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Thread: THE SIGN

  1. #16
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    Feb 2018
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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I understand your argument, but let me suggest this. The sign "that these things are about to take place" is separate from the "sign of your coming." In other words, there is more than one sign being suggested here. "Sign" is just an identification mark as to when something is going to happen. Two things were to happen, the destruction of the temple in 70 AD and the coming of Christ at the end of the age.

    Both were signs of something--you're right about that. But they were identification markers given to avoid *false identification markers.* In other words, Jesus wanted his disciples to ignore the false prophets and false Christs in order to identify the true events he was speaking about.

    1) He wanted his disciples to be warned about a false proclamation of an imminent Kingdom--false Christs. These Jews either declared the Kingdom was coming imminently, to reward obedient Jews who rejected Jesus. Or, they were Jews who proclaimed themselves or their movements as some kind of victory of God's Kingdom over Israel's enemies.
    2) He wanted his disciples to expect the Kingdom only after a long period of judgment against Israel, a Kingdom that would be indicated by nothing associated with any earthly activity or movement. It was the Son of Man from heaven, and not some kind of political or military movement.

    It is clear that in Matthew's version, there are 3 questions being asked:
    1) when will the temple fall?
    2) when will the eschatological coming take place?
    3) when will the age of Jewish trouble end?

    Both Mark and Luke viewed these questions as focused, primarily, on the question of when the temple would fall. The reason is, the Disciples were conflating the 70 AD destruction of the temple with deliverance of Israel. Jesus' answer makes it clear that these two events are distinct, though related. The judgment to take place against Israel would be similar to the judgment to take place at the end of the age, at the initiation of Christ's Kingdom. But the judgment to take place against Israel would actually prevent the Kingdom from being immediately established, delaying it not only so that Israel can repent over time, but also so that other nations may enter into the same process of repentance.

    So consider the 3 questions being dealt with by Jesus, in each of the synoptic versions. We must line them up properly. Matthew seems to indicate that therethree signs--the sign of the temple's fall, the sign of Christ's Coming, and the sign of the end of the age.

    Mark's version and Luke's version both focus, in particular, on the question of when the temple will fall, which was being falsely conflated with Christ's eschatological Coming. So they seemed to present only one sign, that of the fall of the temple. The sign of Christ's Coming and the sign of the end of the age, in Matthew's version, represent the same sign, which is Christ's appearance in the clouds.

    This is somewhat difficult to understand, so I will present it like this:
    1) Matthew's version: implied "sign" of the temple's fall, sign of Christ's Coming, and sign of the end of the age
    2) Mark's version: sign of the temple's fall
    3) Luke's version: sign of the temple's fall
    As I said, scriptures confirm [Gideon is another prime example] that signs are precursory events to a purpose, and not the purpose itself. I think the word in Acts 2, when Jesus ascended, demonstrate that the disciples had no concept of a Second coming of Jesus until sometime later. I seriously doubt that anyone, but maybe John, had any forethought to ask about a 2nd coming, before the crucifixion had taken place. I have no doubts about the content, with specificity, of the words of Jesus in the discourse. I think that the prelude questions were worded to help the reader [us] to understand the context of what Jesus said. I may be wrong on that, after all Jesus did say "I will go away and come again". They may have indeed have asked about "his coming again". Their questions are phrases a little bit different in each gospel, as well as the answers. I think that they are worded to clarify both the questions presented and the answers provided, without contradiction. I think there are indeed 2 signs that Jesus reveals. ONE for his coming and ONE for the end of the world. One sign precedes the rapture and one precedes the end.

    Blessings
    The PuP

  2. #17
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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarkos View Post
    Well put, if I may add:

    1 Cor. 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom .

    Believing Gentiles never look for a sign, but live by faith as Gal. 3:11 and other texts say.

    Aristarkos
    Quote Originally Posted by m'lo goy View Post
    Very good points and yes, you are probably right, at least regarding the sign being the sign of the Son of Man appearing in the heavens. However, the main reason for the point I am making is this:

    There is a marked increase in the world - including countries like the U.K and Germany, of those who love what is true, right and just being persecuted and even arrested by those who love and believe a lie (2 Thes 2:10-11), those who put evil for good and good for evil (Isa.5:20).

    These things, I believe, are symptomatic of what is coming. Things are growing exponentially worse. Take a look at "Antifa", for example.

    Satan gains the upper hand at first, and Christian leaders should be warning their flocks of what is coming.
    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I think you've answered your own question. The "sign" is Jesus' appearing itself. But as you indicate, it may not be that simple. We've heard that Jesus comes just as he left. The way he left was pretty straightforward. He simply rose up from among his disciples and disappeared in the clouds. Clearly, his "coming as he left" should be just as straightforward. He is coming back physically.

    But there is another aspect to this, I believe. He is coming "like lightning, shining from east to west." For me, this indicates the circumstances surrounding his coming will involve a massive battle, that affects peoples to both the east and the west.

    The Battle of Armageddon will involve, I think, a war in Israel, since Armageddon is in Israel. You are right that Jesus is coming to Israel. But he is also coming to be king of the world. This means forces throughout the world, east and west, must be defeated. And so, the "lightning strike" in Israel, will shine to both east and west. This Battle will be a war, involving the whole world. However, I think it is called a "battle" because it is so short in duration.

    We disagree on what the "Abomination of Desolation" is, or on what the Great Tribulation is. But that's another subject. For the purpose here, I would say the "sign" is Christ's actual coming from heaven, though there is the matter of God's judgment upon the nations that surrounds that coming.
    Gentlemen, Brothers, thank you for your answers and comments. They are read and noted.

  3. #18
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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesachpup View Post
    As I said, scriptures confirm [Gideon is another prime example] that signs are precursory events to a purpose, and not the purpose itself. I think the word in Acts 2, when Jesus ascended, demonstrate that the disciples had no concept of a Second coming of Jesus until sometime later. I seriously doubt that anyone, but maybe John, had any forethought to ask about a 2nd coming, before the crucifixion had taken place. I have no doubts about the content, with specificity, of the words of Jesus in the discourse. I think that the prelude questions were worded to help the reader [us] to understand the context of what Jesus said. I may be wrong on that, after all Jesus did say "I will go away and come again". They may have indeed have asked about "his coming again". Their questions are phrases a little bit different in each gospel, as well as the answers. I think that they are worded to clarify both the questions presented and the answers provided, without contradiction. I think there are indeed 2 signs that Jesus reveals. ONE for his coming and ONE for the end of the world. One sign precedes the rapture and one precedes the end.

    Blessings
    The PuP
    I'm not sure you understood my position. I think there were 3 signs, the sign of the 70 AD event, the sign of Christ's Coming, and the sign of the end of the age. The last two were actually the same sign, the sign of the Son of Man Coming from heaven.

    The 1st sign was what the Olivet Discourse was primarily about. It was being conflated by Jesus' Disciples with the Jewish hope of an eternal Kingdom. The Disciples had believed Jesus had come as Messiah to immediately establish God's Kingdom on earth. This is also what the religious Jews generally believed.

    However, Jesus indicated that the 70 AD event would prevent an immediate appearance of the Kingdom, making a future eschatological Coming necessary, as foretold in Daniel.

    So the broad outline of the Olivet Discourse has to do with Jesus explaining that the eschatological Coming would not take place for a long time, that the things he was predicting about the fall of the temple would last a long time. These "signs," as Jesus called them, were indicators of God's will so that those who followed Jesus could understand what to expect in their generation. They should *not* expect an immediate coming of the Kingdom. Rather, they should expect imminent Jewish judgment, following by a long period of Jewish Tribulation/Diaspora, followed by an eventual coming of the eschatological Kingdom.

    Two signs are given for contrast, the sign of the temple's fall in 70 AD, and the sign of Christ's Coming from heaven. They were not preliminary signs to the events they pointed to. They were in themselves the signs to look for so that the events they represented could be identified as the predicted events. Jesus' disciples were not to look for deliverance from the Romans, but were to rather expect the *sign* of the temple's fall. Jesus' Disciples were not to look to false prophets and false Christs of an imminent Kingdom, but rather, to wait for a heavenly *sign* that would not belong to anything of this earth.

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