Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Olivite Discourse, Matthew and Luke

Mark 13 may be a separate matter altogether.

First off, the setting.

Mt 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Lu 21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
Matthew's is a private conference with the Disciples where some time has passed since his "not one stone left" statement. And said statement is not really what the Disciples asked, they asked about his coming and the time of the end. Maybe they assumed they'd be the same thing, but the Answer Yeshua gave made no illusion to The Temple's destruction.

But in Luke he's asked to elaborate on what he said immediately, and is clearly in context something he preached publicly. The introduction to Luke's Gospel if you know the Greek implies Luke interviewed eye witnesses, he wrote down I think reports he got from many, not just the Disciples with whom his contact was limited if he knew them at all, cause he joins Paul in Acts 16, after his last meeting with the Disciples.

The very set up tells us their different. See I'm going to argue that the Preterists are mostly right about Luke 21, but not at all about Matthew 24. Luke's context is to explain the Destruction of The Temple, but Matthew's is The End Times and his Second Coming

Mt 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Lu 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am He; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
These have difference in details but I won't dispute he's talking about the same thing. This is the section constantly interpreted to be parallel to the Four Horsemen, I'll explain my issues with that in a future study, but for my purpose here that's irrelevant.

The key distinction is the timing of what comes next. Persecution of believers is what's being described in both, in some similar terms because persecution are often similar, Satan isn't that creative. but how their timed with what he just described is distinct.

Mt 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted,

Lu 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you,
In Matthew he speaks of a persecution that follows the prior signs he just described. But in Luke the Persecution comes first. In Luke it's the persecutions inflicted by Jews that Luke latter records in Acts, as starting with Stephen. Specifically Jewish references exit in Luke like Synagogues. No references to False Prophets here, meaning no falling away within the Church, because they were prepared for this persecution.

In Matthew no specific Jewish references like Synagogues exist, but we are hated of All Nations for his name's sake. False Prophets do arise to deceive many, and iniquity abounds. The believers were not prepared for this Persecution. Even though I'm against Pre-Trib I'm not gonna blame people being Pre-Trib on this, cause lots of Pre-Tribbers like Chuck Missler believe a Pre-Trib persecution. Regardless of their Rapture views all Western Christians have become complacent by having it too easy for so long now. But Matthew also says during this time The Gospel shall reach all kingdoms of the world, and then the time of the End shall come.

I'm not gonna quote the Persecution accounts here, read them for yourselves. My next point is what follows Persecution. The centerpiece of both accounts are different.

Mt 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Lu 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains
No reference to Daniel in Luke, no Armies surrounding the city in Matthew. No Abomination or Holy Place in Luke. Also Jerusalem is only named in Luke but that's not significant both clearly mean Jerusalem.

Only the word "Desolation" and a warning to Flee to Mountains gives any basis for thinking their the same.

Desolation only refers to "The Abomination of Desolation" when both words are used together. The Hebrew Scriptures often uses "Desolations of Jerusalem" to refer to Jerusalem being desolate after the destruction in 588 B.C. Like in Daniel 9 setting up the 70 Weeks prophecy. In Luke Yeshua is foretelling that that shall happen again.

Some trying to insist a preterist interpretation doesn't work even for Luke's insist the word Desolation should make us think only of the Abomination, and that he's clearly directed people to the 70 Weeks prophecy. But the second to last verse of Daniel 9, in the same sentence that foretells the Second Temple's destruction says "and unto the end of the war desolations are determined." Same word that's translated "desolation" in the next verse.

It shouldn't surprise us both these events would be followed by people fleeing, possibly to mountainous regions, and some similar poetic language used. Josephus records how the problems of succession in Rome following Nero's death, the Romans Armies surrounded Jerusalem for a year before the siege really started. The Early Church fathers like Eusebius of Caesarea record how the Christians of the Jerusalem Church under their second "Bishop" Simon (possibly the half Brother of Jesus) fled Judea heeding Jesus warnings and so no Christians were killed in the 70 A.D. siege.

Some criticizing this view of Luke 21 insist things seem to happen to quickly in the description here to match 70 AD.  This is not the only time that how much time passes can seem shorter in divine Prophecy.  Remember Preterist base their whole argument on  things like "I Am coming quickly".  I don't think it's good idea for Futurists to fall into the same trap when it suits us.  Unless a amount of time is given, I feel it's unwise to build Doctrine to strongly on things seeming to happen quickly.

The big problem with making Luke 21:20-14 End Times is Jerusalem will NOT be successfully sieged in the End Times.  Zachariah 12-14 make clear that siege will fail because Jesus will return to defend Jerusalem.  When people Flee Jerusalem in the End Times it's after the Abomination of Desolation, something that doesn't happen until the Wars of the first half of the 70th Week are over.

But also only Luke refers to

Lu 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
The "times of the Gentiles" is further explained in Romans 9-11. It's an idiom of the Church Age. After this the materiel again matches Matthew's, in a very broad sense at least, lots of details are missing.

Where the Preterists stumble is that that reference is were it jumps forward. As long as Jerusalem is still trampled by Gentiles (is even now with the Muslim shrines there) this Prophecy isn't done.

 Some insist the "Times of the Gentiles" refer to here must be only the Three and Half Years Revelation 11 speaks of the Outer Curt being trodden under.  That view however makes that Three and half years the Second half of the 70th week.  Revelation 11 as I've argued elsewhere must be the first half.  I do believe Revelation 11 marks the end of that period though, which is why I believe it ends as it appears to, when The Rapture is to happen, Mid-Trib.

Harmonizing The Gospels, The Disciples who were likely present when this Pubic sermon in Luke was given, may have at first drew the same false conclusion from this public speech Preterists take, that the End Times signs immediately follow Jerusalem's destruction, and sought more details on the subject.

The statement that prompts The Olivet Discourse occurs in all 3 Synoptic Gospels. But Luke uniquely seems interested in recording Jesus predictions of the Coming fall of Jerusalem even outside this Chapter. After the Triumphal entry Luke 19:41-44 records that Jesus.

And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying.  "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
And then the cleansing of The Temple follows this.

As Jesus is bearing his Cross on to his Crucifixion Luke 23:27-

And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.  But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.  For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.  Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.  For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
Where he speaks of Judgment that will come upon them in the lifetime of their small Children, when they've become full grown adults. Some people want to add an End Times context here because of "say to the mountains, Fall on us" but such idioms of distress are not limited to the actual End Times.

What's interesting is Matthew and Mark were written way before Luke, The Gospels were written in the order we place them in according to all early Church sources. Mark was written based on what Peter taught in Rome in the Second year of Claudius. So the discourse(s) given more privately were written down first. Logical since people already knew what he taught publicly, only the bare essentials of that were of high priority to write down at first, mainly the Sermon on the Mount. which Matthew has the most complete account of

Luke was written right when it's narrative ended I believe, two years after Paul's first arrival in Rome. 62 A.D. about the latest possible date. So Luke was inspired to write down these Prophecies Yeshua gave of The Temple's destruction when it was less then a decade away.

In terms of the intent Audience wise, is the usual Pre-Triber view that Matthew's is to Israel and Luke's The Church accurate?

Matthew's is a Gospel that is in some ways the most Jewish as it was written in Hebrew first, and is the first Gospel written, Paul said "The Gospel is for the Jews first and then the Gentiles". But Matthew's is also kind of very Church specific, being the most themed on Discipleship.

Luke was a Gentile, who's audience was over all Gentiles ultimately. But that ironically results in Luke spending the most time explaining Jewish things.

The Church and Israel are separate Covenants, but they do overlap, all Jewish believers, the remnant not under the Spiritual Blindness Paul spoke of, are heirs to both Covenants. That begins with the 12, promised to rule over the 12 Tribes, and goes don to any present at the Rapture. I'm still unsure if I view the 144,000 as part of The Church.

If either Discourse was only for the Church it would be Matthew which was given, like the Kingdom parables, to only the Disciples. While Luke's account is a Public speech all of the Jews, whether they became saved or not, in Jerusalem during that Passover season heard. But in fact I view both as being equally for both, in terms of 70 A.D. only Christians heeded the warning, but he gave it to all.

But in terms of what the Disciples were told about the End Times, it's supposed to be what those of us who already know the content of this warning are proclaiming to the people of Israel who's time of Trouble is at hand, and I think chiefly the 144,000 will be doing just that, as well as the Two Witnesses. So that when it happens, they will know at that moment the New Testament was right, and their national salvation won't happen all at once here , but it begins in this moment. The persecution Matthew records before the Abomination of Desolation however is a Christian persecution not Jewish. The Disciples listening (representing the Church) are refereed to inclusively with those who are persecuted, but not with those who flee Judea.

Some have minimized the significance of the Sabbath reference in the fleeing part of Matthew's account. Saying that on the Sabbath it's difficult to travel for anyone in the region. Those usual traffic patterns of Israel however will be mot when this very Public Earth shattering event happens. The Sabbath isn't part of the Luke warning.

My interpretation of the Sabbath reference making it a warning for the Jews doesn't mean that I think they should delay fleeing when this happens if it's the Sabbath. Just to hope that it isn't an issue.

Now some hold the view that the people in Judea being told to flee here must be Christians because it must be understood in the context of the earlier persecution where they are hated "for my Name's sake. That doesn't fit grammatically or contextually at all. These people flee in response to the Abomination event, the victims of the earlier persecution are obviously all ready on the run, they did not need to see this event to become frighted. In fact Christians in this period should be relived, we should know his coming is imminent.

Who are the Elect. Elect means Chosen, 7 times the same Greek word is rendered Chosen. It can mean either the Church or Israel, or maybe even sometimes both. And once is used of Yeshua's Messianic claim in Luke 23:35. And of Angels in I Thessalonians 5:21. Those who want to assume it always refers to the exact same Elect are not paying close enough attention.

Thinking it means only The Church or The Saved is chiefly a Calvinist heresy to support their twisted take on Predestination. 1 Peter 1:2 makes clear we're Elect/Chosen because of the foreknowledge of God. God is outside time, so when we accept Yehsua as our Savior he writes our names in the Lamb's Book of Life before the Foundation of the World.

But some Pre-Tirbers insist it always means Israel to support their desire to claim Matthew 24:31 isn't the Rapture. Yet this part of Matthew resembles Paul's two definitive Rapture accounts in Corinthians and I Thessalonians more definitively then any other supposed Rapture reference.

The Elect in Matthew 24:31 are gathered from "all the winds of Heaven" Israel at he the end of the 70th week is in Edom, not scattered in different regions. And we know from Comparing John 19 and Isaiah 63 Yeshua returns to them, gathering is only a part of the Rapture.

Sadly, many fellow Mid-Trib or Pre-Wrath supporters (like Chris White) state definitively "Elect" NEVER means Israel in their zeal to refute the Pre-Trib view here. I don't know if he is Calvinist, or just ignoring the Calvinist implication of this very dangerous conclusion.

He cites John's Second Epistle's "Elect Lady" as a proof it means The Church always. This one is the least clear to me, first off I believe the individual woman being written to may well be like many others suspect Mary the Mother of Christ, who is the individual Woman in whom the core purpose of the Revelation 12 Woman was fulfilled, birthing The Seed of The Woman. And who Jesus entrusted John to take care of from The Cross.

To those who insist there is no individual in mind in 3 John,and it's simply to The Church, she has specific relatives refereed to in verse 4 and 13. Why not use this phrase in all three epistles if it simply means the Church?

Verses like "For many are called, but few are chosen." can't meant the Church unless you support the Calvinist heresy. This refers to Israel being God's Chosen people. It doesn't meant their Salvation works any differently, but they have an Election for a special status in Eternity if they accept Yeshua. Some of the Parables elaborate on this.

Eklegomai (ek-leg'-om-ahee) is a related but different word also rendered Chosen. On many occasions this and not Elect is used to refer to the 12 Disciples, that might help confuse people, it clearly includes Judas who was not saved. John's Gospel always uses this word, not Elect. He may have meant the same thing by the word. Either way, using it of Judas proves you don't need to be saved to qualify for that word.

The 12 are part of the overlap between Israel and the Church remember, they will rule over the 12 Tribes in Eternity.

Paul in Romans 8-11 uses another Greek word related to Elect, translated Election, clearly refers to the same concept, the verb form. 9-11 is all about refuting replacement theology. Those of us who are saved are saved by the "Election of Grace" Israel's covenant is a different Election, but is an Election. "As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes." enemies of the Gospel only because of a temporary Spiritual Blindness.

2 Thessalonians 2:14 is absolutely using Elect of Israel, not the Church, because he wants them to become Saved, so their clearly not saved believers already in The Church.

Back to The Olivet Discourses' usage of the word. Luke's doesn't use it at all. In addition to the key Rapture reference. The reference to "deceive if possible even the Elect" is probably also The Church, I'm not sure what exactly this means, if it means we can't be deceived, or that we could be if we're not paying close enough attention. But I know it's related to having The Holy Ghost, being biologically of Israel gives no special resistance to Deception. All the Unsaved will accept The Mark.

The first usage of the word is Matthew 24:22 "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." And Mark 13:20 "And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.". Must be chronologically after the rest, regardless of what you think Elect means or when the Rapture is, this is referring to the days in question, and what follows is talking about what leads to that.

In this Context I feel it means Israel, because their people at risk of being killed if those days aren't shortened. Saved here clearly doesn't mean Eternal Salvation, but being saved from death and destruction, because it speaks of the flesh. But why even in the same discussion mean something different with each usage? Because the Rapture helps bring about the Spiritual Salvation of Israel.

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