Jul 292017

Matthew 24:29-35

The Coming of the Son of Man – so much of what is to follow is symbolic confusing language to describe a timeframe. Hey, just give me the day and the time – I will set the alarm, put it on my calendar and go out and live my life.


But Jesus has given his word to live by faith – be ready.

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

  • This is Old Testament language talking about the last day – the conclusion of the universe (Isaiah 24, 34, Joel 2),
  • Jesus, to speak of the last day uses this Old Testament language. It is a poetic way to say that the creation is becoming uncreated.
  • This is where our rapture theology friends make the big mistake. In their effort to take the Book of Revelation literally, they end up with life on earth with 1/3rd of the sun burned out and literal stars falling in a literal sea.
  • We would read these types of signs to mean just what they mean – THE END.
  • I imagine that we will see this (whatever it is) when he comes to judge the living and the dead. What we will see is the destruction of the old and the new creation coming at once —- the new heaven and the new earth.

30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

  • Here is the sign of his coming – this is the only sign we are to be looking for – not tornadoes, earthquakes, wars, dictators in foreign lands.
  • Notice how the imagery has changed from the destruction of the temple into language of the last day? What is he talking about?
  • The destruction of the temple is a foretaste of the last day –So pay attention folks.
  • Son of man = Daniel language – power & great glory – divinity language.
  • On the clouds = this is ascension language – we were told he would return the same way he left.

31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

  • Now Jesus is gathering the elect – but wait – this is happening at the last day – not 7 years earlier at the rapture.
  • Our rapture friends have this so wrong – how can you have a loud trumpet at the rapture? This is supposed to be a mystery for those left behind.
  • But our friends have this figured out – it is the mysterious dog whistle trumpet that only the redeemed can here.
  • Enough of the negative judgment – what about the positives of that judgment – that you are forgiven and given salvation on that last day.
  • The judgment comes forward in the divine service, so when you hear the absolution proclaimed over you, when the pastor speaks forth the gospel, when you eat and drink the true body and blood of our Lord at the sacrament of the altar.
  • According to the Lord’s word, this is the last day judgment for you! You are acquitted and Jesus says “come into my kingdom.”
  • So it is each Lord’s Day – the imagery of the angels being sent out to gather the elect – the Lord gathering his people into his church around himself.
  • We see this as a glimpse in miniature.

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near.

  • Learn this lesson – Jesus is so good at object lessons.
  • From v 33 forward, Jesus tells a series of parables that say this one thing – Be Ready! – and you need to know this to be ready.
  • What is Be Ready? I think 32 ff is a parallel to 2 Peter 3:11-12 –“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
  • This about this – here is Jesus teaching the disciples and then as we read 2 Peter we then see Peter teaching this to the Church.
  • We have signs of changing seasons – not so much in SoCal (we have summer and almost summer).
  • We even try to make our own signs out of the seasons – Ground Hog Day.

33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.

  • We are to look forward to his coming as we would wait for the coming of summer. How do you d that?? With patience.
  • The tree is budding, his coming is near and this they know by his sure and eternal word.

34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

  • Which generation? How about the generation in his day?
  • Matt 11:16 – Matt 12:39, 41-42, 45 – Matt 16:4
  • All of the severity of God’s judgment on Israel, it’s history will not end with the destruction of the temple and the fall of Jerusalem – but their only hope is to be joined in the new and eternal people of God – called the church.
  • What happens in Jesus’ generation points to what will continue to happen in all generations – and we need to be what? READY!

35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

  • This is a statement of certainty of what was said above
  • Some people want to make a theology out of each verse – well what did Jesus mean? – and then dissect and come up with a statement of faith.
  • I think it is not more than, ‘what I said, you can take it to the bank.”


  29 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. i think i agree that Jesus was addressing the Jewish condition to these disciples, warning them of what their generation was about to go through as Jews and as converts to Christianity – it was a time when Caesar and company saw the elimination of these hard and fast religious people as the answer to their world’s biggest problem, perhaps…

    what i do not agree with is the conclusion that this is THE culminating tribulation – just going on and on as the status quo until God says to our Lord, “It’s time, get back down there and collect your flock because I’m going to blow the whole thing up.” …
    but we’d all do best to learn of Christ, not spend much time trying to second guess the plan… all the while knowing that the end is the beginning – the beginning of God’s will being done on a new earth just as it is in heaven … blessed hope

    and i will stay in the raptured Church, the wrath of God released on this rebel earth, then the returning Christ’s mop up and millennial reign – after which then comes the release of Satan to gather his troops from the kings of the earth … the end of this planet as we’ve know it

    not all of us who hold a version of this scenario are rapture-ready, off the wall, head for the hills chicken littles… 🙂

  2. MLD,

    Keep at it. The Spirit blows where He wills; you don’t see Him coming or to where He goes.

  3. Em,
    “after which then comes the release of Satan to gather his troops from the kings of the earth … ”

    Tell me more of this 2nd fall.

  4. MLD, 😶
    You think we’re going to launch a discussion on the life and times of the devil?
    You say he’s bound today… ? … well I’d say he’s ‘bound and determined’… to coin a favorite expression of my grandmother’s….
    However, during the millennial reign of our Lord, Satan will be in chains, hog tied and out of the picture, as our Lord goes One on one with humanity… nobody will be able to say that the devil made them do it during that era (yet to come)…

    The Holy Spirit does indeed move at will and unseen among us – right now one of us is misjudging the direction of the breeze or, perhaps we are filling out sails with our own breath? LOL !

    But this is your class and I will now head for the door … or … sit here and just listen … dunno

  5. Em, I thought there were only saved people in the millennial kingdom – those who return in their spiritual bodies from their 7 yr time in heaven with Jesus and all those who got saved during the tribulation period. Somewhere in there you have to have a 2nd fall if you are going to have once saved people now turn and follow satan.

  6. MLD, 😀 nope , that’s the way your scenario plays, not mine
    But you knew that – nice try
    Now I’m gone, the troops all just trooped in over here

  7. This gets better – unsaved people go into the kingdom?

  8. Anyone know where does the teaching come from that satan holds the title deed to the Earth?

  9. JD,

    John 12:31 and 2 Corinthians 4:4 are commonly used to make that case .

  10. MLD,

    I think I concur with the major points you’ve made in this teaching.

  11. Thank you Michael,

  12. Verse 29 is pretty clear…’immediately after the tribulation’…here comes Jesus.

    Good call noting the “Day of the Lord” cross references…Joel 2 , Rev 6, etc… the Day of the Lord and the day of the Lord’s return are the same day…

  13. I’ve tried for forty years to make sense of the millennium teachings.
    Still can’t do it.
    I think I’m officially amill.

  14. MLD, no, it the key is your word “people”…
    All who will escape our Lord’s sword are just people, who have become Believers during the last intense years of tribulation just prior to God’s instruction to His Son to return and clean house down here… remember that sharp sword? Not like anything man can fashion, eh…
    Now I am pretty sure that you, like most who teach here, are well read on this subject and have chosen your stand on this with careful thot… You are baiting me with comments like your #7 above that are pulled from a bag of stupidity that you’ve squirreled away from the recent past rapture panic and manipulation of us simple minded souls.
    The scenario of a period of intense tribulation, and the removal of the Church before the wrath of God, the marriage supper and the the return of the Groom and His Bride to administer rule, not by Divine right, but by God, Himself leading to a final revolt of those who prefer another God – their wipe out and all that is promised after (new heavens and earth)… it may happen according your tradition or it may play out with a millennial reign of Christ per the above…
    but grabbing at half baked and not well thought out scenarios hatched by over eager, maybe presumptuous pseudo teachers to make your case …?… is at the very least misleading.

    Today was a. beautiful, God blessed day up here in the mountains with good and intelligent Christian company… I hope I wasn’t the only one so blessed today, but prayer continues for all … especially those of the PxP peeps who are enduring real life pain in so many ways now
    I can’t go back and read this long comment – make changes etc – apologies for its length and any mistakes – by me or this dimbulb gadget 😻

  15. Em, I was only trying to figure out if their is no 2nd fall, who are these people who will follow Satan and rebel against Jesus while he sits and rules from David’s earthly throne for 1,000 years.
    My understanding is that population of the earth has been cleansed and those who have entered this earthly kingdom are the returning saints who were raptured out 7 years earlier and those redeemed out of the 7 year great tribulation. A population of all redeemed folks. If someone is going to follow Satan in rebellion there must have been a 2nd fall.

    Since this is not in scripture I find this a troubling teaching.

  16. Sigh… MLD… One thing we can’t do is meld the two views… If, as I understand the historic teaching, Christ returns to remove the redeemed souls, destroy the old earth and create the promised new heavens and earth then your conclusion makes all the sense… But…
    If the scenario plays out – raptured Church, returning with Christ (who destroys all unbelieving rebels, leaving a remnant of mortals) to reign for a thousand years, it is that remnant of mortals – people -who procreate. Not a sinless race of men but men who will have lived their lives under the fair and righteous dictatorship of God.
    I appreciate your courtesy, but there are good teachers out there making the case for a millennial reign who’ve convinced me of this view… I suspect having this conversation here is a waste time and space on Michael’s site

  17. So John 20:29,

    Are you saying that the raptured Church returning with Christ are “[n]ot a sinless race”? Or are there a sinless race living along with sinners under Christ in the Millennium? Can they procreate together? If so, are their offspring mortal or immortal?

  18. Jean, i obviously am not a teacher 🙂

    the sequence taught that has me convinced as to how it will play out:
    the Church will be raptured off of this earth before the wrath of God is poured out…
    i’m sure you have heard it is taught (tho not accepted by you) that during the years of tribulation after the removal of the Church, there will be those won to Christ (i, myself, think evangelized by angels, dunno, tho)

    therefore… i am saying that
    1-those returning with Christ, the Church with all the Saints before us are the sinless beings (incidentally, not needing, or able i assume, to procreate anymore)
    2-there will be mortals who become Believers after the Church is removed
    3-the aforementioned mortals will reproduce – quite a few in 1,000 years – and their offspring will like men in our times, live and die, accepting or rejecting Christ

    those rejecting will compose Satan’s pitiful army at the cataclysmic end (this is where the traditional teaching and the millennialists like myself merge, i believe)
    so the question between us is:
    Is there a millennial reign of a thousand years or is MLD correct when he teaches that all these recorded scenarios are simply metaphoric symbology ? dunno

  19. John 20:29,

    So, what you are proposing is that non-procreating saints will be living side by side with procreating mortal believers during Christ’s 1,000 year reign. That would be #s 1 and 3 above in your comment 18. Do I have that right?

  20. Em, what is different between today’s daily life of people walking around sinning causing harm and rejecting Jesus and your proposed earthly kingdom, with Jesus sitting on David’s earthly throne, where the people seem to be walking around sinning, causing harm and rejecting Jesus?
    I see no difference – so please tell me the purpose of this millennial kingdom.

    Somehow I would think after this great population has rebelled against Christ’s rule after the first 250 years, Jesus would be pretty upset and would not let it continue for another 750 years.

  21. ahh MLD, so glad you asked… God is thorough, this is a part of His holy character so…
    as i see it – extrapolating from the doctrines i believe – the human race (mortals, people) have 1,000 of perfect jurisprudence administered by Christ and those/us who return with Him (as i read Michael’s concern for the immigrants’ situation today, i wonder what it would be like if the situation were adjudicated by God).
    There is no demonic deception or manipulation now. No serpent whispering in the ear. Does everyone now get it and love our Lord? No! A good sized contingent don’t submit their will to God’s – ever.

    Thus we culminate in Rev 20:7-10

    to repeat myself: this juncture is where the traditional teaching and millennialists like myself merge, i believe. We do believe that the end is described here, do we not?

    i think Jean’s question is answered in above also (BTW – why are we pursuing this in detail? it isn’t new news to you folks and i’m not that charming of a conversationalist)

  22. Em, when you say that there is “no demonic deception or manipulation now” — are you making a case that Satan is bound today?
    Perhaps I have made progress with you. 😉

  23. Re: #22 – Well, MLD, it’s for certain i haven’t made any progress with you 🙂 once again giving ample proof that i am not a teacher … again … and…
    once again, whether on purpose or by instinct you are overlaying on my words your interpretation: that all these recorded scenarios are simply metaphoric symbology, …
    “1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
    2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
    3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
    from the 20th chapter of the last book – KJV

    so let me rephrase the sentence from which you drew your reference in your #22 …
    There is no demonic deception or manipulation in the **millennial years**. No serpent whispering in the ear. Does everyone now get it and love our Lord? No! A good sized contingent do not as they will not agree with God, and will not submit their will to God’s will – ever.

    we both agree that Satan is bound in chains, but we don’t agree on when…
    i don’t much care which of us is correct, i just find preferable the logic of the literal 1,000 year reign of Christ here on the earth

    i hope that you and Mrs. MLD are settling in for a good retirement in AZ now – nothing is pleasanter than being out on the water as the sun comes up unless it’s enjoying a supper out there with your honey as the sun sets… God keep

  24. Em, by your subscription, I do not see one difference between the world today and the earthly millennial kingdom. Perhaps in the first 9 months things are different, but after that it begins to populate with nothing but sinners again. Will there still be rape, murder, drug lords in this kingdom? Will this continue to be a time where Jesus will need to have undercover cops to infiltrate crime syndicates? What about armies? With all of these enemy kings from the 4 corners of the earth, I mean, what is that all about?
    The common description you give makes Jesus sound less effective in his earthly kingdom than Donald Trump in his.

    Thanks for the well wishes – if only we had come here to retire – but we brought our work with us.

  25. well, i guess my common description (did i do that?) is poorly done…

    ” I do not see one difference between the world today and the earthly millennial kingdom.” say what?
    Jesus will administer His rule of law hard and fast – We’d call Him a dictator… you do the crime and you will do the time and you will be the one who did the crime that does the time, so crime will be minimal (follow that? 🙂 )

    there will be for all: food, education, shelter, travel, fun and creativity – all the things the politicians promise and can’t deliver now – you want a pet lion? sigh, this meat lover will have adjusted to vegetarianism… maybe salmon will still be consumed… no earthquakes or tornadoes or floods, i suspect – dunno
    music, TV, books will all be censored, though… things that nurture man’s cruel sins – overt sinning, itself is going to be very hard to pull off …
    undercover cops? remember who God is and what He knows right this minute – crime syndicates? this is the reign of the King of Kings – one crime and you’re doing the time… or worse…

    But you’re right about one thing – yes, there is still the old man inside every human born; thus it makes perfect sense that many will follow Satan when he is loosed again to revolt

    even though there is reason to believe that we (Saints) will still eat, it will be interesting to see what a glorified body can do as we administer the commerce of the world for that time period… since everything that is good here now has been created by God, i suspect we will enjoy being servants of the Most High God

    now it may play out your way – the Big Bang Theory – or it may play out the way, i think it will… but there is nothing as lame as you conjecture about the Millennial Kingdom…

    can i go now?

    P.S. i do hope that there are ample relaxation opportunities where you’ve moved – i don’t know if bringing ones work along is good or bad… work is what it is, i guess, but i hope there is much for you two Saints to enjoy also

    P.P.S. if we know what’s good for us, we’re praying for Trump’s administration right this very minute …

  26. Em, zI love you – I really do as you try to defend your position (and you have held tough longer than most.

    But, I am sure that you are aware that your 2nd paragraph is not in the bible at all – however, I would suggest you track down Nicolas Cage and see if you can write the script for his next Left Behind movie as I am sure all of those details are within their limits. 🙂

  27. MLD, what I am aware of is that, until it unfolds, we all must conjecture and do so with an overriding humility… I just cannot buy into a mystery hidden in symbology culminating in a surprise Big Bang ending… even the great flood was clearly laid out before humanity – a humanity that, evidently said, “That crazy guy over there breaking the neighborhood CCRs with that monstrosity thinks we’re all going to drown – poor fool. There isn’t that much water on the whole planet.” To this day man discounts that flood. . so who knows?
    Metaphoric? Symbology? Can’t buy it, but time will tell.

  28. Em, hmm -I never heard of a Big Bang ending.
    Jesus told us himself what the end was going to be – his return to earth – Matthew 25:31-46. I think his words are pretty authoritative.

    Hey, its been fun 🙂

  29. If it goes down as traditionally taught, it will be an unexpected big bang – just as some say it all began… could be
    BTW – your Mathew ref. doesn’t cause me any problems… and that “outer darkness” was a warning for the 2,000+ years just past … Just MHO

    Fun? Maybe so … anyway thanks for goading me to think on these things for a while

    God keep

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