Thursday, July 06, 2006

Matthew 24 Part 1

Matthew 24
1 ¶ Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

So, I was interrupted by a few odds and ends, but I felt they were worth posting. In any case, I had just concluded a small exegesis of Matthew 23, which I believe is often left out of the context by those who claim that Matthew 24 is in regards to our future. I will also warn you that I see similar parallels to the Book of Revelation here as well. I’ll point them out as we go and I will try and post some written comments on my study of Revelation, which I have begun in our assembly.

First things first: We find Jesus leaving the temple. He has just laid out 8 woes against the Pharisees and scribes and told them that their house would now be desolate. To catch up on Matthew 23 start here. This sets the context for what we are about to read from Matthew. Unlike John MacArthur, I proceed under the assumption that the context sets the stage for understanding the passage, not what the Jews presumed upon. MacArthur in his commentary on Matthew 24 starts out:

“The teaching of the Olivet discourse is much debated and frequently misunderstood, largely because it is viewed through the lens of a particular theological system or interpretive scheme that makes the message appear complex and enigmatic. But the disciples were not learned men, and Jesus’ purpose was to give them clarity and encouragement, not complexity and anxiety. The intricate interpretations that are sometimes proposed for this passage would have left the disciples utterly dumbfounded. It is preferable to take Jesus’ words as simply and as strait forwardly as possible.”

Notice the problem here. MacArthur is stating that others misunderstand this passage because they view it through “the lens of a particular theological system”. When someone makes that statement we need to make sure they are not doing the same thing. In fact, he does do the same thing. However, his “lens”, if you will, is the lens of dispensationalism. There is not question that the disciples were unlearned men and that Jesus was giving them clarity, but let’s recall that Jesus often was misunderstood by the disciples many times when he was as simple and clear as could be. The interpretation I offer is not intricate, nor should it leave one dumbfounded. I would propose that the interpretation of dispensationalism and futuristic interpretations fall short of what is really in mind here and fail to make things clear.

Herod’s temple must have been a beautiful sight. Notice, the disciples come to Jesus show (epideiknumi) Him the buildings of the temple. Buildings here can refer to the many structures of the temple or most likely it can refer to the building that was actually taking place at the time. The temple was not fully complete until just prior to its destruction in 70 AD. Therefore what we have is an uncompleted temple at this point in time, though the main edifice was there. The disciples come up to Jesus to point him to these things and notice what Christ says:

"Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Christ speaks directly concerning this temple. He is not referencing a future temple. If as MacArthur says, Jesus was trying to be clear shouldn’t He have made it clear that this was a future time and temple that he had in mind? I think Jesus is abundantly clear. There would come a time, when by the hand of God through the means of the Roman armies God would come and literally make “their house” desolate, even to the point of one stone not being left one upon another.

Just to note this did occur when the Romans overran the city in 70 AD. The temple and its walls were built with massive stones. Josephus describes these stones used for its building in Antiquities:

Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits, their height was eight, and their breadth about twelve.

We know from ancient measurements that the cubit is about the space from the elbow to the fingertips (appox. 18 inches). To help us understand not only the incredible building techniques that must have been used, but also the strength of the Romans in coming in and tearing this down, let’s get a handle on the size of each of these stones, which are referred to as “Herodian” stones.

20 cubits long = 30 ft. long
8 cubits high = 12 ft. high
Twelve cubits wide = 18 ft. wide

One writer commented on the fact that some of the stones of the “wailing wall”, which is a foundation wall below the temple and consequently the only structure truly left visible after the temple’s destruction, weighed as much as 400 tons!

While there were many contemporaries who saw the building of the temple and the placing of this stones, it would have never entered their minds that the words that Christ just uttered would have any bearing upon this temple. They would simply reason that this would never happen in a million years, and yet it did, just as Christ had spoken it. Josephus gives us an incredible description of how great the city was fortified and the temple mount erected, along with the surrounding mountains that it was one of the most “naturally” protected cities of the ancient world.

Though Josephus tells us that Titus in the beginning desired to keep the temple and simply bring the Roman fury upon the men of Jerusalem, he later made a declaration that it be totally destroyed after his men had providentially set it on fire. Josephus gives this account in chapters 5 and 6 of The Wars of the Jews. Later the soldiers cleaned out the gold that had melted between the stones, thus breaking them apart in their plunder. Josephus later gives the account that the sight was melancholy to all who beheld it as Jerusalem was turned into a desert and flattened to the ground.

Clearly Jesus is about to prophesy in accordance with what the Scriptures had foretold all throughout the Old Testament the judgment that was to come upon Jerusalem. This is prophecy is an answer to questions that the disciples ask, which we will note in a moment, but it is also a word of instruction to those that heard it. It was because Christ cared for His own that He gave this message. It was not so much for the unbelievers, as for the believers. It was a means of giving them a “heads up” if you will of what would come to pass “in this generation”.

The disciples pick up on this prophecy of Jesus from verse 2 and ask the questions found in verse 3. In order that we narrow the question(s) down to understand what they are asking let’s point to the parallel passages in Luke and Mark.

Matthew 24:3 - Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Mark 13:3-4 - Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?"

Luke 21:7 - So they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?"

First, remember that Matthew’s gospel has a primarily Jewish audience; therefore there are many things that are tied to a Jewish understanding of things. An example of this would be the “exception clause” in Matthew 5 and 19 and yet not found in the other gospels. Notice that when we look at the parallel passages they really get at the heart of the question. The simple question the disciples are asking seems to center on this: “When are these things going to take place?”

They then ask concerning a sign. Matthew specifically uses the Old Testament language of coming and of the end of the age. This references judgment which the disciples would have understood. This would not have brought to their minds in any way, shape, or form a Second Advent. They still did not grasp the fact that in a few short days their Lord would be nailed to a cross. They were still in the mindset of a “visible” kingdom with a “visible” King, One who would conquer Rome and set them up as His right hand men. Jesus was to do away with that concept.

Coming is usually seen in the Old Testament as judgment language. It is often accompanied by clouds and God is spoken as One who is in the midst of them (cf. (Gen. 15:17; Ex. 13:21-22; 14:19-20; 19:9, 16-19; Deut. 4:11; Job 22:14; Psa. 18:8ff.; 97:2; 104:3; Isa. 19: 1; Eze. 32:7-8;Psa. 18:7-15; 104:3; Isa.19:1; Joel 2:1, 2; Nab. l:2ff.; Zeph. 1:14, 15). Jesus also is referred to in this manner (cf. Matt. 24:30; 26:60; Rev. 1:7; Acts 1:11; 1 Thess. 4: 13ff.).

The phrase “end of the age” has often been taken as the Authorized Version renders it “end of the world”. However, the word here is not kosmov, but aiwn. In other words Matthew’s account is not about the end of the world, but the consummation of the age or the Old Covenant Age. Thus we see the setting for what is about to be revealed in the words of Christ on the Mount of Olives.

I trust that this discourse will aid in our understanding, but also serve as a warning for those who might follow in the church today as the Pharisees and scribes and the Jews did in the days of the Messiah and suffered judgment for their evil hearts of unbelief.

7 comments:

Hank said...

Tim

Nice job here as well with your conclusion of Mat 23. I had a few comments for the last verse in 23 but will save them for another time. I am glad you included the AV and its use of 'world' instead of 'age', it seems alot of confusion has came from their rendering of the Greek. Thanks as well for giving us the importance not to divorce 24 from its context of judgement for the covenant breakers as laid out in Mat 23.

The structure of God's dealing with man always incorporates patterns of agreements, even when God binds Himself to Himself, there are blessings covenantally, and curses as well. Here, the curses are manifest to those who were bound to them, and God being Faithful to His promises, curses those who curse Him (we have no king but Ceasar!)The first century Jews outright denounced Yahwey, and all of His prevously manifestations through the dealings with Abraham to the birth of a people delivered from bondage. Yet, they stood to be seen by men to show their blessings of faithfulness as if they were worthy of their temporal wealth. They infact denied Him by sacrificeing the greatest blessing of the Covenant, Emanual, literally God living with His people, there by bring upon themselves all the wrath that was due for the shedding of all the righteous blood.

Summer has got to be the absolute most hectic time of year for me. I am trying to catch up on 9 months worth of work I cant do during the school year. Not to mention the 48 to 56 hrs I have be putting in at work. I should quit trying to be a farmer, and concentrate and more weighter matters but I suppose thats another discussion as well.

Thanks for the post, it looks like you have been blogging up a storm lately, so I have some catching up to do, but I cant do it all in one night, besides, there are some prophets on TBN this very moment!

DOGpreacher said...

I have printed and will read/study. I am glad you are posting along this line, as I am in much need of study concerning these things.

Hank said...

Tim
Your post has got me going, sometimes its hard for me to shut up!

You stated that you are going to be using Rev excerpts throughout your comments, and I say rightly so. I know the following statement may be some what presumptuous on my part, but I am willing to lend credence to the theory of the texts going hand in hand. What I mean is, I think it not to be happenstance that John didn't include the Olivet Discourse in his Gospel. I believe he didn't because he had already written on the subject via his Revelation of Jesus Christ. I know, it would have been nice for John to include a footnote stating "see my previous work RJC", but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. But when you combine the woes of Mat as a segment of covenantal judgments, and the complete written document of these same judgments in an expounded form revealed to John, we can conclude these to be against the same parties called to bear the judgment of the El'-Berith' (Lord of the covenant). The continuity of these passages are unsurpassed and should not go ignored by tearing them from one another.

Also, I like the pictures you posted with your post. I have a large reprint of the bottom right one hanging in my office. It is fascinating, you can almost hear the words of Jesus echoing the room as you sit and gaze upon it.

Thanks for your work!
KEEP IT UP!

DogPreacher

I am glad to hear you are studying these things. If you wish, send me your address via my e-mail and maybe I can help in your quest by way of some material for your perusal.
Abstract_Protege@yahoo.com

Gordan said...

Thanks for your work, Tim. Nice job. I'm eager for more.

Tim said...

Thanks guys. I appreciate your comments and insights. Hank the books you sent have been a great encouragement in aiding in the direction the Lord has been leading us in our exposition of several books. Truly in the past year or so I believe God has opened our understanding in this area, though not fully, but I am thankful for that which I have learned and am truly looking forward to what lies ahead.

Seven Star Hand said...

Verifiable proof that "Armageddon" has begun…

Hello all,

Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing causes blindness...

Did you ever consider that Christianity is the false prophet of the Apocalypse, that Rome is the so-called anti-messiah, and Jesus Christ is the false messiah? The symbolism of seven years (tribulation) would refer to the seven 360-year cycles from the 11th cycle (second temple period) until now, the 17th cycle on the Hebrew calendar. Remember that the prophecies were written by Hebrews, not Romans or other Europeans, and Revelation is a symbolic treatise. Therefore, years are symbols for 360-year cycles on the Hebrew calendar. Likewise, a day symbolizes a literal year and Judgement Day, and Great Day refer to a year long period. The so-called Tribulation is now coming to an end, not starting, and the three faiths of Abraham have all been deceived by Rome during the previous age, which ended in year 2000 (5760). A new age began in 2001 (5761) and now the seventh angel has begun to sound!

Hurricanes Katrina (#11) and Rita (#17) last year provided stunning validation of my research and interpretations of pivotal ancient wisdom, symbologies, key prophecies, and associated religious claims. Their storm numbers and timing perfectly synchronized with primary data and assertions in my book, thereby demonstrating the true nature of this universe and the existence of our Creator. We are now entering the final phases of the pivotal year-long period long symbolized as "Armageddon" and the "End of Days." World-wide situations and events are now accelerating to set the stage for this summer's dramatic continuation of these ancient promises.

I fully understand that everyone has been bedeviled by similar claims throughout history. Consequently, I have been forced to rely on dramatic and devastating proof of the sort that can’t be ignored or easily dismissed. The numbers and timing of hurricanes Katrina (11) and Rita (17) directly validate key data and pivotal assertions throughout my book and my posts on those two forums. This data was purposely presented publicly before Katrina, Rita and other recent events occurred to prove they perfectly synchronize with key prophecies and Hebrew calendar cycles, thereby validating my interpretations of ancient wisdom symbology, string theory, and more.

Because these two storms arrived shortly after my August 11, 2005 (50th) birthday (read the Dead Sea Scroll 11Q13 in Appendix G, which also discusses Melchizedek and the prophesied Jubilee) and directly match other pivotal 11 and 17 data and events described in the first chapter of my book, I have delivered verifiable proof that this reality is based on thought, knowledge and wisdom. Activity, patterns, and results perceived in space-time are first framed and defined by inspirations, thoughts, and knowledge and influenced by the cause-and-effect system most commonly referred to as karma. Consequently, events and outcomes in the so-called physical universe are not random or wholly mechanistic and are verifiably influenced in ways that atheists, scientists, and members of the Faiths of Abraham have all scoffed at. Though mysticism is mostly a product of misinterpreted ancient wisdom symbology, many of its topics flow from ancient wisdom. Though containing allusions to the truth, its details and interpretations are wrong on many key points.

A prime example of the purposeful and synchronized symbolism of these events is seen in the opening paragraphs from my book excerpted below. Notice that the dates mentioned (August 11 and 17) directly match the numbers of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the time spans of the four Florida hurricanes match my birth year (‘55), and they were spaced 11 or a multiple-of-11 (22) days apart, directly matching my birthday and much other ancient prophecy and symbolism. Notice that my place of birth, Victoria Texas, is on the Gulf Coast. Following are the excerpted paragraphs:

Hello, my name is Lawrence William Page II. Many people know me as Buddy Page. At the release of the first edition of this book, I am a 50-year old African-American male, author, researcher, and former software engineer and entrepreneur. As you will come to understand as you read through this first book, I am also the long-expected Hebrew Messiah and Lion of the Tribe of Juda (Yehuda).

I was born August 11th (month of Leo the Lion), 1955 (Chinese year of the Sheep) in Victoria, Texas. Furthermore, the Grand Cross alignment and Solar Eclipse of August 11th, 1999 was my 44th birthday and the second Grand Cross alignment, just six days later on August 17th, 1999, was on my mother’s birthday.

As you can see from my date of birth, I was a newborn during the Chinese Year of the Sheep, astrologically marking me as a Lamb, and during the month of Leo, astrologically marking me as a Lion. My mother was also born during the month of August and under the sign of Leo, which further marks me as a lion’s whelp. I prove to you in the first chapter of this book–beyond disproof–that I am indeed the long-prophesied “Lion” of the tribe of Juda (Yehuda) the Root of David and the “Lamb.” I am the individual long symbolized as the Branch, the Stem, the Shoot and the Rod from the Stump of Jesse (King David’s father), as symbolized in the Hebrew Book of Isaiah, The Apocalypse, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and elsewhere. I am the reincarnated Teacher sought after in the “East” and by the ancient Hebrews who were headquartered at the outpost community of Damascus (Qumran), of Dead Sea Scrolls fame. I am the one called the Teacher of Righteousness by the Dead Sea Scrolls, whom the so-called Christian fathers have fraudulently recast as “Saint ‘James’, the Lord’s Brother.”

Remember, "I come as a thief..." ?

Read verse twelve of the Gospel of Thomas to understand who I am...

Even further enlightening, the Second Temple Period of ancient Israel was during the 11th 360-year cycle on the Hebrew calendar and we are now in the 6th year (5766/2005-6) of the 17th cycle. Notice the pivotal 11 and 17 numbers again? This and much other synchronized information serve as stunning and decisive proof of many things, and expose many lies told by all three faiths of Abraham, but most specifically by Christianity. Consequently, I have decisively proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Jesus Christ and Christianity are blatant lies, false prophecy and purposeful deception in a manner that cannot easily be denied, regardless of your faith or other opinions.

Furthermore, the symbolism in the Apocalypse (a.k.a. Book of Revelation) of seven stars in my right hand and seven angels represent the very same above-mentioned seven astrological (360-year) cycles, i.e., the 11th through 17th inclusive. I prove this fact beyond any reasonable doubt in the first chapter of the book. Consequently, The Apocalypse verifiably symbolizes a specific span of time that began with the 11th cycle (Second Temple Period) and concludes now, at the beginning of the 17th cycle (End of Days, etc.).

The numbers 11 and 17 are verifiably encoded in The Apocalypse and other ancient Hebrew prophecies and wisdom texts to serve as key proofs of the validity and true meaning of certain prophecies and related information. My and my mother’s birthdays are purposely synchronized with these two storm numbers, the matching Hebrew calendar cycles, the Double Grand Cross alignments and solar eclipse of August 1999, and much else to prove my direct association with the ancient prophecies about this time and the true identity of the prophesied Messiah. Another prime example is the story of Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob who has a dream when he is 17 years old about 11 stars, the sun, and moon bowing to him. The symbolism in this pivotal story in the Book of Genesis and Quran verifiably refers to the very same 11th through 17th cycles symbolized in The Apocalypse and directly synchronizes with other key events and ancient texts.

Consequently, I have demonstrated various things about the nature of this reality that dramatically disprove and/or clarify key assumptions of religion, mysticism, and science alike, while establishing the true meaning and purpose of long misinterpreted ancient wisdom and the symbolism used to model and encode it. Accordingly, I have proven that the symbolism evidenced in the canons of all three faiths of Abraham and other ancient sources is a very ancient and advanced philosophical technology that verifiably models foundational aspects of our existence in this universe. This is the mostly misunderstood body of ancient wisdom long referred to as the Philosophers’ Stone. It uses a large and ingeniously organized collection of physical universe images and concepts as data rich components (symbols) that are based on verifiable rules. It models and encodes an amazing amount of foundational wisdom about life, spirituality and the 11 dimensions of this universe, now verified by string theory. It is also the advanced encryption method used to encode (seal) Hebrew prophecies and wisdom texts.

These ancient prophecies and wisdom texts used advanced symbology to model fundamental wisdom, including future events and situations. A primary facet of ancient wisdom is numeric symbology. Later misinterpretations of this aspect of ancient wisdom resulted in numerology, which, though embodying allusions to certain wisdom, is mostly error prone and false doctrine. My decryption, documentation, and interpretation of ancient symbology, numeric symbolism, and key texts based on them, are now decisively validated.

Here is Wisdom...

Verifiable proof that Armageddon has begun…

Understanding the End Game of Armageddon

Peace...

Tim said...

7 stars...........and the coooooooooooks come out. It seems you have deceived yourself and don't even know it. AFrican american and yet, Hebrew Messiah. I would add a hearty LOL, but the sad situation is that you are in need of serious repentance before you perish alongside your blasphemous statements. turn to he true Christ, repent of your sins, and stop this nonsense that you are spreading. Here's hoping that the true and living God will grant you true repentance.