Study Series 7 Lesson 5: Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. This study takes us through Matt. 24:32-34 and continues to delve into the audience relevance and contextual applications of Jesus’ words and predictions, and expounds on how these scriptures interlink multiple passages throughout the rest of the NT, as well as connect and shed light on the fulfillment realities of OT shadows and types.
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Study Series 7 Lesson 5: Matthew 24:32-44 (Matthew 24: Transitional period – Fulfillment of Hebrews 8:13)
MATTHEW 24 “OLIVET DISCOURSE” (Verses 32 – 44)
(Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 21)
Review: In AD 30 Jesus told His disciples that He would come in judgment upon Jerusalem and the temple during their generation. He told them about the signs of when He would come and when the Old Covenant age would end and then would finally be understood by unbelieving Israel. Jesus fulfilled all of the law and made obsolete the Old Covenant system with His life, death, and resurrection. The Jews were given forty years to repent and believe that Jesus was the Messiah. In AD 70, it was finally over.
To demonstrate this, the city of Jerusalem, the temple, and over a million unbelieving Old Covenant Jews were destroyed by the Roman armies. The New Covenant brought God’s elect Jews and all believing Gentiles together as one spiritual body of believers. They are said to be the new temple of God (Eph. 2:19-22; 2 Cor. 6:16). There is no future tribulation or millennium for Israel. The Old Covenant is finished and God will never again remember it, or return to it or to a covenant with a nationalistic Israel (Jer. 3:16; Isa. 65:17).
6. GOD’S WORD WILL NOT PASS AWAY (Matt. 24:32-35):
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!
- (Matt. 24:32-33) THE TIME IS NEAR – Jesus said for them to learn from the parable of the fig tree: when its branch puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. When YOU see all these things, you know it is near –> at the doors.
The fig tree does not represent Israel becoming a nation again, as some have mistakenly taught. The Bible says nothing about Israel becoming a nation again. Actually, the olive tree represents Israel, not the fig tree. The fruit of the olive tree provided spice to their diet. The olive tree was long-lived and well suited to the hot, dry summers and cool, damp winters of Israel. It was seen as one of the blessings promised by God (Deut. 7:13). The fig tree is simply an analogy that “YOU” (the disciples) will know that the time for tribulation is close, when you “See” all these things occur. It is important that the Bible interprets the Bible. The parallel to this passage in Luke 21:29, “…look at the fig tree, and all of the trees” makes His meaning very clear that Jesus was not speaking about anything to do with Israel in the future becoming a nation again, but clearly and simply, was describing that the signs of the coming judgement in that 1st century generation, upon the Old Covenant Hebrews and their temple, would be obvious to His disciples who were just told what to watch for –> as obvious as when in the spring they can see “all the trees” budding and know that summer is near.
“34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.”
- (Matt. 24:34) Jesus said that this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
This statement is of vital importance to our understanding of Matthew 24. Jesus is speaking to His disciples. He is telling them what will happen in their generation (“genea” – people living at the same period – approx. 40 years). He is not telling them that what will happen 2000 years in the future. We must accept His word that at least some of the first century disciples would see ALL these things occur (Read Luke 21:20-22; Matt. 16:27-28).
Important fact: The Greek word Jesus used for generation is “Genea.” In the highly respected Arndt & Gingrick Greek to English NT Lexicon the word Genea means –> sum total of those born at the same time, expanded to include all the living at a given time. Contemporaries.
The Biblical reference to the length of a generation is arguably 40 years. In Matt. 1:17 we are given a reference point, as it was 586 years since the captivity in Babylon until the time of Christ, and we are told that it was 14 generations = 41.9 years per generation. We are also given such indicators as: Num. 32:13 where God said Israel was to wonder in the wilderness 40 years until all of that generation had died. See the confirmation of this in Heb. 3:8-10.
These following verses provide us with the reign of the first three kings of Israel: Saul = Acts 13:21; David = 2 Sam. 5:4; Solomon = 1 Kings 11:42.
Critical –> not one single time in the NT is the Greek word for generation “Genea” ever translated as “race,” or anything other than the “contemporaries” definition listed above. See the following verses: Matt. 11:16; Mark 8:12, 9:19; Luke 11:29, 17:24-25; Acts 2:40, 13:36; and Matt. 23:36.
- So why would some people try to change the clear Biblical meaning of Matt. 24:34, especially when Jesus Christ just came out of the temple in Matt. 23:36 condemning that very generation He was just speaking to? I believe the Biblical evidence is clear.
“35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
- (Matt. 24:35) Jesus said that “heaven and earth” will pass away, but His words will NOT pass away. Back in Study Series 7 Lesson 3b, we went into an expansive study through the Bible looking at the scriptural meaning of the term “heaven and earth,” as well as looked into the biblical descriptions and meaning of scriptures when they spoke of God saying He had, or will, “shake the Heaven and/or the Earth.”
The descriptions “heaven and earth” in prophecy are very often the symbolic terms for the religious system and the political system of Israel. The “passing away of heaven and earth” was a description of the final end of God dealing with man through the animal sacrifice system which He instituted back in the Garden of Eden, which was epitomized through the Old Covenant (OC) system represented (as heaven) by darkening of the sun and moon, the stars falling from heaven, the law, the ceremonies, and the temple, and (as earth) by God’s special use of the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. These pass away, but God’s word will stand forever.
Letting the Bible interpret the Bible, let us take a brief look again at Isaiah 51:16, “…And I put My words in thy mouth, and with the shadow of My hand have covered thee, to plant the heavens, and to found earth, And to say to Zion, ‘My people [art] thou.’” (YLT)
** Whichever of the two ways you interpret the “laying/establishing” of the heavens and earth in Isaiah 51:16:
- either meaning God first putting His words in the mouth of His OC people (Mt. Sinai, laws, prophets), or,
- God putting His words in the mouth of His NC people (Heb. 9:10 rebirth, Apostles, gospel, church).
The fact remains, that neither is talking about the “literal physical heavens and earth,” as no people existed at that time when God made the “physical heavens and earth.” In addition, it is undeniable from this passage that God is speaking in a covenantal relationship language to “His own people.”
God is clearly saying in Isaiah 51:16 that His meaning of “heaven and earth” is symbolic and spiritual, as His way He intersects with man in a relationship, either:
- 1) The OC cosmological way through the physical fleshly means in the OC sacrificial system of laws and ceremonies and an earthly temple, where God was separated from man behind a veil. Where man (the High Priest) could only enter once per year with the blood of an animal.
- 2) In the NC way where the man is reborn, given a new heart, is called the temple where God now dwells (2 Cor. 6:16), and that through the gospel and the church God now has established His “new heavens and earth” cosmological means of the God/man relationship – spiritual and eternal, based on the eternal redemptive work of Christ.
Some other verses to go back over and study again to recall the biblical Hebrew metaphoric language understanding of “heaven and earth” are: Isa. 1:1-4, 13:13, 24:1-2, 5-6, 10, 19, 34:1-8 (Edom’s world destroyed in 583 BC), 65:12, Chpt 65:1-3, 6-7, 11-15, 17-20, 66:22-24; Jer. 4:23-28; 2 Sam. 22:8-16, then vs. 1 for context; Heb. 12:22-28; Rev. 21:1-4, 9-10, 14, 22-27, 22:2-3, 6-7, 10-12, 14-15, 20.
God often uses symbolism, metaphors, and parables to teach His truth, especially when it comes to prophecy. We then should not be surprised that He uses cosmic descriptions for Israel in this Matt. 24:35 prophecy that He had also used for them in the Old Testament. He even sometimes used symbolism and literalism in the same sentence. An example is Isaiah 40:7-8: “…Surely the people are grass (symbolism). The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever (literal).” EVERYTHING that Jesus said would happen to that first century generation came to pass when He said it would.
*Important point: Post Millennialists want to try and insert a gap after Matt. 24:34 and posit Matt. 24:35f to some future time more than 2,000 years down the road –> however, Luke’s chronological account of the same Matthew 24 events will not allow that. The book of Luke, written at a later date with a more chronological clarity than Matthew, irrefutably shows that it is not possible to insert any sizable gap between “any of the events” of Matthew 24.
Matthew 24 and its parallels (Mark 13; Luke 17; and Luke 21) supply powerful evidence for the idea that Jesus returned in AD 70. Beginning with Matt. 23:29 and reading straight through to the end of chapter 24, one cannot help but notice the imminency of the events described here. In Matt. 23:36, Jesus says, “all these things shall come upon this generation.” He further states, in Matt. 24:34, “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” Notice that He says “all these things”, not just some of them! And one of the “things” mentioned in the context is the “coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:3, 27, 30, 37, 39, 42, 44, 46, 50)! Either Jesus returned within a generation (within about 40 years, see Heb. 3:10-17) or He and the NT writers were grossly mistaken (and uninspired).
Some try to evade this dilemma by dividing Matthew 24 into two sections, the first dealing with AD 70 (verses 1-34), and the second dealing with a future end of the world (verses 35 and following).
The “Appendix 1” chart at the end of this lesson (“The Olivet Discourse Cannot Be Divided”) shows why that approach cannot be right. Some hold the idea shown on the left side of the chart. They think Matthew 24 speaks of two different time periods:
- (SECTION A) Events Associated With AD 70, and
- (SECTION B) Events Still Future To Us.
They apply the events mentioned in Matt. 24: 1-34 (SECTION A) to the first time period (AD 70), and the events in Matt. 24:35ff (SECTION B) to still in our future.
However, Luke’s statements in chapter 17 (on the right side of the Appendix chart) show that this idea cannot be correct. Luke 17 discusses the same events as Matthew 24, but without any hint whatsoever that two different time periods are under consideration. Luke clearly sees all of these events as happening in the same time period (“the day that the Son of Man is revealed,” Luke 17:30).
Notice on the chart (Appendix 1) how Luke records the same events as Matthew, but in a different order. Matthew’s order is 1-2-3-4-5, but Luke’s order is scrambled 2-4-1-5-3! Luke has an event from SECTION A followed by one from SECTION B, then another from SECTION A followed by SECTION B, and finally one from SECTION A. This presents a problem: If Matthew 24 really has two sections (or two different time periods) under consideration, then Luke’s account is incorrect, because he mixes the five events up as if they are all to happen in one time period. Either Luke is mistaken (and therefore uninspired), or it is wrong to divide Matthew 24 into two sections. Of course, the solution to this is that both Matthew and Luke speak of the same events which would all happen in the same time period. And Matthew 24:34 tells us when that time period was: the “generation” that was alive when He spoke those words (AD 30 – 70)!
The same “coming of the Son of Man” is under consideration in both so-called sections (Matt. 24:3,27, 30, 37, 39,42,44,46, 50 – see the Greek words below for “coming”). The chapter cannot be divided into multiple different comings. All the events in both sections are inseparably connected with the same “coming of the Son of Man.” The second section contains the same kind of “coming” passages as the first section, using the exact same Greek words (parousia and erchomai) for “coming.” The Greek word “parousia” is used four times, twice in each of the two sections. We have listed them below for easy comparison. Look at the biblical text to see if there is any indication that Jesus was talking about two totally different “comings of the Son of Man” separated by thousands of years:
- First Section – (Matt. 24:4-34) – AD 70 Coming
“parousia” – Matt. 24:3,27
“erchomai” – Matt. 24:30
- Second Section – (Matt. 24:35ff) – Alleged Future Coming
“parousia” – Matt. 24:37, 39
“erchomai” – Matt. 24:42, 44, 46, 50
Some interpreters (e.g. Marcellus Kik, Ken Gentry) apply all three “coming” passages in the first section to AD 70, and then say the “coming” passages in the second section apply to a future “glorious Second Advent.” Such arbitrary distinctions between the two sections using the same Greek words has given critics (e.g. Bertrand Russell, Albert Schweitzer, and many others) license to charge Jesus with a mistake.
Trying to divide the chapter means Jesus was speaking about two totally different Parousias separated by thousands of years (compare Matt. 24:27 versus 24:37,39) using not just “similar language,” but exactly the same language (“coming of the Son of Man”). The word “Parousia” (coming) is used in both sections, and the events mentioned in each section are connected inseparably with that Parousia of the Son of Man. Either we have to say it is all future (and make Jesus a liar for saying any of it would occur in that generation), or make it all fulfilled at AD 70. Preterists are the only ones who are consistent on this.
Jesus never distinguishes between two different “comings of the Son of Man” accompanied by “angels” “in glory” with “the clouds.” We would have to find such a clarification somewhere else in Jesus’ teaching, since it is not found in the Matthew 24 context. Note also that the Greek word “parousia” is not used by Jesus anywhere else in the four gospels. It is only used here in Matthew 24, and is used interchangeably with the other word translated “coming” (erchomai). Both “parousia” and “erchomai” are used interchangeably in this context in reference to the same “coming of the Son of Man.” So there is no place in Jesus’ teaching where He distinguishes between two different “parousias” separated by thousands of years. It is very clear that the first century saints did not understand two different parousias here. They only knew of one return of Christ.
That there was only one Parousia, and that it would occur in that generation, creates an insurmountable dilemma for futurists, and leaves them hopelessly vulnerable to the liberals and skeptics who assert that Jesus indeed promised His one and only Parousia within His own contemporary generation, but failed to keep that promise. Since futurists do not believe it occurred then, it forces them to see Jesus as a false prophet. The Preterist view offers not just a better hypothesis, but the only solution to this dilemma.
Matt. 24:35 is not a transitional verse as some futurists would like to say, as both Luke 17 and 21 clearly shows the “same events” spoken of in Matthew 24, yet notice how Luke 17 shows those “same events” in a re-arranged order à clearly disproving any break in transition between Matthew 24:34 and 35 to try and state there is some 2,000 year gap inserted there:
- Full passage Luke 17:20-37: Notice how Luke 17:26-27 states the “same events” as Matt. 24:37-39 “of the days of Noah,” but notice how Luke says that Noahic culture would be living during the time “before” the AD 70 destruction of the city –> “before the time” of the “fleeing the Jerusalem rooftops and Judean fields” of Luke 17:31.
- Luke 17:31 says this “fleeing the Jerusalem rooftops and Judean fields” during these same verses 26-27 “days of Noah” was to be “after” the verse 30 “revealing/coming” of the Son of Man (Post Millennialists say the “revealing/coming” of the Son of Man listed in Matt. 24:30 applies to pre-AD 70 before the supposed transition verse of Matt. 24:35. They have a contextual flaw).
- Luke 17:37 shows a “gathering of the eagles/vultures” to feast on the bodies of a great slaughter in the time “the Son of Man is revealed” (v. 30) –> Matthew 24:28 records this “same event” “before” the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem (where Postmillennialists rightfully agree it was to occur. In doing this, however, they are nullifying any “future to AD 70 coming again” (to the demise of their own system)).
- Luke 21:34-35 summarizes his same account of Luke 17:26-29, now placing it as in Matthew –> after the supposed transition verse of “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away” (Luke 17:33; Matt. 24:35). Luke is clearly showing that there is not any transition, nor any 2,000 year gap à they “all” speak of the same events à and the same timing “before” Jerusalem is destroyed in AD 70.
- Luke 21:36 even goes further –> remember, they are all still sitting on the Mount of Olives hearing Jesus’ answer to their question of vs. 7 (cf. Matt. 24:3; Mark 13:4), asking about when Jesus would return (Parousia) to destroy the OC temple and end the OC age. The entire response of Jesus in Luke 21 (Matthew 24-25; Mark 13) is answering their question, and He told “His disciples” for “them” to “watch” so that “they” could “escape” all those things “about to” come to pass –> clearly indicating:
- 1) It was an event coming within “their” generation –> therefore people in that 1st century generation could “watch” and “see” the approaching “signs.”
- 2) It was a localized event where people could “watch” and “see” and “get off the rooftops and flee Jerusalem and the Judean fields” and “escape.”
- ACTIVITIES AT HIS COMING (Matt. 24:36:44)
- But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only”
- (Matt. 24:36) THE DAY AND THE HOUR – Jesus told His disciples that no one knows the exact day and hour when this final destruction of Jerusalem would happen.
This was the topic of the preceding section of the Olivet Discourse (vs. 1-35). Jesus had given the disciples the time period (season) of that first century generation to explain when these events would occur. But, He did not give them the exact moment because only His Father in heaven knew that while He lived on earth. [Note: Jesus as 100% God, along with His Father and the Holy Spirit, make up the Triune Godhead, and there is nothing that He does not know. However, as 100% Human, He did not utilize some of His Divine attributes while living on the earth. He confined Himself to the limitations of His human body. (Colossians 1:15-20; John 1:1-5, 1:14; Hebrews 1:1-4, 1:8-10).
- It is also very important to remember that Jesus promised that after He left to go back to the Father that He would send the Holy Spirit – and He would teach them of “the things that were to come” (John 16:13)
Let us look at the parallel verse to Matt. 24:36 –> (Read) Mark 13:32 and 34:
- The word “it” in verse 34 is referring to what? –> the time of the “coming/return” –> the “day and hour” of Matt. 24:36. Here in Mark 13:34 we are told the man went away to a far country but instructs his servants to be on the alert and watch for his return.
Now, let’s turn to the more expanded parallel in Luke 19:12-15, 27: notice that it said the man had gone to receive a kingdom, then to return after he had received that kingdom to judge and kill all of those who had rejected him and did not want him to rule over them (and notice he “continues” to reign and it does not say he ever left again).
- Dispensationalists and Futurists want to claim that God presented the kingdom to the Jews, however, the Jews unbelief caused the kingdom to be delayed to sometime in the future when Jesus would try again. The belief is that God then invented/instituted the church age. This parable is just one place clearly stating that the kingdom was to be, and was, setup/received regardless if the Jews wanted it or not.
- Luke 19 also disproves the A-Mill and Post-Mill views as well, as Jesus said in verse 12 that the man was going away to receive the kingdom, and “not” coming back to the earth again to get the kingdom and then leave again (A-Mill and Post-Mill view), but notice it says that he already received the kingdom when he went away and he was bringing the kingdom back with him.
- John chapters 14 through 17 state that it was during His generation He was to depart (no one would argue) –> Acts chapter 1:9-11 is the Lord leaving to go and receive the kingdom of Acts 2:30-34 (also see Dan. 7:13-14) –> when was He coming back –> during His same generation to judge them warned in Acts 2:40 by Peter (Also see Luke 11:29-32 speaking of warning to His generation, and Matt. 23:31-36 clearly promising coming judgment on His generation)
- Notice again in Luke 19 how Jesus spoke about the nobleman who went away to receive a kingdom (v. 12) and then to return to kill all of those who did not want him to rule over them (vs. 15, 27). This would have been absolutely stinging and fully understood by His OC Hebrew audience. As they were well aware that when both Herod and Agrippa each went away to Rome to receive right to rule over their kingdoms, the Jews both times sent a delegation to Rome saying to Caesar that they did not want Herod nor Agrippa to rule over them. Upon Herod’s return from receiving his kingdom he did the very thing Jesus was threatening here –> Herod killed his enemies.
Were there warning signs for Jesus’ disciples to watch for to know when the “day and hour” was about to be? There certainly were warning signs –> even leading up to as close for them that it was “at the doors.” (Mark 13:29). The signs were numerous which Jesus had just listed in all of the previous verses in Matthew 24:5-35, with the last sign/warning –> “Jerusalem surrounded by armies” (Luke 21:20). This final judgment by God on the Old Covenant system was completed “for all to see” in AD 70 when the Roman armies finished completely destroying Jerusalem and burning the temple, and they did not leave one stone upon another – exactly as Jesus had predicted in Matt. 24:1-2.
“37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
- (Matt. 24:37-39) LIKE THE DAYS OF NOAH – Jesus said that the coming of the Son of Man in judgment upon Old Covenant Israel will be like the days of Noah. In the days before the flood, the people were acting as they normally do. They were eating and drinking. They were marrying and giving in marriage. When Noah entered the ark, the people were hardening in sin and disbelief and did not understand that destruction was at hand until the floods came and took them all away, even though they heard Noah’s warnings to repent and turn to God for decades; saw this massive ark being built and then finished; saw all the animals coming and boarding the ark; then finally Noah and his family go into the ark and God close the door!
Jesus is not describing how “bad” things are going to get before He comes in judgment upon Jerusalem and the Old Covenant system. Instead, He is saying that “normal conditions” will exist just like in the days of Noah. The people will be eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage. These are not evil things, they are just normal things. The same language is used in Luke 17 and 21. Just like in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting and building. (Luke 17:28-29). These are not bad things, just normal activity. In other words God’s judgment comes upon them when they do not expect it. It was not because there were not any warnings, as Jesus said there would be many warnings to those who would be watching, even for them to know when it was, “…near – at the doors!” (Matt. 24:33b) and they were commanded to, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that are ‘about to’ (Greek word Mello is used here) come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
If things were to be “just as in the days of Noah,” then consider also that God did not shout out an audible warning to the people of Noah’s day just before the flood was coming and that they should crowd into the ark, nor was there any audible shout or trumpet from heaven in Lot’s day that Sodom and Gomorrah were about to be destroyed with fire and brimstone and that the people needed to flee. God’s plan was set and only Noah and his family were to be saved from His wrath in that flood, and only Lot and some of his family from those doomed cities. He had given ample warnings and waited patiently for the people to believe in Him, and they did not.
Likewise, as the time of the destruction of Jerusalem was nearing, and for God’s wrath to be poured out against their Old Covenant world, He did not shout an audible voice of warning from heaven for all of the world to hear. Instead He had his disciples preach the gospel and He was longsuffering for forty more years for the Old Covenant Jews to believe. Only the faithful Jewish Remnant believed (Rom. 11:5 Notice how Paul said that at, “this present time there is a remnant…” that was in his present time when the letter to the Romans was written, approx. AD 58, written before all the warnings were completed and the AD 70 destruction of the Old Covenant people and the Jerusalem temple.)
“40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.”
- (Matt. 24:40-41) ONE TAKEN AND ONE LEFT – Jesus explained His coming (Parousia) would be similar to when the flood came taking the unbelievers away in judgment and leaving Noah behind in the ark. Two people will be together; one will be taken and the other left. His point is that people will be doing what they normally do, and that His outpouring of wrath will catch them by surprise.
See parallel passage in Luke 17:34-37. The Lord says: “one will be ‘taken’ and the other
Left.” He is asked the question in Verse 37 – “Where, Lord?” Answer: “Wherever the body is, there will the vultures be gathered together.” This same kind of death and judgment is discussed in Matt. 24:40-41 where one would be taken and the other left. And that is precisely how the Roman armies rampaged the towns – they killed one and left one to carry on their slave works in the fields. Murdering multitudes, taking many into captivity to be sold as slaves, but also leaving a trace of workers to do the manual work as slaves in their own farms and cities to keep the area running. This verse in Luke is in direct reference to Isa. 34:5, 15 – the same slaughter and gathering together of the vultures to feast on all of the piled up dead bodies of the Edomites. And also in reference to the final end of the Old Covenant Jewish nation as depicted in Rev. 19:17 with the angel of the Lord crying out to the vultures to gather for the feast on the carnage. (Note: Josephus reported that the devastation was so great that nearly 50,000 Jews were taken by the Romans into captivity and more than a million Jews were killed.)
“42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
- (Matt. 24:42-44) COMING AT AN UNEXPECTED HOUR:
- Jesus said that His Disciples should watch for although they would have many signs to know the very season had arrived they would not know the specific day or hour their Lord was coming. This is just like the homeowner would have prevented the thief from breaking into his house, if he had been watching. They were to be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour they would not expect.
- Jesus told his 1st century disciples to be on watch and be ready for His coming (Parousia). Israel’s house was ready to be broken up. Christians would be watching and ready. They were prepared and were not victims of the terrible physical judgment that was to come upon Jerusalem. It came suddenly and the wicked were not prepared nor were they watching for that time. (Dan. 12:10; Isa. 26:9-10; 1 Thess. 5:2-9; 1 Pet. 4:12, 17, 1:1, 1:6-7)
1 Thessalonians 5:2-5 “For you yourselves know perfectly that the DAY OF THE LORD so come as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
The DAY OF THE LORD: (We will do a deeper study through the scriptural definition of this term in Study Series 15 Lessons 2 and Study Series 16 Lesson 5). As for now, it is important to understand the following:
In the same way God the Father spoke of the Day of the Lord in the OT, is the same “Like Manner” (John 5:19) God the Son spoke of the Day of the Lord in the NT. Jesus warned and described this repeatedly throughout His entire ministry as a coming in judgment against OC Israel for the violation of their OC Torah, and He repeatedly said it was to occur in the first century, in the same generation of His disciples, to whom He was talking (i.e. Matt. 16:27-28, 21:33-24:9, 23:31-36, 24:34). Jesus was speaking of the removal of the obsolete OC temple and unfaithful OC Hebrew people, and the time of consummation of the NC – the fulfilling of Heb. 8:13. Where the temporary OC earthly kingdom would be fully removed from the “physical children of Israel” and fully consummated through the eternal NC Kingdom, which would be manifested on earth though the church with the “true [spiritual] children of Israel” (Children of Abraham by faith [believing Jews/Gentiles]: Gal. 3:7, 29; Rom. 2:28-29, 9:6-8).