Question on Olivet Discourse for Partial Preterists

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by Fly Caster, Jun 30, 2010.

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  1. Fly Caster

    Fly Caster Puritan Board Sophomore

    In Matthew's account of the Discourse, where do you see the break between the events concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and the events concerning the Second Coming?

    I'm especially interested to see if anyone might see the break at Matthew 24:36-- that here is the point that Jesus begins to deal with the second part of the disciples' questions. I have to admit that I find this passage a bit confusing.
  2. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree with Marcellus Kik's exposition of this text and place the transition at Matt 24:36. I heartily recommend his book "An Eschatology of Victory".
  3. MLCOPE2

    MLCOPE2 Puritan Board Junior

  4. larryjf

    larryjf Puritan Board Senior

    The question posed to Jesus was two-fold: 1) When will the destruction come; 2) When will you return and the end of the age come

    The division seems to begin at v.35 with the introductory words pointing back to the second part of their question, "Heaven and earth will pass away"
  5. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    :ditto: I think Gentry makes the break at the same place.
  6. Fly Caster

    Fly Caster Puritan Board Sophomore

    I rarely post here, let alone start threads.

    But I just noticed that I started thread #666 in the "Revelation & Eschatology Forum."

    I think it's setting off some pretty serious Hal Lindsey flashbacks. I mean, that's got to be bad luck or something.:p
  7. MLCOPE2

    MLCOPE2 Puritan Board Junior

  8. Turtle

    Turtle Puritan Board Freshman

    For years I found myself bouncing around on the organization and meaning of the the Olivet discourse. To be sure there are plenty of perspectives and passionate disagreement.

    I'll venture a thought on the subject and risk figurative stacks of cord wood around my feet that everyone can douse with gas and ignite with a torch, if they are so led:D. A little debate is healthy.

    For me there were a few particularly troublesome presuppositions that presented obstacles.

    One subtle presupposition was the necessity to first possess a correct understanding of the disciples’ questions to Jesus in order to understand what Jesus was teaching them. That presupposition made sense to me in the past, but... How many times have we personally sat in a classroom and heard a student ask a misplaced question only to have the teacher kindly keep teaching the student by answering with an even fuller explanation of the point of the lesson? Doesn’t the good teacher press upon the point of the lesson he or she has already started, rather than allow a question to derail the point of the lesson?

    How often does a teacher’s lesson begin with the students’ questions?

    As I look at Jesus’ thesis beginning in Ch. 23, and proved through to the end of ch. 25, I think the disciples questions in 24:3 don’t serve as the right point of departure.
  9. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I think that the Second Coming in the Olivet Discourse may partake of the "already.............not yet" of biblical eschatology.

    Christ came to the Father (the Ancient of Days) - Daniel 7 - and was given a kingdom - the whole Earth - and the sign on Earth of the Son of Man beginning to rule and reign over His Kingdom was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

    No longer would God's geographical kingdom be from the River (Euphrates) to the Sea (Mediterranean) and from the East Bank of the Jordan to the Wadi of Egypt - see the dimensions of the full extent of the Land as promised to Abraham and Moses, and the dimensions of Solomon's kingdom.

    But Christ's kingdom would be geographically-speaking from the River to the Ends of the Earth (Psalm 72).

    This ties in with Revelation 11 where we read of the closing of God's Temple on Earth and the opening for business of God's Temple in Heaven, at the moment the Seventh Angel sounds. The Ark of the Covenant (i.e. Christ) is "seen" in His Heavenly Temple.

    The destruction and desecration of the Earthly Temple is the sign that the Son of Man is in Heaven and has come in Hs Kingdom to rule and reign over the Earth.

    Since then Christ has been progressively "Coming in His Kingdom" by His Word, Providence, Church and Spirit. But the full manifestation of His "Coming in His Kingdom" has been delayed until He physically returns on the Eschaton.

    Christ warns the disciples not to expect His physical advent in AD 70:

    "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:23-27)

    In Christ's physical Second Advent at the End of the World, everyone will know about it, everyone will see Christ, and know that this is the vindication of the Truth which they have either embraced or were suppressing.

    So in the destruction of Jerusalem Christ was "coming" in His Providence while being seated on His Heavenly Throne, to take His Kingdom and start His reign over not just the Land of Israel but the whole Earth, whereas at the Eschaton He is coming physically to raise the dead and to wrap up His Kingdom and hand it to the Father.

    Pentecost, the growth of the Church, the completion of the Scriptures and the destruction of Jerusalem are part of the complex of first century events on Earth, that point to Christ's coronation in Heaven.
  10. Turtle

    Turtle Puritan Board Freshman

    I would propose it is not uncommon for the disciples to ask questions or make statements during Jesus’ teaching that demonstrate they don’t yet get His point. I suggest that Mt. 24:3 is one of those occasions. If so, we will miss His point if we subordinate His answer to their misplaced question.

    Jesus had just finished professing His love and faithfulness to the people of Jerusalem. In love, He told them to behold the desolation that was upon them on account of their refusal to His kindness. When a father disciplines his child he tells them why he does so, and longs for them to understand that he disciplines them because he loves them.

    Jesus told them their desolation would last until He returned to gather them when they would sing out, "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord". Is this desolation not the discipline of a faithful God, spoken to them by Moses in Moab (Deut 29-32) where Moses told them of God’s covenant. He warned the children of Israel that they would be chastened (made desolate and scattered throughout the nations) for turning their hearts away from the Lord, and he told them God would be merciful to them and would circumcise their hearts. He would once again have mercy upon them and gather them from all the nations He had scattered them, even from the uttermost parts of heaven He would fetch them. And when He did, they would sing and rejoice in His return to gather them (Ps 118).

    The lesson seemed to go right over the disciples’ head. They didn’t place themselves right there in the middle of Jerusalem with everyone else who was about to be disciplined. Jesus told the disciples, “Behold the desolation of Jerusalem.” The disciples responded to Jesus, “Behold the beautiful buildings.” At this point I have to laugh because I picture a child about to be disciplined by his father who attempts to divert the conversation by pointing to some shiny object. Aren’t we all little children, in need of a patient father? Jesus repeated himself, “Truly, behold, not one stone will be left on another.”

    They still didn’t get it. Instead of being distraught, and instead of crying out, “Woe is upon us! Your wrath is just, but too grievous for us to bare. What must we do to receive your mercy and be gathered from the uttermost parts of heaven?” Instead, they effectively asked, “When is the discipline going to happen, and what will be the sign to show us when it is finally over?”

    Rather than answer with a New York Times type headline of when it would be and what would be the sign of its completion, He told them what they must do.
  11. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Puritan Board Junior

    I think you have correctly identified Deut.28-32 as a passage to consider. I think what is being described however, is the covenant curse [not discipline]. The curse was upon all covenant breakers. Discipline seems to be reserved for believing covenant keeping children......Psalm89 Heb.12
    Is this what you meant when you wrote this?
  12. Turtle

    Turtle Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, because they forsook the covenant they were to behold that they would be left desolate until He has compassion on them and they say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."
  13. Porter

    Porter Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't believe there is any break where He then begins to speak of a future second coming. I would side with Gill on this, that it is all AD 70 (all of Matthew 24):

  14. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, if "But of that day and hour knoweth no man" is also speaking of Christ's providential Coming in judgment on Jerusalem, which judgment indicated that the Son of Man was in Heaven and had come with the clouds to His Father and had received His Kingdom (Daniel 7), it seems a bit strange that a few verses back our Lord told them when this would happen and what would be the signs that it was about to happen.
  15. Porter

    Porter Puritan Board Freshman

    He did not give the day and the hour, not strange at all (Gill continues):

    "yet the exact and precise time was not known: it might have been: calculated to a year by Daniel's weeks, but not to the day and hour; and therefore our Lord does not say of the year, but of the day and hour no man knows; though the one week, or seven years, being separated from the rest, throws that account into some perplexity; and which perhaps is on purpose done, to conceal the precise time of Jerusalem's destruction: nor need it be wondered at, notwithstanding all the hints given, that the fatal day should not be exactly known beforehand"
  16. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    So you would say that everything down to the end of chapter 25 is about the destruction of Jerusalem.

    One can move from moderate preterism to less moderate and to even more radical. Some preterists end up seeing the destruction of Jerusalem everywhere, or every time Christ's return is mentioned, as you know.

    But how would you justify seeing the destruction of Jerusalem throughout Matthew 24 and 25?
  17. Porter

    Porter Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't see the destruction of Jerusalem all the way through to the end of Matthew 25, no. I try to be careful not to put it everywhere, like those preterists you mentioned, so that it is not forced upon passages that are not speaking to it. I have "bumped into" many preterists who are the eschatalogical equivalents of "cage stage" calvinists, who seem to want to beat everyone over the head with their theology in a way that is not mature, winsome, or unto edification. That is not me, or at least I consciously prepare myself to not enter into such disposition. I affirm the Second Coming of Christ, with great joy, as an event in our future, and I long to gaze my King of Grace.

    God bless, Richard!
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