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Thread: THE SIGN

  1. THE SIGN

    Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

    1. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    2. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted (Greek: thlipsis), and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

    For then shall be great tribulation (Greek: megas thlipsis), such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

    And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

    3. Immediately after the tribulation (Greek: thlipsis) of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

    And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his
    elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
    And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our Elohim which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.
    11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped יהוה,
    Saying, amein: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our Elohim for ever and ever. amein.
    And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
    And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me,

    These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    15 Therefore are they before the throne of יהוה, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

    16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
    17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and יהוה shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

    SO ..

    There in Mat 24 Jesus gave signs to show us that THE SIGN is near, and the sign is the great tribulation.

    We are told that Jesus delivers us from the wrath of God, but Jesus Himself told us that we are not delivered from tribulation, or from the greatest tribulation to occur immediately before His return.

    I see nothing anywhere in the New Testament which suggests a pre-trib rapture, and personally, I think that Christian leaders all over should be warning their flocks of what is coming probably soon. (Except those who see NO difference between tribulation and wrath and believe in a pre-trib rapture of course).

    I don't think THE SIGN is far away any more. I think it's very near, and it's a pity that the Bible is separated into chapters sometimes, because Jesus did not start a new chapter in Mat 25, in Mat 25 He simply continues with what He began with in Ch.24. Hundreds of year later, it was divided into two chapters.

  2. #2
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    Re: THE SIGN

    I asked this question, about the "sign" of Christ's Coming, a little while ago. My view currently is as follows.

    Jesus' disciples were confused about Jesus' claim that the temple would soon be destroyed. They surely said to themselves, "I thought you were the Messiah. And the Messiah is supposed to bring the Kingdom of God to earth, right. Weren't you supposed to destroy God's enemies, and deliver the saints? How then is it that you're going to destroy Israel and her worship? How are your promises to Israel ever going to come to pass, if we're to be defeated and dispersed into all the world? How are we to know, really, when you're coming to establish your Kingdom on earth? What will be the sign of when your coming will *really mean* the Kingdom has come?"

    Jesus indicated that yes, Israel must be judged first. They must be defeated and dispersed throughout the world. This would be the "great tribulation" of the Jewish People, both Christian and nonChristian.

    However, it is at the *end* of this age-long great tribulation that he will actually come to bring God's Kingdom. It is *at the end of the times of the Gentiles* that the sign will take place. And that sign will be Christ's coming again from heaven, with the clouds.

    In sum, the "sign" is Christ's coming itself, as a return after many years of Jewish Diaspora. The sign will be Christ's physical presence, once again, but this time from heaven, with the clouds.

  3. Re: THE SIGN

    I hear you Randyk but the gospel of the Kingdom has to first be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations. It's a logical order in sequence: We cannot be hated by all nations for believing in Jesus until all nations have heard the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ. We will be delivered up to tribulation and killed for His name's sake, and this great tribulation results in His return "immediately after" the tribulation of those days.

    I think that we should not ignore the qualification of the times Jesus Himself gave, which is: once the gospel of the Kingdom has been preached in all nations. It's then (Greek: tote or "at that time") that the end will come and it's then (Greek: tote or "at that time") that His disciples will be hated by all nations and delivered up to tribulation and killed.

    This period of tribulation is what the Messiah continues to qualify as the greatest of all preceding periods of great tribulation, and He says that His return will come immediately following that period.

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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by m'lo goy View Post
    I hear you Randyk but the gospel of the Kingdom has to first be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations. It's a logical order in sequence: We cannot be hated by all nations for believing in Jesus until all nations have heard the gospel of the Kingdom of Christ. We will be delivered up to tribulation and killed for His name's sake, and this great tribulation results in His return "immediately after" the tribulation of those days.

    I think that we should not ignore the qualification of the times Jesus Himself gave, which is: once the gospel of the Kingdom has been preached in all nations. It's then (Greek: tote or "at that time") that the end will come and it's then (Greek: tote or "at that time") that His disciples will be hated by all nations and delivered up to tribulation and killed.

    This period of tribulation is what the Messiah continues to qualify as the greatest of all preceding periods of great tribulation, and He says that His return will come immediately following that period.
    My friend, we are brothers in Postrib belief. Our differences, in this respect, are minimal. So I will only post my beliefs for your interest. I've been studying this for many, many years, and you may (or may not) want to benefit from my years of experience in the subject?

    I would warn you, initially, that my views are not popular here. But they are not products of strictly my own thinking. It is my firm belief that if an interpretation has no depth in history, it isn't worth looking at, unless the interpretation requires the actual time of fulfillment. So here goes...

    First, let's look at what the "preaching of the gospel means." It is the preaching of the *gospel of the Kingdom.* It is a declaration that the Millennial Kingdom is near, though not necessarily imminent. How can the Kingdom be "near," and yet *not imminent?* It was so because Jesus himself was the King of the Kingdom. His 1st Coming brought the Kingdom near. But it was still a long ways off in actually coming to pass because certain things had to happen first. Christ had to die, and be rejected by his own generation. And then Israel's punishment would have to last for eons. This, I call, the Great Tribulation.

    So I identify the Great Tribulation not as the last great persecution of the Church by Antichrist. Rather, it is the punishment God has inflicted upon the Jews since 70 AD, when the Romans destroyed the temple. This is the greatest, longest punishment in Israel's history--longer than the Babylonian Captivity. And it will never happen again. It lasts the entire length of the NT period! And all through this period the Jews have suffered terrible ordeals, because in their ignorance they have broken faith with God. They rejected their Messiah!

    Some Jews, however, converted to Christ, and please God. They are blessed with eternal life. However, as Jews they continue to suffer with their unbelieving brethren, the loss of their homeland, and the hatred of the pagan nations. Not only so, but these Messianic believers suffer from pagans in other countries not just due to their Jewishness, but also due to their Christianity. They suffer a double blow being Jewish and Christians! They are hated by their Jewish brethren, and they are hated by the pagan nations!

    So this is the Great Tribulation, the NT era of Jewish Diaspora. And it will include the last great persecution of Christians delivered by Antichrist. This will last 3.5 years, according to Dan 7 and Rev 11-13.

    Again, what is the "preaching of the gospel?" If you look at all 3 synoptic versions of the Olivet Discourse you will find it described in different ways, all meaning the same thing. But the different versions will help clarify what is meant.

    Matt 24.9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

    Mark 13.9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
    12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

    Luke 21.12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life."


    If you will consider the above passages side by side you will notice what the "preaching of the gospel" is. It was the apostles being brought before governors of other nations to defend their mission against the slanders of men who are motivated by hatred. I believe the apostles' mission to the nations was not completed by them, but only begun by them.

    But if you'll notice where each of these accounts take place in the context of the Discourse, the "preaching of the gospel" immediately precedes the Abomination of Desolation, which, I believe, destroyed the temple in 70 AD. This means, for me, that the preaching of the gospel was a warning that the Kingdom was near, both to Israel and to all the nations. What happened to Israel in 70 AD had been warned against in the preaching of the gospel, just as the gospel today continues to warn the world of imminent judgment if they continue in their sins.

    The point is, the Olivet Discourse was largely a warning, in Jesus' generation, of what was about to happen to the Jewish People. The gospel of the near Kingdom was preached to them as a warning. And when they did not, as a nation, repent, they lost their nation and their worship.

    Thus, the Great Tribulation began for the Jewish People, which stands, as well, as a warning for the rest of the world, if they do not respond to the gospel. The Kingdom has drawn near for judgment, but is delayed by God's patience. But God's judgment will fall, if men do not repent, just as it fell upon Israel in 70 AD, when they did not repent.

    So the Great Tribulation is an age-long phenomena that happened to the Jewish People, both Christian and nonChristian. And it happened as a sign to the rest of the world. It was forecast by Jesus in this Discourse before the end of the era of Law, and as such, Israel was the main focus.

    But today, all nations are part of God's Kingdom, and have to answer for a "near Kingdom." As the world deteriorates into greater and greater sin, God's judgments will fall upon the world, until what happened to Israel in 70 AD will happen to the world at the end of the age. Just my view of it.

  5. #5

    Re: THE SIGN

    End of the World Sign - People will be Unholy.

    Now this sign of the end of the world is an amazing one. Do you know why? Because i only need to talk about proffesing Christians here. Go back just 50 years and you would find with Christians who were far more holy and humble than they are today. Many believe that we need not keep the ten commandments anymore, just as long as we "believe" in Jesus. And what does this lead to? A people who continue living in sin and being unholy.

    Jude 1:4....'For there are certain men crept in unaweres, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men,turning the grace of out God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.'

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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipiripi View Post
    End of the World Sign - People will be Unholy.

    Now this sign of the end of the world is an amazing one. Do you know why? Because i only need to talk about proffesing Christians here. Go back just 50 years and you would find with Christians who were far more holy and humble than they are today. Many believe that we need not keep the ten commandments anymore, just as long as we "believe" in Jesus. And what does this lead to? A people who continue living in sin and being unholy.

    Jude 1:4....'For there are certain men crept in unaweres, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men,turning the grace of out God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.'
    I don't find that to be true. 50 years ago was my parents' generation, and they were not holy. In fact the post-war American generation was rather worldly. Religion tended to be artificial. My generation began to protest this artificiality, and declared a "generation gap" between their artificiality and our yearning to be real.

    At that time the Charismatic Movement began to penetrate the dead churches with a message of spiritual vitality. The Moral Majority began to declare a need to renew our spiritual heritage in politics. Fundamentalism worked its way out in the churches to focus on the "narrow way" in Christianity, separating from nominal, or liberal, Christianity. There were campus outreaches and the Jesus People movement. Eventually there came to be mega churches. So Christianity was at the beginning of a major outreach 50 years ago, but became greater over time.

    Today I see this division between true Christianity and artificial Christianity in the form of a smaller, and yet stronger, Christianity vs. a more hostile secularism in Western culture. We shouldn't think Christianity is worse, merely because the culture has taken an antiChristian turn. The reality in my own life is that Christianity is stronger today than it was 50 years ago.

    Back in 1968 my country was mired in the Vietnam War, and there was little Christian media. Christian TV was limited to Sunday mornings. There were no contemporary Christian music radio stations, no Christian blogs or chat rooms, and only a beginning satellite outreach through Christian television. I've lived it. I know what I've seen. Yes, the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. But the Church is alive and well, even if it remains anemic in part.

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    Re: THE SIGN

    I have followed the exchange with interest. I am always astounded at the speculations when the very answer is in within the text and context. Matthew 24:30;

    "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

    Here is the information from this verse alone.
    • The sign is only after the "tribulation of those days" (v.29). The "Tribulation of those days" starts with people seeing the "abomination of desolation" (v.15). Thus, the "Tribulation of those days" is a short period, and which has not happened yet, and which is connected with the coming of Christ.
    • The sign "is IN heaven". So all speculation about preaching the gospel and the Great Tribulation being the sign is pointedly wrong. The context is Jews looking here and there for a Messiah, but Him coming from heaven
    • The sign is connected with Israel. The whole context from verse 1 to 31 is about Jewish things. Added to this, it is the Jews who "require a sign" (1st Cor.1:22), so the sign will be for Judea and Jerusalem. Added to this, the Lord Jesus touches down on Mount Olives so again the "sign" will visible, not to the world, but localized to around Jerusalem.
    • The "sign" is exclusively connected with the Appearing of Jesus from the clouds. That is, it will be a short event to direct the eyes of all towards the clouds
    • If any of us Christians require a "sign" we are termed, by our Lord Jesus, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign ... ." (Matt.12:39, 16:4)
    • What the actual "sign" is not said. So ALL is speculation.

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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I have followed the exchange with interest. I am always astounded at the speculations when the very answer is in within the text and context. Matthew 24:30;

    "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

    Here is the information from this verse alone.
    • The sign is only after the "tribulation of those days" (v.29). The "Tribulation of those days" starts with people seeing the "abomination of desolation" (v.15). Thus, the "Tribulation of those days" is a short period, and which has not happened yet, and which is connected with the coming of Christ.
    • The sign "is IN heaven". So all speculation about preaching the gospel and the Great Tribulation being the sign is pointedly wrong. The context is Jews looking here and there for a Messiah, but Him coming from heaven
    • The sign is connected with Israel. The whole context from verse 1 to 31 is about Jewish things. Added to this, it is the Jews who "require a sign" (1st Cor.1:22), so the sign will be for Judea and Jerusalem. Added to this, the Lord Jesus touches down on Mount Olives so again the "sign" will visible, not to the world, but localized to around Jerusalem.
    • The "sign" is exclusively connected with the Appearing of Jesus from the clouds. That is, it will be a short event to direct the eyes of all towards the clouds
    • If any of us Christians require a "sign" we are termed, by our Lord Jesus, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign ... ." (Matt.12:39, 16:4)
    • What the actual "sign" is not said. So ALL is speculation.
    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

  9. #9

    Re: THE SIGN

    Originally posted by I'll goy
    There in Mat 24 Jesus gave signs to show us that THE SIGN is near, and the sign is the great tribulation.
    Hello m'loy goy.
    I think its possible the "great" tribulation is worse than any other because the witness of Jesus is greater than any other.

    If we look at the "sign" in strictly human terms, Jesus's instruction concerning it seems contradictory.

    let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
    Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
    Mt.24:16-18

    It seems Jesus is saying get out...to save your life.

    In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back...Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. Lk.17:31,33

    It seems Jesus is saying get out...not to save your life.

    If we look at the sign in spiritual terms, Jesus's instruction isn't contradictory. He's teaching us to "run from" him who speaks as God, while rejecting the true God. This happened when religious leaders condemned Jesus.

  10. Re: THE SIGN

    Thank you, Randyk.

    Yes, you are correct, our differences of understanding of this are minimal. To me also, it is clear that the gospel of the kingdom = the gospel of the kingdom of Messiah = the millennial kingdom, which is near (has been near since Jesus' ascension) but was not imminent 2,000 years ago, and is still not here (Rev.11:15).

    However, I see time as circular, rather than lineal, and I see the great tribulation as having fulfillment, as you do, in 66-70 A.D and in the tribulation of believing and unbelieving Jews, as well as having fulfillment when just as Israel was increasingly afflicted in Egypt by Pharaoh but protected from the plagues, and just as the judgment of Pharaoh and his armies = the deliverance of Israel, so all Christians in North Africa and the Middle East and to an increasing extent in the West, will be afflicted by the beast but protected from the plagues, and the judgment of the beast and his armies = the deliverance of the saints.

    I see prophecy as having more than one fulfillment, and the gathering of the armies of all nations against Jerusalem in 70 AD is certainly not the last time this is to occur. Messiah was to set His feet on the Mount of Olives (Zech.14:4) and deliver Israel from her enemies when the armies of the nations gathered against Jerusalem, but he did not - and you correctly point out that this obviously confused the apostles when Jesus told them the temple would be destroyed, and it is also obviously the reason why immediately before he ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives, they asked Him if the kingdom would be restored to Jerusalem at that time.

    We know that Jesus merely repeated what He had said before - "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8).

    The gospel had to first be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations before the Messiah, who gave the Olivet discourse (Mat 24-25) on the Mount of Olives, ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives would return, setting His feet on the Mount of Olives and saving Jerusalem the next time the armies of the nations gather against it to destroy it.

    To me, just as the earth is in the exact same position right now in its orbit of the sun as it was 365.3333 days ago (and will be in the exact same position in 365.3333 days time), so time and prophecy with it, is not linear, but goes around and comes back again, albeit not in the exact same way or with the exact same actors on the world stage. Nero = antichrist, as was Antiochus Epiphanes, as was Pharaoh, but they are not the same people.

    So if you imagine two overlapping circles, one called 66-70 A.D, and one called the end of the age, with the prophecies surrounding the great tribulation and the attack of the armies of the nations against Jerusalem in the overlap, it's easy to see that there are two great tribulation events, but the second one immediately preceding the return of Christ, when the judgment of the beast and his armies = the deliverance of the saints.

  11. Re: THE SIGN

    @Randyk

    I don't find that to be true. 50 years ago was my parents' generation, and they were not holy. In fact the post-war American generation was rather worldly. Religion tended to be artificial. My generation began to protest this artificiality, and declared a "generation gap" between their artificiality and our yearning to be real.

    At that time the Charismatic Movement began to penetrate the dead churches with a message of spiritual vitality. The Moral Majority began to declare a need to renew our spiritual heritage in politics. Fundamentalism worked its way out in the churches to focus on the "narrow way" in Christianity, separating from nominal, or liberal, Christianity. There were campus outreaches and the Jesus People movement. Eventually there came to be mega churches. So Christianity was at the beginning of a major outreach 50 years ago, but became greater over time.

    Today I see this division between true Christianity and artificial Christianity in the form of a smaller, and yet stronger, Christianity vs. a more hostile secularism in Western culture. We shouldn't think Christianity is worse, merely because the culture has taken an antiChristian turn. The reality in my own life is that Christianity is stronger today than it was 50 years ago.

    Back in 1968 my country was mired in the Vietnam War, and there was little Christian media. Christian TV was limited to Sunday mornings. There were no contemporary Christian music radio stations, no Christian blogs or chat rooms, and only a beginning satellite outreach through Christian television. I've lived it. I know what I've seen. Yes, the world is going to Hell in a handbasket. But the Church is alive and well, even if it remains anemic in part.

    I agree. Especially in America. I've never been to the U.S.A and know no Americans, but outside the USA you can get the feel of how many Christians there are in the USA, who are against the liberal 'anything goes' left-wing socio-political establishment - and they are many in number.

  12. Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I have followed the exchange with interest. I am always astounded at the speculations when the very answer is in within the text and context. Matthew 24:30;

    "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

    Here is the information from this verse alone.
    • The sign is only after the "tribulation of those days" (v.29). The "Tribulation of those days" starts with people seeing the "abomination of desolation" (v.15). Thus, the "Tribulation of those days" is a short period, and which has not happened yet, and which is connected with the coming of Christ.
    • The sign "is IN heaven". So all speculation about preaching the gospel and the Great Tribulation being the sign is pointedly wrong. The context is Jews looking here and there for a Messiah, but Him coming from heaven
    • The sign is connected with Israel. The whole context from verse 1 to 31 is about Jewish things. Added to this, it is the Jews who "require a sign" (1st Cor.1:22), so the sign will be for Judea and Jerusalem. Added to this, the Lord Jesus touches down on Mount Olives so again the "sign" will visible, not to the world, but localized to around Jerusalem.
    • The "sign" is exclusively connected with the Appearing of Jesus from the clouds. That is, it will be a short event to direct the eyes of all towards the clouds
    • If any of us Christians require a "sign" we are termed, by our Lord Jesus, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign ... ." (Matt.12:39, 16:4)
    • What the actual "sign" is not said. So ALL is speculation.
    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.

  13. #13
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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I have followed the exchange with interest. I am always astounded at the speculations when the very answer is in within the text and context. Matthew 24:30;

    "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

    Here is the information from this verse alone.
    • The sign is only after the "tribulation of those days" (v.29). The "Tribulation of those days" starts with people seeing the "abomination of desolation" (v.15). Thus, the "Tribulation of those days" is a short period, and which has not happened yet, and which is connected with the coming of Christ.
    • The sign "is IN heaven". So all speculation about preaching the gospel and the Great Tribulation being the sign is pointedly wrong. The context is Jews looking here and there for a Messiah, but Him coming from heaven
    • The sign is connected with Israel. The whole context from verse 1 to 31 is about Jewish things. Added to this, it is the Jews who "require a sign" (1st Cor.1:22), so the sign will be for Judea and Jerusalem. Added to this, the Lord Jesus touches down on Mount Olives so again the "sign" will visible, not to the world, but localized to around Jerusalem.
    • The "sign" is exclusively connected with the Appearing of Jesus from the clouds. That is, it will be a short event to direct the eyes of all towards the clouds
    • If any of us Christians require a "sign" we are termed, by our Lord Jesus, "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign ... ." (Matt.12:39, 16:4)
    • What the actual "sign" is not said. So ALL is speculation.
    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.

  14. #14
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    154

    Re: THE SIGN

    A sign precedes the purpose for which it is given. It is never the purpose (for which it is given) itself. For example. When we read of signs and wonders done by the apostles [in the book of Acts], it is said that it was to "confirm the word" that was given. As had already been stated, signs were given not to those who might believe, but for those who have believed (already).
    With that being said, look again at Matt 24:3. What shall be the sign of thy coming? There the word parousia is "thy coming". Those who understand that parousia refers exclusively to the rapture event should latch onto something new here. The disciples question was "what shall be the sign of the rapture?" Don't lose sight of the fact that a sign precedes the purpose, in this case, the purpose is the rapture. So, the question becomes, "what event will be the sign that announces the (imminency of the) rapture to take place?"
    I ask you to take note of the singular word "sign", and not the plural, "signs". This is important when we look at Mark's account. Another thing that one must not lose sight of is the fact that the gospel accounts were written years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The writers were putting together many years of thought. Any way, "the sign of the son of man in heaven" is a precursory event to the great event of the rapture itself. This sign is NOT the rapture. Notice the order of events.
    1. Matt 24:4-29,
    2. THEN appears the sign,
    3. THEN the tribes mourn,
    4. [In MARK,] THEN he shall gather his elect.

    The sign , which is only mentioned in Matthew, is a (singular) visible proclamation of the soon to be rapture of the church, the parousia! It is not his coming that is the sign, but something beforehand. Now look with me at Mark's account. He uses the word things and connects it to a sign (singular).

    *[[Mar 13:4]] KJV* Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

    Mark did not include the words "sign of thy coming". But look again what he did say. What sign [will there be] when all of THESE THINGS (plural) shall be fulfilled, or take place. Did you get what he said? [I don't think you do]. He used the plural word "things", before he has told us anything of what Jesus says in the discourse. But the only THING That is in view, is the destruction of the stones of the temple. WHAT THINGS!?! Mark is presenting to us that Jesus is going to give us a list of THINGS that will be fulfilled AT HIS COMING. Mark, by saying "things shall be fulfilled" is connecting all of those things, that Jesus is about to say in the discourse, with a sign. [Added thought: it was not an important element of Mark to omit reference to his coming, in their questions] But the sign here, in Mark, is HIS COMING that tells us when all of these things shall be fulfilled, or take place. THE sign in Mark, IS His Coming. But in Matthew, it is a precursory event to the rapture. A sign that only Matthew alludes to. So here is the tricky part. It is not Jesus IN HEAVEN (as in the rapture), but is a sign seen in the heavens OF THE SON OF MAN. And John, in the book of Revelation tells us about the sign in heaven.

    *[[Rev 12:1]] KJV* And there appeared a great wonder [semeion, G4592, SIGN] IN HEAVEN ; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

    Blessings
    The PuP

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Re: THE SIGN

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesachpup View Post
    A sign precedes the purpose for which it is given. It is never the purpose (for which it is given) itself. For example. When we read of signs and wonders done by the apostles [in the book of Acts], it is said that it was to "confirm the word" that was given. As had already been stated, signs were given not to those who might believe, but for those who have believed (already).
    With that being said, look again at Matt 24:3. What shall be the sign of thy coming? There the word parousia is "thy coming". Those who understand that parousia refers exclusively to the rapture event should latch onto something new here. The disciples question was "what shall be the sign of the rapture?" Don't lose sight of the fact that a sign precedes the purpose, in this case, the purpose is the rapture. So, the question becomes, "what event will be the sign that announces the (imminency of the) rapture to take place?"
    I ask you to take note of the singular word "sign", and not the plural, "signs". This is important when we look at Mark's account. Another thing that one must not lose sight of is the fact that the gospel accounts were written years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. The writers were putting together many years of thought. Any way, "the sign of the son of man in heaven" is a precursory event to the great event of the rapture itself. This sign is NOT the rapture. Notice the order of events.
    1. Matt 24:4-29,
    2. THEN appears the sign,
    3. THEN the tribes mourn,
    4. [In MARK,] THEN he shall gather his elect.

    The sign , which is only mentioned in Matthew, is a (singular) visible proclamation of the soon to be rapture of the church, the parousia! It is not his coming that is the sign, but something beforehand. Now look with me at Mark's account. He uses the word things and connects it to a sign (singular).

    *[[Mar 13:4]] KJV* Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

    Mark did not include the words "sign of thy coming". But look again what he did say. What sign [will there be] when all of THESE THINGS (plural) shall be fulfilled, or take place. Did you get what he said? [I don't think you do]. He used the plural word "things", before he has told us anything of what Jesus says in the discourse. But the only THING That is in view, is the destruction of the stones of the temple. WHAT THINGS!?! Mark is presenting to us that Jesus is going to give us a list of THINGS that will be fulfilled AT HIS COMING. Mark, by saying "things shall be fulfilled" is connecting all of those things, that Jesus is about to say in the discourse, with a sign. [Added thought: it was not an important element of Mark to omit reference to his coming, in their questions] But the sign here, in Mark, is HIS COMING that tells us when all of these things shall be fulfilled, or take place. THE sign in Mark, IS His Coming. But in Matthew, it is a precursory event to the rapture. A sign that only Matthew alludes to. So here is the tricky part. It is not Jesus IN HEAVEN (as in the rapture), but is a sign seen in the heavens OF THE SON OF MAN. And John, in the book of Revelation tells us about the sign in heaven.

    *[[Rev 12:1]] KJV* And there appeared a great wonder [semeion, G4592, SIGN] IN HEAVEN ; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

    Blessings
    The PuP
    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 the 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 there are three 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

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