what is going to happen. It is similar to putting a jigsaw puzzle together. You have to fit the pieces together, but they must fit exactly.

As a last note, Luke was a Greek physician. I have been getting comments that this discourse was meant only for the Jews, and I asked the question, what if one of the disciples was not a Jew, what would that mean about to whom this discourse was aimed? Well, Luke accepted this discourse as being pertinent to Christians or he would not have included it in his gospel, as the New Testament was being written for the sake of believers. It is believers that are told to look for the 2nd Coming of Christ. The Jewish population will not be looking for His return. They will only acknowledge Him once He has returned. This is what scripture teaches, and this is what we must accept.

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