Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:27-28

How is the coming of the Son of Man? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Why am I skipping verses 24-26? I really don’t think there’s much there that isn’t covered in my look at verse 23. With that, I am going to move on then to verses 27-28. The main point I want to emphasize is the coming of the Son of Man, a term that has to be looked at.

“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. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “

Let’s start with something right off. Some emphasize that the coming of Jesus must be visible because lightning is visible when it is seen. This begs the question. It says that a visible event is described because it uses literal language and literal language is used to describe a visible event.

However, what is meant that the impact of the coming of the Son of Man will be seen from that distance. Lightning is often associated in the Old Testament with the act of deity, particularly YHWH, as well. After discussing birds, I will return to things I have said about the coming.

Birds were seen as first off a sign that the covenant had been broken and curses were taking place. Not only that, birds would show up after a battle so that they could feast on the corpses of the dead. What this would indicate is a great battle taking place where many of the dead are waiting there. In Jerusalem, there would not be proper burials at this time due to Romans not caring about Jewish sensitivities when busy obliterating them. Many of the Jews were crucified and left to hang where the birds would devour them.

So what about the coming?

As I have said before, language of coming assumes that Jesus is coming to Earth in this event. He is not. The disciples asked the sign of Jesus’s coming while He was still there and without a concept that He would truly die, let alone be resurrected and then ascend and leave the Earth. This is about kingship.

The same is being spoken of when Jesus refers to Daniel. The Son of Man is not coming down. He is going up. He is approaching the Ancient of Days. This is then asking what it the sign that Jesus is coming to His throne? Judgment is one of those signs.

Next time, we will get into some more cosmic language and see what happens to the sun and the stars. Surely we’re getting into something futuristic that hasn’t happened before. Right? We’ll see.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:21

Is this the worst possible thing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For the past five verses, I think some dispensationalist readers could even look and see that it makes sense in an Orthodox Preterist viewpoint, but now there’s a shift. When we get to verse 21, it looks like we’re entering something of epic proportions. Let’s look and see what the verse says at the start.

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”

Okay. So I think the passage here is about the destruction of Jerusalem and that’s supposed to be the greatest disaster of all? That can hold a candle to 6 million Jews dying in the Holocaust? Doesn’t this just seal the deal against a first-century interpretation?

Not quite, because if you have that view throughout Scripture, you run into problems. This normally happens with a modern literalistic hermeneutic that doesn’t take into account Jewish idioms. What kinds of things am I talking about? Let’s look. We’ll start with 2 Kings looking at Hezekiah in 2 Kings 18:5.

“He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him.”

You go, Hezekiah! Awesome! No one like you!

But what about this Jesus guy? Wasn’t He a king who trusted in God more?

Now some might think that’s not the most valid way to look, but if you’re one of those, we don’t need to go to Jesus. We can just go to the same book in the Old Testament. Let’s look at Josiah in 2 Kings 23:25

“Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.”

Wow. So either the author of Kings totally forgot about Hezekiah in a few chapters, or else we’re looking at a Jewish way of speaking. Is this the only instance of this? Hardly. Look at Exodus 11:6

” There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again.”

People of Egypt can rejoice. Nothing will ever be worse than the Hebrew Exodus. Of course, this will be odd for my dispensationalist friends who think the whole Earth is going to go through something far worse. Who knows? Maybe Egypt will be the exception that’s spared! How about Daniel 9:12?

“He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem.”

But Babylon was laying siege to several cities and starving them out and destroying them. What makes Jerusalem the one exception? You could say their temple was destroyed, but that’s not too unusual in a siege. Let’s also return to 1 Kings 3 and look at verse 12.

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again.”

But Jesus said that one greater than Solomon is here. Was He wrong? Was Solomon wiser than Jesus? If you use my hermeneutic to just picture this as a way of describing something intense, you don’t have a problem. Go with a literalist one and you do.

Not only that, if you look at the parallel in Luke 21:24, what do you see?

“Some will be killed by the sword, and others will be taken as prisoners to all countries; and the heathen will trample over Jerusalem until their time is up.”

Luke centralizes all of this to Jerusalem. So again, this fits with a first-century paradigm.

Now if someone doesn’t think what happened to Jerusalem in 70 A.D. counts as great suffering, just go read about it. See what you think then. If it does count, then my hermeneutic is entirely consistent and I would contend more consistent than a dispensationalist one.

We shall continue next time.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 7/28/2018: Brian Godawa

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Around the year 70 A.D. an event happened that forever shaped the spread of Christianity. Before this, it had been seen as a sect of Judaism by some. Now, it could not be. The event was the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the city itself by the Romans. It’s also a tragedy that few Christians today seem to know anything about this event.

It also wasn’t just an instant of destruction, like dropping the bomb on Hiroshima. It was a long and drawn out event where the city would also be starved out. People would do anything to get some food to eat. This would often include cannibalism. To be specific, parents would often wind up eating their own children.

The Christians had already known about what was coming. They were ready when Rome showed up, not to fight, but to flee. They knew what Jesus was talking about in passages such as Matthew 24. Israel chose to fight Rome thinking that God would vindicate them in this hour much like other great miracles in their own past. Instead, as the Christians knew, this generation had rejected their Messiah and thus God had rejected them.

My guest has written the third in a series describing the events here. It is a work of historical fiction combining the rise of the beast and the destruction of the temple with the idea of Watchers as well from the Old Testament. It is a series with political intrigue and spiritual action as well. His name is Brian Godawa. So who is he?

According to his bio:

Brian Godawa is an award-winning Hollywood screenwriter (To End All Wars), a controversial movie and culture blogger (www.Godawa.com), an internationally known teacher on faith, worldviews and storytelling (Hollywood Worldviews), an Amazon best-selling author of Biblical fiction (Chronicles of the Nephilim), and provocative theology (God Against the gods). His obsession with God, movies and worldviews, results in theological storytelling that blows your mind while inspiring your soul. And he’s not exaggerating.

We’ll be talking about what it would mean to be a Christian in the time of Jerusalem putting up its resistance to Rome, especially since the book is called Resistant. We’ll discuss the conditions there and what that means to Christians today. We’ll discuss the way prophecy was seen by the people. We could look at how all the factions worked together and against each other including Qumran and Jerusalem and all the people involved there. It’s hard to believe, but even while the Romans were coming against the people of Jerusalem, the people of Jerusalem were still actively fighting against one another.

I hope you’ll be listening for the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. We’re working on making the show better and better for you. It would also mean a lot to me if you would go on iTunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. It’s always good to see how much you guys like the show and to hear what you would like to see done on the show and any possible guests you’d like to have on.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 5/27/2017: Brian Godawa

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Nero. No matter what your stance on end times is, the name evokes strong thoughts right away. We can easily think of Christians being lit on fire to light up the ceremonies that Nero was hosting. If we try to think of a Roman emperor that could be seen as the embodiment of evil, Nero would be right up there on the list.

That’s why many of the orthodox Preterist persuasion also see him as the beast described in Revelation, and even if one is a futurist, they should have no problem granting that Nero was certainly a beast at least. What would it have been like to have been living in the time of Nero? What if you were a Christian in Rome? What if you were a Jew? What if you were a soldier in the military? What about the great fire? What was also going on at the time in Jerusalem while Nero was having his rule?

My guest this week has written a fictional story set in the time of Nero and focusing on what happened in Rome and in Jerusalem. The writing is lively and engaging. The story will open your eyes to what was going on at the time and includes numerous historical figures as well. The book is called Tyrant: Rise of the Beast and the author is Brian Godawa. So who is he?

Brian Godawa is an award-winning Hollywood screenwriter (To End All Wars), a controversial movie and culture blogger (www.Godawa.com), an internationally known teacher on faith, worldviews and storytelling (Hollywood Worldviews), an Amazon best-selling author of Biblical fiction (Chronicles of the Nephilim), and provocative theology (God Against the gods). His obsession with God, movies and worldviews, results in theological storytelling that blows your mind while inspiring your soul. And he’s not exaggerating.

So we’ll be talking about life in first century Rome in the time of Nero and what life would have been like in Jerusalem. What did it mean to be a Christian? How much danger was someone really in? Perhaps, as a result, many of us will take our Christianity a lot more seriously here.

We’ll also be discussing the writing process. How does one go about writing a book with historical figures in it? Especially when you have actual figures from the Bible in them, how does one walk that line? There is a desire to remain fully faithful to the text of course, but at the same time one does have to take liberties as well since these events aren’t included in the text.

I hope you’ll be listening to the next episode and really considering what it would have been like to be a Christian in the time of Nero. Many of us don’t really realize what was going on at the time, but there was a time when being a Christian was a dangerous practice. It started around the time of the resurrection. Please also go on ITunes and leave a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

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